Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Grab Bag

I want this bag. I can't explain the emotional reaction when I see this tote, but it was love at first sight. Why does Karl always know exactly what I want?? First of all it’s huge, and I am so all about oversized carryalls this and next season. Second, it’s patent leather. I am completely channeling biker babe this fall and what’s chicer than Chanel biker babe? Third, the signature chain strap and oversized charm with Chanel insignia. Awesome. I mean you could wear sweatpants with this bag and look completely fashion forward. (Note: Sorry Elizabeth Beare, but some people still do wear sweatpants. Ie: Me.)

Final Word: My trend tastebuds may change from now until August when I do start working on my fall wardrobe, but for now, this is all I can dream about.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bon Appetito

From Little Italy to Sutton Place, there are more Italian restaurants per square feet in this city to make you swear off carbs forever. But a new guard in Italian cuisine has recently made us all rethink our Zone deliveries; after all what’s more uncool than passing on dinner out for Cordon Bleu in Tupperware? Plastic is so passé. These new eateries reject the ideas that rustic food has to look rustic or come with a basket of greasy garlic bread. Whether you call them the anti-Del Postos or just plain cute, Mario Batali isn’t the only one who’s making pasta chic.

1. Falai
What: Closet-sized eatery with Phillipe Starck-esque décor.
Who: LES hipsters and the women who love them.
Where: Clinton between Stanton and Rivington
When: Summer, so you can eat in the private, white brick garden
Why: Their signature green apple foam atop grilled Branzino…to die for.
Tip: Ask the manager Alberto to suggest a bottle of wine.

2. Gusto
What: Art-Deco meets old Hollywood Glamour.
Who: Trendy families, chic gay couples and girls on a night out.
Where: 60 Greenwich Avenue
When: Anytime. They have sidewalk and indoor seating.
Why: The fritto squash blossoms, artichokes, calamari, should I go on?
Tip: Ask to be seated in the wine cellar; it’s Rome in the West Village.

3. Bivio
What: West Village wine cellar meets Upper East art gallery.
Who: Art groupies, fashionistas and the in-the-know couples.
Where: 637 Hudson Street
When: Fall/Winter, to soak up the cozy atmosphere.
Why: The wine.
Tip: Sit at the bar for a stylish dinner in solitude.

Final Word: Sure Stromboli will hit the spot at 4am, but if you’re looking for a bit more, these restos will make you say, “Basta!” to anything less.

Diddy’s Little Girl

Mark your calendars girls because today starts the official countdown to the celebration of the summer: Diddy’s 4th of July white party in the Hamptons. But as chic Manhattanites and a roster of alphabet list celebrities (yes, unfortunately even z-listers like Lizzy Grubman’s Power Girl assistants make it on the coveted guest list) prepare their monochrome head-to-toe garb, how will you stand out in the sea of colorless ubiquity? Follow the BB’s guide to the Do’s and Don’t’s of white summer fashion and you’ll be through the velvet ropes in no time.

1. Use Protection
Do start working on your tan today (whether you run over to Portofino after work or take your lunch break in the park) so you can achieve a natural golden complexion by the weekend.

Don’t layout the day of the party without layering on the SPF. You’ll fry your skin to a crispy hue of lobster red and not only will your derm be disappointed but more importantly, you’ll look like a candy cane — not exactly photo op material.

2. Make A Statement
Do paint your nails an unexpected hue like gothic vampy red — you’ll exude mysterious confidence in a very bad girl meets baroque-romantic sort of way. And besides everyone else already thought to go with the obvious French, so here’s your chance to stand out.

Don’t go wild with OPI colors that sound like pornographic movie titles — Skinny Dip’n In Lake Michg’n will only make you look cheap in an all white ensemble.

3. Get Inspired
Do reference a summer style icon like Brigitte Bardot for inspiration — her sixties bombshell hair conjures Cote d’Azure chic whether you opt for skimpy white shorts or a flirty A-line dress.

Don’t Tivo MTB3 for style tips — plush faux fur vests, hair extensions and knee-high cowboy boots circa J Lo ’02 won’t cut it for this summer soiree. Instead show love for Aubrey and gang by jamming to their tunes right beside them (if your lucky enough to snag a VIP access wristband.)

4. Be A Material Girl
Do layer on the lace — whether crochet, eyelet or Chantilly anything with texture will stand out against all the linen and Lycra.

Don’t wear your White Hot Heat NBA Championship t-shirt or jersey, although it might be tempting (Go Heat!) best to save that look for bedtime.

5. Completing The Look
Do pair off-white or (even black if you dare) accessories like a belt, clutch or shoes with your all white look. The slight color differential is enough to give you a rebellious edge, plus you’ll look so adorable the doorman will find it hard to scold you into rejection territory.

Don’t wear white leather knee-high boots a la fellow z-lister Victoria Gotti. A. It’s summer and B. It’s not the set of Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me

Final Word: Blinged-out spinner necklaces aside, this is your time to shine, so don’t let conformity rule your all white summer look. Good luck at the door!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dear Christina Aguilera,

How did you know? Because I'm not quite sure how you figured it out so long ago. If there were a pop-tart race, you are the tortoise and all those other bitches were the hares.

Was it when you beat out Jessica Simpson for that slot on the Mickey Mouse Club when you were twelve? Or was it when you robbed B-Spears of the "Best New Artist" Grammy back in the "Genie in a Bottle" days?

And then, just to rub it in her face, you toured with Justin after he dumped her sorry ass during his height-of-his-career "Justified" days. You little devil, you always knew.

Well, now, we all know. Britney is a debacle. Plain and simple. She's a no talent pig with uber-baggage. And Jessica's a 25-year-old divorcee with frightening face-work doing acne-treatment info-mercials. I thought that shit was reserved for Joan Rivers, come on Jess.

But Christina, look at you. You are (seemingly) happily married, with the hottest new song of the summer and killer bod. You've been looking so good I'm not even going to make fun of your boob job. You look so good I have almost forgotten about the pink dreds, visible piercings, and that cheap hooker track-suit you wore in the "Dirrty" video. Almost.

Regardless, I love you, I always have. I mean with those pipes, of course you would prevail. I saw your "Driven." You've been singing like that since you were four. With that type of presence, of course you have the confidence. Of course you're the tortoise amongst the hares. Of course you always knew.

Well, I just wanted to tell you. Now we know. Now we all know. You are "Beautiful," just like you said, Even though that "Lady Marmalade" fro did nothing for you. Now I remember why we fell in love with you in the first place, and now I'll never forget.

Final Word: Do your thang X-tina, I got your back. Always.

-The Blackberrie

Friday, June 23, 2006

Guerlain's Million Dollar Baby

Hilary Swank has come a long way since The Next Karate Kid. Who knew that Miss Swank's next big role is to play muse for the renown French beauty brand, Guerlain? For years the elitist olfactory institution has sold gilded Bee Bottles of L'Eau Imperiale and anti-wrinkle cream royal families and mature Bergdorf Blondes around the globe, always without a face, always without an identity. Most famous for their Meteorites, tiny violet-scented pearls of rainbow-hued makeup in a quaint golden box, fashioned after the jewelry case of Marie Antoinette, the company thrived on its luxurious image yet battled to keep current with hot brands like Stila, Benefit and Laura Mercier.

Not so anymore. Their choice of two-time Acadamy Award winner, Hilary Swank, may show that the tetes at LVMH are begining to understand the power of celebrity endorsement. Ms. Swank seems to be the perfect choice. Mature without being old, stylish without being trendy, and most important, flawless skin without being fake. (Insider's Secret: Swank owes her porcelain complexion not to Guerlain's cult creams but to regular facials at Christine Chin. I've seen her there myself.)

Final Word: Regardless of where she gets her micros, hopefully she'll sell a lot more pots of Meteorites than Marie Antoinette. Otherwise, off with her head.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Item of the Day: Handy Bands

Thanks to their genius design, Handy Bands now provide us with a viable excuse to show off our bras and panties at the office — something that was once only reserved for the freaks in human resources who for some reason always find it funny when someone “anonymously” posts their photocopied derrieres on the bulletin board when the boss is on vacation. Instead, save face and opt for these super cute rubber bands shaped like adorable undergarments — they provide the perfect solution to brightening up any drab old wooden desk.

Final Word: Yes, they actually do function just like the original — simply wrap and twist.

$7.95 per pack, at

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Footballers’ Wives

With the new BBC drama series and the World Cup 2006 in full swing, soccer players’ wives are so hot right now it’s not even funny. And who but the Queen Bee of baller babes should be the focus of footballer fashion? With her multitude of jaw-dropping ensembles, she's almost as stylish as her husband. Almost. Still, she does answer the eternal question, what do you wear to a match?

Short shorts and tank tops, apparently. (Note: Not face or body paint which seems to be so popular among raging fans. A sad sight for losers.) Though she's not Sporty Spice, Miss Victoria Beckham knows how to dress the part when going to root for her hubby. Hoochie mama meets 7-year old meets cowgirl meets socialite, nobody can pull off this “look” like the scarily skinny Vicki does.

I actually like the outfit. I think I’d be more displeased if she showed up in the ubiquitous neckline plunging Cavalli number that has become synonymous with her name. Chiffon and sweaty fans don't exactly mesh. This look is fun, young and dare I say, sporty? Well sporty for Tori.

Final Word: Since clearly you will not mimic this outfit, the one thing you can take away is short shorts are back. Not necessarily with stilleto cowboy boots, but they’re back nonetheless.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Devil Wears H & M?

It appears that 20th Century Fox has gone all out to promote their new book-made-blockbuster, “The Devil Wears Prada” featuring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. With rolling premieres from LA to New York City to little ol’ Southampton, they have left no stylish stone unturned to make sure that whoever hasn’t read the book (nobody), will see the movie.

The most funny, shameless form of promotion has been the special premiere to “the finest high-powered assistants in town”. A premiere just for the lowliest personnel (myself) to accent the fact that we lead shitty lives – how sweet. And the only liquor sponsor they could get was Corzo tequila? Who? Don’t they know VIP PA’s drink the most than any executive in the vain attempt to forget the expense report that could single-handedly save Darfur? Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t need to watch how sad and sadistic my life is on the big screen.

And of course Harrison & Shriftman is leading this thinly veiled excuse to promote the film in yet another uncreative and pointless ways. I’m thinking the idea came about this way:

HS girl 1: How do we do something like original for TDWP? I mean I’m SO over doing the after-party at Bungalow. That whole Dorff-Piven ordeal has made it SO B-list.

HS girl 2: Omigod! B-list! You’re SUCH a genius!

HS girl 1: I know! Wait, why again?

HS girl 2: We should TOTALLY get all the most high-powered assistants in the city and invite them to a special premiere, like HOW cute is that???

HS girl 1: Omigod, I AM a genius! That is TOO cute. I am SO LOVING that idea!!

The most exciting conversation at the premiere is likely to be, “So who do YOU work for?” Stimulating, I’m sure.

Final Word: For those interested, the “VIP” screening is tomorrow at 9pm at the DGA Theater in midtown. Me, I think I’ll hold out for the DVD, eating my microwavable popcorn, on my couch, in my sweats – like real assistants do.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Color Me Bad

Fashion, like history, has a tendency to repeat itself. This, we know. But I never imagined my fashion history would repeat itself.

But as it turns out, trends from my youth are all around me.

I specifically remember entering first grade. The day before the first day of school my babysitter taught me how to “pinch-cuff” my jeans.

This method, as I’m sure you all recall, took 1988’s already tapered jeans and made them even skinnier.

Nearly twenty years later, skinny jeans are again my staple. These days, I wouldn’t be caught dead in denim wider than four inches at the ankle. Flared jeans are so ’04.

In third grade, I had a signature look. In the winter, leggings with a long cardigan sweater. In the summer, leggings with a long tee shirt. Switch those LA Gears for a ballet flat and it's 2006. Need I say more?

In sixth grade, when my mom took my “school shopping” (how awesome was “school shopping,” btw?) I made her take me to the Jordache store. Yes, free-standing Jordache stores did exist, in 1994 to be exact.

Once there, I snatched up denim in every color of the rainbow. Black, red, purple, green……..I couldn’t get enough. And I rocked those babies on a rotating schedule like they were going out of style. Oh wait, they were.

By no stretch of my imagination did I think this trend could return. Colored-denim? Could that really be chic? Was it ever?

Well, it looks like this spring’s ever-popular black and grey shades have paved the way for ROY G BIV.

Last week, LA had their market week and Hudson Jeans debuted a bright red skinny jean while Blue Cult simultaneously released their turquoise version.

Down-under, Sydney's self-proclaimed "rag-tag Aussie surfers"/cult-favorite denim designers Tsubi, have already release Skittles-inspired skinnies. See thier "putrid purple" take above.

Final Word: Never under estimate the power of fashion. Maybe I’ll bring back bicycle shorts. This summer’s leggings? Anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Once every 4 years a city of Giants, Rangers, Knicks and Yankees rolls over to make some room for the premiere sport known by the rest of the world as futbol. Yes, I'm talking about the World Cup. Networks gracefully share their air time showing matches between Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, Germany and Poland, England and Jamaica. It's a veritable United Nations on grass.

This year is particularly different than any other World Cup year, because we're watching. A record of 2million people watched the US-Czech Republic at 12pm on a weekday. Last Saturday, on my way to my brother's new East Village studio, every cafe, bodega, bar, living room tuned in to watch Brazil defeat Croatia 1-0.

But let's get real. The main reason I'm tuning in is to see if David actually bends it like they say he does and to check out Victoria's wardrobe choices. I'm also looking out for Germany's Lukas Podolski, who is apparently the new hot player du jour.

Final Word: Where to watch the games this weekend while getting wasted on foreign beer and sing songs you don't know?
Pastis, Cafe Habana, Mercadito, Bilboquet, and if all else fails - ESPN Cafe obvi.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Heat Wave

It’s kind of funny after the first nice weekend of the summer, everyone comes back to the office looking like a French-fried potato. And that fluorescent lighting isn’t exactly becoming. It’s as if we’ve never seen sun and the second the golden god rears its raging head, we bow down instantaneously like idolaters at a golden calf. But you can’t blame us- with only 2 days a week to tan our gams, so we search for the oiliest, most unhealthy tonic to slather on our skin and sear like suckling pigs at the roast. Not such an appetizing thought…

That’s why we should heed our dermatologists’ advice and wear protection. I’m not talking SPF 40 like they suggest- what are they, crazy?! SPF 8 is the golden rule, literally. A little for them, a little for us. I mean, we have to be realistic.

Here are my picks (this comes after many years of sun-worshipping practice) for the best creams out there, from Bergdorf lower level to Aisle 4 at Duane Reade:

1. Lancaster
A necessity in Europe, a cult brand in the States, Lancaster is the reason we envy Gisele’s bronzed bod. Isn’t that reason enough? At select Bloomingdales.

2. Clarins
With gorgeous beaches from St. Tropez to Cap d’Antibes, the French understand a good tan. That’s why Clarins is the only acceptable crème de solaire for elite sunbathers worldwide. The ultimate jet-setter’s tool, it also gives you a subtle shimmer and that heavenly just came from the beach scent.

3. Banana Boat
It’s a secret all well-heeled and well-bronzed women carry. Yes, the plastic bottle and peel-off label may be deceiving, but I promise you it is in the medicine cabinet of all sunned socialites’ summer homes. At drugstores nationwide.

Final Word: Now you have no excuse to look like a lobster at The Palm and you’ll have your fried co-workers thinking, what’s her secret

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rain Check

New York is inarguably one of the most fashionable cities in the world, so why do we all dress so offensively awful when it rains? I mean really, its only water. It’s not going to hurt us. But apparently, it has killed our fashion sense.

So here’s a heads up. It’s going to rain for the rest of the week, but Uggs, Juicy sweats and even North Face parkas are utterly unacceptable in my book.

Fashion can be functional. Here are my suggestions for the rainy days ahead:

Invest in a decent umbrella. The $4 stand-by from the corner deli won’t make it three blocks. Pare*umbrella, a Seattle-based company dedicated to elevating the umbrella to “it” accessory status, offers a varied selection from classic black to the “citi leaf” pattern seen here.

Wellies. Rubber rainboots are a label-lovers dream come true; designer logo overload with a price tag under $200. Burberry, Pucci, Coach, you all know exactly what I’m talking about. But please don’t fall prey to this fad. Stick to the real deal. You can’t go wrong with a classic Wellington boot.

Trench coat. The trench coat is probably the most effortlessly chic, timeless design in the history of fashion. Rainy days are their time to shine. So why are they so under utilized? This Luella version is my favorite choice for fall. I’m not quite sure if the patent leather is actually rain-repellent, but our pare*umbrella will keep us dry.

Final Word: When its rain, its pours. So good luck. See you out there.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Believe I Can Fly

I am not exactly what you would call "healthy." I eat poorly, I probably drink more than I should, and my idea of aerobic activity consists of walking the two avenues from the subway to my office.

Nor am I what you would call "spiritual." I do not practice any religion or identify with any set of beliefs, nor do I think I ever will.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that those committed to a more "elevated" lifestyle often feel I need to be converted.

For me, it started a few months ago. Mama Blackberrie (we'll call her that, since she is quite obviously, one of our mothers) became very dedicated to practicing yoga over the course of the past year.

Whenever we spent time together she would mention how badly I needed to take a yoga class. She sensed that I needed something spiritual and positive in my life. And while she was probably right, I always declined her offer.

That was, at least, until yesterday.

Completely by accident, I happened to walk in on Mama Blackberrie's private yoga session with 24-year-old protégée Phillip Askew. Before I could put down my purse, I was suspended in the air, balancing in back-bent poses on Phillip's hands and feet.

Without much work of my own, I flew about the room in L-seats and side stretches (notice my very official yogi terminology) that were as excruciating as they were liberating. Phillip had me bent and pulled in ways I never thought imaginable.

This particular style of yoga, which they like to call “flying yoga,” is extremely low-impact, but stretches and massages the body in ways traditional yoga could never achieve.

Phillip has not only mastered, but adapted this practice into a particular style unique to himself and his apprentices. And while a picture is worth a thousand words (check out Phillip and Mama Blackberrie in poses here), Phillip and his “flying yoga” must be experienced first hand.

I think I may be converted.

Final Word: Phillip begins teaching an open Vinyasa class tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Sonic Yoga (51st & 9th). For private “flying” lessons call Phillip Askew, Giving Yoga, at 917.608.5683.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Modern Dining

This Saturday, in hopes of killing 2 cultural birds with one stone, I decided to lunch at The Modern, the contemporary chic cafe next to the MoMa (Yes, I lunch. Don't you?) This was my only visit to the MoMa since it moved from Queens a couple years ago. (Who am I kidding, I've never been pre or post Queens. Yes, I know this is embarassing.)

Unfortunately my aspirations to nibble on bibb lettuce while enjoying a Miro, Magritte or Monet were not fulfilled. Instead, the museum security told us the restaurant was actually 3 buildings down on the next street. Ok...Once we got there, soaked to the bone by the belligerent downpour, I was greeted by a sprawling, thoroughly modern restaurant- void of any art. The only piece of aesthetic eye candy was a large photographed image of a lush green forest on what appeared to be plexiglass. A famed artist no doubt, but Monet, it was not.

We were seated in a Danish-designed Bar Room (think Ikea, really really expensive Ikea) behind a frosted glass divider that prohibited any serene view of the Sculpture Garden that the completely empty Main Dining Room enjoyed. Instead we had a view of the bar (the biggest I've seen), making it impossible to decipher if we were in mid-town Manhattan or in a terminal at O'Hare International. Arriving at noon on the dot, we were practically the only ones in the restaurant, which was nice since we got our tuna tartare, foie gras and crispy tuna at a prompt but not too fast pace. Slowly the room filled to a a bland and boring crowd of mostly elder and in-the-know tourists, with the occasional well to do family having their weekend brunch. Not exactly true to my expectations of devout art fanatics and chic curators.

Leaving mildly satisfied with a good meal and good conversation, I'd have to say I wouldn't make a second trip unless I was booked for the Dining Room.

Final Word: A strange decision for a design that keeps the restaurant and the museum completely 2 separate entities, I wish they would have made some connection to the gorgeous treasure of art a few doors down. Guess I'll be going to that exhibit...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Reasons I hate Rachel Zoe…

1. Because you know exactly who I’m talking about without having to Google her name. For those of you who are living under a rock, have never read a tabloid, and never watch Access Hollywood or Extra she’s the stylist to the starlets and counts Richie, Lohan, and Barton amongst her most loyal clientele. But you knew that, and that’s why I hate her.

2. Because she’s designing an accessories line for Judith Leiber. She can design? I thought she just knew how to pull together a signature look and then replicate on all her clients. But watch out, because sadly Judith Leiber will probably rise to It bag status in no time flat, just when we thought her bejeweled monkey clutches were only cool for our grandmothers, and that’s why I hate her.

3. Because her sudden rise to, gasp, fame has left her no choice but to go anorexic just like the little dolls she dresses. This one’s a toss up — I’m not sure if I hate her because she’s trying to become just like the very beings she’s created or the fact that I’ve even noticed her borderline danger zone weight loss at all. Eh, I don’t know… both are reasons I hate her.

4. Because she walked the red carpet during last week’s Cannes Film Festival in a borrowed Chanel gown and Chanel email blasted to all the press as a “best dressed at the awards wrap-up” along with more notable and respectable actresses like Penelope Cruz. Who does she think she is, and more importantly who the heck does everyone else think she is? Sooo one of the major reasons that I hate her.

5. Because, mark my words, this is only the beginning for Rachel Zoe. Today’s tabloid stylist in our pathetic anyone-can-be-a-celebrity-world will be tomorrow’s fashion icon. She is virtually a household name — Vogue wrote a feature article on her — and she’s on her way to becoming a brand. Will we see her “chic” line for Wal-Mart by next year? Probably. Please say it won’t be so, but you know it will and that’s why I hate her.

Final Word: Who’s gonna be next on the pseudo-celeb brand wagon… Ken Paves? Lil’ Sis Lohan? I’m deeply disturbed.

Living In A Material World

I’m such a sucker for anything modern, fashionable, and of-the-moment when it comes to home décor. I’ve gone through (and think I’m finished with) my plastic phase. It started with replacing my wood dining chairs with chicer plastic Louis Ghosts designed by Philippe Starck. Then the synthetic floodgates opened. I now eat all my meals on neon PVC placemats by Driade, which look perfect next to my clear Lucite Ghost Candelabra. When I’m reading a novel in bed I turn on my Kartell Take lamp for added luminosity, which sits atop my purple La Boheme Starck stool/makeshift nightstand. And the list goes on and on, hence my need for a serious change.

Which brings me to my latest interior design obsession, and thankfully it’s not another industrial material, but rather an industrial artist: Tord Boontje.

A Netherlands native, Boontje is a master at turning refined, man-made materials into fantastical earthy creations that rival the real thing in both beauty and construction.
His graphic motifs adorn everything from Swarovski crystal chandeliers to more unusual products like stainless steel stickers. In fact, finding innovative use for unexpected materials is Boontje’s specialty. His delicate window treatments made of Tyvek paper are actually durable because the material is tear-proof.

When he’s not transforming a mundane piece of paper into a gorgeous garland-cum-lighting fixture, he’s putting his industrial brains to use in executing the construction. His designs are often translated through use of machines like waterjet cutters and lasers whereby he’s engineered fabrics like wool felt, organza, and silk into beautiful furniture. Boontje’s most recent works were created for modern design mecca Moss in SOHO. The End collection is made up of vibrant and ethereal pieces that feature his signature florals and leaves — perfect additions to my 1,000 sqft 1/1.

But alas, I can’t afford to splurge on everything Tord, with his $20,000 Swarovski crystal chandeliers and $5,000 swivel chairs. But I’ve done a little TB research and found a few ways I can attempt to Boontjefy my apartment on a budget, and here they are:

Until Dawn Curtains The aforementioned paper draperies that are made of Tyvek paper for durability, $90 each at

Garland Shade Light This silver-plated garland is perfect to cover an eyesore of a lightbulb – perhaps for sprucing up an old bathroom or creating a chic entranceway. $60, at

Puddles Stickers These stainless steel stickers are just plain fun. Is your refridgerator in need of a pick-me-up? Mine is. I’m going to cover the darn thing from top to bottom. $18 each, at

Thinking of You Vase Covers These are a no-brainer — they’re cheap and make a statement at a dinner party table or celebration. $27 each, at

Final Word: Bring on the Bootje! I think I’m in love. For now. Check out Moss for yourself if you dare to be inspired. 146 Greene Street or

Happy Birthday Blackberrie!!

Today The Blackberrie celebrates its 100th post!

Happy bday don't look a day older. xx

Why I Love Tortilla Flats...

1. The perfect summer evening margarita joint. Loud, dirty and despicable.

2. Disgusting, greasy yet oh so good food. Try the chalupas, still have no idea what they are but sure they have something to to with fried cheese.

3. Free tequila shots. After the 5th one, you'll be best friends with the waiter and talking to a flight attendant Juan Carlos who swears you guys will be soul mates for the rest of your lives.

4. A shameful meatmarket. Middle-aged professionals from Hoboken trying to pick up girls half their age and leaving only with enough coordination to get themselves to the Path and back home, ah young love.

Final Word: A West Village staple, a summer's not a summer without Tortilla Flats. On the corner of Washington Ave. and W. 12th St.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Life's A Beach,or is it Biotch?

Last year, Laguna Beach’s Kristin Cavallari was arguably the most popular high-school senior in the country. But this year, after enlisting a publicist, a stylist, and any other “ist” aspiring starlets need to shine, she has become a tabloid A-lister with actual roles in upcoming films.

Her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it raise to fame seemed particularly prevalent last night as I watched the debut of The Hills, MTV’s Laguna spin-off starring none other than Cavallari’s high-school nemesis, Lauren “LC” Conrad.

When Laguna started, bore-to-the-core LC was slated to be its star. But before she could throw her first “charity fashion show” (relax, you’re in high school) hot-to-trot Kristin stole her thunder, and her man. Oh, snap!

Wait, but Stephen never really belonged to LC, did he?

Anyway, Conrad was the Princess of Laguna, but that was before Kristin came to town. She’s the Kelly Taylor to Cavallari’s beautifully bitchy Brenda Walsh.

But Kelly could have never survived her own spin-off, even with a coke problem and an eating disorder. And Conrad is far from being that emotionally unstable.

So thank god for Heidi, LC’s delightful dyslexic (well, she must be some sort of learning disabled) roommate. The show’s Donna Martin, if you will. She’s blond, she’s perky and she can’t seem to focus.

Her shameless removal from reality had me laughing out loud when I wasn’t supposed to be, or was I? Oh, those tricky MTV editors.

But unfortunately, it seems MTV master-mind Liz Gateley got her character structure all wrong this time. There’s a reason Kelly Taylor was never really the star. Being pretty, blond and rich doesn’t make you interesting. And The Hills will prove that sooner than later.

Final Word: As for The Hills, skip it. But Aubrey, Aundrea and the other pocket-sized performers from Diddy’s Makin’ da Band 3 return to airwaves June 15th. Talk about guilty pleasure………yes!

"Life's A Beach" marks The Blackberrie's 100th post. Happy 100th B-Berrie! Thanks for reading!

Ooh Baby I Like It Raw

Summer is here. With 80 degree weather, corporate servers breaking down left and ACs everywhere spitting and sputtering, it's time to rejoice. Summer is here. And with all the joys of hot weather comes the need to, gulp, buy a bathing suit, gulp, squeeze into those short shorts, and gulp, actually wear both in public and not in the shelter of your own home and objective mirror.

Yes, I am part of the multitudes of young women freaking out at the fact that I actually need to strip off my layers and leggings to grab my loofa and start scrubbing. It is for this reason that I've gone raw. At least for a week.

I decided 2 days ago that I would put myself on a raw food detox diet to find a new, healthier, rejuvenated me, just in time for summer. Sound hard? It's actually not.

With so many raw foodies from the East Village to West Chelsea, going raw is hardly an effort in New York. To name a few of these un-cookeries, Quintessence, Candle 79, Blossom, Heirloom, I could go on, these restaurants don't just serve lettuce on a plate and call it a day, they make the most unbelievable gourmet creations, you seriously won't believe that a heavenly creamy mint chocolate chip sundae is actually made from raw cashews and almonds.

And not all these places look like the quad at Trinity college...Pure Food and Wine is as cool as they come and a crowd to match. On Irving Place, this brownstone converted to lounge-cum-eatery serves Thai summer rolls, pesto lasagna, pumpkin gnocchi and corn tamales to a hip yogis, fashionistas and peope just wanting to try something new. Chill beats from the Hotel Costes soundtrack transform the restaurant and outside garden into a lush lounge atmosphere, complete with an outside area for smokers (American Spirits, of course.)

Final Word: Ideal meal? Cauliflower samosas to start, fluffy pillows of pumpkin gnocchi and strawberry shortcake to top it all off. What's raw with that? Pure Food and Wine, Irving Place between 17th and 18th Streets.