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Archive for December, 2015

The GOACA list: things that made my life better in 2015


We’ll start with something thoroughly predictable coming from me: a Fornasetti candle. Not just because they’re pretty to look at, but because the Otto scent in particular—with notes of thyme, lavender, cedarwood, and birch—is heaven.

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I have extolled the virtues of R13 jeans many times, but no list of items that bring me happiness would be complete without them, as theirs is the only denim I ever wear anymore. The folks at R13 have figured out the trick of how to make denim with stretch not look stretchy (which for me is the kiss of denim death), and the cut flatters those of us with actual hips. They are pricey, it is true. But because I pretty much live my life in jeans, I consider the investment to be worth it.

Russ & Daughters

Photo via NY Eater

I live on the Lower East Side, on the very street where my grandmother was born, and not far from where my great-grandfather had his glass factory. And the sense of history and connection I derive from this is a big part of how I have learned to love my scrappy, un-manicured neighborhood after leaving the idyllic West Village. Most of the businesses that existed 100 years ago are long gone, but Russ & Daughters—famous purveyors of smoked fish—prevails. Their newish cafe on Orchard Street is loyal to the spirit of the original Houston Street store without drowning in retro, and they make a mean sturgeon and scrambled eggs. I do everything in my power to have all of my lunch dates meet me there.

curling iron

You press a button on this curling iron and it automatically whirls your hair up on its own—a gimmick, perhaps, but one that actually works: I swear it makes my hair smoother than its non-whirly counterparts. And it gets hot enough to do the job, but not so hot that your hair starts to smoke.

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Historically, I have been a disaster at growing plants, but when I moved into my current apartment, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and light for days, I figured I had no option but to try. Thank God for succulents—most of which I buy at neighborhood plant store Green Fingers—because as long as you get light, they’re all but un-killable. And they remind me of Los Angeles, the place I most fantasize about living when winter in New York gets deathly.

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I have a habit of going too far between shampooing, a reality that would be altogether gross if it weren’t for this Oscar Blandi hair powder, which combats dirty hair flatness brilliantly, and has the best, just-washed lemony-fresh scent.


My friend Michelle and I met in June when I was in Massachusetts, and we discovered within the first minute of knowing each other that we lived in the same building—one floor apart.  All I have ever wanted is a building bff, and even though she is much younger than me—Michelle is 27—she is the perfect specimen of just that.  She can be goofy and kind of a spaz—in a good way—but she’s also deeply loyal and whip-smart and wise in a way one doesn’t necessarily expect somebody in their twenties to be wise.  And she makes me the best playlists on Spotify.

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Of all the bags I own—and I own (and continue to acquire) quite a few—it is my Clare Vivier Sac Bretelle that sees the most action. It fits a surprising amount, goes with everything, and wears incredibly well.

ysl eyeliner

I’m disloyal in the extreme when it comes to mascara—I routinely fall for one, then trade up once I find something I’m convinced is better—but there is only one eyeliner for me, and it’s this one from YSL. Because it goes on just thick enough to make my eyes pop, but not so thick that I look scary, and because its felt-tip-ish applicator makes it easy for even makeup clods like me to apply.


Transparent makes hating Amazon really hard: it’s so brave, smart, funny, and poignant—and just delightfully, unabashedly Jewish, which is something that you almost never see.

nespresso pixie

My Nespresso Pixie machine, tempermental as it is.

the boys

And finally, these guys: my nephews Abe, Eli and Henry (here at our family’s house in Sag Harbor last summer), who are three of the cleverest, sweetest, most hilarious and altogether fantastic creatures I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. For a variety of reasons both within and outside of my control, I’ve never become a mom. But the love I feel for these boys has an intensity unlike any love I’ve ever felt. I am grateful to my brothers and their wives for sharing them so generously with me.


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And then of course, there’s all of you, who make my life better every year: your humor, your loyalty and your smarts are a constant inspiration. You’ve made my life richer.

And with that, I leave you for the holidays. For those of you who love this time of year: go forth and enjoy. For those of you whose feelings run more toward loathing: it’ll all be over soon. I’ll be back on the 4th, so see you then.

Posted on December 23rd, 2015 28 Comments

Things I bought, things I want: The Zero+Maria Cornejo sale

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I feel like it’s practically a public service announcement to let you guys know about the Maria Cornejo sale, because it is just so good, with discounts plunging to 60%. I went for this poncho, because I’ve been eyeing it all season and it’s got a really great neckline, and pockets, which is never not a plus.

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I believe this tote to be best-looking tote maybe ever. If I worked in an office, I’d feel so damn chic carrying it every day.

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Such a graceful, elegantly drapey dress that would be perfect for those black-tie events you guys are always writing me to say you don’t know what to buy for.



Posted on December 23rd, 2015

Going for the gold


While it is true that we are having freakishly warm weather here on the East Coast, my deathly winter pallor has arrived, as always, right on schedule. So lately I’m relying on this powder bronzer by Lauder, which endows my face with such a convincing and natural-looking glow—fresh, not mask-like and fake-y—that not long after I tried it for the first time, I ran into my friend Ruby on Prince Street and she asked where I’d gone on vacation.


Posted on December 22nd, 2015 4 Comments

Top 5 of the week

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I think one day soon I will do a post on really excellent and very loud winter hats—because there are few other accessories we can have splashy good fun with when the weather turns frigid—but today we turn our attention to beanies in subdued shades of black, white, and grey.  First up: a splurgy option from German brand Wommelsdorff that is equal parts deeply stylish and seriously adorable.

ugg beanie

The combination of space-dye and solid here makes for a nice—but not too statement-y—statement.

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I love Mischa Lampert’s super-thick knit hats: they hit flatteringly high on the forehead, and the pom-poms are delightfully (almost comically) oversized. I bought this exact one a couple of years ago and put it on when I want to be really warm and cute at the same time.

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I’m rather crazy for the mix of textures on this Missoni  option.

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And finally: a streamlined choice in cashmere, the lightest of light grey and just as simple as you please. And it rings in at just a speck over $50.

Posted on December 21st, 2015 10 Comments

Tuesday trifecta

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Pyramid studs: so unexpected in white.

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And so deeply badass on this lipstick.

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On a bracelet they’re somewhat more predictable, but this particular execution feels unusually polished.

Posted on December 15th, 2015 1 Comment

Monday links

12 angry



Posted on December 14th, 2015 7 Comments