If I Can't Get to Paris..

...I'll have Paris come to New York!

Yesterday I picked up Aurélien, my little French macaron at JFK for three weeks of family, fun, sun, and vacation...with my grandparents. Oh yes, it's happening. We all know that my family is a crazy bunch, but on vacation, it's no holds barred. Flashbacks of last year's trip to the Bahamas are starting to resurface. My favorite was when a church volunteer came to the door of our rented condo looking for donations. Nevermind the fact that my grandmother was openly miffed that they would dare knock on the door at 6pm, a time when "everyone" is sitting down for dinner, but my grandfather refused to write a check. The volunteer instead got a 45 minute lecture about community before he was sent off with enough Italian grub - some items unidentifiable - to feed Tony Soprano for a year. The volunteer made no efforts in hiding his disappointment, or rather irritation of our offerings which to me, only discredited his role at "the church". "What do they need cash for?" my grandfather asked no one in particular as he shuffled back to the table, "Soppresata from Da Vinci's Trattoria, that's as good as gold!" In our family, food is currency. That is just a slice of what Séb has ahead of him next week. 

This is his opportunity to back out.

As usual, picking him up from the airport was an adventure. Since I didn't have access to a car and the weather didn't even seem safe enough to drive, I took the convenient air train to get him. I arrived 45 minutes early, and instead of standing in the terminal longer than necessary, I sat at the "café" located inside the air train station to kill time with an iced tea. I would have had a glass of wine at the adjacent bar but thought better of sitting at at a bar with seven other drunk men who were sloppy and speaking over each other. Nothing brings out your inner snob than being sober and listening to useless drunk jabber. Seriously, what is it about having a few drinks that completely disables our ability to listen? We all do it.

Thanks to this bar, tourists getting off their long flights were welcomed to New York with a sing along of "Don't Speak". Of all songs...Not only were drunk grown men trying to make their voices sound baby sweet like Gwen Stefani's, but the Latina bartender was chanting shots during each beat of the song. For example: "You and me - SHOTS! - We used to be together - SHOTS! - Everyday forever - SHOTS! - I really feel - SHOTS! - like I'm losin' my best friend - SHOTS!" And so on...

The look on these traveler's faces only confirmed my suspicion that the rest of the world really do think that New Yorkers are out of their damn minds. While I'm sure they appreciated the kick off to their vacations, who weren't exactly on board with the glee was the disgruntled flight crew who were undoubtedly taking the railroad back to Flight Attendant mecca; also known as Kew Gardens. Comments like "I didn't even want this turn but I needed the hours.", "Our number 2 on our trip was useless!", and "I left a note in my trip trader's mailbox to drop my Caracas trips this month but..." could be heard from passing airline personnel scurrying home.

After waiting two hours in the terminal, as six international flights came in at the same time, I finally ran into the arms of a disoriented Séb who had been traveling for 15 hours and was armed with European delights (Read: WINE!). I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of adventures that we'll be sharing together, and as usual, I'll keep you all posted!

I hope everyone is enjoying these dog days of summer!

Like a Butterfly, My Nostalgia.

Spending all of this time back at my mom's house hasn't just been about maxin' n' relaxin' (how cheesy is that?). Now that my life in France has gone from wanderlust to serious commitment, I have been gently requested by my mother to, and I quote, get my "crap" out. Effective January 2013, my bedroom will be turned into a guest room, per the note that she left on my dresser before heading to the airport Monday morning. Dis. I guess this day was bound to come, and she's right. I can't keep one toe in New York anymore, and it's time to decide what I'm bringing to Paris and what I'm throwing out. Her letter also had a clause that stated that donations for the house will not be excepted, and the management thanks me advance for my cooperation.

This week, I have been spending hours upon hours enjoying old memories; indulging in my fleeting nostalgia. Time flies by when you're inundated with the past. Flipping through yearbooks, reading letters and notes passed in 8th grade science, finding boxes of old photos (the best part!), listening to records and mix tapes, and organizing my books and Rolling Stone, Spin and Melody Maker back issues, I'd say my hands are full!

It's been an overload of memories, and luckily Séb and I are on the same page and we both share the same passion for kitch and history, so I won't have to get rid of everything. He can't wait to have some of this stuff in Paris! Here are some of my findings...

My Sophia Petrillo bag/box that I carried 
along with my purple JanSport in high school.
I rocked some major granny chic up until Sophomore year.
I guess there was a reason I was called El Dork!

My 1960s typewriter!
Instead of a guest book, I used this to have friends and family add to a running list of comments when 
they came over to my apartment in LA.

I'd like to continue this tradition in Paris!

Modern Technology at its finest.
I need more View Master reels!
The mystery of the "8 Wonders of Israel" wore off in 1987.
My neighbors in LA wanted to smash this yellow phone!
It was so loud, and since I didn't have an answering machine, 
it would ring and ring when I wasn't home.

Some of my framed photos.
My favorite is the Barbra Streisand photo on the far left
that I got in the late 90s at the Hello Gorgeous! museum
in San Francisco.
Love her.

Relics of the 90s.
Did you guys rock the baby barrettes too?

Some coffee table books.
Kurt Cobain Journals, Annie Leibowitz Portraits...
and the Olsen's Fashion Influences?
Okay...I admit it.
I have been seduced by their fabulous lives.
I still don't buy it when they insist that they eat.
Come on...

My French life...

                  ...and just a few of my chachkis!
I mean really, who moves to Europe without bringing their Jane Fonda workout record and 5k race award metals?!
That would just be irresponsible!

Yeah...I guess I have some editing to do here.
Stay tuned for parts II and III: Clothes and accessories.
I guess my weekend is set.
How about you? What's on your agenda? 

What was happening a year ago today?
Good times at CDG. Part I

Staying Positive.

Do you guys remember the movie Ghostbusters 2? I do and have to say, this is one of my favorite flicks of the late 80s. I love it, and not just for the ghost busting action, but because I like the message that it sends. Aside from the power of Vigo; the evil 17th century Carpathian trapped in the painting, the story centers around the city being invaded by bubbling pink slime brewing in the sewers. The emotionally charged slime becomes more aggressive as it responds to the negativity of the city's inhabitants.

From time to time, I think of this film where I am reminded of the negativity that seems to be progressing in the world, and just how powerful it is. Is it just me or is the hostility heightening each year? It happens everyday. It can be anything from what some would consider trite, like this new-found acceptance to dangerous driving. Suddenly going ten miles above the speed limit is too slow, and leads to aggressive honking and tailgating. Having lost an aunt to a speeding car, I take road rage and the importance of etiquette extremely seriously, and have zero tolerance for the selfishness of others who are in a rush. Not everyone will get to go first, we are not all on the same time, and red lights happen. These shouldn't be surprises. If it's not on the road, it's now in the classroom. The extreme level of bullying happening in schools today make me grateful that I am no longer there. I doubt I'd be who I am today if I had been subjected to what goes on in schools now. These poor kids. And lastly, the random and heinous acts of violence like the horrific events that took place last weekend. I used to not notice this negativity as much in Paris, but the recent shootings in Toulouse and Norway remind me that Europe is not immune from this growing trend of hostility and violence. Seriously, what is happening in the world?

All of this has got me thinking. Last year, my goal was to stay positive during all the drama and inconveniences that I was faced with and I did, except for one situation. Let me preface that this was hardly a tragedy, just life kicking me in the butt. So in taking the first step, and practicing what I preach, I am doing something that I have been thinking about for a month or so. I have decided to remove the full name of the summer sublet who robbed me and trashed my home. We're done with this part of the program. I have fully exorcised that experience and would like to move on. Hopefully like me, she has learned her lesson, but I am relinquishing responsibility as it is not longer my job to reinforce to her why what she did was completely wrong; something she never really seemed to grasp as she was solely focusing on herself. While she still owes me money for the damages she had done to my place, I know that I will never see it, and fighting her for it is not worth my time and energy. Hopefully, this experience has taught her to think twice before creating another scandal because we all know that this wasn't her first rodeo.

While the robbery is in no way in comparison to real tragedies, I figured if I have the power to voluntarily let go of one evil weighing me down in my life, why not use it? So here is to removing an old demon I was never even attached to, and saying goodbye. If I can help it, I don't see myself ever adding more to the story. The end.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families who are experiencing an inconsolable pain. A pain derived from the ultimate act of negativity created by a heartless murderer who thinks he is living in a comic book. My thoughts are truly with you all. Stay strong during this devastating time.

Twinkle Toes.

Now that my paperwork has been approved, visa has been obtained, and French law prohibits me to enter the country until mid-August, I'm officially on vacation. And you know what? I'm loving every second of it. I really don't want to rush the summer away. Is it just me or as we get older, time seems to speed by? Mid-August will be here in a flash, and I know that my days of enjoying my morning runs, followed by a swim in the pool that my next door neighbor gives me carte blanche to use, preparing summer dishes like homemade guac and ceviche tacos, and gardening (I find weeding to be extremely satisfying) are limited, so why not take advantage?

Leaving my domestic routine for an afternoon, my mother and I took a trip to a department store to purchase a gift for my grandfather's upcoming birthday. After being inundated with pastel-colored golf shirts and chinos, we needed a chick break in the form of footwear and came across what would have been the ultimate purchase of 1986.

Take a look at these tofutti* cuties... 

*tofutti not included

Just what my inner six year old has been looking for! These Nina Frosted Jelly Ballerinas are the real deal! They even smell like childhood in the 80s! While I absolutely love the adult pairs that are out there, especially the pair that la femme Kristen had profiled not too long ago, being a lover of nostalgia, I couldn't resist these throwback slip-ons. What was it about jellies that was so special to us girls? Was it that clicking, grown-up high-heel sound they made when we walked on hard surfaces? Or the fact that at any given moment we could run through sprinklers, or in my case the fountains at Washington Square Park without taking our shoes off? Whatever the reason was, it is was a component of our childhood, creating a fashion bond for us ladies born before the 90s.

So presh that I had to stage an enchanted photo shoot.

As cute as they are, there is a catch, isn't there always? You must have small feet. Not freakishly small but a size 6 or 7. Why is that? Because these are authentic jellies which means they really are made for little girls. Much to my mother's shock, I managed to comfortably get my tootsies into them. Phew. I was worried.

So if being super girly is your thing (we all know it's mine), have smallish feet, and want to take a walk down memory lane in a summer classic, these little gems by Nina are your go-tos!

 Oh, and this my domestic look complete with 
a spatula and wooden spoon in my pocket. 
No, I'm not missing an arm. 
I was dramatically pointing at a low-flying plane when my mom 
took this impromptu photo.
I'm all Tatu here...
"The plane! The plane!"

Happy Sunday everyone! How are you enjoying your day?

What was happening a year ago today?
Weenies n' Bikinis

Chasing Rainbows.

The lovely Miss Liz, over at Memoirs of a Young Adventuress nominated me to partake in Travel Supermarket's Capture the Colour Photo Contest! First off, merci ma belle, and second, how fun will this be?! I know how fierce the competition will be (hello, look at Liz's amazing photos!), but a chance to discover other bloggers, celebrate the ones I already admire, and an opportunity to dig through old photos was more than enough to get me on board! Oh, and the prize consists of a 3rd generation iPad and £2000. Not too shabby, eh?

So here's how it works:
  • Publish a Capture the Colour post on your blog with images for all 5 colors if possible. Bloggers who don't have photos for all 5 colors will still be in with a chance of winning the iPad category prize but to be eligible to win the £2000 overall prize your blog post should feature photo's for all 5 categories. 
  • Nominate 5 fellow bloggers to take part in Capture the Colour at the end of your post and notify them via Twitter or Facebook 
  • You have until the 29th August 2012, to let them know you've entered by either:
           - Linking to your blog post on your Facebook wall mentioning Capture the Colour.
           - Linking to your post via Twitter including @travelsupermkt and #capturethecolour in your tweet.
           - Emailing your entry. Send your link, name, email address and phone number to
Now that those details are out of the way (and by all means, head over to Travel Supermarket's site for further details, as well as the Terms and Conditions), let me explain the concept. The concept is capturing travel shots using Travel Supermarket's chosen color themes; red, yellow, white, green and blue. Simple enough.

Here's what I've cooked up:

Having called several cities home over the past ten years of my life, where I was chasing a dream or an idea of what I thought my life would be, I have kept my selections focused less on exotic travel but more on where my heart has lived. Here are some places where I will always hear the pulse of my past lives.

Red - New York, New York
My home. I grew up on these streets and this city never ceases to inspire me. Although it's constantly changing, and everytime I go back there's some new hotspot that I've never heard of, or some "new" chic neighborhood that used to be the home of hookers and homeless. What is constant is my thriving memories as a little girl, walking these downtown streets with my mother.

Here's a shot I took on a gloomy spring day after a funeral. That's a Morrissey lyric waiting to happen.

Yellow - Kanazawa, Japan
When I wasn't eating Udon, Onigiri or wandering the streets of the major cities in Japan, I was a geisha poser. I had the madame who ran this old ryokan I was staying at in Kanazawa art direct this makeshift photo shoot. I get such a chuckle out of this photo because I remember how serious we both took it, and how we could barely communicate with one another. We enjoyed an ice cold Asahi together in the kitchen at the end of this exhausting "shoot".

White - Hollywood, California
A metaphor on how replaceable we all really are in Hollywood. The lyric wilted and faded somewhere in Hollywood comes to mind. This is where the old souls go: a flea market on La Brea. Having not lived in LA for almost six years, it's nice to revisit and see the city from an outsiders point of view. It's a little bit vintage, a little bit kooky, and one thing that this haunting place has that not many know, is a lot of soul.

Green - Paris, France
I treated myself and walked over to the Palais de Tokyo café after working a gruesome Paris Fashion Week. Standing on your feet for 13 hours a day in 4 inch heels, dealing with snotty, uncooperative models, demanding buyers, and being stuffed in a mini skirt too sizes too small calls for a cocktail...or three.

Blue - The Eiffel Tower
...and finally, the cliche that my life has become at my new and hopefully final home. Loving Paris. Cliche. Traveling on a Vespa. Cliche. Eating French baguette. Cliche. Wearing navy stripes. Super cliche. Now do it all in front of the Eiffel Tower. I'm surprised I didn't explode from the Frenchness. Are you rolling your eyes yet? I am.

I now nominate these fellow bloggers to join the party! 
Fabulous bloggers who take incredible pictures 
and who share my love for traveling...
:::drumroll please:::

Good luck to us all!
Oh, and one small request..
 ....if any of you win, promise to take me out for a drink?

What was happening a year ago today?

"I've Got Three Passports, a Couple of Visas, You Don't Even Know My Real Name..."

Okay, I'm lying I only have one passport, but the last two ring true. This Talking Heads song was in my head during my entire appointment at the French consulate on Monday because it was certainly not a party, nor a disco.

Geez, what a long strange trip it has been since the last time I was in that building in 2009, back when France could do no wrong in my eyes. If I only knew what was ahead of me then...

Even with my vast collection of CDG stamps, a long stay Japanese visa, a Turkish tourist visa, and an expired student French visa that raised some concerned questions, the process was all pretty painless.

Here are some highlights of my Breakfast Club experience:

- A girl in the waiting room wearing hot shorts and a crop top, managed to speak in this high shrill voice complaining about the wait and asking questions that none of us had the answers to, every single time one of the administrators called a number on their shoddy PA. I missed my turn and they were less than thrilled to call my number again. Is it just me or was this an inappropriate outfit to wear in a government building?

- A gentleman from Pakistan sitting next to me offered me some herbs that smelled like licorice and a head shop, and was spooning it out of a mini burlap bag. I politely declined and immediately regretted it once he told me it was illegal in the States. Hey, I was waiting in that place for four hours, a little stimulation beyond reviewing my documents would have been welcomed.

- One of the administrators violently charged out of the office when he saw on the surveillance camera, a girl in the waiting room playing with her phone. After scolding her as if she were smoking a joint in the girl's room, he went ahead and cancelled her appointment. They are serious when they say no phones. For those of you who have future appointments, keep that in mind. It's no joke.

- The redheaded boy sitting to the right of me was complaining about how long we had all been waiting, and was annoyed that he had to cancel his lunch plans at Serafina. I'm sorry but who started the rumor that obtaining a French visa is a quick and easy process? It never is and never has been. Anyway, his number was before mine and when I told the girl across from me who had asked, the boy corrected me. He was actually girl. I was mortified. I seriously had no idea.

- A congregation of Jersey girls discovered that at one point in their lives, they had all dated the same guy; Dan Williamson who now goes to Rutgers after transferring from Stevens College. I was grateful that for once, I wasn't directly involved in the dating gossip.

- And finally, I cried. The angel at window number four and I chatted about personal things. It turns out that we both had some experiences in common; tragedies that make us who we are today. I guess I really do have gift for having people open up to me, government officials included.

Without further ado, I'm pleased to announce that Miss Coquine a son visa! (Insert my fist pump here)

So that's it. I'm all set and ready to re-start my life...again.

So France, what do you say? Let's try this one more time? I'm willing if you are...  

What was happening a year ago today?

Kool Thing.

              Illustration by Garance Doré.

Unable to sleep on the flight back from Buenos Aires, I surrendered to the fact that I am simply unable to get a cozy nights sleep in a coach seat that reclines back a whopping two centimeters, and watched Young Adult; a film that Aurel downloaded on my computer several weeks ago. The Diablo Cody-written, Charlize Theron-staring film is about Mavis Gary, a middle-aged woman who is suffering from mental fatigue due to lack of stimulation from the single in the city lifestyle she has chosen. While most people in this bourgeois crisis would join a dating site, a gym, or simply up their dosage of booze, we follow Mavis on her journey of the heart of reconnecting romantically with her high school love. How darling.

What ever did become of her high school sweetheart? The quarterback to her prom queen. Well, he is still in the same town, happily married and just had his first child. Three vital facts our lead character is casually aware of. 

Leaving the big city of Minneapolis in her compact car, Mavis embarrassingly drifts down memory lane with the assistance of a Teenage Fanclub cassette that she plays on repeat, and from the glaze in her eyes, believes was written expressly for her. Of course it was. Because aren't all Gen-X songs from the early 90s written about the complexities of being the beautiful girl in high school?

While I didn't exactly love the film, and found many parts extremely uncomfortable to watch; point in case, the film's one and only sex scene in her breast-enhancing chicken cutlets. Gross. I did appreciate that the writing wasn't forcing us to agree with the protagonist and her unethical behavior, as most films geared towards women tend to do, and was fascinated with the sad story of an ex-girlfriend trying to reconnect with an unavailable past love. Why is this of interest to me? Because I'm somewhat living through it, but on the other side, of course. As of recent, Aurel's ex-girlfriend seems to be everywhere and I can't help but question her intentions.

It started a few weeks ago, when I was looking for a new architecture in Paris blog and found a photo of a building that I knew Aurel would just love. I copy and pasted the link, and went to his little Facebook page to post it, but lo and behold, it looked like someone had beaten me to the punch. Weird, I thought. I went to see who it was, and it was his ex-girlfriend; the one who broke up with him in early 2011.

Okay. No big deal, we think alike and I had seen this photo posted on several sites after, so I kept my opinions to myself. I'm not looking to create drama here. 

Moving on...

Last week, Aurel had posted something fashion related on Twitter, referencing the company that I used to work for and when I went to comment, it looked like the conversation had already been started. I went to expand the chat and who was it? Aurel's ex-girlfriend! Yay.

And finally, a conversation between Aurel, his best friend and I was happening on Facebook, and she joined in the chat, commenting about something the three of them did together several years ago, and what great fun it was. Not to mention her contact has extended to e-mail as well as text. Girl is going Katy Perry on me. She's everywhere!  

Not that social media is the final answer to your relationship, and I have written several posts in the past saying that "friending" your boyfriend is allowing your relationship to become susceptible to misunderstandings, but reading comments from his ex-girlfriend (whom I've never met) saying that she's thinking of him, and reminiscing on old times, spells out regret to me. Having been naive in my past relationships with peripheral women lurking around, I have tried to be that cool girlfriend. You know the one who makes no demands, notices nothing, and is all carefree like Something About Mary. This may work for some girls, but it has never worked for me and what always ends up happening is that I get walked all over, and then reach a breaking point where I explode. It's taken several failed relationships to finally accept that I will never be that cool, blasé girlfriend. I'm Italian! We're just not built that way!

Saying that there's a fine line between being a maniac and being a doormat who accepts everything. Finding that healthy balance of not sweating the small stuff, but also not neglecting your own feelings has always been a bit of a challenge for me. No one wants to be that pain-in-the-ass girlfriend.

Having learned a thing or two from my past, I knew that I had the right to speak up and to tell Aurel that I didn't feel comfortable with the volume in which she was reaching out to him. I mean come on, I speak to my exes, most of whom are married, about once or twice a year, whereas she has been contacting him about two or three times a week. Is it just me or is that a bit much? I just feel that it's too early for her to be a fixture in our still-budding relationship. Especially since I have never met her.

Had this been MF, this small request would have turned into weeks of arguing, he would have sided with the other girl, and I would have been called dramatic, selfish and someone who lacks confidence. Doesn't he sound like such a great guy, that MF? But with Aurel, where I was clear that it had nothing to do with her per se, and that I'm sure she's a nice girl, agreed that it was a bit much and let her know that she was coming on too strong. The conversation between Aurel and I in regard to my request lasted no longer than five minutes, and we were able to move on and talk about more important things like the new Hot Chip album that he is currently gushing over. 
Ladies, what are your thoughts? Where do you draw the line from being an irrational girlfriend to being a doormat who accepts everything? And how much ex-girlfriend activity is appropriate in a serious relationship? Perhaps I may have over-stepped my boundaries, I'm not sure. As usual, I'd love to hear what you think!

Trapped in New York.

This is my sad attempt at being festive for the 14th of July, coming to you live...from Long Island. Total sad face. Perhaps I could have zipped back to Paris for the weekend, but since I fly stand-by where a seat isn't always guaranteed, and my consulate appointment is on Monday, heading to Europe for just 48 hours would be cutting it a bit close. Even for me. 

So no festivities this year.

Having experienced several Bastille Day celebrations, luckily I know what it's all about, and the actual real disappointment is missing a wedding in Brittany that Séb and I were invited to. He, of course is still going and is doing a midnight dj set at the reception. A homemade flyer of him calling himself DJ David Ghetto, with his face Photoshopped to the body of Will.I.Am in a black pleather jumpsuit has been floating around Facebook this past week. My very own Mix Master Mike's set is a little bit electro, a little bit rock, and a little bit coquine. One of his tracks is my jam; Gaga's "Telephone".

Fun Fact: When I get drunk, I reenact the video. Beyoncé parts included. ("You've been a very bad girl, a very, very, bad, bad girl, Gaga." I can't help myself!)

Even though I couldn't be at the wedding, Séb is heading to Brittany with our card which has a little boosta from the both of us, as well as a special picture that explains exactly who is stopping me from leaving the States. 

We didn't want to bore the soon-to-be newlyweds with my visa woes, so we figured this would be a much more entertaining story...

It's because of these little guys that I am unable to return to France this week!

Here's to Rose and François' lovely wedding, and for those of you who are in France, enjoy the 14th, the fireworks, and please have a drink or two for me! Bisous!

What was happening a year ago today? 

Don't Cry for Us Argentina.

Trust me, they aren't crying for us...

We're leaving Argentina, and I don't think anyone will be missing us. After getting chased down by the pimp who caught me snapping a photo of the old lady in the little red riding costume yesterday, and my mom torturing the locals with her rendition of "Madonna songs", Argentina has had enough of us.

Who has also had enough of me, is my mother. She might just murder me. I have told several friends and family via the internet, that the reason we are in Buenos Aires is because she is getting "work" done; a big draw to coming down to South America for some. The funny thing is that my mom is not concerned that I am lying about her getting nipped and tucked, and that people will judge her for unnaturally enhancing herself, that she doesn't care about. What her concern is, and I quote: "I don't look like I just got Botox, I look awful, and everyone will think that I got ripped off!" Spoken like a true Italian. Looking bad? That we can handle (well, sometimes), but getting ripped off? Ay-o. Not gonna happen on this side of the L.I.E. Hence why my guidette claws came out during the summer sublet robbery scandal. The "You Toucha My Keys, I Breaka Your Face!" key chain exists in our house for a reason.

We didn't explore as much as I would have liked, but this trip wasn't about me, it was about my mom. She hasn't been well, and she wanted a little trip away to eat good food, rest, reenact Marilyn's classic "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" scene, go to the spa, and of course...drink wine (which I have been controlling considering her situation). I'm officially Dorothy and she's Sophia.

We spent a relaxing trip together before Monday because guess what? It's back to the grind stone, and Miss Coquine has her little appointment at the French consulate. Oh man, my passport is so shady. Let's see what curve balls they'll throw my way....good times.

Here are some last looks in Argentina...

Café con caramelo.
I'm such a piglet, I got caramel everywhere.

Argentina pride.

So PanAm!

"On s'fait des langues en Ford Mustang"

 The biggest tree trunk I have seen since visiting 
my brother at the Humboldt State University back in 1998.
Look at this guy!
He's huge! 

Bon week-end à tous!

What was happening a year ago today? 

Postcards from the Paris of South America.

It wasn't until a few days ago that I heard from several people, including the lovely Chickster at Up Up and Aways that Buenos Aires is considered to be the Paris of South America. Who knew. Being here, I had to make my own comparisons to see if it actually rings true.

While I find that many parts of the city are a bit run down, more so than Paris, here are some similarities of the two cities that caught my eye...

Rooftop views.

 Outdoor cafés.

 Haussmann-style architecture. 
How 16ème is this?

Chambres de bonnes?

Cemeteries as tourist attractions...

 ...with national heroes.
My mom kept singing "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" 
while referencing...Madonna.
It was so embarrassing.
I will NOT be taking her to Jim Morrison's grave in Paris,
she may be looking for Val Kilmer. 

Art deco touches.

Craft fairs and local artists.

Street Art.

Old Hookers.
So 10ème...

 Every country seems to have a different name for Russian dressing.
In France, it's American Sauce,
In Russia, it's French Sauce,
and here in Argentina, it's Golf Sauce.

Oh hey, girl! She Coquine!
 I so want this!

Since this is my first trip to South America, I can't really make a fair assessment judging the city's "Frenchness", but my mom, who has been to almost every major city on this continent confirms that there certainly is a Parisian vibe between the outdoor dining, buildings, and funky shops. Parisian or not, I'm enjoying this little impromptu vacation with my mom as I wrap up my final days in America before going back to being an adult and then moving in with a boy! Ahhh! Before all that excitement happens, I still have a few more adventures left to conquer on this side of the stay tuned!

What was happening a year ago today? 50 shades of me...

Shimmer Shimmer Like a Girl!

It's good to be back in New York in the summer because I get to do fun things like soak up some sun in my mom's backyard while rolling my eyes though an awful summer read (no, not 50 Shades..), drink Skinny Girl cocktails, gossip with my mom, and catch up with girlfriends, including my favorite New York blogger!

On Friday night, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting a blogger that I have been dying to meet for about a year now; the one and only Miss Cara, femme extraordinaire and creator of The Champagne Diaries! Running a bit late and charging down 14th street in my Dr. Scholls platforms, not once did I worry if we were going to hit it off, I just knew we would. Cara and I have a lot in common; we both come from Italian families, have experienced a Russo's on the Bay reception where the guests of honor come out of the wall floating on a cloud that's complimented by disco lights, dried ice smoke and TKA, and have wickedly inappropriate senses of humor.  What more could I ask for in a happy hour meeting?
Wanting to choose a spot that reflects both of us as well as our uber-girly pinky pink blogs, the choice was painfully clear; the shimmery-walled, salon-turned-bar, American hipster staple Beauty Bar for manicures, martinis and girl talk.

The interior, that reminds me of the old Roseland Ballroom before it was renovated in the late 90s takes me back to another time, making me almost nostalgic for memories I've never had. Cara and I lived up to the "ladies who salon" cliche and gabbed endlessly during our champagne-colored glitter manis. If it weren't so hot, I would have worn something a little more festive and vintage for the occasion, but the sweltering city heat was having none of that and a yellow cotton romper it was.
After getting sparkled and polished up, Cara went to the bar to order another round while I dried my nails and watched our bags. A man by the name of John took this as an opportunity to sit in Cara's seat...and just look at me. "Hi," I turned to him while blowing on my fingernails. "Hey," he responded, looking back at me, my fingernails, and then back at Cara who was still at the bar. "I like your friend's blouse." he declared. Cara was in fact wearing a lovely sheer, flowing blouse with grey flowers, parfait for summer...and apparently for John as well. "You should definitely tell her that when she comes back," I suggested, and then turned away to look at nothing in particular. "I will." John confirmed in my ear. Okay, good thing that was settled.

I anxiously kept eying the packed bar, hoping that Cara would return soon because John wasn't going to release me from his presence until he told Cara that he liked her blouse. She finally arrived with our summery martinis, looking at me with concern, wondering if John was a lunatic. She sat beside me, John across from us, and we all shared about five minutes of awkward silence as Cara and I sipped on our fruity drinks waiting for John to stop staring at us like we were zoo animals.  "So John, tell Cara what you told me." I said, jump starting the conversation. "I don't know how to tell her," he responded, looking only at me. "Go on," I insisted, "She'll be really happy." Hey, what girl doesn't like a compliment, right? At this point Cara is looking at us both like we were out of our damn minds, and rightfully so. "Okay," John said, in a way as if he was about to deliver some really bad news, "I like your top." And there it was, he said it. Thank God. Cara was flattered by his admiration of her top but at the same time completely confused by the drama surrounding his grand proclamation.
Moving on, we continued making small talk with John, who seemed harmless until I asked him a question that appeared to have really offended him. Did I ask him what he did for a living? No. I understand, people can get a bit touchy when asked what they do for a living, and know better to avoid asking that question, especially at a bar in New York City. Did I ask him if his parents were still alive or anything extremely personal? No, why would I? So what question sent John over the edge, so much that he called me a mean girl who ruined his evening? After John told me he was from Manhattan, all I did was ask him what high school he went to, and apparently I was asking too much, because this triggered his rage and he wanted nothing more to do with me. He told Cara, who by the way is married, that I had ruined any chances she may have had with enjoying his company, and stormed off into the night...or rather to the other end of the bar. What the hell happened? I'm still lost.

--> At the bar taking to another woman, John actually looked less uncomfortable than he did with us. Good for him. Perhaps he was just warming up with us or he was right, I am a mean person. Either way, I appreciated his departure. I guess we weren't meant to be...

Like Paris, it's never a dull moment and the next looney bin is always around the corner. Perhaps Dr. Becky was right, I attract these types! Who knows. What I do know was that Beauty Bar, manicures and meeting Cara was the perfect way to spend a warm summer night in New York! Cheers Cara, and thank you for the ultimate, laughter-filled girl's night out at one of my favorite haunts in the city!

I'm now heading to the airport for a few days in Buenos Aires! This will be my first trip to South America. I hope I come back!

What was going on a year ago today? Creepy dudes!

Venus in Furs.

Last night was gorgeous. I was lying on a soft bed with satin sheets, surrounded by furs, with a light breeze coming through the window. It was my total boudoir fantasy come to life! I felt like Marilyn Monroe in one of her many bed photo shoots (Remember when Lindsay Lohan attempted to recreate that? Gross.). I wanted to toss and turn dramatically, but something was stopping me, my neck was being confined by the furs, making it difficult for me to move.

...and then I woke up.

I was not Marilyn. There were no satin sheets. And I did not feel sassy and sexy. I felt gross. With stinging, groggy eyes, a pounding head, wearing an old house dress, and still caressing what I assumed was my mother's fur stole that I had fallen asleep with, I came back to the reality of the harsh morning. Perhaps I may have celebrated my anniversary and the 4th a little too hard, and thought putting on fur in July was a good idea. Then I remembered, my mother doesn't have a fur stole and neither do I, but the fur was so soft and felt so real. Was I hallucinating? When I went to remove it from my neck, it began to make noises and I felt little prickles, like tiny pins, digging into me...

Per my mom's report, this is what happened last night...

I came home from the 4th of July firework extravaganza hosted by the Long Island Italian Heritage Society, spoke to Séb in Paris who was just getting up for work, went for a dip in my mom's blow-up pool where I flopped around like an idiot, and then grabbed not one but two of the stray baby kittens from the backyard, and passed out with them nestled under my my bedroom. I'm so not this kind of drinker, I always remember what happened...clearly not last night. I had spent the day sitting out in the sun, sipping on Campari and Pellegrinos. Perhaps the mix of the sun and my favorite summer cocktail dehydrated me, turning me into a complete and total maniac. In a drunken stupor, I slept with wild animals on me! Who does that? It was like a loser girl version of The Hangover. I don't remember doing any of this, not even the phone call to Séb!

The kittens just looked back at me, looked at their luxury surroundings with the morning sun bleeding through the cracks of the blinds, and began to mini meow. They wanted out; released from my shackles of love. My mom then opened the door, looked at me with disapproval, and in her thick Long Island accent called me an a-hole. She gently took each kitten off my neck to release them back into the wild. Upon opening our front door, we were greeted with an unhappy mama cat who was standing at the porch waiting to retrieve her babies from the drunk slut who stole them last night. Hashtag me.

Now for the serious part, every summer, my mother has a kitten population in her backyard. Capturing them is the easy part, finding them a happy home is not. She has put ads on Craigslist, but after she received an e-mail from a creep who had an e-mail address referencing the terrifying band Gwar, and who wanted to feed the kittens to his snake, she took the ad down. She has brought them to shelters, no one will take them, one guard even went as far to say that they will be euthanized if she left them there. We have also offered them to friends on Facebook and have been successful, but not always. Is there a better way we can control this? No one wants these little angels.

The lesson of the week is three (or more) hours of Campari cocktails, a blazing sun, fireworks, and a pack of adorable baby kittens may not mean much to some, but to me, it's a dangerous combination, never to be repeated again. I'm just glad that they didn't die on me (literally on me) and that their mother took them back even with the scent of human on them. I'm so embarrassed, but hey, at least I didn't drunk dial someone I wasn't supposed to! Anything was possible last night!

I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th, and will have an even more fabulous weekend! I heard the sun has made its way over to Paris! Enfin! Profitez-en!

Wouldn't you just scoop up these little juice monsters too?!
That's some next level cuteness.

What happened a year ago today? The beginning of my living hell