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Another example of how my shoe wardrobe has changed since I migrated West. My tall shoes are getting a much deserved rest at the moment.

Shoes by zip

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I’m still in the process of transitioning to an SF wardrobe. Here’s a near-identical version of what I’ve been wearing lately. I’ve found that I’ve been placing much more emphasis on accessories, as people here are simply not as risky as New Yorkers when it comes to clothing.

san francisco, daily

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Croc chic

I’m not one for Crocs, but when they come in a set of 2 and 2 of the feet are tiny and pink, well then, they’ve really earned the right be flaunted.

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“I see beauty in the grotesque.”  -Alexander McQueen

In case you were wondering, this is the driving inspiration behind one of the most influential designers of the past couple of decades.  A strange pairing of words, no?


The first time I saw the Alexander McQueen “Armadillo” shoe I was completely aghast.  While his designs were always  avant-garde, this bizarre foot contraption seemed like a farce.  It resembled a cross between a lobster claw and an armadillo.  Not really what you’d think of as the “it-shoe” of the season, even for the most daring of fashionistas.

After going to see the McQueen ‘Savage Beauty’ exhibition at the Met, I was  mesmerized by the designer’s vision of beauty.  Rows of body forms were dressed in wooden skirts and leather sling-tops, jackets with crocodile heads placed on top of the shoulders, and there was even a giant blob of a coat made from synthetic fur.  The collection was provocative, bizarre, dark, and at times disturbing.  But it was also undeniably disarming with its breathtaking detail and craftsmanship.  A couple of dresses, aptly named “Shipwrecked,” were made of shredded chiffon and organza silk and resembled tangled sheets of seaweed and white foam.  And yet, the shredded fabric was meticulously draped, and despite its depiction of “disaster at sea” (not the kind of look one typically goes for), it was beautifully poetic.

As bizarre as they were, there is no question in my mind that these creations came from a place of pure passion and inspiration – even if that inspiration came from what McQueen himself called, “the grotesque.”  He brought together strange textures, and distorted and exaggerated the female shape with his designs– yet his creations are so clearly deliberated and born from a vision, and who’s to deny the beauty in that? Plenty of people can’t even be bothered to create anything at all.

In advertising, it reminds me that we need to keep our eyes and minds open when we think about our work, and how we can bring beauty to life in unconventional ways.  I have a feeling that hairy coats and armadillo shoes probably aren’t what our Noxzema target audience is looking for, but then again, you never know.  After all, I stood next to a girl at the exhibition who claimed she wanted to be buried in a dress made of metal wires and torn leather.

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The online shopping has gotten a bit out of control, lately.  I think it started last Fall, when I started to offset my holiday gift purchases with investment-piece purchases for myself.  But it’s January now, and after some serious number-crunching, I’ve decided that I need to draw the line.  It’s going to be all about window-shopping now, and I can at least make it count by working with what I already have in the closet.


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Pre Pete

At The Smith waiting for C and J before the Pete Yorn show, sipping on a Cucumber Loco made by a bartender who looks like the late great River Phoenix.

muddled cukes

Slightly cloying but refreshing nonetheless.

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(Platter, from top, clockwise): stuffed grape leaf, babaganoush, falafel, hummus, chickpea salad, lentil salad, tabouleh (center): Israeli salad

Pita Hut has been a staple of mine for quite some time. It’s a tiny, unassuming hole-in-the-wall along the commercialized mall strip known as 23rd Street, and if it ever closed down, I’m not quite sure what I’d do because it’s truly my go-to, default dining choice. The food is freshly and authentically prepared by two brothers (?) that are just the nicest. Salads are brightly seasoned, falafel is crisp and piping hot, hummus is thick and creamy, baklava is delightfully drenched in sticky sweet honey…all so delicious!

My typical order is the vegetarian platter to go – a styrofoam clamshell loaded with a bountiful selection of salads, spreads and 2 falafel balls, with 2 pieces of commercial brand pita bread wrapped in a sheet of wax paper. A full order is definitely too much for 1 sitting – I typically eat straight out of the container and save the rest in my fridge. Recently however, I discovered a new way of enjoying this meal: I spooned out a portion of each salad and spread onto a real, actual plate, and then, with a pair of tongs, I held the pita over an open flame on my stove, letting it puff up and transform into a warm, toasty, chewy homemade-likeness.

Here’s what I got out of all of this. For one thing, I realized that even with the leftovers, I was eating way more than I needed to be full (portion control, people!). I also got to enjoy each salad independently, rather than ending up with one giant chickpea/lentil/tomato/ cucumber blend all sharing each other’s marinades in a joint compartment. I learned that actually, I’d be ok without the lentils and that maybe next time I’ll tell them to double up on the chickpea salad. It was also the first time I ate a stuffed grape leaf on its own instead of biting into it between tastes of this and that, setting it on top of the other salads for lack of room. But the best was the pita-on-the-open-flame, because I learned that grocery store pita, which I had never liked, could be transformed into a delicious flat bread that is puffy-chewy rather than elastic-chewy…a true bread to be enjoyed, not a mere convenient dipping device.

So, with just 2 small changes I have a renewed appreciation for something I’ve eaten maybe a hundred times, and I guess what this all means is that even though I wasn’t ever planning on taking my business elsewhere, I have absolutely no plans on taking my business elsewhere.

Pita Hut
225 W. 23rd Street
Store #7
New York, NY 10011

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