Sunday, December 31, 2006
I spoke to the Daddy G. today and he is working on creating some fine Pomegranate martinis for their little New Year's Eve dinner tonight. See! Liquor is good AND good for ya!
Cheers & Happy New Year.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Mother G. was in desperate need of shoes...so desperate was her situation that I don't believe she realized how critical it actually was. So I took her foot matters into my own hands and did what I do best.
The pictured shoes - Michael Kors, Circa by Joan and David, Nicole Miller, and corso como cost me a sum total of about $260, which was a savings of about $230. The best deal were the Michael Kors (the first pair on the left) which cost a mere $32!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Among many other fine gifts, the Guerilla Parents presented me with a gift card redeemable at Club Monaco, so really, they are the enablers. Anyway, as I had written a few days ago, there is a big fab sale going on at "the Club." So run, don't walk.
For example, I purchased this suit for $70! The jacket had cost $199, I got it for $39.99. The skirt (which has to be tried on to be fully appreciated) had cost $109, but found its way into my home for a mere $29.99. There are two other colors also available - blue and greyish/black, but I am ever so grateful to have gotten it in brown as my other brown suit was eight years old and boasted big shoulder pads of "Working Girl" proportions. Not the most flattering look.
Once again, C.M. saves the day...
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Most of the rayon, unstructured, flowy dresses, skirts and tops are not really my style, but $25 designer jeans are! I tried on three different pairs and settled on the ones pictured below (the last ones of their kind). You need to get yourself in there and buy some. I found the "stretchy" ones much more comfortable than the "rigid" pair, however I think I liked the "rigid" denim better. I bought the stretchies (I must be getting old.)
I asked why they were closing, and can't really remember what the answer was because I was so mortally stunned by the following exchange:
Me: "Are you closing because the rents in this neighborhood are skyrocketing?"
Salesdude: "No, it's really cheap down here. Like Sixteen."
Me: "Sixteen hundred?"
Salesdude: "No, sixteen thousand."
Me: "A year?"
Salesdude: "No, a MONTH. It's retail!"
I should probably move to Idaho, because there is no way on earth that I could ever understand that $16,000 A MONTH is considered CHEAP. Oh good lord.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Back in the days when Father Guerilla used to take me to buy prim and proper dresses at Betsey Johnson on the Upper West Side, we would sometimes meander around the hood, back when Columbus Avenue was all the rage, and not yet Westchester Suburbia South. Those journeys would sometimes bring us to Allan & Suzi at 416 Amsterdam Avenue, where I'd try on latex dresses and such. I never quite understood why we got such strange and puzzling looks by the salespeople, but in retrospect I'm pretty sure it was because I was NOT A TRANSVESTITE.
Next door was Na Na where you could find some cheap, but stylish, punk rock shoes. I bought some wicked, extremely pointy patent leather boots for $15. They finally gave out on me, but I have since replaced them with a similar (in look, not price) pair from Donald J. Pliner (see pic).
Anyway, stay tuned for future 80s postings. I have a couple more good ones up my sleeves. Oh, and I'll tell you where I got those on the cheap too.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
As you can see from the pictured button, I need some help...for the giant, unique button on coatie cracked during dry cleaning and is no longer functional. It is not a button that is easily replaced.
So I went in personally with the button, the coat, my card, AND a print out of the blog page on which I was so very complimentary towards the store and the great coats and other designs and explained my problem to the saleswoman.
A week passed and I didn't hear from them. So I called. The same saleswoman assured me that the owner herself was coming in and would be dealing with all customer issues in the next day or two. I checked to make sure that she still had my contact information, which she did.
I have NEVER heard back.
So I have taken it upon myself for the time being to move a less utilized button to the place where this much needed button used to live. But I am not particularly happy about or impressed with the service.
Remember: SERVICE COUNTS FOR A LOT!
Monday, December 18, 2006
I found my answer this year in Astor Wines & Spirits. I hadn't visited since it moved a couple blocks down Lafayette to the corner of 4th St. If you haven't been there yet - GO. It's much MUCH bigger and nicer and easier to manuever than in its former location on Lafayette and Astor Pl. (except now maybe they have to change their name to "4th St." ha, ha.)
Also, they have really good deals on wines and liquors. I called ahead to make sure that they had what I was looking for to be sure, and then I went in and was assisted by some very nice, efficient salespeople and was on my way. Of course, lugging 6 giant bottles to the subway and then to my apartment was a challenge in weight-lifting, but had I taken a cab, I would have rendered my money-saving trip downtown pointless! Now I'm trying to work on getting those bottles into the office without pulling my arms out of their sockets.
I can't tell you just yet what I bought, in the unlikely event that the 5 people I work with read this blog. But let's just say I lassoed some big bottles of liquid at a low price. AND...and they gave me enough free gift bags to make each one look snazzy.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
The other notable additions are the throngs of artists displaying and selling their works around the outer edge of the Square (see pic., right). It was SO crowded over there yesterday that I could barely see it all, but I was impressed with much of it, and recommend that you go check it out. Especially if you happen to work for Goldman Sachs - why don't you go over there and support the entire independent New York art scene with your Christmas bonus and buy it all?
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I am hoping today or tomorrow will be my last day of Christmas shopping - I am in the final stages of buying Mother Guerilla some key gifts. And without her there'd have been no baby Guerilla, so she deserves careful consideration, i.e. "I have to get my momma some good sh*t." But that is all I will say for now, lest I eliminate any element of surprise.
But remember, purchasing a gift is not the final step! You must package and market said gift appropriately...you don't have to spend a lot of money to do this, most wrapping supplies can be bought at the local 99-cent store. But better, and I wish I had remembered this myself, is Old Navy. They have some of the coolest, high quality wrapping paper at a very reasonable price. It's like Christmas pop culture on paper! [Thanks to my day-job co-worker for reminding me of this little Old Navy secret].
I know, I know, many of you (especially the boys) don't want to get involved in wrapping paper, ribbons, cards, etc. But just think - if you've spent the time thinking about what to buy, shopping for it, paying for it...don't you think that you and your gift deserve to be presented (no pun intended) in the best possible way? It really adds to the whole gifting experience overall. Trust me and the Ms. Manners who sometimes dwells within my soul.
And check out my gift display! Makes for festive Xmas decor to boot.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Now, as any savvy person knows, to get you have to give give give. So figure out what you have to offer others (try to keep it legal) and GIVE. Teach them how to swing dance, how to cook, help people get jobs or boy/girlfriends. Provide them with ideas they would have never considered before. Invite them to parties...whatever it is, do it and the rewards will befall you 10-fold!
However, don't do something stupid and say, "hey, I showed you how to make borscht last weekend, the least you could do for me is get me front row tickets to see the Earth Wind and Fire reunion show - you work at Radio City, WTF?!"
Be patient! Give out of a real feeling of enthusiasm and wanting to share. Only then will abundance flow your way.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
This year there was a giant table of gay men with moustaches wearing leather seated behind us. While next to us, was a quiet couple who spoke no more than 4 words to each other. So it's sort of an intergalactic meeting place for anyone who needs a home.
I think that we originally started going to John's many years ago because it was cheap and the food was really good. Well, it's no longer that cheap, and the food is probably on par with "Italian Night" in the Army. We got a couple of orders of garlic bread, I had 2 glasses of wine, lemon chicken (an entree of steamed chicken swimming in warm lemon soup) and tiramisu. That cost me $50. Not an exorbitant fee, but I've had much better for less.
I think we need some new ideas!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
While I have never partaken (partook?) in said silent auction activity, I did look into it briefly one time...and have considered doing so again. You need to go into the store and put your name on a list with the amount of money you are willing to spend on the particular item(s) that you are interested in. Then, after the auction closes, I believe they determine the "winner" by looking to see who was willing to pay the most.
I know that this may not be exactly accurate and some of you may be thinking to yourselves, "this is common knowledge, what is this ditz talking about?" but humor me as I am just finding my way through life and this big scary town one day at a time. That, and I suppose I should have done a bit more reasearch on this before I decided to write about it.
Anyway, I think I decided to not pursue the silent auction approach with much fervor as people are willing to spend absurd amounts of money on other people's trash in this town. Go to Michigan with a van and get some real deals on antique furniture - prices that would make even the Salvation Army in NYC laugh.
But when all is said and done, remember Housing Works mission: "to ensure that adequate housing, food, social services, harm reduction and other drug treatment services, medical and mental health care, and employment opportunities are available to homeless persons living with AIDS and HIV and to their families as they define them."
So it is most certainly money well-spent.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Anyway, the "Market" is tightly packed full of independent vendors selling all kinds of great stuff: jewelry, clothing, leather goods...very interesting and great for gifting. It's open every weekend until Christmas, which means that all of you last-minute shoppers can run in on Xmas Eve and get some cool shiznit for your friends and family and look like the thoughtful brother, cousin, daughter that you are (not).
Sunday, December 10, 2006
It’s bigger than Capitale! If you have not yet heard of Té Casan, and if you like shoes, you soon will: It’s a 5,500-square-foot, chandelier-hung, glass-staircased Soho store filled with nothing but women’s shoes.
OK, cutting to the chase, this place is awesome. The shoes are amazing, the salespeople attentive and accessible, the layout open and engaging...it's really an "experience," which is what any smart retailer understands is key to success, especially in New York where the competition is fierce, block after block. I think that if Sex and the City was still on the air they would have had to have filmed a few episodes in here. Why? Other than because I said so, here are some reasons:
- Three floors of footwear bliss for women only
- Shoes designed by seven up-and-coming designers who craft their art - and this stuff really is art - in Spain
- All limited editon shoes, which are numbered on the bottom, like a painting!
- Private "pods" in which you can try the shoes on
- $200-$475 a pair (not exactly cheap, but cheaper than Marc Jacobs, Chanel, etc.)
- New merchandise coming in January
- Free tea on the lower level
- The sickest in-a-good-way pair of boots that Vivienne Westwood would be proud to call her own, if only she had thought of the design first.
And lucky for me I had the pleasure of being shown around the store by Susan, who didn't even know I was a shopping blogger until the end of my visit. They have a secret weapon in her as a salesperson - very down to earth, cool and yet enthusiastic and knowledgable about the designers and the shoes. I shall return!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
I visted Home Depot on 23rd St. by myself today. As I wondered aimlessly through the ground floor and lower level searching for various items - including the cash register at which to pay for them, I noticed and realized something. Among the couples shopping for fancy bathroom tile and the odd "old guy" looking to start his next project were: HOT GUYS. Now this is basically Chelsea, so while it is entirely likely that said hot guys are gay, it is at least possible that they are straight.
I've heard countless women ask the question, "Where can I meet guys in New York?" Bars, steakhouses, Yankee Stadium - these are the usual suspects. I've never heard anyone say, "Home Depot on 23rd St." And really, if you think about it, where else would a guy be shopping during the day on a Saturday or Sunday?
I think I may be onto something here ladies. Check it out for yourself...I mean, why not? Pull your best damsel in distress routine and let's see what you come up with. ;)
Friday, December 08, 2006
Best Buy is coming to East River Plaza.
The electronics retailer took 45,000 square feet in the East Harlem shopping center that is now under construction. While they will be located on half the third floor, Home Depot is already signed up for the entire first floor while Target has the second.
So don't skip town just yet, it might be worth your $4,000-a-month rent to stick around after all!
In other fun news (from New York magazine's "Fashion Alert" daily email, which you should probably just read instead of my blog anyway):
H&M continues its domination of Manhattan with the opening of its seventh store. The latest location throws its doors open with free T-shirts and 20 percent off all merchandise. When: Noon-8; Where: 111 Fifth Ave., at 18th St. (212-539-1741). [G.S. Note: This is the spot where the sucky Daffy's used to be.]
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Anyway, I found myself at Target during one of my many efforts to find seemingly interesting and quality furniture at a reasonable price and found this pictured piece. In fact, I found two of them (I think they were around $70 each) and another smaller one and bought all three. Target's "World Bazaar" is all the rage - check it out and turn your mundane American home into an Opium Den or some such exotic setting.
Also, after many trials and tribulations (Target.com really has to work on their packing skills) I got a full set of new dishes - turquoise! In fact, I now have almost 2 sets of new dishes because each box would arrive with one or two plates or bowls broken in a box of four. So we'd call to complain and they'd send another whole box of four, and one or two of those would be broken. And so on and so on... Finally I received everything and now have about 14 dinner plates, 11 bowls, 12 salad plates and 5 mugs (instead of 8 of each). I love the dishes...and the price...but not the experience so much!
Alas, when are the good people of Target going to find a suitable Manhattan location? Just don't boot Lord & Taylor out (uh-oh...I may have just started something here...).
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
My initial list (and NO, I'm not kidding)
1. Santoku knife - Shun Classic 6.5 inch knife. It's made in Japan by Kai. $94.98 at Broadway Panhandler, 477 Broome Street nr. Green Street (212)966-3434. Probably available elsewhere. No other brand will do.
2. Liqueur - Pama Pomegranate Liqueur - $25.00 at Park Ave. Liquor Shop and Astor Wines & Spirits. Not readily available elsewhere till later this month.
3. Long sleeved sport shirt, Medium. Plaid or other nice design. I like most things at Brooks Bros. Their 5th Ave. store is probably more hip than their Madison Ave. shop (but also much smaller).
4. An electric sander. Home Depot, Lowe's and other such stores or local hardware.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
This info is in this week's New York magazine's infamous Sales & Bargains section at - http://nymag.com/shopping/articles/sb/index.htm - You can sign up on this page to receive regular fashion and sale emails - and I suggest you do so!
You will also see, amongst other things, a listing of 85% off on gowns and women's suitings by Carolina Herrera, Rena Lange, and Nina Ricci (12/10 - 12/12). As well as Sigerson Morrison’s warehouse sale, featuring boots ($100), shoes ($60), and bags ($20 to $60) at rock-bottom prices. (12/6-12/7) 180 Lafayette St., nr. Broome St. 8:30–7:30.
(Thanks to my very pregnant stringer - 9 months+! - for the heads up on all of this!)
Monday, December 04, 2006
The store is full of cute, reasonably priced jewelry, bags, wallets, gloves and a great little collection of records in the back including jazz and more. Check it out if you're in the 'hood. It's fun for the whole family!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Then, at a candles-only store basically across the street, I bought myself the coolest and most expensive candle of my life, and proceded to lose it in one of the many forms of transportation that I took home. I am so annoyed! I would tell you the name...but I guess I lost that too!
More tomorrow on my Saugerties experience...my blog keeps cutting me off! Too tired for technology now.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
To me, this kind of sign often means, "The Board of Health Shut Us Down" or "We didn't pay our taxes." Please in the name of all that is holy, let Curry in a Hurry truly be renovating. Shane! Come back!