It would appear as though power is in no particular rush to make its way back to lower Manhattan, and so I find myself—highest of high class problems—closing in on Day Three of my exile on the Upper East Side. It sure is a whole different world around here, guys. A world where, if you can’t exactly say life imitates Gossip Girl, you can’t exactly say it doesn’t either: Fiftysomething former Blair Waldorfs wearing headbands, quilted hunting coats, and tight little smiles share sidewalk space with impossibly tall and tawny Serena van der Woodsens of all ages, who may or may not be jogging, walking golden retrievers, or in the company of gold-Rolexed, well-preserved, somewhat older gentlemen wearing open-collared shirts with navy blazers. The type of men it wouldn’t surprise one to learn owned a large boat docked in Crete.
And then there are the stores. So, so many stores. I popped in to Diptique to pick up a travel version of my favorite Lavender candle—if I can’t be at home, then at least I can remind myself of it, right?—and at the cash register, went out of my head over their Holiday Collection. The candles come in three scents—Amber, Fir, and Frankincense—all of which are divine (especially the Frankincense, which is the purple one you see here). Memo to everybody in my life who complains that I’m impossible to buy gifts for: this, please.
And just a few doors down: I think it’s safe to say that Christian Louboutin has jumped the shark, no?
Stubbs and Wooton—of the bespoke velvet slippers only Fran Lebowitz can really get away with, and that’s because she can get away with whatever she wants—have always felt super-sissypants and highly objectionable to me. I am amazed afresh every time I see a grown man wearing them—that whole cheeky preppy thing; it’s just deathly. But I can not lie: when I saw this needlepoint camo duffel in their window today, I didn’t not think it was fantastic.
My decision to flee downtown before the storm was made at the last conceivable moment, and left me with about ten minutes to pack. So I just threw whatever I thought I might need at the suitcase and hoped for the best. And considering the circumstances, I did pretty well. Except that I completely neglected to pack anything having to do with the care and maintenance of my hair. I’ve got a very specific regimen—with a flotilla of me-specific products at home, and was in no mood to spend a fortune trying to replicate it. So I just popped over to Zitomer —an overgrown drugstore/dry goods emporium that you must visit if you’re ever in the neighborhood, even though the staff isn’t exactly the friendliest, because they’ve got everything: exotic candles, homeopathic remedies, a house cosmetics line, nipple petals, a whole floor of toys and children’s clothing. And I bought myself some good, old fashioned Psssst. There are a lot of fancier options in the hair shampoo/hair powder category these days, but more than one big deal hairdresser of my acquaintance swears by this stuff, because it gives you body for days.
Finally: I am feeling deeply, deeply fortunate to have made out so comparatively well in the aftermath of Sandy. Every single friend I’ve got who doesn’t live in Brooklyn is without power, and one of my Brooklyn friends lost his car when it drowned. Others of course, have had it far, far worse than that. Here is a particularly helpful list of places to donate your money or time to help those who’ve been affected by the storm. I’m hoping to do some Citymeals on Wheels deliveries this weekend—something I’ve wanted to do forever anyway, but never got it together for until exactly now.