Just Another Rooftop

I may be afraid of heights, but this New Yorker prefers wining and dining up in the clouds surrounded by skyscrapers. Really, why would anyone want to break a sweat in 90something degree weather in a stuffy room when you can catch a cool breeze up above everyone else?

Having Cocktails in the Sky.
Having Cocktails in the Sky.

Francis and I make it our mission to visit every rooftop spot in town, so when we were invited to culinary extraordinaire David Burke’s SPYGLASS above the Archer Hotel in midtown, needless to say we were going.

Our View.
Our View.

SPYGLASS is fantastic because it’s walking distance from many offices in the area. So whether you had a rough day at work or simply just want to kick back, this is a swanky rooftop that requires zero subway or taxi transportation, depending where you are. Just a simple stroll will do. Your nostrils will thank you if sticking your nose into someone’s armpit in a too-tight train or being glued to the chair of a cab on a sweltering day isn’t your thing.

Enjoying Ourselves.
Enjoying Ourselves.

SPYGLASS also gives you a direct view of the Empire State Building while you’re enjoying lobster dumplings, oysters, and thirst-quenching cocktails. Don’t get me wrong, the Village will always be my home away from home no matter where I am, but this local deal isn’t too shabby.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

Now for the dress. I absolutely fell in love when I saw this piece in a West Village thrift store. It features the brightest orange flowers I’ve ever seen. Seriously, you can light up any room with this thing.

Photo By Francis Rodriguez.
Photo By Francis Rodriguez.

Unfortunately, I don’t have too many details about the dress. No label was found, but it came in excellent condition and was around 25 bucks. It reminds me of a 1950s (or even 60s) cocktail dress. Since the dress zips from the back and not the side, it comes from a later period (not the 50s). That’s one trick to tell if your ensemble is possibly more modern or much older. Also, this outfit highlights a full skirt, so no petticoat is require to add some dramatic flair. Just be prepared to slap people around with your hips.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

I paired the dress with matching navy patent pumps to keep the look more uniformed. The focus remains on the dress, as opposed to dizzying anyone with too much going on.

Original Fire & Ice Ad.
Original Fire & Ice Ad.

As for the lipstick? That’s Revlon’s Fire & Ice, which was first introduced in 1952. It was reportedly one of the many shades of red Marilyn Monroe wore. You can still find it in nearly any drugstore for less than 10 bucks.

Marilyn Monroe, 1952.
Marilyn Monroe, 1952.

The lipstick is a very bold, fiery red shade, so I blotted it just a bit to tone it down. Again, I wanted the dress to be the focal point. I finished my look with champagne.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

This was our view for the evening.

Our Evening View.
Our Evening View.

So seriously, what are you doing down there? Start rooftopping it!

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“I Wanna See Your Peacock”

Confession: I am a gin girl. I love a nice glass of wine to relax and unwind, but when it comes to drinks beyond the grape, I prefer a cool, crisp cocktail featuring refreshing gin. If we ever encounter each other at a bar, be sure to order me a Gimlet with Hendrick’s gin, my classic libation of choice.

An Evening With Jägermeister
An Evening With Jägermeister

But sometimes I like to mix things up. And Jägermeister helped me do just that at their “Spring Awakening” party at The Heath in the Meatpacking District where they encouraged invited guests to celebrate with fresh, seasonal cocktails.

From a writer’s standpoint, I love all the fantastic events Jägermeister offers every year. They never fail to impress with lavish banquets, spectacular presentations, and unique cocktails highlighting the herbal spirit, which always serves as inspiration for writing about cocktails. And this year, they did just that.

Unfiltered Jäger for a proper tasting.
Unfiltered Jäger for a proper tasting.

There were so many delicious drinks to choose from, but my personal favorite was the Spice Trader by mixologist Brian Miller. It tasted like a boozy, freshly baked apple pie. Seriously.

Spice Trader Cocktail
Spice Trader Cocktail

Now, let’s talk about the outfit. I was pining for this Monique Dress by vintage-inspiration brand Heart of Haute, which features a majestic peacock print. It’s also sold at rockabilly/pinup shop Enz’s on the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. The lovely artist (and beau) Jordan purchased it for me as a surprise for Valentine’s Day and I decided to rock it for the evening.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

I adore it because it reminds me of screen siren Hedy Lamar’s epic costume as the biblical temptress in the 1949 film, titled Samson and Delilah.

I need this in my life.
I need this in my life.

While the outfit is a completely different style, I felt like a walking piece of art. In my opinion, we are all blank canvases ready to become masterpieces with just the right wardrobe and attitude.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

As expected, I wore my signature corselet belt. I love that feeling of being “held in” with a simple accessory that instantly cinches my waist.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

I kept the accessories to a minimum with the help of gold. When a dress does this much talking, you don’t need to overindulge with the jewels.

Even the Empire State Building decided to match with me.

Empire State of Mind
Empire State of Mind

And that was just another Monday.

Moral of this story? You can never go wrong with a peacock.

Spring Flowers and Chinese Cuisine

Forget spring and this blog title for just a second folks. New York City was experiencing a glorious 80 degree day. This may sound stuffy for some, but I have Dominican blood running in my veins, so anything that’s somehow related to the tropics gets me excited. I truly feel at my happiest when my skin can soak up that vitamin D (with sunscreen of course).

My view from Central Park.
My view from Central Park.

But enough of that. Let’s talk about the day.

I was invited to a media preview for Philippe on the Upper East Side to celebrate their new East Hamptons location. As someone who has been following this establishment’s history, I knew I had to be there. I was researching for future stories, of course!

A small preview of what was to come.
A small preview of what was to come.

The feast was nothing short of amazing. Succulent Maine lobster, juicy plump shrimp swimming in a tangy sauce, creamy coconut cocktails, and crispy chicken with a sweet-meets-fiery kick were just a few of the many dishes we savored. Even the fried rice was fluffy and perfectly paired with fresh veggies. Philippe impressed with their take on upscale Chinese cuisine and thanks to them, it looks like me and the takeout guy are going on a break.

Philippe knows how to feed hungry writers.
Philippe knows how to feed hungry writers.

And then came dessert. By then my stomach was ready to call it a night, but could you really say no to chocolate or red velvet? Didn’t think so.

Yum.
Yum.

If you are ever on the Upper East Side or in the Hamptons, and you need some Chinese food in your life minus the excess grease, give Philippe a chance. He knows how to please your belly.

After dinner, I was stuffed to say the least. I, along with my plus one, who happened to be my other bestie Alexcia, decided to burn off some calories by walking around. And behold, we encountered The Plaza, one of my favorite places in the world. Like with great Chinese, I could never say no to The Plaza.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

What a happy accident that The Plaza’s flowers matched my dress! And speaking of the ensemble, this is a ’80s floral wiggle dress with dolman (long and loose) sleeves. These type of sleeves also give some wiggle (no pun intended) room for ladies with bigger busts. Our chests deserve to breathe. And the plunging V-neck elongates the body, giving it a leaner, smoother appearance.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

I love the fact that it twirls! If it were up to me, life would be one giant Broadway musical so I can sing and twirl all day.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The dress was purchased from Girl in a Hat Shop on Etsy. I had it tailored for it to go just above the knee, which flatters any woman no matter her age.

I gave my usual red lipstick a break and decided to “think pink.”

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

My earrings, from Forever 21 (ha!), were purchased for about three bucks. They feature actual flowers within the jewel.

My earrings of choice.
My earrings of choice.

I also found this exquisite crown on Fifth Avenue. I believe it belongs to me.

Queen Bee.
Queen Bee.

And the evening concludes! See you all next week.

Goodnight.
Goodnight.

“A Grown-Up Dorothy”

If you’ve managed to survive this winter season in New York City, I salute you. After a seemingly never-ending frost, we’re finally embracing the sun-soaked warmth of the spring season.

It was the perfect occasion for me to meet up with one of my closest friends Francis for a movie night at Lincoln Center, home of the ballet, opera, and Fashion Week. We recently saw The Age of Adaline starring Blake Lively and it was a lovely romantic film filled with gorgeous leading men and yes, one lucky blonde bombshell wearing some heart-stopping vintage couture. Seriously, you should watch this flick just for the costumes.

“Love is timeless.” And so is great fashion.

For the evening, I decided to channel what one co-worker at the office called “a grown up Dorothy.”

“We’re off to see the wizard…”

I wore a nautical-inspired 1970s secretary dress by Jonathan Martin. And yes, it’s called a “secretary dress” because they were created for secretaries! While the piece is from the ’70s, it gave me serious 1940s vibes. I found this dress in mint condition, which is a major score when you’re shopping vintage!

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

As you can see, I paired them with red patent heels, which would have made the Wicked Witch of the West green with envy. See what I did there?

As one would say, she's peanut butter and jealous.
As one would say, she’s peanut butter and jealous.

I added my usual corselet waist belt, which I wear about 99% of the time. A waist belt, when worn properly, creates the illusion of a cinched waist and it just makes dresses look all the more polished. It’s important to find one that’s an appropriate size for comfort and designed to complement your waist. I couldn’t live without them. Every woman just looks better when she plays up her waist and natural curves. You can find these nearly anywhere.

I would have curtsied for you, but it wouldn't have ended well.
I would have curtsied for you, but it wouldn’t have ended well. Photo by Francis Rodriguez

I’ve wore these jeweled red earrings, which have been favored by photographers for several photoshoots I’ve done. Everyone thinks they’re vintage, but I bought these at Forever 21 for about three bucks nearly six years ago! They don’t make ’em like before.

Girls need big jewels. Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Girls need big jewels.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Oh, and that diamond-encrusted pin? That’s vintage. I believe it’s from the 1930s and I bought it at a flea market for about five bucks. I purposely included it because, well, my boobs decided to betray me. One button kept popping out and I just wasn’t in the mood to star in my own peep-show!

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Ladies, if you have a similar problem, make sure you take your outfit to the tailor. He/she can make magic happen. Also, I always carry a gorgeous-looking pin in case I have any sudden wardrobe malfunctions. You never know.

When in doubt, add a brooch.
When in doubt, add a brooch.

Well, I’m off now because “there’s no place like home.”