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NYC (AND BEYOND): THE BEST EXCUSE FOR NOT POSTING WHILE IN NYC

By Nora Zelevansky / September 28th, 2010

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My poor little chickadees!  I left you without so much as an explanation!  I'm in the Big Apple (see above very literal image translation) and am sadly Wifi challenged.  I never planned to stop posting this week!

Oh well.  Everything happens for a reason and, in this case, the reason must be that I need a damn break from you people.  Nooooooo.  Just kidding.  I love you guys and I'm sad that I can't share all my delicious finds from pulled pork sandwiches at Building on Bond to boots on Smith Street.

BUT, that said, I'll have lots to talk about when I return to hot ass LA, where apparently The Drewser is literally melting into oblivion like some kind of wicked witch.  Don't leave, Andre!  Don't evaporate!

In the meantime, look out for my story on Mondette about experiencing brunch at Dominick's and don't be shy about checking my FB page for updates about the Womack sitch.  (For instance, how is he only 27 years old?  Could US Weekly be wrong? GASP!)

In the meantime, stay dry and cool, no matter what coast you're on.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE NEXT BACHELOR ANNOUNCEMENT???

By Nora Zelevansky / September 22nd, 2010

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Um.  What year is it?  Do I have amnesia?  Have I never seen an iPad, tweeted or watched an episode of Bachelor Pad?  Is George Bush president?  Did the flux capacitor on the DeLorean time machine work?

IS THIS OR IS THIS NOT 2007?

Because I just saw an announcement for the newest Bachelor and it SEEMS to be Brad Womack, who famously picked NO ONE on his 2007 season, after having a psychotic meltdown about giving Deanna a basically pretend engagement ring.

Well, apparently, now that Deanna is now happily engaged, it's safe for Brad to reemerge from the depths of one of his Austin bars and try to pretend he's capable of having a make believe relationship again.  Lots of rumors circulated after his last season about him being gay or just repressed and incapable of making a commitment.

What happens if you go on the Bachelor twice and pick no one both times?  Do you get beheaded?  SHOULD you get beheaded?

Well, Brad.  Let's hope you've got it a little more together this time.  FYI–Just getting blond highlights doesn't quite effectively signal deep personal growth.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE FUNNIEST EMAIL EXCHANGE [AND THE NEXT ADDITION TO JUDD APATOW WEEK]

By Nora Zelevansky / September 21st, 2010

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This is old news.  I admit it.  I'm late to the party, the not so early bird without a worm, the girl with the dragon stuffed animal.

What?  Seriously.  What are you talking about?

Anyway, the point is that you may have already read this email exchange from 2001 between Judd Apatow & Mark Brazill, but I hadn't until the Drewser showed me it last night.  Since I'm in the midst of a Freaks & Geeks marathon and basically couldn't think about anything else if I tried, I thought I'd pass this on to you.

Because it's genius.  And it begs the question: Is Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann actually as crazy as she plays in his movies?  Cause she's apparently been freaking out about their house for years.  Well, probably their old house.  Now that he's had so much success in the last few years, I bet they bought a new house.

Hmm.  When does TV viewing crossover into stalking?  You may be witnessing that moment right now.

Anyway, check it out.  At the very least, now you can tell people you read Harper's.  You're oh sooooo intellectual.  This blog is really high-end.

xo – N.

P.S. Should someone tell Brazill that he spells his last name wrong?

INDIA (AND BEYOND): SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION [VIVANTA in T + L]

By Nora Zelevansky / September 20th, 2010

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Happy Monday!  Don't you wish you were in the above instead of at your desk?

Eh.  It's kind of a far flight away.  (Does that make you feel any better about being at your desk instead of in the pool?  I'm trying!)

ANYWAY, you can read all about the above on Travel + Leisure today in a post by yours truly: Upper upscale hotel brand Taj has launched a new brand called "Vivanta" for the younger, cool kid set.  Extra, extra.  Read all about it.

Meanwhile, I'll be busy distracting myself by watching DVD after DVD of Freaks & Geeks for the first time ever.  It's like I've discovered the TV holy grail.  Seriously.  I may not leave the couch for like four days.

Danka, Mr. Apatow!  Je t'aime!  Then it's back to the desk …

xo – N.

LA (HOLLYWOOD): THE BEST NEW BLOW OUT SCENE

By Nora Zelevansky / September 16th, 2010

FoxyFridays

You know what's awesome?  Not having to do your own hair.

You know what's not as awesome?  Spending thirty arm cramping minutes trying to pull a round brush through your stringy locks (as if the back will ever actually look good).

But you know what's really really awesome?  Getting your hair done and then ALREADY BEING where you're going.  See, I'm a grandma.  But Harroin Salon is in right smack in the middle of club, bar and scenester restaurant-hub Hollywood.

With their new "Foxy Fridays" promotion, you can get a $35 blowout (way discounted from the normal price) and free cocktails and snacks and already be basically at the center of the action.  Don't think of it as getting your hair done.  Think of it as a pre-party that makes you look good.

It's for real and they do a great job.  I know because I experienced it myself last week.  Yup and then I partied hard.  Across town.  At a baby shower.  WHATEVER.  I already admitted that I'm a grandma.  It doesn't mean that you should be.

xo – N.

P.S. Sorry no pics of the straightened hair.  I've been lazy lately in that regard, I know.  But trust me.  They did good.

LA (AND BEYOND): CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL (AND BELLY)

By Nora Zelevansky / September 14th, 2010

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In September, for a while
I will ride a crocodile
Down the chicken soup-y Nile
Paddle once, paddle twice
Paddle chicken soup with rice

Sorry.  I'm sick.  And I always sing when I'm sick.

No.  I don't.  But I have chicken soup on the brain and my brain is a little mushy at present.

When I'm sick at my sister's place in NYC, I LOVE Bergen Bagels' chicken soup.  For me, it's a no-brainer.  It's salty, flavorful and has those good skinny noodles.  Plus, the chicken isn't too REAL, if you know what I mean?

Here, I'm a little more stumped.  I used to eat my mother's chicken soup, but she lives across the country now and it's not the same when I make it.  Mostly because I have to make it.

So far, I guess my favorite in LA is Toast's chicken noodle because, again, it's not overly intense or hardcore.  It's also conveniently located around the corner.

But maybe you guys have other suggestions?  I was in Hollywood yesterday, so I grabbed some serious deli chicken soup from Victor's, but it has a real fatal flaw: It's a little greasy, which can be just fine, but it also has no noodles.  No noodles?  No me.  (BTW–if you haven't been to Victor's, you should still check it out for the meatballs, Greek salad and ambiance alone–serious diner sitch.)

Anyway, anyone have any other suggestions?  With love and sniffles …

xo – N.

THE LINT COLLECTOR’S TRASHY TUESDAYS: It’s All Over Now [Bachelor Pad]

By Nora Zelevansky / September 14th, 2010

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For the first time in a few weeks, I turned on Bachelor Pad tonight and, lo and behold, it's the season finale!  I missed a few weeks, so I'm totally lost.

JUST KIDDING!!!

I'm not gonna get lost when it concerns these monkeys.

Elizabeth is still orange from spray tan and now she has a weird stripe on the top of her head and she's still psycho (that dance teacher should expect a dead rabbit in the mail any day now).  Kovacs still doesn't like her no matter how much she blackmails him.

Kiptyn and Tenley give new meaning to the word "vanilla."  Hi Kiptyn's bald spot!  I missed you!

David is still date rape aggressive and Natalie is still begging people to touch her boobs.  They're a perfect couple!

After some of the worst dancing in the history of this and any other universe, Kiptyn says choosing who will go to the finale is one of the hardest decisions of his life.  He's clearly had it really hard thus far. Elizabeth says that hopefully she won a relationship with Kovacs, which is worth $250,000.  Except not so much because he was already like struggling not to hit on the dance teacher.

Enter "live studio audience" full of even bigger losers than me.  In really happy news, Elizabeth's hair is brown again.  THANK GOODNESS.  What shameless colorist agreed to make that psycho a blond?  And why doesn't Melissa ever smile?  Is it me or does she have no charm AT ALL as a host?

Also, I would like to discuss these peoples' ages.  Dave is only 28?  I thought he was like 80!  And Gia is 26?  Um, yeah.  Me too.  Are your boobs real too?

Wes and Gia tongue it down–My eyes! My eyes!!!  And suddenly it's Survivor: Everyone gets to ask questions and then vote on who gets the money.  No offense, Chris, but where is Jeff Probst?  LOVE Jeff Probst.

My favorite character on this show is the audience.  Is it just me or are they just booing and cheering arbitrarily.  Maybe they're drunk?  Can I give the audience $250,000?

Also, I think they should have a reality show starring crazy Michelle, crazy Craig and crazy Elizabeth.  Imagine?  Who would watch the other one sleep first?  They'd have to take all the knives out of the house!

Anyway, Dave and Natalie seemed to be doing well, until it came out that Dave thinks anyone on the show over 30 is a loser.  Um, news flash, Dave.  Anyone on the show period is a loser.

And the winner is (spoiler alert!) … you.  You get to watch real TV now that summer is over!

xo – N.

VA (AND BEYOND): A SURPRISE SHOPPING SPOT [CLOSET ENVY]

By Nora Zelevansky / September 10th, 2010

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Unless you were in the market for a bonnet with matching butter churn, you probably wouldn't travel to Colonial Williamsburg for clothes shopping.

I didn't go there for that reason either.  But, on our recent east coast jaunt, we took a break from beach lolling and pit-stopped in Williamsburg, staying at the fab Williamsburg Inn.  On the hotel's grounds, there were ducks and geese and I even spotted a little cute beaver kind of thingy, so I could hardly tear myself away.

BUT when we finally wandered through town, we happened upon a boutique called Closet Envy, that was having a sale.  Not that I had any expectation of really finding anything, but I sorted through the "Sale" rack and came across Rebecca Taylor's above purple "Perfect Party" dress.  In my size.

This picture doesn't do it justice because there's really pretty stitching and the back zipper has this cool blue tag etc.  But anyway, it was a no-brainer, along with a Rebecca Taylor "By Bye Blouse" (see below), which was also 70 percent off and also looks so much LESS cute in these pictures.  What is the deal?

Anyway, my mother made a purchase too, which proves that the boutique is worth a stop, even for pieces beyond Rebecca Taylor sale items.

Next time you're in Colonial Williamsburg.  Maybe when your current bonnet wears thin.

xo – N.

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(So cute with a woven belt!)

LA (MALIBU): DETOXING IN STYLE [THE RANCH AT LIVE OAK MALIBU]

By Nora Zelevansky / September 9th, 2010

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Not to be repetitive, especially when tooting my own horn (get your mind out of the gutter), BUT a couple months ago I blogged about an article I wrote for C Magazine about new luxury holistic escape with a gourmet chef, The Ranch at Live Oak.

Well, now the story is online, so I wanted to offer it up!  I think you actually get karmic detox points just for reading.  Seriously.  You're burning calories and becoming a better person as we speak.

xo – N.

NC (OUTER BANKS): THE BEST SANDWICH SHOP FOR CRAB CAKES

By Nora Zelevansky / September 8th, 2010

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There are few things I love more than a gourmet sandwich shop.  It's true: My idea of heaven involves salt & vinegar kettle potato chips, pickles and homemade bread.  So, I make it my business to seek one out in every area I visit.

In North Carolina's beachy Outer Banks, a place I'd never visited until a couple weeks ago, I fell head over flip-flops for Coastal Provisions Market.  The company owns a few different locations, but we visited the main market sort of in the middle of nowhere, where the crab cake sandwich totally blows all others in the area (that I sampled, of course) out of the water.  They also have special sandwiches made with Virgina's famous Smithfield ham, which is super salty and tastes AMAZING.  Even if you don't like ham usually, you're bound to like this!

You can't judge a book by its cover (unless said cover is hot pink and prominently features a stiletto), but you can judge an area by its gourmet shop.

Let's just say, we got back to our sweet rooms at The Sanderling in Duck and were happy as could be with time to rest before delish dinner at the hotel's casual restaurant, The Lifesaving Station.

I'll go out on a limb and say that they can throw Andre in a life jacket and reel him in anytime, as long as there's chicken and dumplings on the other end.

xo – N.