Conan O’Brien is back in town (apparently to officiate a long-time staffer’s gay wedding), and of course, it’s hard to miss this fact when there are block-long billboards up near Times Square (my favorite being “The city that never sleeps welcomes back the man who never tans”), and you live a few blocks from the Beacon Theater, where droves of Conan fans have flocked to ring in their hero.

What I didn’t expect to see when I met a colleague for lunch at Landmarc in Columbus Circle was a Conan-inspired art exhibit.

Read more

This year, I dug out an old dress, this shimmery floor-length gown that I wore to a ball my senior year of college (still fits, thank you very much), threw on some wings, a halo, and elbow-length gloves, and voila. I’m an angel.

Though I certainly didn’t behave like one.

My friend Carina (rocking the red wig) invited me to some big bash on the Lower East Side (haven of cool, people), and despite the sloppy, snowy conditions, we went for it. And it was by far the best decision I’d made all weekend.

Trick or treating? Kid stuff. But getting decked out for an adult costume party is a whole different level of fun. And I was psyched at the high bar set by the party guests. These weren’t folks looking to get away with as little a costume as possible (like Jim on The Office who went as three-hole-punch Jim one year). These people went for it.

I saw my share of fantastic individual costumes of which there were several (I saw more than one Black Swan complete with tutu, severe eye shadow, and long feathery lashes; a huge beaver, a 6’6 Santa Claus, a firefly. But also impressive ensemble costumes–a few honeybees, one of whom also wore a beehive hairdo (nice touch) who buzzed around their friend dressed up as a full-on honey bear; a group of flight attendants, a crowd of London businessmen, complete with derby hats and monocles (who were, in fact, from London, which was the best part).

There was of course the occasional snarky Manhattan costume, like the guy who looked like a banker, wearing a suit with a pin that said “1%” and underneath that in small print, “You’re welcome.” A nice complement to the few slightly less kempt gentleman bearing Occupy Wall Street signs (and on the other side of the sign, one guy had “I majored in art history”).

It was a carnival of personalities and I found frolicking around in it a ton of fun. Honestly, how often do you get to go up to someone at a bar and make a comment about what they’re wearing without risking a serious personal confrontation? The night would have been a total bore if everyone was standing around in their jeans and cute shoes, like we do the rest of the year.

Instead, I got to flirt with the Brawny man in his plaid lumber jack shirt with a roll of paper towels strapped to his chest (who turned out to be a medical student at Columbia) and a tall, voluptuous Joan Harris from Mad Men in a sexy grey suit. I danced with a few wry badminton players from 1920. I drank three dizzying glasses of sparkling rose and broke a wing (which the Occupy Wall Street was surprisingly industrious enough to mend temporarily) and had a f’ng amazing time.

So if you get the chance to dress up this year, DO IT. It’s not just kid stuff. It’s a rare chance to do something we don’t normally do: Play.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem.

Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim.

Read more

Untitled-1It’s the easiest thing to drop from the to-do list, and the simplest thing to excuse yourself from doing: A creative thing for its own sake. Getting that (whatever it is–writing, painting, scrapbooking, model-airplane-making) onto your schedule, and fending off all other competing, and arguably more urgent issues, is easier said than done.

And that’s the thing about inspiration as pertains to all creative projects: You can’t wait for it show up.

If you sit around pining for your prince to trot in on his steed and save you from obligation, tedium, and routine, you’ll be sorely disappointed. It ain’t coming. Creativity is the horse, not the prince. A horse will take you somewhere, anywhere–but you have to get up on it and tell it where to go.

So I decided to submit a manuscript to be considered for an advanced writing workshop at the 92Y in Manhattan. I have been wanting to invest the time and the money to devote to being in a writing class, and realized if I waited til I had both,  it would never ever happen. So I submitted a manuscript to be considered for admission, and then when I got accepted, I said, OK. I’m doing this.

In fact, I’m writing a short story right now–which is laughable because I’m not a fiction writer. But I’m really loving it–and hating it, because this is hard, and yet immensely enjoyable. And yet I’m 100% sure that if I didn’t have a draft due in a matter of days, I would not be doing it, period. That friction, that discomfort, that inertia you fight to get shit done, that’s where the magic happens.

You want a spark of inspiration? Start the fires going again? Then you’ve got to sit there and rub two sticks together for a while.

There are lots of nice-looking tomatoes out there, but if given the choice, I skip the conventionally pretty and go for the ugly-hot ones instead. Think Black-Eyed Peas over Black Swan kind of hot.

You can find identical tomatoes that appear to have popped out of a factory any day of the week. But the days are numbered for these crazy looking guys.

Read more

I looked around the office. Everyone was in their seats: The health editor was bent over a manuscript; the lifestyle editor flipped through blogs in search of her next story; the market editor hunted down gloves for an upcoming shoot. Normally, I would just keep myself planted there, to be part of the team, to be there even if I had nothing pressing for the next day. But not today. Why? Because sometimes you have to leave on time, just because you can.

Read more

No, not this Welk. But I couldn't resist the rare opportunity to use this picture.

Last night I met a new friend for dinner at the John Dory restaurant on 6th. I had champagne and oysters on the brain, craving the alternating pleasures of crisp, toasty bubbles paired with the cool mouthful of salt and sweet oyster flesh. I had never heard of whelk (aside from Lawrence, kept fresh in my mind thanks to the predictably awkward SNL skit), but the waitress insisted that these sea snails were delicious. I love shellfish of every stripe, so I went for it.

And THIS is why I have, as of late, decided to let Read more

Today is my birthday.

October 9th. It falls during the preliminary days of autumn when you don’t know whether to wear shorts or pack a sweater. The day before Columbus Day. And, in grammar school, marked the beginning of Fire Prevention Week, during which local firemen would come to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in their full gear and scare us Catholic schoolkids half to death with warnings of home fire drills and rope ladders.

Today, Oct 9th in Manhattan was unseasonably warm Read more