Monday, December 20, 2010

Year End Review: Paul McCartney & Wings - Band On The Run

November 2, we saw the re-mastered, re-release of Paul McCartney & Wings' classic hit album, Band on the Run. It's the first release from the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. The 2 CD/1 DVD special edition consists of the original album, a disc of bonus tracks plus a disc containing more than an hours worth of video footage all wrapped up in a tidy enhanced package.

Band on the Run, originally released in 1973, came after some hit and miss McCartney albums. There were some gems on those works but overall, they were just nice. Band on the Run however sparkled and shined with the well crafted pop goodies that McCartney was and is known for. It's a record that still holds up well.

I've been spinning this release. In listening to it, the first thing I noticed was, I needed better headphones! Once that was squared away, I plugged in and cranked the sound. The re-master is louder and more clean than previous releases of the record. I hear more little bits and bobs that I never noticed before.

I realized something while listening to the record. All of the songs that I as a child, first associated as being McCartney, came from this album. Yes, as a kid I knew The Beatles music. But that was The Beatles and Beatle Paul and Wings Paul may have been one and the same, but they were separate in my mind. Beatles Paul was in funny movies and was a cartoon, literally ... oh and he wrote some great songs. But, Wings Paul was a rock star that people could actually go and see. He wasn't the larger than life entity his earlier self had become. Hey, nobody ever said kids made sense! Anyway, two of my all time favorite Wings songs come from this record "Let Me Roll It" and "Bluebird." Even though I've heard the song many times over the years, "Mrs. Vandebilt" has jumped out at me. It just pops on this edition and has been getting repeated plays.

I was excited about the One Hand Clapping video footage. But, I have to say, I'm just a wee bit disappointed. Yes, I'm happy to have it but it doesn't look like it has had any work done to it at all. I realize the footage is old but I expected it to be cleaner. As it stands, it feels a bit like watching a second (maybe third) generation bootleg VHS recording.

In a way, you can consider Band on the Run a best of record. It's some of McCartney's best post Fab Four work to date. I can't imagine a McCartney fan who doesn't own the album. But, if you're one of those who has the album in its original release and never got around to buying it on CD or digitally, now's a good time to pick it up (vinyl lovers need not fear, it's available in that format as well), it's a good little package. Listening to this re-master reminded me just how much I like this record.

Since there are plans to release other records as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, I'm hoping the next one will be Wings Over America with a bonus DVD of Rockshow in its entirety. That would make me one seriously happy chick.

Band on the Run (Special Edition)

Remastered Album
  • Band on the Run
  • Jet
  • Bluebird
  • Mrs Vandebilt
  • Let Me Roll It
  • Mamunia
  • No Words
  • Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me)
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
Bonus Audio Tracks
  • Helen Wheels
  • Country Dreamer
  • Bluebird [from One Hand Clapping]
  • Jet [from One Hand Clapping]
  • Let Me Roll It [from One Hand Clapping]
  • Band on the Run [from One Hand Clapping]
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five [from One Hand Clapping]
  • Country Dreamer [from One Hand Clapping]
  • Zoo Gang
  • Band on the Run Music Video
  • Mamunia Music Video
  • Album Promo Featuring Band on the Run, Mrs Vandebilt, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five, Bluebird
  • Helen Wheels Music Video
  • Wings In Lagos
  • Osterley Park
  • One Hand Clapping

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Duran Duran Releases New Single Early + Visit East Village Radio

December 8, the four original members of British pop band Duran Duran, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon, released the lead single from their upcoming record a week early. The song, "All You Need Is Now" is currently being offered exclusively on iTunes for FREE. The 9-track album, also titled All You Need Is Now, will be released digitally on Tuesday, December 21 and was produced by Mark Ronson. For those of you who like to have physical contact with your music, you will have your opportunity in February 2011 when an expanded physical record with additional original new tracks in various format deluxe packages will be made available.

This evening, Friday, December 10, Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes will visit East Village Radio. They pair will be on Mark Ronson's show Authentic Sh*t. Tune into EVR ( from 8pm - 10pm Eastern time.

I have to tell you, I still have a soft spot for Duran Duran. Early 80's me, little barely teen-aged, quirky chick me, loved them. That was the point in my young life where John was hotness personified in my book and when I wanted to dye my hair that horrid orange color Nick once sported ... yeah, don't ask.

The vibrant video for the title track “All You Need Is Now,” also set for release on iTunes on December 21st, was shot in and around London and was helmed by celebrated director Nick Egan, whose previous work includes Duran Duran’s “White Lines” and “Ordinary World” videos, as well as videos for Alanis Morissette, Sonic Youth, INXS, Oasis and more. Additional footage was provided by Gavin Elder, longtime documentary filmmaker for the band, amongst others.

All You Need Is Now, Duran Duran’s 13th studio album, features a newly announced collaboration with R&B/neo-soul superstar Kelis on “The Man who Stole a Leopard,” just one of the album’s many stand-out tracks. Trading call and response vocals with Simon Le Bon, Kelis’ shimmering vocal contribution puts the golden touch on the track’s already irresistible electro-driven groove.

Track List
  • All You Need Is Now
  • Blame The Machines
  • Being Followed
  • Leave a Light on
  • Safe (in the heat of the moment) (feat. Ana Matronic)
  • Girl Panic !
  • The Man who Stole a Leopard (feat. Kelis)
  • Runway Runaway
  • Before the Rain

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Robert Plant Confirms North American Tour Dates

Robert Plant and Band of Joy announced they will be hitting the road early 2011 for a North American tour. New Yorkers, Plant will be at the Beacon Theatre on January 29. Those of you not in the New York area, check below for dates near you.
Rounder Records is excited to announce that Robert Plant has confirmed a 15-date North American tour. Beginning January 18th in Asheville, NC, this will be the first tour on these shores since the triumphant release of his latest album, Band of Joy, which Rolling Stone magazine in its four-star review called "sweet, elegant folk that still swings like Satan's barn door." The touring band will once again be the same that made the record: Patty Griffin, vocals; Darrell Scott, multi instrumentalist/vocals; Byron House, bass/vocals; Marco Giovino, drums and percussion/vocals, and co-producer Buddy Miller, guitar/vocals. North Mississippi Allstars will be supporting on all the dates.
Tour Dates

  • 18 Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
  • 19 Pittsburgh, PA Peterson Events Center (University of Pittsburgh)
  • 21 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium
  • 22 Toronto, ONT Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
  • 25 Boston, MA House of Blues
  • 26 Upper Darby, PA Tower Theatre
  • 28 Mashantucket, CT MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino
  • 29 New York, NY Beacon Theatre

  • 1 Washington, DC DAR Constitution Hall
  • 2 Raleigh, NC Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
  • 4 North Charleston, SC North Charleston Performing Arts Center
  • 5 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
  • 7 Charlotte, NC Ovens Auditorium
  • 8 - 9 Nashville, TN War Memorial Auditorium

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Shearling trend... the origins

Ever wondered where J.Crew and the like got their basic materials for this season's uber cozy shearling vests? The Welsh mountains of course....

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Duke Spirit & Levi's Offer Free Download

The Duke Spirit are offering a free download of a new song "Procession," on Levi's Site. Check out the handy widget below. On a side note, I still have my sad face on over having to miss their show at Santos'.
After a triumphant return to NYC this week with a show at Santos Party House, The Duke Spirit played a captivating set at last night’s Levi’s Men's and Women's Spring 2011 Preview party. Fierce and magnetic frontwoman Liela Moss led the band through the bold new songs from their forthcoming album, due out in February on Shangri-La Music, including “Everybody’s Under Your Spell” (available as a free download at and “Procession,” which is available as a free download on Levi’s site:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jack Wills hits Boston

I greet the news of Jack Wills opening in Boston with a sigh - what, the preppy wannabe that you can't escape in Surrey is now trying to break America? Puuleeeasse - what's wrong with Rugby, Vineyard Vines, J.Crew, Madewell, Urban Outfitters - do the Jack Wills folk not think that breaking into New England hasn't already been covered?
Apparently it's because their brand is not owned by them it's 'owned by their customers'  - yes right - that would be the teen girls from Guildford High School then have deemed that Boston is the next big nut to crack...
My experience of buying at Jack Wills for said Guildford High school girls is that it's bloody expensive and they should stick to their Aunt bringing Abercrombie back across the pond for half the price and twice the kudos.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Richard Ashcroft To Release New Record In 2011

Richard Ashcrof
t, the British rocker best known as frontman of The Verve, has signed with Razor & Tie. His upcoming release, The United Nations Of Sound, will be released early 2011 here in The States. The 12-song record was produced by hip-hop producer No I.D. "Are You Ready?," the single, was released last month and is available at your favorite digital outlets. I'm digging this track so I'm looking forward to checking out the upcoming release.

Ashcroft is expected to tour the US in 2011, his first solo trek in six years, to support the album.

"It's an honor to work with someone as esteemed as Richard," said Beka Tischker, Vice President of A&R at Razor & Tie. "Besides being one of the seminal figures of modern British rock music, his music has touched my life. It's the icing on the cake in this business when you get to work with someone who soundtracked important parts of your life."

Songs from The United Nations of Sound are already in great demand and enjoying massive worldwide exposure through television and film placements. The anthemic lead track "Are You Ready?" is featured in Volkswagen's new Jetta ad campaign (viewable here), had been in promos for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals and is currently being used in FOX's broadcasts of Major League Baseball's postseason games including the opening of the World Series. Another track, "She Brings Me the Music" was recently featured in NBC's hit series Chuck. The forthcoming Matt Damon sci-fi flick The Adjustment Bureau will include a new song written and performed specifically for the film's opening by Richard and ten-time Oscar-nominated composer Tom Newman. The film will also feature "Are You Ready?" over the closing credits.

"Are You Ready?" is available for purchase on iTunes at this link.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

5 Things to do this NYC Halloween!

Photo Credit: Archivalproject

Halloween to us Brits is just ghosts and ghouls and scary stuff!

In NYC and America generally, there is still a scary element out there, but the costumes can be anything from Alice in Wonderland to the latest puppet in the political world! EVERYONE dresses up so dont miss out on what is the biggest, yes the biggest night in New york City. Not sure what to do? Here are some ideas for this years festivities: (and dont be shocked if you think you have mistakenly stepped into the red light district)

1) If you can stand crowds and being pushed left, right and centre, dont miss the famous Village Parade. it starts on Spring & 6th & runs up to 22nd street, 7-10pm. Anyone in costume can join in the fun, so if you have a group of friends up for it, get there early for the line up.

Photo credit:

2) Attend one of the many mental Halloween parties
3) Go to a haunted house. New Yorks Time Out has a great info page on where to get scared.
4) Have kiddies for this Halloween? Here are some great resources for family fun.

Photo credit: TimeoutKids

5) If you are not joining in, have a great time checking out Rickys costumes and people watching from afar.

Are there any "must dos" this Halloween we missed out?
Add them below in the comments.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Real Fakes at the Chelsea Galleries...

There's nothing like a bit of sculpture to get the artistic juices flowing, but sculptured shoes and handbags - now that makes me really pay attention.
At the Mike Weiss Gallery (520 W24th St) there's a surprising exhibition by Liao Yibai of what he likes to call 'Real Fakes'. A larger than life gathering of over the top pieces in stainless steel that point to the subversive world of fake luxury goods.
As with scoping out a fake, it's all about taking a closer look - there's the Chanel clutch that has an Apple logo, the Pengdi tote and my personal favorite the 'Real Sprada Bag'.
This exhibition is small but fun - it runs until October 30th so get your fake Gucci's on and trot down to the Chelsea Galleries.
For more fashion-tastic news take a peek at Notes from a Stylist

Wednesday, October 20, 2010



Style is so omnipresent in New York that even the water bottles are intimidatingly fashionable.

Turns out this Missoni/Pelligrino collaboration was the most stylish thing I would see on the day when I take a 'diva' shopping tour of the garment district with my fellow Big Apple Brits blogger Notes by a Stylist. Immediate alarm bells were ringing due to the use of the word diva in the title, being as I am neither a 6 year old girl who shops at Claire's Accessories or living in 1996.

Whenever alarm bells ring they never cease, they just get louder. When we met the tour guide on a Midtown corner, the bells are shaking my very core. She is wearing a waistcoat that was surely fashioned from my bathroom rug, with an iluminous pink nylon handbag. It wasn't like I expected her head to toe in Rodarte, but she looked like she was dressed in the dark by a four year old with A.D.D.

We are told of the excitement and bargains ahead and are quickly herded to an anonymous looking office building around the corner where we all squeeze into a lift and arrive on the 10th floor. When we pile out, I spot the showroom for a cool department store brand and realise I have judged the whole thing too hastily. But no. We're not going there. No. We're going to the showroom of a coat designer, who I've never heard of who. But not to worry, because she has a crumpled copy of an old Oprah magazine, proving firstly that someone at a magazine once liked one of her coats and secondly that they normallyretail at $1000. That's $1000! The showroom assistant shouts this as if she's talking to a group of Primary school children learning basic addition. "That's O-pa-raah! That's one thousand bucks! But for you today, most pieces retail at around... $300. That's a saving of...(nods her head excitably) SEVEN...HUNDRED...BUCKS!"


I have no interest in a new coat costing $300 so I mooch around sulking until I am pounced on by the actual designer. Why is she hawking her own stuff? Doesn't she have better things to do? something?

"You have to try this on!" she says.

"No thank you" I say looking at a purple boucle wool coat so old fashioned my dead Nanna would have hesitated to wear it to bingo.

"No. You have to try it on!" she persists.

"No thank you."

"I insist."


"I'm not taking no for an answer!"

"Sorry, no."

"You know honey? This coat would be great for your with your big boobs, it's really flattering with the shawl collar..."

Yes she did. She really did. She went there. Ok, so it's no secret to the world that I have large breasts, they are right there every day, for all to see- distracting men from what I'm saying and making me look like a hooker in every blouse I wear. They ruin fashion choices, I need a second mortgage every time I buy a bra and I will never stand up entirely straight. So guess what? What I do not need, is this to be shouted out by a woman I just met in front of a group of strangers. I pause. Fix her with a menacing stare, the smile and say:



That sort of set the tone from there on in and Sara and I are like bored schoolgirls being dragged around an automotive museum. The depressing cycle of overpriced tat continues for hours, broken up only by the odd bit of cheap tat. At one point we're not allowed in a showroom because a buyer is there and the tour guide whispers.

"The buyers don't know we have these tours..."

Oh reeeeeeally? So the people who work in the industry don't know this goes on? I assume they are not only idiots, but also don't have Internet connections to google 'garment district showroom shopping tours'?

When we are at the point of no more we are taken into another showroom and the designer introduces herself by telling us she's hilarious. That's hilarious with lots of exclamation marks!!! I walk out and Sara follows. We skulk around outside for 15 minutes wondering before Sara has a genius plan. We're going to let everyone know what we think about this, in the most British way possible: We're going to run away.

No complaining, no honesty, no embarrassment. We prod the lift hastily, bolt out of the building and hail a cab on 7th Avenue and head for lunch where we drink to forget our Post Traumatic Dress Disorder.

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Stormy weather...just can't get myself together


I spent Columbus day in bed hungover, discovering only that I cannot drink like I'm 25 anymore.

This is not a new revelation, which is apt because it turns Columbus didn't really discover much on this day in history either.

He was actually more of a PR man for The Americas, which was probably found years before by the Chinese in 1421 or even by my Welsh forefathers way back in the 6th century. Christopher did all the promotional work though and then reveled in the glory, making the new world really popular via his genius marketing plan of slavery, which it turns out, really caught on. When he first set foot in the Bahamas he noted in his log how the ignorant locals would make fine servants and that "...with fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we wanted."

So with Columbus being something of a power hungry Italian Dom it is perplexing why he is celebrated at all.

But when you're a Cardiff girl, there is little excuse needed for a party, so I start the festivities the night before at a West Village bar serving half price bottles of wine. I come home in the early hours to the local crazy who has threatened to kill me several times passed out in front of my building. Shame he was more zonked than me, so we couldn't exchange our usual pleasantries where he screams "You're going to die, you fucking bitch" and I cry "What have I ever done to you?"


My recollections of the next few hours are shaky, but after I step over my hobo nemesis and retire to the safety of my apartment I remember drunken arguing with the (sober) American, drunken IMing anyone in the UK who was awake and drunken oven pizza burning.

By the following evening I have done nothing with my day but sleep, rot my brain watching E and suffered the black dog that accompanies every hangover. I wait for the big storm to hit. I know it is coming, not because I am a witch as The American claims, but because NY1 had been getting a hard-on about it all day.

New York does storms like it does everything else-completely over the top. First comes the rain, not drops, but lashes from the sky in huge sheets. Then the hail, as if every barman in the city has emptied their ice buckets at the same time. The stones hammering down on the back of the air conditioning unit like a drummer having an epileptic fit. Then the thunder so loud I feel the vibrations in my heart, quickly followed by lightning illuminating the inky sky.

The American and I open the bedroom windows and stick our heads out by the fire escape. We drink it the drama, turn off our phones, switch off the TV and shut our laptops. No technology can compete with the free show from nature tonight.


New York photographer Jay Fine's stunning picture of Lady Liberty in the lightning storm

"The lightning is like a giant Paparazzo bulb over Manhattan." says The American "Like the city is one big celebrity getting papped."

Cute. Clever even. He doesn't always say dumb stuff, despite his obvious disadvantage of being descendant of those who fell for Columbus New World marketing ploy.

"I like that." I say.

"You should put that in your blog." he says.

"Hmmm...maybe." I say.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homesick and Hiraeth...


The Welsh language has it's very own word for homesickness.

It's a word that has no literal translation into English, but the best way to try to describe it as a grief and longing for the homeland. The word is Hiraeth. And I have it bad.

I am pining for my mates, Sainsburys, shitty weather, Primark, Coronation Street, Roath Park by my house and irony. For some inexplicable reason my Hiraeth has also manifested itself in a deep desire to once again see the concrete monolith that is the Gabalfa roundabout in Cardiff.

I haven't added my Mother to the list because she has a special way of making me feel like she's in the same room as me when she nags me transatlantically. It's quite the unique talent. It has nothing what so ever to do with the fact she didn't buy me a flight home this summer when I was skint. That would make me spoiled and entitled. But can I just point out that Bank of Mum is only supposed refuse withdrawals if the child works in a stable industry, which clearly doesn't include the media. Instead of a flight, she sent me anIlovestheDiff t-shirt.


I loves the 'Diff t-shirt posing by classic NY fire escape. It's raining, so it feels at home.

In my Mother's defence she'd already stumped up a load of cash up for The Teenager to go home in July. For a few months of the summer return flights were starting at $1000. I have never seen prices that high. Was there a fuel crisis that had passed me buy as I no longer own a car?

I know there are worse places to be stranded than NYC, so I tried to see the positives of being in sweltering, rubbish stenched 100 degree heat for the summer.


I mostly focused on the Teenager going home and the resulting break from Motherhood-having been hard at it for 16 years without parole. I was really looking forward to being an adult life free of responsibilities- ready to go out banging pills of Meow Meow and sleeping with hot hipsters in nightclub toilets. Then I remembered I am not only 35, but married. Seems there is always someone to spoil the fun.

I was determined not to remain in NY. for the whole summer. So there was Plan B to have our long awaited honeymoon to California. Until The American's new job put an end to that.

"Hooonnneeeeee. What can I do?" says the American.

"Nothing. I just hate New York right now. I just want to home and reset."

"I feeeeeel bad." he says.

"It's not your fault." I say and look up at him with an expression that says: Really it is your fault cos you're American and the collective you is responsible for most of the crap in the word, especially the stuff that involves fuel prices.

It gets me a little depressed. For at least a few days. Which is a lot for me, as usually the only things that make me moody are hormones and The American eating my stash of British chocolate.

I begin to wonder will I always feel like this this? Sort of...displaced? Will being away from what I still call home forever feel like I'm escaping something? Even though there is nothing I want to run from in Cardiff? Quite the opposite in fact, I would quite like to put on my trainers and do a Forest Gump and sprint all the way back to Arran Street.


Like other expats, I've started to create my own little Welsh Alien corner of home in New York. Brit friends coupled with an inability to make any American mates, two Brit shops and a Chip shop within walking distance, an ongoing mission to hack the BBC iplayer and my small but perfectly formed NYC Bluebirds supporters club. New York home is still not home though.

After days of wallowing in my Hiraeth I stagger out onto my street and into the late afternoon sunshine to head for the coffee shop around the corner.


I buy a large iced caffeine boost and sit on the bench outside next to a strange looking, slightly Albino woman. Turns out she is just Scandinavian, I can't be more specific as I wasn't really listening at first, after initially judging her to be a nutter. After 10 minutes the conversation turns to the subject of freckles, of which she had a lot, as do I. Except hers are red and pretty much blend into one big splodge.

"Frickles arrre so pre-tea!" she says

"I think so too!" I say

"Ven I vos lidl girl in school, a boy say to me sumting lovely bout de frickles"

"What did he say?"

"He say dat a girl vivout frickles is like a sky vivout da stars."

The weird albino nordic woman smiles at me and I smile back.

New York always does this. Just when I am feeling like I don't want to be here anymore, like I love her less-she throws me a scrap. Just something small like this, a moment. And she knows that I am fickle, just like the city. She knows that this moment, this one moment will mean that I will love her again.

I say goodbye and walk down 7th Avenue, sip my coffee and check my Hiraeth.

It's still there, but not so much...

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fashion Week - who wore what....


The great thing about a fashion week - and New York is no exception, is that it makes you uber sensitive about what to wear.

As part of the press pack, it shouldn't really matter as you can rest assured that by the 8th hour on your feet trudging lemming like from show to show, you are sure to be lookng more like stig of the dump than that papparazzo ready look you were chanelling earlier that morning - when, to be fair, there aren't that many papps around anyway - they're more likely to be nursing a sore head after burning the midnight oil trying to get shots of the late night show arrivals.

You can choose to be whoever you want at fashion week - a sleek pulled together media/buyer type, dressed elegantly and efficiently in office attire with this season's twist, who needs to get the show over and done with fast so she can get her copy posted or buying decisions made.


Noor Alsabah (buyer) wearing Behnaz Sarafpour dress, Mories statement necklace

You could be the quirky arty type who throws a creative look together and hangs around the tents with no ticket but safe in the knowledge that some blogger or other will papp you for a shot for 2 seconds of fame in the blogosphere. Conversley you could be a 'lookeylikey/wannabe' - see previous sentence.


You could be working your nuts off as a celebrity stylists right hand man and seat filler...


Or you could simply be your own quirky self...


The point is it's all about the fashion darling after all...

For more Notes from a Stylist take a peek here....

Posted via email from Big Apple Brits - British Expats, Anglophiles and Brit Culture Lovers New York City

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week - The Crowd

Posted: September 15, 2010 -

So Fashion Week is upon us and as ever, the crowd are more interesting than the clothes so far.

I don't know about you, but armpit hair - male or female is a tad of a turn off. The fabulous Lady Fag hit New York Fashion Week in style - beautiful bangles, tattoo and killer heels - all was going swimmingly well until I spotted the armpit hair - noooooo - it's just morally wrong - or is that just me?


Then there was the top chicky chick at Michael Angel - apparently it's Julia Stegner - or that's what celeb blogger Bryan Boy told me and actually posted a better pic than mine.


Grace Jones was in town for the Alexander Berardi show - last time I saw her I think it was the 80's and the venue was Brixton Academy and she kept the crowd waiting for 4 hours - I still haven't forgiven her for that.


Finally there was Ms J from Project Runway fame who at Ports 1961 was sat front row next to a kid - who I'm sure when I look in the papparazzo press tomorrow will be named as the next big Jodie Foster or Alexa Chung or whatever. But quite frankly both Ms J, Kid & big guy next to her (who am thinking might be the guy from the new A-Team movie) all looked totally bemused by the juxtaposition they were in.

Plan for tomorrow - read enough celeb/papparazzo/naff press to be at least in shape to spot who's in the front row next time around....

For more blogtastic news on Fashion Week check out Notes from a Stylist

Posted via email from Big Apple Brits - British Expats, Anglophiles and Brit Culture Lovers New York City

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fashion's Night Out Sept 10th

Posted: September 8, 2010 -


Just when you thought there was no earthly reason to continue your downward spiral into credit card debt oblivion, the wonderful world of fashion has come up with a pretty good reason to celebrate shopping and all that is fab about fashion.

Yes those clever marketing fashionistas have put together another 'Fashion's Night Out'. With Vogue's Anna Wintour as the lynch pin behind this scheme, the event goes global with a frenzied fashion fest set to kick off from London to Taiwan.

Set this year in New York for September 10th, the night is billed as 'Shopping for something good'. Stores stay open till 11pm whilst Designers mingle with staff and celebrity stylists to give the whole thing that authentic block party feel.

You can plan ahead if you scope out Fashion's Night Out web site, which gives you a comprehensive blow by blow shake down on which neighborhoods are doing what so you'll be armed with the nouse ready to hit the stores on the 10th. There's also a fab google map gadget that helps you figure out how far and wide your shopping frenzy can stretch - I'm currently optimistically planning on hitting SoHo, Meatpacking, Bowery & Brooklyn...hmmm.


Be sure not to forget your best fashionista attitude, your credit card and some blister plasters for those battered tootsies at the end of the night.

Posted via email from Big Apple Brits - British Expats, Anglophiles and Brit Culture Lovers New York City

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My route to 66...


Much like Joaquin Phoenix I've had a strange and surreal 12 months.

It's exactly a year since I packed up my life in Cardiff and arrived at JFK with a sobbing Teenager. She shedding tears for the boyfriend she left in Wales, me still in shock at my Dad's death a month previously. At my feet some seriously bulging excess baggage.

The American picked us up in a rented SUV and we drove into Manhattan. I was all broad smiles and endless chat, but with a belly groaning with nerves. This is home now. Excited and scared for what lay ahead. Bye bye Cardiff. A fresh start packed to the brim with hope and blindness to any troubles that may lay ahead.

There was no time to ponder on my grief. No pontificating on the enormity of what I had done-giving up a great job at the BBC, renting out my beloved house to strangers, leaving my recently widowed Mum. I was the project manager of this whole new family life and there was a lot of gluing to do, or things would fall apart.

The work started pretty quickly with enrolling The Teenager in school, which was swiftly followed by finding another school, as she hated the first one. Next, the blistering footwork to find an apartment, followed by ploughing all our savings into securing the right one-which then had to be decorated and furnished. We moved from our temporary digs in Queens to our permanent bijoux box in the West Village and wondered how we were all going to live in harmony in such a tiny space.

There was then the small matter of getting married in Central Park by a naval captain in the freakish hot Autumn sunshine and then a rodent infestation in our perfect apartment in place of a honeymoon. Then began immigration and all the ridiculous, comedy bureaucracy that accompanies it. Have you ever been engaged in vice? Are you planning a coup against the U.S. government? Were you a member of the Nazi party between 1939-1945?

When the excitement wore off and it no longer felt like we were here on a long holiday- the missing came. Missing my Mum, missing my friends, really missing my Dad, missing working, missing Corrie and Cadburys, missing the NHS and missing someone knowing what a wanker is.

I had to find my way around New York and my new family life and there was maps for the first but not for the second, but in both I got lost frequently. Some real personal stuff happened, that even I as a chronic oversharer didn't want to blog about. Winter days got shorter and darker and colder and then snowy. Then there came some even bigger problems which I couldn'tblog about and then there was some money problems due to the stuff I couldn't blog about.

Throughout it all I missed not having girl mates to talk the extra 15 thousand words a day that women need to say. Finding them became my mission and I was horribly desperate at first, a girl's girl starved of female company. But by the time there was spring blossom outside our window the friends came. Then the friendships had to be fostered through NY girl activities like toxic cocktail drinking and $20 manicures from women who bitch about you in Korean. But mostly it was about the drinking. There is little that cannot be forged over a Manhattan mixed Martini.

Summer, the last season in the cycle. (More) Tears (than usual) for my Dad on the anniversary of his death,temperatures of 100 degrees giving birth to an obsession with air cons. Our green cards arriving in the mailbox and the U.S. immigration service using the worse photos I have ever seen of The Teenager and I. A deliberate ploy I believe, so immigrants will not commit crime and end up with an unflattering picture of them on the news.

I blogged about most of what happened over the year here on Welsh Alien. In fact, I wrote so much I didn't actually write my book, but then I have not been writing my book for at least a decade, so at least that's one comfortable consistency to keep me warm at night. I can safely say I penned at least a book's worth of blogs, except none of you paid 12.99 for my hard work on Amazon. Although I'd like to think you would, given the chance.

I have written 66 blogs so far. This one makes 67.

66 would have been nice. An even, rounded number that evokes World Cup wins and famous American roads. But then that's not my number.

My life here is far more of a 67. A lovely, odd imperfection.


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