Saturday, May 10, 2014

If I say jump...

I'm back! Actually, I don't know which direction I'm going in these days. Lots to do at work in the next few weeks and I'm working on a show (Edward II, at Spotlighters) so keeping very busy. J and I had a lovely trip to South Beach recently, but both of use are so swamped now that it feels like ages ago rather than a mere two weeks.

When I first visited South Beach in 1999, the shopping scene was very different. Lincoln Road was still home to a few high-end antiques stores and clothing boutiques as well as some of those bizarre "art galleries" that I believe one can still find in parts of NYC... you know, the ones that sell outrageously over-the-top chandeliers, paintings of dubious aesthetic merit, and bejeweled iPhone cases. All of that is gone now; Lincoln Road's stores are primarily chains, which distresses me even though I have been known to make a purchase at Anthropologie on that street from time to time. I'm also surprised and disappointed that Desigual couldn't make a go of it there; L'Occitane now has their former space. Note: there is a great open-air antiques market on Lincoln Road, but it isn't held every weekend.

Collins Avenue has a fairly interesting assortment of stores, even if most of them are also chains. There are a few "high street" stores that Baltimore lacks, notably Club Monaco, where J has had better luck than I over the years, and Zara, where the fit of garments can be incredibly random, but when they make something well, it's TDF. The latter's Collins Avenue outpost (one is coming to Lincoln Road soon) is located very near Puerto Sagua, a Cuban diner with amazing food and very friendly staff. So, after a delicious, somewhat decadent meal, I decided to try on clothes. Brilliant, no? Here's one of the pieces I came home with.

Yes, it's a jumpsuit. I've always liked them and are happy that they're currently (ugh) "on trend", otherwise known as available in stores. Vintage shopping is delightful, but has its downsides - condition, availability of sizes, etc. When I spotted this jumpsuit in Zara, I thought, ooh, comfy! Then I wondered... hmm... am I too old to make this work? Will I look as if I should be working on someone's car? Most importantly, do I give a damn? After I tried it on and determined that I needed my usual size - small - the answer to all three questions was an emphatic no. It didn't hurt that I texted a dressing room pic to a good friend, also a jumpsuit fan, who sent back her emphatic yes-you-need-that response almost instantly.

This outfit got a few quizzical looks last night, but it's the pants equivalent of a DVF wrap dress: as comfortable as wearing one's pajamas in public, yet with much more style. Paired with my motorcycle boots, gloves, jacket, and helmet, it makes me feel like a badass on my scooter.I've gone and ordered a similar Topshop jumpsuit from Nordstrom in grey; fingers crossed that it fits.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering if my style has suddenly changed dramatically, my other recent Zara purchase was a sundress with a big, pouffy skirt.   

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Fresh Start and Some Seriously Adorable Sweets

Since my last post in this space dates from September 2012, many of you no doubt thought I'd dropped off the blog-earth.Well, not really - I have been posting on my professional blog quite a bit, so my writing energy was needed there. Also, 2013 was a very difficult year for me as a performer, so I wasn't much inspired to write. These days, I'm trying to find new people to work with and fresh ways to challenge myself both on and offstage (hello, roller skating lessons!) I took up quad skating last year after a hiatus of nearly three decades and absolutely love it. Great fun, nice people, and very beneficial for the waistline.That last bit is especially pertinent to this post, since its real topic is not lazy blogging or diva drama, but... SWEETS!

I don't bake much, nor do I often order dessert in restaurants. Don't often have time for the former and can't generally afford the calories that come with it or the latter. However, Valentine's Day is coming, and yesterday, the new Dean and Deluca catalog (better known in our house as Food Porn) showed up in our mailbox, packed with sugary treats that look tempting enough to warrant a few extra revolutions around the rink.

If your sweetheart is a chocolate-loving bibliophile, how about this cake?

Or perhaps lingerie-inspired cookies would better set the V-day mood? These are flavored with cinnamon, anise, and orange. Yes, please.

If you'll be flying solo on February 14th, these "Breakup Box" whoopie pies might help ease the pain. Might I suggest sharing them with a good friend and a bottle of bubbly? Both are excellent at lifting one's spirits!

J and I will be staying in this Valentine's Day, feasting on lobster, wine, and perhaps Option 1 or Option 2 from the list above. A hint may or may not have already been dropped. Whatever you're doing that night, I hope it's great fun and wish you a sweet, happy 2014!