Stolen Brunches – Cacio e Vino

I have been accused, on more than one occasion, of being a brunch-a-holic. When such claims are thrown in my face, I try to counter it, calmly, with a question – what else does one do, on a Sunday afternoon in New York City between 11 & 4?

About a month ago, various rumor-mongers and curators of online content spread a malicious rumor that struck fear into the hearts of every New York City brunchgoer – that the unlimited mimosa/bloody mary special offered at so many New York brunch spots was actually illegal. And my, what an uproar it caused! Thankfully, later that same day a clarification statement was released to quell the rumor, NYC brunchgoers heaved a collective sigh of relief to discover that bottomless brunches weren’t going anywhere. However. Based on the flood of Facebook posts and tweets that went out, EVERYONE planned on brunching that weekend – before the rumor, to get in what they were certain would be the last bottomless brunch of their lives, and after, in celebration that bottomless brunches were still a thing. I’m sure it was a great business weekend for restaurants that offer such brunch specials.

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Well. Long before all of this brunch rumor-mill drama happened, Jeffrey and I had put a brunch on the books for that very weekend. We had full intended to visit Three of Cups in the East Village – I was convinced that it was this chic little Italian spot that I had gone for dinner with my sister and mother years ago, but have been unable to find since I moved to the city (which still annoys me to this day), and I was really dying to go again. One foot in the door shot my theory down – Three of Cups is a massively sprawling joing with odd walls to create rooms. As it happened, that weekend was very good for Three of Cups, but the host was in a foul mood at being so over-crowded, and Jeffrey and I couldn’t handle a thirty minute wait after a)searching for a staff member in the chaos to tell us what the deal was and b) being greeted by such a disgruntled demeanor. Luckily, I had passed another place just ’round the corner with a sign outside advertising their brunch special, so we hurried our growling bellies back over to 2nd ave (btwn 4th & 5th streets) and enjoyed a leisurely, quiet, sunlit brunch at Cacio e Vino.

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My thoughts on Cacio e Vino – delicious food, delicious drinks, great lighting, adorable decor. The menu and our waiter were both a little disorganized. I had the feeling it was his first day. But he was nice, and attentive, and answered all of our questions, and was in a much jollier mood than the staff at Three of Cups, so I still give him a thumbs up. His behavior definitely contributed to the lovely experience. I’d definitely go back again – those turkish eggs (not pictured) were something else! And the bellinis were top-notch. A surprisingly great Saturday brunch, considering that 24 hours prior the fate of the free brunching world was hanging in the balance.

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New Shoes Are My Drug of Choice

Shoes. Man, do I have an obsession with shoes. I don’t know what it is – maybe the universality of an accessory that makes such a statement about a person. Nearly everyone needs them – not everyone needs a bag, or a hat, but it’s hard to go places without shoes. They’re often the first thing I notice about an outfit. I used to judge pretty harshly, but as I soften with old age I care less and less about what others put on their feet, and more about what goes on mine. A really good pair on a cute guy though, always catches my eye, and racks up bonus brownie points.

I’m rambling a bit. Long story short, I recently purchased these cap-toe shoes by Crosby Square, from Gilt. Quite the amazing find, if I do say so myself. I hadn’t previously heard of this label – they’ve been around since 1932, apparently – but I’m thoroughly impressed. The leather is supple and so so comfortable. The heels are properly tacked on with nails, the soles are leather, the color is versatile, the detailing subtle. They’re pretty much a dream.

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Buying footwear online can be tricky. I much prefer going to a store where I can try them on, see them in the light of day, and inspect the quality of the materials and craftmanship. Online, all you have to go by is the photos, and the description. So. It was a rare gamble that I made, but I came out on top.

This pair generally retails for $250, but Gilt was offering them up for $100, so I bit.

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Forgotten New York

So, New York. Let’s talk about it for a second, shall we? I know – something new and exciting, right? But it is! There is always something new and exciting happening, which is one of many reasons why I love love love New York. I’ve really enjoyed exploring it over the past 5 years (and change), and really *really* enjoyed sharing my explorations with you here.

Another reason I love New York is that amid all that is sparkling and new, there are so many older, hidden treasures. Everything has its day, and some things become lost, but it’s pretty amazing to stumble across a piece of the Berlin Wall in midtown, or a subway station that is well-preserved but no longer in use. The folks over at Marriott created a stylish map pinpointing some of these forgotten gems. Some of them I knew about, like Flushing Meadows, where the first World Fair was held, but I had never heard of Pomander Walk, tucked away in the middle of the Upper West Side! Maybe that means I’m not a true New Yorker – I am a country boy at heart, after all – but I’m making it a plan to check out some of these sites this Spring, and I highly encourage you to do the same! See the map below, or click here to take a closer look.

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This Infographic was Powered by Marriott.

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Wednesday Wishlist – Steve Madden

It never hurts to dream a little. Whenever I feel down, or oppressed by the city – yes, occasionally it does happen – I text Gina and we go to Bergdorf Goodman to surround ourselves with luxury, or Barney’s to look at the xo collections we can’t yet afford. Some might be further depressed by this Breakfast at Tiffany’s remedy, but for us, it provides inspiration.

On this week’s Wednesday Wishlist: Leopard-print Churchil Slip-ons from Steve Madden

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I used to hate animal prints. Obviously something changed, because I have those leopard print slippers designed by Derek Lam for Target a few years ago. The slip-on “smoking slipper” is the trendy footwear item of the season, and will likely be accompanying my feet as they make their way to a club in Miami for Fifi’s bachelorette party at the end of the month. This one from Steve Madden is available in a variety of colors – I couldn’t bring myself to do anything wilder than the standard leopard print (I still throw a little side-eye at zebra-print apparel). In any case, I’m really looking forward to leaving my socks at the hotel and stepping out in these in a few weeks!

Images via SteveMadden.com

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Stolen Brunches: Marketa

I have been accused, on more than one occasion, of being a brunch-a-holic. When such claims are thrown in my face, I try to counter it, calmly, with a question – what else does one do, on a Sunday afternoon in New York City between 11 & 4?

Sometimes you get into a rut. Work, happy hour, work, happy hour, brunch on the weekends, wake up Monday morning and do it all again. And because things get so busy, it’s easy to visit the same places over and over again – which makes it so refreshing to find a brand new hangout right under your nose, like Marketa, in Astoria on 30th Ave and 38th Street.

Marketa just opened, literally like three months ago! And look at the crowd they have for brunch already. My favorite on the menu: kale caesar salad, chicken or steak optional. It’s coated in freshly grated cheese, which takes a *little* bit of the health factor out of it, but adds so much tastiness. #Yum

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Poached Eggs
Mimosas included
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Also, Happy St. Patty’s Day – avoid 5th Ave if you can! That parade is particularly crazy. Cheers.

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Wednesday Wishlist – Parke & Ronen Swimwear

It never hurts to dream a little. Whenever I feel down, or oppressed by the city – yes, occasionally it does happen – I text Gina and we go to Bergdorf Goodman to surround ourselves with luxury, or Barney’s to look at the xo collections we can’t yet afford. Some might be further depressed by this Breakfast at Tiffany’s remedy, but for us, it provides inspiration.

On this week’s Wednesday Wishlist: Ibiza Cross Resort Swim Brief

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With the hope-instilling warm weather this past weekend (I was in Atlanta where it was SEVENTY DEGREES – but more on that later), my mind has fully turned toward summer and beach weather. Fifi’s bachelorette party is at the end of April, for which we’re going to Miami (we’re on a workout plan we’ve dubbed the “Miami Meltdown” which involves [insert boring workout details here]), so I’ve been poking around Barneys and looking at their swimwear selection. My boss did ask me if I really need a new piece of swimwear, as I bought a cute pair of Diesels last summer. The bigger question is, Ibiza Navy Red or Ibiza Royal White?

Images courtesy of ParkeandRonen.com

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Wednesday Wishlist – Fendi Business Bag

It never hurts to dream a little. Whenever I feel down, or oppressed by the city – yes, occasionally it does happen – I text Gina and we go to Bergdorf Goodman to surround ourselves with luxury, or Barney’s to look at the xo collections we can’t yet afford. Some might be further depressed by this Breakfast at Tiffany’s remedy, but for us, it provides inspiration.

On this week’s Wednesday Wishlist: this navy blue Functional Business Bag from Fendi. (image via Fendi.com).
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If you know me at all, you know that I am rarely without a bag. Usually it’s a toss-up between my Kenneth Cole briefcase (which I’ve had for 5 years now and I LOVE – it’s seriously like my baby) or my black nylon tote from work, which is versatile, unassuming, and multi-functional. That said, certain forces in my life are telling me that I need to upgrade, and it’s true. Much as I love the functional versatility of my tote bag, it is still a tote bag. My KC briefcase is several steps up – the issue is that it looks engorged with even one file over capacity. The answer? The navy blue Functional Business Bag from Fendi. Not cheap, but it would certainly be worth the investment, if I had an extra $2k lying around.

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On Re-inspiration

So Fall Fashion Week happened, in September 2013, and I attended some of the shows on behalf of John Simon Daily. And it was fun! A bit exhausting, but fun. And then I blinked, and I was flying home for Christmas, and traveling for work – I was out of New York for three weeks, the longest I’ve ever been away from the city since I moved here in 2008. As per usual, I had some trouble getting back, but eventually I made it, and when I did, threw myself into catching up both at work and in the social realm. Three weeks away left a lot to catch up on. Suddenly, before I knew it, February was here and John Simon was emailing me about Spring Fashion Week. Winter had firmly plunged me into its icy claws of Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I begrudgingly agreed to attend a few of the presentations at the Cadillac Men’s Day event – and boy, I’m glad I did. It’s amazing how I can find myself so caught up in the day to day of emails and eblasts and strategy meetings that I completely forget those things about which I am most passionate. This was a not-so-subtle reminder – Carlos Campos and Ernest Alexander saw to it that my fashion fire was rekindled. Dani-DK, with her steady flow of posts saw to it that I didn’t let this platform expire. There’ll be no living with me, now.

A few images that served as re-inspiration:
Carlos Campos FW 2014
David Hart F/W 2014
Ernest Alexander F/W 2014

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Wednesday Wishlist – Saint Laurent Destroyed Jeans

It never hurts to dream a little. Whenever I feel down, or oppressed by the city – yes, occasionally it does happen – I text Gina and we go to Bergdorf to surround ourselves with luxury, or Barney’s to look at the xo collections we can’t yet afford. Some might be further depressed by this, but for us, it provides inspiration.

On this week’s Wednesday wishlist: these destroyed jeans with chain detailing from Saint Laurent (image via Ssense).

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These jeans are phenomenally out of my price range, and they go against my rule that rules out purchasing apparel that have been purposely distressed to give the appearance of being “vintage” or previously worn. Nothing baffles me more than paying $200 for a pair of jeans that already has holes in it. My favorite pair of jeans had holes in it – eventually, from lots of love and wear. They were so comfortable, and they fit me perfectly, and I wore them a bit past the point of being appropriate for public (I’m not particularly proud of that, but I’ve always had trouble letting go of things I love).

That being said, the silver-tone chains add an element of chic, glam, and an edge of punk that I’m inexplicably drawn to. Hedi Slimane is doing some wondrous things over there at the label formerly known as YSL – these jeans are one of them. This is one gift I wouldn’t mind being surprised with. My birthday is January 3rd.

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Halloween Can Be Such a Drag…

Halloween fell on an awkward Thursday this year, which made for ten days or so of costume fun. I personally didn’t dress up, but my drag alter-ego, Juanita Soufflé was very keen to make an appearance. She’s a fun girl, who loves glamour and bling even more than I. Here she is in a poppy, Calvin Klein cocktail dress, with Ann Taylor, calf-hair, leopard print pumps, and jewelry designed by the girl herself. Hair and makeup were done by my recently former roomie, Bari Sofer, and most of these photos were taken by Darris Lee (as you can see him doing below. So yes, Juanita got dolled up, went out, and had so much fun that by the time she got home she was too exhausted and slept in her makeup!

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Juanita Souffle

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Costumes are so fun! They really give everyone a chance to assume a persona they might otherwise be hesitant to be in their day-to-day lives. Also, the creativity that is displayed at halloween always impresses me. This season I saw everything from Mikayla-Not-Impressed to Caligula.

What was *your* costume?

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