City Pulse

By Amber Roniger

Wanna watch Jon Stewart tweak harder than usual? Learn the word for ‘neighbor whose house is on fire?’ Or know how Will Shortz finagled majoring in crossword puzzles at college? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is most imperative that you check out Patrick Creadon’s effusive WORDPLAY, an innovative movie, which peers into the manic world of puzzle-junkies. Didn’t know such a plane existed? Well neither did I, and it’s still a bit hard to fathom. But after sitting in the IFC Center theatre opening night (which for the longest time was the boarded-up Waverly, right next to the pizza place where me ‘n my high school boyfriend used to… never mind), with an audience chock-a-block with word nerds lobbing rapid-fire questions at Shortz like: “what’s your favorite word”, and “why do you use Brian Eno so much”, I’m a believer. Apparently there’s an entire sub-cultural movement centered on crossword puzzles. Who knew?

I myself am not a puzzle-fiend, but there is something so quintessentially ‘New Yorker’ about the NYTimes crossword puzzle that I just couldn’t resist exploring the phenomena. The movie is genuinely funny and surprisingly moving and I found myself getting emotional near the climax of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (yah, there’s an annual competition, and yah, it climaxes, no joke). About 500 top puzzlers from around the country gather at the Stamford Marriot every year to compete for almost no money and somewhat dubious glory. But no matter, because these loquacious word arrangers go for the gusto like it was the Indy 500. Here’s what I love best about this flick: the fact that the filmmakers made it in their spare bedrooms. There’s such an amazing independent spirit to this movie that you just can’t help but be drawn into the film, and intrigued about the why’s and what for’s of storytelling process. It’s a real testament to the willpower of individuals to prevail in the most bizarre of arenas. And as an aside, you wouldn’t believe how many people have crossword puzzle art on their living room walls. Scary!

I’ll tell you what, if you’re feeling a bit intellectually haughty lately and need to be cut down to size, Wordplay is the perfect way to do it. I left the theatre thinking about my unbelievably sparse grasp on the English language and how the next book I read is going to be the dictionary.

www.wordplaythemovie.com
IFC Center: 323 Avenue of the Americas
www.ifcfilms.com

WHERE SIMPLE IS BEAUTIFUL
By Amber Roniger

Black-clad boys pass out truffles in bird’s nests. I think I will, thank you very much. Gurgling serenity fountains and soothing ohm. Architectural design and fierce savoire faire. Killer finger foodies. Stylie all natural nail files (like pooka-shells), earthen pottery wares from the times of Kahn (eer, maybe not that long). Ceramic Moroccan lamb dishes (I was sure they were huge wacky wine decanters, but still… aesthetic). An incense collection from all over the globe that would dazzle and amaze even the globe-trotting Jolie-Pitts. Bubbling Prosecco and designer blue iced tea. Of what, you wonder, do I speak? This Tuesday marked the pre-opening of the stylish new ARCADIA store in the former Big Cup location (a moment of silence for the Cup…okay, over it). Located in Chelsea on Eighth Ave., Arcadia is your new primo hideaway; an oasis of calm (no, really it is) from the honks and hustle of the city streets. Your personal serenity zone/Zen garden/leave-your-worries-behind/spa-shop beautifully stocked with hand-made, fair-trade artifacts and pishy-posh beauty and home products from practically every exotic port of call. The whole joint just kinda screams ‘relax!’ in the most oxymoronic sorta way. You can shop ‘n shop and relax for hours on end in artesian glamour and pampering. Stay all day long if you please (uh, yes please). Each precious product beautifully displayed in Arcadia has been handpicked by owner Jay Gurewitsch to specifically create a counterbalancing force to the insanity storm cloud of everyday city life.

I explore Arcadia’s spa rooms, in which a well-trained staff performs select beauty treatments with DR. HAUSCHKA COSMETICA and MURAD brands for facials, and restorative manicures (as in, fixing the nail nightmare you’re currently sporting from the $7 mani you thought was such a clutch deal), scalp treatments (I hear the men-folk looooove this), skin care consultation, Botox and Restylane.

So if you want it all, and you want it now… then come to Arcadia and see if they can’t satiate your Veruca Salt cravings for the most unique and best-of-the-best products that are out there…anywhere. And be amongst the first to crawl out of the heat and step into the cool of the Zen garden that is Arcadia, before the stomping hordes of Chelsea men discover this as-of-yet, hidden little gem.

Arcadia
228 Eighth Avenue (btw. 21st & 22nd Sts.)
(212) 243-5358
www.arcadianyc.com
Store Interior Picture photographed by Andrew Zrike

KISS THIS
By Alisa Leonard

Kiss me you fool! I’ve sooo always wanted to say that without it coming off somehow ridiculously cheesy… but alas, I think it may be impossible to avoid the cheese. Deepest apologies for that digressive intro, ladies, and straight on to the point! It looks as if the Victoria’s Secret machine has done it again. I mean, the dawn of the IPEX Bra was enough to send this D-cup girl twirling over the moon with glee, but now Vic’s let another kitty out of the must-have bag…luscious lips for summer! Yep, VS’ recently-launched line of bitchin’ balm has an additional six new shades for summer in tres delicious flavors like melon, grape, and sour apple. Remember that old junior high stand-by of Bonne Belle watermelon lipbalm? Well now you can have VICTORIA’S SECRET BEAUTY RUSH LIP GLOSSES…all grown up and delish fabulous. The new shades read like a flirty cocktail menu: happy-hour APPLETINI, pucker up in PINKED LEMONADE, mondo MANGO MADNESS, they’re greeeaaaat! GRAPESICLE, coolin’ COCONUT CRAZE, and I-do HONEY DO….um, yum-yum! Shaken, with a twist, please!

And leave it to Vic to come up with the most innovative way to spread the lip-saving word. Supermodel Izabel Goulart, the newest Victoria’s Secret Angel, was seen screeching around town in a Beauty Rush ice cream truck scooping up no-calorie free samples for the masses. How freaking brill is that?

I must say, me thinks this summer’s forecast is looking hot, tasty and oh-so-kissalicious. With 21 shades and flavors in all, and at only $7 a pop, these lickable flavors may just prove addictive. And despite the awesome price tag, please don’t misunderstand — these ain’t some kiddie lip-smack schmutz you shmear on only for the beach (well you can do that too); they’ve got some serious glam shine going on. Victoria definitely knows sexy, right down to the lips…oh and yes, darlings, they’re kiss-friendly for sure, not eewwy-gooey sticky (of course the kissing scientist tested them personally!). And they have staying shine power….and did I mention tasty? Oh yah, I did. This summer lovin’ I’m gonna have me a blast with a juicy burst of flavor. I’m gonna be that irresistible femme with that begging-to-be-kissed kisser. So come on…and kiss me.

Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Lip Glosses
Visit your nearest Victoria’s Secret
or www.VictoriasSecret.com

Originally published June 2006
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