On a recent trip to New York I stayed in an amazing hotel -The London. It is well located in Midtown, and is a business travelers dream come true. All rooms are suites. There are 560 suites total, approximately 15 of which are upgraded from their standard of luxury. I stayed in a “regular” suite and it was one of the biggest rooms I have ever had in NYC, about 500 sq feet and very well-considered, down to the detail. Let’s go take a look at this awesome hotel. Put on your seatbelt, because this will be an image rich post (which is a compliment to this property…) with lots of travel eye candy. [Read more...]
DO YOU KNOW YOUR FRENCH ANTIQUE DESK STYLES?
Today we are going to have a little decorative arts refresher on French Furniture. I thought a history lesson might be more fun and more memorable if we stick to one type of furniture… just to drive home the style differences and history that influenced their design. So today is “desk day”- we will compare three styles- Regency, Louis XV and Louis XVI desks/bureau plats….which come from three consecutive periods of french decorative history. Many people find it very confusing to distinguish between the Louis styles, (and if you are a designer, that would be a major faux pas) which is nothing that a good story with visuals can’t cure. The broader context of each of these decorative styles will serve as a decorative arts glossary of terms used. Plan on some juicy backstories, decorative elements, creations and characteristics of each time … and a little gossip about the players/shenanigans of each era… nobody ever said French history was boring. [Read more...]
In honor of today’s Fifth Avenue POLO flagship opening, I thought we would take a look at the very first Ralph Lauren NYC flagship store and the story behind its stunning location.
The Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo House is a French Renaissance revival mansion located at 867 Madison Avenue on the corner of East 72nd Street in the Lenox Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Completed in 1898, it was modeled after a châteaux of the Loire Valley in France. The plan was for this home to outshine the Vanderbilt limestone palace. Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo, the eccentric New York heiress who commissioned the mansion, made numerous trips to Europe to buy art, furniture, and statues, which were shipped back in crates and stored in rooms and hallways of the home.
Gertrude never actually moved in, never opened those crates. Widowed after two short years of marriage, she preferred to live across the street in a town home with her unmarried sister. She was unable to maintain the building and it went into foreclosure in 1909. The crates of valuable furnishings, never opened, were the cause of multiple lootings of the property in 1909. She died in debt in 1914. The building remained vacant until 1921, at which time the first floor was converted into stores and two apartments were carved out of the upper four floors. Commercial enterprises which have used the location at various times include an antique store, Christie’s auction house and a Zabar’s-owned restaurant. Then greatness happened: [Read more...]
Hot new gadget on the GirlTECH front — it is called Lumo Lift, and it is all about better posture. This little magnetic oval-shaped device clips to your shirt or undergarment, about an inch below your collar-bone. It communicates with an app that you download to your phone, Here is how it works. You put the device on (it doesn’t work well on loose clothing), stand up straight, double tap the device to activate it. When you slouch, it will give you a gentle buzzing reminder that you will feel, prompting you to stand up straight. It collects the data, which you can read from your app on your phone. The app gives you encouraging messages along the way, like a positive coach, and an hourly report. Not only is the Lumo Lift tracking your posture, but your activity as well. Pretty cool, it functions as a posture corrector AND like a fitbit type device. It charges fully in about an hour and can last up to four days. See how it works: [Read more...]
Well, here we are celebrating the end of the summer, and the produce is still incredible. In our house, we are all about seasonal salads and fresh ingredients, which appears to be gourmet but the truth is that it is also easy. The beautiful fruits and vegetables make instantly healthy meals – and the more simple, the better. What puts the salads over the top is having a pantry armed with a few good quality ingredients. My mantra is:
GOOD INGREDIENTS MAKE GOOD FOOD.
So my recommendation is to invest in a few bottles of high quality olive oil and a good basalmic glaze. The flavors of the [Read more...]