Car Enthusiast? Me!?

Over the weekend Husband and I decided to get a little artsy, or at least feel a little artsy. It’s only been a few weeks, but we’re already missing the MET, MOMA and the Guggenheim. We repainted some furniture, but that turned out to be not very creative work. After we finished our “artwork” we headed to Nashville’s Frist Center to enjoy some actual artwork.

The Frist Center is in downtown Nashville in what used to be Nashville’s very first post office. We used to visit fairly often when we first lived in Tennessee. I even took my classes there on field trips, but it’s been at least four years since my last trip. This weekend was an especially good weekend to visit because the new Art Deco Automobile exhibit just opened. Now, I know what you’re thinking…Hilarie? Cars? What an obvious combination!


No. I’ve never mentioned any sort of car, because I don’t give a rat’s tushy about cars, however; these cars aren’t just cars. They’re art.

To be honest, when I got the opportunity to checkout and review these cars I was not enthused. I got myself pumped up by dressing up, wearing an art deco style necklace and with coffee, of course. When I arrived, I was greeted by a very friendly woman named Ellen who is the Frist’s director of communications. She was warm, informative and just thrilled to tell us all about the new exhibit, Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles.

ellen artdeco

The cars (and motorcycles) in this exhibit are all from the 30’s and 40’s, influenced by the art deco styles and soooo pretty.


They may not be very economical and certainly not gas efficient, but who cares!? Can’t you just imagine Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart being chauffeured around town in one of these?


If you are like me, and not easily impressed by cars, let me tell you a few secrets (facts I did not know) I learned while touring this exhibit.

-Many of these cars were created in Paris. Now, imagine sitting at a little sidewalk cafe, sipping espresso, smoking a cigarette and watching these cars drive by…nice, right?


-Some of them had sunroofs! Like this 1936 Delahaye 135m Figoni and Falaschi, for example. Impessed? Who new sunroofs existed that long ago??


-Frank Lloyd Wright owned this orange 1929 Cord L-29.


-These futuristic motorcycle looks like a superhero should be drifing it, but it’s actually too heavy, impractical and hard to ride. Nice to look at though…


-The “Xenia” was named after the designer’s ex-wife, after he already re-married. Hmmm wonder how his new wife felt about this? I  liked that this car looks like a rocket ship in the back. Also, there is custom-made luggage that comes with the car! So, you know your suitcases will fit perfectly in the trunk. Genius!

xenia luggage

-Some cars have a speedometer in the backseat so the people being toted around can very easily annoy the driver and tell him he’s going too fast, or too slow. I wonder if this is when the phrase “backseat driver” was coined?


-Many of the cars were inspired by aviation. This van, which looks it has a cat face, has mobile seats and a card table. It’s meant to feel like a flight, but actually looks much roomier. It was also designed to look like a scarab. Several cars had some Egyptian influence.


Husband’s favorite car is the 1914 Chrysler  “Thunderbolt”. Only five of these cars were made, and only 4 of those have survived. It’s very rare. It has a fender that goes around the entire car and looks like it belongs in a drive-thru.

backofthunderbolt thunderbolt

We had a lot of fun looking at these cars and reading and hearing about their past. If you are interested in seeing this new exhibit then click here for visiting info. The Automobile exhibit closes on September 15th, but the Frist is always offering new exhibits, and activities for the whole family. *BUT, try your best to see the cars Monday-Friday. It gets very crowded on the weekends.

AND: If you check out Sensuous Steel, then you will get a discount at Nashville’s Lane Motor Museum. Just bring your ticket stub!


Breakfast on Broadway


I love Audrey Hepburn. I just searched my blog and I have mentioned her in 7 posts. My adoration of her lead me to Breakfast at Tiffanys, which developed another love. I don’t know what it is about Holly Golightly that has me so entranced, but gee, I just can’t get enough of her, her weird accent or her crazy life. I’ve seen the movie numerous times and always discover a line I hadn’t heard before when I re-watch it. When I finally read the book last year, I  loved the story even more. Then, I became a Truman Capote fan.


About 6 months ago I learned that Breakfast at Tiffany’s was coming to Broadway and I jumped out of my chair with joy! I mean, I realized I wouldn’t see Audrey performing on stage, but seeing the story brought to life on stage is something I CANNOT miss. Then, I found out that Emilia Clarke is playing Holly! If you don’t know her then you must not watch Game of Thrones.  She plays THE khaleesi, her character is Daenerys Targaryen and she is awesome!!! It’s hard to imagine her as Miss Golightly, but she manages to pull it off.



Now, because I’m honest I have to say I did not love the play. It was good, it was accurate and I would see it again because I can’t get enough of this story apparently, but I don’t think everyone would like it. The storyline is hard to follow in the movie, but it’s more confusing on stage. Also, Holly’s character has a confusing accent, which I think Emilia imitates mostly well, but she adds an extra twang to it that make it even more difficult to understand. If you don’t know the story I imagine it would be difficult to keep up with the play.

I’m still so so happy I got to see the play because it closes THIS Sunday. I went home feeling fancy and having a sudden urge to wear pearls and dark shades, but instead of dressing up for myself at midnight, I stayed up re-reading parts of Audrey’s biography. Here are a few of my favorite Audrey quotes….

audrey2 audreyquote1


Alright, are you sick of me and Audrey yet? Enjoy your weekend everyone. I’ll be spending mine squeezing my nephew for the first time and possibly never letting him go!


Feeling Funky

Okay, it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted because I have been in such a funk. I am lonely because Husband is still in Nashville. Work has been busy and fun, which just depresses me. I have come home and cried often this week because I cannot believe I won’t see most of these children again. Then, there’s the packing and the cleaning. Remember when there was a major exam in high school or college and you needed to study for days and days, but for some reason you ended up organizing your closet and cleaning out your junk drawers instead? I’ve done a lot of stuff the last few days, but not a lot of packing. Then there’s the job hunting. All of this = funk, and not the superfly music genre kind.

Today, I decided I had to get out of my funk and turn things around. It was beautiful and sunny today so I called up Zoey and had her join me on a long walk through the park.

Did I mention it was beautiful today?
Did I mention it was beautiful today?

As soon as we got to the park we regretted not bringing a blanket and a picnic. There were families playing frisbee, babies chasing bugs, puppies running everywhere and thousands of people laying in the sun. (As soon as NYC reaches 60 degrees on a weekend you will find 100’s of girls laying out in bikinis at the park…people are desperate for some sunshine and nature here.) We tried to ignore our desire to picnic and lounge since neither of us brought snacks or cash, and roamed around taking gorgeous photos of the cherry blossoms instead.

IMG_5568 IMG_5569 IMG_5555 IMG_5561 IMG_5566

You know it’s a beautiful day when you can get such great photos on your phone. We eventually had enough of the walking and the watching other people sunbathe, that’s when it hit me…I have money on my Starbucks app*! So, we did the obvious and walked to the closest Starbuck’s stocked up on snacks and beverages, walked back to the park and lounged away.

There were so many people with adorable dogs all around us. Half of us let them off their leaches and played fetch with our loves. That is until two dogs began wrestling, one began playing fetch with someone else’s croquet balls and Belle started growling. There were also a dozen babies having a field day with all the pooches.

IMG_5592 IMG_5587

While Zoey and Belle were playing together I took a cute photo to send to Husband. He then took a cute photo of his friends playing in TN to send back to me.


I am still laughing.

We had a great day and evening eating junk food and duct taping a mold of Zoey’s body (I’ll have to explain that last part later). I think the funk has gone.

My friend Sara sent me this quote the other day because it reminded her of me. I was honored she thought of me because I love Audrey, and glad to be reminded of what “I believe”.


I also believe moving, packing and job hunting will all get easier. Tomorrow is another day, and tomorrow I will pack.


*I actually only had a few dollars left on my Starbucks app, so I had to reload it (which is possible to do on my phone), however I forgot my password. After numerous attempts I called Husband and had him reload it from his phone in Tennessee. Zoey and I are obviously desperate and pathetic. Heaven forbid we just walk home to get our wallets!

Me, Audrey, and a Rooftop Bar

I LOVE Breakfast at Tiffany’sthe book and the movie. I also adore Audrey Hepburn. I think this obsession began about 7 years ago while eating dinner with Husband’s Grandpa. I ate a large pork chop, mashed potatoes, broccoli, a salad, three rolls, and was picking off of Husband’s place when his Grandpa looked at me and said, “How do you eat like that and still look like Audrey Hepburn?!”

At the time, I only knew Audrey as the girl in the black dress, black flats, and pearls. Like any good student, I began researching the actress I was compared to, and instantly fell in love. Now I can’t pass an Audrey biography or movie without picking it up. I know I don’t actually look like her, but it’s awfully nice to hear. Thanks Grandpa Shelly.

Yesterday, I saw an ad for a FREE movie night at the Roosevelt Hotel (the Mad46 Rooftop Lounge to be exact). I was definitely interested in a free movie night, but when I saw their selected feature was Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it was a done deal.

I was SOOO excited to go out, that I got all dolled up in Audrey’s honor. It’s great that I get to wear workout clothes to work everyday, but I do love an opportunity to put on my heels and fix my hair. Most of our “dates” involve me in sweatpants, Husband in flip-flops, frozen pizza, and a Dexter marathon. Tonight was different; tonight I wanted to feel pretty.

Check out the ad as I entered the Subway! I think that was a sign that it was going to be fabulous night for this TX girl.
I tried to convince Husband that I was too fancy to take the train…. As you can see, I was not very convincing.

The Roosevelt is beautiful, the lounge was swanky, and the staff was frazzled and awkward, but besides them, it was a great night to be on a roof wrapped in my poncho and enjoying the Manhattan view.

They had two projectors; one under a roof and one completely outside.
Movie themed cocktails!

After ordering my “Moon River Mojito” we settled onto a cozy couch right before the movie started playing. I loved every minute! Even Husband enjoyed it! (He has never seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s before!)

Sooo excited! (This was the BEST mojito I have ever had BTW.)

We didn’t make it home until midnight; mostly because Husband wanted to play “paparazzi”….and alittle because I needed a late night snack.

I had to take the poncho off for at least 5 minutes so my outfit could get some fresh air and much needed attention.
Perfect accessories for a Breakfast at Tiffany’s night.
Love this view with the Chrysler in the background.

This is as serious as I get.

finally getting back on the train

Even after sleeping through my alarm this morning and only having time to drink half a cup of coffee, I do not regret our middle of the week date night with Audrey.


Tranquility at Tiffany’s

Great news everybody! Husband and I get to stay in our apartment until next summer!!! After lots of looking, debating, and talking with our landlord, he finally told us to just stay until July. I think he is having a lot of trouble selling the apartment, and he’d prefer to have a tenant paying rent then have nothing at all. Yay us!

I cannot even begin to tell you what a relief it was to hear this news. Even though all of the hundreds of hours I spent trying to find a new home turned out to be in vain, I don’t care. I am just so thrilled to not have to pack and physically move…again.

All the talk of moving, got me and Husband seriously discussing our future: Where do we want to settle down? When should we buy a home? How long do we want to live in Manhattan? When do we want to have kids?

We never answered any of these questions, just thought and talked A LOT about them. We love NYC, but probably won’t raise kids here. We want kids, but I want them sooner than Husband. We don’t ever want to settle down, but it would be nice to have an actual home to care about, decorate, and fill with large comfy furniture. Thankfully, we’ve been given extra time to make these decisions.

On a related note, I just read Breakfast at Tiffany’s and I came across a great passage where Holly and Fred discuss her anxiety and her strategy for finding a home. Holly begins by trying to explain to Fred why she refuses to name her cat. She claims they are both independents; she doesn’t want to own anything until she finds the place where she belongs…I’ll let you read the rest…

“You know those days when you’ve got the mean reds?”

 “Same as the blues?”

 “No, No the blues are because you’re getting fat or maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re sad, that’s all. But the mean reds are horrible. You’re afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is. You’ve had that feeling?”

“Quite often. Some people call it angst.”

“All right. Angst. But what do you do about it?

“Well a drink helps.”

“I’ve tried that. I’ve tried aspirin too. Rusty thinks I should smoke marijuana, and I did for a while, but it only makes me giggle. What I’ve found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.”

I never knew I had so much in common with Miss Holly Golightly. She makes a very good point of deciding that she wants her home to feel like the one place that makes her feel safe and serene. Don’t we all want that? Is this even possible for someone who suffers panic attacks?

After reading this passage I thought hard about what my “Tiffany’s” is; what specific place brings me calmness and peacefulness…if any place does.

I suppose Sephora brings me lots of happiness. I love that I can walk into Sephora looking like I just rolled out of bed, and walk out looking like the paparazzi should be following me. The ladies working are so friendly, always giving away samples and applying new products to my skin. I can spend hours playing with all the make-up, bronzers, hair style-ers, nail polishes, and perfumes; I don’t think I’ve ever had a panic attack in Sephora. Although, my pulse does race when I hear the total at the register.

Starbucks is another place that immediately relaxes me. In fact, anytime I’m having a rough day I tend to find myself ordering a tall iced soy latte and making friendly conversation with a barista. I’m sure much of this has to do with my caffeine addiction, but there is also something very comforting about being in a Starbucks, like being home…(Although, it does feel less comfy and homey since they’ve all taken out my favorite big comfy chairs.) Sometimes, I sit in Starbucks with my laptop just to get some work done. I tend to focus and work harder there than when I’m home. Even while traveling the world, we ALWAYS stop at a Starbucks, if we come across one, for a little taste of home.

Another place is the beach. How original, right? I guess the beach just makes all of us feel peaceful and relaxed. I could sit in the sand and read, do cartwheels down the beach, or play in the waves forever and ever. If I lived on the beach I’d be warm and carefree, but probably never get anything of value done.

Gilmore Girls is something else that immediately takes the “mean reds” away. I know this TV show isn’t a location, but it saves me from numerous panic attacks. If I wake up in the middle of the night sweating and in a panic I just have to pop in an episode with Lorelei and Rory to make me forget what was driving me nuts in the first place. Their dramatic lives and quick wit keeps me distracted and happy.

Then there’s dancing. I’ve never been the best dancer, but I have danced for years. I’ve taken dance since I was a little girl, and I’ve taught for about 5 years now. When the right song comes on, and I’m able to move to it, it’s like I’m free. I’m free of worry, free of to-do lists, free of deadlines, I’m just there to dance, and it feels right. I guess dancing is my anti-panic.

Like Holly, I am not really sure what I am looking for or where I’ll eventually call home. Right now, the plan is to have a house that comes with a dancing barista who can do my make-up on my private beach while watching Gilmore Girls. Husband would have to be there too. It would not be home without Husband.

Until then, I’ll be constantly reminding myself how lucky and thankful we are to stay in our teeny Upper East Side apartment (which is walking distance from 5 Starbucks and a Sephora BTW) for another year. Thankful, thankful, thankful, I love you apartment!


Thank You Chocolate

And thank you Max Brenner!

Some days I feel super proud of myself. I am such a grown up. I work 40 hours a week, live in NYC, have traveled to several parts of the world, have two college degrees, and manage to raise an almost well-adjusted dog.

Today is not one of those days. (College does not teach how to not act like a baby.)

Today I feel very jealous and maybe a little childish…maybe. With Fiance and Zoey not working they get to have fun all day long. While I am at work I picture them sleeping till’ noon, waking up in their jammies, eating bon bons, shopping, eating fancy dinners, and then talking about how unfortunate I am and laughing.

I have to admit that I am relieved when I rush home for lunch and throw the door open to catch them mocking me and find Fiance sitting in his boxers watching the View…. I’d actually prefer to be at work than watch the View.

Today, though, they actually did go out and shop and eat all day. So I sulked through work and bought myself an extra Starbucks to perk up.

I was brooding all the way home. I put in my headphones and jammed to Beyonce’s “We Run the World.” It’s my go-to song anytime I am trying pump myself for anything. Well much to my surprise, we had visitors when I came home! Fiance and Zoey’s cousin is in town with his girlfriend. AND, they were waiting on me to go out to dinner! This so rarely happens.

Awww, aren’t they sometimes sweet?

I had to take my time getting dressed for dinner. (Because I was really hiding in the bedroom so I could stop being jealous and bitter, or at least practice hiding my jealous/bitter face.)

We went out and had a great time. We took our visiors to Vesleka, a Ukranian restuaraut from 1954 by Ukranian refugees from WWII. They produce over 3,000 pierogis daily by hand! And, it’s still a family owned business. We ate pierogis, matzah ball soup, and latkes. After dinner, we went the to the Strand.

The Strand is a super cool book store near Union Square. It advertises that it has over 18 miles of books. It’s also known for having the most rare books in the city, which is basically the most rare books in the world.  I ended up buying two books, Judy Blume’s Forever… (It’s a ‘school banned’ book), and  5th Avnenue 5 A.M. (because I’m obsessed with Audrey Hepburn). Every time I go to a book store I pick up about 15 books, then spend a half hour looking through and debating which ones have the most interesting covers, and then putting at least 13 of them back.

Our last stop was dessert at Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man. OMG, this place is chocolate heaven. Here are the desserts we got… a shake, a lemonade slushy with mint, Chocolate Pizza with melted milk and white chocolate meteors and an ice cream snow ball (optional: melting campfire marshmallows), Tutti Frutti Waffles red berries citrus salad, milk chocolate ganache, vanilla crumbled ice cream, and waffle fries with cocoa and chili powder. Obviously, I ordered the fries for dessert.

WE had to wait A LONG time for our food; so to entertain ourselves we drew new versions of “the bald man” on our napkins. We had a great time, and I loved getting to know the cousin’s girlfriend.

Can you guess who drew what?

Lots of chocolate makes me pretty happy, so I can now forgive Zoey and Fiance for having fun without me today.

Nighty Night.