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Archive for January, 2013

Thursday links

the breeders

  • I believe I have not yet mentioned that The Breeders are doing an anniversary tour to commemorate Last Splash, which was released—believe it—twenty years ago in 1993. The first US date was just announced, with more to follow. (Pitchfork)
  • As part of an ongoing attempt to protect the purity of their language, France has officially banned the word “hashtag.” Sometimes France cracks me right  up. (Time)
  • What 2001 looked like in 1967. (Smithsonian)
  • The Office‘s very charming Ellie Kemper may have an NBC sitcom of her very own next season. Let’s do hope so. (Split Sider)
  • And a few 30 Rock links, in honor of tonight’s series finale: “See, mother, not all species eat their young,” and other classic Jack Donaghy insults; the feminist academic legacy of Liz Lemon; the words and phrases it introduced into the vernacular, from “Blerg” to “EGOT” to “I want to go to there.” (Vulture, Daily Beast, Slate)
Posted on January 31st, 2013 3 Comments

Get stripey

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It is a testimony to just how much the elements have been bringing all of us down here in New York that when a friend  referred to the weather outside today as “glorious,” I knew what she meant, even though the sun was nowhere to be found. It was just one of those days that usually don’t come along until February if you’re lucky; days that tease spring with balmy air and temperatures high enough that you can stuff your scarf and gloves in your bag and feel almost human again. My self-appointed duty this afternoon was to look for basic, long-sleeved black tees to replace my old ones, which are truly dead and busted. But instead, I decided to seek these out: striped tees that aren’t like all the other striped tees, and that you don’t have to wait until April to work into your wardrobe. Like this multistriped number from Madewell, which is made so chic by that unexpected drop shoulder.


Sometimes I feel I am a bit too hard on Isabel Marant. Yes, this red, white, and blue top is pricey, but it is so dead-on cool that I can hardly bear it.


I have been circling this R13  diagonal-striped tee for quite some time now. It’s the perfect example of a striped top that works all year round, and is soft as the day is long.

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The particular pattern of these stripes feels so excellently Peter Brady.

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Stripes and ethnic flourishes on the same top: almost too much to bear.




Posted on January 30th, 2013 17 Comments

Crazy or cute?

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Part of me thinks these look like a very bad little boy went to town with a Sharpie on mommy’s best snake print shoes.

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And part of me thinks they’re the kind of crazy that somehow, oddly, works. Thoughts?


Posted on January 30th, 2013 19 Comments

Tuesday links

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Posted on January 29th, 2013 2 Comments

Shopping for Good

newark bangle

This just may be the world’s most badass answer to the classic Tiffany bangle: a bracelet made from guns and bullet casings seized from Newark’s streets by  the city’s police department. A portion of proceeds from all sales are helping fund gun buyback amnesty programs, so if you’re at all in favor of that kind of thing, you really have no choice but to buy one.

Posted on January 28th, 2013 2 Comments

San Francisco, finally


To be honest, I didn’t wind up doing a whole lot of shopping in San Francisco, which is probably why I’m only just now getting around to posting about it. Not that there’s any shortage of cute  boutiques there, but it’s a city that’s less about the retail experience than the lifestyle experience, and all the you totally have tos in SF have to do with food: you totally have to go to Acme Bread and Cowgirl Creamery. And Tartine on Valencia. And if you miss out on espresso at Blue Bottle, you will have flunked San Francisco entirely.


My hotel fell under the heading of  “Corporate Crunchy” (which I think may actually be a new hotel trend—a place I considered in Santa Monica offered both multiple conference rooms and preferential parking for hybrid vehicles). In addition to a lobby bursting with Suits, there were morning yoga classes, roof deck soaking tub treatments, and canned oxygen in the minibar. (I had to try the oxygen, of course: It was like inhaling a gust of very fresh, quite expensive wind.)


As for the shopping: I did manage to get in a stroll around Hayes Valley, which has lots of quite cool and charming stores, many of which are nicely indie in spirit. I loved Reliquary, a sort of NoCal version of  Love Adorned (no surprise, given that owner Leah Bershad is an alum of its sister shop, New York Adorned). They don’t have e-commerce—boo!—but if  a sophisticated ethnic aesthetic is at all up your alley, it’s a you totally have to. Also, I was very happy to visit Acrimony, a store whose commerce site I’ve browsed maybe a hundred times. It’s definitely the edgiest shop in the neighborhood, and it skews young, but there’s plenty for a girl who’s not especially excited by high-waisted short-shorts to like as well. And I see stuff there I don’t see in New York or LA or anywhere else.


But of all the stores in San Francisco, it’s the mini-chain Gimmee Shoes that I most wish existed in my town. There are two on Hayes Street, and I could spend more time in both than I care to admit.

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As a general rule, San Francisco is more about practical footwear than spiky and strappy, and this sensibility is very much reflected at Gimmee Shoes. It makes sense, then, that there was a solid selection from the brilliant-and-slightly-batty Chie Mihara. If you’re looking for a deeply walkable heel and aren’t averse to a little drama, she’s your girl. I love this funkily dandified pair of Mary Janes, and actually think that by the time you paired them with black tights and a quiet-ish dress, they’d add a fun little punch to your outfit, and not—as one might fear—scream LOOK WHAT I DID TO MY FEET.

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Possibly the cutest pair of short rain boots I’ve ever seen.

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Gimmee Shoes is Fiorentini & Baker Central. Outside of the brand’s actual Soho store, I’ve never seen such a wide selection of their comfortable, tough-but-not-too-butch boots to choose from.  Back in Texas, this is what we would refer to as s**t-kickers—albiet super-extra-chic ones.



Posted on January 28th, 2013 14 Comments

Monday links

Vivienne Westwood

  • Please enjoy a few blasts of pop culture history from the just-released picture book 50 Years of British Style—including this photo featuring a quite young Vivienne Westwood (far right). (The Guardian)
  • In honor of 30 Rock, which wraps up its seventh and final season on Thursday, a tribute to the undersung, always amusing character known as Dot Com. (Vulture)
  • Forget about all the sugar: turns out that some of our most popular sodas and other sugary drinks contain a substance commonly used as a flame retardant.  (Atlantic Wire)
  • Just because Roe v. Wade is still the law doesn’t mean abortion rights aren’t in peril all over this nation—a point Daily Show co-founder Lizz Winstead drives home in this brief yet powerful PSA. (The Frisky)
  • And finally, because it’s never not fun to check out red carpet looks,  and because the Oscars are still a month away, here are a whole mess of  ladies and their dresses at the SAG Awards—courtesy of People, The Cut, Grazia, and Huffington Post.


Posted on January 28th, 2013

A gentler shlep

go up

From a style perspective, once the temperature hits the teens, it becomes difficult to pull off anything even remotely resembling a “look.” Most days, the best you can hope for  is not to come off as a total shlep, something that becomes exponentially more difficult at those times when you literally have to shlep—groceries from the market, cases of prescription dog food home from the vet. For this reason I have considered buying a rolling shopping cart, and yet  I know from experience—having relied upon one years ago when I lived blocks and blocks and blocks from the nearest grocery store in pre-gentrified Williamsburg—that they tend to fall apart, sooner than later.  Not even to mention that they do nothing to protect your cargo from the elements. Imagine my glee, then, upon discovering the Playmarket Go Up Trolley, which is apparently quite big in Europe, and has such winning features as a thermal pouch to keep foods cold (not that we really need that right now) and the ability to fold up quite small. It’s totally weatherproof, too. Plus, it ought to come in handy for all manner of  picnic or barbecue—should summer ever come again.


Posted on January 27th, 2013 2 Comments

And they’re all under $100



The walls of my dining area (a nice-sized space, but only a realtor would be so generous as to call it a “room,” as it’s only bordered by two walls) are painted a truly unfortunate taupey peach. The tone was supposed to come off subtle and warm, but instead invokes the dull uni-tan of a Malibu Barbie. Or my own skin in the wrong shade of L’Eggs, circa 1979.  Or maybe, in the morning when the light hits right, a Band-Aid.  I am always half-considering painting over it, but I live in the kind of building where you’ve practically got to get permission from the Deputy Mayor before bringing anyone in to work on your place. And I adore wallpaper, but wallpaper gets pricey. So now I’m thinking of doing that thing where you cover the entire wall space with pictures. Stunningly original, I know. And yet I think if I go super-bright (I’ve already got some pieces that are heavy on reds and pinks and oranges there, and they look great) it’d all be one big fat crazy happy mess. First up: how could I possibly turn down a gig poster for one of my favorite bands when it’s such a huge explosion of floral glee?

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Sharon Montrose’s baby animal portraits have been on my I want list for ages. This wee zebra will add a nice graphic punch of black and white to the mix.

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I just look at Youngna Park’s Balloons (Midtown Manhattan) and am reminded afresh how happy I am not to work in that neighborhood  anymore.

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The color combination on this poster by Portland graphic design studio Makelike throws some unexpected notes out there, and totally makes it work.


My college roommate Margaret had the original version of the poster  for this famous show on the refrigerator of her apartment on Rivington Street when she moved to New York after graduation, and I’ve wanted one ever since. But for different reasons: back in the 80s, I just thought it was cool. After all these years, it reminds me—deeply fondly—of that decade, and of Margaret, who is still my dear, dear friend.

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Isn’t it pretty how much this Matthew Tischler photo—shot behind a screen—looks like a painting?


Posted on January 26th, 2013 3 Comments

Friday links

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  • Behold, the pop-up hotel room. (PSFK)
  • The Boy Scouts might want to have another rethink of their whole anti-gay policy, because they’re losing corporate supporters faster than you can pitch a tent. (Mother Jones)
  • Do enjoy this extended-play mashup of  80s TVcommercials.  (Slate)
  • I always welcome any new excuse not to engage more enthusiastically in online dating. (Gothamist)
  • Surprisingly affecting last photos of famous people. (Flavorwire)




Posted on January 25th, 2013 6 Comments