Sunday, May 29, 2011

She's Leaving Home

Good Morning Darlings,

Last night I had a drinks with a few local friends to bid adieu to my life as a Philadelphian (or a Philly Jawn* as any real Philly kid would say)  for a while.We met at the Continental Midtown on the rooftop deck, which was much more crowded than expected for Memorial Day weekend. In fact, it was packed! I got there early and was already surrounded by way too many bros and an already drunk bachelorette party (note to bridesmaids: buying your bride a pink bride tiara and sash from spencers without putting any individual twists on them makes you a bad bridesmaid. just saying) So obviously I was the first one to arrive...and as I sat at the bar by myself drinking what else, but a BlueCoat Gimlet, I made some observations.

For those of you who don't know (either you don't live in the tristate area or you live under a rock in the tristate area) Steven Starr is the big Philly restauranteur. He mades theme parks for adults and disguises them as restaurants. He's easy to hate on because he is about as corporate as Philly gets and Philly loves to damn the man. From my moderate point of view, he has given this job a ridiculous amount of fairly stable jobs and pretty much singlehandedly revived the diminishing restaurant scene. Anyway, it all started with The Continental (le original at 2nd and Market), a martini bar with a very mod feel to it. We used to go there in high school to drink champagne cocktails with tang on the rim (I believe they are called Buzz Aldrins) because they never carded us and we pretty much loved to use our disposable income pretending that we were sophisticated ladies who eat expensive Asian tapas and drink drinks with more sugar than Mondos (Although Mondo from Project Runway was pretty sickeningly sweet as well).
Mondo, the lovable Reality Show Fashion Designer
A Buzz Aldrin, yes that is Tang on the rim
What kind of parents would let their child drink this? I do like their Alliterative Flavour Name however

 Anyway, his empire grew in Philadelphia and beyond. Each restaurant has a shtick, but the food is always decent and no more expensive than any other restaurant in Philly. A bunch of years ago, Starr added a second Continental closer to my hood in a huge corner property. The space used to be a Casual Corner women's apparel shop and even as a child I remember looking into the windows and wondering what type of women wore the things they sold in that shop. I believe it was around that time (let's say somewhere between '89 and '92) that "unfortunate" became a part of my vocabulary. When you walk into the Continental, the first thing you think of is the Brady Bunch house. I mean, it's completely contrived, but it is an open space with two floors, hanging birdcage chairs, sunken tables, mirrored walls and retro light fixtures. The rooftop bar has a round table and keeps with the super mod theme. All of Starr's restaurants are like this, themed to the last detail. It's kind of hoaky, but he's a very rich genius for coming up with a formula and sticking to it.

Anyway, my first observation last night was that bros (see: like to point out the obvious in loud voices in hopes that the female version of a bro (what do we call that?) will hear it and it will work like a mating call. Last night, I am sitting trying to enjoy my gimlet, when a large hairy hand reaches over me to grab a menu. I hear 

" Bro, it looks like a f**king 60s like lounge up here. Bro, it's like f**king mad men or something."

I was hoping that the Bros would look like this, but alas.


I wanted to turn around and point out that "yes since they happen to be patronizing a 60s themed restaurant, it makes sense that they feel as though they might be hanging out with Draper and Sterls (who would have nothing to do with these boys IMHO) but could they please not announce their stupidity to the entire bar?" But I'm a lady, so I did not. These same Bros ordered a "vodka coke" which means

A. They are true bros and cannot be pressured into drinking decent liquor , and will order well vodka until they day they die (get married)

B. They still have the taste of children. Coke? COOOOOKE? With your vodka? Guhross. 

They also made a grand showing of taking the pink straws out of the drink and making fun of the pinkness. Okay. 

So that was the first bro observation of the night.

The next bro observation was the next pack of bros to huddle up next to me at the bar. One bro says:

Bro1: "I feel like in order to fit in here, I should order a Pimms Cup. It's totally appropriate"
Bro2: "What's in it?"
Bro1: "I don't know, but I bet Draper would drink it"
The Bros engage in a high five to congratulate themselves on replicating their favourite womanizing television character. Bro1 receives his Pimms Cup, takes a sip, and spits it out (warranting a chuckle from the female bartender who probably has a similar thought process to me when it comes to these things)
Bro1: I can't drink that s**t.
Bro2: CHUG IT.
Bro1 chugs it.
Bro1: (to bartender) I'll have a Miller light.

Excuse me, bros, but I'm fairly certain that Don Draper nor any other member of the SDCP family would drink a Pimms Cup (well maybe Lane, he is British after all), as while the drink was kind of popular in 1960s, it had it's heyday in the 50s. Not to mention that it is traditionally a daytime summer drink. Anyway boys, you might want to do your research next time. And let's be honest, you'll probably have better luck with the ladies that you are interested in if you stay home, shotgun some brewskis and text your 2am bootycall instead of lifting your pinky while drinking your cucumber garnished $12 cocktail.

Okay, enough hating. Maybe.

Well yea, another thing that bugged me about last night was the male bathroom attendant. Well really that there was a bathroom attendant at all. Now, I am happy to tip and I am a great tipper, but listen I can turn the water on and get my own paper towel. But since you just did that for me I should feel obligated to give you a dollar? No sorry. I'm upstairs paying $13 for 4oz of champagne, they can pay you more. And it's not like there is a basket of fun stuff like tampons and hairspray. Just a guy running in front of you so that he can turn the water on before you get there. Can you say wasted water? For heavens sake! And can you imagine how this poor guy must feel? Turning water on for drunk girls in tight dresses all night? Well actually now that I think of it, I guess it's not that bad of a job.

Anyway, it was an interesting evening full of champagne in cans, friends both old and new, and lots and lots of humidity, just ask these guys:




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Like that old Jewel song asserts...

Good Morning Darlings,

Since I returned from Israel, I have been nothing but busy. Running from this event to this event, getting last minute work done, trying to see everyone that I know I won't see for quite some time after this move, oh and trying to get as much Bravo as possible in before I turn into a pumpkin (or Pine as the case may be) for the summer. Alas, this has meant that I have been not so great at keeping you entertained with my fabulous wit and sassiness. My apologies*. 

But today I want to talk about my hands (now do you get the title? We're going back to like Dawson's Creek soundtrack volume 2 here). Since I returned from Israel, I have been thinking a lot about what would happen if I ever had to fight in a war or on battle lines, or even just shoot a gun that is not aimed at clay pigeons (insert laugh track here: LCF holding a rifle). Would I be able to do it? Would my body shake involuntarily like it sometimes does when I get nervous? I'm pretty sure that you can't take an ativan before you go into battle. This is one of the things that I'm not sure that the current LCF could do. I don't know if my hands could hold a gun with the intention of maybe killing someone. So the point of the story is that it's lucky that I don't have to go to battle every day because it means that these fabulous hands of mine can act in a much better way
I have always had a love/ hate relationship with my hands in the very superficial aesthetic sense. My hands (like the rest of me) are a little more rotund than I would like which means that wearing dainty jewelry is out of the question. (I have a similar problem with my earlobes, which also happen to be full figured and I can never wear cute little earrings, I have to wear big ones {which of course I don't mind especially if they happen to be a very beautiful diamond or something} to make the ratio of lobe to earring more equal). That being said, I have grown into appreciating large costume jewelry with the hope that one day I can trade it in for said jewelry in non-costume format. I like to refer to the bottom side of my fingers  as my cat paws (because there is so much padding) and they really aren't good for much aside from padding a fall (but I'm not a Jellicle Cat, so I don't fall from  buildings or swagger around streetlamps much these days {If I were a Jellicle Cat, I would be Grisabella, the Glamour Cat...sans prostitution or whatever})

A Jellicle Cat (for those of you who don't know, shame on you) is the type of cat mentioned in T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," whose daytime nature is peaceful and restful, but who love the nightlife, specifically the Jellicle ball. They were made famous in Andrew Lloyd Weber's longest running broadway show Cats (featured above)!
*When I was like 8 years old, I was sick and out of school for an entire week. All I did was listen to this and Donna Summer on vinyl. Does this explain anything?

So back to my hands. I've got a left hand, I've got a right hand, and I've got ten (usually perfectly manicured) fingers. I am a lucky girl. I've got a few scars, but that brings me to my point. My hands are so able to do so many things and even though I slather them with Nivea Creme and put them in white gloves every night (except when I drink too many gimlets and forget, we can't all be completely perfect), I also work them really hard. I love my scars and my calluses. All of the scars on my hands are from cooking which is obviously something that I love to do (and don't talk about enough on here) and I am proud of them. I think of them as an LCF designed accessory that no one else has.

Left Hand
Right Hand

If you will notice, I like to decorate my hands. My jewels tend to stay the same, unless I add a wonderful cocktail ring that celebrates not only my love of large jewels, but also my last name like the one pictured below. I wear the wedding set on the left (new addition of a late 20s/early 30s, Victorian into Deco diamond, email me if you want to see it up close, it's a stunner!) and a rose gold signet ring on my pinky. My colour of choice (as you should know) is OPI Big Apple Red, but today I have changed it up a little bit adding Sally Hansen's nail decoration thingys in Cheetah print to a few fingers. Why not add a little spice? But these well maintained hands have done so much in their twenty five years that I have a hard time not giving them a little beso every morning and thanking them for everything.

A Fox? A Cocktail Ring? Best thing Ever?

I mean, come on, my hands have: written numerous papers on topics that I don't even care for, grasped airplane armrests so tightly that had they been a living thing, they wouldn't be anymore just so that I could get over the Atlantic, held my husbands hands in times of peace, joy, and sorrow, written so many letters to so many people just to say hello, created wonderful invitations for magnificent parties, cooked wonderful food for said parties, dabbled in so many creative outlets, designed and manufactured enough original pieces for two fashion shows, helped create the most aggressive mosaic ever,  touched the wailing wall, held bouquets at weddings, written down so many recipes, sketched so many landscapes, captured so many feelings on paper, scratched backs, blew kisses, waved hello and then always goodbye, applied my makeup, potions, and lotions for years, written down my number for the cute barista(o?) at Cosi (before I was married, darlings), power washed a building, held so many tears, ripped up many a B+ paper (worst grade, in my opinion), and most of all they have shown so much love to so many people through all that they do.

My favourite part of my hands is my birthmark on the right hand side of my right hand. I share this birthmark with my father's mother, my Bubby, who I miss every day. She had a birthmark in the same spot and I think on some level, this connects us in some kind of way. She was the one who taught my hands to do so many of the things that they do so well now.

And just because now I'm feeling sentimental:



*I wouldn't usually apologize for something like this, but last night at 3:41AM, I received correspondence threatening me with the removal of brunch from a friendship if I didn't update soon. This is maybe the worst thing I have ever heard (even worse than when I got a Philosophy paper back in college {in which I may or may not have compared The Niomachian Ethics to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland <what? I was sassy then too>} that had a big red "SEE ME" courtesy of my professor on the top). See:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Riding Camels and Taking Names

Good Morning Darlings,

I have been berated for not making a FLF Israel Edition, but I had no time. I was too busy eating falafel, riding camels, and pronouncing hummus incorrectly. And while it's true that right now I am sitting in the Van Pelt Manor enjoying some real coffee and watching DVR-d episodes of the Real Housewives franchise, Israel is still very fresh in my mind. So darlings, let's suspend our disbelief for a few seconds longer and pretend that I am writing to you from a hotel bar in your favourite city in Israel (that's right, Choose your Own Adventure). I am going to write about the highlights, because if I wrote about the whole trip, I would be sitting here for the next two days (me, long winded? Never) and let's be honest...I have more important things to do like go get a mani/pedi and take cat naps to get over my 2day old jet lag. Uh huh.

1. In Israel there is this fashion trend where women have one long dreadlock. Now, some of you may know my thoughts on dreads. I love them, and if I owned a few more Patagonia fleeces, I may be able to get talked into getting them. The problem is that they don't go very well with pearls or Kate Spade, which you all know would be a problem and utter life disaster. But here's what: Go Big or Go Home. One dreadlock? It's ridiculous. I got so confused...your hair is short, but your dreadlock is long. This was not a one time thing either, it was pretty much all over. On the beach, in restaurants, in stores, on the street. In fact, the only time I didn't see this situation was probably at the Wailing Wall. It's far too holy to not go all the way with your fashion choices.

2. This may or may not be kosher (save your laughs for later) to discuss  on my (entirely non religious/I just discussed how much I love to eat pork at 4am when I am schwastys in the last post) blog, but the Orthodox women in Israel were so much better dressed than the Orthodox women in the states. In case you don't know, a Jewish womens dress code is dictated by the section of Jewish law known as "Tznius," which translates to modesty. Married women must cover their hair, shirts must have a sleeve length past the elbow, and skirts are typically worn to the ankle. So for a heathen like myself, this would be difficult to pull off. In America, there just aren't that many choices because we all like to flaunt our skin in order to try and contract as many STD's detectable by urine as possible. In Israel, however, there are a ton of choices for women who follow Jewish law and act like ladies. First of all, they take ridiculous care of their skin. You can pass by just about any Orthodox woman on the streets of Jerusalem and their makeup is flawlessly applied and their hair (which is usually a wig) is perfect. They look very elegant with their long skirts, loose blouses and not too high heels. Not only that, but I have the utmost respect for them wearing these fashions in the heat of Israel.

3. I am pretty much falafeled out. I never thought I would say that, but it's the truth. We pretty much ate falafel for lunch every day because that's pretty much all there was. I will tell you, however, that hummus is not something that I can get sick of. I can tell you that because I ate it at every meal for the past ten days and I still love it. The food in Israel was not as amazing as I thought it would be, but we also didn't get a chance to eat as much of a variety as I would have liked to. I pretty much ate tuna, pickled herring, tomatoes, cucumbers and hummus for breakfast, schwarma or falafel for lunch, and chicken, vegetables and more cucumbers and tomatoes for dinner. One day, we were at the beach and I decided that I would really enjoy some yoghurt. I went into the supermarket and bought an avocado and some yoghurt and it turned out to be sour cream. It was a disappointment, but it also taught me not to assume that all creamy white substances packaged in a tub are appropriate to eat by the spoonful. I also learned in Israel to stay away from cookies with white frosting...but that's a completely different, completely inappropriate story.

4. Most importantly on the trip, I made new FFL. My roomies made the trip so incredible. We laughed together, cried together, and most importantly created some great new abbreviations and code words together. They both have such amazing personal style, and I could never emulate either one of them. J bought Aladdin pants at the Arab market in Jerusalem and A wore a leopard print onesie to paint the town amazeballs in Tel Aviv. We joked about things like Tevas with iguanas on them, Jewish boys, how "The Birdcage" was the best movie ever made, and our inability to make dirty things clean again. They acted as my parents, best friends, and lover at my bat mitzvah, gifting me with a makeshift magenta Tallit (prayer shawl) and more love than I could ever imagine coming from two women who I knew for less than ten days. We ate pastries in bed, drank cheap vodka, hosted parties involving rap battles in our hotel room and made everyone take pictures of us everywhere we went. I will never ever forget these women. 

Anyway, I'll probably think of some more things to post so watch out for FLF: Israel Edition v. 2.0 soon.



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Food Loves Fashion - Brooklyn Edition

Good Morning Darlings,

As some of you know, I have been in New York all weekend eagerly anticipating my flight (note the sarcasm) to Tel Aviv via Kiev this evening. Of course I am excited to go, but am not as excited for a large chunk of traveling.

Of course Jesse and I painted the town ridiculous this weekend, eating, drinking, and sleeping for long periods of time. We ate so much, they are probably going to make me pay for an additional ticket on the flight.

My fashion choices have also been questionable -- mainly because I have packed for Israel, not New York in April. I have worn the same outfit to go out two nights in a row but last night I totally BROOKLYNED it up and wore Jesse's leather jacket. I felt like I was in Welcome Back Kotter and kind of loved it. ESPECIALLY at 3am when we decided it was a good idea to go to the bar that was voted the "Best Bathrooms to have sex in," by some weirdo Brooklyn zine or something. But this place was serious and I was happy I was wearing a leather bomber because otherwise I feel like someone would have pulled a switchblade to my throat for wearing pink patent TB's in their sacred house of cheap beer and ripped tights.  There was a whole hell of a lot of drunken making out going on. Indoors and out, apparently in Brooklyn, people are super into aggressive tongue smashing at 4 o clock in the morning. I hope they like the taste of whatever cheap beer their new partner is drinking. It's not like I'm judging, but I am a little. I think it's fun to come to Brooklyn and judge the kids who are wearing glasses without lenses and cycling caps. I don't know why but since Jesse has moved here, it's become a pretty big favourite of mine. Did I mention that in the beer garden there was a taco truck? Well there is! and while it was good, the jalapeno almost burnt my tongue off. And speaking of Jalapeno, there was a girl next to us in red lipstick (swoon! if there's one thing these Brooklyn girls can do, it's pull off lipstick as such) who kept saying Jalapeno in different accents. On our way home, we stopped at a noodle shop where I almost convinced Jesse to steal the Buddha that was surrounded by Sriracha and Soy Sauces on the counter. He almost did, but then we decided that we would absolutely go to hell, and on the off chance that one or neither of us are going yet (we are) we decided to hold off. But we did sit on bar stools and wax poetic about things I neither want or need to remember.  Because we didn't think that the huge vat of noodles and pork (okay, yes, Jesse and I are going to hell) was going to be enough to satiate the hunger that occurs at 4 am after 2 bottles of red, 2 gimlets at a dive bar, and a lager, we decided to stop at the deli where we both bought coconut water (J likes Peach Mango, I prefer Pineapple...I think it's a cleaner flavour), Captain Crunch, Rice Milk (J is lactose intolerant, if you ever go see him perform, you should bring him lactaid pills instead of throwing your panties at him) and cheezits (which were such a selfish pick because I know Jesse can't have them). And then we came home, watched the royal tenenbaums in sweats and the leather jacket and went to sleep.

I will say that before the night of utter debauch occurred, J and I had a lovely day. I finally got to see Eataly, which was so amazing I couldn't handle myself. They sold all different kinds of stemware and plates with Eataly etched on them and I wish that they sold Orange Crocs with Eataly etched on them because I find them so utterly revolting that I wish I could have made fun of them. We had lunch at Balthazar, which was delicious. Steak tartare, bellinis, and oysters? Yea, sounds like my kind of lunch. And I went to see the Kandinsky exhibit at the Guggenheim, which I highly suggest!

And now, darlings, I am off to the motherland, where I can assure you that I will not be eating pork at 4 am, and although I may make a lot of great new friends on this trip, I can happily report that I am more than content with the people in my life right now, especially friends who lend me leather jackets and eat noodles with me at 4 in the morning,