Friday, December 29, 2006

Celebrating the New Year in New York and London

I spent very few New Year’s Eves in London. Most of the times, I was traveling home to be with my family. I stayed in London for the millennium (2000). I went out with the millions to celebrate the beginning of a new era. With fireworks over London’s sky and drunk people. It was fun but crowed, difficult to move, see and speak. And even more difficult to return home. From my years in London, I don’t remember people being frustrated about New Year’s Eve and what they will do about it and I hardly remember long party lists in local free newspapers. I guess most people were invited to family organized parties or small gatherings at friends’ places. And they all were ok with it.

New York is another story. Since before Christmas, everybody talks about New Year’s celebrations in Times Squares (included CNN's Anderson Cooper who will be working at Times Square that night), there are numerous lists in all local free newspapers about club/bar organized parties that cost a fortune and even longer lists with pre-New Year celebration dinners (open or cash bars included) in various restaurants. Not to mention the ezines I am getting on how to get dressed the stellar night. I have to say, I haven’t seen cities, people or the media so well prepared and organized for the coming of the New Year. Is it frustration or just party mood, I wonder.

Don’t get me wrong. I still like to entertain myself when the New Year comes into life. It’s like the birth of a new baby, the beginning of a new project, the first day in school or college, the very first job. And I like to be with people I love, have fun, drink champagne, laugh. I want to laugh. But I never planned it well in advance or got frustrated about it.It’s an important event but it doesn’t require special planning. I just go with the flow and an invitation or two usually follow.

Happy New Year everybody!

Events:

New York: Celebrate New Year’s at Brooklyn Bridge. Check www.nytours.com for more information

London: A World Civilisation or a Clash of Civilisations conference, 20 January 2007, Time: 10am-5pm. Location: The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London SW1
Visit http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/equalities/clash-form.jsp

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pre-Christmas NYLON

I never really liked pre-Christmas London. Actually, to be honest, I never liked pre-Christmas Britain. Brits have a very close, peculiar and rather commercial relationship with Christmas. Nothing to do with God, Jesus Christ or the Holly Spirit. It is more of a party-going out-shopping experience. The shopping starts in October and continues aggressively to early December. By that time, you should have bought and sent hundreds of cards (event to the people you don’t really know very well), bought presents for your family, friends, not so close friends, third cousins and so on and, of course, bought something for yourself too. The party season starts early December and if you really respect yourself, you have to: go to at least two parties a week until the 23rd of the month, to drink a few bottles of wine, to eat numerous mince pies and Christmas cakes and to gain a few pounds just before the big Christmas dinner (I don't count the long lines you have to stand in the post office, it's not fun). Therefore, by the time is 26th of December, your weight goes north by five pounds, your bank account is much thinner but your credit card is so fat that has no more space for New Year’s purchases.

Pre-Christmas New York is slightly different. There is a lot of shopping, that’s for sure, but definitely less partying. New Yorkers don’t feel the need for Christmas parties that much. I don’t know why. The shopping spirit is high but less dramatic and intense compared to the Londoners'. Reason being: there is also Thanksgiving so partying, eating, drinking and shopping has started at an earlier date. They don’t have to wait for Christmas to top-up their credit cards or gain weight. This mission has been accomplished already.

Both cities are well decorated, with masses of tourists visiting every year, taking pictures with the crowds, and holding the holiday season red cup gingerbread latte from Starbucks.

Ah, those red cups from Starbucks. That’s the first indication that Christmas is here again this year. For a few days at least.

Have a happy holiday!
I won't add any events for both cities. More next year!

Friday, December 15, 2006

New York and Space

I was talking about subletting in New York and how it really works out. Coincidentally, I listened to a radio show yesterday morning talking about rent control in NY. Because NY is SO popular and in order to protect tenants from vicious apartment owners the NYC councils and local government voted legislation to control rent for a limited time. That does not mean that there will be more free and ready to rent apartments but the existing ones won’t raise rent continuously at high rates.

But today I want to talk about space in NYC. NYC is tiny. Space as I said before is a long, hot topic, or even a theme of a PhD, and is limited. Therefore, “intelligent” New Yorkers rent storage to put their favorite “stuff”. So, they rent or sublet an apartment and because apartments are so tiny and small, they also rent storage. So they have to pay two rents, one for the apartment, the second for the storage space. Isn’t that crazy? Every time they want to “access” their favorite stuff, they can go to their storage closet or room, open it with their locker/key, then get some or put extra. I like that. New York is an interesting place, definitely. The only place from all countries I lived that you can have two places simultaneously and pay for both. But the funniest thing that you can actually “sublet” your storage space too! That is CRAZY! There are a few people who get storage and because they have extra “space”, they can give you some to put your stuff too – you only pay a percentage of the monthly fee. Ah! That I didn’t know.

How many times I used the word space so far? It’s humorous, the more I use it, the less space NY does have!

I will find out more tomorrow when, me, also, getting some storage too. I have three extra boxes I don’t need for the time being and because I am subletting, I think putting them in storage is not a bad idea. It’s cheap, special winter offer they told me on the phone. That is nice!

I don’t know. Everything is definitely a new experience for me in NYC. This is another one too. But how come I dream of nice, lengthy beaches, with white sand, blue water, huge houses with gardens and swimming pools? Is it wishful thinking or just a strong desire that comes from my heart? I miss space, nature, the sky.

I want to be able to see the sky.

Space: mentioned 8 times. Only. Title not included.

No events today. There are plenty of events in both NYC and in the very popular pre-Christmas London (many Christmas parties...). I am sure you know where to go.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sublets in New York

Sublets. Sublet. Subletting. This word is a trend in New York City. Everybody talks about it, writes about or lives in it! Subletting in NYC is both a social phenomenon and financial issue, becomes a cell phone conversation, an intimate relationship with New York and its people. Subletting inspired even theatrical writers: it’s now playing The Sublet Experiment, which is set entirely in a New York City apartment, different each weekend. As I am turning into a serial sublettor, I booked my ticket already!

Subletting in NYC is the outcome of various factors. One is the real estate situation of NYC. The relationship of New Yorkers with the loved city . And their financial situation.

New York City has plenty of apartments but also plenty of people who want to travel, relocate, live or temporarily stay in the Big Apple. With hotel prices going north at a minimum $70 a night (the cheapest), Local New Yorkers found out about it and take advantage. So, they can sublet their room in their apartment for one week, two weeks, six months or even two years, well, probably twice the price of their actual rent. So they actually make money. Isn’t that nice? They help and they make some cash, under the table (or even better under the bed). On top of that, there is something else you don’t know unless you come here: rental control. Although I am not 100% familiar with the history of it, if you keep the same apartment for numerous years, you control the rent and you avoid the increases. Needless to say that getting a proper lease it’s time consuming, expensive and a hassle: you go through credit checks, need referrals from previous rental properties, letters from your employer, your previous year tax forms, savings account and you have to pay the broker’s fee of about 15% of your annual rent. Ah, now SUBLETTING seems really attractive. As far as I know, in the rest of the world, estate agents get paid by the landlord not by poor tenants. I’d rather stay quiet, I might put ideas in various people’s mind…

And then you have New Yorkers and how they deal with money. Or rather how they want to make the most out of you. New Yorkers, from my experience so far, are the stingiest people I have ever met. I might sound mean or not particularly generous with them but they are not! They can rent their pillow case to make money! They rent their couch in their living room for $900 a month in Manhattan and if you don’t mind you can take it. It’s a bargain! I am now subletting at an amazing apartment from a girl who is actually subletting from someone else who lives in California! Isn’t that crazy? I am telling you, subletting is the word in the Big Apple. If you don’t know how to spell it, you have to find out.

But nothing would happen if New Yorkers were not in love with their city. No matter where they go, no matter what they do, they want to come back, here. And in order to come back, they keep their rental-controlled apartment by subletting it.

And as the girl whose apartment I am going to sublet soon said: if you stay in New York for such a long time, where else can you go?

That’s exactly what I am asking myself: where else in the USA I can go? How can I find a place where I won’t sublet, won’t pay broker’s fees, won't have to show tax forms or being X-rayed by real estate agents or renters who are ready to go and sublet?

In civilized countries or cities, people actually buy property. They don’t sublet. But again, those people have a different relationship with money. And also, are not in love with New York.

Events in NYC

Peter Hamlin "Energy" opens Sat. 12/9
The halcyon galleryinvites you to celebrate the opening of PETER HAMLIN"ENERGY" with music by DJ ENSTEREO
Visit his website at www.hambot.com to get a clue of what that means.

The Sublet Experiment
Visit the website www.thesubletexperiment.com for dates, locations and ticket prices.

Events in London

NetProZ Third Thursday Held each month in Central London, usually from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Open to all on registration. To add your name to the mailing list, send a blank email to the list These events are a great opportunity to get to know the members better in an informal working gathering. It's also where we often innovate new formats. Visit http://www.netproz.net/events.html

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why I don't like New York City

I decided it. I don't really like New York. Three months on the ground of the Big Apple, I today declare it that New York sucks. And it's not only that you have rude people on the streets and the polution or the humidity.

There is a full whole list of reasons.

Mice
Rude people on the streets
Arrogant fool people on the streets and parties
Low living standards
The subway
The weather
Sublets and housing
Traffic
Yellow cab drivers
Sales tax and my favorite
Too many dogs!

Subleting is an interesting topic as I am experiencing it myself. It's almost a business. How do you do it? You get a lease and then you sublet the apartment to someone else but you double the price. Isn't that nice? When it actually happens "legally" because the landlord/owner knows pretty much everything.

What can I say about people on the streets? New Yorkers are strange arrogant individuals who really miss space. So, when the opportunity of ownership of a well-defined and needless to say tiny, physical space presents itself whenever that is (super market, deli, bookstore, street...), they take it and they declare it as theirs. Nobody can access it, it's almost illegal. In the deli, you have to face the trolley. "I go down the aisle, I have to do it, I don’t care for anyone else who will interrupt my way", they say pampering their ego. No matter what happens in the super market, New Yorkers will continue driving their trolley down the aisle, even if there is a disaster in front of them. “Who cares, I picked my apples, my pumpernickel bagels and pastrami!” the ego replies.
In a city that geographic space is definitely a matter of discussion or even a PhD, New Yorkers know exactly what to do to claim it. Just show arrogance. Persistence. Be self-centered. Ignore anyone else. I am the only one.

And please, don't get me started on the subway which is falling apart, is dripping, smelling various unpleasant things and does not have electronic timers to announce the next train. What's the difference from a third-world country?

New York is great if you are Donald Trump or Julia Roberts. Because you have the freedom to leave when the weather is not good enough, there are better shows somewhere else and those fantastic shoes can only be bought in Milan or Rome. New York is great only when you are free to leave it at any given time. And ideally, never come back.

Events, events, events:

For New York:

Opening reception, Friday 12/1/2006, 7pm to 10pm
@AG Gallery103 N.3rd Street, Ground Fl.Brooklyn, NY 11211
Please come and check out wide range of Limited and Unlimited Editioned works from Silkscreen, Etching, Woodcut and so on. Affordable artwork can be great Christmas gifts.
http://www.aboutglamour.net

Check out the Mobile Monday events at Samsung store in Time and Warner Building.
The last Monday of the month. For the techies and those of you who love cell aka smart phones and mobile technology
http://mobilemonday.net/mm/

For London

For the second year running Go East London, in conjunction with Hidden Art have organised two walking tours around London's design districts, that weave in and out of areas scattered with studios and taking in the sights and sounds of the town.


Blue Badge Guide Rachel Kolsky traces the development of arts and crafts in an area once London's Theatreland and centre of its furniture trade. Now home to artists, designers and galleries you will also hear the history of the local flower and animal markets before ending at the East London Design Show.
How to book: Each tour costs £7 per person and will last approximately 2 hours.
Book online through the Hidden Art E-shop at www.hiddenartshop.com or call 0207 7729 3800 (Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm) to book over the phone with your credit card details. Bookings are limited to four people. You will receive further details with confirmation of your booking.
BOOK NOW and receive a Hidden Art Milano Bag in the post!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wealthy New York

I had the chance to attend the Wealth Expo in NYC this past weekend. It was long and exhausting and controversial and fun. All of those adjectives describe my experience. And that included a 12-hour long Saturday and a 12-hour long Sunday. Actually, on Sunday the first speaker started at 7.30 am!

Yes, it was worth it just for the experience. But let me be straight and honest. It's not the first time that I went to an event with famous and successful, inspirational speakers. No. This time though I saw quite a few of those people simultaneously together with 15,000 other participants. I saw the very famous Antony Robbins who shake the audiences with this energy, the Rich Dad, Poor Dad author and investment expert Robert Kiyosaki with his eccentric but nonetheless truth ideas and the very famous New Yorker who does not need special introductions - Donald Trump. And many other gurus and experts who talked about property and real estate investments, entrepreneurship, stocks and shares, and free money from the government. Yes, it was an amazing event - I continue with my adjective list as you see...Wealth is a hot topic, so hot that attracts 15,000 participants who paid from $99 to $400 to attend for the whole weekend.

But I can't help thinking. How many of those participants, all of us, who spent 24 hours during the last two days are actually wealthy? How many of us have so much money that we can put down money for commercial or residential property, foreclosures, stocks and shares or serious start-up businesses? How many of us learnt the secret of affluence and prosperity within 48 hours that we can become Donald Trump and Antony Robbins?

Some. Many. Few. I don't really know. Donald Trump said it right. The money making process is an art. And it does not belong to everybody.

After 48 hours of intense intellectual work, I have a headache. I go through my notes now and all I can see are words like: wealth, money, millionaires, success, financial freedom, dreams, cruise ships...and others...But I don't think I can find the word happiness in this list. Because nobody taught us how to be happy. How to choose from the heart, not from the brain.

This is where the real wealth is. Making choices from the heart.

Whisperings
In New York

Don't miss the DRINK'N' DRAW sessions at 3rd Ward at 7-10pm on Tuesdays. It's a weekly drawing session that features a live model and plenty of beer. Must be 21 or over to drink (it's USA!!!) and must intent to draw during the session. For directions visit http://www.3rdwardbrooklyn.org/.

In London

Don't miss TIME OUT this week. The front cover says: 101 things to do before you leave London.
I am pretty sure I have done at least 70 before I left this city.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Gyms in NYC

I haven't been exercising regularly since I moved in the Big Apple. Not that I missed it since I walk on average two hours a day. Walking is a good exercise according to many doctors, physicians, personal trainers and the whole of the "health" industry. Lately though I decided that it was about time I visited a gym to exercise and to compare again with London.

I started with a Pilates Studio. I picked the open class and I went in my pilates outfit. The studio was cosy but so small there wasn't enough space to walk around. I asked if there was a changing room and the very polite reception girl pointed the room across. Very tiny indeed but this changing room allowed me luckily enough to change without accidents. When the class started, I couldn't really hear what the trainer was saying because just next to me a personal pilates trainer had a session with her client, and we were all in the same space! On the other side, someone else was training two students in the reforming pilates machine. The class was good but I don't think I will go back. When I pay $15 for an hour, I need a peaceful environment to concentrate on the exercise, not to see my neighbour’s hairy arms!

Today I visited a gym. I have a free week pass so I can use it any day, any time for anything I want to do. Well, I decided to take the recess class with someone called Drew. That was one of my life's biggest mistakes. I know now. This class wasn't just a cool exercise class, it was preparation for the Marathon! This Drew guy asked us to do about 35 lunges with weights, followed by 25 press ups, some jumping on the step, and something else I don't remember because I am so indescribable exhausted. The final request was to stay for two minutes still in the press up position, that was the "stretching". That was the final shooting!

I don't know if I will go back to this gym and use this week's free pass. One thing is certain. I don't want to see or hear the Drew name again.

Whisperings:

In New York

Well, that came from a personal emailing list: Kathlin Argiro "STYLE ME CHIC" with Social Diva, this coming Thursday November 16th at 6pm. Visit the site http://www.kathlinargiro.com/main_stylemechic.htm to book but hurry! There are only 200 seats for this event.

In London

I mention the Spread the Word organization a few days ago. The organize another event, this time for novelists to be. NOVEL PITCH - give your writing the X-factor is taking place on December 2nd, at Stratford Circus, London E15 1BX and it costs £5. Visit the site www.spreadtheword.org.uk for more information.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

London

I don't want to lie. I miss London enormously. Since I moved to New York in early September, I can't help thinking about it. Comparing on daily basis. Smiling at little things I accidentally see, think or miss. But yesterday, it was the jackpot on the whole "I miss London" story: I saw the TIME OUT guide for London whose article about the West End Lane made me cry. Yes, I was living not very far from that Lane, the very trendy, with excellent cafes and bars, organic food and flower shops, West End Lane. I spent nearly seven years of my life on that Lane, how is it possible to forget?

And all those emails I receive from my mailing lists every day (I want to stress that I unsubscribed from so many but still get a lot!). Parties, invitations, workshops, seminars, events. I wish I were there. Often I say to myself: what's the big difference: In NY, I use the subway, the L line which replaced the Jubilee, both grey color. You can get Starbucks in NY and also in London. Even the daily freebies remain the same, Metro in London and metro in NY. And TNT magazine gave home to the L-magazine in NY.

But it's not the same. The NY metro is so thin that it's not worth reading it. Nothing compared to our Metro bible of London. The grey L line of NY subway is so old-fashioned, slow and smelly that has nothing to do with the top-notch Julilee line (the line of the Olympic games). And the L-magazine pretends to be trendy and hippy but I wonder how functional it is - not as the TNT.

Yes, I miss London. Enormously. But instead of complaining, I would add some events for all of you below.

Whisperings in London:

If you are free this Thursday, you can go to an event for free, but you have to RSVP it today: party@mayfaircavendish.co.uk. The invitation says: To celebrate the opening of the ICO conference centre you are invited to our launch party on Thursday 9th November 2006, 6-9pm. Lex House, 17 Connaught Place, London, W2 2EL. I wish I were there too!


LECTRA KALEDO STYLE

This is an eight-week evening course for fashion & accessory designers who wish to develop CAD/CAM skills to support their own career development in the sector. The course introduces the software package Kaledo Style, used in the fashion sector to create technical drawings and presentational material for communicating with clients and manufacturers. At Fashion & Textile Museum
Wednesday evenings 6.30pm - 9.00pm
22nd November – 24th January 2007
To book a place, email info@cipsonline.com


SPREAD THE WORD www.spreadtheword.org.uk
Is all writing a political act? A seminar for writers

When? Thursday 9th November 2006, 6-8.45pm, at Stephen Lawrence Lecture Theatre, Greenwich University, SE10 9HY. Tickets: £5-£2

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Foodies in NYC and London

Ah. I couldn't resist. I was in the Martha Stewart show recently as a member of the audience so food and foodies just crossed my mind. Don't get me wrong. I am not a good cook. Actually, I don't cook very often. But I like upscale super markets and grocery stores, small canapé-style portions and high quality chocolate. Ideally, when I don't have to prepare all those things myself.

I discovered Dean and Deluca in NYC. A luxurious food shopping experience in their Soho store. Well presented, with lots of samples of their freshly made bread, appetising Italian cookies, aromas of espressos and classical music, you want to live there for good. Prices hit north but you don't care. You don't go to Dean & Deluca every day. Same counts for Balduccis. In the heart of Chelsea and not far from the Meat Packing area, Balduccis will break your heart and your bank account also with the amazing selection of worldwide chocolates and coffees but also with their smelly cheese. Forget about your low-carb diet, buy those bars of chocolate and keep moving.

On the other side of the Atlantic, in London, the equivalent will be the Harvey Nichols supermarket. HN is a luxury department store such as Bloomingdales or Saks Fifth Avenue, but with a grocery store for the affluent on the sixth floor. And very often this is where you go directly when you enter this store. Everything is clean, tidy and pricey. You might come face-to-face with a celebrity or two. I love their HN brand: if you buy HN coffee, you probably pay twice as much but you keep the nice grey tin box with their brand letters. Or spices and herbs. You don't only shop at these stores. You invest. You keep the tin boxes no matter what.

http://www.harveynichols.com/output/Page143.asp
http://www.balduccis.com/
http://www.deandeluca.com/

We have heard that in NYC

Tonight don't miss the First Thursday in Dumbo, 111 Front Street, in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, NY 11201. Various gallery receptions!

The Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting continues to celebrate its 40th anniversary this month. Visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/news/110106_cultural_events_continue.shtml for more information.

And in London

Visit the http://www.claudieplen.com/creativealchemy.htm for networking in the creative industries.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Big Cities

Living in big cities offers unquestionably numerous opportunities for “doing stuff”. And “doing stuff” means: visiting galleries and museums someone else wouldn’t have the chance to see in a small town, eating Thai food at 2 am in the morning, getting vintage Chanel at relatively affordable prices, seeing Chicago for the fourth time, taking any evening class you have ever imagined, getting guest passes for popular television shows and possibly walk on the same street or going to the same gym with top-notch celebrities.

Both NY and London offer those numerous opportunities. And I am taking advantage. At least I did for the first three years of my London residency. From wine tasting to screen writing classes, to entrepreneurial networking events, designers exhibitions, car shows, famous market visits, Christies auctions and West End musicals – I did them all. This trend is reiterating in NYC. Today I was an audience member at the Martha Stewart show, I attended a car launch party on Tuesday night (cocktails included for free), I am going to another gallery opening reception and plan to visit Annie Leibovich's photo exhibition.

But I can’t help wondering. Are big cities tremendous diverse and useful or they are just super markets of events, happenings and unnecessary information? If you have SO many things to choose from, so many events to go to, so many shows to see and so many restaurants to eat, you are definitely not exclusive. Big cities, I believe, promote mass culture and therefore, are for the masses. If you are looking for exclusivity, you choose a smaller and distinct area to live in. Where there will only be two movie theatres, less restaurants and definitely not West End or Broadway musicals.

After having lived in London for seven years, and two months in NYC, I am inclined to say that big cities feel very often like going down the cereal aisle in the supermarket. Which box will you pick up today? You look and choose. Corn flakes or All Bran? The same thing you are going to do tonight before you go out in New York or London. Movies or ballet? Thai or Italian?

On this note, I am closing for tonight saying that sometimes less is more. And if you want to see Chicago again, a flight just away.

And before I forget, here are more events you can attend in both cities:


Whisperings
For Londoners

Asian Dreams is delighted to introduce a new series of exciting workshops.
Covering key topics essential to every designer and retailer, this is an
opportunity you cannot afford to miss! For detailed information email info@asiandreams.org.uk.

The UK's largest coalition of environmental and development organizations is organizing the I Count event - the biggest ever climate change gathering in the UK with live music, film, inspirational speakers and celebrity guests.
Where: Trafalgar Square, LondonWhen: Saturday, 4 November, 1-3pm.
To find out more: http://www.wwf.org.uk/climatechange

For New Yorkers

Do you want to meet Joan Collins? She will be signing her new book The Art of Living Well: Looking Good, Feeling Great at Borders, Time Warner building on Monday, October 30, at 7pm.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fashion in New York and London

Since I left London in order to relocate in NYC, I had to seriously declutter my closet (or wardrobe I should say). I got rid of short-sleeved t-shirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, sweaters, skirts, gym clothes, shoes and many more I no longer remember. And now, in a new city that is approaching without any fear to winter, I realized that I need to replace all of the above. I need short short-sleeved t-shirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, sweaters, skirts, gym clothes, shoes and everything else that I no longer remember. So that was my project this week and it will continue to be for the new one. Where to buy them?

Once again, I can't help comparing. In London, you have different ranges of clothes stores that can satisfy all tastes and various bank accounts. Starting from Primark (the very cheap one that touches poverty level), moving to River Island and H & M, to Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, New Look, Jane Norman and Wallis and then moving sligthly to the next level, Next, Dorothy Perkins, Principles, Mango, Zara and Oasis passing through Gap and Benetton. That marks the end of affordability. Afterwards you move to the higher level of stores as French Connection, Whistles, Monsoon (for the hippy types), Hobbs, Ted and Baker, Reiss, L.K. Bennett and my very favorite Jigsaw. Maybe I forget a couple. If your wallet can take it, you can go even higher to Karen Millen and various department stores like House of Fraser and Fenwick where you can top up your credit cards.

In NYC, it seems that it's either very cheap or very expensive. Will it be Old Navy or Banana Republic? It's like going from H & M to Reiss? It's not acceptable. It's not fun. It does not involve a lot of window shopping. Of course there are the discount stores like Duffy's, Marshalls, Century 21 and T. J Maxx. Ok, I agree, you can get designers clothes very cheaply but you will have to spend a day to find your size. If it is your lucky day, otherwise, go back again in a few days or weeks.

I don't know. Not yet. I haven't located my favorite store in NYC. Maybe because I haven't explored everything. I haven't tried the expensive ones either. Who knows, maybe tomorrow might be my lucky day and will get a Prada coat for peanuts.

Whisperings:
For New Yorkers (or all Americans)
If you are a creative, in publishing/writing areas visit http://www.mediabistro.com/ to sign on for jobs, news, feeds and events in your industry. For higher lever memberships, you have to pay.

KFMK Gallery, opening reception: Thursday, October 26th 6pm-9pm, 515 West 29th street, NY, NY, 10001.
http://www.kfmkgalleries.com/

For Londoners
If you fancy watching films before they are released go and visit See Film First web site
http://www.seefilmfirst.com/homepage.welcome.action

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Football and Film Festivals - London and NYC

I admit it. I miss football since I came in New York City. And I really mean football, I stubbornly refuse to use the word soccer. Football is football and this is the word I am using to describe the sport. I am not going to change it because I become a New Yorker all of a sudden. But since I came here and I miss it, I located many sports bars that regularly broadcast UEFA Champions League and Cup games, Euro 2008 qualifying games and European National League games. Am I speaking Chinese to you? That's the magic of football. I was amazed with the number of sports bars I actually found. Last week I wanted to see the England vs Croatia qualifying game for the Euro 2008 so I visited the bar I had in mind. They asked me $20 at the door because, they said, it was shown on a pay-per-view channel. I rushed to make comments or rather to judge. You would never pay $20 to watch a football match in Europe. It's free. You only buy the drink. Anyway, I afterwards found out that this is actually the policy. If it is pay per view, you have to pay too! Today I saw the Chelsea vs Barcelona and I cheered at Chelsea's win. I supported them all the way.

From a very athletic topic, let's jump to the Film Festivals. Nothing in common, I know. It opened yesterday, the British Film Festival, sponsored by the British Film Institute and the Times. This year, again, it will be proud presenting World premiers and special screenings that many will talk about. The Last King of Scotland (the film follows the story of a Scottish doctor arriving in Africa during Idi Amin’s tyrannical rule) will open the festival and Babel will be shown at the closing Gala ( Set in Morocco, Tunisia, Mexico and Japan, Babel is concerned with the consequences of random acts and fate, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett will shine). And as every year, the festival will show European and World films, French cinematography and will "promote" new upcoming British directors. I used to go every year to see at least one film. I liked the fun atmosphere, the buzz and the glamour. The National Film Festival's venue too, it was just by the river. Well organized, well presented, and well publicised, the BFF attracts thousands.

I wouldn't say the same about the New York Film Festival supported by the Film Society of Lincoln Center that just ended. To be frank upfront, I didn't go. I had a look at the program but I didn't find any of the films particularly interesting. Not that the Festival's centerpiece this year was Almod√≥var’s supernatural tale of murder, adultery and family happiness, Volver that I already have seen. And the Queen was playing in local movie theatres during the festival. The list was not so impressive or at least this is what I thought. Reality or European arrogance, I wonder. And surprisingly enough, the NY Film Festival wasn't that much advertised despite the prestigious sponsors that included Air France, HSBC and HBO Films. It was in major print media like the NY Times (one of the sponsors) and local entertainment magazines. But that was all. I went up and down Manhattan so many times, I didn't see a single program or guide in a central NY outlet. What a pity!

Whisperings:
Did you know?

For Londoners
Are you an accessory or jewellery designer that has stock to sell? Contact contact Alison Lewy on +44 (0)7940 704 725 or at alison.lewy@newham.ac.uk. for more information or to book a stall in an upcoming exciting event.

If you want to start networking, visit http://www.soflow.com/ and sign on to become a member. Then you can join plenty of groups and you participate in numerous events. Only for UK residents. For now.

For New Yorkers
Visit http://eventsinthecity.org/ to join and attend plenty of events. There are different types of memberships so read the small letters!

Monday, October 16, 2006

NYC, London, parties and invitations

It is amazing. I came to NYC just six weeks ago and I am receiving already so many party, exhibition, gallery openings and event invitations that would make a native born New Yorker really angry. Is that because I am an information junkie myself and I spend more time reading Time Out and the Village Voice, checking websites, subscribing to various e-mailing lists, talking to people, jotting down names and addresses than jobhunting (which I should do because I still don't have one of these things...) or because I am just a socialite?

Probably because I am both. It was exactly the same in London. I was getting so many invites to networking groups, events and launches that made my friends wondering: What do you actually do to get all those?

Let me explain. All started the day that I had to attend a women's professional (and very posh) networking event in London, paid by my employer. Nobody else would like to go so I was actually forced to go. At that time (early 2000s), I didn't even know what a networking group or event was. But I went. Lavish corporate headquarters of a major accounting firm which was the major sponsor, tons of champagne, extremely professional women promoting their businesses, their employer or themselves, successful speakers and more champagne and canapes...I made up my mind: networking events are like Christmas for adults... What else do you need?

That day was the beginning of my relationship with networks, networking events, champagne, and overwhelming information. Many more events followed, so did party and private club invitations, shows, exhibitions, seminars and many more.

And the trend follows me in New York City.

Maybe, instead of looking for a job, should become a gossip columnist? I will have plenty of things to say.

Whisperings:
Did you know?
This is fragrance week in NYC. For information on events check the website at: http://www.fragrance.org/cgi/fetch_outer_events.cgi?thing=8007077

For book lovers:
James Ellroy will present his book Brack Dahlia. Location: Borders Bookstore, Time and Warner Building, October 16, 2006 7:00 PM

For art lovers:
A Space Gallery Presents "Intrinsic Form" featuring works by Luca LAZAR, Jon PETRO and Michael VAN PATTEN. Opening reception Sat Oct 21, 1-5pm, 1138 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11221

For Londoners
Germanic London organize their annual party this coming Saturday October 21st. Register at their website http://www.germanic-london.com/

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Arts, artists, New York and London

When I first came in NY, I was staying in a guest house in Queens. It was small and cosy and I met very many interesting, weird and fun people. From Swedish travellers on "a year-around-the-world plane ticket" to the Japanese artist Yuko who was exhibiting in a Chelsea gallery and who invited me to go and, in reality, initiated my very early relationship with the NYC creative world.

New York is a creative place. There are numerous lofts turned creative studios, exhibition rooms, galleries and even more creative festivals, events, openings and launches. But so is London. The difference between the two is that, well, to my knowledge creative professionals have far more support in London by local or government agencies than New Yorkers.

But I don't want to be political or to lookout for the reasons. During my six weeks in New York City I noticed that despite the number of creative people and activities, the NYC department of arts/cultural affairs is almost absent. I went to a few Chelsea gallery openings - all private, artists seem to be independent, with an agent or with a corporate sponsor. I visited the excellent (and wine friendly) DUMBO's First Thursday event in Brooklyn. This event was sponsored by Two Trees Management Co. and the New York Magazine. Today's buzzy DUMBO Art under the bridge festival in Brooklyn was funded, in part, by public funds from the NYC department of cultural affairs and the NY State Council on the Arts Film and Media Program. Numerous were the corporate sponsors though. The Village Voice, RR Frames and Rice to name just a few.

Should arts be funded by governments or by private/corporate sponsors? That will always be a hot topic. I don't really have the answer. All I know is that creative professionals need help. If this support will come from the government, the local authorities or corporate sponsors is probably the subject of an article, a book or another blog that will follow soon!

Whisperings
Did you know...?

Gallery opening in Blooklyn, NYC: Friday, 10/20, @AG Gallery103 N.3rd Street, Ground Fl., Brooklyn, NY11211

This week in Blooklyn, NYC: Bushwick Open Studios - Saturday 10/21, from 1pm to 8pm: Visit their website at http://geminiartist.com/openstudioindex.html

For Information junkies: First Thursday features area galleries and artists' studios open from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm, on the first Thursday of each month. http://dumboartscenter.org/

Friday, October 13, 2006

NYLON: The title stands for New York - London. Since I moved to New York City five weeks ago from London where I was based for seven years, I can't help comparing these two. The subway and the tube, people on the streets, delis and cafes, art exhibitions, clothes, rent prices, even the weather. My first thought was to write a column for a London-based local magazine or newspaper with the same title. But the process of pitching for a column might take weeks or months so I quickly changed my mind. A blog is quicker, trendier and probably more influential. So NYLONBLOG was born!

Being a subletter from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY (yes, it is in New York City Manhattanites) with no job at this stage, I will offer fair and unfair comparisons of both cities, tasty tips, colorful trends, whisperings, the latest on events and networks, football games results, off the record news and much more!

If you want to learn more about London or just add to my comparisons or information, this is the blog to participate. I welcome your comments. Actually, I want them!

Event of the day, NY: Godiva's free chocolate tasting, Time and Warner Building, Lounge, Second Floor. At 5pm.