A bientôt New York

..Slim Paley photo

We bid adieu to New York!


Above, a few mementos of our week.

I’m a scrapbook keeper from way back, so I’m like a little squirrel wherever I go.

I finished reading “Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge” the biography of the American tycoon Harry Selfridge who created one of the largest, successful department stores in the UK and probably the world. Interesting man, very interesting life, but sadly, I found the book a little dry. I’ve heard a film is in the works and I imagine his story could definitely make a great movie.

Next, I’m going to read “A Summer of Hummingbirds” ” Love, Art, and Scandal in the intersecting world of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe & Martin Johnson Heade” which I picked up in my new favourite bookshop on the upper East side “Archivia Books

I’ll let you know if it’s good. Anything to do with Mark Twain, I’m in. Now that was a life and a film begging to be made.

Also in the photo, business cards from a few of the shops I had fun visiting, including “R by 45rpm” (great casual clothes, I love their indigo) and “Nicholas Brawer” ( Campaign furniture, sporting antiques, vintage bar accessories and great chat. I was thrilled to find in him a fellow Charles Baker devotee’ )


Read my post about cocktails and Charles Baker Jr. Here


Speaking of cocktails, I had a positively SUBLIME “Whiskey Smash” in Bemelman’s Bar at The Carlyle Hotel.

OMG. I don’t even like whiskey.

It’s not on the menu, so you have to ask for it-a friend told me I must try one.

She’s an even Bester friend now :)


Slim Paley photo



Tommy Rowles, the Irish bartender who has been crafting cocktails behind the bar at Bemelmans since 1958!


and lest you be concerned that was my only cocktail (I know you worry) fear not Dear Reader.

We attended a delightful soiree in the home of fellow proud parents from my son’s graduating class (one of those fab. NY apartments with so much charm, not to mention one of the best examples of vintage red & white stripes used in a cool way, but I can’t pull my camera out all the time, as much as I’d love to)

I also went to The Kips Bay 40th Annual Decorator Show House cocktail party with my friend Heather Clawson from Habitually Chic. We had lots of fun and I enjoyed meeting Nicole from the blog So Haute (who gave me an instant “Instagram” lesson) and Stefan from Architect Design . It’s always nice to put a face to blogs you read.


Todd Alexander Romano’s dining room at Kips Bay

This year’s show house (actually two large apartments in a new high-rise building on the upper West side) was filled with shiny, reflective surfaces, including the walls & ceiling treatments and “Green” was definitely the flavour of the moment, in more ways than one. The apartment boasted an outdoor pool-can you imagine? A pool in the heavens but, alas, no hot tub for cold NY nights. The party was in full swing, so impossible for me to snap any pics, but if you’re interested in seeing it all beautifully shot, check out Habitually Chic where Heather has several posts and extensive photos from her visit earlier in the week as well as the complete ‘low down’.


Thom Filicia’s entrance/foyer at Kips Bay

Both photos via Habitually Chic



.For the most part, the weather co-operated and I maintained my 10,000+ steps a day walk around the city..

Slim Paley photo

I found more colourful Prada windows,

although I didn’t get a great shot of this one commemorating the Schiaparelli exhibit at the Met (which sadly I didn’t see)

and Caution;

Thighs in reflection will look bigger than they actually are (or so I tell myself)


Does this window make me look fat?


Words of wisdom in the windows at Bergdorf’s



and of love on the stairs of “Opening Ceremony” downtown

Slim Paley “Instagram” photo

you DO remember the song, right?! (start at the top)



My alter ego “The Barktorialist” was charmed by a new model in town

The dogs of NYSlim Paley photo

Meet My Gal “Friday” (just coming from her eyelash extensions appointment on the upper East Side)


Slim Paley “Instagram” photo

I managed to keep breakfasts down to a moderately subdued level.


I’m not saying there weren’t a few of these consumed this week…

crispy french friesSlim Paley Photo



But I was good in the afternoons

Slim Paley photo

usually ordering salads.



Our absolute favourite meal was at “Eleven Madison Park”


Trust me on this one.

Jump through whatever hoops you must to secure a reservation.

The extended tasting menu was

one of the best and most fun dinners we’ve experienced in a long time.

The menu below doesn’t even include the “amuse bouche(s)” (which I don’t want to spoil for you, but are truly ‘amusing’) or the insanely delicious dessert we enjoyed in the kitchen, where I (insert red face) when asked to ‘crack’ open with our spoons the dry ice prepared-rhubarb mound of wonderfulness floating in a divine liquer, cracked the actual glass cup instead.

Cringe. They promised me I wasn’t the first.

Some sort of mob boss was also too heavy handed.

Oh… red face encore just reliving the moment.

You have to believe me when I say I’m one of those people who never breaks anything!



No spoilers, but the apple tea, the “lollipops”, the clams (served 3 ways), the lobster and the “Egg Cream” were my favourites.


Definitely one of the most handsome locations in Manhattan

Eleven Madison ParkPhotos by Francesco Tonelli

The staff couldn’t possibly have been more charming in helping us to celebrate our Graduate with such a memorable feast.

“11 Madison Park: The Cookbook” video here



Sunset in NYSlim Paley photo

Good night Manhattan & Manhattanites!

Until next time…

I have to go unpack.

I hope I don’t break anything.



PhYsiCaL GrAffiTi

Slim Paley Photo

Sunlight catching the coloured pencils on my desk.

Whatever possessed me I don’t know, but while I was in Sun Valley last week I decided  I would graffiti my yoga mat.

Before we go any further, let me share something with you:

Be extremely careful opening large, waterproof felt pens at high altitude.

We’ll leave it at that.

Slim Paley Photo

 After I cleaned up and started to draw, the most amazing thing happened. The early morning light began throwing wildly vivid rainbows through the beveled windows of the dining room onto my “canvas”!  The photo above is not enhanced in any way.

I took this as a message from Heaven.

Basically, the message was this;

“SLIM!, Standard & Poors is about to downgrade the credit rating of the country for the first time in 70 years, so enjoy any and all forms of Art where you may find them”

Can you believe it??

From there, I began to ponder the true definition of “Art” and if, in fact, graffiti really could be considered a true art form.

From  “Art In the Streets” at the MOCA in LA

Though steeped in controversy, I believe it is, and a rather primal one at that if you think about how earliest man was painting on his cave walls.

Which might beg the question; Was he painting on his own cave walls, or someone else’s cave walls??

The age old rub with graffiti…

Personally, I enjoy a bit of well done graffiti in a very urban setting, say NYC, but I’m slightly horrified by it in a small town like Santa Barbara, and that’s not a case of “not in my town” as I lived in NY for many years and I love the city. Can’t wait to be there in just a few days!

“Bloody Tears” bracelet in silver and fluorescent enamel, by Delfina Delettrez for OPENING CEREMONY

(Eerily close to what transpired in my dining room :) )

Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood celebrates artist Keith Haring

Moschino’s doing it.

Slim Paley photo

Slim’s doing it…

and as really long time, faithful readers of S.P. know- whatever Slim does…

Karl does…

that little scamp..

Someone tagged  Daphne Groeneveld

Playa Vik Jose Ignacio

“Graffiti-esqued” walls are showing up in hotels

as well as underfoot

 modular area rugs ByHenzel.

Monday, August 8th  (tomorrow!) is the last day you can catch “Art in The Streets” at MOCA

If  you can manage to make it there

your entrance fee will be graciously picked up by BANKSY

You can see the trailer for Banksy’s 2010 film about Street Art “Exit Through the Gift Shop” HERE

.A little “graffiti” I wouldn’t mind owning…

Basquiat squared.

Miu Miu

96 Marks Place, the original building on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” album

Even old luggage titans like TUMI  are tagging

The Novogratz’ enlisted street artist Matt Siren to create this bedroom on the first episode of their new show on HGTV.

( hope they’ll be showing more of their adorable kids on the upcoming shows, don’t you?)


Banksy in NYC

Keith Haring

Nicholas Kirkwood’s Keith Haring shoes

(Special order only.  D’yathink?!)

Check out the Sumi Ink Club in LA  ( “All ages, all humans, all styles” ) Cool.

.Playing Safe for the home or office;

Flaunt your points on this very cool chalkboard pingpong table by Puma

and graffiti to your little vandalizing heart’s content :)


I love the whole vibe; the huge circular fire pit (including the genius round log holder), graffitied corrugated metal walls, & multi-coloured chairs.  Fun!

I’ve had this image on my inspiration board forever-I think it might be a hotel somewhere in South America.

 Free water-proof felt pens for the first caller.

Vivienne Westwood, a graffiti soul if ever there was one.


If it’s on canvas and worth a zillion $, can it still be considered “Street Art”?

Have to admit I love the combat of the graffitied wall and old classic floor tile.

Slim Paley photo

It’s not quite finished yet, but I needed to use it this morning!

 I started off with the best intentions of channeling Basquiat and Haring and crew, but somehow ended up with a rose… then vines & hearts…I guess you just can’t teach an old tagger new tricks :)

.I leave you with permission to draw on your walls,

and this little video I first posted in July 2010, but I like it for this post!

Color Me Crazy  by Sarah St. Clair Renard

Are you getting your felt pens out yet??!