There's a lot of good stuff in this magazine!

I was psyched when editor Carolyn Worthington of Healthy Aging magazine asked my to write the spring fashion feature for her magazine.  It would feature the Carlisle, Per Se and Per Se White Label collections that I work with every day.  These clothes marry well with my favorite theme, travel + style. It's fashion easy to love. The biggest problem my clients are having this season? Deciding what not to buy.

What I didn't anticipate was how much I was going to enjoy the rest of the magazine once it was published.  First, Sheryl Crow is on the cover.  I'm a fan.  Then there's an article on castles including the one in Downton Abby. I'm a ridiculous fan.  There's an article about a couple who reinvented themselves, horsey style.  Plus lots of food, wine and recipes and, oh, something on tai chi...

Check out Healthy Aging here.

Summer in the Showroom

Hi There,

I thought I'd show you some terrific dresses from Carlisle / per se's summer collection.  This season my clients will receive $200 off on a purchase of three or more pieces.  I'm always interested in having groups of women up to the showroom to see what kind of spectacular service we provide and to taste how much fun shopping privately with friends can be. If you'd like to collaborate on a small event, please get in touch with me–wine, mimosas, appetizers and fashion–could be fun!

Now for some dresses–easy, breezy–one piece + jewelry = your done, dressed and fab!

Wrap it up!



A Little Audry

My Favorite!

Can you hear the drum beat?!


Easter Parade!

Summer Carlisle / per se

In my introduction about the Carlisle / per se spring lines I talked about how impressed I was with the clothes, the fabrication and workmanship, awesome! The "Summer" collections are cool and I'd love for friends and clients to come up to the Showroom and see these breezy pieces and find out what shopping there is all about. Below explains how the Greenwich Carlisle / per se Showroom shopping is different from "in home" shopping and store shopping.

Sizes: The Showroom has multiple sizes available in each piece. Granted, if you are shopping late in the season your size might be sold out. (Sizes run 0-18)

No Delayed Gratification: You like it, you buy it, you take it!

Fit: A really good seamstress is on premise to make things fit your body perfectly AND that service is free of charge!

Fast Fashion: I can have a dressing room set up and ready for you in advance. We'll talk about what you're after and I'll have sizes and styles ready for you to try on the minute you walk in the door.

Door to Door: Carlisle delivers pieces that stayed behind for tailoring to your door (or porch, or patio)!

House Calls: I can pull things from the Showroom in your size and drop them by your house to try. You drop the "no goes" back at my house. OR we can have an "in home" styling session–different, more fun, a little more money.

Styling: Here's the best part... I've been a fashion stylist for years. I've dressed celebrities, politicians, homemakers, talk show hosts and rock stars; everyone from Cindy Crawford to Whitney Houston to Midori to Natalie Merchant to Guns and Roses. I've dressed models for beauty advertising, editorial and lifestyle shoots. I'm very plain speaking and I know what looks good and what doesn't! You can take or leave my advice, but I WILL give it to you and as long as we're at the Showroom, it's free!

Regret Not!: If something just isn't working for you (and you should love it to keep it), you can return it to the Showroom–no questions, no explanations, money back.

The Skinny on Price: Bargain shopping, it's not. There are no wracks, bins or stacks to sift through. You are not a stock girl. Rather, it's a bit like shopping at a salon depicted in an old movie (but the sales girl isn't trying to steal your husband). Again, the fabrics are from mills in Italy and France. The same ones used by Oscar, Donna and Chanel and the pieces are "built" in Hong Kong. Soooo it's "investing" in fine wardrobe pieces. Dresses, jackets/coats are $450 to $700, skirts and pants about $300, tops $150 to $250.

So I'll call you or you call me (or email) and lets set a date for you to come shop or just check it out. For a quick look-see, links are below, but remember, this isn't everything!

To those of you who have already shopped with me, come see and feel "summer," and please spread the word about your experience.
To those of you finding out about Carlisle / per se for the first time, welcome!

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!

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!

Style Tour, Next Stop, Falco New York City

If you can’t make it to Italy, but can manage to get to lower Lafayette Street in Manhattan, stop by Lafco New York. This beautiful fragrance and luxury “smells” store houses Santa Maria Novella products from Florence.

This is one of (if not) the oldest fragrance (pharmacy) “brand” in the world. Founded by Dominican friars in the early part of the 13th century, the pharmacy began by producing medicines, balms and pomades from herbs grown in the monastic gardens. Eventually word got out about the exceptional quality of the products these friars were producing and happily in 1612, the pharmacy opened to the public.

Today Santa Maria Novella products are distributed worldwide, but selectively so the brand has maintained its pedigree and artistry. There is a fascinating and rich history behind the products and I am barely skimming the surface here. The store on Lafayette has a natural earthy palette with some industrial design influences. It is incredible inviting, almost like walking into a prayerful oasis of lotions and potions.

The Novella products are reminiscent of the Renaissance both in packaging and fragrance–they aren’t fussy or convoluted, rather they incorporate simple herbs and flowers used now and throughout the ages–verbena, magnolia, orange blossom. The other Fafco products are also worth the trip through the huge ironwork doors of the shop, a fitting entrance for this big step from city street to “friars pharmacy.”

If you find yourself in Florence do make the effort to visit the original Farmaceutica de Santa Maria Novell. (Describing that will take another blog post and words along can not do it justice!)

Below: The Pharmacy's neo Gothic main salesroom, Florence, Italy
Photos below and above center: Scott S. Warren from the article "Heaven Scent" at by Mishal Husain
Photo right: Gals on the Style Tour, Falco New York

Style Tour, Nolita NYC

On Friday I had the pleasure of leading a Style Tour through New York City’s Nolita neighborhood. For those of you who don’t know Nolita, it means north of little Italy. It’s an ultra groovy downtown neighborhood chock full of trendy boutiques, quaint eateries and hip pedestrians. The Style Tour was my brainchild and my objective for it was twofold: 1) I wanted to find another way to combine my styling with travel and 2) I wanted to help out the Pelham Art Center with a silent auction item.

Seven women joined the Style Tour, all with a love of fashion and frivolity and in need of a day off. I was expecting it to feel at least a little like work, but honestly I felt like I was shopping with my best friends. Between about 10 and 2 we hit 6 places (including Italian espresso bar La Colombe). I had done some recon work and my chosen boutiques were ready for us! A few stores gifted us with goody bags and others offered welcome discounts to our little group. The weather more than cooperated, so much so that our lunch spot, Delicatessen, swung its doors open creating a street café to see and be seen.

Our first stop was at custom jeans boutique True Boutique. Here, you can find a pair of jeans to your specs (sizes range from 0 to 16) and that fit your…A…challenging parts! AND then the on-site stylist/tailor will alter them for you right there in the shop. We circled back past the store just one hour later and ba-bam, jeans done!

Check back with me in the next few days for a blow by blow of where we went from there.

Paul Frank - Going Back to Cali

When I was about 14 I had a yellow cruiser. This is a low speed, high style bike. Meant for cruising a beach boardwalk, the bike's fat comfortable seat and easy-to-reach handle bars give you a mellow, lay back ride. Walking into The Paul Frank Store in Nolita, NYC brought me back to my cruiser days. It was weird to be in this store on Mulberry street because I associate the brand with all that is California. The label began in a garage in Huntington Beach, CA, very near Irvine, where I grew up. Paul Frank's poppy graphics just make you want to hang five or ten; toes over skateboard, or surfboard, or how about fingers around a La Sirena taco or margarita! The designs are for all ages, although tweens and teens probably feel a little more at ease sporting that silly (but cool) monkey.

I'm planning a Style Tour to Nolita in early spring and I may try to fit The Paul Frank Store into our itinerary. It will still be cold and it might be a great way to dive into sunny California (if even for a moment)!

Can you tell I'm already tired of winter...?

Momma’s Got a Brand New Vest!

Actually it’s not really new. I bought it in Verona, Italy this past October and I’ve been wearing it to death, but its not dying, in fact this little faux fur friend is staying in shape and in style.

Most of my travel colleagues where taking the prerequisite visit to Juliet’s balcony which can be found in Verona. I had already seen it, twice! So I opted to drop into Upim the Italian equivalent of Target, without so many house wares, and more fashionable fashion. That is where I grabbed my favorite fall addition that goes with everything!

We’ve had a cold snap here and the vest works well under most of my coats. Ranging from shades of cream to dark brown, it goes with brown, grey, black, tan, light pink and today I wore it with bright red cords and a charcoal turtleneck. It reminds me of Italian street chic and makes smile.

Upim (Unico Prezzo Italiano Milano) is an Italian institution with well over 300 stores. Founded in 1928 it is partly franchise owned and only exists in Italy. I had about fifteen minutes to shop and managed to get the vest, a grey knit poncho/shrug for a friend, and some batteries. The store in Verona, just around the corner from Juliet’s balcony, is cleanly designed. One a quick look on the ground floor and I instantly knew where “my stuff” could be found and I moved in for the kill. And the kill wasn’t too costly, so it didn’t “kill” me!

To me going to Italy without going to Upim, is like going to Italy without eating gelato!

Padova, known as the city of frescos, but check out the Ghetto

Between Venezia and Vicenza lies the university town of Padova. From science to art, Galileo to Giotto, Padova says to visitors, "I am smart, accomplished, artistic and civilized. Look at me." One becomes dizzy trying to fathom the art, science and culture that this city has harbored over several centuries.

What to do: No visit would be complete without a seeing The Basilica of St. Anthony, but that is an entire discussion for another post.

A smaller less "important" destination attracted me, the former Ghetto. Via S. Martino e Solferino marks the center of the Ghetto. Beginning in the 14th century Jews established a neighborhood in this area of the city. Then in the 17th century 4 doors quite purposefully segregated them from the rest of the populous.

Obviously space in the Ghetto was at a premium, causing many homes to grow up
instead of out. Today the neighborhood is cozy and welcoming. Lanterns oozing a golden glow and narrow pathways, invite tourists, friends and neighbors to linger. Much like New York City's lower-east-side Jewish neighborhoods, the Ghetto has gentrified, groove-i-fied really. It's all chic house-ware stores, shoe stores, local fashion boutiques, and funky bars and restaurants. So if given the time what you might do, is shop!

What to eat: We stopped at Bar Corte Sconta on Via Dell'Arco. This was a small bar open to the street serving up assorted crostini, including a local favorite of baccala, or cod. Swigging Soave, a personal favorite (imported from just miles away), we journalist welcomed a chance to just hang.

Where to stay: Hotel Majestic Toscanelli. I ducked in to this hotel to grab a brochure. Attracted to the facade and the location, it looked like a nice, reasonable four star–but I can't recommend it beyond that.

More on Padova, the Basilica, and an outstanding lunch next.

A Stylist and Her Backup - How to provide good clients great service

There are several ways I shop when styling a client. Often it is on my own or with an assistant. I usually purchase the clothes and bring them to the client for a fitting. The fitting could take place at their home, a photo studio, or a hotel. I have a long standing relationship with Studio Service at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and over the years I've done many fittings through this department.

Today I took a chance on Nordstrom. I called the Store Manager, Tracie Bolton at the Westchester Nordstom at the very last minute to ask for a VIP dressing room. She provided me with a very nice room within a half hour of my call, by the time we walked in the store they were ready for us. A large dressing room, with bottled water and security (to dump our pocketbooks) was at my disposal. My client was pleased. Clients are paying for my knowledge and expertise (mostly), but that's not all, it's critical that the store provides excellent service and plenty of wardrobe options as well–the store is my backup. I premeditate where I shop for clients and I am especially careful about where I take them if they choose to shop with me.

Nordstrom graciously and efficiently helped us. We went from department to department and were able to "pull merch." and bring everything back to the one dressing room. They sent shoes I requested up to the dressing room to build on an outfit. The tailor arrived immediately. We were offered additional beverages. And when it was time to make purchases, we were in a rush and they hustled. All these niceties make a difference.

My client purchased enough pieces to create between 10 and 15 fall outfits (in two and half hours). I wanted to push her towards all those rich carmel colors of this season; browns, creams, oatmeal, camel... I don't think she bought one thing in black! She got a fun, bright top and gold flats that she's wearing with awesome fitting jeans to a party Saturday in Manhattan. A little leopard silk blouse went beautifully with brown slacks or velvety cords, and a long cozy oatmeal sweater. We got the hook-up from Lafayette 148 in the way of an burnt orange Loro Piana short blazer with patch pockets. This went great with brown pants and cream tops...

And I could go on, but stylist, shrink and hair dresser...must keep clients/friends secrets!

A Blouse of a Different Color

Last night I was at a dinner party and the same blouse I was wearing came into to the room on a very attractive blond. We both graciously complimented each other, laughed a little and then segued into pre-dinner conversation over wine, spreads and nuts... It was a lovely evening made particularly special by hosts that obviously enjoy entertaining and are good at it!

Sarah and I were wearing a J. Crew ruffle blouse. The funny thing was I decided to wear it because I had run into our hostess, Christie, at J. Crew and later received an invitation from her to dinner. I figured since J. Crew prompted the invite, I should wear the top. Maybe Christie had run into Sarah at J. Crew too? Anyway, as I was making my purchases that day, I was asking myself, "Is it a mistake to buy from this brand?" After several years they've re-entered my lexicon. I've been liking their catalog and ads and I had seen a couple pieces in client's closets that I've liked. BUT the stores are everywhere and while they push the envelope on color choices (Sarah's blouse was black, mine is cream) in various styles, their designs are safe with broad appeal. It's mass, in a good way, but still, lots of the same stock to a broad customer base.

J. Crew stands out in their styling. They make relatively standard designs look great in the way they put the merch. together. I've made a long time career out of styling so I understand its magic. The trouble is, a nice ruffle, silk, sleeveless blouse, worn differently, by a blond or brunette, is still the same blouse at the same dinner party.

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

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.

Robin's Ribbon

At a Memorial Day party this weekend I was loving Robin's red and white ribbon. She wrapped it around her waist over a plain navy T and white a-line linen skirt. A floppy navy hat topped off the look. It was simple, patriotic and chic. The ribbon itself was medium width, sort of floppy and not overly perfect, which made the look even more charming.

I've also seen a plain black silk ribbon used to make a necklace out of a silver charm bracelet. Or try light pink or light blue ribbon with a gold bracelet, shown here.
Another girlfriend, Melissa, sported a red ribbon watchband this weekend. Apparently the watch came with interchangeable ribbons. She mentioned she got it at Gracious Living Design Studio, Pelham, NY. I thought it would be a fun idea to make your own band, perhaps using a vintage watch. Stick with more sophisticated colors, for me, no poka dots or green and pink stripes, bit too "Babs," if you know what I mean.

Always on the look out for creative and unexpected ways to enjoy girly things, like ribbons...

45 to 54, Buying Fashion, Online

There is a great article in the style section of the Wall Street Journal today by Christina Binkley, The Forgotten Market Online: Older Women. According to Binkley most online clothing shoppers are women over 35 but fashion sites seem to be targeting a younger age group. Binkley sites StyleCaster amongst others. If I were to poll my friends and clients, I'm almost certain they would agree that some fashion websites and blogs do make them feel like they are crossing a velvet rope, stepping into a night club resonating with house music, when they'd rather be having a quiet cocktail at The King Cole Bar, NYC.

I think Nordstrom does a nice job of catering to older women who shop online, but really, can we just stop saying "older women." I like, stylish women with purchasing power, access, knowledge and confidence. My clients have all been over 35. They are mostly crunched for time, but they usually enjoy shopping and that is why "environmental" department store sites–sites that make you feel as if you are in the store or a spectator at a runway show, sometimes work well for them.

It helps, no, it's critical, to know just what you're after, before shopping online. That is something my clients discover though the styling service I offer at MyStylist. I also shop with clients as many stylists do. Once armed with a good list of purchases to optimize their wardrobe, clients may rely on a personal shopping service provided by a store or a good and honest friend. BUT, be wary of a "good friend." They are either good and not too honest, or they are honest and not too good! I really think it is best to higher an honest professional.


At my sons baseball game yesterday a fellow mom asked me about my spring break vacation. I told her we were in the Hamptons and she asked me which Hampton I would recommend she go to with her family to relax and hangout. Without hesitation, I said Bridgehampton. First off, it seemed really manageable, a little stretch of interesting shops and classic restaurants right on Montauk Hwy.

Two places in particular captured our attention. Marders on Snake Hollow Road and Maison 24. Marders' address alone describes this enchanting gardener's paradise. The structure is an old
tobacco barn moved to the site years ago. The grounds are extensive and beautiful. Even if gardening isn't your thing, you can't help but appreciate the abundance of cool/useful/romantic stuff at this store!

Maison 24 has captured an unexpected niche out here.
Antique stores,and traditional interiors seem to dominate domain stores in the Hamptons and Maison 24 is groovy down. It reminded us of our good friends Brigitte and Andre
of flowmoderndesign in LA. An unexpected and welcome surprise in the Hamptons, Maison 24 was also fun for the kids to poke around in and the owners were open and friendly.

Travel and Styling Gear: In Search Of A Stylish Backpack

For styling or for travel it's always great to have both hands free and the weight of your gear evenly distributed on your back. That's why trekkers, travelers, stylists, students and pretty much everyone, loves a good backpack. But a stylish one is hard to find. I ran across Stella McCartney's collection for LeSportsac and I like the backpacks and carry-on bags especially. With names like, City and Convertible Rucksack in colors like, Bark, Moss, Night and Stone, these bags will mix well with almost anything you're wearing and their gold details lend panache to what otherwise might be ordinary. I like the Canteen Bag too–a cute block shaped bag with great dimension, but we were talking backpacks.

Psst: I saw these bags on GiltGroup a designer sale site just the other day...
And they seem to be on sale at LeSportsac's site too.

Fun In The Orchard

Yesterday we found ourselves on Orchard Street, NYC. The street has changed immensely since I bought my first interview suit there in 1983. Then it was mostly a jewish neighborhood lined with good quality sensible clothing shops. Now it's the new Nolita. If you're a New Yorker, you'll remember that Nolita was the new Soho. Anyway, the six of us, my girlfriend and I with four kids between us, two nine year old boys on skateboards and tweener girls glued at the hips, went to the Tenement Museum.

The kids grumbled a lot about the destination–too much like a school field trip, but once our tour got started they were totally engaged. The museum, simply put, is a tenement apartment building, but it's changed little since the 1860's when it was built. We learned that four families lived in identical apartments on each floor of this five story building sharing four outhouses and one water pump out back. The intricate scroll work and moldings in the building were unexpected, but the dark, musty quality of the spaces was what you might imagine. We heard a recording of a woman who lived there during the Depression. Our tour-guide told us a dickensian story about one family living there during the 1870's. A fascinating account of the time and all documented.

I've got to go back to the area sans kids to explore more fully, but we did manage to pop into one store worth a look-see, a haberdashery called Freemans Sporting Club. There is a classic barber shop in the back of the store right out of the movie, The Sting. Suits are made to measure using vintage fabrics, the workmanship, impeccable.
The Blue Moon Hotel at 100 Orchard looks interesting and has reasonable rates. Imagine staying there, strolling to the corner cafe for a latte and chocolate croissant, visiting the Tenement Museum, popping into any one of the hip looking stores and galleries neighboring to the museum, and then rounding out the day with dim sum in Chinatown. Without the hotel stay, that's just about what we did. A great day in the Orchard.