Thursday, July 24, 2008

The list

I definitely know I'm in the throes of a New York City summer when the humidity feels like someone has thrown a heavy, wet blanket over me whenever I step outside. I'm beginning to look forward to colder weather punctuated by cool autumn breezes but know that when late September rolls around, I'm going to be reminiscing about the hot temperatures that we have now. So in the spirit of summer, here's is a few "summer-y" things I'm thinking about...

The summer song: Santogold (nee Santi White) who hails from Brooklyn has an incredible voice. She mixes electronic beats and synthesized melodies with a voice that is part pop, punk, R&B, and reggae. She's not a newcomer to the music business, having worked in A&R at Epic Records, produced for R&B singer Res, and was asked by Mark Ronson to help co-write a song for Lily Allen. Santogold's debut single L.E.S. Artistes put her on the map, but my favorite which is perfect for the summer months is "Your Voice" [available for download via the link]
Photo courtesy of

The new beach location: I'm dying to check out The Surf Lodge, a new boutique hotel in Montauk. Ideal place for afternoon cocktails on the deck. Check out Gridskipper's coverage.
Deck view Photo courtesy of The Surf Lodge

The summer read: I just picked up Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth, a collection of short stories by the Pulitzer prize-winning writer. I first fell in love with her writing with her first published work Interpreter of Maladies. My ideal place to read this new work is on the beach with the waves as my background music.
Author Jhumpa Lahiri

The summer tote: You can't go wrong with Epice. Label for beautiful accessories, this carry-all striped tote is the way to carry your life with you this summer. Brooklyn boutique, Bird carried one version which was to die for (and it was on sale) but I was too late as they were sold out!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Um, I made you a mix and I hope you like it...

The first mix I ever got was when I was in 7th grade. I was in love with this boy whom I met the year before as a sixth grader (I then proceeded to have a crush on him until my first year in college). I remember how proud he was when he unzipped his LL Bean backpack and produced a cassette tape with a label with my name on it. My heart fluttered. Now that I'm remembering that moment, there were some good songs ranging from New Order, to Depeche Mode, to Milli Vanilli (!)...

Giving people mixes as a demonstration of one's affections has fallen to the wayside with the onslaught of technology. But, luckily, a music lover/genius has founded Muxtape, an online destination where you create MP3 based mixes from your own collection. Your mixes are then streamable and the template provides links to buy the actual MP3s at Amazon' MP3 store. What's also great about Muxtape is that you can then send a link to your friends with a personalized mix name like "".
I also love the interface; each mix is denoted with the username and a color. Super easy unlike some of the other online music services. And it really gets at the heart of why music is so great --- it's great because we can share beats and melodies with others to spread the joy.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Natural habitats

While perusing, one of my favorite MP3 blogs, I came across an entry on NYC photographer Todd Selby who has done some incredible work for the best titles in fashion and lifestyle. But what I find even more interesting is his personal blog, The Selby, which chronicles people living in their own habitats. Selby photographs more than a dozen photos per subject - ranging from objects in the home, people doing things in their homes, people living with the objects in their homes. It's almost a voyeuristic view into the most private areas of people's lives.

Here's a recent one from Selby's collection on actress Isabel McNally.

All photos courtesy of Todd Selby, at

All the photos capture the setting au naturel which is refreshing.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beautiful fashion editorial with V

In the current issue of V Magazine (V54), Naomi Campbell is featured in a Mario Sorrenti shoot, showcasing some incredible shapes against the backdrop of downtown NYC. If you peruse V, or spend time on its site, you'll love it as much as I do because it has an independent voice in all topics that touch pop culture.

I'm not crazy about Campbell as a person; her public fits and big temper certainly leave much to be desired. But I also recognize that she has a unique beauty. These are my three top photos from the shoot.

All photos courtesy of V Magazine

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Glory of the 60s

I am a NetFlix fiend. I manage my DVD queue with a stunning level of attention. The key to a good queue, I find, is to balance between long form and short form programming. Currently on deck in the latter category is the acclaimed series from AMC, Mad Men. After winning two Golden Globes for Best TV Drama and Actor (HBO, aren't you sad that you turned down the script?!?), the series returns to AMC for its second season on July 27.
Jon Hamm (Don Draper) and January Jones (Betty Draper) Photo courtesy of AMC

Set in 1960 when JFK was a presidential candidate, the series spins a well-scripted tale of the men who ruled Madison Avenue and created the "ad age". Although I thought that the title was a bit cheesy at first, "mad men" was the actual term used to describe people who worked at agencies in the 1960s. The story centers around Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, who is the creative director at Sterling Cooper, a big player on Madison Avenue. Draper is a talented ad man but as the story unfolds, a man with a very troubled past. His wife, Betty, played by January Jones is the quintessential suburban wife who takes care of two kids, gossips with the neighbors, and makes homecooked meals for the evenings that her husband comes home. The other cast members are all so good --- and each of their characters (owing to a great script) become well-developed in their own right.
Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway) Photo courtesy of AMC

l to r: January Jones (Betty Draper), Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway), Elizabeth Moss (Peggy Olson)
Photo courtesy of AMC

I am not only in love with the fact that this show provides me with a view into an important decade for this country --- seems like it was the first time people began to live individualistically and with almost a blithe disregard for "rules" --- but also am enamored with the styling. I love the evening gowns with gloves, poof skirts for sipping cocktails, the fitting wool secretary dresses (check out actress Christina Hendricks who plays Joan Holloway in her red dress), and just the general fact that people cared how they looked when they went out and had a sense of formality that is missing from current times. Sexy, intelligent, and chic, this series is a must-see!
Bryan Batt (Salvatore Romano) --- on my favorite side characters!
Photo courtesy of AMC

Main Cast
Photo courtesy of AMC

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Waterfalls in NYC

Based on a joint collaboration between the Public Art Fund and the city of New York, the NYC Waterfalls is the city's newest summer project. On display on the East River and underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, the falls are designed by reknown Danish artist
Olafur Eliasson and are on display until October 13, 2008. In my mind, this is a beautiful project especially when one brings nature to the concrete jungle.

Photo courtesy of Gizmodo and photographer Vincent Laforet

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