Lately I’ve been having all kinds of epiphanies up in here. Not “meaning of life” stuff, but staggeringly obvious insights that mostly annoy me with their tardy blatant-ness. Some are unimportant, of the “Hey, it is a soul-deadening waste of time to keep up with the Kardashians!” variety, but others are more substantive.
Ever . . . → Read More: If I Had a Ribbon Bow (aka Why I Need a 37th Little Black Dress)
I have long been powerless against the cherry. Not the kind you eat, the kind you wear. For reasons not entirely clear to me, from time to time clothing manufacturers and designers put cherries on dresses, blouses, purses, barrettes, shoes and I don’t seem to be able to help buying these fruit-festooned garments. I’m . . . → Read More: I’ve Got a Cherry on My Back
(Update to this post: Here is the finished result; I call our new-ish apartment “Anything Gauche”.)
I avoided all sorts of grown-up stickywickets for so long, I guess it was inevitable that the whole renovation nightmare thing would strike blithely, superciliously carefree me like a cobra. I’ve seen Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House dozens of times, I saw Tom Hanks and Shelley Long Long sink into The Money Pit back when, but I had no idea how close to documentaries these movies were.
The story thus far: Single 40-something-me buys a lovely little studio in the Manhattan glam-ish Parc Vendome, thinking I’ll live there til I die. Four years later I got caught up in the real estate fervor and upgraded to a one-bedroom – a HUGE one-bedroom, especially by New York City standards. This apartment (which I call Bluebird Manor and I have the matchbooks and cocktail napkins to prove it) is only a block away from the Parc Vendome, on a lovely tree-lined street near Central Park, shopping and tons of restaurants. It’s got 2 bathrooms, a washer/dryer in the apartment, again rare for New York City, and a big kitchen and private storage room. (Uh, it’s for sale by the way.) It’s fantastic, and I planned to live here in this fabulous den until I died.
Then 4 years ago I met this guy reading a philosophy book on the subway and fast-forward 2 years, we’re married. The guy (call him Raffles, I do) agrees Bluebird Manor is pretty swell, but big though it is at the end of the day it’s still a one-bedroom and where’s a man to hunker down and escape the Real Housewives’ chatter, his own housewife’s chatter, and the dogs and parrots that came with said housewife? Raffles needs a mancave. So, we set about looking for an apartment that would allow him his cave and me to continue to walk to work.
Continue reading Buying and Renovating an Apartment is Not for Pussies Part I
When I was a girl I loved to get those little booklets they sold by the cash register at the supermarket. I’d read and re-read all the “1,000 Baby Names” books. Even now, decades later, I know dozens of useful facts like Ellen means light, Thurston (as in Howell) means Thor’s stone, and that Sally is a diminutive of Sarah which in turn means princess. I never tired of naming my dozens of unborn future children; Clementine, Eudora (well-born), Tristan (Old Welsh for sad) and Tallulah (Native American for fabulous throaty bisexual) were serious contenders. Now of course the joke’s on me since I don’t even have one child to tar with one of my many monikers.
But my all-time favorite 39 cent booklet was the wee “What Real-Life French Women Wear”. (That may not have been the actual name but that was the theme.) Being in third grade and all I couldn’t implement the advice right away, but one thing has stuck with me all these years. Stuck with me, but sadly eluded me.
It said the typical French woman had only about 5 things in her closet. The point was that French women are smart and sophisticated enough to just buy a few really good things and wear them every day in various permutations. I pictured a pristine closet with a few paltry hangers bearing only a black pencil skirt, a crisp white shirt, a good-quality black turtleneck, an LBD of course, one pair of always well-pressed pants, and one of those stripe-y sailor-y shirts Jean-Paul Gaultier is always wearing. The lesson was quality over quantity, and that sorting out some sort of uniform was the easiest, quickest and best way to dress. Continue reading I’m So Pathetically Not French
I’m obsessed. I’ve long loved decorating and thinking about decorating, but now that my new husby and I are getting an apartment together, I have an opportunity to actually do some decoratin’ damage and I’ve thought of little else for almost a year.
Though I would dearly love to have the same kind of . . . → Read More: Domicidal Maniac