Looking Forward To . . .

For last year's words belong to last year's language.
And next year's words await another voice. 
And to make an end is to make a beginning. 
~ T.S. Eliot


This year I'll be celebrating with the entire family at a party at the Metropolitan Club. Tuxedos and paper hats, silver streamers and party blowers, Champagne toasts and plastic crowns all to be expected. Rumor has it that after ringing in the New Year, breakfast will be served at 2am on the club's rooftop. French toast with sprawling views of Central Park sounds like an idyllic way to start a new year.

The city will be bursting with parties of all shapes and sizes this NYE.
What are your plans for the last night of the year?


A Country Christmas Album . . .

Since I wasn't able to go home to Santa Barbara for Christmas this year, the entire family got together at my uncle's country home in East Hampton. It was my first East Coast Christmas, and minus the fact that it wasn't white, it was all I could have asked for and more. Loaded with long country walks and two hour naps, blazing fireplaces and holiday movies, baking and eating and eating and baking, candlelit dinners and gingerbread houses, family photos and presents galore. 


The Nutcracker . . .

Monday night I went to go see the New York City Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. The show was spectacular, from the music, to the dancing, to the costumes and the set. A major highlight for me was the Waltz of the Snowflakes. Throughout the dance the entire stage turned into a wintery scene of whimsy and wonder, as lovely little snowflakes floated around the ballerinas' movements. 

I have such fondness for ballet and The Nutcracker is one of my favorites. I mean, perfectly pointed toes, a growing Christmas tree, and an opportunity to dress up all rolled into one. 
What's not to love?


Marc by Marc Jacobs Dress

Fendi Baguette Bag

Saks Fifth Avenue Leather Gloves

Zara Shoes

Cartier Ballon Bleu Watch

O.P.I. Yoga-Ta Get This Blue Nails

Happy Almost Christmas

Quick Weekend Update . . .

Friday: A surprise birthday party for a best friend, two rules - be on time and bring your own wine. Saturday: Holiday shopping at the Time Warner Center and Spicy Yellowtail Rolls at Sushi Damo. Sunday: Mimosas and omelettes at the Metropolitan Club and a window table at Robert for family dinner. 

Albeit freezing, my weekend was lovely. 
I hope yours was too!


Happy Friday . . .

And Congratulations to Emily Penn, winner of the Holiday Giveaway. 
Thanks to everybody who participated!

Why not celebrate and ease into the weekend with a festive cocktail? I spent the afternoon experimenting and playing bartender, concocting some yummy libations for the season. 
Give them a try. Let me know what you think. 


Apple Cider Sidecar

10 oz. Trader Joe's Spiced Cider

3 oz. Brandy

5 oz. Cointreau

2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice


Cinnamon for garnish

Combine spiced cider, brandy, Cointreau, and 
lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. 
Pour into cinnamon rimmed glasses and serve immediately. 
Serves 4

Cranberry Gin Fizz

5 oz. Unsweetened Cranberry Juice

5 oz. Gin

5 oz. Ginger Ale

2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice


Cranberries for garnish

Stir cranberry juice, lemon juice, and gin together. 
Pour into glasses filled with ice and top with ginger ale. 
Garnish with a few raw cranberries. 
Serves 3

Icy Honey Vodka

3.5 oz. Vodka

1 Tbsp Honey


Sprig of Pine for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, vodka, and honey. 
Shake vigorously. Serve over ice and garnish with a sprig of pine. 
Serves 1


Pink Martini . . .

Tuesday night I went to a Pink Martini concert at The Town Hall. For those of you who don't know the band, the group is made up of a brilliant duo (literally, Harvard grads) female singer and male piano player, and a twelve piece orchestra. When they all come together, the sound is extremely unique and super fun to listen to.

I have to admit that I'd never been to one of their concerts, but I've spoken to people who had and figured I knew what to expect: Thomas Lauderdale, the pianist, and China Forbes, the vocalist, center stage with the rest of the orchestra backing them up as they play through their many hits.

Well, Tuesday night seemed to be everything but the expected. Unfortunately China is recovering from throat surgery, so a guest vocalist named Storm Large was filling in for the night. This didn't seem that out of the ordinary. A minor disappointment, maybe, but Storm had a beautiful voice and was a riot on stage. After the first few songs though, Thomas introduced another guest singer, Ari Shapiro. That's right, NPR's White House Correspondent. At first I thought it was a joke, but you can imagine my shock when Ari himself appeared on stage to sing. And sing he did!

The rest of the evening was just one surprise after the next. Following Ari's performance was Soari Yuki, apparently considered the "Barbara Streisand of Japan." Then came a drag queen who sang Santa Baby, accompanied by Paper Magazine editor, Kim Hastreiter on percussion. After them a Jewish Cantor came out to sing, followed by Basil Twist the puppeteer who danced his marionette as Thomas played Claire de Lune on the piano. For their final song the entire motley crew came out to perform, which had everybody in the audience on their feet.

And if the night's unexpected guests weren't enough, Thoman Lauderdale, Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, Soari Yuki and the cantor all came out to sign autographs after the show. Obviously, the paparazzi and camera crews were all over that. The whole night was utterly bizarre but an unbelievable amount of fun.

Don't forget today's the last day to enter the giveaway. 
The winner will be announced Friday!


Holiday Giveaway . . .


Give yourself a gift or check a name off your list with this Ralph Lauren Holiday Fragrance Set, the perfect way to bring the scents of the season into your home.

See giveaway details below. 

I bought a set for myself, and I love love love it. Both the candle and diffuser make my apartment smell deliciously warm and cheerful.

Giveaway Details
1. Leave a comment below including your name and email.
2. Join The Resident Tourist site by clicking the blue icon to the right, below my profile.
3. The contest begins today and will end Thursday, December 15th.
4. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday.

Good luck and have fun!


Quick Weekend Update . . .

Friday: Dinner at Shun Lee and catching up with a college friend. Saturday: SantaCon at Whiskey Rebel and a going-away party for a friend moving to LA. Sunday: Three-hour brunch at Atlantic Grill and lazy day on the couch. 

Hope everyone's weekend was swell!


[Tonight] We Are Young . . .

What started out as a somewhat pious evening, turned into a night of music, manhattans, and moments to remember. I left my apartment at 6:30pm headed for a church and somehow managed to return after 3:00am without a clue where the time went.

Continuing the holiday festivities, two friends and I went to see Handle's Messiah performed at St. Thomas Church. Although long, it was incredible to see. And one hundred percent worth it to hear the young boys choir sing the all famous Hallelujah verse. Plus, the setting was just stunning.

But after sitting in not the most comfortable of pews for over two hours we thought we'd treat ourselves to burgers and manhattans at Bill's piano bar and restaurant. What a find. This place is an absolute must if you enjoy singing, drinking, dancing, or all of the above. After a drink at the bar, the host led us to the best table in the house, right next to the piano. We quickly ordered another round of cocktails and three burgers. We spent the rest of the night making new friends and singing our hearts out - everything from Cole Porter to Billy Joel to Christmas Carols. Rick, the pianist, played it all. And things really came full circle when somebody randomly started singing the Hallelujah verse from Handle's Messiah as Rick keyed along.

Richard Termine for the New York Times

The three of us were by far the youngest people at the concert and at Bill's - which made it all the better.  It truly was a night to remember. We had the time of our lives. 

To continue the musical spirit of this post:
We Are Young/Glee 


A New York Christmas List . . .

I used to love planning out my list when I was young. Before I learned to write, I'd sit with a stack of children's catalogs and a red Sharpie, marking anything and everything that caught my eye. Well, I thought I'd take a tip from my child self and purchase the December edition of Time Out New York and start circling.

Five NYC Musts for the Holiday Season:

1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular

2. Holiday Window Shopping

3. Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3

4. Rockefeller Skating Rink

5. Nutcracker by the New York City Ballet

Expect a post on each list item. 

What's on your list this year? 


The Collection Of . . .

Elizabeth Taylor. Yesterday I went to a viewing of Liz Taylor's collection at Christie's auction house. What an unbelievable amount of sparkle. It was quite the experience to see a lifetime of possessions from such a timeless Hollywood icon.

The viewing included her fashion and accessories, her art and haute couture, her costumes and Oscars, and of course, her many many many jewels. As I walked through each gallery, I had to remind myself that everything once belonged to a single person. There was just so much. And what shocked me most of all was how many of her most expensive daimonds were given to her as presents by admirers such Richard Burton, Michael Jackson, or Mike Todd. What a knack for getting gifts she must have had.

I cannot wait to see how the auction ends up. I'm trying to talk myself into bidding on a silver Chanel bag. I'm not regularly one for used pieces, but wouldn't it be something to own Chanel that once belonged to the great Elizabeth Taylor? I'll let you know if I actually follow through with it.

If you're interested in bidding, take a look at the online auction here.

"Ohhh, Elizabeth Taylor. Ohhh. She's so glamourous.
~ Andy Warhol

Some of my favorites:

"'The more the better' has always been my motto." 
~ Elizabeth Taylor

I made sure to glam up for the viewing. 
Our lovely Liz would have wanted it that way.


 Zara coat

Banana Republic necklace

T by Alexander Wang long sleeve tee

Herm├Ęs Birkin bag