Saturday, November 29, 2008

Neff Said

Garrett Neff. New Calvin spokeshunk. He'll catch pneumonia posing in those briefs on bus depots and phone kiosks all over Chelsea this winter.

Doesn't measure up to the Klein pantheon of yore...Mark, Sabato, Fimmel.
3 Months for the Price of 1

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A peach of a cobbler

One of the first shopkeepers I befriended in the city was Arty. Don't even know his last name, after bringing my scarps to his cobblery for 6 years. On Eighth (cuz I rarely stray from Eighth Avenue), between 22nd and 23rd.

This guy is the Hephaestus of heels. Brooklyn-born, he looks like Turtle from HBO's Entourage. Always attired in the latest hip-hoppery...designer sneaks, tees and plenty of bling...he's a mercurial, moody artiste who likes to have his ass kissed. His mostly-Russian crew...the double Yuris, JC and dad Dave (who started the business and makes regular cameos, reclaiming his much-deserved limelight) toil in a tiny, cluttered space from 8-8 every day except Sunday. And his fame is inversely proportioned to the size of the shop; he's all over Google, been covered in tons of fashion mags, and is a byword amongst shoe labels, models and intelligensia. Don't even try to put an order in during Fashion Week. NYC and Atlanta hi-end retailer Jeffrey's is a devotee.

Miraculously restored a pair of Luccese cowboy boots for me. Bags, belts, leather pants, Arty does it all, from minor repairs to complete reconstruction. Choos to Pradas to Blahniks to Louboutins.

A little on the pricey side, cash only, pretty girls get coffee and discounts. Tip: heel and toe taps will extend the life of your footwear indefinitely.

Arty's Shoe Service
243 8th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 255-1451
No website. No email. No kidding. The only recession-defiant biz on the block that's thriving in this economy.
Classic Cuban Cigars

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Red is the color of my true love's hair.

I fell for Jacob Blumer the instant I locked eyes on him, 2003. I walked into G Lounge on 19th for happy hour, not feeling particularly social or thirsty. I thought the circular feng shui of the bar might vaporize my morassic malaise. Jacob was bartending, handed me a Ketel One Cosmo and asked me if everything was OK. Those arms. That chest. Breathtaking baby-blues, and a smile that simultaneously conveys "wanna sleep with me-be my BFF-know the secret of the universe?"

Go see for yourself. Sometimes he's shirtless. Did I mention he's a Yale Drama grad? And we're engaged. So hands off. I already gave him the ring.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Orbitz Logo (200x50)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Your one-stop holiday shop

Rainbows and Triangles, one of the few boutique non-chains that has adorned 8th Avenue for 14 years. Chelsea's paper, plastic and porn capital. Fantabulous greeting cards for every occasion; some naughty, some nice, some both. Bleeding-edge music; club, ambient, pop, electronic, trance CDs...and a sweet listening station. Plus they take requests on the store PA. An ample book selection (bought the Wicked Grimmerie and Chris Ciccone's "Life With My Sister Madonna" best-seller here). Plenty of Sedaris and Coupland. Since 22nd & 6th's Barnes & Noble shut down, the only place to feed your need to read.

Some spicy toys and magazines in the back; a whole wing devoted to gym gear (jockstraps, sweats, muscle tees). There's even a rent-time Internet room. Wrapping paper, seasonal gifts, gags...they got it all.

I love this landmark; stop in and say hi to owner Steve (pictured). Every local resident should be supporting it, lest it go the way of Big Cup or Bendix. We don't need another Jamba Juice.

Not a New Yorker? Shop online.

Rainbows & Triangles
192 Eighth Avenue (at 20th Street)
New York, NY 10011

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Escape from New York

Just finished watching President-Elect Obama's victory speech on CNN. Thanks to my best buddy Todd, I truly feel a part of his historic campaign.

I'm ashamed to admit, during all my years in Manhattan, I never registered to vote. I opted out of this most basic of citizen rights, partly due to my cynicism regarding the Electoral College and its ability to override popular consensus. Plus we didn't really have any stellar options last time around.

My car, however, is still registered in Branford, CT. So my oldest friend, Todd A., convinced me to hop a train back to Connecticut, to add my one little voice to Obama's legion. I'm staying at his house in New Haven...5 am yesterday morning, I get the wake-up call: "We gotta be first in line at the polls, 6 am!" Groan. Brushed my teeth, threw a hat on, out the door. First stop, Edgewood School, New Haven. Crowds already. Familiar faces...old co-workers, teachers. Then off to Branford. I got turned away from the polls on Melrose Street...had to go directly to the Town Hall to fill out a bunch of papers, and only then could I vote for the president and vice-president; being an out-of-towner and new registrant, my ticket was restricted.

It was a really gorgeous morning. Walked around Branford Green. At Todd's insistence, popped into the 224 year-old Trinity Episcopal Church, to say a prayer for the future of the country. Bought some lottery tickets...good fortune seemed to be in the air. Regrettably, stopped off for breakfast at the Waiting Station...turns out the Hollandaise sauce on my Eggs Florentine was spoiled, so I suffered through food poisoning all day. In between runs to the bathroom, though, I witnessed this most sensational election unfold on television.

So a big thank-you to Todd. Go'Bama! Yes We Can!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thrilla Night

"Darkness falls across the land...the midnight hour is close at hand...and grisly ghosts from every tomb...are closing in to seal your doom..." I didn't even have to Google those lyrics to Mikey Jackson's Thriller...who could forget Vincent Price's priceless delivery? Or the video's reenactment at this year's Village Parade, here:

Yes, Groovy Ghoulies, as tradition dictates, Halloween once again possessed our square city that played host to a cavalcade of cuckoos, costumes and cacophony. Undaunted were the haunted Friday evening; clear weather had Autumn's snap but not its bite.

Lots of Palins and Jokers this year (aren't they one and the same?). The East Village Pyramid's every-Friday 1984 theme party held a Madonna-thon, Max Scott Events brought a Satyr's Ball to the Eagle, and Undead Fred Schneider led The B52s in a seismic set at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

So let's hear about YOUR weekend...