Saturday, July 28, 2007

Life and Lingerie

It's the little things...

A few months back my girl Mo called me frantically requesting lingerie resource suggestions for her wedding night. As any good friend does in such a situation, I immediately got on the case. I quickly sent her the link to Agent Provocateur. This uber-luxe lingerie line has been around over a decade but is much less popular on this side of the pond than it is in it’s birthplace of London. Everybody raves about La Perla but the masses generally sleep on the racier Agent Provocateur. Darn shame too since they offer super-duper sexy separates (less sugary-sweet than La Perla) with a real grown woman edge. They even have maternity lingerie. How cool is that? The price tags are a tad hefty for most of us but worth the splurge if you’re looking to treat yourself or someone special. I also truly dig the feminine simplicity of Lavande SWK. A little less dough than A.P. but the craftsmanship is just as prevalent. It's a small yet well-edited offering designed to feel like a gift to both the wearer and observer. Be sure to peep the bralettes. So chic. Mo was very grateful for being put on to both. Now for less fancy occasions, the stand-by wifebeater (Didn’t I say they were multi-functional? Just make sure it’s teeny-tiny.) and a pair of cotton boy shorts can be surprisingly sexy in a ‘I really didn’t try to be sexy’ sorta way for much less mulah.

Jonesing on freestyle lyrics from true hip-hop heads one week and lingerie from a high-brow British lingerie brand the next. Am I tripping with this? Nah. This kind of juxtaposition is what makes me, me. A woman is never just one thing.

Blogger is not cooperating with me these days. I'm working on the links but for now just copy and paste the addresses - blah, blah, blah... I know it's lame.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Beats and Rhymes

No iPods here!

I’ve been a fan of hip-hop for most of my life. I wrote this a few months back in the heat of the ‘Don Imus/Hip-Hop is responsible for society’s demise’ hoopla. In the words of Ne-Yo I guess I needed to clear some mental space. Well, after viewing Miss Info’s blog entry earlier this week, I knew I needed to post it. Reading her reflection on an impromtu performance at NYC’s SOBs convinced me to share my feelings in a public manner. This may seem to have nothing to do with style but honestly what genre of music has had a more powerful affect on fashion than hip-hop in this century?

Everyone, everyone - I mean everybody has something to say about hip-hop
lately. Imus, Oprah even my cousin Rufus from Selma, Alabama. (Yes, I really have a cousin named Rufus.) All of this talk actually got me to thinking about the reasons I still love hip-hop. Yeah, I'm just as annoyed and disappointed with many of the happenings in our current state of the artform as most of y'all. And no, this isn't some outpouring about my dysfunctional relationship with the music. That's
been done - to death. I just wanted to share with someone why after all this
time, all these ups and downs, I can't sit still when I hear a song like Redman's Time for Some Action. (If that song isn’t a sho’ nuff’ head nodder, I don’t know what is.)

My brother, who is several years my senior, introduced me to hip-hop. Not by choice either. Back in the early 80s, he really wanted nothing to do with me. But as an aspiring dj whose bedroom was right next to his younger sister's, he had no choice but to allow me to hear everything he was feeling at the time. Let's Dance to the Drummer's Beat is technically not even hip-hop but man that song always makes me think of it because my big bro played it ALL the time back in the day when he was just starting to dj. (It’s all about the break beats.) Our father loved jazz and blues and strongly encouraged my brother and me to appreciate music but had little to no respect for hip-hop initially because he thought "Those kids aren't even playing instruments, they're just talking over other people's songs!" I also think he felt it was a fad that would quickly pass us all by. Well, when my brother and his best friend Will saved their money to buy a set of turntables and a mixer, things changed a bit. See, whenever my father noticed a sincere interest in his children, he supported it. It definitely didn't happen overnight, but in his own way, my brother got our father (I've yet to meet anyone as opinionated and headstrong as he was.) to give hip-hop a chance. My dad saw that my brother spent virtually all his allowance and money from part-time jobs here and there on records and practically all his free-time mixing. I honestly don't think he came to like the music before he passed away but in my heart, I know he learned to respect it. Ain't that a beautiful thing?

HAPPY BORN DAY BENJAMIN - 7.27! (And I love you like cooked food too.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

People and Places

(2 posts in one today - I’m feeling good!)

My Girl Crush: Gorgeous Gabby

Yes, you read correctly. I have a crush on a female. No, I haven’t lost my mind. Nor am I homosexual, bi or part of that growing population of chicks who thinks it is cute to fool around with women for some man’s pleasure. I still date men exclusively - happily in fact. But every now and again I have a crush on someone of the same sex. Like most crushes, it’s typically someone I only know from a distance. At the moment I have a certified crush on Gabrielle Union. I just think she’s adorable. The flawless skin, the dimples, the infectious smile. And while I think she always looks pulled together on the red carpet, her style is admittedly pretty safe. She's no Tracee or Kelis when it comes to setting trends. But I do think she always looks like a lady. So important. She (or her stylist) understands that it is possible to look sexy without appearing trashy. And she rocks the requisite Hollywood weave but it never looks weavy. She has enough sense not to get the blonde, silky European hair and manages to always match her natural locks up pretty well to the false strands. Last but certainly not least, Gab reps for us chocolate sisters. I’m so not about to open that can of political worms in this post but let’s be real; there is an obvious imbalance of darker skin female celebs in the game - period. Gabrielle is refreshing for that reason alone.

It’s really all in my head, this crush. Honestly, it takes more than looks to truly tickle my fancy and that goes for both sexes. Gab’s acting in my humble opinion is mediocre at best. (Save for ‘Something The Lord Made’, nothing on her resume is even memorable to me.) But I had to let my little secret out. Actually it’s not a secret for most of those close to me. My girls tend to brush me off with a dismissive "B, you’re so crazy." But a lot of them have girl crushes too. Most women have them but whether they choose to admit it in a public forum is another thing. If my mother ever reads this I will definitely have some ‘splaining to do…

Can Gabrielle even take a bad picture?

On to places…

Good Eats While Beating the Heat

It’s summertime and the living is easy. I love the idea of dining outdoors during the summer months but I’m afraid of pigeons so that leaves me somewhat limited in the places I can go in Manhattan. On Sunday I went to the Central Park Boathouse to celebrate a friend’s born day and was thoroughly impressed. I mean really impressed. Absolutely no flying rats interrupted my meal! My friends and I couldn’t stop commenting on how pretty the place was. The service was remarkable (Not many restaurants have waiters that will breakdance on request.), the food delicious and the ambiance was amazing. Okay, I was taught in journalism classes that words like great and amazing are empty so let me be a little more descriptive. The CPB offers a breathtaking view of a lake where one can gaze at gondolas float by. No need to go to Venice, just hop on the subway to Central Park. Pretty cool, right? The prices are fairly affordable by NYC standards (average entree is about $25). CPB's grub is standard American fare with lots of seafood dishes. The crabcake (served with a sweet cucumber salad) was a huge hit with my crew. Be sure to try the lemon cake. It will literally melt in your mouth. Mmm, mmm good.

(C.J. - Thanks so much for all your help. I'm getting there, lol!)