Archive for August, 2007

Paris: Your Nightlife Cheat Sheet

Ahh… Paris.
It’s one of those places where you simply need to know someone. So when a talent agent at CAA asked me what to do in Paris (at a moment’s notice, of course… he was already there), I needed to work fast. I thanked my lucky stars I knew Micaela Nevarez, Guest Guru/Resident Actress. She’s married to a sexy Frenchie and has been living in Paris for years.

Did I mention she’s gorgeous and talented? Last year, she won the Best New Actress Goya (The Spanish Oscar) for her performance in Princesas.

So straight from a hip hottie’s mouth, here’s your cheat sheet to Parisian nightlife.

A Hot Actress in Paris Says Go To:

Chai 33 33, Passage Saint-Emilion – 75012 – Paris 9
Pinxo (Paris)Rue d’Alger – 75001
La Maison Blanche (Paris) Paris15, Avenue Montaigne – 75008
Wa 8, Rue Coquillière – 75001 – Paris
Buddha Bar 8, Rue Boissy d’Anglas – 75008
Le Comptoir (Paris)37, Rue Berger – 75001
Barrio Latino (Paris)46-48, Rue du Fbg Saint-Antoine – 75012
Market (Paris)15, Avenue Matignon – 75008
Kong (Paris)1, Rue du Pont Neuf – 75001
Le Georges – au Centre G. Pompidou (Paris)19, Rue Beaubourg -75004
Publicis Drugstore (Paris)133, Avenue des Champs Elysées – 75008
La Gare (Paris) 19, Chaussée de la Muette – 75016
Mood 114 , Avenue des Champs Elysées, 75008
Le Brebant 32, Boulevard Poissonnière, 75009

Still not satisfied? Here are a few more ideas from some locals.

Rival, Plaza, Georges V, the terrace of Francis…

Le Neo
A very hard door, but supposed to be hot.
23 Rue de Ponthieu

Baron – Thurs. Nights
Think ‘Parisian meat market.’

Murano Urban Resort
13 Boulevard du Temple 75003
A design hotel with a 20-yard bar dedicated to vodka… and beautiful people. So hip, it hurts.

An ice bar in the 18th, apparently, you pay by the half hour as you can’t stand the cold much longer than that.

Avenue George V
Really nice bar, good low lights, restaurant downstairs. Micaela says, “Completely fabulous.”

Renoma Cafe Gallery
32 Avenue George V (75008)
Tel : 01 47 20 46 19.

Fun nightclub

Le Café du Commerce
One of the oldest Traditional French bistros and the perfect spot for drinks.

Le Marais area
Lunch at Chez Janou (Rue des Tournelles), then walk to Place des Vosges for coffee and check out the art galleries. Great restaurants, good times.

Cafe Marly
Cool for a drink and people watching, as is Bar du Marche in St Germain at the corner of Rue de Buci and Rue de Seine.

In St Germain, you can also dine at Fish Boissonnerie. I’ve heard it’s quite good eats with a lovely selection of wines.

Don’t thank me now. Thank me when Pierre spies you at the bar and moves in two weeks later.

(I know… Pierre looked better last night)

Carry It On: The Titan X2

Oh man… I was supposed to wait to tell you guys about this one, but I can’t wait any longer.

A few days ago, I was pitched a piece of luggage called ‘THE TITAN.’ I think, “Ballsy name.” Then I see a photo and think, “Sexy good looks too?” And you know me. If it’s ballsy with sexy good looks, I’m gonna get me one!

Somewhere between Swiss Army sleek and Stefani chic… is the Titan X2.

But first, I want to know this: What’s up with all this great German luggage? Seems those engineering masters have the market covered. Well, works for them, works for me.

It says ‘Yellow’ on the website, but trust me, it’s Orange.
Those cooky Germans! Maybe they’re color blind.
What do I care? I’m about to make a statement.
The best part? It’s made of super light polycarbonate,
handles corners like a champ, comes with it’s own removable dob kit,
and has a “No Matter What” lifetime guarantee.

So, this is what you need to roll in style with me. I’d snatch up the X2 Flash International Carry-on and the Trolley, or the Red (or Pink) 360 series. The Xenon was also named “the best hardcase trolley” by German consumer magazines so you really can’t go wrong with any of ’em. I have the Orange aka. ‘Yellow’ International Carry-on and it’s cute as hell, but it may not be big enough for the likes of you.

Me? I know how to travel light.
(And I hate checking bags)

PS. Wouldn’t you know…
Stefani’s sporting a set in Green.

Hollaback Girl.

(I can’t believe I just said that)

Retails anywhere from $420-$725

Carry It On: The Sonya Dakar Jet Set

Listen here. If I have to throw out one more bottle of fancy product because it’s two squirts more than 3/4 of an ounce or get out of line at security to buy some silly plastic bag to hold my liquids…

I’m ‘a gonna scream!

So I’m leaving for Singapore and Thailand in a week. Guess what I need to get MY little paws on?

The Sonya Dakar JET SET.

I’ve known Dakar and her family for years. They’re good peeps. Tough, and kind. Warm, and honest. Her whole family runs the business, one that was once conducted out of a spare bedroom in her home. She says always knew she wanted to solve skin care woes. Later, after she married her loving husband, they had kids. Her four children stirred pots of skin cream in the kitchen while her husband searched Madagascar to the Maldives for every root, twig, and remedy that could calm and cure unruly skin. Now they’re living La Vida Splendida in a fancy schmancy building in Beverly Hills.

You gotta love the American Dream.
Better yet, just love Sonya Dakar.

Here’s one difference between Dakar and other Skin Care Specialists around town. She’s Israeli. That means she practically went to Medical School so that she could do facials in the homeland. She’s bottom line, fast, gives obvious results, asks you a question or two about your long distance love, and she’ll never, ever leave you scarless. I still haven’t figured out how. Ancient secrets from the Exodus? Herbal remedies from the Holy Land? Who cares?! She gives THE MOST EFFECTIVE FACIAL I’ve ever had and there are pictures to prove it. Me, looking like Britney Spears after a fast food bender, weeks later transformed into Jessica Alba after hair and make-up. But no amount of money in the world would let you see my ‘Before’ photos. Sonya’s got ’em under lock and key. So when the best Hollywood dermatologists could do NOTHING for my skin, she was the only one.

She and her products are so good, in fact, that I haven’t seen her in about a year, which is exactly why… I need to travel with them. Lucky for me, she’s just created the Sonya Dakar JET SET, a perfect travel companion with just enough of each product (about ¾ of an ounce) to last on your two week jaunts to Africa, Greece, or Singapore and Thailand (hint, hint). It includes the three basics of your regimen – facial wash, anti-oxidant primer and ultra-light moisturizer – in a satin travel case with a waterproof compartment and room for whatever else travels 3000+ miles with you. She’s even created three sets geared to each major skin type – dry, normal, oily. Fortified with the natural extracts like Frankincense, Geranium and Rosewood, the JET SET retails for $72.00.

But can you really put a price on after-flight glow?

It’s available in August via phone: at 877-72-SONYA

A Flair Necessity: Get Frocked

Look, I’m gonna let you in on a secret. Sometimes we don’t always want to write about our favorite things because then every Tom, Dick, and Harry from Sunset Boulevard to the Southland will have them, but I’m a writer so I’m stuck.

I’m forced to cough up the goods.

Ehhm… Leona Edmiston, one of Australia’s leading fashion designers.

Ugh. Sometimes it hurts, but she’ll frock you just right. Whether you want to feel like a sexy secretary from the 40’s, an English Rose, or an Assassin. And travelling in Leona… mama mia! Not only will you feel like a million bucks, but these dresses pack so well that there’s no need to ever iron or dry clean. It’s amazing. Such a good find, in fact, that after I hit ‘Publish’, I’m running to Sunset Blvd. to get good and frocked.

So get outta my way.

That’s right… Frock You.

PS. Did I also mention they serve Australian licorice and frocktails?
Frocks retail for anywhere from $250-$600

A Flair Necessity: The GalPal

So here’s a little ditty for you.

Last year, I took a trip to my favorite travel store in LA, Flight 001, before heading to Argentina for three months. I bought a few small things; a selection of travel sized candles (loved ‘em!) and a corny beige passport holder that goes around the neck… just in case. I know what you’re thinking ‘Those are the MOST hideous things ever… and sooooo 1994,’ but I didn’t know what I might get myself into… traveling south of the equator all by my lonesome. Well, it WAS ugly and broke even before it was worn. On top of that, it was completely useless as I flailed around on the dance floor at a gay bar somewhere near El Obelisco. In retrospect, I wish a friend of mine had versed me in on a perfect little gem for the party-going traveler who just wants to ‘ditch the muthaf$@in purse.’ Designed as an alternative to carrying a purse, The GalPal is ‘IT’ for a night on the town or travel. Keep in mind, you can’t wear it with dresses or skirts, but you can wear it with jeans and pants. Attach it around the ankle, imagine you’re Lara Croft or Lotta Loves A lot from some future Bond flick, and discretely stash your necessities (lipstick, condom, credit cards, infrared scanning device, cell phone) in its handy compartments. Perfect for traveling through airports when you want to have your ID, phone, and keys handy, it’s also great for outdoorsy types who want to be hands-free of keys or a phone.

So do me a favor…. ditch the muthaf$@ckin purse.

(And Love… A Lot)

Available in an array of colors, the GalPal retails for $22.95.

Sea Farers: Dream Big For 2010

It’s a view we all love to dream about.
But I’ll say it this once and I may say it again.
Life just ain’t fair.
How do I know this?

Children around the world are starving, we’re depleting our resources at a rapid rate, and there are more homeless people in the City of Los Angeles than in NYC and San Fran combined (over 90,000 and counting). And… just as Lindsay and Britney spend thousands cycling around Promises, we still haven’t solved a little problem like what to do with them; mainly located on Skid Row, just right down the street from brand new multi-million dollar lofts. That said, what’s a hardworking, luxury-loving, earth-conscious person suppposed to do? Should Angie and Brad sell their private jet because it’s a waste of fuel? Should Angie stop using her Louis Vuitton handbag because in World War II a sign at the entrance in Paris read “No dogs. No Jews.”? Should Maddox be forced to go to public school like everyone else?

Tough questions, I know, especially if you like Angie’s renegade spirit like I do, but where do we draw the line between consumerism, the art of living well, and poverty? Are we supposed to abandon our love of luxury altogether and devote ourselves entirely to a worthwhile cause?


I’ll tell you this much. It’s a lot to wrap MY curly head around.
So I’m saying this:

Dream big.
‘How big?’ you ask.
How about a 48,600-ton 719-foot ocean vessel fit for a king?

Or, you, the soon-to-be mini-mogul/philanthropist.

All you need?
$5 million dollars (after taxes) by 2010.
Let me tell you what that’ll get you.
A twist on luxury home ownership combined with sea faring world travel.

Blending the best of oceanfront living with an ever-changing array of global travel and the renowned amenities of the world’s leading luxury hotel company, The Four Seasons Ocean Residences are scheduled for delivery in 2010. Offering a fully-private, international residential community of 112 wholly-owned private residences.

During the first two years of the vessel’s life, you’ll go to:

The Amazon
The 2012 Olympics
The British Open
Rio Carnival
Monaco’s Grand Prix

1, 2, 3 or 4 bedroom apartments include single story, duplexes, triplexes and penthouses, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, living room areas with sea views, master bedroom suites, ensuite bathrooms, expansive terraces, walk-in closets, gourmet kitchens and a private entrance for staff.

That’s right… STAFF!

There’s also a Four Seasons Spa and fitness facility, European-styled promenade with high-end retailers, a gourmet market, a state-of-the-art business center with video conferencing services, a wine cellar, helipad, putting greens, driving range, and marina facility that will provide residents with ship-to-shore service, SCUBA expeditions, and a launch for jet skis and sailboats.

So how much is such extravagance in an ever-changing location?
(And who the hell can afford it??)

Anywhere from $3.8 million for a 1 bedroom to $30 million for a 4-bedroom triplex penthouse.

Still conflicted about all those homeless?

You should be.
Because if you make that $5 million dollars in the next three years, you can not only grab your very own uber-luxury Four Seasons Ocean Residence, but you can also donate the 1.2 million remaining to the residents of Skid Row in the lovely City of Angels.

PS. While you’re at it… make sure you fill me in on just how you made that kinda dough.

Italians: A Short Reference Guide

There they are.
In all their Italian glory.
You want to know more about this curious animal, don’t you?

Good, because this just in from my favorite LA-based Italian. Guest Blogger/Artist,
Michele Castagnetti.

So why are the Italians so obsessed about il caffe?

While Americans see it as merely a good addictive beverage with awakening, productive qualities, the Italians will talk about it for hours, especially when abroad and dissatisfied. The Italian espresso is not more than a quarter of a sip but its as powerful as two cups of the American. Personally, I don’t have enough quantity to really taste it. And when looking at suited Milanesi handling the tiny cups and rotating the little spoons for minutes, I can see they could use a longer experience as well. They have opened up to an Americano version, which is a bit longer but they still look at you strangely when you ask for a cappuccino and its not morning.

It used to be unorthodox, I remember, to wear a watch on ones right wrist as if it really mattered. Wearing short socks when not in sporting gear is still considered the worst of style infringements. Every season there is a trend/brand that every single Italian has to have to feel with it, like the Burberry scarf. They were addicted to Lacoste products for years and they would always carefully examine the label of your collar to check the authenticity. During the Paninari era in the eighties the standard look of the young urban Italian was: Montclair bubble jacket, Timberland shoes (carefully dirtied from day one with different techniques that they would discuss very seriously), Burberry socks, lots of hair-gel and Levis 501 (the Tatiana Patitz commercial made everybody fall in love.)

One sad year, a polo shirt by Best & Company became the must have. I could go on, but it isn’t really worth it.

The obsession of ‘what kind of car do you drive?’ reaches levels so high that before considering a certain vehicle, prospective buyers would picture a hot model asking the question in a club and they would repeat the brand to see if it sounded cool enough. The Harley Davidson trend invaded Italy only in the late nineties. Obviously, being such obsessive trend followers, owning the bike was just the beginning. They watched all the motorcycle movies as a style reference. They got the tattoo, the leather, the boots, the belt, the lighter, the hats, the helmets, sold their car to afford it but they live with mom and pop. The Hells Angels lifestyle is a bit problematic when you live with your parents.

The Stare: Nobody in the world stares as much as Italians do. It is an examination from head to toe, or vice versa. They need to spot who you are, the brands you’re wearing, your income, where you live, where you work, who you date and what you are doing there.

The Watch: The Rolex obsession is only equaled by the Swatch one (FYI – This is the Rolex Daytona, Putin’s favored timepiece) . I know guys who have a $5000 Rolex but couldn’t afford a beat up Fiat. Italians in their mid-forties would get stopped at customs with twenty Swatches, I still can’t find an explanation for that one.

The Drugs: Cocaine or bamba is the latest trend. It arrived in Italy (in large quantities) only in the mid-nineties but quickly took over the market as the coolest addiction. And like coffee, it would be talked about for days: who has it, who shares it, who’s sharing but not paying for it, who’s cutting it too much, who’s overcharging, who’s going to the bathroom by
him/herself, who’s not doing it, etc. A new topic that keeps them really busy.

Hash remains the proletarian alternative.

The Tan: It’s essential for that well traveled diva/o look. The boom of tanning salons that dates to the mid/late eighties is still strong. ‘Sei stato/a alle Lampados?’ Means: ‘Did you go tanning?’ The obsession of the tintarella (nice tan) reaches dimensions of such proportions that if the sun was really so cancerous, there would only be a couple of hundred Italians left.

Travelling represents the major hobby. The destinations are always the same and they vary according to trend as well. They will always say, ‘I hate Italians’ during vacation, but they’ll always go to the same places where the only natives are the people that work at the resort. Most of these places had to get Illy (the best Italian coffee) just to keep ’em happy.

The problems they have: The most common is the cervicale (neck-ache) due to air drafts of which they are terrified. Stomachache is the second due to the food being not as good as that of mama and never because of the quantity
they ate. Migraines: Just because headache is not as dramatic a word.

The Police: We have two kinds, one called Polizia and the other called Carabinieri. The difference is not quite clear, but there are a million jokes about the stupidity of the Carabinieri. You can ask anybody on the street and they’ll be happy to inform you of the latest. They deal mostly, but not only, with car and traffic related episodes and for that they aren’t very well liked. The Polizia is supposed to deal with murder and intrigue and for that reason you never see them around. Although they are known to put on the siren and hit 150Km/hr at peak hour not to be late for mamas lunch.

The Food: Well, this could be a book on its own. I’d just say that it is the very first hobby, actually more, it is a reason for living. The entire life of an Italian revolves around lunch and dinner and if anything comes in between, is drama. Lunch is at 12:30 and dinner at 8.

Who they don’t get along with: The French, because both think of being the best. The language, the clothes, the wine, the cheese and the small cars have always been elements of a bloody competition. The Spaniards are the ones they get along with the best, but they also respect the Germans enormously for the Benz, the BMW, the Porsche and generally for their ability to do things precisely right.

The Politics or better yet, the Politicians: This is a sure controversial conversation from the start. Italy has thousands of newspapers and the same political story is different in each. If you think the American politicians are good at spinning questions, the Italians are so professional at it that they could talk an hour and not say anything. The bottom line is that if there isn’t a problem they’ll create one or they’ll solve it by creating three more. Corruption is the purpose of becoming a politician. Craxi, is one of the most famous. He retired after a scandal to a royal palace in Tunisia that somehow belonged to his wife, who was a housewife; he was never persecuted.

This could be an encyclopedia.

The Soccer: After food, it is the second reason for living (for a man, for a woman, it is the clothes). Half the TV shows are dedicated to this sport. One is called the Monday Trial and it is more serious than a murder trial. They can talk and argue for years about one game or one player. (The top players to debate: Giacinto Facchetti, Dino Zoff, and Paolo Rossi)

The Women: After soccer, it is the third reason for living (for a man). I’ll just say that men would study, memorize and rehearse different approach techniques and they would refine them according to the different nationality of the prey.

The Religion: The words Catholic and Christian are often used interchangeably and confused. Going to church is a must until sixteen. Afterwards, parents are more lenient with child rebellion.

The Priests: There are good and bad ones. The best ones after mass hit the bars, get drunk and sing traditional dialect songs with the locals.

Guest Blogger:
Michele Castagnetti

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