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WASHINGTON, DC (ALL OVER): THE BEST HOTEL

By Nora Zelevansky / March 26th, 2010

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[Something else in DC that I love: The White House veggie garden …]

Lately, our nation's capital has been setting a good example, in my humble opinion (which is apparently not shared by the scary fringe people sending threats to members of congress).  SHAME ON YOU!

I, for one, think D.C. has been doing quite well.  And not just because Andre was born there.  And not even just because of the health care bill.  But ALSO because they recently legalized gay marriage.

I just thought I'd share this cuteness: I keep getting emails from hotels and publicists about D.C. properties offering special gay marriage packages.  I know, I know.  It's just another way for the corrupt wedding industry to blah blah blah … but WHO CARES?  It's okay because it's nice and makes us smile and we need that now and then, don't we?

Anyway, Eldon Luxury Suites, for instance, is offering a special "Freedom to Marry" package.  (Is it just me or does the word "freedom" just make you choke up like a pathetic softy?)

I know that the Renaissance Mayflower is promoting that business too.

Anyway, all that established, I'll have to trust you all to hold down the fort for the next few weeks, as I'm off on a jaunt to India.

I'll be thinking of you, while there though, mais oui!  I mean, while here:

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Sigh.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): CRUMPLED TWENTY

By Nora Zelevansky / March 25th, 2010

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The Best Link Today:

Okay, so I know it has been a while since I did one of these "Crumpled Twenties" and I have been horribly remiss, as usual.

BUT I just couldn't let Mondette's post about design blog, My Right Brain, pass without acknowledgement.  This is like a great blog inside a great blog inside a great blog.  So lots to check out on all fronts!

xo – N.

PA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST COLORFUL & HAPPY-MAKING RETRO SCARF

By Nora Zelevansky / March 24th, 2010

SCARF

You all know I'm a scarf fiend.  I actually realized like six months ago that I needed to get a handle on myself.  I mean, how many scarves does one person need?

Um, a million, I guess.  Or a million and one, now that I was given the above Lilly Pulitzer scarf that I, of course, now can't live without.  I mean, I don't have another that's quite so bright and springy!  And it's so soft and light.  So soft and light, in fact, that I was willing to post the above heinous picture of myself (alllll nose, no neck) in order to feature it.

If you've never heard of Lilly Pulitzer and need a frame of reference, the iconic line is like the original Trina Turk.  You can just picture a cute little prepster in a 1960's shift dress, cardigan, oversized sunglasses and this scarf, right?

Personally, I debuted mine this weekend in Palm Springs, which is the perfect place.

And if you've never heard of Palm Springs and need a frame of reference, its like the original Palm Beach.

Groovy.

xo – N.

P.S. M. (who hopefully doesn't hate this pic of her too much cause I think it's cute) is wearing an adorable necklace by R.L.

LONDON (AND BEYOND): THE BEST LIGHT FLORAL SCENT FOR SUMMER

By Nora Zelevansky / March 22nd, 2010

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I admit it.  In middle school, I was the girl doused in gallons of Calyx by Prescriptives, making fun of the boys drowning in vats of Drakkar Noir.

What?  They don't teach little girls how to appropriately apply perfume.  And, anyway, even if they did, we'd clearly forget the "moderation" lesson by the time we hit the retirement home.  We all know that's when perfume overdosing rears its ugly head once again.

Sometimes, just the essence of a fragrance is best of all.  That's why I've been carrying Elemental Herbology's Flower Harmonising Mist (created in England).  Like Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist (which I also LOVE), it's actually meant to be a "Facial Tonic."  Basically, it's like a toner that you can spray on your face all day long to refresh.

But it also smells all rosy and amazing and summery and light.  It's the perfect minimal fragrance and makes your skin look all dewy.

Perfect for the upcoming warm weather months and eventually for the retirement home.

xo – N.

 

LA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST SPRINGY SKIRT

By Nora Zelevansky / March 19th, 2010

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Some people aren't good at math.  Others aren't good at life.  See, just like we each have a Waldoism (or great useless skill), we are also equally terrible at something.

My handicap?  I'm bad at skirts.  Yup.  That's a thing.  No matter what you people say.

I dunno.  Maybe it's because I'm high-waisted or because, well, whatever … I won't bore you with all the possible reasons for my failing.  The point is that when I see cute spring skirts like the above Heidi Merrick number, I'm not sure I can figure out how to make them look good.  But they inspire me to try.

Have I moved you to tears yet?  Or is there just something in your eye?

Happy weekend!

xo – N.

BROOKLYN (PARK SLOPE): THE BEST 5TH AVENUE BOUTIQUE (THAT’S ACTUALLY OFF 5TH, BUT ON THE WAY TO BERGEN BAGELS)

By Nora Zelevansky / March 18th, 2010

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On my never ending quest for the perfect leather bomber jacket earlier this year, I happened upon Eponymy in Brooklyn.

You all know I'm a huge Park Slope fan, but I do sometimes feel there are gaps in the 5th Avenue shopping situation by comparison to Smith Street and Atlantic Avenues.  (Of course, the street makes up for it with great food.)

It's cute and all, but a lot of the stores are sort of adorable, but a little … off?  I'm just saying, ain't no Consignment/Butter or Dear Fieldbinder.

But now Eponymy opened.  The store is super cute and the lines are legit (ranging from established to pretty indie).  And the salespeople are really nice and helpful.

Plus, it's only a half a block away from Bergen Bagels.  Salt bagel, salad and black & white cookie bliss. Sounds like a perfect combo to me.

You know what's not funny?  This post.  Somedays you got it.  Somedays you don't.

xo – N.

LA (THIRD ST): THE BEST NEW MENU ITEM

By Nora Zelevansky / March 17th, 2010

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In the interest of full disclosure, I did not eat the dumplings in the above picture.  Unfortunately, the actual gyoza in question met with an untimely demise (ahem) before I was able to snap a picture.  At Andre's suggestion, I found the existing jpeg that most resembled said dumplings.  Now, on with the show …

Okay, so, R.L., The Drewser and I arrived for dinner at Mishima, only to discover a new menu item: chicken and pork gyoza!  (I guess that's not such an impressive reveal, considering that I already including the above confession, but whatever.)

Anyway, as tends to be the case thanks to Mishima's many delicious sauces, the dumplings rocked.  And the waitress actually informed us that, as they only made it onto the menu today, we were the first people ever to try them.  Totally recommend!

Then, as we were leaving, they handed us a coupon for a free roll.  I guess that's a new thing too.  All good things!

xo – N.

LA (THIRD ST): THE BEST BROCCOLINI

By Nora Zelevansky / March 16th, 2010

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Living around the corner from a store like Joan's on Third can be dangerous.  (The same issue applies if you live near a Dean & Deluca or any gourmet market really.)

For one thing, there's the urge to go buy and stick your face in a chocolate peanut butter cupcake every time you go to mail a letter.  Then, there's the temptation to skip dinner preparation and just buy something pre-prepared that inevitably tastes better anyway.  Finally, there's the impulse to buy and devour a hunk of Triple Cream Goat Brie that will not only eat up all the calories you've allotted for the month, but also all the rent money.

For a long time, I'd avoid these pitfalls by allowing myself the occasional quarter pint of potato, avocado, wilted arugula and lemon salad (which I still managed to feel a little guilty about).  But lately my favorite side has not been available.  Maybe it's a seasonal thing?  Maybe they're just trying to torture me.

In the absence of potato salad though, I happened upon the Joan's on Third broccolini, which is not only sublimely healthy, but is also relatively inexpensive as Joan's dishes go.  I think it's probably just prepared in olive oil, garlic, salt and a little lemon or something, but whatever it is, it's always incredibly flavorful and just the right amount of crunchy.

So, this is my mini-salute to broccolini.  Next up, a ticker tape parade for that triple cream cheese.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST WEEK TO BUY GIRL SCOUT COOKIES (BEFORE THEY DISAPPEAR AGAIN!)

By Nora Zelevansky / March 15th, 2010

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Contrary to what some CRAZY people might think (yeah, K.L., I mean you!), Somoas are not only the best Girl Scout Cookie; they're one of the best cookies PERIOD.  I mean, the truth is–with all the caramel and coconut and such–they're basically candy bars masquerading as cookies.

Anyway, I happened upon a cookie stand outside my local grocery this weekend and I've decided that it's my civic duty to tell the rest of you peeps that this is the last week to buy them before they once again disappear into the girl scout cookie-free abyss.

Also, I would feel better about all my cookie-related weight gain, if the rest of you looked a little fatter too.

So, do a good deed and eat a box, please.  Seriously.  There's room for you on the couch.

xo – N.

 

LA/NYC/PARIS (AND BEYOND): THE BEST BAGS TO COVET PATHETICALLY FROM AFAR

By Nora Zelevansky / March 12th, 2010

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It's that time of year again … soon to be a seasonal shift, when I start coveting new accessories and clothing. Eh, who am I kidding?  That's all year round.

But here are some beautiful bags that j'adore.  That's French for: I love it, but it will never be mine. LAME.

The above bag is by Maya Yogev of Grai (you might know her signature leather jackets–see below).

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Anyway, back to bags … 

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I am ALWAYS a Jerome Dreyfuss fan (and wife Isabel Marant is pretty gifted too!) and I love this bag, especially in bright blue.

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These above Bare Collection bags were instant classics.  I mean, look at the colors and the beautiful, original silhouettes!  Who wouldn't dream of toting one of these?

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This Kooba "Sophie" bag coming out in spring is a thing of beauty and it's actually on the (relatively) affordable side, supposedly at around $325.

Sigh.  Something to ponder all weekend long.  Happy Friday!

xo – N.