Vanity Fair Summer Guide 2012

Every year I wait on pins and needles for the Vanity Fair Summer Guide, aka the most comprehensive guide to summer fun in NYC. Last year I was devastated, simply when I found out that the Book Report Summer Guide was replacing my manual for summer fun.

When former Vanity Fair Special Events Manager Jessica Latham has left VF for the greener pastures of Book Report last year, she took her glorious events handbook with her. She teamed up with fellow staffer Annabel Linquist to detail the best outdoor dining, drinking, and events (movies, festivals, concerts, polo matches) happening all over the city. This year, the Vanity Fair issue is back, and I couldn’t be happier!

There’s your best burger joints for when you’re craving bbq,  the 10 hottest places to see and be seen this summer, a summer playlist, and all the outdoor movies and concerts your little heart desires.

Overwhelmed by all the sheer awesomeness of it all? My recommendation is to print out a copy, highlight what you’re into, and then start up a special google calendar for all your summer events–you can invite friends to things you think they’d like and set up alerts so that you don’t miss a minute of the sandal wearing, fruity cocktail drinking, outdoor fun.

You Can’t Afford the Fancy Dress/Top/Skirt

Yes, its a drag. But let’s be serious, I have expensive tastes, and there’s a good chance that no matter how successful I am, I might not ever be able to buy all of the fancy things I want. Furs? Jewels? Probably not. But sometimes you need to feel a little extravagant on a tiny budget.

You’ve got options.

Buy the darn thing already, keep the tag on and well tucked in (you don’t want to have a romantic comedy moment when someone “helping” you rips the tag off), take really good care of it and return the next day. Not saying I’ve done this. Not saying I haven’t.

Rummage around in your closet- chances are there are two things in there, things you don’t want anymore and things you forgot you had. Take the things you don’t want, and set up a swap with some friends to get rid of things they don’t want. New to you is almost as much fun as new to the world. Then take those things you forgot about and see what you can do with them.

Add a belt? Pair it with a different color? Reinvent what you’ve already got.

Mr. Winkle

Boo’s cuteness from last week is surpassed only by one dog, and that is Mr. Winkle. I have been borderline obsessed with his calendars for years. Take a little pup, dress him up, and I’m yours, especially when his tongue is a little too long for his mouth. While his website leaves a little to be desired, his calendars will not disappoint. Or check out his books for hours of saying aww.

The Male-Female Color Divide

I have had so many conversations with men that have gotten down right confusing. Typically, we’re both trying to describe the same item, or they’ve walked in on a discussion with my girlfriends about clothing/fashion/shoes. The trouble is crossing the male/female color barrier, and people, this diagram makes it a lot more easy to understand why. The conversation usually goes something like this:

  • Guy: Are you talking about that orange shirt that guy is wearing?
  • Me: Yea, we’re talking about how coral is so in right now, but can’t decide if he’s pulling it off or not.
  • Guy: Coral? Like the seashell? People are wearing that now?
  • Me: Coral….the color…..
  • Guy: You mean orange? We’re talking about that guy right…his shirt is orange.
  • Me: No, it’s coral.

After this back and forth, usually the guy ends up claiming color blindness, which until seeing this picture made me feel a little bad for the poor soul that can’t see thee whole rainbow of colors in the world. Now, I understand that they may be capable of perceiving the visual difference in hues, but simply don’t grasp the need to give a different name to it. Coral is orange. Magenta and Fuschia, well, they’re both just pink.

I’ve noticed the same thing goes for shoes. Wedges, stilettos, platforms: those are all heels. As for the rest, if you can put it on your foot and walk around it in, it’s a shoe. I think it all stems from the limiting fashion choices for men. Shortsleeves or long (think about it- have you ever seen cap sleeves or ¾ length tops for men??), buttons or no buttons (no frills, peplums, or attached belts to worry about here), dress pants or jeans. There are even more clothing items to choose from for women, dresses, skirts, slips, undergarments, while men are mostly confined to jacket, top and bottom.

Their sizes are even easier to understand, only reflecting their straight measurements rather than some arbitrary number from 0-14. As women, we have developed a complex vocabulary to understand the vast array of fashion choices presented to us.  Our ability to understand the nuances of colors is only one example of a world of small distinctions we make in day to day life. And guys? They just don’t get it.

When You Woke Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

You’re cranky. EVERYTHING is pissing you off: the lady on the subway sleeping when you want to be sitting + reading a magazine, the chipper guy in front of you in line at Starbucks, the sunshine that is SO BRIGHT its hurting your eyes. We all have those days, where no matter what happens its not going to turn your mood around.

When I have days like that, I need a little perspective to put my problems back into a normal scale. Here are some things you can try:

  • Follow Oprah’s advice:
    • Make a list of things you’re grateful for in your life
    • That includes little things like warm socks
    •  That includes big stuff like an awesome sister
  • Google the median income of the place you live
    • In the U.S., it’s around $45,000
    • Chances are you don’t know how well off you really are
  • Download the Thankful For app to your smart phone
    • Read some quotes
    • View the public timeline
    • Repeat
  • Go grab a glass of water from that tap.
    • Did you know that 884 million people (about 3x the population of the U.S.) can’t do that?
    •  Because they don’t have access to clean water?
  • Use the restroom and flush the toilet.
    • 2.5 billion people don’t have access to hygenic public sanitation systems
    • More people have a mobile phone than have a toilet

If you’re reading this, it means you’re part of the roughly 30% of the world population with access to the internet. Now don’t you’re problems seem a little smaller?