Go Get Arty


Gallery hop NoHo, lower east side–After fuel at La Colombe walk down Mott street to Broom Street and view the Esther Rosa installation at S Artspace Gallery.       Ms. Rosa has done a series of calming abstract paintings that are layered, organic in feeling and materials and decorator friendly, in that they'll work in most any room.  I'm sure that's not the reason to buy art (and most artists would sniff at me for saying so), but it's always something that comes to my mind, "Can I live with this? Will it work in my living room? Will I always love it?"  

Rosa's large sculpture made entirely from coffee filters, all dyed to varying degrees using coffee, and of several different sizes, is weird, wonderful and completely unexpected!  This was what I wanted my friends to see.  I think it is a daring piece to host and bodes well for creative happenings we can anticipate from this gallery.    

Gallery owners Elizabeth Rosso and Catherine Testorf make the art, the space, the experience that much more inviting with their enthusiasm for this particular artists and the others they have, and will be showing.  

Side note: At another gallery (un-named here) we practically had to use a cattle prod to get the gal to tell us about what we were seeing...

Walk east to Woodward Art and check out "DETAIL."  It's no surprise that I loved Susan Breen's  little cut-out painter's palette dresses, charming.  In fact, it seemed this show had a little something for each of us to relate to and appreciate and want!

Question: When did Orchard Street become gallery land? I bought my first business suit there from a Hasid who knew about fit and sensible style.  In the late 80s I cut the skirt too short, but the slim jacket, a woven tweed, looks like one from Ralph Lauren's fall collection. Ha!     


Friday at the MET

I think the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC) would be on my top ten list of places I like to be. It's an art feast and I am eating it up! Often, especially on cold, winter (even though it's March) days, I want to ditch New York and go back to Cali. But a half day looking at what mere humans are able to create, is incredibly satisfying, inspiring and uplifting.  I leave the MET saying, I love New York and I'm not even in a Woody Allen film.   

James Tissot, The Shop Girl

Today I saw Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity.  The name alone tells you why I wanted to go!  It was a fabulous collection of mostly full body portraits by celebrated impressionist. Many of the painting were from the d'Orsay, so it felt like a museum visit in Paris. 

There was mention that the impressionists were enamored of their own era. Thereby paining, what we would call today, lifestyle pictures, paintings rich in detail and expression of everyday life. A curious thought. Am I enamored of the era I'm living in?  Perhaps I am, yes and no... 

Tissot's works were my favorite.  Surprising, because he was the least impressionistic. 

A silly take away; I need more stripes in my wardrobe! 


My girlfriend and I followed up our pretend Paris visit with paninis and Champaign at Sant Ambroeus.  I had an answer to my earlier musing... Yes, at this place, I am enamored with my own era!  The impressionists would have captured a buzzing, delicious, sophisticated, fashionable moment in my very own time!   

My Fair Gent

A few weeks ago I roped my friend LB (you don't really have to rope her though, she's up for almost anything) into to seeing an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.  I knew I would enjoy the exhibit, Cecil Beaton, the New York Years, but I didn't know what to expect from the museum.  It's a beautiful landmark building undergoing an $85 million expansion on 103rd street, a gem.  The Beaton exhibit is big enough to spend time at each photo and illustration, reading about the fabulous life of this accomplished, photographer/designer, but not too big that you just can't take it all in.

I think most of us know that Beaton was the designer behind the costumes in both the movie and stage version of My Fair Lady.  He started his career in fashion photography for all the big New York mags, chronicling the most popular designers of the 30s, Mainbocher, Schiaparelli.  His shots were very theatrical and staged, a technique that is actually getting more popular today.  Beaton then turned his focus toward design; interiors, costumes, sets.  He lived in and redesigned suites at posh New York City hotels, including the Pierre and the Sherry Netherland.

This exhibit flew in the face of all those well meaning career advisors that encourage creative people to pick just one thing, and do only that, and that is what I liked about it best!   Now through February 20th.

A Fashion Icon in Taos, NM, Really!

My Facebook Wall is a buzz with Liz comments, but tonight I'm inspired to write about another fashion icon. Not as flashy or famous as Liz, she preferred turquoise to diamonds. She was blond, a model, artist and serious collector. Her treasure was Indian blankets and Southwestern jewelry. I discovered her while in Taos, New Mexico. Her name? Millicent Rogers.

Sometimes it's a stretch to "find fashion" while traveling. I mean not every place is, well, fashionable and I've got to say; I was thinking that might be true of Taos. I was wrong. Millicent's brand of Park Avenue meets Pueblo is the original bohemian chic and it was in Taos that she developed this style. What's more an entire museum was founded to appreciate the Native American art she lived with, commissioned and collected.

The Millicent Rogers Museum is an easy "to do" on your list of cool places to check out while in Taos. One look at Rogers' jewelry collection will have you grabbing for arrant turquoise in your own jewelry stash and donning huaraches. Channel Millicent and add pearl earrings. Besides the ode to Millicent gallery, there is plenty of serious Northern New Mexican art, rich in colors and textures, to center your psyche in Taos valley.

And lets face it; the real treat of any museum is often the STORE! In our little group was Richard Kessler of the Kessler hotel group. He honed in on the estate pieces of R.C. Gorman, a notable and recognizable Southwestern artist. I particularly liked a square turquoise ring set in gold Kessler picked out. Gold with turquoise is a new combination to me and I like it!

Kessler's good taste and passion for art and design was also evident (lavishly so) at the El Monte Sagrado where I stayed. The challenge with a "destination" hotel, "experiential," to use one of Kessler's word, is to make it authentic, but not entirely so. El Monte Sagrado's "art direction" hit the right chord, just enough country Taos twang but with the luxuriousness of an orchestra back up. I liked it!

Switzerland, Day Trip, Vevey, Montreux

MyStylist Travel Advisory

Were To Go

Vevey! As I mentioned in my last blog, Vevey, Switzerland is an incredibly charming town to wonder round, especially in what is known as the “Old Village.” It is one hour from Geneva’s international airport, accessible by train and bus and perfect for an afternoon of shopping, cheese smelling and tasting or chocolate browsing and buying.

What to do

Ever on the look out for out-of-the-ordinary shops, I found two in the Old Village that should be part of any “fashion” day trip to Vevey. Un Air De Famille, Rue du Conseil 5, is a stylish vagabond’s paradise. The clothes are alternative; almost costume, modern and antique at the same time, touches of whimsy and flavors of “the homemade.” You don’t have to be a fashion hound to appreciate the merchandising. Anyone with a love for antiques or Victorian attics will loose themselves. Expect to discover designers: Myrine & Me, NOA NOA and Ewa iWalla–very cool.

Your next stop should be Balthazar, 32, rue du Lac. The store’s colorful, kid-like pop-art merchandise screams “Come and see!” Proprietor Valerie Jobin lives above the store. Her decidedly cheerful buying choices stand out on a street that sets a more serious fashion tone. It’s fun. Check it out.

What to wear

Considering you are right on the lake (Geneva), dress warmer than you might think. Avoid small pointy heals–cobblestones! And dress comfortably elegant–I threw on a wool shawl, grey cords and a big chunky necklace.

What to eat

See my last blog post for the place we picked. Both restaurant and chocolate shop, Poyet fulfilled my Swiss fantasy of relaxing in a cozy spot near Lake Geneva, coffee and cookie en route to mouth!

What else

This area, encompassing the Swiss towns of Montreux and Vevey, is called the Swiss Riviera for its microclimate. The vegetation is varied; palm trees, pines and pansies occupy the same space. A walking path along the lake connects Montreux and Vevey. Get on it, if even for a short stroll.

Note: Montreux Vevey Tourisme offers the Montreux Riviera Card, a discount card worth investigating.

This time of year the “Montreux Noel” is ringing Christmas bells! Considered the finest Christmas market in Switzerland, chalets erected along the quays and the Grand-Rue are enchantingly decorated to welcome visitors and make them swoon with Christmas nostalgia.

Fellow travel dude, Ramsey Quebein and I discover Vevey.
Follow Ramsey for daily travel tips on Twitter.

Part Two: Peace Pups Dogsledding

It was time to scooter and Tom was going first...

A word about the dog’s need to run: Ken explained that Siberian Huskies are northern transport dogs originally bread to pull sleds and have adapted to extremely cold temperatures. Their recall in not good. If they take off, they may not come back, “This is probably not the dog you’d want to have for a pet and leave the door open.” said Ken. All well and good, but this made me think that maybe we’d loose Tom and the dog and they’d both be hunting for food in the wilderness of Vermont in their own rendition of “Into the Wild.”

During our test drive of the scooters, we could tell that they were very sturdy and easy to handle (comforting). Ken rigged a dog to Tom’s scooter and to his and they were absolutely raring to go! At the same time, the other dogs went crazy barking and caring on; clearly they wanted to go too! Eager to take off, the dogs obeyed Ken’s command and off they went! As they scooted through a big open field, Tom looked liked he was perfectly at ease, sort of like taking his scooter to the commuter train each morning, but with a dog pulling!

Next it was Isabella’s and then my turn. We agreed that the scariest or most challenging part of dog scootering is the moment before the dog takes off. Managing the dog’s need for speed, its direction and actual pulling was easy enough and if you could relax into it, it was great fun. It was the getting ready to go that psyched us out a bit.

The carting is really cool too. Mainly because you can sit back and let Ken handle the dogs, no performance pressure! I was amazed at how far in front of the cart the dogs extend. The kids had only five dogs pulling and yet they seemed to be on a line extending at least eight yards ahead. Imagine those big time mushers with 16 dogs pulling the sled! The whole affair would be about a city block long!

This was indeed a once in a lifetime experience. Being around that many Huskies, learning about their habits and nature, seeing Ken’s expertise in handling the dogs and the gear, and finally having the dogs actually “transport” you, was really something special. Another great thing to do in Stowe, “on the shoulder.”

Dogsledding by Scooter and Cart!

For us Ken Haggett fit the description of the typical Vermonter. Tom told the kids over dinner the first night of our Stowe vacation that Vermont, “Prides itself on local stuff. It’s the land of the granolas–Birkenstocks seen here.” Every place has its stereotype and I was curious to see if this one would ring true. Ken was the closest we’d come. Not because of granola or Birkenstocks, but because he obviously had a passion for nature–you might call him a (Stowe) mountain man… He is the owner and operator of Peace Pups Dogsledding. With over 20 Siberian Huskies (they live in custom “doggie condos” on his property) for sledding, scootering and skijoring (that’s Nordic skiing with dog pulling), Ken offers an out of the ordinary outdoor adventure. Certainly, one my family had never been on!

Explaining why he started Peace Pups, Ken said, “The whole reason I got into this is to spend time with the dogs. Friends ask, ‘Are you going to get out and have any fun?’ Most runs are fun because I spend time with people and I’m out enjoying the dogs.”

The dogs are transported on the flatbed of Ken’s truck in custom crafted wood cages, worthy of furniture. He brought 20 Huskies for our scooter outing. Their beautiful white faces curiously watched the goings on of Ken and my family preparing for “the ride.” Meanwhile they were barking LOUDLY at other dogs passing by. Their cacophony of barking, and howling increased our adrenalin as the impending scooter ride drew nearer. In fact I was getting so nervous I considered not doing it and my 10 year old was getting darn right scared. Ken’s rule is that you must be at lease 12 to dog scooter. But younger kids can ride in the, fitted for dog mushing, carts.

It was time to scooter and Tom was going first.

(Now there's a cliff hanger...Mush On to my next post for the rest!)

Style Tour, Mulberry then Mott

We had three more stops to make on the Style Tour.

debut is a gallery like boutique designed to showcase fashion designers as artists. Curated by owner, Lisa Weiss, debut, feels like you've stepped into an art gallery in the West 20's. It was fun for the group to consider fashion as art. The pieces were more "project runway" than anything else we encountered on the Tour, a bit too artistic (and irreverent) for most of us, but there was an abstract print dress there that I'm still thinking about. By the way, abstract prints, on dresses and shirts where all over the fall runways.

Rebecca Taylor–always a favorite of mine. Welcoming store manager, China, helped the ladies try on several blouses, jackets and pants. The store felt like the day– sunny, fresh, relaxing and cheerful. Taylor was a designer I pulled from often when styling photo shoots for advertising and music industry jobs. Her stuff is eye-catching, wearable and surprisingly comfortable. Her dresses are classic/feminine with a hint of "high fashion." I like it all and several things looked great on the gals.

Lolita Jaca–If you need a little St Barth in your life dip into this store. The seven of us barely fit in this tiny island of a store, but that was the fun of it! They were having an awesome sale (besides extending a special discount to our little group). I couldn't resist a better-than-Pucci print blouse, that I'm just dying to break out for just the right occasion (after that I'll wear it a lot and whenever). If you love colorful prints, simple linen dresses and want to dream of an island vacation, go to this store!

Skiing With The Fam.

We spent the last several days in the Poconos skiing Shawnee Mountain. I’m sure most seasoned skier are not too impressed, thinking something like, “big woop, Cath,” but let me tell you it was a very doable mountain for beginning skiers, which my husband, daughter and son are. I’ve been wanting to write a story about skiing at a big, challenging, mega ski resort out west and how it caters to beginning skiers as well as intermediate/advanced, but that hasn’t materialized, so I did what most do when introducing their family to skiing–start small, low and slow–small mountain, low elevation (not steep), and go slow.

Shawnee is small, contained and easy to navigate. All ten lifts have beginner runs down. We didn’t try their ski school but it looked well organized, especially the Ski Wee program that is ranked nationally. The lessons I saw in progress while on the mountain looked skill building and uncrowned even though it was vacation week. The lodge is nothing fancy, central fireplace, Formica picnic bench tables, and typical fast food. We liked our onion

rings enough to fight over them, however. Always “watching” the ski funds, we brought our lunch the second and third day and I would recommend families do the same, perhaps augmenting their “basket” with some fried fair from the snack bar.

One very important tip: Get there early. The lifts open at 8am and at that time there are no lines to purchase tickets, rent equipment or get on lifts. You can get yourself situated with a locker (Although many people just left stuff on tables and shelves.) and there is plenty of room to put on those gosh darn Frankenstein boots! After 11am the lines looked insufferable.

Day Tripping from Cap Maison in St. Lucia

Now this sounds like a great vacation side trip, especially for a girlfriend’s getaway:

Wake up in a villa at Cap Maison in St. Lucia. Next, saunter down to the restaurant perched above the sea at the northern most tip of the island. Here, the Caribbean and Atlantic meet. Waves and dark coffee say, “Good morning.” Take Cap Maison’s motor yacht to Martinique. Arrive there about 9:30am for breakfast. Discover Fort de France as you shop Parisian style at the duty free boutiques (Chanel, Hermes) or “go native” and explore the local markets. Return to Cap Maison in time for an afternoon cocktail, poolside or on the beach, made with seasonal fresh fruit. Or, keep with the theme of the day and partake in the chef’s selection of French wine and cheeses. Take a nap, or perhaps read, back at the villa, again poolside. Yes. The villa comes with a pool…

Cap Maison reminds me of a combination of architecture you might find while cruising the Mediterranean­–a little bit of Morocco meets Greece. Throw in some Southern Spain, add a little Malta. However the overall flavor of the resort puts you in Mexico. This may sound hodge-podge, but it works. The buildings are stucco, stark white, and their edges curve and slope caressing the sky. They say lack of sun can make you depressed. I wonder if boxy shaped architecture puts you in a bad mood too. Cap Maison would be the antidote for both.

The resort opened last year in time to celebrate British Airway’s direct service to St. Lucia. Jet Blue now has non-stop service from JFK too. It was the dream child of the Goblat family who lives on premises and wanted to parlay their adjacent landholdings into, “…the best of all the resorts we (they) ever stayed at.” The resort is comprised of 22, one, two and three bedroom villas. There are 49 keys; so guests have the option of staying in a private, adjacent bedroom to one of the villas. It’s deluxe and pretty much everything you could want from a swank resort.

My sunshiny moments…

• Wading in the roof deck pool of “My Villa” with views of the resort in the foreground and the sea in the background.

• Taking a sunset cruise on the resort’s motor yacht. (They offer a “Stay and Sail” package­–cruise the Islands for three to four days and then stay at the resort.)

• Eating the homemade shortbread cookies delivered to my room upon arrival. They killed me.

• Bobbing in an ocean warmer than most pools. You could see your toes through the clear water and the beach cove setting reminded me of the make-out scene from, Here to Eternity.

• Sipping a passion fruit margarita that truly was the best I’ve ever had in my life. E-v-e-r.

• Dining…waves below, the soft, smooth taste of a lovely Chardonnay matching the smooth feeling of my skin post massage (Yes, they do have a spa.) And the food; we began with lobster consommé, then were presented with a Tapas plate of duck roulade and foie gras, but I can’t tell you about the last tasty morsel because I put my pen down to savor the food and the experience!

Close Encounter With A Saint

Prior to visiting The Basilica of Saint Anthony, known to the people of Padua as Il Santo (The Saint), two different friends on two different occasions told me of their emotional encounter with visiting "Saint Anthony." A good friend from my church in Pelham, NY told me that when he visited the Cathedral, he was moved to tears by the spectacle of believers praying on, and around Saint Anthony's tomb. He explained that written intentions and photographs are shoved in lattice work flanking the tomb. Even though he prepared me for the visual abundance of prayers, needs, intervention requests and devotions I would encounter, I was still humbled by the "crying out" of pilgrims quietly asking Il Santo for help. And I too, was moved to tears.

I saw a huge, muscular black man with palms and forehead touching the foot of Anthony's tomb, bowing in prayer. His stance of humility and devotion was moving... I saw countless pictures, especially of children, in the lattice work. Believers of every age and race were bringing their concerns to His alter. I was there in the evening just before closing. This turned out to be the best time to visit. I found this out a few days later when I returned at mid-day. Then, it was noisy, frenetic and busy with tourist. But my first encounter will be the one I will always remember. It doesn't take much for me to pray. I do it often. I was grateful to have the opportunity for some quite prayer and reflection in this semi-dark 13th century masterpiece of Roman and Gothic architecture.

Most Catholics will tell you that St. Anthony is who you go to to pray for lost things, either actual things, or lost hope, or faith. I am a Catholic, but raising my kids Episcopalian. This discussion is complicated and off topic for this blog. Visiting Il Santo did get me back to my Catholic roots. I relished the imposing grandeur and sumptuous artifacts filling the many sanctuaries of this Basilica, all dedicated to the glory of God.

What to Do:

Besides witnessing the faithful at Saint Anthony's tomb make sure you see The Chapel of the Relics (Treasury Chapel). My boy would have loved this. Here you'll find in a spectacular reliquary (a big opulent gold urn-type vessel) Saint Anthony's tongue! Above this is a reliquary of his jaw bone. Still another holds his voice box. Saint Anthony was known to preach with great fervor and learning. It is documented that he traveled thousands of kilometers preaching to tens of thousands of faithful. Perhaps it is fitting that these "vocal relics" remain in tact for both the faithful and curious to see.

If you feel called, visit the Blessings Chapel too. A Franciscan priest is available to bless visitor and pilgrims. It's a quiet, intiment chapel, not terribly intimidating and a blessing, said in Latin or Italian, can be good for the soul. Especially one that has been preoccupied by commitments of work or family.

What to Wear:

As with any Catholic Basilica the world over, do not wear shorts or no sleeves (I'm not sure if this applies to Saint Peter's in New York City, however). You may wear long pants and short sleeves. Dresses or skirts that are not too short are allowed. Many a faithful have been turned away from Cathedral doors by their attire, so consider what you are wearing before you go and dress respectfully.


"Lets visit a historical home!" My children head for the hills and ten times further. Before they had choices about what to do on vacation, I dragged them to many a golden-age mansion, and colonial era village. I love peeking into another age, the rich and famous of yesteryear. I'm sure my kids will appreciate it again someday soon (they better).

The Veneto region of Italy is chalk-full of villas open to the public. Yesterday on our way from Venice to Verona we visited Vill Pisani in Venezia. It has the distinction of being able to say, "Napoleon once slept here." No really, Bonaparte slept there, once, as in one time. He bought the Villa from the Pisani family, slept there once, and then gave it to his stepson. For the occasion of his slumber, he had a bed and bathroom specifically and grandly designed. The bathroom is of note because it is the only bathroom in the Villa of well over 100 rooms that has an en-suite bathroom, very progressive for the time. The bath itself is sunk into the floor.

I do think
the kids would have enjoyed this home. There is a grand garden with a maze that, no
kidding, you needed markers to navigate. At the very least, the kids could go crazy finding
their way out of the maze while Mom and Dad checked out the stable (Martha Stewart eat your heart out.) pictured right.

Just to update: Got my luggage, have a new BF, the editor of Travel Girl magazine, the weather is spec
tacular (This California girl loves that!) and I dined in a Veronese Villa last night (What don't some American men understand about "no jeans"). Check out the view from my window.

Coco avant Chanel

If you hurry, you can still see the Coco Before Chanel movie that was released about a week ago. My friend, Nora, planned an "indulgent afternoon" which included seeing the Coco movie at the Paris Theater, located next door to Bergdorfs in The City (NY). We lunched at BG, Bergdorf's cafe. Central Park views, Hollywood meets Paris interiors (courtesy of Kelly Wearstler) were in keeping with our themes for the day–indulgent, fun and stylish.

The movie was beautifully shot, subtle and detailed. Of course, I've been thinking about Chanel designs since and how one might incorporate them into your wardrobe right now. I found this ad for White House, Black Market and I think is definitely is a doable Chanel solution.

Of course there is always the real thing... Thank you Karl. Minus the weird black and white eye makeup and Elizabethan collars (plus several thousand dollars) it might be a "timeless" addition to ones wardrobe...I'm not sure Coco would entirely embrace Karl's designs, however. According to the movie, she was a "no frills" gal.

Photos: White House/Black Market Advertisement, Harper's Bazaar, Runway Report, Special Issue

America, The Beautiful...Interiors

MyStylist Travel Advisory

Where to go:

The "new" American Wing Of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC opened this past spring. See the period rooms, twenty in all, and the reconfigured Charles Engelhard Court. The Court has long been a favorite take-a-break spot for museum goers. Now, housing a sleek/simple Cafe and plenty of lovely places to sit and "appreciate sculpture," it's even chic.

What to do:

Take the new glass elevator to the third floor. The first room, with low beamed ceilings and a tiny curtained 4-poster bed, is just what you might expect from the 1680's. Work your way down to the first floor meandering through the next couple hundred years. End up in an early Frank Lloyd Wright Room, 1912.
Note: The new touch-screen kiosks are really cool.

What to wear:

It was expected to be a blustery (Whinnie The Pooh word) day. But I was too warm in a cashmere sweater. I have a favorite Paul Smith light-weight, fall, long-ish, blazer. The idea was to wear the sweater underneath the blazer, which provided no warmth. The museum is rather warm, I suspect they're economizing with regard to temperature regulation. Come winter, the museum might be a little cold. MyStylist says dress in layers. One more beneath my sweater, allowing me to peel off the sweater, would have helped (don't I know this already??).

Where to eat:

For sustenance, ease and convenience, The MET's Cafe is quite good. But check out all the dining options. Some, really give you a, "Aren't I cultured and fabulous," feeling.

Just one block from the museum on the southwest corner of Madison and 83rd street is Vosges Haut Chocolat. What better way to wind up your outing than with an exceptional piece of "designer" chocolate? "Travel the World through Chocolate" is the motto for this little jewel box of a store. (Well, the company actually.) One slender table provides an intimate place to indulge your taste buds in chocolate the likes of which you've probably never tasted before. Chocolate with curry or paprika, champagne, or chillies, ingredients culled from around the globe all served up in tiny truffles (or rather big bars!), yours for the tasting!

Fashion Week, Fashion Hour

It's fashion week in New York City. On Wednesday I was within viewing distance of the Bryant Park tents. I've had my fair share of runway shows; under the tents, in showrooms, the Puck Building even West-side parking lots. It's fun to partake in the hoopla. I remember once seeing a New York Public Library security guard refusing Anna Wintour access to a show. I was secretly pleased. Finally, someone next to me said, "You really ought to let her in, she's really important." I think Wintour was sort of embarrassed, she smiled sheepishly. The guard dropped the velvet rope, glowering at us all.

If you can't "do" the shows, let me recommend the ICP, International Center of Photography. Right now there is a stunningly curated Richard Avedon show that I would cautiously venture to say, is better fashion then anything you'll see under the tents. After quickly calculating that we'd still be able to make the 6pm train home, my daughter and I ducked in and were instantly caught up in a fashion-glamour moment (hour, really) of our very own making. The exhibit, Avendon Fashion 1944-2000 features some of his most famous and obscure fashion photos. Sadly, the show closes this Sunday, but there is a catalog/book, although that is never quite the same, is it?

Located on 6th and 43rd street, the ICP is a clean and convenient space, a very manageable museum, and I've chastised myself and my photographer husband for not being members! Our new years resolution, yes it is new years, we have kids, is to join!

Tuesday in the park, The High Line,

MyStylist–Travel Advisory

Where to go:
The High Line in New York City is a "repossessed" railway. Once above ground freight trains used the line to transport meat, agricultural goods and mail up and down the Lower West Side. Now, reinvented by a group of caring citizens, The High Line is a park oasis, a cultural groove way.

What to do:
Gaze, talk, lounge and stroll. Appreciate design. Love Manhattan.

What to bring:
1) Kids and friends of all ages. Truly, it is a confined above ground park space so kids can run. Taking a paramour would be fine too! 2) Your camera, to capture some extraordinary vantage points of urban loveliness. 3) Big reflective sunglasses, so you can check out the celebrities you'll see and still look like you don't care that you saw them. 4) On-line parking coupon

What to wear:
Comfortable shoes (No sneakers. Why, because I hate them.) My girlfriend had some black patin ballet flats with a little perforated wing tip design across the toe, cute. You're elevated, so wear an extra layer–soft sweater, wrap or urban sweatshirt. Also, New Yorkers do in fact wear colors, just not too many patterns. The High Line itself inspires subtle designs and natural fabrics. Braking this guideline, however, my son wore a Volcom sweatshirt that is anything but subtle.

Where to eat:
We grabbed a take-out Pastis breakfast, lunched at The Standard Grill.

Now that's a cool half-day in The City.

Promise Land, Really?

AT 429 Cranberry Hole Road in Amagansett, New York there is the Fish Farm, officially it's called Multi Aquaculture Systems. This place is the site of what was once known as the "promise land." We went there to poke around the farm, look at fish and peek into The Hamptons past.

According to Marie Valenti pictured above, the area was called the promise land because of the "promise" of employment after WWII. This part of
Long Island hosted a number of
government work projects providing employment as well as several fish factories. One still stands on the site. Extinct railroad tracks lead directly to it.

Apparently the Manhaden fish, the factory's harvest, which was so plentiful in the 40's was just about fished to extension. The Factory closed in 1955, but its rusty carcass still stands, giving visitors a picture of industry in the folds of seaside environs.

What's interesting about this fish factory is both the setting, a locations scout's cannery row, and its store
which has wares from Provence! I know, what does Provence pottery and pickles have to do with a fish farm? Why ask why? But I did, and the story is that a woman from Paris has gone into partnership with the purveyor's of the fish farm and they've opened this totally cool little French fish shop. The farm also has an extensive takeout menu including every manner of seafood (ever heard of clam bellies?), key lime tarts and chocolate souffle. You can eat there at outdoor tables overlooking the bay or to take it with you. Lobster rolls oceanside–a truly perfect (and stylish) combination.

As for the fish tanks, well they seemed really dark, dank, dingy and algae ridden. The fish probably are happy, or at least they don't know any better. I've no experience with fish farm culture, so I really can't comment. It was just really curious to me.

A Day Downtown, Toronto

On Friday I had the pleasure of interviewing Kimberley Newport Mimran, designer of Pink Tartan. Thankfully, the Canadian Tourist Board accommodated my request of getting an insider's point of view of Toronto. I wanted the insider to be fashion and travel savvy and a native of Ontario. Interviewing Kim exceeded my expectations and I'm so pleased to be able to share some of her practical advice on fashion, packing AND travel.

When asked what her favorite family day trip would be in Toronto, Kim didn't hesitate–the ROM. The Royal Ontario Museum was also a favorite of James and mine during our media tour. Situated downtown, close to some of Toronto's best shopping and restaurants, a trip to the ROM is like traveling the world through time in one afternoon.

A visit to the First Peoples Gallery brought James and me upclose to Chief Sitting Bull's feather war bonnet. We marveled at the enormous collection of work by the pioneer painter Paul Kane. His depiction of life amongst Canadian natives reminded me of the Hudson River School painters–grand, bucolic and Mohican!

A visit to the ROM would not be complete without a stroll through the Age of Dinosaurs. There are some jaw-dropping specimens in residence here, a 90 foot Barasaurs skeleton, that's the one with the long neck and tail, tiny head. Say hello to several duck-billed dinosaurs, hadrosaurs, from Alberta. The Age Of Mammals on the same level houses mammals who rapidly diversified following the extinction of dinosaurs. Here you'll find your woolly mammoth. Note: The gift store has a great stuffed woolly mammoth that James really wanted.

As with any grand museum, there was so much at the ROM that we didn't see. Fortunately for Kimberley Newport Mimran, she's lucky enough to visit again and again with her eight-year-old, Jaquiline. When they've had enough of world cultures at the ROM, a trip to Holts Cafe at Holt Renfrew is in order. There, mother and daughter rest their feet and partake in a tartine made from world-renowned Pollane bread that's flown in from Paris daily. Isn't that chic?

After a rest up, Mimran suggests a trip to Indigo, otherwise known as Chapters Indigo. Right on Bloor Street, Indigo is a great big bookstore for exploring, reading, buying a toy or a snack. It is a great "bribery stop" after too much time spent in mommy stores. Kim mentioned that her daughter has gotten the reading bug and that she, herself wasn't much of a reader at Jaquiline's age. As Kim discovers all the great childhood reading out there stores like Indigo are, in ways more fun then ever before. I'm sure Kim is still augmenting her design and photography book collection that she uses for inspiration as well!

So there you have it: Designer Kimberly Newport Minram's Toronto Pick:
A tartine at Holts Cafe
A book, music or toy at Indio

Check in with me next time for more travel and style advice from Kim.

Feed The Budgies...

Several tiny pricks coupled with a weightless vibration for a split second, on the tip of your fingers... It's a budgie and he's eating from your hand. Go to Morton National Wildlife Refuge off Noyack road in Sag Harbor. Be sure to get bird seed at Crommers Market to feed the budgies. The hike to the beach is a visual salad of grasses, sand, sea, sticks and trees. It's beautiful, a real nature moment, one I'll always remember.

James, our the mussel man, tried mussels at almost every restaurant we went to. He gave, Dockside Bar & Grill in Sag Harbor, a second place to Bobby Van's of Bridgehampton who won the mollusk contest. Dockside has a groovy/cool wharf vibe, that I thought was very stylish.
Bobby Van's, well, for those prices, you better taste and feel like you're a guest at the Hampton Classic. We liked it but be prepared, there is a lot of swagger, seeing and being

Signs of the day...

Bohemia in the Hamptons

Thursday's agenda had us feeding ducks and swans at East Hampton's, Duck Pond just off of David's Lane. I've never seen a swan run across the water and hydroplane to a landing. It mimics jet propulsion and landing to a tee. We delighted in this activity and it's free! There is bionafied knight buried in the neighboring graveyard. You can't miss his elaborate resting place, a must see for romantics of all ages.

Next stop was Srings General Store. Here, Jackson Pollock traded one of his paintings for food. We ordered up some fancy deli sandwiches and picnicked in the field next to the store. Be sure to walk down to the water just behind the picnic area. You'll capture a beautiful water-color view.

Pollock-Krasner House is just up the road from the Spring store and we did a quick photo op there. Later in the year there are tours of the house and barn where Pollock "splattered" his masterpieces.

After lunch we headed for Louse Point. I think Susan explained this sliver of land best, "The Atlantic Sea collides with the Long Island Sound and gives a wild home to Black Cormants, Box Turtles, Sea Plovers, Osprey and more. Not many people know about Louse Point and it almost feels like a throw-back to the Florida Keys."