Friday, October 20, 2017

Kick It Up: Ankle Boots=Any Season

 Calendar dates are besides the point for footwear needs---especially when some form of athletic sneakers interpreted for casual lifestyles---seem dominate the feet we observe in our city life.

Still autumn days, irrespective of temps- signal a shift in daylight hours-that alone has us pining for dressier shoes in autumnal tones.
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Top Picks for any weather? OF COURSE -the iconic Chelsea/Ankle boots (M+W) =always the perfect Fall shoe for work/play times since...
Don't save these on trend velvet merlot bootie beauties (NINA SHOES) for the holiday parties...wear now for subtle daytime sparkle that translates into night-time style-wise. Value priced-Inamae $99-also available in a rich b/w brocade pattern + black suede too=  worthy of our glam rock inner David Bowie wannabe tendencies.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

PINK POSITIVE: Best Rain Boot By Bernardo 1946

Bernardo 1946 rainboots' rainbow of waterproof choices now include a new dusty ROSE shade- a 'neutral'  addition...that can wardrobe synch-up as well any black, brown or white footwear.
Available now-meet out fav waterproof rain/snow PAIGE RAIN kicker-in rose-with all day comfort via a cushioned insole...ez on/off Chelsea Boot style-stretchy side still manages to repel the elements. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Martha Stewart (and others) Tells Us Stories

D&DB (Decoration and Design Building)-the midtown NYC trade destination hosts:
 THE POWER OF STORYTELLING: People:Progress:Product


The DDB Fall Market-last week-hosted inspiring panels -heralding the visually/verbally talented hard-working industry individuals and wonderful wares displayed in open product showrooms. No surprise- hundreds of interior decorators and architecture professionals attended- eager to share/learn... timely tips centered around the theme of "DESIGN IS A STORY" aka what a home environment says about its occupant(s)---and how to translate personalities and spatial requirements into a welcoming place to live.
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No doubt, all of the fast paced talks (plus Q+As) with the top professionals, hosted by editors of top magazines (including Elle Decor, Domino, Metropolis, Home&Design, Architectural Digest...) were superbly informative.

We suspect however- that design icon, Martha Stewart -was  the biggest STAR present-a participant in a terrific panel set in the spectacular Baccarat showroom-a space gloriously packed with the company's hand-blown crystals, glassware, tabletops and drop dead gorgeous chandeliers worthy of Versailles Palace. AND all left unbroken despite the equally packed in crowds.

Although the cult of Martha-eluded us in the 20th century... we always suspected this successful business woman had an edgy-entertaining side---she graduated Barnard College after all. It wasn't until a gal we went to summer camp with-went to work for the practically biblical read must for weddings (Martha Stewart Weddings)...that we got a bit of inside insight on this Big Personality person-now on must see broadcast display via VH1's -Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party.

This one hour session, The Power of Experience: Enhancing the Five Senses-was ably led by Departures Editor in Chief, Dan Rubinstein...who began with the other accomplished two panelists- interior designers Stephen Sills and Shawn Henderson--- recounting favorite design projects for clients that physically spoke volumes about the occupants' personalities (and imo-the customer's choice in who they hired, too).

Martha Stewart-has herself as a client, in a way-and impressed everyone - with detailed descriptions of her Maine kitchen-located in the former Edsel Ford estate-and how design details and materials -included using local elements (raw woods, hog hair).
NOTE-one of her 21 'brand' kitchens.

Our biggest practical takeaways---once one walks through the front door... were on the critical importance of light and clean air-.particularly in the kitchen.

A fab tip from Ms. Stewart ...for a delicious smelling welcoming home--- bake an apple or poach some pears= a waaay better aroma than conjured up by potentially toxic interior sprays or candles.

Other tips/ observations to a question we asked- (past design trends-missed and should return or cringe worthy-and should  stay banished)... included-the desirability of now out of favor 18th/19th century furniture - incredibly well priced too (Martha Stewart), stereo-typed interpretations of modern design-like ho-hum low slung couches-around a coffee table-should be ditched for what MODERN design should be-stream lined elegance (Stephen Sills) and a reinvigorated interest for fabrics with metallic accents (Shawn Henderson).

Instagram and social media pros and cons- were also discussed-including the millennial tendencies to experience life in the virtual world-versus IRL -like visiting the wonderful period rooms in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On the plus side-multi-cultural experiences-often gained through travel...are a necessary part of today's world and in turn-environmental experiences...("Politics Aside," M.S.).

Applause, applause, applause.

Observation: One could have sold tickets to the public for this event-set it in a large auditorium-and donated the proceeds to a worthy charity like Hurricane Relief...or  Habitats For Humanity. Just saying.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Healthy Sips-Best Cocktail Mixes


Alcoholic liquids... the opposite of some of the new better for you functional fluids hitting the market can be the perfect pairing of dress-upped, mixed drinks.

Ideas on how to update the last decades fav Red Bull and Vodka-include now 'cleaner' carbonated alternatives-plus fluids boasting health benefits.
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The new behind the bar staples???
Lifeway's slightly sparkling organic Elixir-fresh tasting-in fruity tangerine, elderberry, hibiscus and our fav, warm spicy ginger-delivers active culture probiotics. Served chilled -with clear alcohol-like gin or vodka-or 'straight up'- over ice ...naturally low in calories-and gluten/caffein free, vegan +kosher. 

Apple Cider vinegar is the old/new remedy for human ailments-including diminishing detoxifying inflammation,  sore throats, help in weight loss, support heart health, improve blood sugar/insulin levels etc. That abrasive tartness though-on its own-or swoished in water-isn't for most. Palate problem solved- by Up Mountain Switchel's slightly sweetened (organic Grade A maple syrup) Lemon-(with raw organic apple cider vinegar)+ added organic ginger root/lemon juice +pure mountain water... for subtle spicey-easy to drink thirst quencher-is actually delicious-as it mellows out the vinegar taste. In bottles or aluminum cans.
For cocktail time-add 2 parts U.M.S to 1 part= bourbon- with dash of bitters -plus orange/cherry twist...or an equal ratio to vodka with lime juice adorned with fresh mint...or dark rum/lime garnish (all on the rocks). For margaritas-2 parts each (w/ tequila) plus fresh lime juice-salt rim optional or a take on a  21st century Old Fashion-2 parts U.M.S. to one part rye whiskey. NICE.

Monday, October 9, 2017

BRANDBLACK, KEEN Master Function/Fashion Footwear

Checking out subway passengers' footwear-(vs addictive smartphone screens) ...it's clear that woven knit uppers atop sport/lifestyle kicks have become the style of choice... shared with workboots-depending on the hour of the day.

Athletes all? Nope-clearly commuters are opting for trendy comfort ---partially why THAT shoe market niche -looks-wise-boast straight off fashion forward runway handsomeness and functional driven outdoors' details of techy components that are fit fab+ durable.
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One of the 'hot' brands out there...BRANDBLACK-a 'lifestyle'  men's apparel/footwear company that would synch just right if purveyed by Dover St. Market-as easily as adorning the uncompensated forms/feet of off duty b-ball pros.

This may be a smirk inducing take on the Birkenstock/sock Grandpa phenomena-but we bet there's a consumer base for this ONE PIECE Tabi  $140 sandal/sock merger. The unibody construction is unique-woven tubular knit upper -3M abrasion tough-manages to be 100% seamless and water resistant-with typical four point closure system and grippy top of the line Vibram® outsole -typical of the best rugged sandals out there. Interesting.
Our new shoe obsession for guys=BRANDBLACK DELTA ($140)
Vibram® outsole was developed just for BRANDBLACK-non-marking outsole with basketball court players  in mind- dribbling on sweated on wooden floors, executing quick fast pivots-and mad dashes/dunks- moves aided by a tricked out  segmented blade construction. Nifty.
Woven knit upper-(Jetlon Lite)-ultimate eye catching functional shoe. Check out the zoned sections of the upper-and the thought out lacing pattern-clearly engineered for ideal fit/comfort like the best body mapped athletic wear (should be). The tongue is only attached at its bottom allows for ultimate tug free fit  (we wish our running shoes were made this way)...and the back tab-aids in on/off- is the only stitched on feature to knit upper. Other features...supportive thermo-plastic heel counter, and cushioning in that footbed too-we checked it out. 
Bonus-the outsole 'color coordinates' with the upper.
Why not buy too pairs-and with it up? Four color combos available now...including urban friendly, black, pictured below.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Eddie Bauer's Breakthrough- EverTherm Jacket


 "Down Re-Invented" is quite the claim-but for those seeking the ultimate warmth/weight ration efficient jacket-Eddie Bauer's new EverTherm jackets (M+W) delivers. ($249-$299)
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FINALLY-barely heavier than a simple nylon shell (9.12 oz)-but protective vs. cold temps ( to -15º)-the EverTherm basic slim silhouettes- in weather tough super durable material (StormRepel®)-are insulated with a proprietary high loft -no puff down- stuffed inside without the quilting/baffle stitching usually needed for the feathers...meaning no cold spots and a streamline design.
Delivers in longer parka for women + jacket lengths (M+W) ...with or w/o hood...with zip close chest/hand pockets.
Eddie Bauer's Men's EverTherm Jacket $249-in Cardinal Red. Part of the First Ascent collection of tech gear worthy of any   winter activity.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wines Divine for Holiday Fare

Holiday fare with something 'pumpkin-spice' -or peppermint chocolate -match well with Octoberfest beers and schnapps-but earthy aromatic red wines as well as balanced white wines-can also pair off well.
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At-Il Gattopardo -several rich red wines made from Romagna Sangiovese regional grapes were paired perfection with the elegant rustic southern Italian appetizers served.
The new to us  Sangiovese red wines-sharing the characteristic rich berry garnet color of Brunellos - are helpfully subject to the new Romagna appellation regulation (12 sub-zones) that safeguard and promote these delicious aromatic sips to consumers on this side of the Pond.
One of our favs...Il Nespoli (Poderi Dal Nespoli S.r.L. Soc. Agr.) Romana Sangiovese Superiore Riserva- a red wine with fine, elegant tannins with characters reflective of the medium textured terroir. Pair with hard cheeses, meaty entrees-or we think, spicy autumnal fare-like warm up pumpkin squash soup.
Another top pick-Bron & Ruseval
 Romagna Sangiovese Riserva Bertinoro 2013 wine-aged in oak barrels-full flavors rich floral  hints.
Grenache grapes made into white/red wines from the southern Rhone valley + Aragon Spain- Basque region-also bring holiday cheers for seasonal grub. On the left-Grandes Vinos y Viñedos Anayón makes delicious full bodied varietal white wine made from 30 years old Chardonnay vines aged in American oak barrels for six months +clarified before bottling. On the right-and in the glass-Department 66 Grenache 2014 from Languedoc-Rouissillon, France-is simply transporting-with deep berry flavors, mineral notes-and smooth tannins...