Category Archives: Culture

The Met: Beyond Fashion


I headed to the Metropolitan Museum to check out the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit, which has since ended. Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl said it best: “Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It is movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.”

{Shameless Plug: I recently created a Gossip Girl Instagram account; please follow me @gossipgirlsparkles}


Charles James is a “British-born fashion designer known as ‘America’s First Couturier.’ He is widely considered to have been a master of cutting and is known for his highly structured aesthetic.” Which can definitely evident in the examples of his work below.



We had to go through back to the main floor and through quite a few rooms to find the last part of the fashion exhibit, but it was worth it to see the truly gorgeous dresses on display. This one may well be my favorite: Elegant, exquisite and unique. I love the sweetheart neckline, the flattering shape, the white satiny backdrop and that black & white pattern at the waist, down the back coming back around in the front and the way the gown fans out.


This was my other favorite: Deeply romantic and sweetly classic.  Once again the sweetheart neckline, the ruching, the pale pink/plum color, the luxurious material and tulle skirt.


My next favorite was this amazing geometric feat of beauty. Truly stylish, graceful, polished and refined. The material shined bright, the cut is simple but perfect and the black velvet swirl dances in front of you.


Photo Credit: @metmuseum Instagram

Then there was this little number: Regal and sexy at the same time. Beautiful deep red color, velvety top with satin draped skirt and white tulle.

metfashion_dress3“Charles James: Beyond Fashion” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was one of the best exhibits I’ve ever been to at any museum and I was so happy to catch it while it was there.



Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Fashion

Screenings at the Academy Theater


I’m not a member of the Academy, but I sure felt like one when I attended two screenings last week at the Academy Theater (that’s right, the official theater for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences!) There’s even a life-size statue of Oscar, the Academy Award! (Pictured above).

The first screening was for Obvious Child (aired at Sundance Film Festival) and the other screening was Third Person (aired at Tribeca Film Festival).

AcademyTheater_Obvious Child

Obvious Child tells the story of a female comedian who becomes pregnant after a one night stand. It starts off kind of raunchy and raw but I grew to love the main character, Donna Sterns played by Jenny Slate. The film was watchable, real, brave, laugh-out-loud hilarious and tells this age-old story in a different and matter-of-fact narrative rarely seen on screen. The question was not whether Donna would have an abortion; it was about whether she would open her heart and be vulnerable to those she loves, as well as those who want to love her.

I truly adored Max’s character played by Jake Lacey. He was both sexy and sweet, the type of guy I would want to be with. Then there was Nellie, Donna’s outspoken best female friend played by Gaby Hoffmann. She was perfect as the best friend: Supportive, loving and always there when needed. And then there’s the gay best friend, Joey played by Gabe Liedman who was wonderful and fun. Donna’s relationship with her parents (who are separated) is complicated and deeply real. She has a closer relationship with her father (played by Richard Kind) who is warm and fun loving, while her mother (played by Polly Draper) is a little more distant and seemingly judgmental. This perception of the mother is changed during a key moment in the film, which I will let you discover for yourself…

Without revealing too much, the ending of Obvious Child is beautiful and speaks toward new beginnings.

AcademyTheater_Third Person

Third Person is romance psychological thriller drama with an excellent ensemble cast: Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Kim Basinger, Adrien Brody. The basic premise is that there are three couples living in Paris, Rome and New York City and have interlocking stories. The film is compelling, intense, extremely well acted and really pulls you in as more and more is revealed about the lives of each couple. There is a fair share of heartbreak and pain within the stories, as well as shocking revelations.

In Paris, Michael, a married writer played by Liam Neeson and a Anna, single woman played by Olivia Wilde sadistically toy with one another. Michael is moody and dark, while Olivia is gorgeous, sexy-crazy and a breath of fresh air. After learning about a different relationship she has, the audience begins to see the motivations behind her actions. Then there is Sean, a corporate thief played by Adrien Brody in Rome who meets a beautiful gypsy woman who may or may not be lying about her situation to steal his money… Lastly, in New York, we have a Julia, a mother who is estranged from her young son and Rick, the father who has both moved on and has custody of the son, played by Mila Kunis and James Franco, respectively. Julia is unreliable, emotional and constantly late, making it look like she doesn’t care, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

At the end, the parallels between the three stories become evident and the climactic scene is quite a whirlwind. You’re also left thinking about the film and trying to piece it all together.

I had a great experience viewing Obvious Child and Third Person at The Academy Theater. Both are now playing in theaters, so check them out!


Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Fun

Fleet Week 2014


Happy to report that Fleet Week was back this year! It was smaller than other years, but still had a great time, as you can surmise from meeting Marines and sailors in the Meatpacking District (above), as well as Coast Guards in Herald Square (below).


I also took a tour of the USS Oak Hill at Pier 92. My friend and I had a fun time climbing on top of the machinery, chatting with Marines on duty.


Then we went on the outside deck to see the planes and a gorgeous view of the water and NYC. We also took some shots with sailors, Navy officers and pilots.


Even though this comes late, I want to salute these men who are bravely fighting for our country and wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day!

fleetweek_memorialday 2014

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Fun

World’s Fair Festival

Last weekend I spent the day at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, home of the original Unisphere (above), for the World’s Fair Festival. We started off getting our ticket to go inside the New York State Pavilion, as well as the Queens Museum. As we were walking from place to place, we came across a display of awesome cars such as the original Batmobile that I am posing with below!

Then we headed to the New York State Pavilion, which is an open-air pavilion that was used  “for local art and industry displays including a 26-foot scale reproduction of the New York State Power Authority’s St. Lawrence hydroelectric plant, comprised a 9,000-square-foot terrazzo replica of the official Texico highway map of New York State, displaying the map’s cities, towns, routes and Texaco gas stations in 567 mosaic panels.”














After touring the New York State Pavilion, we headed to the Queens Museum, where they had the original poster of the New York World’s Fair 1965.


There was also a panorama of all 5 boroughs of New York City. It was pretty cool to see the entire city laid out like that! We spotted some of the iconic landmarks, and even a little plane that flew out of LaGuardia Airport.


After that, we went to one of the food vendors then listened to a Beatles tribute band then enjoyed some classical (live) orchestra music while sitting on the lawn, chatting it up in good company. I even got a cute hot pink (what other color would I choose?) light up Minnie Mouse ears!


After the band finished, we were privy to a spectacular, gorgeous, colorful display of dazzling glittering fireworks that rivaled any that I’ve seen before. It was amazing to see the fireworks so close up and a beautiful ending to a fun-filled day.

On the way out, we got the see the Unisphere in full splendor with the fountains turned on!


Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Fun

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding

Photos by Marlisa Douglas

Photos by Marlisa Douglas

I recently received complimentary tickets to Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, the longest running interactive Off-Broadway experience in New York City. While being seated for the wedding ceremony, I spoke with Johnny (Tony’s brother), who remembered me as the smart girl in high school that he used to cheat off of, so we had a good laugh about that. We are also introduced to the loud-mouthed Italian families taking part in the wedding, including the crazy brothers and cousins, aunts and the hilarious grandmother. (Pictured below)


Tina walked down the aisle toward the stage and looked beautiful in her billowy beautiful wedding dress!


The ceremony was lovely, starting off with Sister Albert Maria singing a religious song and getting the whole audience to join her. One of Tina’s bridesmaids and her maid of honor read from the Bible (the well known love passage from 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 and a scripture about marriage). There was also the ceremonial lighting of candles and vows being exchanged between Tony and Tina.


After the ceremony, we all headed to Guy’s American Kitchen for the reception. My friend and I sat at the Sinatra table.


Upon arrival, I saw the lovely & pristine layered white wedding cake…


Dinner was provided… We had bread, which was just your run of the mill soft bread. Then came large vegetarian dumplings with soy sauce, served on a bed of purple lettuce and vinaigrette. The dumplings were pretty tasty, but there was only enough for one each. I would’ve liked to have another one. A bit later, we went to the buffet for our entree, which was salad, pasta with vegetables and tomato sauce. I enjoyed the vegetables the most– They were fresh and flavorful but the rest of the meal was mediocre.


Then there was cake… Even though it was a small piece, I really enjoyed it. It was light, fluffy, not too sweet and tasted delicious!


Also at the reception, we met Danny Dulce the wedding singer. Danny really knew which songs to perform and my friend & I had a great time dancing to the tunes. We got to see a extravagant Champagne Walk and then the drama continued as the bride, groom and all parties got drunker as the night wore on… Tony & others from the wedding party taking their shirts off, ex lovers getting back together, Conga line, the bouquet/garter toss and more!  There was also a fight between Tina and her pregnant maid of honor (as well as best friend) and later, between Tony and his brother, Johnny. Tony later told me not to encourage his little brother!

I had such a wonderful time at Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding and found it to be an original, creative and incredibly entertaining immersion experience — You really feel like you are a part of the wedding!


Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School,
120 West 46th St.
Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar (Downstairs)
220 W 44th St
New York, NY

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Food, Fun

Night at the Museum of the Moving Image

I finally had a chance to visit the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. It is free on Friday nights from 4-8pm. When first walking into the lobby, there’s a huge wall of moving images from famous movies & television shows, titled “The Reaction GIF – Moving Image as Gestures,” with cleverly worded tags about each. It featured key scenes from The Muppets, Liar Liar, Tina Fey, Oprah, Dawson’s Creek and many more.

Beyond the wall, there is a lovely snow white café area and outdoor courtyard (closed for the season) with a minimalist and simplistic beauty.

The second level boasts a large screen that shows scenes from older films and previews from newer movies. Then a wall full of gorgeous black and white head shots of classic actors and actresses. The lighting and level of photography for each image was superb.

Next, there was a section featuring costumes and outfits from famous movies, which brought back memories of each movie. There were also famous masks, displays of makeup, horror movie memorabilia from actual movie sets.
There were also set models for different scenes and specific movies. Below, is the adorable set model for the Muppets Take Manhattan!

Toward the back there was a huge old-time movie theater area (named Tut’s Fever) with lovely sights and colorful statues, as well as a little (slightly scary) surprise in the dark hallway…

After that we headed upstairs where there was a dark room with spotlights of light in varying flashes and frequencies, brightening and dimming. This was both touching and powerful, called Last Day in the Beginning of March, “a rhythmic narrative—chronicling the last day of the life of the artist’s brother. Each of the 26 light bulbs suspended from the ceiling is connected to an electronic circuit containing a fictionalized, digital ‘memory’ of a specific event.”

One of my favorite exhibits was this gorgeous set of bright glittering lights that have the appearance of people walking by as you walk further away from it.

Another favorite was this huge black and white clock that has a camera connected to it so that when you are in front of the clock, you can see a photograph of yourself within the clock.

I also loved an interactive exhibit that allows you to record a 5 second video of yourself that can then be turned into your own personal flip book. For my video, I blew a kiss, did an awesome spin (getting some great hair in the wind look) and ended with a hair flip. The customized flip book is around $11.

Me in front of the white screen:

After that, we stopped by one of the rooms to record our voice so we could hear it played in a popular movie. I chose Dorothy in “Wizard of Oz.” It was a lot of fun and I actually sounded like the actual Dorothy!

Then we saw a whole display of old-style TV sets, bathed in cool purple light.

There was also a set of 6 mini TV’s projects your image onto the screen and starts off clear then fades out slowly on each subsequent television screen.

Overall exploring the Museum of the Moving Image was a wonderful, interactive and fun experience. I would definitely recommend checking this place out!


Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Ave
Astoria, NY

1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Fun

Chinese New Year Parade at AC

This past weekend, I walked in the Chinese New Year Parade in Atlantic City with some great friends- Some I already knew and many I just met with the group,  Asian in NY. We each were given a special costume to wear during the parade. Mine was a lovely shiny orange color with gold brocading and flower design detailing.


There were also bigger Victorian style dresses that I absolutely loved. My favorite is the white one with pale shimmery pink satin and gold accents.

Victorian dresses

We finally got into formation for the parade and got to stand on one of the floats. It was pretty awesome to be up high and see everything from that vantage point.


However, only a certain number of people were allowed to be on the float, so we had to walk the rest of the parade. It turned out to be not so bad- It had started to snow gently, which was better than last year when it rained.  We walked on the boardwalk and then through a couple casinos. I had a wonderful time waving to spectators and fans, and enjoyed having my picture snapped and getting cheered or clapped on. The parade ended at Bally’s and we got to see an amazing lion dance performance.

After that, we were all very hungry so was happy to indulge in a free buffet lunch. There were chicken wings, veal, sausage, mashed potato, pastas, chow mien, pork dumplings, vegetable stir fry and more. The food itself was mediocre at best, but we couldn’t really complain… After all, it was free!

DSCN6970When we were finished eating, we headed to Caesar’s Ballroom to pick up our free gift. They were cute little tea cup with a top and spoon with sweet adorable designs.


We spent some time shopping at Caesar’s Outlets after that and even got to see part of the water fountain show.

It had such a lovely time with everyone: Great costumes, good conversations, much laughter,  fun times, lasting memories…


Filed under Culture, Fashion, Food, Fun