Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nina Simone

The High Priestess of Soul with her distinctive style of performing in her signature lower-tenor voice moves me everyday of the week.  Listen to Nearer Blessed Lord and picture yourself dancing with as much soul and passion you can muster up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Top ten myths about the brain

This Fascinating article in the Smithsonian Magazine debunks the top ten myths about the human brain. The most fascinating part, for me, was on happiness and how we don't actually know what will make us happy. It turns out that we overestimate how much happiness we get from leisure time and underestimate how much we get from social relationships.

When it comes to this complex, highly resilient, malleable organ, things are never as they seem. But really - isn't all of life an illusion?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bye-bye bad day

Click here.

Hudson Urban Bicycles - HUB

I'm dog sitting for the sweetest little pup who I've nicknamed McSneezy (he sneezes all night in his sleep, hence the nickname).  McSneezy enjoys long walks in the village and investigative sniffing of other pups. Last week, we stumbled upon a bike shop that features old-fashioned bicycles - HUB.  Located on Charles, HUB offers new and used bikes for the hipster in all of us.

McSneezy made friends with Scout, HUB's handsome mascot, while I chatted with a HUB patron. The stylish patron had just selected a cream-colored Linus with all the trimmings to go with his perfectly selected skinny jeans and linen blazer. Style for style -  as they say. The offerings at HUB are, in fact, urban and chic (yes, I'm talking about bicycles here). There are retro selections that make sense only in New York.

For out-of-towners HUB has great rates for hourly bike rentals.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

You oughta know about...

1. The amount of extra stuff Myra brought home from Asia. I fit in the bag she used to lug it all back! See above. 

2. The film I Am Love starring Tilda Swinton. It is genius, tragic, and beautiful all in one.  There is something for everyone in this film. For all the fashionistas out there - the wardrobes are brilliant and definitely very Italian. 

3. Refinery 29's reserve with Dannijo. Click here for more information. Starting May 19, a $75 voucher snags you $150 worth of shimmering Dannijo loot, while $150 scores you $300. Ready for this? $300 gets you an insane $600 of summer jewel bliss!

4. The film The Ramen Girl - a quirky and silly tale of a woman stranded in Japan. The main character "finds herself" while studying to be a Ramen chef.  I found it silly, yet inspiring. Plus - I have a love affair with Ramen.  

5. Moroccan Oil - the key ingredient for silky and smooth hair. The Brazilians love it, I love it, and so do beauty gurus everywhere.  Read more about it here.  BELEZA. 

6. The novel Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea. The book was first released in Lebanon in Arabic. The novel recounts forbidden details about the private lives of four young women from Saudi Arabia's upper classes.  The reader follows the four women as they deal with the conflict of educated modern Saudi women growing up in the 21st century in a culture firmly rooted in an ancient way of life. Think Sex in City meets a Salman Rushdie novel.  


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Who is your fairy godmother?

What does she look like? How do you imagine her? Where does she help you go?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Please allow me to introduce new self

Exhibit A

Hello readers, and happy sunday,

I'm back and ready to share my thoughts and triumphs with anyone who will listen.

First, I'd like to provide you with a few lessons I've learned recently:

1. You can have an affordable and delicious meal at cool and trendy restaurants in New York City - please see exhibit A.  That's a photo of me at Hudson Clearwater - a cool new "hidden" restaurant in the West Village. The bartenders are skilled-samuri warriors who mix up delicious cocktails. Go there and order yourself up a couple of Hudson Mules and tell them DID sent you.

2. You can buy trendy fashions without breaking the bank. How about a pair of high-waisted linen shorts from H&M that are more elegant than expensive.

3. That the airline losing your luggage on the way to a semi-private island in Brazil can be both an exercise of creativity and the perfect recipe for new business ideas (more on this later). I had one pair of pants, one shirt, one scarf, and one sweater. The creative ways I used my available clothes surprised even me. Is this a metaphor for life? Perhaps. How about you decide and report back to me.

4. That Stephen King wrote a fantastic memoir - On Writing (that's the title and the subject of the book), that can help any creative person better understand their craft and how ideas are formed. Stephen describes the perfect storm of events that brought him to the story Carrie. I also learned the way a writer (as talented as SK) draws attention to certain details. In effect, sometimes it doesn't matter what color the curtains are just that they are drawn. Is today metaphor sunday?

5. That Proust Was a Neuroscientist.

6. Probably the most important of all the lessons I've learned in the last couple of months is that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. As Bukowski put it in his poem titled, no leaders, please - you can (WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOCUS), and should, invent and reinvent yourself. This corporate free diva is reinventing herself and I'm finding that I like the new me.

Puppy power

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clever marketing campaign by Links London

As little girls all over the land put away their tiaras and the dream of eventually becoming a princess. Links of London salutes all the dreamers out there. Those of us who see romance in the inbred nature of the British Monarchy. I for one, find the pomp and circumstance to be no different than one's wedding just one a different scale. And had I been stateside and not an island with just the clothes on my back - I too would have celebrated the pomp and circumstance with the royal family. 

(Seen storefront in Soho) 

Christopher Hitchens in VF

“They told me, Heraclitus; they told me you were dead.
They brought me bitter news to hear, and bitter tears to shed.

I wept when I remembered how often you and I had tired the sun with talking, and sent him down the sky.”

Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair on losing his voice to malignant cancer. It will be a great loss to see him go.

Praia do Forno

GeoTagged, [S22.75213, E41.88345]

Pink sand!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Good morning from Buzios

Happy May 6th

I did not know it back then, but May 6th 19XX would change my life forever. It was the day my sister was born. When Erica was a little girl, she loved, LOVED, her birthday. As the momentous day approached, she would walk around the house saying "May 6th!" - it was adorable. 
Erica you will forever be my number one. I love you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Passage from Swann's Way

Formed by the appetite that I was on the point of gratifying, she it was, I imagined, who offered me that gratification. My body, conscious that its own warmth was permeating hers, would strive to become one with her, and I would awake. The rest of humanity seemed very remote in comparison with this woman whose company I had left but a moment ago: my cheek was still warm with her kiss, my body bent beneath the weight of hers. If, as would sometimes happen, she had the appearance of some woman whom I had known in waking hours, I would abandon myself altogether to the sole quest of her, like people who set out on a journey to see with their own eyes some city that they have always longed to visit, and imagine that they can taste in reality what has charmed their fancy. And then, gradually, the memory of her would dissolve and vanish, until I had forgotten the maiden of my dream.

--Marcel Proust

Things to know about skin city (Rio!!)

Hello from Rio, dear friends. It's been several years since I last visited Brazil and so much has changed; I'm married, I'm more traveled, I'm more fearless, and I have higher travel standards. Yup I said it, I DO NOT like to rough it, at all. The airline lost my baggage and for 4-days I was stuck with only what I carried on (later I'll post on the essentials and how to manage when stuck with only your handbag). Did I manage? Yes! Does wearing clean clothes feel like a luxury now, yes! Hurray for the small things in life.

Here are a few things to know about Rio before planning a visit:

1. Clothing is optional, exercise is not. This morning during my run on ipanema beach I saw everyone enjoying the 28 degree (Celsius) weather by riding, running, playing, or walking. People seem happier and healthier.
2. Like NYC, the rich and poor are hard to tell apart. Everyone is bikini or speedo clad making wealth less identifiable. You know what I say to that BTB - bring that bikini!
3. The women are goddesses and keep themselves very well maintained (I'm pretty sure I got the stare down by a 70 year old woman yesterday at dinner) but so do the men. I've seen more blue-steel looks on the men than on the women.
4. It's pricey here, very. The average price of entrees in restaurants is 31-89 Brazilian real. Unreal!
5. Brazil is doable as an extended weekend trip from NYC, Miami, or Dallas. If you take the overnight flight direct to Rio and sleep on the plane - there's no jet lag to deal with. Yeehaw.
6.Caipirinhas, Brazil's national drink, help to put even the most high-strung traveler at ease. Made with cachaça Brazil's most commonly distilled liquor. Highly delicious and highly alcoholic - I dare you to drink just one.
7. Rio does not have a massive gastronomy scene. The cuisine centers around freshly caught fish and grass-fed beef, which is delicious, but it is hard to justify the cost given mismatched flavors that often accompany. For example, while perusing a menu last night I saw Brazilian pichana paired with passion fruit mashed potatoes - no thanks!!
8. You must bring you most confident self to Rio! Especially poolside. The scene competes with the likes of South Beach or any other model haven. Everyone WILL size you up. The meek should choose another locale.
9. Smoking is surprisingly banned in most places.

Headed out to find some all natural beauty products in Leblon. More from this Diva in a swimsuit later. Ciao.

Poolside in Rio

Sunday, May 1, 2011


by: W. B. Yeats
 AM worn out with dreams;
A weather-worn, marble triton
Among the streams;
And all day long I look
Upon this lady's beauty
As though I had found in a book
A pictured beauty,
Pleased to have filled the eyes
Or the discerning ears,
Delighted to be but wise,
For men improve with the years;
And yet, and yet,
Is this my dream, or the truth?
O would that we had met
When I had my burning youth!
But I grow old among dreams,
A weather-worn, marble triton
Among the streams.