Friday, September 29, 2006

"I Think I Love You"

At some point, every woman has thought, "Wouldn't it be romantic to date a famous musician?...They can write songs about me...Everyone will look at me as his main inspiration!" A friend of mine recently showed me the darker side of being a musical muse.

"You see, Brooke...when it all turns to want to throw something every time that "screw off" break-up song comes on the radio. You can't walk into H&M without hearing him whine on and on about why it didn't work out. You are just trying perform a very simple, mundane act of picking up a cute "going out" top when your whole evening is blow to crap."

Hmmm...I hadn't really thought of it that way. I suppose she's right. It's bad enough bumping into an ex at at all, much less having to be reminded of him on every movie soundtrack or when at the supermarket.

Another important point is when you have moved on...started to date a new guy and all of a sudden during a totally romantic moment...THERE IT IS...that dog gone song might as well have the ex in the room with you!

While 99% cannot relate to what it's like to date a famous musician...I am not sure it should ever be something we aspire to. Afterall, that mixed tape can be tossed out, but hit songs live on forever.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Smarter Car

When a co-worker of mine said, "I'll drive," it hadn't occurred to me that my entire automotive world would be turned upside down. In a society that is finally starting to see that bigger isn't always better, it was almost unbelievable when I took a ride in her Smart Car (built by DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes Car Group).

At first glance, it's almost laughable. In fact, I did laugh...but once inside, I didn't miss the leg room and reclining space I have grown accustom to. Instead, I was quiet comfortable. It's roomier than I expected. In fact, if it wasn't for all the stares and points I might have even forgotten we were in this mini version of a car.

On top of looking cute, the Smart Car gets amazing gas mileage (it's been 3 weeks and counting since my friend has been to the pump) and is actually considered relatively safe. It rated "very strong" in frontal impact tests...side impact tests rated weaker and with significantly more damage. Might be best to keep them off major freeways for now.

Look, I'm not trading in my ride for a Smart Car just yet, but it's just good to know that we are starting to lean towards something a little more sensible. Who needs all that room anyway?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Perfect Pen

We all know when we have found that awesome pen. It's the one that writes really bold. The one where the roller ball glides like it’s on ice. It's not too thin, not too thick. Not too bulky, not too flimsy. Not $1.99 for thirty, but not $35 for one. Welcome to the world of the uni-ball Jetstream.

I know it sounds like a crazy thing to be picky about, but when it comes to writing, nothing beats a fabulous stick of ink. This pen writes as smooth as silk and doesnt smear. With the Jetstream, I have noticed my not-so-legible handwriting turn into clear, readable perfection. Not sure how...but it's true.

Ok, some of you think I am totally nuts…whatever. For the rest of us..."write" on!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

UNA Arrives!

We can finally celebrate…and shop! UNA has officially opened in Century City.

Manhattan Beach residents have been spoiled by this fabulous store for more than 2 years. Finally, UNA heads North (and a wee bit East) with it's second store, giving us city dwellers a chance to whip out the cash and dive into the styles and designs of this adorable boutique. With such labels as Theory, Splendid, Vince, Velvet and hot, new Los Angeles based Aude, UNA brings the fashions of Neiman’s and Barneys to a small, un-intimidating space.

Sophisticated and simple...the perfect shopping experience for any Picky-Chick.

Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90067

(UNA is located at the front end of the mall in the new section near Houston's)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Poppi on Top

In a world of predictable bangle bracelets and outdated Tiffany Heart necklaces (please, stop wearing these), its nice to see a line of jewelry that captures more artistic flare.

With pieces that fancy caviar over glass, Poppi Shop offers unique baubles that will spice up any outfit. The rings are made of delicate beads that wind around elastic allowing the fit to work for anyone. With over 70 varieties of styles and colors, there is bound to be one that's perfect for you.

Reasonably priced at $50 and up, these mini works of bubbly art also make a great gift!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hooray for Mulberry!

Since we Californians don't actually live in New York, we have to pretend to have good pizza. A pie in "The 90210" isn't exactly bona fide.

Thankfully, Mulberry Street doesn't force us to put on too much of an act. Not only is their food simply delicious and completely "NYC" authentic, they even cater to special requests.

Earlier this week, I had an unusual ask of my Mulberry dough thrower. I wanted to make sure a loved one knew just how far I would go to make his birthday extra memorable, so check out what Mulberry's artist created for his special day! Ok, I know...he left out the "t" in "birthday," but who cares? It was still really awesome.

Thanks Mulberry and Happy Birhday Scott!

Mulberry Street Pizza
347 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Picky-Chick Flick Diss

James Ellroy has given us extraordinary works such as L.A. Confidential and Brown's Requiem. Using real history as his canvas, he manages to take twists and turns like no other writer.

Ellroys' infatuation with Los Angeles crime and the inner workings of the movie business started at a young age. His father was an accountant by day and a Hollywood bottom-feeder and womanizer by night. His mother was brutally beaten and killed when Ellroy was a boy triggering an obsession with murder and corruption. Her murder is still unsolved. (read more of Ellroy's bio)

What all this leads to is an amazing collection of stories including the recent book to film adaptation of The Black Dahlia. Unfortunately, the big screen version isn't able to capture the film noir experience you get from Ellroy's pages. While the cast is true and believable, the script-writer, Josh Friedman, inevitably got lost in all of Ellroy's story lines and character flaws. What you get is a big old mess. It's too long...too boring...too slow. It manages to gloss over the gruesomely vicious details of Elizabeth Short's death and all the mystery behind her disturbing life. Friedman allows her story to lay as the backdrop to your everyday love and family drama between Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank.

This was a great opportunity to take us back in time...ignite the fire that "L.A. Confidental" did to us years ago...but sadly...fails miserable.

This Picky-Chick says, "skip it."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Listen To Me - Leona Naess

This British born singer/songwriter has a sound ranging from pop-rock Bowie to soft, infectious Edie Brickell. With her unique style and relatable lyrics, Leona's music has been the perfect backdrop for film and television including "Whatever It Takes" and "The O.C."

While her first album, Comatised (2000), produced the popular single, "Charm Attack," Leona is hard at work on her 4th album titled, "Thirteens." Can't wait!

Check her out...
Official Website

Other Albums:

- I Tried to Rock You But You Only Roll (2001)

- Leona Naess (2003)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Notecards From Above

I recently went on a search for unique notecards. What I found was either too kitchy (flowers & pastels) or really boring ("thank you"). I wanted something that truly fit my personality. Something that screamed, "this is very me." It was like a gift from God when I found Carrot & Stick Press while wandering aimlessly on the internet.

Started by two friends who met in grad school, Carrot & Stick Press offers more than just your average notecards. All production is handled in their studio ensuring excellent quality and each piece is handprinted on one of their five antique letterpresses. With innovative wallpaper-like designs, C&P has finally forced a boring and formal world of basic notecards into bright forms of expression that can bring life-like energy to your thank you. Whether you are sending a gift or just saying hello, these cards will make that person feel as if you are in the room.

Their extensive website makes it simple to purchase online. Clean, crisp images and easy to understand terminology allow you to feel right at home when looking for the perfect cards.

Carrot & Stick Press
6020 A Adeline St. Ste. C
Oakland, CA 94608

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Anya Who?

I am constantly getting stopped and asked where I got my adorable store, pharmacy, restaurants. I have programmed the response like a mother-to-be would, "It's a boy...due in May," only my response is "Anya Hindmarch...she's a London based designer...has a store on Robertson with a black and white striped awning." I am always surprised to hear that no one in the U.S. really knows who this designer is.

I was first introduced to Anya Hindmarch years ago by a friend when I was living in New York. Her SoHo boutique was always bumping and hitting it at sale time was like winning the lottery. My addiction to her bags started then and hasn't really weakened. While some of her most popular styles embrace images of pure bread cats or farm animals, Anya's classic designs of totes, shoulder bags and clutches manage to keep her ahead of the trends.

When looking for that next big bag purchase...maybe re-think Barney's and stroll over to Anya Hindmarch to try something new.

118 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

*Also, be sure to check out Anya's ongoing "Be A Bag" campaign that raises money for several charitable causes. You get to actually "be" a bag! I got my mom one for Mother's Day with a picture of the two of us from when I was a little girl. It was a major hit!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Be Comfy

I recently received the most adorable pajamas as a birthday gift. What I didn't know at the time was that these be6 pjs would soon become the most comfortable item of clothing in my closet. In fact, so much so that I find myself in them whenever I am not in public.

Started by lifelong friends, Becca and Erin, be6 designs allows their soft materials to serve as canvas for emerging artists. Designing pieces that are sexy, yet sensible, be6 is quickly changing how we look and feel in sleepwear. No longer do we have to wear lingerie to feel flirtatious and finally...we can toss the oversized t-shirts and drawstring bottoms!

Whether it's a gift for a friend or a gift for yourself, there's no doubt you'll be falling in love with be6 for it's beautiful designs and velvety fabrics. I promise they'll have you addicted at the very first touch.

Check out the be6 website to see where they are sold near you or to purchase straight from the girls.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Day of Remembrance

It was 5 years ago today that I was standing on the balcony of my upper west side apartment looking south at more smoke than you can imagine. I had been awaken by a phone call from a friend in Atlanta..."Are you awake? Turn on the television!" I quickly realized that I would forever be a part of history.

Living in New York on September 11, 2001 would put me in that special category. The one that says, "I was there. I saw the second plane. I heard the sirens. I breathed in the smoke." I frantically called every friend I had in New York. Thankfully, no one I knew was harmed, but the city was shocked silent. I walked the streets that afternoon. Passed hundreds of closed store fronts. Something rarely seen in the city. People walking aimlessly...all thinking the same thing...all talking about the same thing...all crying about the same thing. How could this happen to us? Where do we go from here?

On September 12th, I visited a girlfriend who was living in SoHo. Much closer to the site than my apartment. We wore face masks and made our way to Canal St., which was the furthest point south they were allowing anyone. In fact, you had to be a nearby resident to even get there. We sat in silence with about 100 other people watching truck after truck of enormous debris get hauled off. At one point my friend and I looked at each other and said, "None of these look like they are carrying bodies and where are all the ambulances? Where are all the people?" It wasn't until that moment that we realized not only had the city changed, but the lives of thousands and thousands of families would forever be scarred by the loss of a loved one.

For those of us left's important on this day to not only remember who and what we lost, but also remind ourselves how much we love those who are still here. Stand proud to be an American, but also as a mother, daughter, sister and friend. Express to everyone you care about that you love and cherish them because as we all learned just a few years ago...the time we have is precious.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nightmare on W. 55th St.

For a recent business trip to New York, I was interested in trying out a fairly new hotel recommended by a friend. "You should stay at the Dream Hotel. It's a really cool boutique in a great location." Well, he was right about the location, but not much else. While the decor is indeed cool and it is in fact a boutique, my experience was anything but what the name leads you to believe.

It started at check-in. It was pouring outside and when I asked the receptionist if it was suppose to rain the following day her "deer in headlights" response was, "I don't know." I stood there waiting for her to say...anything, but nope. On to my room. I won't even delve into the fact that it was 10ft x 10ft and illuminated by a disturbing neon blue is New York after all, but what I will tell you is everything else that went wrong.

- Phone... a dead line...literally didn't work (used my blackberry for my alarm instead of a wake-up call). Thankfully, the phone system started working again at approximately 2am when the loudest ring I have ever heard nearly threw me out of bed. This happened two more one there...just a happy-to-ring phone.

- The TV offered nothing other than the basics. No movie options and when you are traveling for want movie options.

- The temperature in the room was either 104 degrees or 60. Trying to get a balance was a lost cause. The soothing "jump start" affect of the air conditioner gave me the feeling of being in Hell's Kitchen (pre-2000).

- The Internet access...I figured if I wasn't going to sleep the early morning away (see above) then I would get some work done...but no..."we are having technically difficulties with our internet connection." That was it for me. I threw on some clothes, zipped up my suitcase and got out of the hotel as quickly as I could.

I have to be honest...since I checked out a day early and moved to the dependable W Hotel on Lexington, I didn't have an opportunity to scope out room service, the bar or really anything else. I can't say if they get the thumbs up or not.

My advice...stick to what you know.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Picky Chick Weekend Flicks

If you are one of the few people who aren't traveling this fine Labor Day weekend (myself included) and want to stay in and catch a good flick, here are some Picky-Chick suggestions...

- 2005 - Steve Martin, Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman. This on-the-down-low romance is a great quiet night film for you and your beau. Girls will love the seriously intense love story between Martin (a wealthy businessman) & Danes (a Saks salesgirl), while Schwartzman (the films comic relief) will entertain the guys.

Dr. Zhivago - 1965 - Omar Sharif & Julie Christie. This beautifully shot epic romance takes place around the Bolshevik Revolution. Julie Chrisite's stunning appearance has you at scene one. It's a little long, so make enough popcorn. Oh, and it happened to win 5 Academy Awards and earned a nomination for Best Picture.

Marathon Man - 1976 - Dustin Hoffman & Laurence Olivier. While this one may be a little more catered to the boys, it's emotional enough to keep us Picky-Chicks interested. A young Dustin Hoffman was nominated for his performance as a college student caught in the middle of an international conspiracy, while an unrecognizable Laurence Olivier won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for his portrayal of an exiled Nazi war criminal. Great film.