Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Airplane-Shaped Baby Spoons

Jet Baby Spoon
Photos By Gail

If there is one thing I love about visiting southern California (and really, there are many) it is going to the gigantic mega-supermarkets they have out there and taking pictures of weird shit to put on this blog. Seriously, it is the most fun thing. For example, look at this insane Pink Thing that I found: A pair of spoons to feed your baby that are shaped like airplanes — as in “The Airplane (spoon with food on it) goes into the hanger (mouth)”! It says right on the package that these spoons “make feeding fun.” I bet they do. The word “Fun” (in both English and French, in case your baby is bilingual) is emphasized elsewhere on the packaging. It is extra exciting that the airplane spoons come in two shades of pink. Extra fun!

Spotted in Kroger!

Jet Baby Spoon

“The Airplane Goes Into The Hangar”

Split Rock at The New York Botanical Garden

Split Rock Front
All Photos By Gail

At the end of the Ice Age, the last ice sheet began to melt back from the New York City region about 14,000 years ago, leaving behind a layer of clays, sands and pebbles, as well boulders known a glacial erratics. Glacial Erratics are made up of rock materials not generally found in their immediate surroundings.

Split Rock Right 2

Split Rock Installation View

This large boulder, found in the Native Plant Garden at the New York (Bronx) Botanical Garden — known as Split Rock — is a glacial erratic.

Split Rock Right

Split Rock is composed of Yonkers gneiss, which is different from the local bedrock. The split in this boulder was likely caused by an ancient freezing and thawing cycle thousands of years ago.

Split Rock Detail

Photographed on New Year’s Day, 2020!

Split Rock Left

Eye On Design: Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress By John Paul Gaultier

Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress
Photos By Gail

John Paul Gaultier was among the createurs who helped make French fashion so exciting in the 1980s. The way he played with conventions of sex and gender, in particular, has had a profound influence on fashion. For example, rather than using coresetry to reinforce conventional ideals of beauty, Gaultier has always emphasized that many body types, genders and ages can be attractive. This Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress, featuring Gaultier’s signature cone bra top (made famous by Madonna) is from his 1984 Fall collection.

Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress

Photographed as part of the Exhibit Paris, Capital of Fashion at the Museum at FIT in NYC.

Restaurant Review: Red Peony Chinese Cuisine

Red Peony Menu Logo
All Photos By Gail

In a city that loves to eat, Chinese is among the most popular cuisines in Manhattan. From Chinatown to Midtown, I frequent a handful of Chinese restaurants that consistently serve my favorite dishes with no disappointments, but there is always room to add one more to that list. Open since late August 2019Red Peony, located in the heart of midtown’s upscale shopping district, is an elegant Chinese restaurant that feels like a secret oasis within the congested urban landscape. Specializing in both Cantonese and Szechuan-style dishes, Red Peony aims to be fully inclusive of every palate; with an extensive menu featuring both familiar favorites and exotic-sounding, visually tempting dishes I’ve not seen on other menus. Judging by the number of Chinese families gathered at its large round tables on the night of my visit, Red Peony offers a truly authentic dining experience.

Downstairs Dining Room

The peony is the unofficial Chinese National Flower. It stands as a symbol of spring and female beauty, and it also represents richness, honor and high social class. A Red Peony specifically represents life and celebration, and you will find all of these values reflected in the restaurant’s opulent interior decor. The first floor dining area features the above pictured, tufted seating in vibrant red fabric, flanking ample-sized tables for two. Larger round tables in the center of the room can accommodate families and larger parties, and there is also a second floor, which is ideal for events and special occasions.

Upstairs Dining Room View 2
Second Floor Dining Room With Windows Looking Onto 56th Street

Red Peony Artwork

You’ll see lovely Asian artworks throughout the restaurant, as well as huge, painted red peony blooms adorning the walls at the entrance. The feeling is one of being immersed in an atmosphere of luxury and comfort — but just wait until you taste the food!

Scallion Pancake
Scallion Pancake

My dining companion had already visited Red Peony several times and, while she is an adventurous eater, she suggested we stick to shared favorites on my first visit, so that I could set a baseline for comparing Red Peony’s cuisine to my favorite establishments — a great idea! Who doesn’t love starting out a traditional Chinese meal with a  crispy Scallion Pancake ($5.95)? This one was delivered to our table piping hot, flaky, golden and loaded with fresh scallions.

Scallion Pancake Detail

Here’s a closer look: you can almost taste it with your eyes. So good! This appetizer is served with a sweet and savory sauce on the side for dipping.

Fried Vegetable Dumplings
Pan Fried Vegetable Dumplings

With so many items to choose from, we could not resist also ordering the Pan Fried Vegetable Dumplings ($7.95), with their delectable wrapper that gets nice and crispy from the pan while staying tender and easy to bite into on the top. These plump morsels are stuffed with finely minced carrots, cabbage and onions, and the mild flavor really perked up with just a dash of the sauce left over from our scallion pancake!

Crispy Bacon and Shrimp Roll
Crispy Bacon and Shrimp Roll

One unique appetizer that I will be ordering on my next visit is this mouthwatering Crispy Bacon and Shrimp Roll ($6.95). Doesn’t that look amazing?

Sesame Chicken
Sesame Chicken, With Steamed Broccoli on the Side

Sesame Chicken ($20.95) is one of my favorite main dishes, and I am not fronting when I say that the sesame chicken served at Red Peony is the best I’ve tasted anywhere. Each bite is perfectly tender and juicy white meat chicken, tossed lightly in flour before being quick-fried to a non-greasy presentation, with a sauce that’s not-too sweet, and a flavorful dusting of toasted season seeds. It’s flawless, and the generous serving can easily satisfy three hungry people (or, you can just take the leftovers home)!

Shanghai Fried Rice
Shanghai Fried Rice

Red Peony’s special Shanghai Fried Rice ($9.95) with scallions and egg, was a perfect accompaniment to our delicious chicken entree. How they make fried rice that is not greasy at all is a mystery to me.

Plate of Chinese Food

This looks like a fresh and tasty meal that you would be proud to serve to your family at home, but it tastes even better at Red Peony, because they made it for you (and, let’s be honest; their secret recipes make it taste better than you or I could).

Peking Duck

For those who want to make any meal feel like a special occasion, Red Peony does a whole Peking Duck served with all of the traditional accompaniments for just $58! Bring a few friends along and discover what everyone loves about the delicacy (reservations recommended if you plan to order this dish)!

Sweet Egg Custard Bun
Sweet Egg Custard Bun

When it’s time for dessert, Red Peony offers a selection of sweet treats that you won’t find anywhere else, and I loved the vibrant photographs that show you just what to expect when the dish arrives at your table — because presentation is everything. These Sweet Egg Custard Bun ($6.95) — which look like three little pigs!– have me intrigued for a future visit!

Stew Peach Gum Tremella Soup
Stew Peach Gum Tremella Soup

This tasty looking dessert is called Stew Peach Gum Tremella Soup ($10.95), a sweet, gelatinous dish featuring the resin from peach and Chinese wild peach trees. The nutritional content of peach gum is off the charts, so you might want to ask your server about this on your next visit.

Red Bean Short Cakes
Red Bean Short Cakes

We were so stuffed, but wanted to add a little something to top off such a great meal, and these Red Bean Short Cakes ($4.95) were the perfect finishing touch. These little fried turnovers feature a flaky crust stuffed with sweet red bean paste, and garnished with toasted black sesame seeds. We enjoyed them with the pot  of green tea which accompanies your meal free of charge.

Upstairs Dining Room View 1

You can see by the prices included here that Red Peony is very reasonably priced, making it one of the best dining out values in midtown, by far. At press time the restaurant does not yet have its liquor license, but they welcome you to bring your own bottle of wine. I’m looking forward to a return visit!

Red Peony Chinese Restaurant is Located at 24 West 56 Street Between 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan. Check Out Their Extensive Menu, Make a Reservation, or Order Online at Red Peony Restaurant Dot Com !

Red Peony Interior Shot Wall

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jacques Villegle, 122 Rue Du Temple

122 Rue Du Temple
Photo By Gail

122 Rue Du Temple is the Paris address from which artist Jacques Villegle detached many of the movie posters and political notices that he used to make this work in 1968. After tearing fragments of the original images, he pasted these passages of color, text, and image into a chance composition. Many of the fliers used here announced the city’s May 1968 student and worker demonstrations, and the artist considered the people who had posted them to be his collaborators, understanding their use of advertising billboards as a precursor for his process.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC

4 Tips to Boost Your Self-Image

Chess Pieces
Image Source

Unfortunately, many people suffer from low self-esteem and lack of confidence. While the occasional body hang-up is normal, poor self-image can have a hugely negative impact on your physical and mental well-being in the long-run. For that reason, it’s important to take steps to improve your confidence and feel happy in your own skin. With this in mind, here are four tips to boost your self-image:

1. Stop Being a Perfectionist

One of the major reasons why people have low self-image is due to the obsession with their flaws and the idea of perfection. You must remember that everyone has things about their body or their life that they aren’t fully happy with. Try to let go of the idea of perfection and focus on the positives. While constructive thoughts and opinions can help you develop as a person, avoid your inner critic from harming your self-image by being overly critical. Assess yourself honestly and look for ways to improve as a person, but avoid striving for perfection. This will help you feel far happier and more content in the long-run.

Dont Compare Yourself

2. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others

In a world full of social media and Photoshop, it can be difficult not to compare yourself to others. Social media can make you envious about other people’s jobs, lifestyles, relationships, jobs, and vacations, and this can harm your physical and mental well-being. For instance, there have been various studies showing a strong connection between social media use and low self-esteem. While social media can be an extremely useful tool, you should be aware of the risks and avoid comparing yourself to others online. Remember that nothing is perfect and people only show you what they want to display online.

Fashion Accessories

3. Boost Your Personal Style

One of the simplest ways to improve your self-image and confidence is by improving your personal style. Becoming more stylish doesn’t have to involve spending loads of money on expensive clothes or upgrading your whole wardrobe. You can easily freshen up your look by purchasing a few classic accessories like a trendy hat or some standout jewelry. If you wear glasses, then treat yourself to a quality, stylish pair like Tory Burch glasses. A new pair of glasses can instantly make you feel more confident by enhancing your features and adding style to your daily look.

4. Take Pride in Your Appearance

Nowhere does it say that you have to wear a full face of makeup or style your hair every morning if you don’t want to. However, taking the time to enhance your looks can instantly boost your self-image and make you look and feel more confident. Taking pride in your appearance and wanting to look your best shouldn’t be considered vain or shallow. Improving your looks is one of the most effective ways to improve your self-image and confidence. Following a good skincare routine, experimenting with different hairstyles, testing new beauty products, and eating a healthy diet, are all ways to help you look and feel your best.

Self Esteem Sign

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Neon Roses

Pink Neon Roses
Photo By Gail

Wonderworld Space was an attraction that existed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a few months this past fall. Located in a big pink warehouse, Wonderworld was fitted with multiple, Instagram-able rooms, each housing a themed-fantasy scenario in which selfie-obsessed young ladies could stage impromptu photo shoots. Yawn City. In other words, it was a total waste of time for normal people like me to go there unless you could get in for $5 (regular admission price: $25), which we did. Because anything is worth $5. I got a few blog-worthy snaps out of the visit, so it was money well-spent. These Pink Neon Roses floating around the word Love were part of a room with different neon art on each of its four walls. I’m not sure how good selfies come out when taken in a room that is mostly dark, but I think this shot looks pretty cool without people in it.

String Lights Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles!

Recycled Bottle Lights
All Photos By Gail

In the first week of December, I was invited to a fantastically fun Tree Trimming Party at The Norwood House, a private Arts and Culture club located in a multi-story townhouse on West 14th Street in Manhattan. The club is filled with beautiful contemporary artworks, rare collectibles and antiques, and eye-catching oddities throughout its many rooms. While I was exploring, I spotted this string of large, irregularly-shaped colored lights, which were  draped around a bust nestled on a stairway landing, and they grabbed my attention right away. Because, colored lights.

Recycled Bottle Lights

A close examination revealed that the lights are made from a variety of empty plastic bottles, which have been dyed a spectrum of colors and fitted through the bottom with a single light in each. Crafty!

Recycled Bottle Lights

Is this a likeness of Rasputin? Who knows!

Recycled Bottle Lights

I did some Googling to see if I could find instructions on how to make this specific style of upcycled plastic bottle lights, but I was unsuccessful in my quest. Perhaps you can scrutinize these pictures to figure it out for yourself! Good luck!

Eye On Design: Pierre Cardin’s Junior Unit Chest

Pierre Cardin Junior Unit Chest
Pierre Cardin’s Junior Unit Chest, Installation View (All Photos By Gail)

Pierre Cardin’s interest in geometry has extended throughout his career, beginning in his teens, when he was an apprentice tailor. Over the decades, his work has featured triangular lamps and square shoulders but it is the circle that predominates in his design. We featured a look at the circle motifs in his furniture design in This Post, and another terrific example of what the legendary designer refers to as his ‘couture furniture’ is the Junior Unit Chest of Drawers (197980).

Junior Unit Chest

Junior Unit Chest
Drawer Detail

Comprised of staggered, lacquered wood drawers which appear suspended inside a circular, chrome-plated metal frame, the Junior Unit is both modern and futuristic at the same time!

Junior Unit Chest

Photographed as part of the Exhibit Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at The Brooklyn Museum.

 

John Mosler’s First Large Scale Sculpture Decusatio Now On View Outside The Norwood Club!

Decusation by John Mosler
All Photos By Gail

Brooklyn-based artist John Mosler’s first large-scale outdoor sculpture, Decusatio – meaning Intersection in Latin – is now installed on the terrace at Norwood, the historic townhouse and private members club at 241 West 14th Street. The figurative work was informed by its 14th Street location which, for many, has come to serve as a delineation point between uptown and downtown.

Placed on the balcony, Decusatio is hard to miss; rising over eight feet tall, and painted in a vibrant yellow hue. The work offers a conceptual framework that is intended to respect and enhance the Club and its history, while simultaneously connecting to the location, activity and history in the surrounding area.

Decusation Sculpture

Decusatio’s placement required innovative technical and engineering applications by the artist to ensure it was light enough to be easily placed on a metal balcony, while also durable enough to withstand the outdoor elements.  Mosler offers, “The figurative over tone and the bright yellow color is intended to capture the intersection of humanity and the vibrant human interaction in the surrounding physical environment.”

Decusation Close Up

Martin Kesselman, color influencer and owner of INCOLOUR, worked with Mosler on finding the right hue. “Yellow tends to be perceived in many different ways, more so than other colors,” he explains. “We wanted to stay clear of a frosty cast, one that may veer green. Natural exterior light can play some trickery, so we had to walk that warm and cool fine line.”

Norwood Club Exterior

About Norwood:

The Andrew Norwood House is an elegant urban residence designed in a transitional style which combines Greek revival and italianate features. A remarkably preserved slice of early Victorian architecture and lifestyle – both inside and out; the House is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.In 2007 Alan Linn opened Norwood Club, a bustling five-story club with more than 1,100 members ranging from 21 to 80 years old. Its ranks include architects, artists, fashion designers, musicians, media moguls, and art collectors.

Decusation at Night