Advertisements
Tag Archives: New York

NYC BOUND!

6 Apr

Cue the music because — We are COMING TO AMERICA!  The city that never sleeps to be specific.  Farewell Beijing (well…for 10 days or so).

I am so excited to SEE, EAT, BUY or DO the following:

1. Blue Sky (sans loads of smog)

2. Cafe Habana Corn

3. Visiting with old friends & family

4. Pink Berry (there is just something a little funky about Chinese frozen yoghurt…Although, I can’t put my finger on it)

5. Buy smalls and mediums (trying to fit my non-chinese caboose usually involves buying XL over here)

6.  Easter Brunch in a land that celebrates the true meaning of Easter!  (That would be our risen Lord, not bottomless bubbly – although there is no harm in that.)

7.  Magnolia Cupcakes, any legitimate NY cheesecake, and Crumbs Black & White cookies  (a pretty even tie…and the reason that I may have to buy XLs after all)

8.  Chop’t salads

9.  Window shopping (the concept really doesn’t exist over here – unless you consider getting mobbed every 5 seconds with relentless offers such as, “Hey lady, I give you good price!” to be the same as cruising in Nolita or up Madison Ave).  Personally – I do not.  Although…don’t get me wrong, I do love to bargain at the markets…but you just can’t beat strolling the city streets in the fresh spring air.

10. Happy Hour at the Carlyle – Bemelmans Bar to be exact. Our special spot!

11. Duane Reade…I am allotting at least a 2-hour window to peruse their glorious shelves.  The Easter candy and card aisles alone will keep me entertained for quite a while.

12. Weekend get-away to the Hampton’s – it will still be chilly…but seeing the ocean and snuggling by the fire with my husband is a MUST!

13.  Being on the same time zone with my mom and the twins

14.  Uncensored news (although I must admit, I have enjoyed not being bombarded with campaign nonsense!)

15.  Zero calorie, orange flavored vitamin water (it’s the small things in life…)

16. Toothpaste that doesn’t taste like lavender

17.  High speed internet

18.  MAGAZINES!!!!

19.  Yankees game!

20.  Vintage Shopping (though the Chinese have a far older and more intricate history than the USA…they have nothing on our vintage fashion)

AND…too many other wonderful things to mention!

My big Beijing blues – they are melting away….
I’m gonna make a brand new start of it  – in old New York
If I can make it there – I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you – New York…New York!
Advertisements

Green with Envy

9 Feb

It is official!  New York Fashion Week is officially underway.  I am truly green with envy.  Perhaps I will just wear one of these amazing looks as I run my errands today in Beijing.

Running errands in Beijing = The opposite of front row runway seats and the lights of Lincoln Center.

Carolina Herrera Spring 2012

Chris Benz Spring 2012

Diane von Furstenburg Pre-Fall 2012

Jason Wu Pre-Fall 2012

Jono Fui Spring 2012

Kenzo Spring 2012

Images courtesy of http://www.style.com

HAPPY NY FASHION WEEK!

Valentine’s Day in Beijing

21 Feb

Referred to as “Ai Ren Tian” – which literally translates to Lover’s Day, the Valentine’s Day celebration in China is a fast growing trend. In fact, they have already learned to jack up the price of roses by 100% or more at every flower market in town.   Heart shape chocolates line the shelves of most markets (not just the western ones) and restaurants advertise Valentine’s Day specials. Though unlike New York – you don’t have to make a reservation 2-months in advance! Unfortunately though, my personal favorite – the classic pink velvet heart shape box of chocolates by Russell Stover (found at any local Duane Reade in NYC) is a NO show in the Old Peking. Although on a positive note: Dove, Toblerone, and many fine European chocolates make a strong showing.

Valentine’s Day happened to fall on the day after we arrived home from our trip to the states. Needless to say – jet lag played a big roll in our decision to avoid the crowds and have a nice night at home.  I surprised Brett by dressing myself and our dining room chairs up as Cupid.  I think it is a pretty clever use of red feathered wings…

 

Valentine’s Day Table Decor

I also decided to get a little more creative with my centerpieces in order to avoid the crazy mark up on roses. I used bundles and bundles of baby’s breath (a filler that I don’t typically like) to create the look of a giant fluffy snowball.  It was really cute…and really cheap!  Not to mention the fact that Valentine’s Day was over a week ago, and the arrangements still look just as fresh as the day I created them.

 

Fluffy Baby’s Breath Arrangement

I also surprised Brett with one of his favorite meals: creamed spinach and a Wagu beef filet prepared rare.  He surprised me with 66 beautiful red roses!

 

A Treat from My Valentine!

I give our Valentine’s Day in Beijing 5 Blondes out of 5!  Of course if you happened to spend it with someone who you don’t particularly like…the score could be much lower.

A Bride in Beijing

17 Feb

A Kiss at the Carlyle

To say that we kicked off our 2-week trip to the States during Chinese New Year with a BANG! is a major understatement.  Within 4-hours of landing in NYC, Brett asked me to marry him…and I said YES!

So for all the romantics out there (but mainly for our friends and family – and who am I kidding, I want to have all the details in writing!) – I would love to share the story of how my wonderful new fiancé popped the question. Apparently, unbeknownst to me of course, his process began in late October when he started a search for the “stone”.  Props to Chris Carioti of Carioti Jewelers in Columbus, Ohio who managed to find exactly what Brett was looking for from 6800 miles away.  It took several months of back and forth via email (Brett only saw the ring in person for the first time just minutes before proposing) but by December Brett knew the ring would be ready in time for our trip to the States – so he put his proposal plans in motion.  He started by giving me two nights in a suite at the Carlyle Hotel, a New York institution and home to Bemelmans Bar – where we met, in my stocking on Christmas morning.  This was one of his ways of throwing me off the scent! The sudden increase in the number of “ifs” when referring to our future was another tactic…which (btw Brett) I could have done without!

 

I said YES!

Brett continued planning for the big night with the incredible help of Fred Petry, manager of the Carlyle.  I just want to say that Fred and every employee of the Carlyle from the concierge to the elevator operators were absolutely spectacular in every possible way.  Even upon arrival (looking like homeless rag-a-muffins and smelling like plane after our 14-hour flight from Beijing) we were greeted with the utmost respect.  Albeit – possibly because the comedian Elaine Stritch (a longtime resident of the Carlyle) was collecting her mail at the check-in desk while we were checking in, and she sarcastically wished us good luck “staying in this dump”.  The look of fear on the staffs’ faces  – unsure if we knew the famous comedian or not was a bit entertaining.

 

When we made it up to our room on the 33rd floor – I was in awe.  It was beautifully decorated

The Living Room

in classic upper east side style, and it felt like a real apartment.  We even had our own kitchen – stocked with amazing snacks, beautiful stemware, and a surplus of diet coke!  Of course, I immediately began to hoard the precious soaps and chocolates embossed with the Carlyle Crest

From silverware to pillows...everything was marked with a C

as I explored the room  – but Brett wanted nothing to do with it.  In fact – he was noticeably rushing me…something that he just doesn’t do. Mainly because he is a sweet and patient man – but probably also out of defeat that it doesn’t really work.

 

After getting fancied up, I suggested we enjoy a pre-cocktail hour cocktail in the comfort of our darling living room overlooking Central Park.  He apathetically agreed and then proceeded to drink his as if it were a shot.  Needless to say – I was seriously confused.  We had been planning to make this a “date night” for weeks knowing that the next day would commence our world wind trip of trying to see every single person possible all across the country.  I finished my drink faster than normal (trying to keep up) and we headed downstairs to Bemelmans.

Welcomed with a charming jazz quartet playing old standards – we instantly entered the world of MADMen.  Surrounded by whimsical murals of scenes from Central Park painted by Ludwig Bemelmans himself, this bar exudes classic Manhattan. The room was buzzing for a Monday night.  I noticed immediately that the exact two seats where we had met 20-months before were reserved.  I looked to him – he flashed a big grin – letting me know that it was his handy work.  Even then – I didn’t see what was coming. Possibly because on our last visit, almost a year earlier, we tried to sit in the seats but the two guests before us hogged them all night – never allowing us the opportunity.  It wasn’t until we sat down and ordered a drink that I began to realize what was happening…

Sweet treats in the room!

His nerves were the biggest give away – and it was really cute.  In those next few moments, he told me that from the first time he saw me sitting in that very seat as he walked into the bar, he realized that life as he knew it was about to change.  He told me that he never imagined finding such a perfect fit – that he had hoped for a love like this, but wasn’t sure that he would ever find it – and then, the biggest smile I had ever seen spread across his face, he pulled the ring from his pocket and said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Morgan.  Will you marry me?”  To which I replied, “Of course not.”  JUST KIDDING!  Of course – I said YES!  (For the traditional ladies out there – he didn’t kneel right then as the bar stools are really high – but later, he reenacted the moment and took a knee.  It was sweet.)

 

Countless hugs and kisses later (not at all creepy like Michael Scott and Holly during last week’s PDA episode of The Office) the celebration began with pink champagne and mini burgers.  After filling me in on all the details of his planning process, we headed back up to the room for “more surprises”.  While we had been toasting and calling family at the bar – the engagement elves had filled our room with hundreds of candles, pink roses, rose petals, chocolate treats, and a bottle of 1980 (the year of my birth) Dom Pérignon that Brett special ordered.  So thoughtful, right?

Our Special Champagne

 

We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning (it was easy with the help of our jet lag) talking, planning, and toasting to our future.  And in the morning – the only appropriate thing to do was to continue the celebration with room service.  It was a perfect night.  I am an extremely happy and an incredibly blessed lady!

And, obviously…I forgave him for rushing me!

The Morning After Breakfast...Everything Frette!

Curb Your Kid

17 May

The sign you see to your left is placed on almost every street and street corner in NYC.  For those of you who have never owned a dog (pay attention Mr. Hutchinson) Curbing Your Dog simply means clean up your pet’s “business”.  Dog owners who do not complete this task are highly disliked by the bulk of New Yorkers.  In particular, those individuals who find “business” on the bottom of their Louboutins or Ferragamo loafers.  I can only imagine how disturbed those people might be if they realized they had stepped in human “business.”  This leads me to my entry for today.  It is small in words but big in definition of my life in China.

Last Friday, while waiting for my ride to pick me up from a little shopping excursion, I had a very bizarre encounter with a mother and child.   First, I should mention that the scene of this incident was not an isolated location.  It was a very busy street, bustling with people right next to the entrance of a massive bus station.  As I waited for the car, I sipped on a diet coke (my first of the day so I was in fake sugar heaven) when out of the corner of my eye I saw a mother rapidly stripping the pants of her 3-4 year old son allowing him to spray pee all over the sidewalk.  Naturally, I was a bit grossed out, but I tried to be sympathetic…maybe she is still struggling with the task of potty training him?…maybe he just could not hold it anymore?  But then, things got out of hand and the kid began to drop his “business” all over the place.  It was all I could do to not lose it right then and there.  Can you imagine walking up Madison Avenue to find mothers and nannies allowing their children to use the sidewalk as a toilet?  Wouldn’t this be a great story for Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers to use during their “Really?” segment on SNL’s Weekend Update.  In fact, “really?” was the only word that came to my mind after the incident.

I suppose the moral of this story is to watch where you step on the sidewalks of Beijing.  Also:  Curb Your Kid.

REALLY??

a

a

a

a

a


aa

%d bloggers like this: