Thursday 1st October 2020
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A few (very) random things that made my life better in 2016

OK people, I’m taking off for the holidays. I’ll just be hanging out at home with the pooches, seeing friends, doing the usual cliched Jewish Christmas in Chinatown, that sort of thing. I’ll be back on the January 3rd, though I might check in between now and then once or twice just for kicks. Meanwhile, here’s a short rundown of stuff that has improved my life this year in ways both large and small, starting with this Davines deep conditioner, formulated especially for frizzbo hair like mine. It is not meant to be used every time you shampoo, so you’ve got to be strategic about employing it when you want to look really, really good. Seriously, it makes my hair look so silky and un-frizzy and manageable that I have a hard time believing it is coming out of my actual head.

Of all my striped shirts—and I own a few—I reach for my Sailor tee from The Great the most. It’s got a fantastic, almost swingy, silhouette, and is black and white, and you know I appreciate a good black and white stripe.

I live literally across the street from where Manhattan’s Chinatown starts, which means I have access to all of the exotic-looking produce they sell there, including Dragonfruit, which I love. It’s very mild, like a melon crossed with a kiwi sort of, and refreshing. And pretty! I always feel like it’s a tiny special occasion when I have one.

My friend Will popped back into my life this summer after a decades-long absence—we just drifted apart the way people sometimes do—and it is like he never was away.  He’s been the best, most supportive, presence—it is mostly due to him that I started getting serious about writing again. And I can tell him anything and he never judges, and doesn’t he look snappy in this picture?

Every morning unless the weather is a fright, the dogs and I end up at the Tompkins Square Park dog run. And the time I spend there comes as close to being a meditative experience as I have all day. I just focus on all the dogs and put other thoughts out of my mind, and for a little while, everything is just fine.

My McQuan rainbow rock makes me happy every time I look at it.

As does whatever my red lip of the moment is, and at the moment it is this (the exact hue is Bauhau5).

My neighborhood outpost of Xi’an Famous Foods is tiny. All they’ve got is a few stools for seating and if they’re taken you’re out of luck, but I live for their Spicy and Sour Lamb Dumplings.

And then we have this little miracle, baby Gino. My dear, dear friend Andrea up and proved this year that it’s never too late to make a dream come true when she brought this little chunk of love into the world.

And finally, I just have to say that once again, all of you have been a huge part of what has gone right for me in 2016. You got me through the aftermath of the hideous election, and I know that together we will survive whatever comes next. As I always say, if you are the type of person who loves this time of year: go forth and enjoy. If, like me, it’s not your all-time fave, take comfort in knowing it’ll all be over soon. See you back here in January.


Posted on December 23rd, 2016 48 Comments

48 Responses

  1. Tammy says:

    Oh my gosh, the photo of you and baby Gino is so precious. Love it. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and new year, Kim!

  2. blackbird says:

    Wishing you all good things for the new year.

  3. Dana D says:

    Beautiful people draw beauty and love into their lives.

    Thank you for sharing this list. It almost brought tears.

    (and thank you for allowing me to love fashion while always remembering that there are bigger and more important things in this old world, for references to news and such that I’d otherwise miss, and for the gift of your writing…)

    here’s to a brighter 2017…

  4. Joni says:

    Happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Thank you for a year of pleasure reading during my a.m. “Coffee Break.”

  5. Sylvia says:

    Happy new year, Kim. Love this list and love your blog. I’m looking forward to reading a lot more of your writing in 2017.

  6. Heather says:

    Kim, thanks for making and sustaining this community, and to other readers for contributing to it. This space has brought a lot of comfort and insight to me this year, and I’m grateful. Have a wonderful holiday and see you again in January. And thank you, again.

  7. Trish says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I am going to start a list like this on FB and see what my friends come up with! For the record, here are some of mine: LAFCO candles are all divine
    Hot and Flashy 50 blog for all things beauty related – Angie tells it like it is
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (rediscovered beloved book)
    Micropen with PRP treatments
    Mally eyeliners and shadow sticks
    Rag and Bone’s Liz long sleeved t
    last but not least, the National Women’s March in January – I’m knitting the pussy hat for all my friends and marching with pride in Chicago. If you’re going I’d love to knit a hat for you! Least I can do since you give us all this great entertainment/advice/information!

  8. Sara says:

    Thanks for the beautiful list, Kim, and for your blog — your writing has made my life better in 2016 and I’m grateful for it.

  9. laurajeanorama says:

    This end of the year list made me a little weepy, but in a good way. So grateful for this site; it’s one of the first things I read in the morning. Have a lovely relaxing holiday and a happy new year! We need your great energy for 2017. xoxo

  10. Linda Boardman Kerr says:

    Reading your blog is one of the first things I do everyday. Something you post never fails to inspire me and make me smile. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Happy Hanukkah and now I’ll go out and buy that lipstick!

  11. DeDe says:

    Kim! Thank *you* for creating this truly special space. GOACAs have brains, guts, heart AND style, and we are legion!! (Sorry about the ad, gahd! So annyoing.)

    Happy Holidays to all!

    PS, I am wearing that striped shirt right now! And I used the conditioner yesterday! And now I’m going to seek help for my exclamation point problem! Ok!

  12. Mary says:

    Having lived in the EV for a very long time, and owning dogs my whole life, I can confirm that the Tompkins Sq. Park dog run is an amazing place. Many a friend made there, both canine and human. Just the simplicity of dogs and their happiness takes away from the complexity of being human for a brief time. Happy Holidays

  13. Tamara says:

    Happy new year Kim! You are one of my good things. My GOACA ritual is to cuddle up on the couch with my puppy and ready all my favorite blogs…first 2 always are you and Andrea. Best wishes to you and yours.

  14. Thanks Kim for the frizzy hair tip, we all need that one!
    Have a lovely break taking it easy.
    Absolutely agree, walking my dog is my greatest pleasure & yes, peaceful and meditative – i guess it’s because my dog is just so thrilled to be out walking whether it’s walk 1 or walk 6 of the day.
    All the best for 2017.

  15. Kate says:

    I don’t comment often, but thank you for creating this wonderful space and for all the work that you do. I hope you have a restful break and a wonderful holiday.

  16. Wendi says:

    Aloha Kim,

    Gosh….just, thanks. Thanks for being so real, so interesting and intelligent, and fashionable. I look forward to reading your post every morning, cup of tea in hand. 💕
    Happy Holidays to you from another “Girl of a Certain Age”.


  17. karen says:

    and this site has been one of the things that has made 2016 better for me! thanks for that!

  18. elise says:

    thank you Kim for sharing your list along with all your posts through out the year – YOU make my list!! Here’s to 2017 – we’ll get thru it together!

  19. joanne says:

    Wishing you a Happy Chanukah from one jew-not-so-into-it to another. May your year be blessed with more people like Will in our life!
    Bisous from Kingston, Ontario.

  20. Julie says:

    Echoing the sentiments above, just wanted to say thank you and all best wishes for 2017.

    And although it’s ridiculous to assume you haven’t heard of this: it has completely transformed my formerly frizzy hair (and I am so grateful for all the good things and ideas you have introduced to me).

  21. Meg says:

    From Portland,Oregon: Happy Holidays, Kim!

  22. Jamie says:

    Happy Holidays, and much joy and love and such to you, now and always. Thank you for continuing to bring loveliness into our lives, daily. Thank you for your humor and your style. Thank you for your kindness and generosity. Have a wonderful vacation.

  23. jhops says:

    Happiest of holidays, Kim. This year has been a beast, so thanks for the reminder about good lipsticks, chunky baby cheeks & dog park meditation.

  24. c.w. says:

    From Texas a yippie-ty-ya-Hanukkah and Happy New Year.

    Thank you for your blog. Hope you have a relaxing break. Totally with you on the dogs/dog park/silver lining to the day sentiment.

    Fingers crossed that 2017 will be better, if not, I know I can at least find some like-minded souls on your blog.

  25. rosemary says:

    that is one cute baby.
    It is not too soon. Sheryl Sandberg in 2020.

  26. joannawnyc says:

    See you next year!
    I am currently packing up my Brooklyn townhouse and moving to Dutchess County. I am depending on you to help me keep my edge!

  27. Kelly says:

    This is one of the only places where I actually read the comments. On purpose, even. Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate (and everything else, too), all

  28. Michelle Mueckler says:

    See you in January! This blog is a not so random thing that made my life better in 2016 (and most likely 2017!)!

  29. Rosie says:

    You are the best!

  30. KimFrance says:

    Thanks for all the kind words, everyone! You are the best!

  31. Jana says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kim. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know (and it ain’t just about jeans and jewelry, though there’s that, too…).

    Happy 2017, everybody….

  32. sarah says:

    Thanks, Kim. Your blog just gets better and better, and it’s always the first thing I look at in the morning with my coffee, before I’m ready for the hard stuff. Enjoy your time off-I am so envious, this time of year is not my favorite either, but here it is. Happy New Year!

  33. Meegan says:

    I wish you all that you have wished your readers, right back to you, and I thank you for all that you write.

  34. Debra says:

    Kim, you’re the BEST because you keep it REAL in a NICE way. There’s a lot to be said for that in this crazy world.Looking forward to 2017 with you and all the other GOACAS. Peace and love to all!

  35. Mae says:

    Thanks for your wonderful blog, Kim. You seem like a genuinely nice lady and I do mean lady — we girls of a certain age are never too old to need good role models who cheer us on.

    Happy holidays from Colorado to you and all the cool girls who are your readers!

    Love, Mae

  36. gablesgirl says:

    Bon Natale from vacation in Milan. Thank you, Kim.

  37. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    You’re one of the 3 blogs I rush to read when they arrive on my mailbox each day. You make me laugh, cry, think, and just plain enjoy the life I have. I’m so grateful for this group of damned intelligent women! Thanks, Kim and Happy New Year!

  38. Elissa says:

    This is my first time to comment, but I felt so compelled after this post and the subsequent lovely GOACA reader comments…
    You saved me in 2002 (during a divorce and becoming a single mom). I distinctly remember discovering my first issue of Lucky during that time. Reading your editor’s note each month brought a much needed smile. I had always hoped you would return and share your writings – and you did! Thank you for GOACA – thank you.
    Warm wishes from the “Bayou City”….you know where I mean! 😉

  39. Adrien says:

    Kim, you are so my people and I’ve been a fan since Sassy! Thanks for writing such a fun and insightful blog and I look forward to reading more of your essays in 2017. Peace and light to you and your pups and to all your readers. (The comments section here is such a nice place!)

  40. Viajera says:

    Have a wonderful relaxing time!!! Happy Everything!!!!

  41. Patty says:

    I discovered your blog just this year (and read and looked backward). Thanks for . . . . all of it really. I’m glad your friend is back in your life, and I know Gino will fill your heart and put the horror election in the proper perspective. May peace be with you, and all your readers,

  42. Mdot says:

    Yes, thank you for writing for the 40 year old woman. You’re hitting the nail right on the head with all sort of issues whether it’s seemingly superficial like frizzy hair to ultra important like women’s right to choose. Your talking to us and creating a space for us to talk to each other.

  43. angie says:

    aww that list choked me up because i have also been adding up things that make my life better. feel like i have known you forever, and this is one of my daily visits. i wish you all the best in the new year.

  44. Rachel D says:

    Joining the chorus of thank yous–for all of it. The great lipsticks, the political commentary, the dogs, the stripes, the French fashion editors, and the inspiration also to get more serious about writing. All of it.

  45. Kathryn SK says:

    Andrea had a baby! That’s awesome! Thank you for this great site! I loved Sassy and this seems like an extension of it to me.

  46. Elle says:

    Echoling others – you are a jewel. Thank you. Hoping peace and joy find you where you are xo

  47. Bonnie says:

    Thank you, Kim, for doing what you do. I enjoy each and every post – as well as the comments and commenters. It’s a smile each visit and that is a gift. Very grateful!

  48. AmyM says:

    Happy New Year, Kim! Your blog remains one of my essential daily destinations. I may or may not have audibly expressed delight when I got to the photo of you with Baby Gino. He’s delicious.