Thursday, May 31, 2007

Upper Worst Side Shopping

Wow, Columbus Avenue sucks. I remember back in the day when going shopping over there was a creative and sensory joy. OK, perhaps this is me glorifying the 80s once again, but I don't think so. Betsey Johnson is still there, and like I have said before, she seems to have somewhat sold out. The clothes and the staff are "nice," but they don't tend to kick ass as they once did. I found the only black pants and sweater in the joint, amidst a sea of pretty frilly dresses in sherbert colors. I think that the Betsey of the 80s would kick the current Betsey's ass and not even bother to take her name.

I am moving tomorrow, which means that I should also be getting some of my clothes back this weekend, which also means that I may be able to get some of my old life back, i.e. shopping and a computer?! I shall take one thing at a time. Bear with me!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fat Pig! (BBQ in Williamsburg)

Many fun times were had and inappropriate commentaries made the other night at Fette Sau, the Williamsburg BBQ joint on Metropolitan Ave. I'm not exactly sure why I continue to find myself at so many barbeque restaurants these days, but it does seem have become something of a raging culinary trend in our fair city.

With seating both inside and out, this place offers big giant plates of meat and sides to be shared at solid picnic tables. I loved the pickles. Others couldn't get enough potato salad. But what seemed to tickle everyone's fancy the most were the jugs o' brew. Real giant jugs. Filled with beer. Really!

Fette Sau also offers a mighty selection of Bourbons and some wines, but after we drank for free while watching everyone's favorite local band, Shiny Shoes, at Trash Bar, some wiser (and more sober) heads prevailed. Beer it was.

Apparently this place is packed to the rafters on most days and nights. So go at around 10 p.m. - the selection of food will likely be smaller, but you should be able to get a table and chow down among your posse.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


OK, so I read a little bit about Pinkberry - the frozen yogurt-esque joint at 7 W. 32nd St. and decided I had better check it out for myself.

Basically, it is a great marketing concept. I'm not exactly sure what I mean by that, but they offer only 2-3 flavors of their frozen delights, with fruit and other interesting toppings, and then charge you an arm and a leg for it. And you buy it and eat it and wonder "was that good?" But since it all started in LA, this all kind of makes sense.

There is something very "Tuscan frozen yogurt" about the taste - remember? Buddy Hackett as the commercial spokesperson? Oh jeez, I am so tragically dating myself.

Anyway, for me - and here I go again dating myself - the experience brought me back to 1988 when I went to see Depeche Mode at MSG with a crew of Korean guys who were in my high school class at the time. We went to 32nd St. to eat Korean food (for those who don't know, this area is pretty much all Korean) and then go be alternative new wave rockers. I think I still have the "Music For the Masses" T-shirt somewhere.

Which also makes me think about how well-dressed these guys were. They all wore Girbaud clothes and long overcoats. Girbaud at the time were all about baggy cotton trousers with very narrow - and in many cases, "snappable" - ankles.

Pinkberry Kisses,

Friday, May 25, 2007

WSJ: Fashion Journal

Style -- Fashion Journal: How New Backers Are Altering High Fashion --- Shoppers May See More Ads, Stores and Pricey Tchotchkes After Private-Equity Infusion

By Christina Binkley
24 May 2007

The Wall Street Journal

Flush with cash, private-equity investors have been gobbling up everything from Chrysler to Harrah's casinos. Now, they are wooing luxury-goods purveyors at every party and fashion show, drawn by booming sales in what once seemed like risky, frivolous ventures.
Recently, Valentino gowns, Kate Spade handbags, Jimmy Choo shoes, Taittinger champagne, and Jil Sander have all been "in play," as they say on Wall Street, as have dozens of other high-fashion brands.

We've already got a taste of what happens when corporate money and discipline are injected into fashion companies. Luxury conglomerates LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, PPR SA and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA put their cash and management expertise to work in the late 1990s, reviving brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Bottega Veneta. They opened stores around the world, and unleashed a hurricane of new products, so that handbag makers now sell cologne and clothiers sell handbags and everyone sells sunglasses.

The private-equity investors who are entering the luxury market today want their results in short order. "They have to be in and out of the market in four or five years, and we all know it can take longer than that," says Guy Salter, deputy chairman of the British luxury-goods association Walpole, who has been watching with skepticism. "The jury is still out" on whether these new investors will improve the luxury business, Mr. Salter says.

While deep-pocketed investors promise opportunity for these fashion houses, what will the new era in fashion financing mean for consumers?

-- Love that designer? Don't get too attached. The recent negotiations for Valentino have been conducted without so much as consulting with Valentino Garavani, the brand's 75-year-old designer and founder. It isn't clear whether Mr. Garavani would stay with Valentino after control of the company changes hands. In a corporate world, designers are no longer stars but employees. Witness Gucci. Despite a fierce outcry from fans, Gucci replaced iconic designer Tom Ford with the little-known Frida Giannini. Far from a fiasco, the move actually improved sales.

-- Classic labels could go teeny-bopper. Labels looking for a quick pick-me-up tend to try to appeal to new consumer groups, often younger ones. This has left some longtime fans of companies such as St. John Knits, Jil Sander and Bally shoes feeling alienated as the brands shifted their focus, and styles, to younger shoppers. At St. John and Bally, the companies are backtracking to reconnect with their traditional customers. "Bally tried to be a little too relevant in the fashion industry when their core customer wasn't really too interested in fashion," says James Hurley, an analyst with Telsey Advisory Group in New York.

-- Expect more stores. Growing revenue means opening new stores -- and we're seeing store openings feted from Moscow to Mumbai these days. This offers convenience for consumers and more opportunities to buy. But finding Bally shoe stores in Beijing and Bahrain alike also smacks a bit of Gap.

-- Watch for possible quality declines. One of the first things private-equity investors do is start producing high-profit-margin products like purses, scents, jewelry and watches. But these days, handbag-making is more about the label than the expertise -- and the focus is no longer on the highest quality but the highest return on investment. Expect many goods to be made in China and to be of cheaper quality than in the past. The short-term thinking of private-equity investors can also encourage destructive decisions like producing an oversupply or downscaling to reach a broader audience.

-- Dying brands could come back. One of the more intriguing things that these investors can do is revive dying brands. Azzaro, a Paris fashion house founded by former-couturier Loris Azzaro, is set for a comeback now that it is owned by Barcelona's Reig Capital Group, which manages the money of a rich Andorran family.

-- You'll see more advertising. New financial owners attempt to raise the profile of their brands. Sagra Maceira de Rosen, a former J.P. Morgan analyst who is now buying up luxury assets for Reig Capital, says she recently made a decision to spend cash on advertising the group's Vasari line of jewelry rather than assembling more stock for its stores in Spain, where inventories were low. "Having more stock was not going to bring more traffic into the stores," she says.

-- The fittest will survive. The more competitive environment will mean a shake-up for laggards who don't keep up. The seven-decade-old Rochas fashion house, which closed last year after Procter & Gamble Co. pulled the plug, is a case in point. "The weak firms will fall away faster," says Lew Frankfurt, chief executive of Coach.

Other industries went through this process in the 20th century. Airlines, grocers, banks, drugstores, auto makers and computer companies also began as small, entrepreneurial businesses, then grew and consolidated. Every town once had its own version of Henry Potter -- Bedford Falls' banker in "It's a Wonderful Life." Now our iconic banker is Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup.

To private-equity investors, the luxury business is one of the few unplowed fields left. The Loro Piana family receives regular feelers from investors for their eponymous company, known for its fine cashmere. Sergio Loro Piana reiterated last week that his family has no intention of selling. In February, he told me the same thing at his family's store in Milan, as his wife and brother chatted with retail-store buyers. Mr. Loro Piana's mother was keeping her eye on her two gray-haired sons as they served champagne and plates of yellow risotto. It's impossible to measure how this level of attention affects Loro Piana sweaters, but it must be a factor. It's hard to imagine Sandy Weill policing the risotto.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

2-br Apt. for Rent: W. 112th St. & 8th Ave.

A big chance to live in lots of space in New York City near Central Park...could it be true?

The Guerilla's friends are moving to Chicago (the Guerilla's 2nd favorite city) and need someone to take over their lease on July 1.

-2 bedrooms, 1 bath
-tons of light
-laundry in basement
-5th floor walkup
-$1999/month through February 28th 2008.

If you choose to renew they think it will be $2200/month after that.
The realty company requires an income level of $105k/annually, but it will accept a guarantor. It's a great price, similiar apts are going for $2,470/month.

If you know anyone who needs a place, email me asap ( -- because on Monday it is going on Craig's list and they expect it will go fast!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dermalogica's Medicated Clearing Gel

From yesterday's New York Magazine "Best Bets:"

Wax On

Dermalogica's Medicated Clearing Gel is an overnight face treatment that clears skin and prevent blemishes. But it also works wonders on ingrown hairs and discoloration from years of bikini-waxing. Unlike other lotions that are actually made for bump-blasting, this gel doesn't over dry and can be used the same day as waxing. Of course Dermalogica never marketed this as a post-wax treatment, but when we used the salicylic acid, tea-tree oil, and alginated zinc triplex combo, our bikini area was as good as new.
$35 at Oasis Day Spa, 1 Park Ave., at 33rd St.; 212-254-7722.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Kifka + Heller: Custom Couture

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I was traversing the west 40s and was struck by a little shop at 445 W. 49th St. I was lured in by the colors and designs beckoning to me through the windows.

I entered and was immediately ensnared. They had me at hello. So I thought it wise to try a few things on and quickly commissioned the lovely and talented Scott Stargardt to make me the dress that you see in the photo on the right.

It is extremely excellent and even reversible! "Wheat" on one side (pictured) and "Chocolate Brown" on the other, this little number will literally take me from day to evening with merely a quick flip around. Oh and the sash is simple and perfect - I just need him to tie it for me as I do not have the knack for such detail!

What was really so great about the whole experience was: a. they are totally cool and accommodating, b. it's not insanely expensive, c. I somehow fit into the sample size, and d. well "d" is a little secret between Scott and me but let's just say he helped me to further enhance my outfit in a ways that would have cost me extra time and money. And he didn't even know I was the Guerilla Shopper until halfway through our second meeting!

This place is legit...get over there and check it out - dresses, skirts, tops - all different colors, designs, fabrics...and it is somehow all the better for being located in the W. 40s and not a more "obvious" neighborhood.

This is what NYC is all about -- help keep New York cool.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wear Green

I finally had opportunity to visit my favorite store, Les Nanas, yesterday...since I am no longer living in the 'hood (at least for the time being), it no longer falls on my regular route.
I bought two new items for spring/summer - one being a green tank top, artistically displayed here. Whenever I see someone wearing this shade of green, I think, "wow, what a great shade of green." But I have never owned anything in such a hue. Well, I am now thoroughly recommending that you run out and buy something kelly green, because somehow my cotton tank top looks royal and regal and as though I could wear it to the Oscars!
I also bought a great tunic/top/dress - bascially however you want to wear it is what it becomes. A great score indeed.

Oh, what's up with the gargoyles? They were watching over me and my friends this weekend at my birthday party in Nyack. Thank you for protecting us from the rain that held off until 10 p.m!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Guerilla's Birthday

That's right folks, it's the Guerilla Shopper's Birthday. Scratch and sniff to release the sweet scent of the birthday flowers that she received to mark and celebrate the momentous occasion...(does her relative sarcasm deliver the point that she is not thrilled about gaining yet another year, even though she looks so fantastic?)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cassette Generator

I'm not exactly sure why you'd want to do this, or exactly how you'd use it, but it's kind of funny: the Cassette Generator. Visit the site to create an image of a cassette tape with whatever message you desire. See mine?
Jeez I must be really desperate today...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Book on Parenting: From The Hips

So as a single woman with no children I always wonder, "is the grass greener on the other side?" Do I want to ever get pregnant? Do I want to be a parent? The jury is still out, but I am happy that this book exists because it gives you the real person's perspective on pregnancy, birth, parenting, and more. If anyone needs to make an informed decision, it would be me.

From the Hips is an entirely new kind of book about having a baby—an energetic hybrid of professional expertise and personal honesty. After their own recent pregnancies, the authors asked themselves, “Why should women have to choose between a book they can trust and one they relate to?” From the Hips balances serious know-how—including expert input from doctors, midwives, lactation consultants, doulas, and more—with smart, funny tales from the trenches. Quotes from hundreds of parents show a range of experiences and opinions rarely seen on the same page. Always revealing, often hilarious, sometimes incredibly moving, these glimpses into the real world of pregnancy and parenthood show readers just how wild a ride it can be.

From the Hips, written by Ceridwen Morris and Rebecca Odes and published by Three Rivers Press is coming out May 22. Visit the website to reserve your copy now.

(ALSO: Visit, which includes a blog as well as extensive online and offline resources for new parents at all stages of the process. And for some free advice from Morris and Odes visit

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Big Drop Warehouse Sale: May 17-20

Find Outlet is pleased to be hosting The Big Drop Warehouse Sale from Thursday May 17th to Sunday May 20th.
Time: 12 to 7 pm.

Location: 361 West 17th Street between 8th and 9th Aves.

Come scoop up your favorite designer labels: Tracey Reese, Ella Moss , Foley & Corinna 7for all mankind and more for marked down prices that will help you take your closet from spring to summer!

Get your wardrobe summer-ready with breezy, effortless shift dresses by Rebecca Taylor from $89.00 and La Rok trapeze cuts that will take you from city street to sea side beach.

Merchandise will be marked down and updated on a daily and hourly basis, so that you can put your best be-heeled foot forward in the warmer months ahead!

Chelsea: 361 W. 17th Street (between 8th and 9th Aves)Subway A,C,E to 14th St (16th St Exit) 1/9 to 18th StOpen Thursday - Sunday 12 - 7 pm.

Special Offer: Visit and Enter discount code bdnyc2007 for $30 off all your purchases until June 30th 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mets Express

OK, OK, so this is not a "shopping" story per se, but it was cause for such a great Saturday that I just have to write about it here: The Mets Express.

A group of us somehow all got together before noon on a Saturday and jumped on the New York Water Taxi's Mets Express, which makes stops at the South St. Seaport, 34th St. and 90th St. - all along the East River - and cruises you past Riker's Island and LaGuardia Airport all the way to Shea Stadium.

Both the ferry AND the snack shack at the dock near Shea provide BEER, a key point of interest for most of the people in my group.

Points of note: make advance reservations for the Mets Express ($18 round trip) and remember to buy yourselves tickets to the actual game as well (they can still be gotten for $11!).
It may be the most aesthetically displeasing boat trip on the face of the planet, but somehow it works. Or perhaps I am just blindly in love. With New York...whatever it has to offer me!

Friday, May 11, 2007

My Clothes are SAVED!

I just heard from Fabric Renewal, the dry cleaning, restoration, drapery/shade cleaning company in Bloomingdale, New Jersey that took all of my clothes, shoes, bags, belts, rugs, curtains, sheets, towels, pillows, etc. to be saved, cleaned and refreshed. It worked!

The cost?

Believe it or not, I am thrilled! Not only that they have billed my insurance company directly, but because I had this sinking feeling that it was going to cost $10k more than that. I thank New Jersey for being cheaper than New York.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

White Hot Chocolate: $8.64

I couldn't help myself. I had to have the White Hot Chocolate last night in the lobby lounge in The Essex House. It was a toss up between that and the Mint Hot Chocolate. Now I wish I took a photo of it, but anyway...It seemed so ridiculously expensive, and it was, but it came in a double-layered tall glass covered in whipped cream and milk chocolate shavings, as well as a tray of different kinds of sweeteners and 2 cookies! I allowed my friend to enjoy the cookies while I drank the hot sweet goodness like the Agustus Gloop and we agreed that it was practically worth the absurd price. Especially from our point of view on the white leather banquettes next to the beaded lamps. You have to check this out for yourself.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Delman (shoes) Sample Sale: May 16-18

I know I have trashed it before, but it has moved to a new location and may be worth checking out...the Delman sample sale.

Wednesday - Friday, May 16-18
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavillion
123 W. 18th St. (btwn 6th-7th Aves.)

Check it out for spring/summer and special pre-fall styles. Major credit cards and cash accepted.

No strollers or large bags. All items must be checked before entering sale venue, so leave the dog and kids at home.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Necklace

Since I continue bragging about my excellent new necklace from Dori of Ike Designs, I thought I'd show it to you up close and personal, while it was taking a break from some of its office duties at work today.
As an aside, you may have noticed that I have added a couple of new links today - one to Ike Designs and the other to Konstant Kontact, a blog on DJ Stretch Armstrong in the 80s and 90s. Perhaps this seems like an odd link to include on Guerilla Shopper, but as we know I am rooted in the 80s AND I used to listen to Mr. Armstrong, so it really makes for a nice synergy, doesn't it?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Ike Designs Live and in Person

I visited the proprietor of Ike Designs at the Actorcrafts market on W. 43rd St. this weekend and got the coolest necklace as created by Dori herself.

See the Guerilla alongside the esteemed artisan and her beautiful works here. She continues to add new gems and stones to her collection, as well as new creative designs that truly inspire!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Hell's Closet

This living in multiple neighborhoods thing is really enabling -- even encouraging -- me to find new shopping pardisos in places I would not have otherwise checked out. Such as Hell's kitchen in the 40s between 9th and 10th Aves. where I came upon Seffens Studio at 405 West 44th Street - a half art studio-half shop selling other artists craft works such as jewelry, scarves, paintings, pottery and more. Another similar, however more housewares-heavy, called Domus is right down the block at 413 W. 44th St.

And then I found an excellent little fun gem called Kifka + Heller where the designer, Scott, displays sample sizes of his great designs - primarily dresses, but also skirts and tops - that he fits for you and then customizes to size, color and other detail. I am going to stop there because I am sure to get at least two more bloggings out of the fantastic "piece" that Scott is whipping up for me. A fashion cliffhanger, indeed.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dynamints & Bottle Caps

I love candy from the 80s. Not chocolate, but the sugary, bright, sweet stuff including Volcano Rocks, Spree, Tart'n'Tinys, Pez, Bottle Caps and Dynamints (pictured here)!

Most of these fantastic candies are discontinued or don't exist in their original configuration any more...except you can still get a big ol' box of Bottle Caps at the Target on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Yes, I make up other excuses to go there, but what I'm really after are my Bottle Caps. You can take the subway and everything.

However, seeing how I was chauferred in a Benz to work this morning from my current temporary home, perhaps I can get them to motor me on over there this weekend. Why not? I'm living up the absurd anyway...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ike Designs Jewelry - Live Sale This Weekend

Ike Designs Jewelry Wholesale prices for one day only at ActorCrafts
Saturday, May 5 - 10 am to 6pm
332 West 43rd St., between 8th and 9th Aves.
Free Admission

Mention Guerilla Shopper and Dori will also absorb your sales tax.

~Visa and Mastercard accepted~
Visit for gems and jewels by Dori

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Temporary Bedroom

Well I finally have a king-sized bed with a chandelier hanging above it - however temporary...

Word is that nobody knows when I will be able to move back into my building. Waiting for official fire reports and other red tape to get resolved. So I shall continue roaming the city from place-to-place...continuing to seek new stores and shopping opportunities in each new locale.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

H&M Supports Me

OK, so although I have not been particularly kind to H&M in the past, I found myself at the Fifth Avenue/midtown location with my gift card in hand. Yes it was a total zoo, but I managed to buy a pair of pants, a necklace, a metallic leather belt and - perhaps the most shocking-yet-pleasing purchase - two bras. I would have never thought that H&M would provide me with that kind of support, but I have to say they fit me as good as, if not better than, most any bras I have ever purchased before. And for a mere $16.70 a piece, I intend to return and replenish the bra stock with regularity.

I wish I could provide you with photos of me wearing them, but I am shy.