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  • 6/20-6/23: Milwaukee
  • 6/28-7/7: Turkey & Greece
  • 7/17: Lionel Richie concert
  • 7/20: Rockaway Soiree
  • 8/10-8/19: LA & San Diego
  • 8/31-9/2: Nantucket

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Entries in Seasonal guides & trends (15)


Embracing the fall: A Valentino "puffer" jacket + an apple festival

As we welcomed October this past Monday, I think it finally sunk in that I can no longer wear open-toed sandals - sleeveless dresses - or my beloved white jeans.  Sigh.  Summer *really* is over.  And, while I worship so many things about the warmer months in New York, to be 100% honest, this past summer royally sucked.  So, I've decided to completely embrace the fall... 

What comes to mind when you hear the word "fall?"  For me, it's:  Apples, cute boots, primary-colored leaves in the canopy of trees, 60-something degree days, and closet switch-outs.  In fact, fall in New York is one of my most favorite times of the year, second only to the spring.

Here are some items/day trips/exhibits that I'm currently "falling" for:

RED Valentino Bow-Neck Quilted Jacket  Source: saks dot comStuart Weitzman:  Spats Suede Button Knee Boot  Source: neiman marcus dot comPrada Nylon Dog Carrier  Source: neiman marcus dot comI'm *dying* to have a girl's weekend at the Bedford Post Inn, where we could take complimentary yoga classes (for hotel guests) - embrace the bounty of colorful trees - make a day trip to Blue Hill at Stone Barns - and just relax!  Source: bedford post inn dot comSpend a Saturday at a fabulous orchard picking apples - and pumpkins ~  Source: time out ny dot comCheck out the Andy Warhol exhibit at The Met  Source: met museum dot org...

While most of the above are all luxury "dream" items/weekends, I've decided to take a more realistic approach:  In order to get this season properly kicked off (after all, it is the first weekend in October), some girlfriends and I are headed to Brooklyn this Sunday for an apple festival called Gala Gala Hey!

Sounds fun, no?  Actually, it's just what the doctor ordered.  I cannot think of a better way to end what has been a very emotionally draining, dramatic week.  On Thursday morning at around 8am, a beautiful young woman fell to her death from the 40th-story roofdeck of my apartment building.  My heart breaks for her family and friends, as I cannot possibly imagine the horrendous grief and heartbreak they must be going through.  Coming home (to my apartment building) from work yesterday was pretty solemn and eerie - I just wish that there was something I could do to help, if "help" is even the right word...

Wishing you all a beautiful and healthy fall weekend!


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Fashion emergency: What is all the rage with...

..."smoking slippers?"  Personally, I prefer to smoke in my flip-flops.  I'm kiddingSort of...

OK, granted, the minimal heel and crushed velvet exterior does look super comfortable - but, really?  They're just so...Hugh Hefner.  No?  I mean, what the hell do you wear these things with and, for the love of god, who was the fashion-house asshole that deemed them 'cool?'  I seriously want to know.

Ladies/gents:  What are your thoughts on fall's hottest - or, shall I say, "hautest" - shoe?  To slipper or not to slipper, that *is* the question.


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


A pre-Bastille Day cruise with Chef Marc Murphy

My mom always encourages me to "be a tourist in your own city."  And she's right.  To this day, I'm shamed to admit that I've never been to the following major NYC attractions:  Top of the Rock, Museum of Natural History, MoMa.  And those are just a handful.  Oh, did I mention that I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate museums? 

So, you can imagine how excited I was to learn about something a little more my style, if you will:  Every Tuesday evening, Benchmarc Events (owned by celeb chef, Marc Murphy) hosts a "Summer Cruise Series," featuring different themes (see postcard, below).  For $60, guests enjoy 2-hour's worth of unlimited assorted cocktails/wine/beer, Chef Marc Murphy's delicious food, and priceless views of NY Harbor.  Now, I don't know about you but, to me, that sounds like the ideal way to "be a tourist in my own city."   So much so, in fact, that two friends and I grabbed tickets for this past Tuesday's Bastille Day-themed cruise!

"Oh, that has to be it," I said, pointing to the line of beautiful people at the NY Waterway Pier (Battery Park City location).  And, sure enough, as we neared, a friendly Benchmarc employee approached and checked us in for the cruise.

While boarding the bi-level, open-air ferry, Nicole, Em, and I were offered ice cold Brooklyn Summer Ale.

How cute - and fitting - is her beret for Bastille Day?At 8:15pm on the dot, we set sail!  Cocktails began being poured atop the ferry's upper deck.     

I opted for the specialty cocktail, the Bastille Blanc:  Lillet, Limoncello, Soda, and Orange. 

We socialized and imbibed as the sun slowly set over Manhattan...

Me and my two Emily'sAnd passed by some breathtaking sites and urban-scapes...

Beautiful lower ManhattanJust after sunset, we headed to the lower deck and filled our plates with an abundance of delicious, French-inspired bites.

Merguez (lamb) sausageBoudin blanc and chicken sausage skewers, baguetteCold vichyssoise soup shots (potatoes, leeks, onion, cream, chicken broth)Croque monsieur!French cheese boardCrudite and fresh breadSweet & savory crepes!For dessert:  Hand-made pistachio macarons with salted caramel, strawberry macarons with dark chocolate (apologize for not having a photo - it was too dark to get a decent shot).    

And the piece de resistance?  Breathtaking (literally), magical views of lower Manhattan and Lady Liberty under the dark night's sky...

Freedom Tower is the building w/ blue lights!God bless America!Me with Chef Marc!

I had such an incredibly fun and delicious evening "being a tourist in my own city," that I've decided to return for July 31st's "Sparkling Wine and Swine" cruise.  As my birthday celebration!  Seriously, is there a better way to ring in (gasp) 32?  I don't think so... 


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


I smell summer! Plus, my "warm weather wish list"

All of this pollen in the air can only mean one thing:  spring may have sprung, but summer is just a couple of sneezes away!  

Since 2008, I've had the good fortune of enjoying many summers in the Hamptons.  Just yesterday, some girlfriends and I solidified our dates for five weekends - spread over the course of the summer - in Montauk.  Visions of bicycling to/fro the beach - lunching on lobster rolls and kettle-cooked potato chips - tanned skin and brightly-painted toes- meeting and partying with new people - play like a movie in my head.  I can't tell you how excited I will soon be to escape the sweltering city heat for Montauk's cool surf and charming turf... 

With all of this talk about the Hamptons, I'll have you know that, despite my geographical location, I'm not so keen on the whole "East Coast prep" look/attire.  I can't help but wonder what would happen if a dude, all decked out in nautical gear and Nantucket Reds, showed up at a bar in Texas.  A beat-down would ensue, no doubt.  Yikes!  So, on that note, I decided to create my very own, uniquely-styled "warm weather wish list." 

Here's to a lottery ticket, a dollar, and a dream!  Enjoy...

Atlantic City's newest resort, Revel - I hope to venture out to this part of the Jersey Shore at least once this summer!

Ray-Ban Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses- If your face isn't round/heart-shaped like mine, I hate you.  Why?  Because you can actually wear these uber-cool shades without looking like an arse.  Maybe Ray-Ban, or one of its competitors, will finally decide to make aviators for folks, like me, with big heads.  Regardless, I desperately need a new pair of sunglasses.


Mason Black and White with Leather Strap Dress - I love the effortless simplicity of this all-in-one dress that, deceptively, looks like two pieces.


Butter by Nadia Strapless Maxi Dress - This brand creates "one size fits all" dresses that, truly, flatter almost any body.


Salvatore Ferragamo's Selene Patent-Leather Tote - Sweet and innocent, especially with that feminine bow.  It's the perfect goodie-two-shoes bag for the bad-girl-at-heart!  And what a great color for summer!


Vix "Betsey" (top and bottom sold separately) -I adore everything about this bikini, from the color scheme and cut, to the details.  Love.


Miu Miu Bow-Embellished Halterneck Bikini (also comes in black) - The scalloping and white bow make this flirty little number mysteriously demure.


Karla Colletto Turquoise Square Plunge-Front Swimsuit - Because, let's face it, ladies, sometimes you just don't want to hold-in your stomach.


Nicholas Kirkwood Pearl-Platform Satin Slingback - Um, seriously, there are no words to describe my love for these shoes.  The pearls?  The platform?  The peep toe?  I can't.  Speechless.  Breathtaking.

Nicholas Kirkwood pumps


Sergio Rossi Crystal T-Strap Platform Sandals - Probably one of the most unnecessary pairs of shoes I've ever come across but, my goodness, aren't they lovely? 


Alice + Olivia Lansey Glitter-Coated Metallic Leather Peep Toe Platform Sandals- Perfect to rock poolside in your swimsuit and/or coverup - or just for a fun night on the town!  Bam.


J. Crew's 4" Chino Short - Shorts are back with a vengeance, so make sure your legs are ready to be exposed!


Herve Leger Cutout-Back Bandage Dress- Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, screams "sexy" like Herve Leger...


Valentino Couture Bow Jelly Thong Sandals - Shut up.  I know.  These exact same sandals make my wish list every year, but why wouldn't they?  They're the cutest flip-flops on the planet and maybe, just maybe, this will be the summer that I finally cave and purchase them.


Rachel Zoe Rachel Bootcut Jeans - White jeans are a must for summer!  I fell in love with this particular cut when I saw Olivia Palermo rocking a pair of bell-bottoms like it was her job.


J. Crew Enamel Bangles - The turquoise and gold color combo screams "summer!"  Imagine how gorgeous these bangles would look against golden, tanned skin?  Sigh.


Ippolita Lollipop 18-Karat Gold Topaz Earrings - Doesn't the blue topaz remind you of the ocean?  'Nuff said.


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle