Eye on NY


Well, hello there!

My itinerary took me to NY recently where skies were blue and I had the extreme pleasure of spending time with my older son. The weather was stunning. Really hot, but not too steamy. In other words, absolutely perfect for walking from one end of Manhattan to the other.


I flew on Virgin America, connecting from Santa Barbara airport via United.

In the off chance that you ever find yourself booking this itinerary, let me share 2 important details with you;

1) “Virgin America” is 1 of only 3 airlines “United” does not have a baggage agreement with.  Apparently they’re “Frenemies”

2) The “United” terminal is at the absolute opposite side of LAX than the “Virgin America” terminal.

I had 55 minutes to buy a cart, yank my bags off the carousel, run to the bus, pull said bags off bus, find another cart, check in to Virgin, recheck my bags, and go through security again.

If you’re a man, you’re probably thinking “Why did you even have 2 check-in pieces of luggage and a carry-on when you were just going to NY?”

What a silly question.

 Needless to say, I lost 3 lbs and a cocktail was required immediately upon boarding.

BTW,  Is “my other ride’s a spaceship” new, or did I just notice it for the first time? I love that! I needed a dose of humour by this point.

L1150338Happily ensconced in my lovely hotel in NY, all travel turmoils forgotten (as you just read, haha) I was happy to hit the ground running.

It seems almost every city block in NY offers a photo op if you’re keeping your eyes peeled

L1150337Speaking of peeling…a wall down by my son’s neck of the woods reminds that “Art” is always in the eye of the beholder


We ate well, especially dinner one evening at Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya

Would definitely go back. (BTW, not just sushi)

IMG_5020Not sure if it was the heat, but I also decided to chop off my long hair. I will probably cut a few more layers still, but I was nervous to do anything too drastic all at once.

I don’t think the last 6″ were doing me any favours anyway and I’m loving how much easier it is to blow dry.

Just in case you’re looking for a good stylist in NY, I went to Chris Lospalluto at Sally Hershberger’s Uptown. He’s low-key and adorable.

IMG_5011There were a lot of these going on already, but I was more in the mood for walking than shopping.

L1150324That being said, I did drop into Barney’s shoe department which was like a hill of fire ants. I feared for my life. Not enough to leave mind you, but I was mighty scared just the same. Aside from the predominance of fluorescents, yes, still (upcoming post) I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot of brogues, saddle shoes, and flats in the coming months. Adorable if you can carry them off.  I saw Muiccia Prada in person recently and she was wearing a knee-length gingham dress, ankle socks and saddle-y brogues. Of course she is Muiccia Prada, worth 7 billion dollars due to her fashion sense and was on the cover of the NY Times Style magazine last weekend, but as much as I appreciate her iconoclasm, I have too strong a fear of looking like Betty Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” to attempt this look at my age.

OK, maybe with some wide trousers…

L1150287One day, the designated meeting point with my son was at ABC Carpet down on 17th. Truthfully, I could have spent the day in there, but the weather was so divine it would have been sinful (and my son would have killed me) so we walked around downtown all day instead. Such great people/dog/window watching there, especially on hot days.

Back to ABC though-these gorgeous chunks of blue bottle glass caught my eye as they reminded me of the paths at Lotus Land in my very own Montecito. Wouldn’t a few of them be great just strewn across a summer dining table with tons of candles?!

l10307891You may read more about Lotus Land in one of my older posts HERE


And in my latest “I LIKE IT. WHAT IS IT?” department;


One of the coolest things we spotted were “My New Flame” LED “candles” in the Ingo Maurer showroom in Soho.

They are hard to explain but you can watch a really short video of how they work here

As you can see, the circuit board controlling the flame is visible in the taper of the candle. 128 LEDs on each side allow the “flame” to be seen from both sides. They  come in red or black and can either be hung from the ceiling in a cluster, or table mounted as they run by battery. So modern and talk about a conversation starter. I’ve had a pair of the Ingo Maurer “Campari” lights over my kitchen sink in Sun Valley for years and I love the warm glow they cast, especially during the winter.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.11.40 AM



Lastly, I leave you with this bike, in my boy’s neighbourhood

IMG_5051 “Art” once again, in the eye of the beholder.

( I told you “fluoro”‘s still hot. Can you believe people still litter?? For shame! )

xox SP


Sushi Roll Models



O ya.

No, really- that’s the name of the restaurant “O ya” in  Boston, MA.

where I enjoyed the most phenomenal sushi last week.

The tasting menu, aprox. 14 courses, only partially shown here and not in any particular order, was a sublime experience.

Yes, a little saki and beer was in order, so a couple of pics might not be as sharp as they could be.

So su-shi me :)

(sorry. Not even drinking when I wrote that)

I don’t have our menu at hand, therefore we’ll have to let the sushi speak for itself.



Elegantly pared down, yet rich with robust flavour combinations that burst in the mouth like a thousand beads of outrageous caviar, chef Tim Kushman’s menu is serious culinary art.



Wild forest mushrooms basking in a frothy nectar.



Can you read the name of this delicious white ale?

How can beer be this good? I can’t describe it, other than it tastes like the colour lavender.

Not the flavour, the colour.

It’s delicious. I’m on the hunt.



This dish was served under a canopy of smoke. Absolutely outrageous.




Homemade la ratte fingerling potato chip with black Oregon truffle


Kumomono oysters with watermelon pearls & cucumber mignonette.

How many can you eat?  You tell first.



We ended on a delicate yet decadent note with this exquisitely prepared bite of foie gras (Sorry California, they’re still being naughty in MA)

“Foie gras with balsamic chocolate kabayaki, claudio corallo raisin cocoa pulp, sip of aged sake”


If your travels are taking you anywhere even near Boston, DO book way ahead to secure a reservation at this special little gem of a restaurant.

There are only 37 seats (17 are at the bar) and when asking the hotel concierge for directions I was informed, rather haughtily, that unless I’d already made reservations (my friend had) I had no hope of dining there.

I won’t say what hotel, but “O ya” is within walking distance of THE RITZ CARLTON.

The Ritz Carlton by the park. :)

As Strange Fates would have it, upon returning to unsaid hotel, one of the films available on pay per view was the new documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.  After professing I  couldn’t possibly look at one more piece of poisson I then sat mesmerized for the next 90 minutes just glued to this fascinating glimpse into the world of Japanese sushi culture and one chef’s quest to create The Perfect piece of sushi. At 85 years of age and still going to work every day, Jiro, considered by many to be the world’s best sushi chef, is still not there yet. At least by his standards.

Catch it if you can. Click the link below to watch the trailer ;

 Link to Jiro Dreams of Sushi


“I feel ecstatic all day”  Jiro.

If that’s not a statement to make one think twice about early retirement…



Lastly, if your not full, please just take one more minute to watch this sweet little short and tell me if some Japanese cuisine might not be on your agenda in the coming week!

Zuma: Wabi-sabi




Link to “O ya”   and check out the dinner menu.