Friday, April 30, 2010

Every Living Thing Pushed Into the Ring

This is what we did the second it turned warm outside. Rooftop campfire circle minus the campfire.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Garlic

Until very recently, I had a pretty strong opposition to veggies. It's not that I didn't believe in their healthful goodness or Michael Pollan's truism "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants." It had more to do with the fact that a plate of salad, no matter how gussied up and disguised, bored me to tears. I would think to myself: Who in their right mind would order a bunch of lettuce leaves and sprouts when they could have a juicy rare steak instead? Or a golden roast chicken! Or gorgeous seared fish! I didn't put much thought into the concept of being good to your body. My logic system went something along the lines of "Life is short. Enjoy it."

And then, something just changed. It started when I got my wisdom teeth extracted and was thus rendered incapable of eating solid foods for a good two weeks. I subsisted on liquid soups and yogurts and not only did I shed some pounds, I started to feel lighter, happier, more in tune with myself. And then, I happened to read a couple of books on food--namely Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Diet" and Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals," and both had significant effects on me. The bottom line was this: Eating meat, poultry, even fish, is bad for you, bad for the earth, and unthinkably cruel to the animal you're eating. The amount of pain and suffering these creatures endure every single day of their lives is shocking and brutal. And completely unnecessary. Anyway, I haven't gone vegan completely, but I've reduced my meat/poultry intake to about once a month. The rest of the time, I focus my meals mostly on plants and whole grains with the occasional serving of fish thrown in. And you know what? I love it. I'm happier for it, and I have the proud, heretofore unknown feeling of making a conscious effort to take care of myself.

This newfound way of eating has launched a new way of cooking also, with a concentration in making veggies taste as good as humanly possible. Here's a recipe for simple bok choy that I whipped up for dinner last week. It's easy-as-pie to make, deliciously savory, and healthful. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic


1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic (about 8 cloves)
2 pounds baby or Shanghai bok choy, halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

    Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until cornstarch has dissolved.
    Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour peanut oil down side of wok, then swirl oil, tilting wok to coat side. Add garlic and stir-fry until pale golden, 5 to 10 seconds. Add half of bok choy and stir-fry until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes, then add remaining bok choy and stir-fry until all leaves are bright green and limp, 2 to 3 minutes total. Stir broth mixture, then pour into wok and stir-fry 15 seconds. Cover with lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, then transfer to a serving dish.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    When You Try to Leave We'll Keep You

    Last night, I headed uptown to the MOMA for the New York premiere of "Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child," hosted by exciting new LVMH site Nowness. The screening was particularly well-attended with the likes of Alicia Keys, Chris Rock, Julian Schnabel, and Lily Donaldson in the audience. But more importantly, the film was completely fascinating. I had known of Basquiat before, and appreciated his work, but I left the museum last night with a newfound, full-blown obsession.

    Basquiat was the kind of tortured, lost, determined young talent that can't help but leave a legacy behind. The film captured that in rare, never-before-seen video footage taken by a close friend, director Tamra Davis, over 20 years ago. It also features interviews with colleagues, friends, and lovers of Basquiat, all of whom share a certain mix of melancholy and awe when it comes to the topic of their deceased friend. Watching footage of Basquiat, you can see why. He was captivating to watch--surprisingly shy and soft-spoken, often stumbling a little over his words, and rarely looking directly at the camera, he always remained a bit of mystery. He seemed sad most of the time, a little misplaced.

    By the end of the film, I was admittedly weepy when it addressed his isolation and disappointment, and his ultimately tragic end (Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in his NYC studio in 1988 at the age of 27). But that's the beauty of Davis' work: it gives the audience a close-up, starkly intimate glimpse into Basquiat's life; so much so, that by the end his death felt a little like a personal loss. The movie opens on July 21st at the Film Forum in NYC.

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Combat Baby Come Back Baby

    A few weeks ago I went over to Williamson PR to check out their new crop of fall collections and immediately fell in love with a line called Candela. Designed by Natalia Kuks-Jacobs and Gabriela Perezutti-Isacson, the pieces are an interesting mix of romantic, old-fashioned even, but with a bit of a hard edge. For fall 2010, they were inspired by gorgeous American photographer Lee Miller, who started off as a successful model in the 1920s before going on to cover World War II for Vogue to much acclaim. This inspiration produced two completely perfect pieces of outerwear, pictured above.

    Here, some images from their lookbook. You can buy their amazing spring shoes now at Shopbop or Revolve:

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Haul Post: Stuff I Bought Today

    Today was the first meeting-free day our burgeoning company, CA Creative, has had in a long time. I spent the day furiously catching up on emails, writing proposals, brainstorming for potential clients, and even managed to fit in an hour of dangerous online shopping. Today's theme is apparently neon green and black. Here's what I bought:

    1. Proenza Schouler
    This tank was an easy compromise--I wanted the $3,000 dress, but figured I could probably just throw a studded belt over this and pretend it's a dress--and for literally a fraction of the price. Proenza Schouler tie dye racerback tank, $275, at

    2. Jessica Simpson
     I swear Jessica Simpson makes the best inexpensive shoes--especially the sky-high ones! This pair is a 6-inch platform. Amazing. Jessica Simpson Cawder platforms, $98, at

    3. Canon
    I've been needing to replace my old point-and-shoot for a while now, and these little Canon Elph cameras are the best. They're super compact so I can carry it everywhere--perfect for capturing all my summer memories-to-be! Canon PowerShot SD1400IS digital camera, $249.99, at

    And some stuff I wish I had bought had I been granted more funds to work with. A girl can only dream, right?

    4. Hermes
    Hermes Anise green leather notebook, $265, at

    5. Balmain
    Balmain leather bullet belt, $1,345, at

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Grow Up and Blow Away

    I always say that if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now (i.e. fashion, writing, consulting, etc.), I would've become a wedding planner. I love weddings--all the white, the flowers, the churches, the french lace, the bride and groom (nervous and hopeful, shaky and glowing all at once), all the loved ones coming together, the utterly romantic, optimistic-against-all-logic nature of the day.

    Since I'm nowhere near getting married myself, it's a slightly embarrassing habit of mine to peruse wedding sites, follow bridal fashion week religiously, and plot locations, floral themes, and menus in my wedding-addled head. One of my favorite floral shops in the world, Saipua, did a wedding at the Bowery Hotel this weekend and the pictures do nothing to temper my wedding enthusiasm. Gorgeousness, gorgeousness, gorgeousness all around.

    I love Saipua--not only do they do the best floral arrangements, they also run a flower school in a big barn-like space at the back of their Brooklyn shop that teaches people how to make arrangements. Also, they make handmade soap. They're looking for an unpaid intern right now who will "eat well on us, and take home flowers and soap each day you come." Seriously tempting and then I remembered....I have a real job. Several, actually.

    Anyhow, enjoy the pictures from their blog--what a perfect way to think spring.

    P.S. They also hand-wrote all the menus and place cards--multi-talented.
    P.P.S. I think I like them so much in part because they use peonies so heavily. Peonies are my favorite flower.
    P.P.S. On a side note, exciting news! Vera Wang just announced a new partnership with David's Bridal. This means that come spring, you'll be able to purchase Wang-designed gowns for around $1,500. Amazing. 

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Kimberly Ovitz Fall 2010

    There may be a lot of fresh, new designers I'd be willing to champion on any given day, but few have the power to take up as much of my fashion mind space as Kimberly Ovitz does. There's nothing I don't desperately want out of her collections, and her fall 2010 effort was her most impressive yet. I recently paid a visit to Jess at Williamson PR (her sales/PR reps) and got to see all the pieces up close--died. For fall, the 26-year-old designer was inspired by a pair of 18th century yearbooks she found--pretty cool. You can buy her spring collection now on Net-a-Porter and on Shopbop. xo