Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where Have I Been?

So my last entry was on 3/2. Where have I been since that day? Well, the week after that, I was in the Big Apple...again. Second time in a year. I'm on a roll!
I was there for business and pleasure. I went to a very informative work-related seminar, then I just spent the rest of the week relaxing. I know people don't generally think of New York City as a place to relax, but for me, it is. Work has been so stressful that I wanted to take a week to do something that's different from my daily grind. Every time I visit NYC, I feel more and more like I belong there. It must've shown in my face cuz 3 people asked me for directions! Last time, just one did (and I gave them to her in Spanish). I also learned to take the subway-I couldn't believe how easy it was!
One way in which I was taken out of my daily grind is the volume of food I ate. I'm normally a light eater, but with almost every meal in NYC, I was able to scarf down an entree, appetizer, dessert, and wine. The best part? I didn't gain any weight! It must've been all that walking. Speaking of food, I couldn't leave NYC without checking out the first American outpost of Laduree, the infamous macaron bakery from Paris. It may be a very long time before I get to see the original one in Paris, so I figured I should pay a visit to the NYC one. I got there at about 4:30 pm on a weekday, and there were about 20 people in line ahead of me. It took more than a half hour for me to get in and out of there. In the end, it was worth it. The treats were scrumptious! I've cut out a lot of dessert from my diet lately, so it shocked me that such a little piece of food can cost $2.70. If you're like me and like to save a little here and there, don't get the gift boxes. They're in all the displays, so it may look like you have to buy them, but you don't. Besides, the regular boxes are not-too-shabby-looking (as you'll be able to see in the pic on the left). Of course, I had to do the New Yorker thing and eat hot dogs and pretzels from the street and pizza. Yum...but I was sure to balance them with salads and fish, too ;)
Having a mostly open agenda, I was free to move about the city as I wanted. I spent hours in neighborhoods I had never visited previously, such as the Flatiron District and Little Italy. I also spent quite a few hours in the Financial District, home of the newly-built 9/11 memorial. It was pretty crowded there, so I can see why appointments have to be made. I felt a little humbled, just taking in the sights around the memorial. To think of people who give their lives and have to leave their loved ones, all in the name of service, it makes me think how lucky I should feel to be alive and how grateful I should be to people who sacrifice their lives so people like me can go on.
So my agenda was mostly open, but what was sure to be included was...can you guess? Shopping, of course! Did I get anything special? Yes, I did! Christian Louboutin Lady Gres 160 pumps, in mandarin red suede! This is a style exclusive to the CL 20th anniversary capsule collection. Even more exclusive to the style is the color, which was sold in very few stores around the world. I lucked out big time that the Horatio boutique had my size! Each pair from this collection comes with a special box, cloth bag, and even special tissue paper!

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Some Notes on LA" (by Talia Ralph)

My sister sent me a link to this article posted today, which I thought was interesting, so I'm reposting it here (the link is

I never realized before that freeways come to an end; they just flow back into real streets like nothing ever happened, like you were never going 80 at 4 AM next to a 16-wheeler, thinking about your ex. The glow of movies on big screens? This entire city is basking in that glow. That glow can carry you home over and under passes and through seemingly endless ritzy and rickety neighborhoods. The hills — Silver Lake, Hollywood, whatever all those other ones are — they wink at you. They glitter and glint and make you feel like you’re in on the joke; that you’re living in a feature film.

The cafes are always full of people, any time of day. Many of them are working on things: screenplays, events, stories. That, or they are actors doing a very good job pretending to work on things, when really they are just studying you, waiting to see what they can borrow from your character and use. It is okay to spend 5 dollars on tea or coffee, even 10: it is the price you pay for not having an office and wearing sandals to work in February. It is also the price of being the source of audition material.

Everyone here is playing some kind of character; if anything, the city requires that you reinvent yourself upon entry. You may have been a straight-A straight-edge goody-two-shoes in your hometown, but here, history doesn’t hold as much weight. You can be a flaky floozy with blond highlights dressed in filmy white dresses and turquoise stones, looking out at the world hazily from beneath a floppy brimmed hat. You can be a total sh-t-kicker who wears leather jackets with scraped up elbows from motorcycle accidents and runs her mouth at inopportune moments. You can be a screenwriter-photographer-director-writer’s girlfriend, a jaded intellectual who sneaks peeks at Entertainment magazine when no one is looking, a muse. Not only can you; you should.

There are usually lemons or limes or avocados growing somewhere close to your house; you can pick them when you’re leaving parties drunk and let them roll around in your purse, and make lemonade or Key Lime pie or guacamole with them the next day, leaving the bottom of your bag smelling like citrusy leather. You can also tell by squeezing an avocado in between your fingers when it is ripe and when it is rotten. You can taste it if you want to, if you really need proof that even such a perfect fruit can go bad, but you know the second you touch it if it is still edible. The same tends to go for your interactions with people.

You can be all different kinds of beautiful here; beautiful because you stick out, because your skin is light instead of dark, your hair is dark instead of light; or beautiful because you blend in, all sand and sun and sea-colored. You can dip the tips of your hair in sunshine, tattoo your skin, pierce your ears, put your name on lists for exclusive parties and teeter through the doors in heels and sequins and silk. You can give in to the vanity of the place and no one will scoff at you; they’re being their own hot selves. You will never have seen so many beautiful people in a Target before.

Someone once told me that your ability to survive in Los Angeles is based on a very simple formula. You need to get into bed at night and be able to hold what you’ve done that day up against your dreams and feel like they match up, and you need to be getting laid. If you lack one, or worse, both of those things, you have every right to get back on the freeway and leave.

I highlighted my favorite sentences of this article. How would you describe how an "LA woman" looks? Would you say she's tall and thin, with blonde hair and blue eyes, like Cameron Diaz? Or a dark-haired petite woman with curves, like Kim Kardashian? You'd be right to say either cuz they're both from LA. One thing I say that I love about this city is the diversity. The ethnic diversity here is unbeatable. You can find women here in all heights, body shapes, hair color, skin color, etc....and we're all beautiful. Having gone to a lot of Targets here within the past couple of weeks (to stalk the Jason Wu collection), I can attest to seeing all the beauty in the store considered the ultimate equalizer, since we all have to go there sometime in our lives.

I've traveled to many different places around the world and am even open to the possibility of moving to another city. I always say, though, that wherever I end up, I'll always be a proud Angeleno.