(Photos courtesy of Windows on Earth, Fashionista and Airbnb)
Two of my favorite fashion finds in the past few months both go to support great causes. One is a bit of a splurge, but all for a good cause, right?
The legendary French fashion house is getting catty, philanthropically speaking. This year, Hermès has partnered with Panthera, an organization dedicated to saving wild cats, to produce a limited-edition scarf, with proceeds from the sales going to support leopards, cheetahs, lions, tigers and other big cats. The silk scarf is glorious — an Indochinese leopard prowling through savannah grasses — and available in a rainbow of colors, though this fiery orange is my favorite ($395).
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is one of the coolest organizations I’ve ever read about — they foster orphaned elephants. With poaching more rampant than ever, and the elephants’ numbers in serious decline, this organization saves ill-fated babies and works to eventually reintegrate them into wild herds. And people can opt to foster the little ones from afar — I’m fostering Lasayen right now! J. Crew teamed up with a Brooklyn-based artist to design a series of T-shirts and sweatshirts, with 50 percent of the price going to the Trust. One of the best parts of the Trust is reading the stories of each individual calf. This particular men’s edition features Edie, who was rescued as a four-month-old newborn in 1999.
(Credit: ©Hermès, Paris 2015; J. Crew )
Hot chocolate, anyone?
- Live Jazz Night at City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate Festival: The flavor of the day is Bourbon Hot Chocolate (which is actually spiked with a generous glug of brown liquor). Until 10 p.m., City Bakery is offering live jazz, beer on tap (Other Half IPA and Transmitter NY1 saison) and snacks like poutine, pretzel croissants with beer cheese, shisito peppers and oysters Rockefeller.
- Comics and Ramen at Ippudo Westside: Ippudo’s getting heroic tonight with Avenger’s Interactive Ramen. Line up early (like now) for a bowl, and a free T-shirt, with paired sake.
Through Sunday, 2/28
- Grand Street Restaurant Week: The East Williamsburg stretch is hosting restaurant week, with deals (of admittedly varied prices) at restaurants like Le Barricou (dinner: $30), Bahia (dinner: $25) and Masha and the Bear (two-course lunch: $10; three-course dinner: $30).
- New York City Brew Week: Tap into the remaining days of beer celebrations, with events through Sunday, including beer-and-cheese pairings, a five-borough tasting and a pairing of IPA with Indian food.
I love books. I worked in an iconic indie bookstore in high school, I majored in English and I carried a book around as a toddler (in lieu of a blanket or a stuffed animal), so I’m pretty picky about my reading list. I even thought about dedicating my blog to reviews — I was going to call it Hemingway and Hammocks. But maybe I’ll save that name for the sandy-floored bookstore I will one day open on a tropical island.
In the meantime, I wanted to share some things you should read. Because recently I’ve discovered two of the most enchanting books of my life. They’ve held me captive, one with the power of the plot, and one with the lyricism of the writing. Read More
It would be ridiculous to go to Mexico City only for the tacos. So here’s a workaround: I’ve rounded up my four favorite tacos in Mexico City across all price ranges, and included the best things to see (or buy) nearby.
This Roma temple to seafood is like the Gjelina (or Rasika or Nomad) of Mexico City — a hotspot place where the food actually rivals the stellar people-watching. Lunch is primetime here, when the bright space is packed with immaculately dressed locals diving into tuna tostadas and bright ceviche paired with icy rosé. The kitchen works magic with fish, particularly when it comes to the Carnitas de Pescado (above). An order presents four golden corn tortillas mounded with tender, meaty chunks of fish (cooked in lard to amp up the flavor). The culinary team tops each with cilantro, onion and chunks of pineapple for a dish that is a more ethereal take on the classic pork. Stick around for an order of coconut flan and an extra glass of wine.
Then … Head for the National Museum of Anthropology, a mesmerizing display of the history of Mexico, including stones, fossils and relics that date back to the Aztecs and Mayans. It’s a lot to take in, and a few glasses of lunch wine actually made the many murals, animal carvings and hut recreations more lifelike.
Trial-size beauty products are the tapas of the product world. For we skincare swingers, they make it so that each day is a surprise. Neon lipstick? Luxury cleavage oil? Eye-squint-eliminating adhesive mask? Check, check and check.
They’re a way to keep things new, fresh and full of excitement. Even better, they’re a way to overcome the conundrum of the three-ounce TSA restriction.
For years, I would buy miniature bottles at the drug store, then gingerly squeeze favorite shampoos into them, hoping more made it into the bottle than dribbled down the outside. Heaven help me if I didn’t label the bottles — there was no telling what lurked inside the opaque fuchsia squeeze tubes. Read More
Here’s the secret to Luang Prabang, Laos: Early risers and night owls have it best. Tucked into a crook in the Mekong River, the small, time-capsuled UNESCO World Heritage town comes alive in special ways at the unlikeliest of hours.
Dawn: Breakfast Brigade
Just before sunrise each day, the town fills with a color guard of orange and yellow as the hundreds of Buddhist monks who live in Luang Prabang’s many temples snake their way through the streets seeking the alms that will be their food for the day. It’s a beautiful, real and essential part of their lives.
It’s an undeniably beautiful, moving scene, which can make it an irresistible photo opportunity, but we tried to not be the intrusive tourists setting up spotlights and tripods to document the scene. Instead, we tried to participate in an observant way, handing out food alongside the townspeople. No early risers, my boyfriend and I raced behind schedule to procure rice from our hotel kitchen for the monks. As quietly and unobnoxiously as possible, we knelt alongside Laotian people, doling out rice to the men, who ranged in age from young boys to elders. Every so often, we’d see one of our neighbors sneak a candy bar or ramen noodle pack into the boys’ steel bowls. We tried to respectfully capture the Kodak moment, but mostly lost ourselves in the beauty of the procession. Read More