Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to tackle a Nor'Easter in style.

Posted: March 30, 2010 -


Funny how when it rains it really RAINS in this country. Back in Blighty I used to watch all the Hollywood movies wondering quite how the studios managed to manufacture biblical rain and what was the point given it was clearly over-egging the pudding. Fast forward to not so sunny New York and I'm beginning to get what they meant.

They don't just have weather here - they have BIG weather. When snow is forecast, get set for a blizzard and a mound of the white stuff, if it's wind, batten down the hatches and hope those tree's stay upright. This rain though - how do those massive goblets of the wet stuff get created? I've never seen such a deluge.

Luckily for me I have a trusty pair of Hunter Wellies - navy blue, thanks for asking - they're at least 5 years old and bought for dog walking not poncing down the high street for some shopping Mr Jimmy Choo!

Given we have a slight swelling of water in our driveway - don't want to be saying 'flood' as that might cast one of those '40 days and 40 nights' kind of rain storms on us - I thought I'd don my trusty Hunters and see if I couldn't go and sort the situation out. Armed with a shovel and my Bogner parka (complete with raccoon fur trim hood) I set about the task.


After finding initial success in creating a small whirlpool which I figured had sorted the whole problem, sadly the silt was too much for my attention span, and have now retreated to a warm (power filled)



So what, if anything have we learnt from this :

1. On reflection my raccoon trim hood could have done with staying indoors.

2. Hunter Wellies rock

3. It's time to call in the handyman...

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Paging Dr Love

Posted: March 28, 2010


On the issue of finding hot, eligible men- I am not quite sure what was up with those four women from the long running New York based HBO TV show. The one that we... never dare speak it's name... since it sold out with the saccharin big screen version.

Anyway, they should have just hung out on 7th Avenue between W13th and 12th. There are more hot male doctors on that block than you can shake a tongue depression stick at and it's only a stone's throw away from The Pleasure Chest. It's just good planning to have your future love and a great sex shop within walking distance.

Specifically the places to frequent are Subway Sandwiches and Duane Reade. Always docs in there from St Vincents, wearing scrubs, no doubt fresh from saving the lives of babies and dealing with multiple G.S.W's.

It's too late for me girls and boys. I married a man who works in media accounting. The only thing he saves is budget costs on a PDF.

I suggest you get yourself a $5 footlong and a pack of Advil and go meet your future husband.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Does vacation have to mean a 'good taste' vacation

Posted: March 23, 2010 -

A buddy of mine once said for the place to see a true cross section of human life, head to the airport. She worked in fashion design and used to take her boss there to figure out who their real market was. Having spent a few hours in various airports recently, I'm beginning to see what she means - there's something about people going on vacation that makes them unable to deal with dressing with any semblance of taste. Maybe it's the pressure of flying these days or simply too much Rum, but there are certainly some frightening sights out there if you take a moment to peek next time you travel.


The 'lesser spotted fratt boy', released for a short period (generally Spring Break) from his natural habitat the jock filled college where he reigns supreme as magnum cum loudest at the local bar. In his new environment he seeks to travel in packs and indulge in taking on board liberal liquid supplies followed by long periods of male mating rituals - in Jamiaca this can be seen at its best in the natural habitat of Rick's cliff diving bar just around sunset.


The scantily clad 'trailer trash chic' traveller - oftentimes sporting signature braided hair and tattoos, this creature is always seen wearing the least amount of clothing regardless of whatever the climate dictates. You may be leaving 85f heat and heading to rain and 38f but this strain clings to beachwear to the end in order to display it's newly bronzed outer layer.

The 'corpulent colorful critter' who despite overindulging all year feels that vacation time is the perfect opportunity to display it's vast accumulation of additional paunch. Whether you find the female or the male variety (they often travel in pairs), you can spot this species from a distance due to their adoption of highly visible bright garb straining over well upholstered rolls of flesh.


These are just a few of the genus that I recently encountered - I'm sure if Ricky Gervais put his mind to it he could come up with a vast array of Flanimal material simply by sitting for a couple of hours at JFK...

If you liked this post check out these :

Notes from a Stylist is finding the ski scene quite scary

Notes from a Stylist has joined a book club

Notes from a Stylist is feeling slightly French

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Friday, March 19, 2010


Posted: March 19, 2010 -


Yesterday New York basked in a freakish 70 degree March heatwave and out came the inevitable display of flesh. Stoops burst to life with lovers and smokers and The American and I strolled leisurely down to Union Square and felt the first heat of the year on our faces.

Then I saw a man trying to do a poo on the street.

I didn't spot it at first, at least I didn't catch what he was trying to do. I saw him from the other end of W16th street because he looked as if he was trying sit down on an invisible chair. Some kind of performance art I wondered? He was wobbling around a lot, so sitting on his make believe chair was quite hard.

It's not until I'm next to him that I see it's not so much a chair, than a throne the guy needs. Or a potty even. He is fiddling with his jeans zip when it hits me.

"Jesus Christ." I say under my breath to The American ''That man is trying to do a poo on the pavement."

"Gross." he says and walks on dismissively without looking back.

"Honey, look!" and I point back down the street.

"Emma, I don't want to look."

"No, you have to! Check him out, he can't even get his pants down."

"I am not looking!"

"Well I am."

"You are going to stand here and watch a man shit on the street?"


"You're grosser than he is"

"Just look! There's no poo yet, he hasn't even got his jeans off."

"He probably went already in his pants."

"Oh. I feel bad for him now."

"Why are you still watching him then?

"Because... It is morbidly fascinating."

"Watch away, I'm going to get cigarettes."

He dives into the nearest deli and I stay outside to watch poo man. He is still trying to sit on his imaginary toilet. I wonder what you have to be drinking to think there's a loo right in the middle of the pavement.

I raise my head up to the sun, push my glasses back onto my head and breathe in the sun. I hear a loud rattle and look right to see a lady coming up 5th avenue dragging a giant sack with hundreds of empty soda cans in. She stops right in front of me.

"Hey honey! I love your top!" she enthuses.


"Where'd ya get it sweetie?"

"Oh, in the UK."


And then she clatters off down fifth with her bag of cans, each one worth a few cents rebate.

The American comes out of the deli, Malboro already in his mouth.

"A bag lady just told me she liked my top." I say.

"Cool!" he mutters, clearly not listening.

"Hello? A bag lady just complimented me on my top!"

"And that's bothered you more than that guy taking a shit on the street?"

I nod.

"You're a real New Yorker now honey."

For obvious reasons this blog has been somewhat difficult to pictorilise. So here is a picture of my new beloved Liberty London for Target lamp, to take your minds off poo.


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Overexcite at the museum

Posted: March 17, 2010


Under the category of 'Spontaneous Sunday activity' The American and I are at The Natural History Museum.

We are in the queue arguing over the admission fee. He wants to pay the 'suggested' donation of $16, I want to pay a dollar.

''But why pay more when you don't have to?" I protest.

"This is not the way I want to budget Emma, ripping of the Natural History Museum."

"It's not ripping them off, it's a suggested entry! They they are suggesting that we don't have to pay loads of money. You can pay what you like!"

"No. They are suggesting we pay sixteen bucks each."

"Why spend money we don't have to?"

"Well, we'll have to spend more anyway, as I want to do an exhibition. If we just do a suggested donation we don't get to go into any exhibitions."

"I'm fine with that. I just want to see the Gorillas and stuff."'

"We're paying the full rate Emma."

"I'm freelance! There should be a special rate."

Turns out there's a dizzying array of entry options, when you factor the exhibitions in. Suddenly it's gone up from $16 to $24 and we have to make a quick decision on which one we want to see. I grumpily vote for Journey to the Stars (because it looks like the least boring option). He votes for The Silk Road.


"The Silk Road? Seriously?" I protest

"Yeah, that is like totally interesting."

"How? What is there to say? Men in The East travel on camels through the desert, it's really hot, they trade silk-The End!"

"Fine! Stars it is then." he concedes, probably to distract me from the fact he is handing over 50 bucks to the guy at the desk.

''Next time why don't you tip him 20 percent too!" I shout as I stomp off.

20 minutes later and I am standing in the Hall of Biodiversity in front of the guard who's next to the roped off entrance to The Hall of Ocean Life.


"Hi, when do the fishies re-open?" I ask cheerfully

Silence, accompanied by a menacing stare. God, I need to get in there. There is a giant whale hanging temptingly from the ceiling in the distance and I want to stroke it.

''Excuse me, I say, with authority this time "When do the fish re-open?"

He looks up.

"I dunno."

"You don't know?"

"Nope." he shrugs

'Right, well is there someone who does know?

"Listen, they're like...doin' some stuff in there right? So I can't call it."

"Great, so you just don't even want to guess?"

Another shrug is all I get in response.

We are in The Hall of Biodiversity. I admit that I don't really know what Biodiversity is. The American claims he does, so I ask him and he says:

"It's like...lots of different life and...like... lives and stuff"

Hmmm. I try and read this more in depth description but The American talks and it interrupts the voice in my head:


This becomes a feature of our trip, The American imparts his knowledge without it being requested while I try and read the information on the brass plates. Then I try reading out loud to indicate that his talking means I can't concentrate. He doesn't get the hint and becomes especially feverish when we are in the North American Mammals hall and there are lots of native Alaskan animals. He lived there for 3 years and takes great pride in telling me how he once woke up to see an Alaskan moose grazing outside his window.


I don't know much about Alaska, aside from the fact that Sarah Palin lives there and online shops are always at pains to stress they will not deliver there (or Puerto Rico) but now I can add another fact to my arsenal: They have a lot of animals there with really big antlers. There are lots of antler animals in the museum generally. To be honest, I think they totally overdid it on the antlers.

We head off for the Asian and African animals halls via the dinosaur bones in the regal main entrance. The American explains how the tall one with a long neck and a small head was a vegetarian. He tells me that the ladder-like neck allowed him to munch the leaves out of the trees.

"Like a giraffe!" I say.

I tell him that I reckon that this particular dinosaur must have evolved into the giraffe, which I think is quite an intelligent comment, but The American cracks up and says "You don't know shit."


Asian and African Mammals are a bit 'seen one you seen them all' so it turns out. Predictably there's elephants in both. I insist on leaning over the velvet rope to stroke some hide and The American tells me off.

Then it's time for the stars thing and I am worrying it's going to be really boring and long and a bit like Techniquest in Cardiff. You know, one of those teachy preachy experiences ''Oww yeah, science is fun boys and girls! Now watch my bow tie light up powered by these 16 Hamsters in a cage!"

Hundreds of us stand in line for a giant white dome, that looks like the Epcot centre in Florida.


We file into a humongous circular cinema with a domed ceiling at least a 100 ft high. Whoopi Goldberg's voice booms out as a giant panorama of Central park in the summer sunshine spans 360 degrees around the screen. The American and I look at each other and mouth "WOW".

The arena goes dark and planet Earth appears at the top of the dome and then drops down from the sky. Comets and other planets pop up and move across the dome and flashes of light come right at you. Hundreds of stars rain down from the ceiling and Whoopi talks about supernovas and auroras as they dance around in front of us. I can't stop oww-ing and arr-ing and am squeezing The American's hand in wonderment.

I begin to have all these unexpected existential thoughts about who or what I am in this vast existence. This is the Universe and I am a teeny tiny me in comparison. Whoopi asks us all to concentrate on a star and stare at it and watch what happens. I fix intently on the brightest one I can find. I stare and stare and tears start to prick at my eyes. It makes me remember how Dad and I used to do the same thing when I was a kid. How we would gaze up, necks crained at the inky black sky and look for the brightest star. Then he would say that star was mine.

Two fat tears roll down each cheek because I miss him but I try and hold it in, like you do in the cinema at a sad film. When the lights come up I feel silly, like people will think I've been crying about the stars. I hurry outside the dome and find a bench to compose myself on. The American follows and comes and gives me big bear hugs.

"Wanna go to the giftshop honey?" he asks gently

*Sniff, sob* "Oh...yes please." *sniff sniff sob* "Can we go see the Gorillas too?'

"Sure honey."

*Sniff sniff* "Will you let me take a picture of you beating your chest next to them?"

"Of course honey."

*Sniff, sniff sob* "Thanks. Love you."

"Love you too honey."

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Golden Arches of 6th Avenue

Posted: March 13, 2010


My local Mcdonalds is the scariest place on the block.

There's always lots of men in front of it wearing baggy jeans and walking around in circles. They swing one arm down in front of them, really low, a bit like a monkey. I don't know what they're all doing-hanging out there, but it looks dodgy. I don't pay $RIDCULOUS a month to deal with that nonsense in my hood, so usually I just scurry faster when walking past.

However, motherhood will make you take risks you never thought possible. So when The Teenager wants a Mcdonalds hot fudge ice cream sundae to distract her from the abject misery of missing The Boy-I have to brave it. Rather me than her.

Outside the golden arches is scary…inside it's Baghdad. I run in and order six sundaes on the basis that the rest can go in the freezer and I won't have to come back again. I wrestle with the fact this means the fudge sauce won't be hot anymore, but I feel this is a minor detail considering.

Next to me at the counter is a skinny homeless guy with no teeth questioning the Mcdonald's girl

"How much a Quarterpounder?"

"How much a Quarterpounder with tax?"

"How much... fries?"

"How much fries with tax?"

"How much a…hamburger?"

"How much a hamburger…with tax?"

"Hmm…" he says ponderously, in response to her robotic answers and eye rolling. He scrambles in his pocket for change and starts counting through it. I can see a palm full of brown coins. I think I notice him because he is neither scary or aggressive, he seems quite...happy.


He smiles at the Mcdonalds lady and then mooches over to some girls next to me. They dive straight in:

"Maaaaan, don't you come near me, don't you be asking me for no money. Back up Mr. Back up!"

"Hey, I don't want your money" he says calmy "I'm just trying to buy some food."

Oh God. Here I am watching my six ice cream sundaes get made, looking like a greedy cow and this man just wants some dinner. OK-I'm going to buy him a meal, I'll even supersize it. I go into my purse and there is no more cash in there and I've left my cards at home. Shit. Shit. Ok, I could just give him an ice cream sundae? It's not the most nutritious of dinners, but it's better that eating out of a bin? And he has no teeth, so ice cream might be a good choice?

But by this point the manager, who looks about 15, has begun the process of throwing him out. I'm not quite sure on what basis and clearly neither does he as he laughs protesting:

''I'm a daaaamn customer!"

To be fair, he was only getting the prices. The exact prices. New York sales tax is a bastard.

Oh crap. Do I still offer him the sundae now? Is that even more humiliating than being thrown out of a Mcdonalds? What I really want to do is offer him the ice cream and flee, cos I don't want to converse with him.


I turn around and he is half way out of the door and the woman serving me is only just bagging up my sundaes. I grab them and run out onto the street to find him. He's talking to himself and staggering down the block lighting a cigarette.

"Money for fags but no money for food! " I can hear my Mother say.

I ignore her and follow him down the block holding a single hot fudge sundae aloft.

"Come back!" I shout, but I realise I am still having an internal dialogue, so the words don't come out.

He is moving pretty fast for a man who unlikely has anywhere to be. I break into a run. And then I stop myself. I am running after a homeless man with a hot fudge sundae.

I come to a stop on the street and people whizz by me on the pavement. Standing still is the worse thing you can do in Manhattan. You get pushed and shoved and tutted at loudly. The Empire state blinks green like a gremlin in the distance-which strikes me as a funny colour. The man disappears into the crowd and my moment is gone.

I can't solve his problems with a hot fudge sundae, but I was going to try.


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Monday, March 8, 2010

Polo Style in The Hamptons - or should that be The Glamptons...

Posted: August 3, 2010 -


Whilst I may have missed the super kudos summer sale in The Hamptons - sorry, where was my fashionista mojo? I missed a sale? frequented by celebs and cut price bargains - clearly the sea air has gone to my head.


Rather than make the sale, I went to the polo - not just any polo, but Bridgehampton Polo darling - lots of testosterone, Argentinian swearing and oddly dressed locals.


Clearly there's probably a years worth of blogging involved here but I'm going to keep it short and sweet so as not to lose you.

Location: Bridgehampton Polo Club

Attendees: In the VIP area Kevin Costner and lots of local Glamptons

On the field: Ralph Lauren's Blackwatch vs Heathcote Farm = a couple of guys called Nacho who were alarmingly fast and their mates

In the bleachers: Notes from a Stylist with her eagle eyed lens...


Less of the horses - more of the style...

Cute Calypso maxi skirt


The Hamptons classic, shorts + bandeau top combo


This season's LWD (Little White Dress)


Mother and Daughter rocking the summer dress


Straw hats all round - from Panama to Fedora to Floppy 70's


There was Hamptons classic style,




But on the downside there was 'Tim nice but dim',


Mrs 'mutton dressed as lamb',


And of course the ubiquitous 'hooray henrietta' belming on about the rules,


But luckily to save the day, there was the awesome Nacho Figueras - 'nuff said.


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Prada does Opera

March 8, 2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

I know today of all days I should be blogging about Oscar 2010 dress hits and misses but as usual, I couldn't resist this Prada piece...

Although Miucci Prada's costumes for the Met opera Giuseppe Verdi's Attila, which opened in New York recently might be heralded by some as revolutionary, there has been much controversy around the Designers first stab at big time Opera costume design.


There was talk of her complaining about dressing 'real' sized people when first costume fittings were processed - doubtless she is more used to dressing the giraffe like models that she deals with daily on the runway.


Fast forward to the actual Opera and a buddy who was at one of the early opening nights was bemused to hear a strange noise that wasn't operatic as the ensemble took to the stage. The weird noise, it turns out, was people booing at the costumes.

There were LED lights, biker chic and all sorts of bizarre over sized stage sets created by star architects Herzog and de Meuron (remember the Olympic Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing and the Tate Modern?)


According to most reviews the novelty factor of their work has won plaudits but what's the real scoop?

It's not a new trend for Designers to go poking their creative noses into an alternative area and I'm all for diversification - think Givenchy dressing Audrey Hepburn in her stand out movies Sabrina and Funny Face, as well as Armani for The Untouchable and the latest Italian Job. But judging by audience reaction on this occasion, maybe Miuccia should stick to the day job.

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Friday, March 5, 2010


Posted: March 5, 2010


Friday 26th February I wake up at 7.30 a.m. with a raging hangover to see Snowmageddon part 2 happening outside my window. Except this time it's being called a Snowicaine, which just sounds like a drug euphemism. It's also being referred to as a Snowpocalypse, which has a nice ring to it-but I'm sticking with Snowmageddon, a phrase actually endorsed by Obama. And the most dramatic.

7.45 a.m. and Teenager is still asleep, despite her alarm going off half an hour ago, so I shake her awake and do the "Woo hoo snow!" and she says her usual "For fuck's sake." It occurs to me that Mayor Bloominbonkersberg may have done an overnight U turn on his decision to keep schools open, so I tell her to turn on NY1 and I go off to make tea.


I come back 5 minutes later and she is staring at the TV in a trance, managing to miss the red BREAKING NEWS ticker that announces all public schools have been closed. When I point this out she does a fist pump in celebration and announces she's going back to bed. I do the same.

By lunchtime I am still under the duvet popping prescription painkillers to make the hangover horrrors go away and watching HBO while watching my fire escape, which seemed to be the best indicator of snow depth. It's growing inch by inch on the steps.

2p.m. It is still chucking it down, alternating fat flakes with delicate flurries and I am wondering how many new words to describe the weather drama. I come up with Snowsaster, Snowastrophe and Snowmergency.

A journalist friend emails me to tell me this is already the snowiest month in New York history and there is now 20.8 inches in Central Park, making this the fourth heaviest snowfall ever.


Fortunately the plucky vendors on delivery.com are still operating despite the record breaking snowflakes. It takes more than a blizzard to take down Valentino's Gourmet Market in Union Square and it's entirely civil $10 minimum order. One chicken chipolte sandwhich and two diet Dr Pepper's later the world is feeling like a better place-or maybe it's the Tramadols? I'm flicking through movies on demand when the Teenager comes in to my bedroom making some unreasonable demands-like we actually stick to the plans we had this afternoon, including her appointment at the hairdressers.

The most I had planned for the rest of the day was staying in bed and waiting the arrival of my parcel of sale goodies from Urban Outfitters which UPS are optimistically claiming on their online parcel tracker, is still due for delivery. The Teenager seems pretty determined too, so I stagger to the shower and try and wash off the stench of two bottles of Rioja seeping from my pores.

We head outside and her ''For Fuck's sake'' attitude disappears when she sees a 2 foot high snowdrift and jumps straight into it gleefully.


We spend the next few hours sloshing through the dirty grey slush puddles that line the streets around Greenwich Village between the hairdressers, getting coffee, going shopping and taking pictures of broken brollies in the snow. All is well and The Teenager and I seem to actually be having some kind of bonding moment. She even allows me to links arms with her. I think the physical affection is sanctioned because she is unlikely to see anyone she knows on 5th avenue. Nevertheless, we are shiny, happy people until we head to Sephora and see this sign in the window.


I expected better of my beloved Sephora. At least there is my Urban Outfitters parcel to look forward to?

But when I get back to the apartment there is no delivery. I check the website and there is an ominous message in big dramatic caps explaining why my parcel hasn't come.


Emergency? What the fuck? You haven't delivered my parcel because of the fourth biggest storm in NYC history? The fourth. Not the first. People still need clothes in the snow! When the snow starts messing with the shopping things are getting serious. It's not fun anymore.

Snow fun.


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Monday, March 1, 2010

Notes from a Stylist is glamming it up in Jackson Hole

Posted: March 1, 2010


Now I know the ski set are a breed apart and I’m just getting my head around all this, but clearly jumping straight in at the high end is skewing my take on how to do a stylish ski weekend so far.

We arrive at Jackson Hole and get swept up by a man complete with stetson, cowboy boots and waistcoat. We drive past a motel called The Virginian and I recount a story about quite fancying Trampus from that old TV show - but it seems to fall on deaf ears as I realize that our hosts are a tad younger than us and Laura Ingles with her Little House on the Prairie is more their generation. So back to the man in the stetson, who gamely grabs our bags and loads them on our car – and there are a lot of bags, because who knows what the weather might bring, or where fate might lead us – but its better to be over prepared right?

So once ensconsed in our spacious apartment, courtesy of our buddies who have bid high on an auction item that's a condo in a super swanky ski resort and then asked their less fortunate party mates to tag along, it's time to unpack. The thing is the packing/over prepared deal kind of depends on who you are holidaying with - and it seems this weekend, we are traveling with a minimal packer and an over the top packer. I am happily midway between my ski buddies.



So the ski lark?, apparently it’s all down to the resort – the Four Seasons is high end and I think, much to the chargrin of my husband, I could become accustomed to this – need to take your boots off? No fear there’s a lady right there to do it for you. Fancy a glass of vino whilst you’re in the hot tub? Relax another nice lady is on hand to deal. Unhappy with your grey ugly ski boots that give you pins and needles when you're buddy has nice white ones with purple fluffy lining? calm down - a nice young man can sort it out for you. Yes indeed, I think I'm beginning to like this skiing thing...


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