Thursday, April 30, 2009

What doesn't kill me...doesn't kill me: "Next to Normal" on B'way

In addition to the varied interests I've already described on this blog, I am passionate about the performing arts, namely theatre and ballet. I can almost always tell you what the latest show on B'way is, who's in the cast, and what NYCBallet and ABT have on their program for the week.

Spoiling me as he does, last night The Bunny surprised me with tickets to "Next to Normal," the new Broadway triumph. He was inspired to buy tickets a few weeks ago after reading Ben Brantley's glowing review in the NYTimes.

Photo courtesy of NYTimes

In many ways, this story about a troubled family is a concoction of the best elements from some of my favorite shows. The trauma of an "imaginary" child, and the death of that child, from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" makes an appearance here. The desire to feel pain as confirmation of life evokes of Dysart's jealousy of Strang's pseudo-religion (however dysfunctional) in "Equus." The grab-you-by-the-heart intensity recalls many moments in "The Last Five Years." I really loved this show. The Bunny wasn't quite as thrilled, but I think it's mostly because Brantley's review set the bar impossibly high.

In general, the performances were admirable. I admit I wasn't completely won over by the actors playing the mother and father. The real standouts were Jennifer Damiano, who played the daughter, and Aaron Tveit, who played the son. Gossip Girl fans will recognize Aaron as Nate Archibald's cousin, Tripp Vanderbilt, from the "Seder Anything" episode. He is lovely in real life, and has incredible vocal training; he will woo you from the first note.

You can watch clips of the show here:

There were a number of stars in the audience, including Alan Alda, who was seated directly behind me. It was interesting to observe the things he laughed at...namely, all the jokes that were NOT funny. Ah, well. I never liked MASH anyway.

Let me know if you see the show and we can swap opinions! And if anyone needs a theatre or ballet buddy, I am always game.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dominating a new Domain

For my birthday (now nearly two weeks ago) my college BFF DAW gifted me with something perfect: A domain name for my blog!

Since I'm not as savvy in the tech side of things as I would like to be, it took me awhile to figure it out. Right now I've set it up so that my domain redirects to "" I'm not sure if that's what I SHOULD be doing, but I wanted to at least get the domain up and running.

So save yourself from typing those extra letters and visit me at:

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few favorite shots of DAW and CJM causing trouble in college...

Thanks for supporting my blog, D. Miss you every day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend (that's a stretch) Recap.

Wednesday 4/22: Dinner with ESG at Irving Mill.
We shared the roasted squash with cashews and bacon (delicious!). Then we both had the burger, which came with cucumbers. I've noticed this trend at several places lately (most recently, Hundred Acres), and it's wonderful; a nice crunch to accompany the softness of the patty/bun. The burger is a beef/pork mix and very good; top 10 in the City.

Thursday 4/23: Dinner with SAB and TAG at The Mermaid Inn.
Here are the photos, as promised!

My Mussels // SAB and TAG // Complimentary chocolate pudding and Fortune Teller Fish (lovely touch of whimsy!)

After dinner, we stopped by the Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar. I picked up a piece of delicious Banana Cake (banana cream, hazelnut crunch, gianduja fudge) to take home and share with the Bunny. Sadly, I ended up eating most of it by myself; it's just too good!

Friday, 4/24: Dinner with A(K)K and EJS at Blue Smoke.
I was craving pulled pork, and my friends agree that you just can't go wrong with Danny Meyer.
My pulled pork; had to take half of it home // EJS, very pleased with her beignets! // A(K)K, also quite pleased with her banana cream pie!

I have a love/hate relationship with puns, but I appreciated this coffee cup play on the restaurant's name:
Blue Smoke/Jazz Standard = BREW Smoke/JAVA Standard.

We worked off our meals with a nice long stroll through Madison Square Park, Union Square and the West Village. The weather was too perfect not to take full advantage. We had a great time, and I know that this night will live in my heart as one of the very best with these two lovely friends. (And congrats, AGAIN!, to A(K)K on her job promotion, and hurrah to EJS for inching ever closer to starting Columbia Law School in the Autumn!)

Saturday, 4/25: Trip to Connecticut to visit family.
My aunt (by marriage) is Italian and a WONDERFUL cook. She always spoils me when I visit by fixing her famous homemade pizza. It's to die for.

Couldn't resist taking a bite before I took the picture!

Sunday, 4/26: Shopping at Lilly // Dinner at Alice's Tea Cup with TAG // Good phone chat with my Parents.
I went a little nuts at Lilly. This is what I like to call PATRIOTISM IN ACTION.

It's a bubble. With lace. And lobster print.
(And you know how I feel about lobsters...)
I don't think it looks so hot on this model, but it's WONDERFUL.

Odin cardi in WHITE (looks dumpy but is super chic and the perfect cardigan) // Marti Skirt in WHITE (classic closet staple)

You might not know this about me, but I'm mostly a minimalist with my clothes--sometimes over-the-top with accessories, but nevertheless a minimalist with my clothes. I realize the irony in being a minimalist who shops at Lilly Pulitzer, but it's a good pairing, I tell you!

Sealed with a Kiss clutch in NAVY // Jackie Sandals in BLACK; how could you resist with a name like that?!

Alice's Tea Cup with TAG was divine.
She has the only photo we took, so I'll let her post that. This restaurant chain is an old favorite of mine, but it was TAG's first visit. I'm glad to have had the honor of witnessing her utter delight at the charming ATC on E. 81st Street, and her marvel at the deliciousness of their best-in-the-universe scones! I know this is only the beginning of many more tea times for us...

As for my parents: They're simply the best.
They listened to me detail the best and worst parts of my week and gave me support throughout. As my Dad said, with smackings of FDR:
"There's no need to live in fear, Christine."
Sometimes, it's just nice to hear.

Here's wishing everyone a happy and speedy week!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quote du Jour

"Look – I'm 5-feet-9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line. What can I do about it? I can't stay home waiting for something different. I think it's a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting."

R.I.P., Bea Arthur, you will be dearly missed. Thank you for so many laughs in my childhood and, again, in my adulthood.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Things That Make Me Smile.

1) Last night's Dinner at The Mermaid Inn/Dessert at Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar with TAG and SITC.
These are great gals and the food was wonderful (photos to come next week).
Beyond our happy threesome, I was delighted when the hostess coincidentally seated an old Princeton classmate at the next table. One day last year I was riding the subway feeling a little bit blue and somewhat alone despite being in a city of 8 million people. And then the doors opened and a girl came into the car and sat next to me, and it was this same classmate, SG! Seeing a familiar face helped me get my bearings. It was nice to have another random encounter.

2) This morning's dentist visit.
I dragged my cranky self out of bed for an early morning appointment in the Financial District.
My dentist quickly put me in a good mood, however, when she said that my dress made me look like Cinderella, that I was as pretty as Snow White, and later revealed that my teeth are healthy and cavity-free!

The appointment even ended early enough for me to pop into Century 21 and get a new pair of Ash shoes (left) (which vaguely remind me of the Margielas (right) I will never be able to have) before work!

3) Quality time tonight with old friends EJS and A(K)K.

Location: TBD, but I'm ready for some fun catching up!

4) A new tea salon on the UES!
I want to go to there. Any takers?


Enjoy it! And keep the haircut comments coming!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mama needs a Haircut. She needs them ALL cut.

I won't lie. I like my shiny hair.
(Favorite Sex and the City quote: "Do you think my hair's too shiny today?")
But when it loses its luminescence...I know it's time for a haircut.
Wah wah.

I tend to dread haircuts the way I used to dread the gym:
Knowing full well that it's GOOD for me and will make me HAPPIER after the fact,
but resenting the inconvenient hours, the expense, and the feeling of hopeless un-coolness that comes with being amongst the better-looking people I encounter when I go.

It also brings about an existential crisis that's totally unmerited by something as transient as the length and shape of my hair. Sometimes I delay a very necessary haircut simply because I can't decide WHAT TO DO with myself.

-Do I take the plunge and bob it?
-Do I keep the bangs?
-Will another go at layers make me look like Jennifer Aniston circa 1996 or, worse, a suburban soccer mom?
-Did I really love my last stylist enough to go back?
-Should I trust the devil I know?

Choppy above-the-eyebrow bangs? (Got them twice in 2008 but remain unconvinced)

Blunt-cut bangs? (Actually, I'm pretty sure we can just rule this one out...)

Side-swept bangs that fall just below my eyes? (My mother HATES this.)

Short(er) with Bangs vs. Short(er) withOUT Bangs?

Long(er) with Bangs vs. Long(er) withOUT Bangs?
(Note: These probably look identical to the untrained eye, but I lived through it and trust me, they aren't the same)

Help me decide! I will also take Manhattan salon recommendations.

As I mull over this crisis, I will be comforted by dinner in an hour with TAG and SITC!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy B(EARTH)day to You.

FORGET Earth Day!
Today marks the birth of one of my dearest and oldest friends, the predictably unpredictable ENP!

You can get the lowdown on our long friendship by reading this,
but suffice it to say, my love for ENP runs deep.
She's smart, sassy, independent, and a true pioneer in every sense of the word.
She's a great listener and entertainer, and she won't let you get away with self-pity or ridiculous indulgence for long; in short, she's PRECISELY the kind of friend I need!
Though she's thousands of miles away, we chat for hours a day, and I venture to say we're closer than ever. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Here's to year 24, E. With love.