Nicole In A Nutshell

December 24, 2008

I’d rather be in Bedford Falls, but NYC will do

Filed under: It's All About Me — by Nicole @ 5:50 pm

Yikes! I didn’t realize how long it’s been since my last post. This one isn’t going to be any kind of sequel to “War and Peace” – just a quick shout out to say happy holidays to all. I, the Christmas-obsessed yet 100% secular Jew, will be volunteering at a soup kitchen on the big day, and I hope that you, dear readers, will take some time out for the less fortunate, be it on Christmas Day or otherwise. Do it for the karma, do it for the warm fuzzy feeling, do it for your own personal reasons – just do it. Merry, merry.


December 16, 2008

A thing of beauty

Filed under: bitchin' and moanin' — by Nicole @ 7:30 pm
Sometimes, when it is least expected, something priceless materializes in front of you and there is no real way to truly appreciate it without sharing it with others. Readers, this morning was one of those times.
I was running extremely late for work, which resulted in the rare opportunity to snag a seat on the 4 train. As I settled in on the straggler express and readied my copy of Vanity Fair for perusal, a woman sat down next to me and pulled a paper out of her purse. Because I am both nosy and easily distracted, I peered over to see what she was reading. At that moment, it was as if a beacon of light had shone from the surface of the document, and it was glorious. I felt a tear well up in the corner of my eye (although that could have been easily attributed to the pungent stink of B.O. emanating from the gentleman sitting directly to my right). What was this precious paper, you ask? It was an MTA Employee Disciplinary Action Form.
Though I was not able to fully digest the entire account of this woman’s apparent misdeed, I was able to note that she was in fact a subway worker. It got me thinking about who this woman was and what she might have done to deserve such a reprimand. Perhaps she was one of the helpful laborers who shouts incomprehensible announcements into the station loudspeaker each day. Maybe she was one of the many ambitious booth workers who sleeps through their shift and refuses to dispense MetroCards to weary commuters. Perchance she was a conductor, one of the fearless transport workers who each day drives a train that stops short at every possible occasion, thus lurching already irate passengers into each other, and holding up trains and causing delays whilst instructing trapped and recourse-less riders to “please be patient.” Whomever she was, bitch got written up and I could not have been happier about it.

True, I do not know who this woman was, what her offense might have been, or even if managment’s story was accurate. What I was jazzed about was the fact that somewhere along the line, someone at the MTA thought about accountability for a brief, shining moment. Of course, this isn’t to say that the MTA Board or the higher-ups would ever take responsibility for the shittiness of their operation or the fact that a mere few years after they experienced a massive budget surplus we are once again being faced with service cuts and fare hikes, but it was something. It was a glimmer of hope that maybe someday, in my lifetime or beyond, the powers that be at the MTA will pull their heads out of their collective asses and do things right. I won’t hold my breath.

Stand clear of the closing doors.

December 7, 2008

A hearty mazel tov

Filed under: Sporty Spice — by Nicole @ 10:19 pm

Despite the fact that they screwed the proverbial pooch this afternoon, the Burress-less Giants managed to capture the NFC East today, thanks to the equally shitty play of Dallas (making it that much sweeter). Congrats, fellas. Just one request from your faithful fans: don’t anybody else shoot themselves in the leg. Thx.

December 5, 2008

Get out your tasers…it’s sample sale mania

Filed under: Shopping,Steals and Deals — by Nicole @ 6:51 pm
In these troubled economic times, we are being bombarded with more offers, specials and deals than we have ever seen before. My advice: milk them for all they’re worth! A great way to explore the sales is to bring along a personal shopper who can throw elbows on your behalf and dig for the best deals at the stores you love. As always, my services are available and you should feel free to contact me if you are interested in letting someone else do the dirty work.

Below you will find an aggregate list of NYC sample sales sorted by date. Don’t blame me if you go broke…I’m just the messenger:

· Virtual sale: Farantino Designer Handbags (40% off Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana…)
Call 866.890.1241 for invitation access code
· Dec. 6 – Dec. 7: Catherine Holstein (90% off retail prices)
213 W 35th St (bw/ 7th and 8th Ave), 7th Floor
Sat, 10am – 6pm; Sun, noon – 6pm
· Dec. 7 – Dec. 11: Frette (up to 80% off bed, bath, accessories…)
Soiffer Haskin – 317 W 33rd St (just west of 8th Ave)
Sun – Wed, 9am – 6:30pm; Thurs, 9am – 5pm
· Dec. 8 – Dec. 10: Edite Showroom (dresses and bags start at $50)
134 W 29th St (b/w 6th and 7th Ave), Studio 709
10am – 7pm daily
· Dec. 8 – Dec. 11: Alice + Olivia
261 W 36th St (b/w 7th and 8th Ave), 2nd Floor
Mon/Wed, 10am – 6pm; Tues/Thurs, 10am – 7pm
· Dec. 8 – Dec. 12: Minnie Rose (50-80% off cashmere)
264 W 40th St (b/w 7th and 8th Ave), 15th Floor
10am – 6pm daily
· Dec. 8 – Dec. 12: Vivienne Westwood
Scatola Showroom – 544 W 27th St (b/w 7th and 8th Ave), 6th Floor
10am – 8pm daily
212.371.2777 ext. 326
· Dec. 8 – Dec. 12: Prairie New York
250 W 39th St (b/w 7th and 8th Ave), Suite 404
11am – 7pm daily
· Dec. 9 – Dec. 11: Lauren Merkin (up to 70% off bags, clutches…)
231 W 29th St (b/w 7th & 8th Ave), Suite 201
11am – 7pm daily
· Dec. 9 – Dec. 13: Diane Von Furstenberg
260 Fifth Ave (b/w 28th and 29th St)
Tues, 9am – 6:30pm
Wed, 9am – 8pm
Thurs, 9am – 7pm
Fri, 9am – 5:30pm
Sat, 9am – 3pm
· Dec. 10 – Dec. 11: The Globe Showroom
263 W 38th St (b/w 7th and 8th Ave)
Noon – 7pm daily
· Dec. 10 – Dec. 12: Catherine Malandrino (up to 75% off)
145 W 18th St (b/w 6th and 7th Ave)
Wed, 8am – 8pm; Thurs/Fri, 10am – 8pm
· Dec. 10 – Dec. 12: Furla Handbags and Shoes (first ever sample sale)
552 7th Ave (b/w 39th and 40th St), 5th Floor
10am – 6:30pm daily
· Dec. 10 – Dec. 12: By Francine
231 W 39th St (b/w 7th and 8th Ave), Room 602
Wed/Thurs, 10am – 6pm, Fri, 10am – 7pm
· Dec. 11 – 12: Nanette Lepore (50% and more on dresses, pants, shoes…)
225 W 35th St (near 7th Ave), 9th Floor
9am – 6pm daily
· Dec. 11 – Dec. 12: Proenza Schouler
120 Walker Street (b/w Centre and Baxter St), 6th Floor
9am – 6pm daily
· Dec. 11 – Dec. 13: Alexander Wang
386 Broadway (b/w Walker and White St), 6th Floor
Thurs, 3pm – 7pm; Fri/Sat, 10am – 7pm
· Dec. 11 – Dec. 13: Iisli
25 Bond St (b/w Bowery and Lafayette St)
11am – 8pm daily
· Dec. 11 – Dec. 13: Julie Haus and VPL
39 W 38th St (b/w 5th and 6th Ave)
11am – 7pm daily
· Dec. 13 ONLY: Vera Wang Bridal and Bridesmaids
New Yorker Hotel – 481 8th Ave (corner of 34th St)
9am – 5pm
· Dec. 13 – Dec. 17: TSE (up to 80% off cashmere)
Soiffer Haskin – 317 W 33rd St (just west of 8th Ave)
9am – 7pm daily
· Dec. 17 – Dec. 21: Tory Burch
261 W 36th St (b/w 7th and 8th Ave), 2nd Floor
Wed/Thurs, 10am – 7pm; Fri, 10am – 6pm; Sat/Sun, 11am – 5pm
· Dec. 19 – Dec. 21: Carolina Herrera
Soiffer Haskin – 317 W 33rd St (just west of 8th Ave)
9am – 6:30pm daily

N.B.: There is some false information going around about a whole bunch of sales, including many of the ones listed above. I diligently checked each one before posting it so that I could pass on accurate information, and I did not post any sales that I could not verify. If you have received e-mail forwards alerting you to a whole mess of sales, you might want to cross check them with those listed above, as well as with the following info that I got from companies that were listed in e-mails but aren’t even having sample sales. Behold:

· Balenciaga: NEVER has sample sales. Their ready-to-wear and shoes are 40% off through the holidays, but their fabulous Motorcycle bag is not now nor will it be on sale.

· Blue and Cream: Both locations are on sale through the holidays – no sample sale.

· Stella McCartney: 40% off fall and winter merchandise through Jan. 31 – no sample sale.

A note of caution for you sample sale rookies: stay sharp. I will never forget the time that I took a possibly misdirected upper cut to the face over a bag at a Kate Spade sample sale. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to buy the bag, but as I came up from the swarm of people that descended upon the box from which the items were being unpacked and took a shot to the mug, I decided that no matter what, I would need to purchase the bag just so that the C-U-Next-Tuesday who had popped me didn’t get her overly aggressive hands on it. So sample sale-ing virgins beware: it’s a jungle out there. Kill or be killed. Happy shopping!

December 3, 2008

Hot damn, it’s Christmastime!

Filed under: Shopping,Steals and Deals — by Nicole @ 6:32 pm
Hope everyone had an enjoyable, if not boozy Thanksgiving. Now it’s time for the real fun to begin! The Christmas season need not be filled with fatal Black Friday-type stampedes (one more example of the pure evil that is Wal-Mart), but the stress does pile on, leading many to lose their ever-lovin’ minds. If I may, I’d like to share with you some tips for getting through this holiday season. Behold:
  • When on a long, crowded line and in a hurry, spontaneously develop a loud and obnoxious coughing fit and direct it to the person in front of you. Perhaps they’ll let you go ahead of them, or even leave the line in disgust. Either way, you’re movin’ on up! Repeat as necessary until you make your way through the line and have completed your transaction.
  • Load some calming, soothing music on your iPod. Serenity now. You’ll thank me later.
  • Keep the iPod on whilst shopping. It makes the unwashed masses so much easier to avoid, particularly over-aggressive salespeople and merciless perfume/cologne sprayers. The bonus: if you aren’t partial to Christmas music, you’ll be able to easily drown out the holiday classics that repeat on a continuous loop throughout each store.
  • Bring that iPod along with you to the family festivities. It’ll come in handy when asked to perform manual labor, menial tasks, and requests to listen to the same goddamn stories over and over again.
  • Drink heavily. Prepare a cocktail in an opaque beverage bottle (I like the Sigg stainless steel model) whenever you leave the house. It really takes the edge off when dealing with maddening crowds and moronic tourists.
  • Smile. It provides for a cheery facade while your internal monologue repeatedly tells pushy shoppers and sidewalk cloggers to go fuck themselves. (N.B. The drinking will help with this one.)
  • If you detest shopping completely (sacrilege!) or simply want to do some good, consider making donations to your pet causes in lieu of gifts. Just be sure not to pull a George Costanza…make sure your charity actually exists.
  • If you simply can’t bear the crowds, shop online. It’s a great way to procrastinate at work (just don’t let your boss catch you), and you can bang out most, if not all of your gifting without getting out of your seat. Here’s a website that constantly offers sales on designer goods (free membership required):
  • Be sure to get gift receipts. If people don’t like what you got them, fuck ’em. Those bitches can go stand on the endless return line themselves.
  • Ready yourself with emergency supplies to be kept on hand at all times. I recommend Valium.
Most importantly, enjoy the season. When you look past the frenzied nature of life until after the New Year, it’s really a pretty time to be out and about. Lights are twinkling, bells are jingling, and life is good. Soak it in – it’ll be grey and slushy soon enough.

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