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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Family Trip

My parents try to visit every year in May.

So I decided to spice it up this year and organize a little family trip to Cape Cod, MA and Newport, RI over Memorial Day weekend. We left the city around 1:00pm on Friday which could not have been a worse idea. We were stuck in traffic for over 8 hours. Thankfully, the driver-my parents' son in law- is generally speaking a calm person and drove us all the way while I was in charge of the atmosphere. I started with Leonard Cohen that my father loves so much, then a little ABBA to cheer up my mother after 2 hours at Mile 15 (she loved the Mamma Mia movie so much, it's embarrassing). After loosing inspiration and my father asking for classical music, I decided to shut it off and start a game. The "Portrait" game where someone picks a personality and the other ones have to guess who it is by asking questions. Bad idea.... My mother would pick the most obvious celebrities and it would take us 2 seconds to guess. My father on the other hand would pick unknown polish scientists and then would argue that all of us are a bunch of ignorants.

We finally arrived in Harwich Port at 9:00pm at a very cute B&B, Captain's Quarters where any flower lover would feel they've reached heaven. My parents picked the pink flower curtains-pink flower cushions- pink flower pillows cases- pink flower rug- pink flower wallpaper paper- pink flower comforter room. We picked the green plants curtains-green plants cushions- green plants pillows cases- green plants rug- green plants wallpaper paper- green plants comforter room.

Over the two days we went for walks across the Cape, visited cutes places and had meals in different types of restaurants one of them being Bucca's where we had dinner twice. My mother is tall, skinny, and out of my 3 sisters and myself she has the greatest body. She cares about healthy food, olive oil and steamed vegetables. Well... the virus got to her over the trip (I'm not talking about the swine flu). I'm talking about my mother eating fried clams, fried calamaris, French fries, four cheese raviolis in a creamy mushroom sauce, goat cheese risottos... and don't get me started on the cheese cakes.

We left early on Monday to drive to Newport spend the day and cut the road in half. We went for the touristy walk on the harbor, had lunch there and then went to the Castle Hill Inn for dessert and coffee. We sat in Adirondack chairs and ended up spending the afternoon watching the sail boats on the water. We did absolutely nothing and it was just perfection. That's when I knew my parents were really happy.

One last thing: at some point on our way back to New York, I saw my mother take a serious look at a McDonald's drive-thru. (Yes Mom, I saw you!)

Friday, May 29, 2009


Get Ready People...
After 2 crazy weeks, I'm about to make a major come back in the blogging world this weekend. No, I did not forget about you, I was just doing some research: and I mean all types of research.

Monday, May 18, 2009


A painting? No, this is the Expression of Joy.
BMW's latest and how refreshing advertising campaign is brilliant. They asked actor Robin Rhode to capture the joy and emotion of driving a Z4 on a massive canvas at the Downey studios, CA. Intricate paint dispensers captured the fingerprints of the Z4 as it drove across the space, using five colors: yellow, red, blue, green, and gray. The result looks just great but more than the result it's the concept, the experience and the message that BMW sends out that is just right in this time. Take the time to watch the video, but also the behind the scenes. It's time well spent.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Coney Island

I took Yvonne to Coney Island yesterday (how brave of me)... She sort of behaved. It took her about an hour to get ready and still managed to forget to put sunblock on.

We took the F train and went straight to the New York Aquarium. First, there was a sign that the walruses were "off" (they probably went to Manhattan for the day). Second, a class of 30 kids arrived at that same time. So we ran off and went for a walk because the amusement park wasn't opened yet. We sat on a bench and started talking the way only two good and old friends do. Meanwhile Yvonne still hadn't put sun block on. Then, we went to Brighton beach for lunch, sat at Tatiana's terrace, ordered a bottle a Sauvignon blanc to a Russian waitress who understood English as well as Yvonne does, ate a "Russian salad" that was as Russian as I am.

Yvonne took a little nap on the beach while I was taking pictures of people around. Asked a man if I could take a picture of his daughter, he answered I could take a picture of his son... Decided it was time to take off and look at the Cyclone from a bit closer. Yvonne chickened out when we were about to purchase $8 tickets for the roller coaster ride. She got into a fight with a man at a stand (clearly taking advantage of tourists), threatening her to call the cops.
That's when I decided the day was over. We quickly headed back to the train station.

We had a great day. Yvonne got back safe to Manhattan with a lobster tan and tank top marks. As for myself, I'm just hoping my pictures will turn out well this time.

Shoe Craving

I've scanned and kept these images from Eric Boman in my "what inspires me" folder. They were published in a British Vogue a few years ago. It's smart, it's fun, it's inspiring... a great way to tell a story. Eric Boman actually did a book for Manolo Blahnik in 2005, Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversations.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day Dreaming #2

I had dinner with a bunch of friends and then didn't sleep enough last night. So of course, I'm day dreaming about what a nice bedroom would look like. High ceilings, high ceilings again... What I am really liking in this room is the wall covered with frames all from different materials and colors. It gives so much warmth to any space with a sense of life and a story behind each picture. I collect pictures from friends, from photographers I've worked with or when I have a coup de coeur from people I don't know. So when I get back home tonight Yvonne might see me with a hammer, knocking walls down, and hanging frames everywhere. I hear it's very relaxing...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zebra Cruella

What does a pair of Azzedine Alaia Zebra shoes have to do with a Ford Mustang? Answer: me

I finally found an occasion to wear these amazing shoes.
As strange and tacky as this can sound, I'm a huge Ford Mustang fan. When I saw this zebra one on the street today I couldn't believe it. How stylish would it be to drive this car wearing those shoes? I know you're not suppose to match your shoes with anything, my mother would think this is poor taste and I'm probably never going to be driving this car but visually... this is too much fun.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Xuanmin Jin

My youngest sister lives in Shanghai.

She's there for 6 months and from what I hear, I think she's having the time of her life. Apparently Chinese people stop her in the street to take pictures with her (I told her she should charge them for that and pay her rent with it). Take Scarlett Johansson, take Blake Lively, put both of them in a shaker, add a ton of humor and kindness, shake-shake-shake and you get my sister Camille. Not bad, right?

Anyway, she sent me an email this morning with some unknown to me photographer work: Xuanmin Jin. He takes these black and white pictures and picks a few elements in the picture to color. It screams East meets West (or at least the Pop part of the West). I got an instant and strong reaction to these pictures and wanted to share this with you.

So what did I do next? I reminded Camille that my birthday was in February and that she kind of had not sent me anything this year... Will let you know what comes in my mailbox soon, he he he...

Monday, May 11, 2009


Juliette is going to be so disappointed.

We talk blog together, but work also and give each other tips and advice from our own experiences. We usually meet at the pool, swim for 40 minutes and then exercise in the "exercise lane". That's when the conversations start. I have been telling her about this photo-reportage I want to do. We've been talking and talking about it. She's been great listening but most of all pushing me to stop talking about it and just do it (that would actually be a great line... hum).
So last Thursday, I did it. I took my camera. I took risks. Got yelled at by people. Hurt my hand rewinding the color film and today finally brought the film to the lab. You know this feeling you have when you have the pictures in your mind, and you're like a kid, impatient, so impatient to see the result. I made the lab hurry, I called twice to check they were on schedule. And they were... I got back to my office all sweaty with the negatives, rushed to my desk, turned the light table on... and there was nothing. Absolutely nothing, nada, niet!

Juliette, I don't know what happened. I've been using this same camera and same film for over a year and had great success with all of it. This is such a disappointment. And this is why I have nothing to show along with this post.

Jennifer Cecere

When I was in Art School in Paris and dreaming about what my life would be like... I thought I would be a painter or a sculptor, living and working in a loft space in New York, surrounded by talented artists/friends. I would be working on very unique pieces, getting shows all around, awards of course and great reviews from famous critics.

This is not my life (except I actually am surrounded by talented friends), it's Jennifer Cecere's.

Yesterday was the opening of the State Fair-Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens were Jennifer has 3 amazing pieces hanging in the trees. My favorite piece being the 20' white doily: it seems the piece always belonged there and at the same time it was great to see how the contrast between the green and the white made it stand out. There was definitely a lot of wind yesterday in New York and it was very special to see the doily dance. I can't wait to see more of Jennifer's work at that same scale. Congratulations!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Daddy's little girl

A while ago, when my 3 sisters and I all lived at home with our parents we had this contest.

On weeknights, we all knew that between 8:00 and 8:30pm my father would be back from work. The second we would hear the key in the door, the hallway would become a battlefield. The four of us would run, run as if we were running for our lives... to be the first one to "kiss welcome" our Dad. While we were running, we were also screaming, tackling and catching each other's poneytail. He might have been disappointed not having a son, after obviously trying so hard... But I doubt sons run evening after evening, year after year, relentlessly the way the four of us did.

Truth said: we were all Daddy's little girl...

My father's birthday is May 20th. To make sure he would get his gift on time this year, he planned a little trip to New York with my mother to spend some quality time with me (or so he says...). People, the pressure is on! I need to find a great gift for my Dad's birthday. And NO, we are not thinking recession gift, I want to treat my father. If I asked him what he wants he would say:1)a nice drawing or 2)for everybody to get along (which we do) or 3)grand kids. Let's agree that none of these are gifts. I thought about a 12 minute helicopter tour over Manhattan with my mom during their sightseeing but I'm afraid he doesn't like helicopters, or 3 nights in a nice B&B in Cape Cod over Memorial Day weekend but I'm afraid he won't accept that kind of a gift. So please help me with your ideas! I need to find the greatest gift for one of the 2 greatest men.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Feeling special

so special...

Here's the picture: another rainy morning, you had a little bit too much fun the night before at your friend Julien's Gigot Party, your hair is getting way too curly because of the humidity level, there's a pile of clothes on your bedroom chair, Yvonne is on her way, you need to clean the apartment, go to the Post office send a stupid joke to some friends, find a costume for Friday night's Aerobics party (don't ask, I don't even know where to start), write a post about something clever because you foolishly did your own promotion the night before, write a Lettre de Chateau a.k.a Thank You Note to last night's host (he clearly and heavily insisted on it), go to work, find some brilliant ideas for a campaign and most of all smile.

This morning, I need to be cheered up.

So here's a sample of things that would help me feel better, recession spirit as always... Start the day in style by drinking my 7:30 am coffee in a 2 carat diamond cup for $15 only at the Moma Store. Chocolate Pretzels for $10 from Jacques Torres along with a 4:00pm hot chocolate with a shot of espresso in it from the same place. A priceless love letter from my perfect man. A 45 minutes pool session with both my friends Juliette and Mermaid Audrey, but mostly... what I really am hoping for is this rain to stop.

Please send me your "Feeling special" treats and tips.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yvonne is in town!

(Tim Walker Photography)

When you live in New York (more often than if you lived in Mulhouse) your friends will come visit you. That is what's happening to me tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after and... My good friend Yvonne* a.k.a La Princesse au petit pois is arriving tomorow for TEN days. So if this happens to you, here are a few ideas to make sure everybody is happy and your friendship remains a friendship**.

1) give her a set of keys right away
2) call in all your single male friends and make sure she meets them the first day
3) pretend you're a sport addict (pick sports she wouldn't even consider trying out) and each time you feel a tension: go to the pool, to a ring, hop on your bike... no she won't be up for a quick 20 mile loop at 8:00am
4) leave early to work, you won't have to fight over the tiny bathroom
5) prepare a list of all the sight seeing highlights of the season
6) ......
7) Heeeeeelp!! Please send me your precious tips here

I think it's time you give back a little after what Quatre Cinquieme has done for you. Quatre Cinquieme needs you. Thank you.

*I had to change her name just in case she reads my blog. But even if she does, she confessed yesterday she doesn't understand half of what I'm writing: I'm safe. **Don't get me wrong, I truly and deeply love Yvonne. And this for the past 18 years.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day Dreaming

"Ca ne coute rien de rever"
(It doesn't cost a thing to day dream) would tell me my mother...

Coming back from Staten Island to Manhattan on the ferry last Sunday after the 42 miles, I was day dreaming about taking a hot bath. Any type of tub would have been fine on Sunday: except I don't even have one in my apartment... I'm not complaining. I'm just saying: my bathroom sucks. I actually HATE my bathroom, hate it. So instead on focusing on the hate part, I've decided to focus on the dream part /when I'm an adult part (oops...)

This is what my dream bathroom would look like.

At first glance it does look nice but not that fancy... well it is. Can you imagine having that much space and light in a bathroom? And don't get me started with the brick wall and the wood beams... This is just heaven. So what I've found is the faux wood beams for you. It's not that I like having "faux" things at home, it's just that I'm trying to make the best out of a situation. If you haven't read my post about the faux brick wall: 1st) shame on you, 2nd) here's where you need to go, rosebrand...

See, I already feel better. I'm still going back to my tiny bathroom tonight, but it's okay. I'll just close my eyes while knocking myself down in the shower looking for the slippery soap.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The heat is on!

The 5 boro bike tour is a 42 mile loop in New York, first Sunday of May every year. I woke up this morning at 6:30am for a 8:00am start in Battery Park. Let me tell you that the pouring rain did not stop the 30,000 bikers, at all. Americans are so great in these types of situation, they cheer, they honk, they have fun, they talk to people they don't know. We're all in it together and that's what really matters. The atmosphere is just perfect.

In the Bronx, I passed a guy with a boom box on the back of his bike, playing The heat is on. I sooo wish he would have pedaled faster to be with me the whole time. All along, there were these 2 men biking on each side not far from me, the serious biker types with the leggings and the funny shoes. At some point in Queens, the first one smiles at me, I smile back. He smiles again, I smile back again. A few miles later he says: "keep going, you're doing great". Nice, right? Then, in the end, halfway up the Verrazzano Bridge, after this long and painful up hill, the second one says: "So you've done the whole thing?... You started in Battery Park this morning?..." and I naively answer: "Of course, where would have I started from?"

I know I don't have the proper attire, nor equipment, that my cute shorts are not comfortable, my white Converse soaked and turning gray, my bike weights a ton and the basket in the front does not look very professional...well guess what guys? I went as fast as you did, and next year I'm planning on getting the whole attire/equipment and spending the race with the winners.

See you next year!

Friday, May 1, 2009

July 4th Wedding

It's raining today, still May 1st which means we're entering Wedding Season... If you're the bride and you're getting married during recession 2009, well... good luck! You should maybe have a look at a few blogs like a $10 000 Wedding, or $2000 Wedding...
For the other ones, the real lucky ones, attending the wedding and planning on having fun, like me, I've done some research. I have this wedding on July 4th (seems like a lot of people are getting married that day). I think it would be appropriate and patriotic to pick the right color palette and rise to the occasion. Obviously, I can't wear white (or could I?...) which leaves me with red and blue.
Option #1: Bright Red $90 Wrap Dress from Topshop, with $79.99 J.Crew high-heel slingbacks. Option #2: Navy Blue $90 Ruffle Dress from Topshop, and a $69.99 pair of metallic blue sandals from J.Crew.
Concerned about the length of the dresses? Yes, this season we are showing our legs, because we haven't been swimming everyday for nothing and it's time to cheer our own troops.

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