Happy weekend!

Oh my goodness, things have been busy. For you too? I think it's that time of year. What are you up to this weekend? Something wintry and festive? Now that my second opening of the season is over with, I'm deep in rehearsals for the third. But not ALL weekend, and luckily CM is coming back to town. We're planning some holiday festivities—I think we'll buy our Christmas tree this weekend!

In the meantime, some linkety links:

Fab holiday shops!

Can't get enough of this.

An excellent reason to go to midtown.

Gentlemen, CM swears by this.

I've probably linked to this before, but it deserves another look. Oh, aspiration...

Lola and Lucy are keeping CM very busy taking photos of them at their cutest. I mean, honestly:

Hope your weekend is filled with peppermint hot chocolate, skinny pants with boots, and snuggling under blankets. xoxo LMB

Staycation 101

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! CM was in town, and even though I didn't have much time off, we had a great, relaxing weekend. Friday afternoon we were wishing we had time for a vacation this winter and lamenting the fact that we don't have any overlapping time off this year. So, on a whim, we decided to take a mini vacation right here in Manhattan this weekend!

Do you ever take staycations when you don't have time to leave town? I'm a new convert—even one day outside of your normal environment can feel like a real vacation. We lead such busy lives that we have to take advantage of any time we can get to relax! May I suggest some guidelines for your (and our) next staycation?

1. Get away from it all.
You may be staying in town, but you don't need to be anywhere near home, or the office, or your commute. Mix it up and explore a neighborhood you don't know very well! We stayed in the Meatpacking District, somewhere we never go (and, I might add, where we were drastically less hip than the other inhabitants). It's only 2 stops on the express train from Columbus Circle, but we felt transported.

2. Stay somewhere swanky.
There's no point in getting a hotel room if the bed isn't going to be an improvement on the one at home (this is one thing that prevents us from staying in Houston hotels—I can't imagine a more comfortable bed than the one we have). We splurged on a room at The Standard—SO decadent. We loved all the mid-century modern detailing in our room. And the view from our room was incredible.

3. Eat well.
This one's important. Eat somewhere special, which doesn't have to mean expensive, but somewhere you don't go regularly. CM was especially excited that Blue Bottle Coffee was in the neighborhood. It's his favorite whenever he goes to San Francisco, but I had never been. We made sure to get creamy cappuccinos there…twice. Then we ate dinner at The Spotted Pig (our first Michelin-starred restaurant!). They don't take reservations, so we put our name in (they take your cell number, as all restaurants should) and headed to Vin Sur Vingt for wine flights. When we were done we took a short walk, and then our table was magically ready! We ate gnudi and incredible burgers. Highly recommend. After dinner, we stopped by the Biergarten at The Standard to soak up the atmosphere (and the beer).

4. But get a little bit of exercise.
We actually planned to visit the hotel gym while we were there, but we weren't quite that ambitious, so we settled for a brisk morning walk on the High Line. Neither of us had been in ages, and it's such a lovely walk (especially in the morning before the weekend tourist crowds descend). Walking around in the cold made us feel like we had earned our lazy magazine-reading time and our delicious burgers.

5. Don't check your work email.
This one might be the very most important. You probably can't get away with it on a two-week trip, but for one Saturday night into Sunday afternoon, the world will not end if you don't check you work email. It's a rare occasion that CM and I can both turn off work brain for any length of time, but I'm starting to think it just might be the key to happiness.

Or it might be room service breakfast, I'm not sure.

On the radio

For those of you with Sirius XM radio, tune in tonight to Met Opera Radio live broadcast of Un ballo in maschera! I'm being interviewed about Don Giovanni in the second intermission (probably around 9:30 Eastern).

Oh, and watch this! I wish you'd all been at Carnegie Hall yesterday afternoon.

Happy weekend!

Friends, what are you up to this weekend? I have a busy one planned: a Broadway show tonight, work tomorrow followed by a much-needed night in, the fabulous Joyce on Sunday, and a slumber party with the Wise Soprano. Phew. I can't wait!

While I'm taking advantage of this incredible city, here are some links for you:

Curated TED talk playlists. Cool.

My new favorite pants. I might need to get them in every color.

Thinking of sending this to the continent of Europe. Think it would catch on?

My latest to-do list tool. Loving it so far.

How amazing would this be? Save your miles!

Have you ever seen anything cuter than this photo CM took of Lola? Honestly.

Here's hoping your weekend is full of good music, good food, and good company. xoxo LMB

A very important holiday

Friends, do you know what today is? It's Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Beaujolais Nouveau is a young wine designed to be consumed the same year it's harvested (unlike most wines, which are meant to be stored and generally improve with age). It's a light, fruity red wine, and it's best served slightly chilled. Although there are plenty of wine snobs who don't like the taste, I think it's the perfect casual wine for holiday get-togethers and easy dinners at home. It doesn't hurt that it's often about $10 a bottle.

There are actually LAWS against selling the wine before the third Thursday in November, which is officially Beaujolais Nouveau Day (that's today). At 12:01am this morning, all over France people were popping corks and toasting with this year's batch, and the festivities will continue all weekend.

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! I know just how to celebrate.


Do you guys know about Taschen, a German publisher of amazing coffee table-worthy books on art, design, and travel? The Strand has a special mezzanine devoted to Taschen books, and whenever I browse I always want to take them all home with me (it's probably a good thing I don't actually live here). They're mostly pretty affordable (except when they're not), and they're beautiful.

When we were in Brussels, we happened to pass a Taschen store, and CM and I were mesmerized by the variety of books. I'm dying to visit all the stores. Don't you love bookstores?

If I was planning a Taschen Christmas, here's what I would buy my loved ones:

For Mama Bossy:
Design for Obama
A collection of posters from the 2008 campaign.

For Papa Bossy:
Early Travel Photography
The photographs of Burton Holmes, who took incredible travel photos at the beginning of the last century.

For CameraMan:
Audrey Hepburn
CM's favorite.

For myself:
4 Cities
Pocket-sized guides to Paris, New York, London, and Berlin. Why don't I own this already?

Which ones would you put on your wish list?

Sundays in New York: Union Square

The weather in New York the past couple days has been a gift. The city begs to be explored, without a coat, until your feet are aching. I spent a few hours discovering the area around Union Square—I love it! Turns out, Union Square itself is occupied by a holiday market setting up (I'll have to go back once it's open), but there's plenty to see and do nearby.

First stop: Vapiano for lunch. Obviously. It felt like home.

Then a wander through the amazing shopping nearby. The Strand bookstore is one of my favorite places in the world. I could lose a whole day in there.

Nearby is ABC Carpet & Home, which is a giant home store and a great place to get inspired. Also wonderful for buying gifts. I picked up a little something for CM's Christmas stocking. Then on to the Marimekko 5th Avenue flagship store, where I lusted after a navy puffy coat with yellow polka dots (sorry, I can't find it online), but didn't pull the trigger. I did, however, stop by Restoration Hardware to nab a soft cozy blanket for my apartment here. Once the weather remembers it's November, I'll need it.

My day wasn't all shopping, though. There's lots to see outside. The iconic Flatiron building must be photographed as much as possible.

And Madison Square Park is a lovely place to relax. And there's a Shake Shack outpost inside! If I hadn't been full of carbonara I would have been tempted to get a burger.

I finished out my Sunday adventure with a walk around the perimeter of Gramercy Park, which requires a coveted key given only to its neighbors. Oh, to live in a stunning Gramercy townhouse and to have the Park as my backyard...

What adventures have you been on lately? And where shall I go this week?

All photos by LMB, with my iPhone.

I'm still here

Apologies for the radio silence over here. The internet at my apartment has been sketchy at best, due to the hurricane (I'm not complaining—hit or miss internet is the worst I've had to deal with), and I'm getting settled and readjusting to city life. Here's all the news that's fit to print.

I'm ecstatic and so very relieved that the presidential election turned out how it did. PHEW, am I right?

Last night I started a French class at the Alliance Française. Six hours a week for the next five weeks. C'est bon!

Tomorrow is the first day of rehearsal for Don Giovanni with a fabulous cast of singers I don't know. I'm excited AND scared.

I'm missing CM and the kitties so so much. Luckily, CM is coming to visit in two weeks for Thanksgiving! And he's been very good about taking pictures of pretty Lola.

And videos! See below: the closest the cats have come to playing together. Progress.


And how are you all doing? Hope you're having a good week.

Happy weekend!

Well, friends, I'm safe and sound (and dry!) in Manhattan. My flight was smooth and not too crowded (I even snagged an exit row with an empty seat next to me), there was no gridlock on the George Washington Bridge, and my sublet (found on Craigslist—eep!) is quirky and lovely. Phew. This week was stressful and strange. I felt like I was in 2 places at once, and the uncertainty of whether I was actually leaving yesterday drove me crazy. It's good to be here. Back to regular programming next week.

What's on the docket for you this weekend? Any big plans for that extra hour? I'm getting settled, transitioning back into full-time work mode, and planning to patronize some local establishments (lots of businesses have lost huge amounts of money because of the storm).

While I'm settling in, some links for you:

Amazing Sandy photos.

What a sweet idea.

Highly recommend.

This arrived this week. Can't wait to get started!

DIY cat costume.

Here's the Bossy Cat fishing for kittens:

Hope your weekend is filled with exploration, hot cocoa, and POWER! xoxo LMB


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