City Pulse

By Gillian Weeks

Take a deep breath. Clear your mind. It’s time for some City Pulse Word Association. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see:

Also check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WEePRPDpnM&mode=related&search=

Fuzzy. Happy. The emblem of all things good in the world. What I didn’t get for Christmas this year. Or any year. Crap in my shoe.

Celebrations. Weddings. Cristal. Jay Z. Da club. Riedel flutes. Plastic cups. Bathroom floor.

For the most part, all good things. If you want to find a way to tap into all that subconscious joy, then check out tonight’s FluteFest Champagne Tasting Extravaganza. Flute Gramercy will host a tasting of 20 different champagnes with all proceeds supporting Canine Companions for Independence. CCI is a national non-profit that provides highly trained assistance dogs for people with disabilities.

You’ll have the opportunity to taste champagnes from Piper-Heidsieck, G. H. Mumm, Perrier-Jouà«t, Moà«t & Chandon, Paul Goerg, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Taittinger, and many more. Just don’t overdo it. You don’t want to have to add “NYPD Drunk Tank” to the list of word associations.

The event will be held at 40 E. 20th St. (at Broadway and Park Avenue South) between 6:00pm and 10:00pm tonight, Thursday, October 26th. Tickets are $50 in advance and $75 at the door. Click here to buy them now!

Guzzle some bubbly and spread some canine love!

DO GET STUCK IN A Kà–RNER
By Charu Suri

Every city chick knows that all the Global Warming in the world won’t make a dent in her skin if she protects it from UV rays. And trust Körner Skincare to know exactly what to do to nourish that youthful glow that only party-lovin’, champagne-effervescent New York gals (and guys) can boast of.

On October 27th and 28th, in the recesses of the Körner Skincare Room at Bergdorf Goodman’s (where I’m convinced all seriously exotic skincare treatments dwell), you can receive a complimentary one-hour facial with the purchase of two Körner Skincare products (now if that’s not a deal, then I’m willing to bet you’re either a Martian or a Stockbroker).

The facial will aim to repair and combat damages to your skin as a result of you baking in the sun (tsk, tsk…we warned you to apply SPF). The Körner Skincare products that combine biotechnically advanced plant, marine and mineral extracts will be applied lovingly on your face. After a thorough cleansing and exfoliating experience, your skin cells will experience Nirvana by receiving an intense collagen boosting and cell-oxygenating massage, following by a skin dessert of Australian Pink Berry Thermal mask.

When you finish, remember to don those designer sunglasses and carry an umbrella. You don’t want the UV rays to play their wrinkly tricks on you — ever again. To book, call 212-872-2663.

I’m Too Sexy For Your Vote: The Midterm Elections Get Bootylicious
By Gillian Weeks

Yesterday, the cover of the Daily News featured a glamour shot of Hillary Clinton and the headline “‘I Was a Cutie‘.” It’s the latest article in a series that began when News reporter Ben Smith cited comments by Clinton’s Republican opponent for Senate, John Spencer. During a JetBlue flight to Rochester, Spencer reportedly derided Clinton’s looks during her youth. “You ever see a picture of her back then? Whew,” he said. “I don’t know why Bill married her.” Spencer also suggested that Clinton owes her improved appearance to “millions of dollars” of plastic surgery.

Spencer’s remarks have provoked outrage from observers of American politics. Many point to this as an example of the hurdles that female candidates must surmount to become viable candidates, and a representation of the pressures that are placed on a woman’s appearance. “It is nauseating to be hit with Spencer’s (alleged) deeply sexist assumption that a female politico’s looks are in any way worthy of discussion on the campaign trail,” writes Nona Willis-Aronowitz of Salon.com.

Those comments sure triggered my feminist fury: Here we go again, making the ladies work double duty as brainiacs and eye candy. Why can male candidates get bloated and splotchy without facing critique while female office-seekers are monitored with the precision of Kennel Club judges.

Then I did some thinking (and a little research). If you take stock of American politics to date, you’ll find that male politicians have faced some serious scrutiny, and not just with respect to their tax policies. Recall the 1960 presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the classic example of image-driven politics. People listening to the debate at home believed that Nixon had won, while those watching on television handed the victory to the young Senator Kennedy. Apparently his deep tan and sparkling smile overshadowed Nixon’s shadowy visage (and it certainly didn’t help that Nixon was sweating profusely).

Indeed, we have a history of giving both our male and female leaders the once-over. There was Ronald Reagan’s much-touted Hollywood good looks. Former Vice President and veritable hunk Dan Quayle was said to have quite a rapport with women voters. And recently, a Washington Post article made a careful study of the range of candidates running in the midterm elections, noting that “Democrats seem to be fielding an uncommonly high number of uncommonly good-looking candidates.” This observation comes from giving both sexes the eye.

With the radio days behind us, I doubt we’ll become any less aware of our leaders’ chiseled jaws, silken hair, or broad shoulders. Still, I’d also hesitate to say that the introduction of women into politics has led to a sharper focus on the suited T n’ A. It’s certainly absurd that the right haircut can sway a vote, but as long as we expect the same upkeep from our male politicos – and it seems that we do – then at least the playing field isn’t any more off kilter. It turns out John Kerry and his Botox regimen did us ladies a big favor.

Originally published October 2006
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