June 11, 2024   9:06am

Text Size

Fashion & Beauty Secret's Service

Iradj Moini – jewelry that makes a big statement


When you’re ready for jewelry that makes an exceptionally big statement, check out Iradj Moini’s boutique in Soho. You may have already seen his work in the high fashion magazines, but these homemade pieces truly how the best when you try them on — that’s after your surprise that a designer had the imagination, skill and guts to pull this amazing work off.

Using a mix of colorful stones, metals, and sizes, Moini’s jewelry has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of Iris Apfel’s collection and was also featured at the Lourvre, where he has three pieces in their permanent collection. While not inexpensive, this is jewelry that defies category or time and is, from snoety’s perspective, well-priced for the purchase.

See the collection at: Iradjmoini.com

Have the experience at:

Iradj Moini
(212) 925-5666
198 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012

Store Hours
Monday – Saturday: 11:00am-7:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm

| Share your thoughts
Family, Friends & You On Harriett's Mind

Experience versus Memory

Ever wonder if you remember something the way it really was?

Well … you probably don’t. Or at least, that’s what this one Nobel Laureate will tell you — but first, a little background …

Many of you have heard me refer to TED, a remarkable organization focused on “ideas worth spreading”. At their annual conference in California, a collection of cutting-edge thinkers speak (17 minutes only) about their area of interest. These speeches are later posted on ted.com. They are so far ranging — but so worth spreading — that it’s impossible to comment on all of them. Instead, you’ll find a link here from time-to-time of speeches I think to be most provocative … or compelling … or mind-changing … or of real world use for those of us who may live less lofty lives, but seek more insight. So, here’s goes:

From the TED conference of a couple of months ago: Daniel Kahneman led off with some of the cognitive traps that get in the way of our talking realistically about happiness — “The Riddle of Experience versus Memory.” To quote TED.com: “Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our ‘experiencing selves’ and our ‘remembering selves’ perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy — and our own self-awareness.”

During this speech, don’t click out of the too lengthy colonoscopy research example. Stick with it. Then explore how memory versus experience may have impacted your life-changing — and, indeed, day-to-day — decisions.

Next time around, when you’re debating with yourself or arguing with someone else about what you’re sure really happened, think about this speech, and you may reconsider.

Click here to watch the Kahneman TED speech.



| Share your thoughts
Fashion & Beauty Food, Fitness & Health Secret's Service

Secret’s Service: Sophisticated Bling

iradj_ss.pngWhen you’re ready for jewelry that makes an exceptionally big statement, check out Iradj Moini’s boutique in Soho. You may have already seen his work in the high fashion magazines, but these handmade pieces truly show the best when you try them on — that’s after your initial surprise that a designer had the imagination, skill and guts to pull this amazing work off.

Using a mix of colorful stones, metals, and sizes, Moini’s jewelry has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of Iris Apfel’s collection and was also featured at the Lourvre, where he has three pieces in their permanent collection. While not inexpensive, this is jewelry that defies category or time and is well-priced for the purchase.

See the collection at: Iradjmoini.com

Have the experience at:

Iradj Moini
(212) 925-5666
198 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012

Store Hours
Monday – Saturday: 11:00am-7:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm

groundsupport_ss.jpgI’m hesitating to tell you about this great newish spot in SoHo for great coffee, outstanding salad (there’s only one), the most amazing ginger cookie I’ve ever tasted and, just generally, terrific sandwiches, etc. Why? Because it’s quickly getting busier and busier so now I’m going off-hours to find a comfortable spot to read my newspaper over lunch. (Grumble.) Another added plus, the owner, manager and staff — also exceedingly friendly, helpful and smiling. Can’t beat that!

PS: Be sure and tell them snoety sent you because I really like these guys. (No, we don’t get paid or even get a free cup of coffee.)

Ground Support
(212) 219-8722
399 West Broadway (just down from Spring on the east side of the street)
New York, NY 10012
Open: 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM


Two things seem to be shaping up as trends for this season’s shopping tradition: Saving money and spending discreetly — reasons online shopping is doing well.


We thought we’d heard of all the sites, but in the last few days three different people mentioned how much they love Zappos.com. And The New York Times wrote about it, too. Thus, we introduce Zappo’s to you, we mean, if you don’t already know about it!

Zappo’s was recently acquired by Amazon and has been an online stop for great deals on designer shoes for some time, but you’ll also find everything from brand name accessories and fragrances to clothes and exercise gear. Check out the different brands they offer on their site here. It’s a long list! Not much for online shopping? Zappo’s has become so popular they’ll also be mailing a printed catalog to their customers” their third this year.

Christmas shopping has never been so easy (or inexpensive). Maybe even a recession can have a silver lining :-).




Eat it every day “ even when you travel“ and you’ll understand.

I eat it by the handful without milk. You should eat it anyway you like.

You’ll be slimmer and better for it.

(And no, stupidly, we don’t get paid to hype this stuff.)


Want to know what those McDonald’s french fries are really costing you — in calories, anyway?

calorie_counter_ss.jpgThere’s now a “Health & Diet Manager” ($19.95, www.iambic.com) that, according to their website, “does everything from tracking your health-related vitals (resting pulse, blood pressure, hours slept), calories consumed and calories expended, to helping you create an action plan for eating and exercising … It’s “been specially designed for use with Windows Mobile ‘Pocket PC’ (Blackberry) type of handhelds and phones (i.e. Windows Mobile powered devices whose screen is touch-sensitive). This includes devices equipped with Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC Edition, Windows Mobile 6 Professional Edition, and above.

For AT&T Wireless users, Fast Food Calorie Counter (type “fast food calorie counter” into the search box at this link and ignore first two products shown*) focuses on what 29 major fast food chains are feeding you in fat, protein and fiber for some 3000 items ($6.99 or $2.99 a month) through AT&T Inc.’s MEdia NET store.

You can’t say, “I didn’t know” anymore. Make your choice!

*Leave it to AT&T to make things difficult!

We were delighted to see bon app©tit hype this Chef’s knife we’re thrilled about. (It’s so hard to find a reasonably priced one you like!) And they credited Surfas, a place we never miss when in the LA area. (Surfas is the hot kitchen supply and fabulous food shop/cafe in Culver City.) But … another time we’ll dwell on Surfas.


Getting back to the knife … according to bon app©tit this ten-inch chef’s knife from Mundial is “the most blade for your buck.” It’s got a blade of high-carbon stainless steel, an easy-to-manage polypropylene handle, great balance, and it’s even treated with antimicrobial protection.

Diana Surfas told me they love this knife, too. (They wouldn’t stock it if they didn’t.) It’s from the Mundial’s 5600 Series and you can buy it from Surfas by clicking here (Do note that there’s a 7-10 day waiting period due to demand.)

To Visit Surfas:
Corner of W. Washington and National Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232
For directions click here.

Monday-Saturday: 9AM to 6:30 PM
Sunday: 11AM to 5:00 PM


Snoety’s travel expert Susan Burdick was in town the other day wearing the most terrific jacket, which was, oddly enough, great for travel. You could scrunch it, fold it, twist it, sit on it, drop it, and it still looked great. When I asked about keeping it clean, she said “just hand wash and hang to dry.” Wow! How could I get some of that?

babette_ss.jpgWouldn’t you know, just two blocks away was one of the designer’s flagship stores Babette, so we just took a short stroll for what we characterized to Susan’s husband Bruce as a “short shop.” (Strangely enough when wandering by that store the other day, the window display had caught my eye, and I’d made a quick mental note to try it.)

The store and the service were terrific (neither was obtrusive). There were separates you could pair with Babette’s stuff or your own … dresses that could carry you just about anywhere day or night … wonderful tee’s … pants that could walk off a plane or out of a car looking fresh and ready to go …

And, guess what! There really is a Babette who is obsessing over her clothing line. When you see her collections (Fall2 is great) — you won’t be surprised that her background is graphic design and architecture. She’s transformed that sensibility into a truly modernist fashion approach for work and life. And the price tag doesn’t break-the-bank!

Babette flagship stores can be found in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, and Scottsdale and her fashion line is in boutiques throughout the country.

Works for us!


You’re walking around town. Your feet are swelling, sweating and blistering. It’s too uncool and too hot to wear hose which, at least, keep your toes from sticking to your shoes. What to do? Go back to the old tried and true“ foot powder! We love Gold Bond Maximum Strength Medicated — yeah, ladies, don’t think of it as being just for those itchy-smelly-footed guys.

By adding a dash in my shoes every morning, I just slip my feet in and walk comfortably — even leave the product in my office to sprinkle more in during the afternoon. Ahhhhhhhh.

What could be better than fresh feet on the cheap? (Okay, okay, okay.) Just look out for the blue plastic bottle at your drugstore and see all the Gold Bond foot products at www.goldbond.com.

PS: No, this is not a paid endorsement; just a helpful hint.

EMPTY, USED-UP BATTERIES. You don’t have to fret over them anymore …

The other day my son annoyed me with a lecture on how I should be using a recharger rather than wasting all those batteries, which, by the way, also hurt the environment when tossed out. Then, he went further by actually buying me one of those ugly, bulky plastic rechargers and rechargeable batteries while gathering in a baggie my used batteries designated for the trash somewhere. (I never know where to pitch them.) The brand he bought was the Energizer Rechargable (and, now, with a $5.00 rebate)!

batteries_m.jpgAnyway … now I’m hooked. These rechargers are great! Not only do they eliminate having to buy pack-after-pack of expensive throwaway batteries, they save you time and money in other ways as well. According to the Energizer web site their rechargeable batteries hold a charge for up to 6 months, you can reuse and recharge them up to 150 more times, and they’re Energy Star approved (meaning they met the strict energy efficiency guidelines under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy) not to mention that their rechargeables last 4 times longer in digital cameras. (Duracell’s site says much of the same things as Energizer’s.)

So … buy one (or two or three — they come in different battery sizes, but are STILL worth it.) And they’re sold with batteries. Simply put the used one in the charger when they’re empty, wait and voila! Just like new.

No more throwaways … no more confusion as to which are old or new … no more drawers full of extras …

Click here to take your pick of rechargers from Amazon.com — from $9.99 to $39.99

Click here to see which is best for you at Energizer’s rechargeable chooser

Click here to buy Energizer’s rechargeables from Office Depot

Click here to buy a Duracell recharger from Best Buy for $27.99

You can pick these up at almost any office supply store …

Don’t you just love life’s little pleasures!



olay_ss.jpgAdmittedly (and shamefully), I’ve fallen into the trap of using those over-the-top expensive skincare products. But, then, strictly accidentally, I needed a throw-away washcloth once while traveling and found these – the wonderful Oil of Olay wet cleansing cloths. Who woulda thought? Now I use the “age-defying anti-wrinkle” wet cleaning cloth product every day and every night, and I definitely keep them in my purse whenever I travel (they meet those liquid airplane requirements) to keep my skin hydrated and clean, while adding a great refreshing feeling on those long hauls. No kidding! You just use them and toss them out. I’m so personally sold on these, I’ve even given them as gifts to friends. Use them all the time! It may be my imagination, but I swear my skin looks better since I started. They’re not expensive, and you can pick them up at just about any drugstore . Be sure to buy the WET ones – not the dry ones!

Click here to read more about the product I use;
Click here to read about the whole line of wet cleansing clothes …


Here’s a little American Express perk you shouldn’t miss out on. It’s tied to NYC Restaurant Week which is that special time you can eat like a gourmand and throw credit card caution to the wind. That’s because you get a 3-course prix-fixe lunch for $24.07 and a prix-fixe dinner for just $35.00 at the city’s best, most erestweek_ss.jpgxpensive restaurants … the lesser ones, too. And, the (sometimes) uppity servers even treat you nicely (mostly) in spite of the “cheap” chow.

Back to the point — From July 12-31, 2009, if you dine out three or more time at participating Restaurant Week restaurants and pay with your registered American Express Card, you can receive a $15.00 statement credit.

So, that’s cool, right?

Go here to learn about NYC Restaurant Week and register your American Express Card.

Go here to book your reservation with your AmEx card.

Go here for NYC Restaurant Week Menus.

Go here to find restaurants that let you make a reservation online through opentable.com

Eat up and enjoy!


TERRIFIC, SMALL LIGHTWEIGHT DIGITAL CAMERA… lumix_ss.jpgA friend introduced this camera to me when we were in Indonesia. Constantly amazed at what it could do, by the end of the trip I had to have one (that Singapore airport is a great place to shop — and even has bargains!) But, on to the camera at hand — lightweight, amazingly clear pictures — it’s the zoom in (like a microscope) and zoom out that will amaze.

Online here in the states at the Panasonic website this model — DMC-ZS3S — is priced at $399.95 but if you shop around you may be able to get a better deal (we did). Here are the features that were on the website — not that I would understand any of this. I just know it worked better than any other cameras in this category that I’ve tried …

Check out the product overview and technical specs here.

BTW: I literally carry it around in my purse every day — ‘ya never know …

PILLOWS FOR PAIN …If you ever needed a back pillow for your chair or car … a weird shaped pillow to support your head, hips or knees … a roller for your neck … and you never knew where to go … here’s the place: www.healthyback.com. Decidedly unsexy with really ugly, useful things, it’s their memory foam pillows that I go for.

healthyback_ss.jpgAccording to the site, Healthy Back came to be after “Anthony Mazlish was suffering from back pain and looking for a solution in the DC Metro area. After driving from store to store, he became frustrated by the lack of options available to him. In the midst of this frustration and pain, Mr. Mazlish realized the world needed a store that specialized in a variety of ergonomically designed products. This store would help customers relieve back and neck pain; thereby improving daily comfort. The store he envisioned was Healthy Back.”

And we’re glad he did. Got a pain. Somewhere on their website, you’ll find just what you need.



Wandering downtown on Bleecker, I was taken with how little originality there was — just the same fashion names you see throughout the city. That’s when I wandered by Irma’s, the window just catching the corner of my eye. I kept walking … and, then, stepped back. What was this? A boutique with merchandise that actually managed to be different. A lovely lady named Nana Adjiashvili was styling some racks — you could tell instantly she was more than a manager. Turns out the doors had been opened in 2003, and we hadn’t even been there yet! (Another secret reason to love this city, we suppose.)

The clothes are a bit pricey, but we’re willing to spend a little more on high quality cashmeres and cottons that actually seem worth it. Designers carried feel very European and elegant in a casual, minimal way, including one I didn’t know but instantly took to, Kristensen Du Nord. (It didn’t hurt that they were having a great sale!) According to New York Magazine‘s Lauren Murrow, “You won’t find neon prints, busy florals, or plunging necklines here; instead the racks are filled with sophisticated cocktail dresses, pencil skirts, and layerable separates in muted pastels and basic black,” and offer “touchable, high-quality fabrics like silk, cashmere, and linen, selecting choice designs from each season’s collections.”

Irma is the sister store of Hotoveli (formerly men’s luxury store L’uomo), which also sells men’s clothing, shoes and accessories (271 W. 4th Street; 212.206.7722). Both stores are owned by Michael Adjiashvili.

378 Bleeker (Charles and Perry St.)
New York City

kangol_ss.jpgWhile always attracted to hat stores, I think everyone else looks great when they have one on. So, when I first happened into Kangol (the only one you’ll find in New York City), it was great to try such a large variety of funky, hip hats — from stylish berets with bamboo sweatbands to hemp and straw woven ball caps. My perfect fantasy, but also a great gift for just about anyone — male or female.

And, if you care about being Eco-Friendly (somehow that seems particularly right in summer), Kangol has a collection we were particularly taken with — natural fibers of Bamboo, Sweetcorn, Linen and Cotton. Check out those hats here.

Kangol may sound like a new brand, but it has an interesting history. Founded in 1938, it’s a Depression-era survivor. The hats started when a World War I vet and Polish refugee decided to bring the French beret to England. Establishing a factory in Cleator, England, Kangol soon grew into a “must-have post war fashion.” Kangol later provided berets for the British army during WWII and the English Olympic Team in 1948. They later had endorsements with Arnold Palmer, the Beatles, and also worked with the American Girl Scouts.

kangol_ss2.jpgIt was New York City that played the integral role in the development of today’s Kangol. Hip hop artists such as as LL Cool Jay, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys began to wear Kangol hats in the 80’s and pumped the brand into the mainstream.

We think the range and style of these hats are terrific. Try them on and see for yourself!

196 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023
(212) 724-1172


When you’re on the upper east side and want a terrific lunch without the fuss, there’s Terramare Cafe just off Madison Aveterramare_ss.jpg on 65th. As you know I’m partial to Italian, and the owners are Gigio Palazzo and Alessandro Corsini (from Puglia and Tuscany, respectively). The food: Absolutely yummy — I happen to be partial to the salad platter ($12.50) where you can pick three of that day’s offerings. As for other dishes, there’s always a very special pasta, but, then, I can’t sum it up any better than New York Magazine did: “Among Terramare’s little somethings are exceptionally tasty, snack-size sandwiches ($9:00 -$13.00). The best ones (porcini and truffle cheese; artichokes and sweet pecorino; prosciutto and fresh mozzarella) are pressed between a split half of pizza bianca, the light Roman-style bread made by Sullivan Street Bakery’s Jim Lahey, patron saint of sandwiches in New York City.” They also pride themselves on what they call “the best Italian espresso ($2.75) in town.”

Try this place. You might just become a regular.

Terramare Caf©
22 East 65th Street


caffefalai_ss.jpgWandering through NoHo and debating where to eat, we happened upon Caff© Falai. Its crisp white decor, soldier-like row of tables covered by white cloth, lovely lighting, and casual (but intimate) atmosphere beckoned from a large glass window. We checked out the menu posted by the door and walked in, whereby the ever-attentive manager arrived at our side. With warmth and humor he offered us several tables, “wherever you’ll be most comfortable.” OK. So far so good. And, then, the food. It didn’t disappoint. There were great choices, the ingredients were wonderfully fresh and the chef had a light hand (just the way I like)– Italian bread tomato soup … fresh zucchini salad … potato puree tortelli in bolognese sauce … striped bass with artichokes, cherry tomato, Brussel sprout, cannellini beans, in pesto broth … and a surprise complementary desert at the end.

Sigh. What a delightful surprise. And a new name to add to my list when friends say: “Where should I eat downtown that’s not a big deal?”

BTW: don’t let the caff© in the name fool you — this is a real Italian restaurant that’s, surprisingly, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Give it a try when you’re in the neighborhood.

Caff© Falai
265 Lafayette Street
New York City 10002

When you go to the website, the same owner has a place named Falai on Clinton Street — don’t get these two confused.



puredark_ss.jpgWe crave chocolate around our office, so when it comes to knowing good chocolate, we’re not slackers.


However, it was at a friends’ home (Hi, Marilynn & Scott!) where Pure Dark was introduced into my life. It was the weirdly thin flat “bark” slabs (chocolate studded with dried fruit and nuts) that prompted me to swing by what turned out to be a dark-chocolate-only paradise. Once inside, I couldn’t make up my mind which option to choose (no freebies allowed). Only an office taste test would do!

The Result: from our four “barks,” here’s the ranking:

#1: Fusion (ginger, pecans) — The Winner! — subtle and sultry

#2: Subtle — a close second (not really a bark; more like a chunk) — caramelized nibs and coarse sugar — more traditional and long on flavor

#3: Island (mango, macadamia nut) — definitely has its champions

#4: Woodlands Bark (cranberry, blueberry, walnut) — just missed for most of us

Pure Dark oozes an elegant chocolate-y atmosphere in its aesthetics, displays and, yes, pricing — about $2.75 an ounce. However, it is somewhat about you, for example, you can up-the-cocoa-ante to their hot chocolate by adding “nibs” to your heart’s desire … and there’s a kind-of trail mix of fruits and nuts and chocolate where you choose the quantities. Last but not least, there’s a loyalty program — 5% off for bark; 15% off on the mix — and you get intermittent updates of sales and events.

Have a pure love for chocolate? Try Pure Dark … and it’s only available at one place in the world:

Pure Dark
350 Bleecker Street, West Village (between 10th Street and Charles Street)
Sunday: 11am-6pm
Monday – Thursday: 11am – 7pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 9pm


Yes, we know everyone says you must exercise an hour, several times a week. But we think differently. I’ve found that if I just commit to 20 minutes a day — not even necessarily changing into exercise gear — I exercise more frequently and more often (and sometimes end up extending the time because the motivation comes naturally with the movement). Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I was at a conference at Urban Zen where Mehmet Oz (surgeon, best-selling author and frequent guest on Oprah, Discovery Health, CNN, and Larry King), mentioned that he, too, was into the 20 minutes a day thing as he suggested it to the audience.

Try it. You’ll feel better and look better. It really works.


cocktails_ss.jpgWant to meet with friends from out-of-town? Have an expertly mixed cocktail with a good friend? Try a drink first — maybe dinner later? No alcohol, but the drink please?

Here are some fun spots:

1. Murray Hill — Pranna: Terrific for larger groups (we had about 12) or just you and another, Pranna impressed us with their elegant ambiance, Indian flair and warm friendly (but not-too-friendly) service. The manager is an ex-Wall Street guy, so he really “makes an effort.” They have a truly delicious small plate menu and an exotic and extensive cocktail offering, including Chai’s Tea (a mixture of cognac, chai tea, sweet vermouth and vanilla liquor). Plus, they also have some tasty non-alcoholic options, like the Lemongrass Thai Basil Soda (lemongrass syrup, thai basil leaves, lemon juice and soda). If you want to stay for dinner, a beautiful and, from what we heard, delicious dining room is off to the side.

79 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016
nr. 28th St. See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup

2. West Village — Little Branch: We were really taken with this West Village gem’s classy yet unpretentious vibe and out-of-this-world cocktails. The low-ceilings and candle-lit seating area mix perfectly with an old-fashioned drink, and the live jazz you’ll hear Sundays through Wednesdays puts the cherry on top. Better for a date with the husband than a drink with the girls, but once you taste the cocktails, you’ll be more consumed with what’s in your glass than who’s sitting next to you. Don’t really have an idea of what you want? Don’t worry. Just give one of the suspender-clad bartenders the flavors or liquor you want and watch as they work their magic.

Little Branch
20 Seventh Ave. South, New York, NY 10011
at Leroy St. See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup

3. West Village — Employees Only: Delicious cocktails is only one of the selling points for this railroad-style bar. Expect nothing short of perfection here, as they cater towards a clientele with an insider’s knowledge of the business (they originally opened as a space for other service industry workers to gather). Art Deco lighting runs across the pressed tin ceiling, making for a pretty swanky vibe. For a good summer cocktail, try the Amelia, a mix of Russian Standard Vodka and St.Germain Elderflower Liqueur shaken with pureed blackberries and fresh lemon juice. Then, switch it up with another warm-weather favorite, the Roselle made with Tanqueray shaken with house-made Hibiscus Cordial, lime and grapefruit juice.

Employees Only
510 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014
nr. Christopher St. See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup

4. Soho — Chibi’s: If you know us at all, you know we can’t get enough of dogs (the 4-legged kind, that is). That’s why we didn’t mind when our girl’s cocktail-and-a-movie night was interrupted by the portly French bulldog after which this SoHo sake bar is named. Chandeliers, framed portraits of Chibi and empty sake bottles along the window sill make the atmosphere carefree yet classy. The Chibitini aside, some edamame was to die for, and we even got in a little play time with the pup (toys for Chibi are located around the bar for her enjoyment).

238 Mott St., New York, NY 10012
at Prince St. See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup

5. Upper West Side — ‘Cesca: Most people think of it as one of the best restaurants on the Upper West Side, but it has a really active bar as well. Attractive people having interesting conversations are a drawing point, and, since Snoety likes it plain and simple, we think they have the best vodka martini in town. Ask for extra olives; they toss-in the biggest and the best. Plus, if your stomach starts rumbling, you can’t go wrong with their award-winning Italian fare.

164 W. 75th St., New York, NY 10023
nr. Amsterdam Ave. See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup


You know how you can never find cheese knives you like? Well, many years ago on a trip to Johannesburg, I fell upon these amazing

serving pieces by Carrol Boyes and scooped up a punch to bring back home with me. Now Carrol has a terrific sto

re in New York and has greatly expanded her line.


skip the conventional this year, and check out Carrol’s beautifully-crafted and unique pieces. From spun and cast aluminum to pewter and stainless steel, the designs have a seamless liquidity to them that create some amazingly artistic wares that you won’t want to hide in the cabinet or drawer (with functionality for every day use in the home). Choose from a variety of kitchenware, including pitchers, plates and platters and look out for the home decor section for their stunning vases, coasters and magazine racks. Fabulous gifts!

These “quirky designs, inspired by all things African,” led Carrol to develop a business that earned her the award of ” Top Woman Owned Company of the Year” in South Africa. Now, you don’t have to hop on a plane or online to marvel at her work. Visit the retail store in SoHo at the location below or go online …

Carrol Boyes
118 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012
P: 212.334.3556


A friend who happens to be fashionable, feminine and a globe-trotting yoga guru told me that donna.m is inevitably her choice, and she emailed an invite the last time Donna had a trunk show in NYC. Now donna.m is my favorite, too.

yogaclothes_ss.jpgThe clothes are pure cotton, comfy, washable, packable, versatile. And you look great, whether exercising (I actually don’t do yoga) or just wearing. One example, the shawl wrap duster. Recently featured on The Today Show this piece can be styled anyway you want, ranging from the bra cami tunic, flared pant, twist top tunic, duster, sash or wrapped in up to 15 more ways. A donna.m outfit can be transformed into a summer dress or a relaxing ensemble for flying (not to mention, of course, doing yoga), making the $30-$120 price well worth it.

Lucky for us: donna.m is having a trunk show in NYC Friday & Saturday at PURE yoga. If you miss the show, go to Donna’s website: www.donnamcollection.com.

You can thank us later …

donna.m collection
PURE yoga
Friday and Saturday, March 27 & 28, 8:30am-2pm
203 E.86th Street, between 3rd & 2nd


Looking for just the right bra for that @#!*#@! dress? Stop running uptown … downtown … east and west. Inevitably what you need is right here at the ultra-not-glamorous Town Shop — a staple on the Upper West Side since 1888.

townshop_ss.jpgGet past their “old lady” window displays and march right in through that old-fashioned door. Not only will the (dare I say “hip”) merchandise give you a jolt — panties, camisoles, nighties, swimsuits, slippers, socks (love theirs) — but nowhere in NY are there better bra “fitters.” They go at it until they find that truly comfortable (no lie), like-it-was-made-for-you treasure. And they alter, as well.

As every woman knows, appearances can be deceiving. So true, too, for the Town Shop.

Town Shop
2273 Broadway at 82nd Street
New York, NY
10 am -7 pm on weekdays
9:30am – 6 pm on Saturday
11 am – 5 pm on Sunday

facial_ss.jpgGlamour has written about her; blogs say she’s the “best in New York;” Modern Bride raves; Daily Candy awards; and my friend with clear-as-a-bell skin swears by Joanna Vargas

Though not big on facials, I dutifully made the trip to mid-town to see what all the fuss was about. Expecting “an attitude,” I was greeted instead by a warm voice in intimate surroundings. And Joanna — well, she honed right in on what my parched winter face required. What a delight. What a feeling. And just to demonstrate the instant results — halfway through she had me look in a mirror to compare one side of my face with the other. Quelle diff©rence!

Maybe taking care of your skin isn’t a luxury, but a necessity? On that note, Joanna’s is definitely the place to go.

Joanna Vargas Skin Care
501 Fifth Avenue @ 42nd Street – Suite 707
New York, NY 10017


shoes_ss.jpgShould you be ready to navigate the designer shoe floor at Saks, there’s only one person you really want to know — that’s Jilda Deline.

She can thrush out the very best sale item … the highest sexiest heels (or the lowest made for comfort) … the coolest, trendiest sandal that you completely overlooked … “fit” your foot with padding … or remind you: “Wasn’t it last year that you were looking for X color, well, it’s finally here.” She knows, because she’s been there 18 years. And she does it all with intelligence, wit and warmth. Plus practicality.

Want shoes? Call Jilda. Actually, you’re better off emailing her personal address — tell her snoety sent you, and she’ll get right back to you.She’ll, of course, messenger or ship for you, too. (My out-of-town mom actually kept Jilda’s number in her wallet.)

email: jildajilda@aol.com

Saks Fifth Avenue
Designer Shoes
611 Fifth Avenue
New York



Intrigued by their outdoor sign, a peek inside and the wonderful aromas pouring out, I wandered into what turned out to be the totally delightful Ideal Cheese Shop. Noting fabulous cheeses stacked everywhere (250 cheeses from 17 countries), I blurted out: “I can’t buy cheese now, it will have to sit in my bag for the next 3 hours.”Without blinking, James, the cheese monger behind the counter, cheerily treating me like a neighborhood regular, offered a taste instead of their “Piedras de Chocolate” — truly the best and gloriously-biggest-cocoa-dusted-chocolate-covered almond (turns out from Spain) I’ve ever had the pleasure to pop into my mouth. Too good. Too fine. Definitely, not to sweet. In other words, just perfect.I figure if I eat one-a-day for the next week, they’ll barely add to my calorie count but they’ll totally add to my pleasure.

One more reason to love New York City:

Ideal Cheese Shop
942 First Avenue at 52nd Street
Shipping anywhere in the U.S.
Fax: 212-223-1245



I’m feeling generous, so here’s a great entertainment secret.

Hummus. No, not the kind you buy cold and pre-made at the local food store. Homemade — just moments before you eat it! Warm with just the right amount of smoothness; a swish of topping; pure tasting; emotionally satisfying. Honestly, before visiting The Hummus Place (it’s Kosher), I never understood why anyone liked the stuff.

Try their Hummus topped with fava beans, chick peas or mushrooms (the latter being my favorite, but I don’t see it on their online menu so maybe it’s just on the Upper West Side?). All fabulous! Their health salad is also surprisingly fresh and tasty; some swear by their tahini and grape leaves, but not my thing.

HINT: If you’re going to have delivered to serve casually for a small crowd, ask them to use the small bowls rather than those kind of ugly compartmentalized square containers they use. When you see your order, you’ll understand the aesthetics and why you’ll mess it up if you just scoop it into another dish. Also, you can get a big bowl for serving up to 2025. (I find it serves more than that.) Pita bread (warm, of course) comes with a do green hot peppers …You can grab a quick table but they also deliver and cater.

There are four around the town: www.HummusPlace.com

West Village: 71 7th Ave South
212 924 2022

Greenwich Village: 99 Macdougal
212 924 2022

East Village: 109 Saint Mark’s Place
212 529 9198

Upper West Side: 305 Amsterdam Ave.
212 799 3335

shoerepair_ss.jpgThere are shoes you can’t live without. For those beauties, I make the trek cross-town to Jim’s Shoe Repair.x First heard about it years ago from a fellow in the shoe department at Saks, and Jim’s has never let me down. Judging from the crowd, many others feel the same way. (Prepare yourself for a cast of characters on both sides of the counter.)

Suggestion: Pick an off-time to stop in… know that they stop work at 3:00 on Saturdays … and DON’T LOSE your claim check! PS: I put metatarsal supports in all my shoes (stops the ball-of-the-foot pain), and Louie not only always remembers me but also quotes the exact number of inches from the back of the shoe where the support needs to go. Now, that’s amazing!


Jim’s Shoe Repair
50 East 59th Street (between Madison and Park), NY

Store hours:M-F 8:00 to 6:00
Sat. 9:00 to 4:00
Sun. Closed

coffee_ss.jpgSince my office is in SoHo, friends are always asking me where to go for the best cup-of-coffee or tea (yes, these have herbal as well).

Here are the ones I frequent most and heartily recommend:

Caf© Caf©: Located at Greene and Broome streets, this coffee spot gives off a warm, friendly vibe, from its drink offerings to the chalk boards that list them. It’s a great place to wake up with a Cappuccino (and maybe a chocolate cinnamon rugulach stick?) as you make your morning commute. Or, stay longer and enjoy their prime people-watching-position in the elevated seating area. Their chocolate walnut cookie is so amazing, we’ve been know to cut it in quarters and dole it out. 212. 226. 9295

City Girl Caf©: Coffee is all too often a quick-jolt-between-everything-else-on-my-plate kind of activity, but if you’re willing to relax with a girlfriend (or guy) and enjoy a true break, check out this spot near Broome at 63 Thompson. Complete with wispy wall art, a chandelier and small round caf© tables, they have the most intense Macchiato we’ve ever tasted (with organic beans from Rwanda), not-to-mention their amazing in-house baked goods. Try their to-die-for Spicy Mexican Chocolate Cookies — for those days of indulgence, indeed. 212-343-0110

Aroma Espresso Bar: Coffee aficionados will appreciate this spot at Greene and Houston with long tables where you’ll find the client¨le relaxing over a newspaper or with eyes glued to their digital whatever. With its international expansion, SoHo is now home to Aroma– the “largest and most successful espresso bar chain in Israel.” Go to enjoy their brews made from sweet, aroma-heavy Arabic beans (thus, the name), and try out their Turkish coffee, too. 212.533.1094

Porto Rico Importing: With the winter chill outside, you may want to brew that cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home or office. Pick up a bag of beans at Porto Rico. Or, if you’re on the street and ready for warmth, drop-in and do a quick take-out … or stand in the narrow aisle and have your steaming java prepared just the way you like. Boasting unblended coffees from all across the globe (South America, Central America, India, the Caribbean, the Pacific and more), Porto Rico is sure to have any roast or blend you’re craving. Check them out at 107 Thompson. 212.966.5758


monolith_m.jpg “Chista, founded in 1990, explores the roots of primitivism and modernism, the found and the sculptural in the everyday and the monumental.

We’re into a certain type of aesthetic, no doubt impacted by our romance with Africa and the far East. For a zone of heaven, try tripping into Chista with its teak and tamarin furniture and accessories — tribal, sophisticated, modern. Or check out their website www.chista.net, where they’ve recently added an ongoing “Sales Section” (click here) with items rotated on a bi-weekly basis. (One of our favorites: the monolith coffee table made of aged teak whose legs can be rearranged; a different finish is also possible.)

Chista’s also having a floor-sample sale which will most likely last through January until their next container of new items arrives; but that date’s not set in stone. Yes, they ship anywhere possible, nationally and internationally.

Tell Scott Strickstein, the totally knowledgeable and charming fellow whom you’ll probably meet, that snoety sent you!

Showroom Hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm and after-hours by appointment
Showroom: 537 Greenwich Street between Van Dam and Charlton, New York, NY. 10013
Phone: 212.924.0394
Fax: 212.633.9138

THE BEST FARMSTEAD CHEESES … You’d Never Guess These Cheeses Are “American”
ss_cheese.jpgIn my other life I may have been a mouse, because in my household there is one never-to-be-given-up food, and that’s cheese. Thus, when casually delving into a platter at a recent event, I was knocked out by tastes and textures that were totally amazing and unfamiliar to me. It turned out they came from Saxelby Cheesemongers whose only focus is America’s farmstead cheeses.

Similar to a winemaker’s persnicketiness, Saxelby’s pays special attention to the “terroir” of the cheese — it “should taste like the place it comes from.” This means that hints of the flowers, herbs and grasses on which the cows, goats and sheep feed determine the taste of the cheese, making for some beautifully dense flavors.Try some state-made Mecox Cheddar produced from raw cows’ milk on a farm in Bridgehampton for a “sublime, grassy finish.” Or, pick up one of their other cheeses from where founder Anne Saxelby once worked, like the powerfully gamey Fil-A-Buster from Westfield, Vermont, whose essence falls “somewhere in between butter, wet bark and pine needles scattered on a forest floor. Bound in birch bark to keep it from running all over the place¦ and it just barely does the job.”Added bonus! On top of the incredible tastes, you’ll also be helping to support small-scale, local farmers. Saxelby’s only does business with farms that have an average of 40 cows.

Check out their store located on the lower east side at the Essex Street Market (Delancey stop off F Train) in New York, or visit and order from them right here at their website, saxelbycheese.com. They ship.


pancakeface_m.jpgWhen you’re locked in by the weather, and you’ve got kids (or adults who act like kids) to entertain, do what my mom did. Make pancakes that are names or initials or animals or flowers and/or (weather permitting) create your very own snow ice cream. Here’s how:Alphabet or Animal or Flower Pancakes

Use any pancake mix or your favorite batter recipe — fill a baster with the batter for writing/drawing — and outline the initials or spell a name with the pancake batter on a hot pan. If you’re a real whiz with the baster, make a snowman or animal (bears are easy to do) or a flower. Use berries or clementines for eyes, noses, mouths, petals. Everyone will swear they’re the best pancakes they ever tasted (within reason of course)!

Snow Ice Cream

Put vanilla and sugar out on the counter with spoons. Get a bowl and take an excursion into the snow. Dig out the extra clean “under” snow and put into the bowl. Run back into the house. Add vanilla and sugar to taste. Eat right away with a spoon because it melts very quickly. Yum.


grandaisy_ss.jpgI’m always watching my calories, so when it comes to bread, I pick at the crusts rather than eat the inside stuff (yeah, I know). But, recently my willpower failed me when we went to dinner at our friends, Ed and Mary-Jean’s. There was a basket of these delectable bread goodies that, literally, were impossible to put down. Mary-Jean told me she treks to The Sullivan Street Bakery in Soho to get these wonders, so I was ever so pleasantly surprised when my husband walked in the door with a Grandaisy Bakery bag and announced that “here’s the same thing” and right in my neighborhood on the upper west side. (Turns out the owner of The Sullivan Street bakery’s Soho branch and the Grandaisy are the same, with the Soho branch changing it’s name to Grandaisy.)

Now I don’t know whether to be thrilled or terrified at the prospect of having something that tastes so good so close to home. This is unquestionably the best bread I’ve ever had in New York!

PS: The pictures on their website don’t do the bread justice …

The Grandaisy Bakery
73 Sullivan Street (between Spring and Broome), NY 10012
176 West 72nd Street (close to the corner of Broadway), NY 10023
phone: 212-334-9435
7 AM to 7 PM 7 Days a week


For years I’ve failed to find a hat that would NOT: 1) squish my hair; 2) abandon my ears; 3) make me look ridiculous; or 4) be easily left behind. And, then … finally … a solution reared it’s head (so to speak). And it wasn’t a hat at all, but a cozy cashmere “hood.”

Egged on by a friend, I wandered into a charming boutique in Soho and discovered a rainbow of colorful cashmere accessories — fingerless gloves, arm warmers, scarves, wraps, baby hats — and the aforementioned hoods named appropriately: “Grace” (a la elegant Grace Kelley) and the hand-knitted “Wendy” (a la casual Peter Pan), $100 & $135. An additional plus, they’re just the thing for low temp airline cabins when you’d give all for a warmer neck. (The black one’s perfect for my husband.)

The Shop:
Meg Cohen Design, 59 Thompson Street (between Spring & Broome in Soho)

To Order:
email: megcohendesign@aol.com or call: 1-212-966-3733

PS: Tell her snoety.com sent you!

Finding that useful, necessary item — with a little added luxury — makes you feel really good.

HAVE BEAUTIFUL SKIN (or, at least, look like it)

redneutral_m.jpgPeople are always complimenting me on my beautiful skin. Wish it were so! The truth is I use a great product under my makeup that covers my blotchy red areas and (yuk) age spots, and it makes my skin tone look beautifully smooth. It’s called “red neutralizer,” and I’ve never seen it anywhere but at Diane Young Anti-Aging Salon in NYC on 57th Street. You can buy it from Diane’s website, dianeyoung.com (click here), and, honestly, I always get a few at a time — one for the office, one at home and one for my travel kit (so I don’t forget it). I love the stuff.

closet2.jpgTOO MANY CLOTHES AND NOTHING TO WEAR? Why not re-mix your wardrobe with an expert?

Avoid shopping spree guilt by leveraging what you already own. In a couple of fun and worthwhile hours, Domenica will review, edit and update your wardrobe. She’ll mix items you’d never think to match; push up a sleeve here, suggest a different hemline there … You’ll come out looking sensational!

And if you find that you do need to fill or replace what you might be missing or things that are too worn to wear, what better time to shop then now – all the shops are holding end of season sales …

Email or Call:


domenica.png Domenica Castaldo Ellison, 646 262 9579, domenica50@msn.com

Ask her your questions, tell her what you’re wanting to do, and, then, talk rates and dates …

Watch this space each week for products, places or services that snoety deems “special”.

PS: No, we’re not being paid in any way to hype these products/services!

| Share your thoughts
Most Popular Posts

The Top Items