Thursday, February 23, 2012

Green. Gorgeous. Mine.

Green. Gorgeous. Mine., originally uploaded by retrogemkitty7.

J & I took a trip to New York last weekend, mostly to see Verdi's "Ernani" at the Metropolitan Opera, but also to shop, eat, drink wine, & generally enjoy one of our favorite places in the US. We left on an obscenely early Friday morning train - what crazy person booked us on Amtrak at 6:13AM? - oh, wait, I did. Over the course of three days, we visited a number of our favorite shopping haunts, including La Boutique Resale, Century 21, the Garage Flea Market, & The Showplace. I scored some amazing deals & am going to be on a shoplite for some time!

Here's my best find of the whole trip: an emerald green Ferragamo bag, in near-pristine condition. I scored this for less than one would pay for a lower-end Coach bag at the mall. Not that Coach's designs haven't improved over the years - many of them have - but I think you know what I'm saying, price-wise. Given that this beauty is my favorite color & was made by a design house for which I have great respect, J knew it was going home with us the minute I spotted it.

The opera was fabulous, even though it's early Verdi, & it was great fun to catch up with several of our New York friends, one of whom sings in the Met chorus. (Her SO also does, but the poor guy was under the weather during our visit, so we didn't get to hang out with him.) Food-and-drinks-wise, we indulged at places we've loved for some time: I Coppi, the Campbell Apartment, Maison du Chocolat, & Bagel Boss. We also discovered new delights at Eataly & Shalal.

So, here we are, back home. Our feet have recovered - good thing, as I still have to work off some of that amazing food! - & we're already plotting our next trip to the city

Va va vroom: Prada, Spring 2012 Hot Rod Flame Shoe

Dammit, Miuccia. You've done it again. By "it", I mean you've come up with a collection that is filled with the retro references that are so near & dear to my heart, but also tweaked them in a wonderfully irreverent way so that not one item is too serious or precious. I would happily welcome any number of your Spring 2012 pieces into my wardrobe, especially the shoes, but with prices well into the four figures, that's not happening anytime soon. Since I don't give a damn (or perhaps a stronger word or two) about wearing "last year's" stuff, I can only hope a pair of these babies will eventually make it onto the shelves of one of my favorite Upper East Side consignment stores. Size 6.5, please.

I'm a gym rat & general exercise nut, & this Wednesday, my Spin class was led by a sub for the sub. To put it mildly, her workout was a disaster. She didn't seem to know the vocabulary of Spinning, which is quite specific, & as such, she called out almost no cues when it was time for us to switch moves. We basically had to watch her & guess what we were supposed to do next. Most of her in-class chatter centered around a fake travelogue, during which she mentioned that "we'd like to stop at McDonald's, but we're not going to." She also engaged in a a few moves that are known to be unsafe, such as doing push-ups on the handlebars of the bike. The kicker (so to speak) for me came during our cool-down stretches, when she launched into a lecture/rant about the evils of high heels. Out of the blue. This from a woman who was touting fast food a few minutes earlier? Maybe Morgan Spurlock should have made a documentary about superspiked footwear rather than supersized meals. Obviously, I got quite annoyed at this point, sprayed down my bike, & went downstairs to spend some quality time on the elliptical.

At age 42, I am well aware that high heels are not necessarily good for one's feet. I don't wear them every day or on occasions that will require a great deal of walking or standing (all-day shopping trips in NY, museum jaunts in Italy, etc.) I do, however, intend to wear them on special occasions or just when the mood strikes - as long as my body will tolerate them, of course. Snotty as this woman was, I do have to feel a bit sorry for her; she's aesthetically challenged (she also admitted to not caring much for music - of any kind!) I also can't wait for our regular Spin instructor to come back.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

For once, big business does the right thing

I'm not accustomed to hearing that a huge corporation has done something positive for equality or human rights, yet that's exactly the sort of news I found posted all over Facebook today. It seems JCPenney has decided to defy the wishes of One Million Moms (was the name 40,000 Bigots already taken?) & retain Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson. I didn't shop at JCPenney for a long time, but found several cute pieces of clothing there last year, & this recent news sent me directly to their website after work today.

As one who works outside the home, I don't often catch Ms. DeGeneres' show unless I have taken the day off to get a mani/pedi in preparation for a vacation or other special event. In the broadcasts I have seen, Ms. DeGeneres has come across as a talented, engaging, funny host & interviewer. Sexuality aside, she's damn good at her job & has every right to a hugely successful career. With regard to her orientation, I am a longtime supporter of GLBT rights, including marriage equality, so between this incident & California's rejection of Proposition 8, I'm feeling a bit more optimistic this week. Thanks, JCPenney & California, for doing the right thing. May other companies & states follow suit, soon.

Now, off to check out that cute polka dot dress I saw on the JCPenney website earlier...