Kickin’ Delicious.Spring City + Country Trippin’ NYC, USA.


spring is kickin’ up!

In the country, fresh shoots of green sprouts packed with new beginnings and nutrients are like a delicious drug or tonic to animals, making lambs frolic and life bucolic. In the city, the busy schedules are balanced by more non-linear kicking and romping, experiencing the city in sweet warmer weather, more like lovers who have all the time in the world.

Meet your guide.  I’ve taken to writing this monthly blog every New Moon (sometimes…published by full moon…) as kind of a Thank You to the general administration of this Universal Soup, a sensory dive into what I love most about my life, friends, travels and connects in my life based in New York. Consider this a concierge’s Top 8 Tips for enjoying the city or country in Spring. Let’s trip.

know the past to go forward. One of this blog’s most popular posts has been the NYC Uptown/Downtown Winter Weekend in NYC highlighting the best styling, scents, cocktails, movies, artists, design and architecture peeping to do it right in the chill. For last month’s post, journeys were still interior and we charted the New Steps on a Hero/Heroine Journey. This month, we package The Top Eight best things to dive into and do up a City/Country Spring Jaunt right.

Say its Spring and you want to visit the city and surrounding countryside, like a movie star, like a rockstar, like a Classic Bon Vivant. Follow the steps and have fun!

1 freedom riders

First choose your ride beyond a week of taxis, get something red, something convertible, put on the BEST music and head for the hills to watch the green arise and let your spirit free. Follow the instructions, here we go! FIRST…MUSIC UP!

Imagine it is a Friday night, after a busy week…Evening…Awaken The Muse…Move from dusk, street lights to stars. PUT THIS SONG ON NOW….

2…AND THEN READ ON…Country Livin’ (The World I Know) by Esthero shall set the proper mood as a theme song for the weekend. GOOD. Now hit the road and keep reading.

3   Morning! big blooms like magnolias to tiny, tiny bitters like this await your DIVE IN.

4 get wild, eat wild bitters and digestifs…right where you are.

By afternoon, lounging is a many-splendoured habit and you may find yourself rolling, perhaps grazing, like the lambs in the grass. Say hello to this little beauty, Pennsylvania Bitter Cress, Cardamine pensylvanica, in the Mustard family. Found everywhere in temperate climes, like all Spring greens and bitters, it packs many nutritious vitamins and minerals. These easily overlooked sprigs added a nutty, spicy zing to lunch’s sandwich that was heavenly. For my veg friends, yes this is meat, free-range, “served with Love” and eaten that way as well.

For those who like Life’s bitters bottled and presented, San Pellegrino bottles Sanbitter for the Spring tradition of bitters, digestifs. For health effects, add sweet with your bitter, San Pellegrino water and grapefruit juice for a red zinger. It goes well with the ((( paper! ))) version of the New York Times spread out, the style bible T magazine Summer 2012 Fashion issue first. Get excited when the fashion spread on food+style matches the drink and the big bouillabaisse soup planned for dinner.

you are in the countryside, and magic is beginning.

5 get sensually inspired and naughty by nature

From the magic sunny perch of a porch, even something mundane as new red from Chanel nail polish (it matches the drink!) becomes fascinating as the mind  s l o w s   d o w n.

oh to be lost in the fantasy fashion spreads of the NY Times, T magazine…

While she ponders nails, poetic, naughty, haughty evening silver sliver sheaths, fins and silvery glints off the lake, he tinkers with his toys. Cars, organic garden clearing and planting, stock quotes n’ coffee, antique shopping planning on for summer vacations in Europe.

Just about the time you look up and the heron sails low and silent above the lake, it’s time for early evening showers topped with a new scent by Australia-based Fleurage called “Chypre, Such-A-Boy.”  Most know Chypre (Cypress) as the original created by Coty in 1913. The scent became a name for this kind of sweet abstract of heady, pungent Mediterrean scent notes, enticed by the clean opening of lavendar and rosemary and then…for real down and dirty naughty by nature…

…rolling up in oak moss and musk. This is a scent something boys and girls can share and both wear.

In other words, a man wearing a fresh scent mixing with his own animal scent because…he’s Such a Boy! is so very full of sex appeal. And for a girl, being all tomboy in the country, Such a Boy! is IT. Chypre has been called sensual and abstract, which is also why I think unisex is the vibe here.  Techies! Who is inventing scratch and sniff for The Internet? …in the meantime, click here for Fleurage to get a sample or a bottle.

6 afternoon, go coastal to explore near and far for dinner inspiration…

Late afternoon, take the car to explore the countryside, and find a fish shack for dinner.  Music still up, looking at the sky, the wide sky full of…T I M E forever. and…Time for a new song, #2 of the weekend. (hopefully #2 of a whole soundtrack)

Are you falling in LOVE with life? Your delicious life?  ((( gratitude! )))

A traditional, Bouillabaisse French Provençal fish stew is perfect for Spring evenings, in part because the warm weather arrives and the French coast beckons. And for further inspiration, and no surprise, this weekend’s very issue of T magazine did a feature on Ramdane Touhami, whose agent, Philippe Archad, is on our panel during the upcoming Frieze Art Fair, (here for the first time in NYC, more below on that.) Moroccan native, Touhami’s boheme creative life with wife, Victoire de Taillac, and kids, is a little Bouillabaise, a little “vision board” and much fun.

7   bring it on home with eartha kitts

On another long country day, buy or plan something earthy for the kitchen so that the country vibes stay with you all week. Start simple, such as my habit of buying green ceramics, like these Sang Joon Park “9 Tea Cups on a Wall.” I found these smart space-use, cups as wall art from an exhibit in an Upper East Side Manhattan million-dollar manse covered last month, curated by Pryor Callaway. Or go much more complex, such as this rain water, hydroponic garden installation by rogue architects, François Roche and Stéphanie Lavaux of R&Sie(n)… Paris, called Lost in Paris, for your indoor, outdoor kitchen.

Sandwiches of art, architecture, streetstyle and Mother Nature are the blueprint to nurture us through the hybrid of our 2-sided brains, our intrinsic bio-culture and our inventive natures.

Sunday night, before packing, pack in movies. A run of old classics like Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, a newish DVD, The Rum Diaries, (for the red car rides) and re-watching the newest fave TV show, Scandal, because it is that good! Pack up the Stella McCartney frock to transition from flower to geometric pollenation. Well-rested and cultured, ready for Monday Urban Nation.

8 city-slicker, wear and drink it ALL in. monday back in NYC.

1  be an insider. take a tour to explore new/old/eternal things

NYC is best served multi-dimensional and sensual on a platter. From the above, images, a custom Manhattan Spring jaunt could take you from older classic architecture gems hidden on side streets to yearly tulips en-mass on Park Avenue to a one-of-kind table top straight from a Milan design fair, a tour designed for your pleasures by a Native New Yorker as your personal concierge is the ticket. Did you know this is our specialty?

Aboriginal art? The hard-to-find polka dot dress you saw in Sunday New York Times T magazine or Thakoon’s Masai tribe inspired boot? No problem, it’s on your tour…as you please.

2 kick-it! with your own personal fashion studio portrait experiences photo shoot by Legend at Shangri-La: 

if you imagine yourself Josephine Baker, a cabaret babe, Ultra Violet or you-name-it, Legend at Shangri-La will make you one.

This image is Ultra Violet from the “Before They Were Famous” photography exhibit of early images of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana by William John Kennedy. Our panel will take place during this exhibit and the London art fair, Frieze’s first NYC visit. (more below) Perhaps you too would like to capture yourself on film, while or “before you are famous?” Legend at Shangri-La.

2 stay nice. hotel plaza athenee? nyc?

Indeed! A bit of the famous magic red awnings of Paris can be found in New York’s own Plaza Athenee’s cocktail lounge, Bar Seine. Red Pimento colored walls, leather floors and Moroccan, Euro and Asian dark, confidential nooks and wonderful mix of art and artifact will take you there.

This month we spent time at the Plaza Athenee with our client Fraser Balgowan, a sustainable luxury brand from Scotland, crafting heirloom bags from sustainably harvested deer from their Highlands estate and designed with heritage sporting tweed. Saks Fifth Avenue debuts the collection this Fall, Holiday. More below, on the collection…first, toss on the best cashmere shawl or scarf, for jaunts downtown….

3  put on a cashmere throw uptown and head downtown.

Spring in NYC can still have a chill and the only answer is cashmere. The best comes from Begg of Scotland, (some things are tough to find in NYC, so buy it online and head downtown for something you can’t find anywhere but NYC…the best art.)

3 for the show…this month’s upcoming art shows.

On Sunday, May 6 at 1pm, during Frieze NY, I am curating a panel called 99% Art in The Public Realm: A Tool For Social Change  at the must-see exhibit of early photographs of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana by William John Kennedy in “Before They Were Famous.”

Today, Andy’s concept of 15 Minutes of Fame meets the 99%. From Susan B. Komen to Kony, public discourse is the art “Happening,” taking to the streets and Tweets to affect global change and re-invention. Our panel of art and brand experts will review art and current events globally, where public performance and street art is on the rise and how artists, museums, urban interventions, interactive events and media now meet marketing and non-profits to engage audience. With Lina Srivastava, Jonathan Porcelli, Serena Saitas, Nicholas Coblence, Renata Lopes-Merriam and Philippe Archard. RSVP here.

May 7  Known for his photographs of meteor sites, haunting butterfly and space traveler images,  Stan Gaz shows new work at Clamp Art, 6-8 521-531 W. 25th St.

May 31 – June 28,  New Aboriginal art from Australia debuts in the US resulting from a collaboration of one of my favorite galleries, Gallery Nine5, along with Ninuku Arts, Harvey Arts Project, at G95, 24 Spring Street between Mott and Elizabeth. The title is daunting and so is the art: Manta Irititjangku Ngura Kutjupalakutu: Ancient Land New Territory. 

4  go for delicious delight, delight! make delicious m a s s e s of them.

5  it’s the season, turn, turn, turn a new table

Say you must have something full of light dots like the paintings you saw or you must trip the light fantastic as being shown at the latest Fiori Salone in Milano, can you find this in NYC? Yes! Our friend in Milan, Dedi, took the light and table pictures shopping at Salone de Mobile, the yearly exhibition of the world’s best new designs for home every April. If you must have it, we can help you find it. City experts in Milan, Paris, London, Rio? YES, we have them.

6  evening out. dispel the tired day, breathe deeply in, arouse inspiration and leave the night scented.

Try Kapha oil round about late Wednesday or Thursday. Aromabliss makes a combo Kapha oil philosophized with yoga, Ayurveda, herbals and aromatherapy. “This is an excellent tonic for use during the heavy, wet weather in the Spring due to the spirited herbs the oils houses…the formula with its brilliant properties of lowering cholesterol, decreasing  blood pressure and enhancing the cardiac muscle function. The delicious scents of Eucalyptus and Lemongrass are sweetened with Frankincense to arouse physical and mental motivation and inspiration.” Can you imagine rubbing your body with the oil and going for an after-the-rain Central Park walk in the morning? (O! the energy in the air after a Spring rain!)

On just such a morning walk, tree pollen blowing in the fresh Spring air on my way to Central Park, I ran into Parisian expert, Susan Tabak and sampled her new scent, Sortir le Soir. Just as every city dweller must have their Herbalist, there should be an Alchemist, too. Every smart urban girl should have some Paris magic no matter where in the world she finds herself, to enchant an evening out and a special man. This is no unisex perfume, it is wholly a woman’s delicious evening scent of gardenia-inspired white floral, with notes of bergamot, mandarin orange, jasmine, freesia, amber and vanilla developed with perfumer Françoise Caron. Susan’s Paris launch soiree was attended by all types, including fashion legend, Diane Pernet. Get your bottle of Paris, here.

 7 prepare. all hail another new york city weekend…enough with art, shopping, sex, baths, convertible…take me away.

The week in NYC flies by, a whirl…from Monday meetings to Tuesday night parties, mid-week secret night baths with lovers, to wine-soaked Chelsea art openings on Thursday and, and once again… it’s Friday afternoon…! Pack up the Fraser Balgowan bag and head for the hills!

the flowers, the lambs and you. another week brighter, stronger…

Yup. Here Now! We go to nature to practice balance, purity and “Contentment.” Radical concepts in a fast-paced world, yet Timeless, Beautiful and Powerful Tonics and applicable to any moment! Thank you indeed!

s l o w l y. Summer is coming.

(post photos by Jade Dressler, other images and thanks to all friends, Fiona Fraser, John Favreau, NY Times T, et al!)

4 Responses to “Kickin’ Delicious.Spring City + Country Trippin’ NYC, USA.”

  1. 1 perfumepharmer

    A photo shoot at “Legend at Shangri-La” is starting to be a must have for my over forty self- gotta document the loveliness! I didn’t get a sample of “Such a Boy” yet from Fleurage- My BEE-keeper boy prefers the lighter sweeter florals- Calla, Fleur De Nuit, the PINK series from Fleurage (me trying to decide on a WEDDING fragrance- CALLA by Fleurage has my vote so far as a darling white floral) Hmmmm….

  2. 3 perfumepharmer


  3. 4 perfumepharmer

    A photo shoot at Legend at Shangri-La is starting to be a must have for this over forty lady- must document the loveliness! My bf prefers the light florals by Fleurage ~ like Calla (thinking Wedding scent), Fleur de Nuit… Tulip…. Emma Jane Leah’s perfume house Fleurage is… such a find! xoxo Monica

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