Saturday, December 26, 2009

california christmas

Thanks to my friend Jeremy Black, a San Clemente-dwelling, convertible-driving, easygoing, natural foods magnate, I have had the ultimate California Christmas.

Here's the view from the deck where I'm writing right now, while the bells from the church down the street play "Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride Together."

Here's the sleigh I rode on Christmas eve,

appropriately enough, at a surf break known as Church.

Jeremy and his next-door neighbor Mark point the way.

Santa puts his shirt back on.

Here at Casa Black, açai (click) is the new egg nog,

and hemp buttered whole grain bread is the new French Toast.

I've been getting my butt kicked daily at the yoga studio down the street and waking up my mind, body, and soul with dunks in the chilly Pacific.

It's not going to be easy going back to snowy NYC, but I feel stronger with some Pacific salt and California sun in my veins, and I'll do my best to spread it around.

Friday, December 25, 2009

boas festas

Boas Festas is Brazil-speak for Happy Holidays, but literally it translates to "good parties," which is what I'm wishing for you, via a scan of a Christmas card I picked up at the flea market in Rio last summer.

It seems especially appropriate this year, since I'm writing from Sambazon's (click) San Clemente headquarters, while the Black brothers, my hosts, prepare to take off for Brazil tomorrow.

I'll happily hold down the fort for another day before I head back to NYC, where the forecast is for...snow. I've got lots of love to keep me warm, so fueled with that, some California sunshine and saltwater, and a boa festa or two, we'll pull through the rest of this winter.

Boas Festas, Happy Holidays, lots of love!

Monday, December 21, 2009

baby, it's cold outside

I was really looking forward to another Caribbean Christmas (click), but it seems, at the last minute, that it isn't in the cards this year.

For a day or two, I was excited about staying in Brooklyn. I listened to Petula Clark sing "Baby It's Cold Outside" at least 20 times.

I walked around, admiring Christmas lights.

My favorite, a fox in the snow.

I baked peppermint and peanut butter kisses for a party (while listening to Petula Clark.)

I donned a festive and shimmering gold sweater for said parties.

And tromped cheerily through the snow to arrive.

And then, I thought, "Baby, it is cold outside," and briefly considered stowing away on a container ship (click).

I found myself feeling more, "Fox in the Snow" than Petula Clark, and then I thought...don't I have a half a ticket to L.A. leftover from this spring? As it turns out, I do. So I bought the other half, and now this fox is getting out of the snow, headed to San Clemente for a few days in the waves.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

hallelujah, holy shit

Well, I'm writing this post by candelight, and not because it's Hannukah.

Just a little while ago, not long after I finished my final re-write (graduation is tomorrow morning), I was doing a little housekeeping. My head was in the hall closet when suddenly everything went bright white and blue, and there was a loud buzzing sound.

It wasn't a Christmas angel descending on Hooper Street, but rather my living room light fixture, spewing sparks and igniting a small flame on the ceiling. An involuntarily yelp leapt from my lungs and I slammed off the light switch and called 911.

Three wisemen (hot firemen) turned up lickety split. The flames had died down by then, so they just knocked down part of the ceiling to make sure there were no embers still burning, and told me to have the super make sure the circuit breaker was off.

I had planned on having a Bloody Mary before graduation in the morning, and I'd say I still will, but it will likely be with Stefan, my stupendous super, while he fixes the wiring. He said he'll come early so I can get to school on time.

If I hadn't been home when this happened it could have been a really bad scene. But I'm just chillin' here in the dark with my corner store candles and a small pile of my ceiling swept up into the trash can. All my school-work is done, dad is on his way in from the airport, and I'm going to get a manicure. All's well that ends well.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

what is a quince?

Every time I think about that man in the audience asking where my sweater came from (click) I can't help thinking of White Men Can't Jump, when Rosie Perez finally gets to bring it with "foods that start with the letter Q."

I still have a couple of rewrites to do before graduation on Wednesday, but you better believe that by Thursday, I'll be celebrating over Quahogs and Quarterdecks. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

good night.

CUNY, Room 308, after it all went down. (click!) I'll explain more later, but for now, I am so happy, and ready to sleep. More details to come...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


First I was Gathering String (click), then I was trying to solve the Sartorialist's Dilemma (click), but now I've landed on CLOSETTOUR (click).

I know, it's been a bit of an identity crisis, but that's what getting dressed is like sometimes. The blog you see at CLOSETTOUR right now is just the beginning of what I hope the project will grow to be. I'll write more as it develops, but for now, please note that CLOSETTOUR is the new Sartorialist's Dilemma.
"It sounds like an animal. It came from the Planet CLOSETTOUR!" Joe Walker, hyperlocal blogger, The New York Times
I think he meant it sounds like a planet. Come visit me there! (Click.)


thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you

Monday, November 30, 2009

rising tides, ferocious waves

You might remember that last week (below) I gave you a peek through the door of the Bryant Park Library into my old-school (microfiche!) research via iPhone. The week before that (further below), I was indulging in magazines and martinis, considering what the future of journalism might hold for yours truly. Now, with CUNY's J-school graduation just two weeks away (!), David Carr gave a quick synopsis of what he perceives to be the "Fall and Rise of Media" in today's Media Equation column (click.)

Mr. Black on the ferocious NZ waves, 2008

When I finished it, I exclaimed aloud, "F-yes! Thank god I read that to the end!" It was this bit that got me:

For every kid that I bump into who is wandering the media industry looking for an entrance that closed some time ago, I come across another who is a bundle of ideas, energy and technological mastery. The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but seeking to knock them down.

Somewhere down in the Flatiron, out in Brooklyn, over in Queens or up in Harlem, cabals of bright young things are watching all the disruption with more than an academic interest. Their tiny netbooks and iPhones, which serve as portals to the cloud, contain more informational firepower than entire newsrooms possessed just two decades ago. And they are ginning content from their audiences in the form of social media or finding ways of making ambient information more useful. They are jaded in the way youth requires, but have the confidence that is a gift of their age as well.

For them, New York is not an island sinking, but one that is rising on a fresh, ferocious wave.

One hell of a kicker, right? That's us, knocking down doors with our iPhones (or respectfully photographing them at the Bryant Park Library.) Graduation, here we come. Now back to work.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Shhh...secret research at the Bryant Park Library, observed by iPhone.


Literary lions, guarding the gate.

Friday, November 13, 2009

magazines and martinis

"Drink for reward, not for inspiration."

A New York Times columnist told me that a few years ago, as I was entertaining the thought of quitting my job at Edun to get a graduate degree in journalism. (He was about to speak on a panel; I offered him a drink.)

In any case, tonight I ignored said columnist's advice and drank for both reward and inspiration. It was a long week. As you likely know if you're reading this (since there's a solid chance you're related to me), I'm looking down the barrel of my final weeks of journalism school while interning at one of the bastions of long-form print journalism. Tonight, in the descending elevator at Condé Nast, one editor mentioned he was ready for a martini. Me too, I thought--but I would have mine at home.

I was exhausted, and furthermore, I knew Jeff Jarvis (click), was expecting our notes from CUNY's New Business Models for News conference. They called this forum a Hyper Camp, which I just love because it reminds me of Mike Myer's hyper-hypo, one of the great SNL skits of all time.

In all honesty, I don't think my notes from my short (is there any other kind?) stay at Hyper Camp need to be that extensive, because if you're really that interested, you were probably reading the tweets of everyone that was thumb-dancing on their blackberries around me while I took notes--in my notebook. I'm tempted to just scan them in, as we did my notes from Cynthia Rowley's Spring 2010 show(click), but's what I thought was interesting from the Hyper Camp (I love it!) meeting about Community Engagement and Marketing--from my notes in my notebook. I'll make bullets, in case anyone's averse to paragraphs.

  • Mary Ann Giordano (click) said Brian Stelter (click) told her it takes a year for a blogger to build an audience, and that they have to be their own marketers.

  • Debbie Galant, who founded Baristanet (click) said everyone in her family learned to blow up balloons in the early days of building her business--there's a specific helium proportion she recommends for longevity. You could email her for that. She also talked about the importance of readers' tips, citing the example of Baristanet's reporting a Monday night microburst, which is actually like a small tornado, even though it sounds like a meteorological event invented for Hyper Camp.

  • Soraya Darabi (click), who manages online social media for The New York Times, told the bloggers on the panel to go where their audiences are (meaning websites they frequent), start a conversation, and if it doesn't catch, move on. Seems like good advice in general, no? (Darabi, btw, looks like she's probably had a fair deal of practice playing hard to get--for someone who specializes in virtual presence, she's rather striking in person.)

  • David Cohn of (click) called himself a "relentless self-marketer." Next to that I wrote, that's just hustle. Nothing new there. He also said the transparency of his website's reporting made it appeal to civically minded people, that it takes a year for an audience to respond to you and trust you, and that it doesn't require a budget, it just requires sweat.

  • Tina Kelley (click), of the Maplewood branch of The New York Times' Local Blog (which lots of CUNY students--click, click, click, contribute to), pointed out the problematic nature of covering contraversy in her own neighborhood. Debbie summed that up nicely, citing the motto of the Lake Wobegon Herald: "We have to live here too."
I might be dealing with a little of that myself.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

more fall colors...

Just cause I'm busy doing research doesn't mean I'm not cruising for babes at the bus stop. Check out my latest style shot at Dossier. (click).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

terrific day at dossier, and also in L.A.

This is why I love Dossier. It's an outrageously gorgeous day at the style site (click), and the front page pointed me to a website called My Parents Were Awesome (click), which inspired me to dig up this photo of my mom, who is still awesome, holding my older sister, who arrived in L.A. today from her home in Australia. (click.)

Welcome back, Sar!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

objects in mirror...

...are closer than they appear!

Guess who's en route for her first visit to the USA!! The Brown babes--my sister and nieces, will stop in L.A. and St. Louis first, but be warned, in a few short weeks Maizie (click) and Bella (click) are about to take over this blog and the tri-state area.

They're never gonna get that kangaroo past customs.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


There's a new post on the Sartorialist's Dilemma, the remnant of a restorative weekend: click. Come take a meander with me there, and please leave comments (click) behind like little bread crumbs, so I know you stopped by.

Kate said she was so impressed (I think that was her nice way of saying surprised) that I left the suede jacket behind. Restoration, Kate, is all about letting go. And let's be honest, it will probably still be there when I go back next week.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

hey mickey

Just a quick shout-out to Mickey Legg, whose email I only just discovered in my spam box.

photo compliments of Mickey Legg

Mickey was helping his friend Henry celebrate his 13th birthday at the No Age performance I wrote about for Vanity Fair's website (click). I could see over his shoulder that he was taking some sweet photos, and asked if he could send me one or two. And he did, in such a timely manner, but alas, it was lost in the evil spam box.

So, I just wanted to share this shot with you, of No Age playing their live soundtrack beneath a screening of The Bear, and say thank you, Mickey for sending it.

nyc autumn, as seen by iphone

I got to the Upper West Side a few minutes before my meeting this morning , and got to walk along the edge of the park. Let's go...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

dreaming of

Hi dolls. This is the part of the semester where I sign off from the rest of my life until Thanksgiving.

Jules de Balincourt – Not Yet Titled (2007) Courtesy of Zack Feuer Gallery

Not Yet Titled, by Jules de Balincourt, courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery

But first, I did get to talk with Jules de Balincourt at the preview of a completely awesome exhibit that no contemporary art lover in NYC should miss: click. I've been curious about Monsieur de Balincourt since I saw this epic painting at the Brooklyn Museum. I wrote a bit more for Dossier...(click).

Au revoir for now. I'll be waiting behind the waterfall for the semester to end.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ghosts of halloweens past

Taking it back to Santa Barbara: Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. There's a plant winding up the legs of my bell bottoms, but that's nowhere near as incredible as Colin's page.

Jono one-upping my Robert Plant in New Zealand, where Gary Anderson's birthday party (click) has usurped Halloween as the country's main occasion for dressing up.

Will the real Karl Lagerfeld please stand up? Not to brag, but I threw this together in a matter of minutes. Was even better when Jesse asked if I was some sort of "Nazi accountant from the future."

Looks like real produce, right?

It's actually Carmen Miranda's headdress. Moose is a taco, and I especially like the stunned bunch of grapes in the background.

I think Mike D. may have actually been working on alternative energy strategies when he wore this one.

Speaking of energy, there's Edward Scissorhands (click) with the Energizer Bunny.

But the best bunny in show goes to Bella Rabbit.

Happy Halloween! Is it too soon to start on the candy?