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A New Year Detox with Organic Avenue

Give 2012 a clean start with a vegan cleanse from Organic Avenue.

January 04, 2012

Kick-start 2012 with a LOVE*Deep Cleanse ($292) from Organic Avenue, which is known for its super-healthy, plant-based, sustainable nutritional philosophy. The cleanse is an excellent way to transition from holiday indulgences with its six vegan juices a day, and its brevity (only three days) makes it a good choice for detox beginners. Pick up your LOVE*Deep Cleanse at any of Organic Avenue’s five locations in Manhattan, or schedule a delivery.

—jessica ferri


Eye-Catching Oscar de la Renta Earrings

It’s the New Year—treat yourself.

January 04, 2012

Available in black, silver, white or red, these gorgeous clip-on earrings ($440) by Oscar de la Renta will bring out the Holly Golightly in anyone. Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave.

—jessica ferri


Guy French Launches Spring 2012 Collection

The chic brand specializing in blazers tailored for women debuts its new line.

December 23, 2011

Guy French
, by Louisa Guy Roeder and Christina French Houghton, is a luxury brand of blazers designed especially for women. Based in New York City, the brand launched in February 2010 and has just announced its new Spring 2012 collection. Taking advantage of the menswear-as-womenswear trend, Guy French’s blazers are made from high-quality cottons and English and Italian wools, making them both luxurious and lightweight. Nearly perfect. 330 West 38th St., Suite 610

—jessica ferri


The Z Hotel Opens in Long Island City

Z Hotel offers beautiful views and access to an up-and-coming neighborhood.

December 23, 2011

We know a hotel in Queens might be a hard sell, but Z Hotel—with its chic aesthetic and rooftop bar proffering incredible views of the Manhattan skyline from its Long Island City location—might just sway us. The boutique luxury hotel, designed by Andre Escobar, has 100 rooms and offers complimentary transportation to East 58th Street in Manhattan every hour on the hour. Z Hotel NYC, 11-01 43rd Ave., Long Island City, 877-256-5556

—jessica ferri


Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP Launches an App

Download Paltrow’s guide to New York City.

December 22, 2011

fans rejoice: Now Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle newsletter is available on your phone. Get recommendations from Paltrow herself on food, walks, hotels, bars, culture, shops and beauty in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. One section, “A Day in New York,” features two short videos of Paltrow exploring her favorite ways to spend a day in the city. As of now, the app features 220 tested listings that will continue to expand. The app is available at the iTunes store ($3.99).

—jessica ferri


SEE Boutique Opens in Soho

SEE debuts its third store in New York City.

December 22, 2011

Luxury optical boutique SEE brings its original eyewear collection to Soho in its third New York location. Owner Richard Golden cultivates relationships with forward-thinking designers from his decades in the industry to create SEE’s unique offerings. As in every SEE boutique, the entire collection is on display and customers are always encouraged to try on frames. 423 W. Broadway

—jessica ferri


Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol? Mission Accomplished...

The newest addition to the Mission: Impossible fold thrills—and Tom Cruise loved every minute.

December 22, 2011

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise

If you take Brad Bird, the director of Toy Story 3, and put him in charge of an installment of Mission: Impossible, can he and Tom Cruise—with Paula Patton, a solid B actress, as leading lady—make one of the best action thrillers of all time? Impossible... right?  

Dispatches wasn’t a believer until I sat through the New York premiere. The pace of Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol is meteoric. (And Patton rocks.) In fact, it’s better than most Bond movies. Normally buildings have little impact on film, but Dubai’s 2,716-foot Burj Khalifa tower lights up the screen.

The scale of the red carpet at the Ziegfeld was biblical. The studio took over a lane of traffic to build an endless plastic greenhouse. Before Cruise could even arrive, a beautiful new reporter from OK! Magazine fainted twice (she’s okay).  

“I just tried to make a thrilling ride,” said Josh Appelbaum, who co-wrote the script. “Not burden it with pathos.”

And did Cruise come up with any lines? “When he’s on the side of the building and Jeremy Renner says, ‘Your rope isn’t long enough,’ Tom said, ‘I feel like I should tell him, no shit.’ And that gets a big laugh.”

Fans were given their own set of bleachers that ran the length of the carpet, and Cruise and Renner spent a good half hour working them. 

Paula Patton, the wife of Robin Thicke, wore a sparkly patchwork-pattern dress with some flounce attached. Her character brings it onscreen. “Yes, she’s fierce,” said Patton on the carpet. “She’s a woman to contend with, vulnerable and feminine. To do the stunts required two-and-a-half hours a day of physical defense training—martial arts, capoeira, boxing, kickboxing—and then an hour and a half of weapons training.  I wanted to do all my own stunts, but I didn’t realize how difficult that would be.”

How about the scene where Cruise falls back out the window and Renner catches him and then Patton grabs Renner? “It took a lot of praying,” said Patton.

“I couldn’t wait to do that sequence,” said Cruise, who wore a dark suit and shoes with a buckle around the heel. In the film, when sprung from a Russian jail he looks older with a hint of a potbelly. On the carpet his face appeared taut, the hair cropped short. “Running straight down the building was pretty tricky, and when I fall about four stories,” Cruise indicated, as his wife, Katie Holmes, ran into the theater. “When I fly off the building, I’m actually picking up speed, I could potentially have gotten hammered. I had cross winds, and Brad and the stunt coordinator were talking in my ear.”

Cruise pulled off these stunts while dangling from a 160-story glass spindle tower in Dubai, but claims he has no death wish. “I want to live,” he said. “They’re designed around my ability, and I train. I obviously trusted my stunt coordinator with my life.”

Bird described his pressure on the set. “If something doesn’t work out, you have to do something right then,” he said. “It’s $600 a second, you know. You’ve got to keep it moving.”

—jeffrey slonim
photograph by gettyimages.com


Amanda Hesser’s Food52 Cooks at Sur La Table

Meet and greet cookbook authors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs.

December 21, 2011

In celebration of their new cookbook, The Food52 Cookbook, named after their very popular food site, Food52.com, authors Amanda Hesser (The New York Times, Cooking for Mr. Latte) and Merrill Stubbs will host a cooking demonstration on December 22 (NOON) at the Hearst Tower location of Sur La Table. Space is limited, so RSVP at their Facebook page to reserve a spot. 306 W. 57th St.

—jessica ferri


The New York Distilling Company Opens in Williamsburg

A craft distillery turns out small-batch gins and mans a comfy bar.

December 21, 2011

FROM LEFT: Perry's Tot and Dorothy Parker gins by the New York Distilling Company

The New York Distilling Company debuts two gins made in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Dorothy Parker American gin celebrates the American writer with an intriguing combination of botanicals (juniper, elderberry, citrus among them), and Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin is a smooth nod to Commander Matthew Calbraith Perry, who ran the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1841 to 1843. Both gins are available at Astor Wines & Spirits and Brooklyn Wine Exchange, and you can also drink it at the source: The Shanty, a bar located right off the distillery, is open daily (5 PM–2 AM) for business. Next up for the company Rye. The Shanty, 79 Richardson St., Brooklyn

—jessica ferri


Power Play: VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul

The divas came out in full force to support VH1 Save the Music.

December 20, 2011

Chaka Khan and 50 Cent

The term “diva” is double-edged. It calls to mind angelic female voices, but it also speaks to the screwy riders in overblown contracts with stars like Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey. On Sunday at VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul, the artists owned the first definition. The crooning angels convened at Hammerstein Ballroom to pay homage to the music of the late Amy Winehouse and to raise money for VH1 Save the Music.

“I’m not much of a diva,” Travie McCoy, the first dude on the red carpet, told Dispatches. He has a Hall & Oates album cover tattooed on the back of his hands. “I’m a nice guy,” he said. “I don’t ask them to take the brown M&Ms out of the bowl or want a particle type of kitten in my dressing room. I’m a very humble and well-mannered young man.”

“What comes from the heart reaches the heart,” added Mavis Staples, the diva who received the most love on the red carpet. When Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine encountered Staples, she acted like Kristen Wiig in a Saturday Night Live skit. She put her hands on Staples’s shoulders and screamed, “You’re amazing!” She then cupped her hand in front of her mouth as if she might cry and started jumping up and down.

The reporter standing beside me got jiggy with diva artist Ledisi by asking what music she plays while “making love.” She said she initiates with Barry White, but added, “You’re all up in my business!”

Dolly Parton, also on the carpet, wore a top loaded with triangular cattails hanging down like something borrowed from Morticia Addams. Black metal bows covered in diamonds nestled in her hair, and her metal earrings shimmered with pavé.

“I’m secure in who I am and what I’m doin’,” Parton told Dispatches. “Some say I’m a diva, so I guess I am.” She sported a beauty mark, two tones of lipstick and a brilliant lavender eye shadow accenting spider lashes.

Estelle, wearing a shimmering gold dress by Stella McCartney, mentioned that she’s mainly a diva about the cold. “I just had to walk in the cold,” she said. “And I’m, like, what?” Mary J. Blige said that she too gets diva-cranky in the cold.

Jennifer Hudson, meanwhile, appeared diva-liciously skinny in thigh-high gold diva boots. “Weight Watchers educates you on how to live a healthy life,” she said. “Bananas are the most fulfilling fruit with no points.”        

Chaka Khan, on the arm of 50 Cent, claimed that she’s only a diva onstage. “I’m pretty anal,” offered 50, backing up his iconic arm candy. “Anal means to pay attention to details, and you have to earn that being done. Because we don’t actually have divas that didn’t work to get to that space. Chaka Khan is the definition of diva.”

Jill Scott wore a voluminous blue fur that matched her dress. Diva-luscious. “I’ve got on the gown, and I’m dripping with diamonds,” she said. As for Common, who was last down the carpet, it was still all about Chaka Khan. “I’m really excited!” he cooed after she swooped inside. 

—jeffrey slonim
photograph by gettyimages.com

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