Playing Paparazzi . . .

Last week was the 2012 TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala. What better excuse to play paparazzi, huh? Just another perk of living in NYC... A-List events, with A-List guests, right outside your front door. Literally. The Gala was held in the Time Warner Center (my nextdoor neighbor), so it was hard to resist swinging by on my way home to catch a glimpse of some famous faces. I'm not one to easily get star-struck, but Most Influential People in the World - they've gotta be worth stopping for.

Recognize anybody?

Top to Bottom & Left to Right

Actual Paparazzi
Ann Curry / Barbara Walters
Tilda Swinton / Kristen Wiig
Dr. Oz / Arianna Huffington
Lauren Bush and David Lauren
Sandra Lee / Lauren Bush
Jeremy Lin / Victor Cruz
Tyra Banks / Ben Rattray

Check out the full list HERE.


Pinky Promise . . .

First off, Happy Friday!

Second, I am so so sorry for the lack of reads lately. I've been super slammed with work, but I promise I have some fun posts in the works to share with you all.

Stay tuned and thanks for hanging in there!

Enjoy your weekends!


Weekend Update . . .

Friday: Saw Rodrigo y Gabriela perform at Radio City, followed by some appropriately late Cuban cuisine at Victor's Cafe. Saturday: Enjoyed the sun, bought some lilac, got my nails done for the evening's festivities - two random parties, one at La Lucha the other at Niagra. Sunday: Ventured the weather to go to brunch, caught up on some reading, backed-up my electronics - typical rainy Sunday.

How was your weekend?
Fantastic, I hope!


Cindy Sherman at the MoMA . .

Last week I went to see MoMA's Cindy Sherman exhibit - it was fantastic! If you like photography, I so recommend you go. It's gritty and raw and interesting on so many levels. If you don't know Cindy Sherman, she's a photographer who photographs herself, dressed and made up to represent different elements of society - from circus clowns, to beauty queens, to renaissance figures - she covers everyone. It's astonishing to see how she can transform into so many different characters, and she does it all herself! The makeup, the background, the costumes, the hair, the photography. 

I don't want to give too much of the exhibit away, but here are a few of my favorite collections: Her Untitled Film Stills, which originally brought her fame as she photographed herself portraying scenes from fictional movies; a series titled Centerfolds, in which she plays on the idea of centerfolds in men's magazines; and finally her Society Portraits, which address the idea of female aging in a youth and status obsessed society. 

I highly suggest you visit before it closes in June and take advantage of MoMA's complimentary audio guides. The entire exhibit is so interesting I promise you'll enjoy it - even if you find some of the images difficult to look at. One note, there are a few portions of the exhibit that are a bit explicit - so leave the kids at home for this one. Go, look around, and let me know what you think... 

Untitled Film Stills

Society Portraits


Brunch at The Dutch . . .

The key to having a fabulous New York brunch at a fabulous New York restaurant, is making a reservation in advance. Yes, I know the whole point of brunch is that it's casual and spontaneous: you roll out of bed after a night out, throw on your biggest pair of sunglasses and meet your friends for the best meal of the week - a three hour chat-fest with mimosas and eggs. But after a while, even your favorite go-to joint gets redundant. And there's nothing worse than deciding to try a new hotspot only to find an hour long wait-list standing between you and your weekend French Toast. 

So, my advice is make your reservation now, today. In fact, yesterday would have been even better. It only requires a tiny bit of extra planning than brunch usually demands, and you'll be thankful when you're walking past the long line of hungry, awaiting brunchers, straight to your table. The best part: planning ahead gives you the luxury of choosing from some of the best restaurants in the city. 

My recommendation: The Dutch. Talk about some seriously soul satisfying cuisine - exactly what you want in a brunch spot. I went (with a reservation) on a beautiful Sunday morning and loved it. This hot SoHo restaurant has mastered the art of comfort food; fried chicken, flapjacks, and hominy grits are all on the menu. And there is no lack of originality in the brunch cocktails and pastry board. Make sure you put in an order for the honey butter biscuits - they are to die. 

The Dutch is also famous for their dinner and late night menus, but those tables are a little harder to snag. It requires some real planning, like three week-in-advance planning. So I say, try for brunch. If you love it, make a dinner reservation on your way out - worry about the occasion or people to invite later. The hardest part is getting in anyway. 

Good luck - and happy brunching!


Little Black Tour Book . . .

Happy April!
Here's a nice and casual LBTB for this month.

Click the links below to be directed to each pick's site:

If you know me, you know I'm a real Zara enthusiast - so you can imagine my glee at the opening of Zara's mega-flagship location on Fifth. Less than a month old, it's enormous, super clean, and wonderfully organized. A real delight to shop in. Visit the new location on Fifth Avenue to find all your spring trend necessities - pastels, florals, peplums, they have it all. Guys - don't worry, there's a floor upstairs for you too. 

This tiny taqueria is perfect for a fun dinner downtown. The guacamole and tacos are delicious and great for sharing. My personal favorites are the tacos al pastor. Go on a warm night and you can sit outside for the ultimate experience - nothing screams springtime more than a round of margaritas and tacos for the table with a group of your closest friends.

Complete with plastic seats, ping-pong tables, and a wide selection of unique beers, this is the place to go if you want to throw back a couple after work or on a weekend afternoon. But don't let the relaxed decor and atmosphere of this beer garden fool you - this is still part of the Standard Hotel. Expect a chic and trendy crowd - dressed in designer and sipping on lager. 

Retro-trendy and full of fashion this hotel is the epitome of cool. One step in the lobby and you'll see what I mean as you catch sight of the unmistakably gorgeous, drinking espressos while working on their MacBook Pros. It's not just a hotel, it's a scene. Every room has unique accessories to make you feel like you're living in another time - a vintage refrigerator, an acoustic guitar, a turntable and records. This place is seriously hip - perfect for a weekend stay in the city. 


Paint Along . . .

Hello, Hello

My sincerest apologies for the rather long blogging break. I actually left the city for a week and took a few days off for a little R&R. It was lovely. I caught up with old friends, went wine tasting, and read The Hunger Games. I feel fantastically refreshed - which is great since I have a few projects coming up that will need my full attention. But enough excuses. I promised in a post a few weeks ago that I'd let you know about my painting class at Paint Along NYC. So here it is: 

A warm March night my cousin and I decided we'd try our hands at painting. We're not much of artists, so we made sure to look for an easy class for all levels. Hence, Paint Along NYC. It was such a fun evening! The classes are simple and laid back, offering a variety of paintings to pick from - the entire group paints the same picture. You can choose your favorite image online and sign up for that date. And did I mention that classes are BYOB?

We met in the Flatiron District with a bottle of wine and an open mind. The class was led by an instructor that guided us through each stroke of the painting - our night the class painted Red Sail. Paint Along provided the canvases, paint, and aprons. It was too easy. Really, the hardest part was trying to figure out what to do with our "masterpieces" after class.

I'm telling you, this is a great way to unwind at the end of a long work day - sipping wine out of paper cups, mixing paint like a child, laughing at each other's artistic talents (or lack there of). If you're an experienced painter this will probably be too elementary for you, but if you want to have fun and play around with a paint brush - you'll love a night with friends at Paint Along NYC.