Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dreaming a Dream of an Early Release Date for Les Mis

Tom Hooper, the man behind The King's Speech, very well may be my soul mate. He knows how great Colin Firth looks up on the big screen and he has seemingly made my dream of a well done Les Miserables movie adaptation a reality. The latest long form trailer released in preparation for the Christmas 2012 release date has increased my excitement level when I had previously believed my anticipation for this movie had reached its apex. I am a lifelong Les Mis fan: I sang On My Own for all of my theater auditions during my theater geekdom days. Les Mis was also the first Broadway musical I saw at the age of thirteen and one of the first classic novels I truly loved. The score is one of the most hauntingly beautiful ever composed in my opinion and the French version is even more moving. I used to listen to the French interpretation of I Dreamed a Dream (J'avais Reve d'une autre vie) on repeat while I studied for law school exams. Again, I am VERY excited for the arrival of this movie and in the meantime have only this trailer and the now classic songs to satiate me until December 25th (9pm, Eastern Standard Time....oh wait...that's another musical altogether)!

Les Miserables 2012 Extended First Look


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Punk: Chaos to Couture

The official member announcement for Punk:Chaos to Couture, the new exhibit at the Costume Institute in 2013 was sent out today. The exhibit will open on May 9, 2013 and will remain open through August 11, 2013 (with member previews on May 7th and 8th).

The official description of the exhibit is as follows:

"Since its origins, punk has had an incendiary influence on fashion,

says Andrew Bolton, Curator of The Costume Institute. Featuring more than one hundred designs for men and women, the exhibition will include original punk garments from the mid-1970s juxtaposed with recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear have borrowed punk's visual symbols. Presented as an immersive multimedia, multisensory experience, the clothes will be animated with period music videos and soundscaping audio techniques.

Cannot wait for the Costume Institute's next installment!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brooke Astor Speaking

Brooke Astor was one of New York's elite and one of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's most generous patrons. She was married to Vincent Astor (among others), eldest son of John Jacob Astor IV who died when the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage. After Vincent Astor's death she ran his Astor Foundation (until 1997 when it was liquidated) and served on the board of the Met, planning and paying for the Astor Court that is part of the Metropolitan Museum today. She also worked with the New York Public library extensively as well as The Animal Medical Center and expressed her philanthropic philosophy rather eloquently when she stated:  

Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around. 

The end of her life was marred by the elder abuse scandal that arose when it was revealed her son, Anthony Marshall, had been stealing her assets and leaving her in squalor inside her Park Avenue apartment. Her legacy as a woman of style, impeccable manners and a lasting philanthropic legacy will no doubt supersede the darkness & betrayal of her final years. At Sothebys on September 24th and 25th, you can purchase a piece of that legacy through a series of auctions. On sale are portraits of her beloved dogs, jewelry, paintings, jewelry cases, coffee table books and luggage. The items are currently on display at Sothebys Auction House in Manhattan. The proceeds of the auction (estimated to be more than $9 million) will go towards some of Brooke Astor's charities including the Met Museum.

Below are some highlights of the auction's exhibit courtesy of Katie Armour, Editor in Chief of Matchbook Magazine:

Highlight Reel

I first altered my hair color when I was in middle school. I used a boxed drugstore hair color for the first and only time in my life and dyed my hair red (I was a huge Lucille Ball fan at the time). My hair turned an orange-ish color and I had to rush to the hair dresser to fix it. I have never returned to my natural hair color and I have never returned to red. My hair has alternated between a caramel brunette, honey blonde, and the occasional foray into platinum locks (not a good look). Lately, in a quest to save money, I have been tempted to tilt more towards the brunette range (my natural color). That was until my friend told me that I only look good as a blonde (honest friends are...great?). The search for the perfect hair color (and the most cost effective) is one I know many women experience. I often flip through magazines for inspiration and today I have compiled a few of my favorite hair color looks in one place to give other "brondes" (blonde/brunette...what color is that hair?!) inspiration. Here are the highlights of hair highlights:

Olivia Palermo (Bronde)

Kim Sears (Bronde)
Unknown Bronde
Unknown (Blonde)
Emma Watson (Brunette)
Jennifer Aniston (Brunette)
I Know She is in a Tween Movie (Brunette)
Cameron Diaz (Blonde)
Julia Roberts (Bronde)
Olivia Palermo (Bronde)
Natalie Portman (Bronde)
Blake Lively (Bronde)
Rose Byrne (Brunette)
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly (The Original Bronde)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This Weekend

When people ask me what I did over the weekend, I am always at a loss  as to how to describe it. I am never sitting still on the weekend but I never actually do planned, organized activities (exception for Soul Cycle on Saturday mornings and the U.S. Open on labor day weekend). I wander the city most weekends, walking anywhere from five to fifteen miles. 

This past Sunday was one of the most beautiful days since I moved back to the city. The sky was perfectly blue, the weather was warm but still slightly breezy with very little humidity. I walked from my Murray Hill apartment up to the Upper East Side before any of the stores were open and before the streets were filled with tourists. I walked up to Clydes Pharmacy just as it opened and spilled a bottle of Nefertiti nail polish ( a sparkly gold), ruining one of my favorite pairs of shoes in the process, my bronze and gold monogrammed Jack Rogers sandals. An event like that would typically annoy or upset me but I just walked back outside and into the perfect weather. I stopped at Eli Zabar's EAT for a coffee and a bran muffin and took a moment to read my New York Times. Then I went to the Met where I wandered through the Louis XIV furniture, one of my favorite exhibits before leaving to stroll through the park. In the park I walked to the Turtle Pond and then through "The Ramble". I walked over to the West Side where I went to the Sunday farmer's market just above Isabella's and just west of the Natural History Museum. Then I went to the local flea market and stopped for a coffee at the Muffin Cafe and then...I wandered. I went in and out of shops, stopped to people watch, and then headed down to Lincoln Center where Fashion Week was in full swing. Outside of Lincoln Center, there were people distributing free fashion magazines and I grabbed one and sat down on the edge of the fountain, half reading and half watching the fashion week attendees pass by in their outfits. When I eventually left Lincoln Center, I got a free fashion week cloth bag that I will use for grocery shopping. Then I walked down to the Time Warner Center where I stopped at the Whole Foods salad bar and bought the Lemon Baked Tofu in a to-go container. I left Time Warner and returned to the park to search for the perfect picnic spot. I usually stick to the West Side for picnics but Sunday I went to the East Green. I ate my tofu and people watched before heading back East towards the Neue Gallery. There was a private event there so I did not go inside. Instead, I walk back uptown a while before eventually turning around and heading back towards my Murray Hill home

A perfect Sunday but an imperfect story to tell on Monday at work when I get the inevitable question: what did you do this weekend?

My answer: nothing or everything? Whether these days classify as a whole lot of nothing or a little bit of everything, I enjoy them immensely.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Comfort Cinema

Fall always invites images of pumpkin spice lattes, changing leaves, sweaters, and pecan pie. The general theme of nearly everything related to fall is comfort. Comfort food in particular is often a topic of the season that is the launching pad to the holiday whirlwind. Comfort cinema is another way to enjoy and appreciate those crisper fall days. Here are some ways to welcome the cool weather by snuggling under a blanket on the couch and turning up the nostalgia factor with your remote control.

Comfort Cinema
What classifies as comfort cinema varies by season (ex. I love Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre but the former is a spring favorite; the latter a winter pick) and, of course, individual. These movies are just a few of the films that I seem to yearn for every time the weather changes. Watching each one is like visiting an old friend and I am always eager to see them again.

Little Women (1994)
Even this image of the March sisters comforts me. I reread the book every fall and vacillate between believing I am Jo, Meg & Amy. I also would absolutely subscribe to the Pickwick Papers and accept any and all marriage proposals from Laurie (hence, the identification with Amy).

Anne of Avonlea (1987)
What is more comforting than Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley finally pledging their love to one another in the midst of a day of apple picking? Really, try to find one thing...

You've Got Mail (1998)
I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if  I knew your name and address.
There are also references to twirling, children's books, pumpkins, Christmas trees with ruby slippers and repeated trips to Starbucks. I often try to recreate the feeling I get from watching this movie by visiting Cafe Lalo or wandering the Upper West Side. Sometimes (meaning usually), only the movie can do the trick.

Rudy (1993)
I am not a huge football fan but I challenge anyone to watch this movie and not root for Rudy to make it onto the Notre Dame football field. I cry every single time and so does my father and I am willing to bet his tears are not a result of just really loving the game of football.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)
 This movie almost did not make the list but then I realized I was excluding it only because I had recently posted about both You've Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally for my Nora Ephron tribute. I could not delete a movie so deserving of comfort cinema status merely because it has appeared here previously. This movie made me realize that one of the most important aspects of finding someone to date in New York City is so that you have someone to help you lug your Christmas tree down the street.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Yellow cabs, little black dresses, a writer who doesn't write, a cat named writing it seems so bland but in reality it is as sparkling as the jewelry at Tiffanys and as comforting as Holly and "Fred"'s final embrace in the rain.

The Cutting Edge (1992)
Hockey star and ice princess: two different backgrounds and one Olympic goal. 
My sisters and I used to watch this movie over and over again. The remakes and sequels are terrible but the original can brighten even the gloomiest day.

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991)
Based on the true story of Senora Webster,a girl who participated in a carnival act during the Great Depression in which she dove from high towers on horseback into a pool of water below. The depression-era setting, the obstacles everyone in the movie must overcome and the love story that triumphs in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity (it's Hollywood but it's based on a true story!) makes this a movie to watch over and over again.

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Judy, Judy, Judy...she met her future husband,Vincent Minnelli on this film and sang some of her most memorable songs (ahem...Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas) but she is not even close to the only reason to love this classic movie. Margaret O'Brien, long thought to be the scene stealer of the fictional St. Louis family in her role as Tutti, the brightly colored period costumes, the "gee whiz" language and a particularly amusing scene with a long-distance telephone call all make this movie a joy to watch again and again and again and...well, you get the picture. Garland did not want to make this movie because she felt there was no story but later admitted it was an amazing addition to her repertoire because although there is no action at the heart of it, there is a loving family living life and that element alone creates endless scenarios for the audience to relate to their own life (although perhaps in the real world we have less musical numbers).

Comfort Food
 Gourmet Popcorn

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Pumpkin Fudge

Mulled Wine


Faux Fur Throw


Pendleton Sweater

Pixie Pant

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Zelda Fitzgerald: Flapper, Muse, Cipher

I wanted to share with you this fascinating article about Zelda Fitzgerald and her life as F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife and muse as well as her life as an artist, dancer, author, and victim of tragic circumstance.

Check out the entire Shelved Dolls series while you are there including the story of the real Holly Golightly!