Monday, January 6, 2014

New York Thaws Out of the Frigid Frost (c) By Polly Guerin

As New York thaws out from the frigid frost new cultural venues burst forth into the New Year with venues to warm one’s interest in museum openings, fashion and new restaurant launches. Only in New York, my friends, the best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!

METROPOLITAN VANITIES: The History of the Dressing Table --“Malady won’t you please be seated.” Few pieces of furniture have revealed more about leisure pursuits, popular taste, and changing social customs than the dressing table, or vanity and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition provides a tantalizing overview of the origins and development of the dressing table from antiquity to the present day. Some 50 related objects, paintings, and drawings inform and animate much of the dressing table’s lengthy design history and showcases many of the objects associated with the toilette. One of the finest examples of a table artfully engineered is the Mechanical Table (1761-63) which moves forward to reveal the vanity mirror and additional compartments and don’t miss Bel Geddes’ enamel and chrome-plated steel dressing table (1932) a model of the streamlined chic and sophisticated style of the Art Deco era Also on note is Raymond Loewy’s (1969) modern molded –plastic valet dressing table. Exhibition through April 13, 2014. Pictured here: Le Bonheur du Jour; ou, Les Graces a la Mode by George Barbier (1882-1932). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

COMME DES GARCON It’s time to check out CDG. For the first time since it opened on West 22nd Street in 1999, Rei Kawakubo has renovated the Chelsea store, recasting the former black-and-white fixtures and curving, sculptural partitions in gold, because Kei believes people gravitate toward gold. Perhaps the biggest, Comme des Carcon news is happening at the Dover Street Market, CDG’s ultimate cool multibrand store located at 160 Lexington Avenue in the heart of streets that seemingly belong to the not so fashionable area called, ‘Little India.’ Yes, it’s worth a visit to see the wild synergy of the place which showcases all 15 of CDG’s collections, plus other top lines including megabrands Louis Vuitton and Prada. A complete floor-to-ceiling view of the store can be had by riding the glass elevator in the middle of the store.

GOOD EATS, THE EMPIRE RETURNS New Yorker’s favorite hangout, the Empire Diner, located on the corner of 22nd Street and Tenth Avenue is another comeback venue. The thirties-era diner with its stainless steel doors opens under the management of executive chef Amanda Freitag who you may recognize from her frequent appearances on the Food Network. Freitag and her partners are trying to re-create the magic of the Empire Diner’s past but for now, the diner will just be open for dinner with plans in the future to be a 24 hour a day restaurant. It will still carry some of those nostalgic diner favorites: omelets, pancakes and milkshakes while higher end meals might include steak and gravlax with caviar. Visit

CHAMBERS FINE ART presents Guanshan Gathering: collaboration between the influential scholar, curator and artist Zheng Shengtian and the highly regarded calligrapher Wang Dongling. For Guanshan Gathering, there will be a calligraphy performance during the opening reception. Zheng has changed the parameters of his analysis of the relationship between mark and meaning by choosing Zong Bing’s fifth-century classic introduction to Landscape Painting as text, and a celebrated contemporary calligrapher, Wang Dongling as executant. Chambers Fine Art is located at 522 West 19th Street. The exhibition opens on Jan 9, 6-8 pm.

Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m visiting my favorite dressing table a la Pompadour. Fan mail welcome at Visit and on the home page in the left hand column clink on the links to access my Blogs on fashion, health, visionary men and amazing women.

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