Sunday, October 29, 2023

Ghouls Visit Gotham City On Halloween

All photos: By Debra Turner of the Upper East Side's Lenox Hill and Yorkville neighborhoods

The undead have come to Gotham City for the shindig of the year.

Witches, ghosts, and ghouls are very near,πŸ’€  

Waiting for darkness to fall to start the Monster's Ball.
On the Upper East Side, behold a sinister sight!πŸ•·

Spreading the Fright all day and all night!

What has convened but a howling scene!
πŸ‘‡Bart the Bartender (at 86th Street Wine) is back! With a new friend, Jack.πŸ‘‡πŸ·

Among the mainstream, there's a break of routine

Bizarre ventures umpteen that have never been seen!

There's a gateway from the spirit world to Manhattan, it's clear,

Heads to roll and evil to flow, they're hereee!
'Tis a rush to the bloodstream,🐺
A peek at the team behind this horrific scene at a brownstone on East 72nd Street. Let's hope you don't meet!
Why, it must be Halloween!πŸŽƒ

Here's where your chilling tour of the Upper East Side ends.

Happy Halloween to all Spirits & Friends!

On 2nd Avenue in front of Crumbly Bakery*, see Jack stand. Walk by to hear him talk, or shake his hand. *{between East 89th and East 90th Streets}

4 Bonus Upper East Side Brownstones to see: If you pass them on foot, be ready to flee!🩸

Click photos to unveil the gory details.πŸ‘€ Nothing to fear, no charge to enlarge!πŸ”ͺπŸ§›‍♂️πŸŽƒ

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Is Jewelry A Waste Of Money?

Photo: Graff - High Jewelry can hold its value if one is rich enough to buy (and insure) it.

Jewelry is an over-priced luxury item I can appreciate. I like leather bags, shoes, and clothes, but I love jewelry😍. Yet due to the great expense, I'm more of a browser than a buyer. First a dreamer then a realist I like to say! I can't afford the big flawless stones that cost 5 or 6 zeros. They're gorgeous and frankly, the cut, carat, color, and clarity I really want! Suffice it to say, I understand the appeal and the temptation, so I may be the perfect person to answer the question: Is jewelry a waste of money?

Photo: Brilliant Earth
In purely a practical sense, the answer is yes! Absolutely! 100%!! Waste. Of. Money!!! Jewelry is always a luxury item and never (or rarely) an investment. We don't need it, we buy it because we want it, but aside from aesthetics, it really serves no pragmatic purpose.

By limiting the supply of diamonds and clever marketing to create high demand {with its famous "A diamond is forever" 1947 slogan), DeBeers, the then monopoly diamond seller, was able to hike up the price of diamonds even though the stones are not rare, but quite common in nature. The high demand and high prices for diamonds are still with us today. Lab-grown diamonds will likely continue to lower their costs in the future.

Photo: Macy's
But it's not just diamonds, the markup on all fine jewelry is significant, however as soon as it leaves the jewelry store, and you own it, the jewelry loses its value. If you try to resale a necklace, bracelet, earrings, or ring, you'll rarely get what you paid for the jewelry. At best, the same jeweler who sold you the piece may offer you its wholesale price. What's more, to recoup a decent percentage of your money, you better be re-selling high-quality jewelry, i.e., flawless stones with substantial, perhaps 18k gold. There's no guarantee you'll walk away with a profit, and certainly not enough of a profit to rebuy the jewelry again. The rare exception is high jewelry (↑top image), as opposed to mid-priced jewelry. There are always high rollers with excessive disposable income looking for top-of-the-line high jewelry. High jewelry (including celebrity-auctioned estate jewelry) is its own niche. Average earners can't afford it.

Reselling expensive watches such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, or Tudor Pelagos can also exceed their original value if kept in like new condition (minus scratches) because enough people with deep pockets like to wear these luxury watch brands. 

Photo: Baby Gold
As it turns out, the skimpy a/k/a dainty or light chains, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings are harder to resale at a profit due to less precious metal, demand, and their averageness. To boot, shoppers of 2nd hand markets expect to score bargains.

The true value of jewelry is its beauty along with its sentimental value. A little glitter can complete or add pizzazz to an outfit. Sparkle can make us happy or remind us of the person who gave us a lovely gift out of love ... which is not a waste of money. 

I'd never discourage anyone from buying fine jewelry ... a few curated pieces (within your budget) as things of beauty. Adding some flash to your life should make you feel happy. Just don't tell yourself it's an investment.

Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels 

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Sunday, October 22, 2023

#Short: Bad Bunny's Dark and Sparkly Style

Last night Saturday Night Live's host and musical guest, Bad Bunny (Benito Antonio MartΓ­nez Ocasio) caught my eye with his dark and sparkly style during his performance of the song, Monaco.

His latticework vest made of glittering crystals against his black long-sleeved top and smooth, black, leather, boot-cut pants stood out. The pants were fitted and cozy, as opposed to foolishly tight. 

Then I wondered about his shoes. They were causal smart, black leather boots with pointy (?), narrow toes, and thick elevated heels.

It's a no-brainer, I loved his drop diamond earrings which you can see, as well as, his bracelets and rings which you can't see in the posted photos (but could on a big television screen).

No element was overdone. With the perfect ratio of dark to shimmer, the rapper has an edgy and glamorous style that is Savvy Shopper approved! Not saying Bad Bunny needs my approval, but Savvy Shopper-admired doesn't have the same ring to it, (and spell-check keeps correcting it to the former anyway:). Now where on planet earth can we get Bad Bunny's vest!?!

What's your favorite piece of Bad Bunny's ensemble? 

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Friday, October 20, 2023

Halloween Bags And High Fashion At T.J. Maxx

BETSEY JOHNSON Ginger Pumpkin Crossbody

I love going to my local T.J. Maxx, as well as, browsing online despite not being able to bring up specific designers by typing a name into its search box. Yes, a pain! T.J. Maxx has an agreement with certain designers not to disclose that their commodities, often marketed as exclusive, have landed at the retailer, discounted. Fair enough for the savings!

BETSEY JOHNSON Boo Ghost Crossbody

Moreover, here's thrilling news from the United Kingdom ... its T.K. Maxx, the company name across the pond, has paired with consignment shops to offer haute couture items for folks who buy Chanel, Louis Vuitton, or St. Laurent bags, wallets, or cardholders! Some of these high fashion labels are also landing on T.K. Maxx's shelves under the radar. If going forward you see them, it's not a mirage. Sometimes I see Valentino or Choe leather goods at the USA's sister company, T.J. Maxx, in addition to its Off the Runway section of apparel. The merchandise is still pricey, yet reduced by hundreds of dollars for interested consumers.

As regular readers know, I have an interest in haute couture as a blogger, although I don't buy it for myself. I'm happy with my Coach leather handbags and have picked up non-couture leather goods of excellent (or good enough however usually stellar) quality from T.J. Maxx's shelves. I buy all my leather wallets and cardholders for under $15. Shhhh, don't tell anyone! [I'll have to put this problem child bag identifying information here. BAGAMOUR Made In Italy Leather Baguette Crossbody →]

Now let's end with a bit of spooky fun. I've pulled up some Halloween-themed bags that are available until supplies last from T.J. Maxx's online website to feature throughout today's blog. The retailer always offers super cute holiday-themed home goods, as well as, apparel (including children's costumes) and bags, and shoppers may not have to go elsewhere. No scary prices for Maxximistas to find!

On the ends are ISADORA Made In Italy Leather Phone Holders and in the center a DIVINA FIRENZE Leather Triple Compartment Crossbody.

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