Monday, June 29, 2009

Party with the Parents

Have you ever wondered, my parents are coming to town, what the HECK am I going to do with them?

Well...I've got some ideas! My parents come to visit fairly often, but being from the woods, they don't much like to hang out in Manhattan ;-)

So I try to do fun outdoor stuff with them that doesn't involve being trampled by tourists or traveling in honking cabs. Although, sometimes that's unavoidable.

Things I've done with them in the past:
- Bike ride around Prospect Park
- Walk around the piers in Red Hook
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge promenade and get pizza at Grimaldi's and ice cream
- Grilled at my favorite bar in their backyard with friends
- South Street Seaport
- Tour of Greenpoint/Tour of any ethnic and interesting BKLYN nabe
- Five Borough Bike Tour (if your rents are into that sort of thing)

They came to visit me this past weekend and we did something that I've wanted to do for some time--visit the Cloisters in upper Manhattan. It was beautiful. That's where these pictures are from.

A couple of tips if you plan to do this:
- If you are driving, avoid taking the Triboro/RFK bridge because there's a $5 toll each way. But make sure you don't try to get back home during Gay Pride Parade since there will be tons of traffic!!
- Bring a picnic lunch. We paid $40 for 3 sandwiches and some chips at the overpriced museum cafe. Not worth it. You are better off bringing a picnic and eating it in the surrounding park either before or after you visit the Cloisters.
- Don't pay the suggested price. It's ridiculous and you don't have to feel embarrassed to offer them what you can afford since it's a "suggested" donation.

That's it.

Have fun with your parents!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fine Art Friday

Check out the hot mess that is Billy & Hells. Damn these guys (or gals?) are good. The fashion is so quirky, darkly comedic and well done.
Billy & Hells is a German photography duo, and I would love to work with them. Their images look old and distressed, but in a good way. Each has a look of vintage but with modern styling. The work is absolutely stunning.

They are fashion photographers who make it look like life's a party, and not in the gross way that Last Night's Party does. But in a more sophisticated, British way.

Some of it looks like creepy horror vignettes, but that's why I like it. Check out more here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MyMyMyMy Poker Face

Last night was the first installment of "Ladies Poker Night" and it was so much fun!!

What makes Ladies Poker Night different from Dude Poker Night? Well, for one, we drink wine instead of cheap beer (although we had some of that too and it's hereby known as "water."). We have yummy cheese and baguette snacks. We also have a tutorial and a practice game to make sure everyone knows how to play. And lastly, we cheer when one of us gals wins vs. grimace!

We are very happy when one of us has caught on and gets it!! Yay, ladies. I'm so happy I'm a woman ;-)

Next poker night: July 7th.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Random Tuesday Post

I like buying (and wearing) summer dresses, almost as much as I like buying and wearing exquisite coats and long jackets. These two categories of items are for me what handbags and shoes are for other shopaholics.

So with that, I thought I'd post some of my fave dresses from Urban Outfitters. Why? Because I'm bored and because this is an easy post I don't have to think about too much.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer = Free

In honor of it being the offiical summer months where the tots are out of school, the restaurant patios are open, and the summer dresses are out, I've done my annual Summer in the City calendar.

This year, I've taken advantage of this funny little thing called TECHNOLOGY.

I'm using the Google calendar which allows you to share you calendar with friends and you can manage it electronically.

Here's a link to it, but I don't think I can specifically link to my own calendar, but you can email me through there and ask to share.

At any rate, I've attached July as an example--I'm the pink and my friend Jaime is the green. Yay! Summer here we come!

Free movies in the park (all parks!), free concerts, cultural events, free museum days, and the chance to drink cocktails outdoors!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Fine Art Friday

And oldie but goodie...Olivier Toscani. He's the man behind the most controversial of the United Colors of Benetton ads.

I was thinking of him because of a recent article in the NY Times about the “Controversies: A Legal and Ethical History of Photography" exhibit in Paris. A lot of talk about what's right and what's wrong to show and/or to censor when it comes to photographs.

I say push the envelope, if those images exist and they help expose horrors or wrongs that should be righted, expose them. If they are taken with the simple purpose of horrifying or exploitating, keep them away. Thanks, but no thanks David LaChapelle.

May seem simple, but that's my take. I don't believe that just by showing an atrocity, you are inuring a person to it. Does that mean the news shouldn't report on wars?

At any rate, enjoy Olivier's work and think back to a time when a corporation was doing more than using celebrities to make t-shirt designs or asking you to buy something for a small donation to Bono's cause.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wedding Wednesday

So my bff's wedding plans are well on the way, she's super ahead of the game!

But in talking weddings with other people, I realized that there are a plethora of gift registries that defy the ordinary. I was intrigued by this, because a lot of people nowadays live together for a long time before they get married. So at this point, they've already accumulated a lot of STUFF.

So what do you get the couple that has everything? Or more importantly, if you are the couple who has a small NY apartment with a lot of stuff in it, what do you ask for?

Here are some ideas...
  • The Honeymoon Registry! You can pick a destination and people will donate different fun activities you can do there. See a sample one for Hawaii here. The reason this is good is because you can end up going to a really bomb ass location, without having to pay with your home savings!
  • The Donation Registry. Let's say you are super rich or a super rich relative is bank rolling the whole ceremony. The philanthropic thing to do would be to ask guests to donate to one or two of your favorite charities in lieu of a gift.
  • Adventures. One of my favorites, and an oldie but goody, you can request certain activities like cooking classes or wine tours, and your friends get them for you! There is no official registry on the excitations site, but I'm thinking of writing them an email ;-) But there is another site for the true adventure seekers that you CAN register for.
  • One Big Ass Registry. Have too many favorite stores? This site allows you to pick from multiple places to make one master registry. Great for out-of-towners who like to physically go and buy the gift.
And finally, here's a great little piece about the etiquette of registries, both for the happy couple and for the happy guests.

Now, if you are a tad creative there are lots of things you can get a couple that are not part of their registry: depending on what city they live in, you can get art lovers museum passes, you can have a star constellation or zoo animal named after/sponsored by them (I did that once!), you can get them fun dance or season tickets to a playhouse or favorite sports team, or you can commission an artist to do a portrait of their pets!!

Buy on.