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The Glamorous Life: a Diary

Notes from Rita F. Catinella Products Editor

Monday, March 11th
The week has started off badly. I got very little sleep over the weekend (my own fault) and feel a bit off today. Tonight's plans will consist of veging out on the couch and moving my car to the other side of the street so I don't get a ticket.

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Tuesday, March 12th
Things are looking up. Tonight I attended the opening for D'FLY, a new jewelry boutique in SoHo, with RECORD's assistant art director, Clara Huang. Upon admittance past the velvet rope, we were handed tickets for the "after party" at the Go! club in Chelsea. Spying a DJ booth set up in front of a glassed-in bamboo garden, we wove our way around the crowd, which included models wearing the D'FLY jewelry and watches on display. Designed by 3deluxe, the store features a fluidic muscle display system that is usually used for car production by automobile manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz and Porsche, and has never been used before in a retail store. The glass showcases are held together by custom-designed stainless steel attachments that allow heat from the lighting inside to escape while at the same time letting in cold air to preserve the condition of the products inside. Softy shaped "genetic" looking structures made of a bi-elastic, anti-flammable fabric hang from the ceiling and walls. The floor, made from black recycled rubber and coated polyurethane, was chosen because its cushion-like quality prevents dropped jewelry from damage.

After discovering the bar didn't have any Diet Coke, we thirstily headed out to the next event of the night—the launch of a new material called "Alusion" at The Apartment, a retail environment in SoHo. Alusion is a form of "stabilized aluminum foam" used as the cladding for one of the walls of the store. It is a raw, lightweight, metallic material that can also be used for shelving, fixtures, signage, and other uses. We snacked a bit on the hors d'oeuvres provided by The Kitchen, but didn't stay very long because there was nowhere to sit. The cardboard replications of furniture on display were not meant for tired editors to recline upon.

Wednesday, March 13
Met a group of publicists at , down on Cornelia Street. Enjoyed the rustic Italian fare and industry gossip. Later, got a last minute call to attend a dinner at Stephen Hanson's newest restaurant, Fiamma, designed by Jeffrey Beers. Clara and I arrived at 6:30 and got a chance to check the place out before the masses arrived. The layers of lighting (including custom-designed pendants made of stretched silk that appears to be a wood veneer), materials (such as rolled glass from Germany, Italian white marble, and multi-colored mosaics everywhere) and products (one-armed leather dining chairs) will make this one of the hottest new places to eat- and that isn't even taking into consideration the food, which was delicious. We sampled thinly sliced big eye tuna with capers, olives, and shaved bottargo; pan-roasted sea scallops with crispy artichokes, black trumpets and parmigiano; braised veal shank raviolini with porcini mushrooms; ricotta cheese tortellini with asparagus tips and grated pecorino; roasted filet of halibut with manila clams, leeks, potatoes and herb pesto; and pan-seared veal chop scented with sage, cipolline onions, and roasted asparagus. For dessert, Clara had a hazelnut extravaganza of some sort, and I enjoyed beignets with four dipping sauces. The celebrity sightings were also very good: seated next to us were the rapper Jay-Z, and Sex and the City's Kyle MacLachlan. An odd couple to say the least.

Thursday, March 14, 2002
Taken out to lunch at db at 55 West 44th Street, Daniel Boulud's "bistro." The space was designed by Jeffrey Beers as well—and also features elegant materials and furnishings. I would have enjoyed the $28 hamburger on the menu, but I gave up meat for Lent. Instead, I ordered porcini mushrooms and fettuccini, and enjoyed that almost as much as the red meat I was craving. As I was chatting with my lunch date, I saw Donatella Versace walk in, followed by a white-haired fashion editor whom I'm at a loss to name. After that, I watched the door like a hawk, expecting to see Donna, Ralph, Karl, and Tommy joining her for a burger. They didn't.

Friday, March 15
Suffering withdrawal from the week's festivities. I was so wrapped up in work-related events that I forgot to make weekend plans. Afraid that anything I plan will not involve the top dining and A-List clientele I am accustomed to. Will probably rent Legally Blonde and eat macaroni and cheese. There's always next week.

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