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[/center] I can admit it, I’m not half as urbane as I’d love to be. Sometimes I just want to dive down the rabbit hole of culture and history and get swallowed up somewhere around the age of innocence. Oh yeah, that’s right. Well… maybe INDIGO can be my Yellow Brick Roadmap. For those who seek adventure, new experiences, good company and fresh perspectives in the gritty city, Indigo is like a bump of speed, a cultural cure-all capsule for immediate consumption.

Holly Arnowitz, Indigo’s founder, likes to dibble and dabble in a little bit of everything, dahling. She creates custom tailored urban excursions for the serious, curious questor: lip-smacking art tours, fashion and shopping trips, personal growth seminars, wellness and pampering services, home and entertaining guidance. Pourquois mes amies? To keep you sitting pretty atop the cultural curve, in the know, right on the crux of the intellectual storm… and of course, to squeeze every ounce of pleasure outta life! Seriously. An ennobling and worthwhile cause. Like having your own personal everything maven, to mold you into the dashing intelligentsia, diva of wry witticisms, poet laureate in training of your erudite fantasies. Imagine your own loftiest vision of yourself… being all enlightened ‘n shite.

Indigo organizes all manner of highbrow personalized events: dinner salons (I so romanticize the existence of old-time salons where people practiced the art of conversation and “dress for dinner”), private art and museum tours (think cocktails at the Guggenheim after dark, bubbly) walks and talks (simultaneous show ‘n tell-intellectualism you oh-so-crave), food and wine delicacies (lay it on me, Wolfgang), and workshops (like mind-expansionism stuff).
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[/center] So now that I’ve decided to tango with Indigo’s cultural intrigue, you’re wondering what unique treats are on the summer menu, right? Indeed…in light of the waves of ultraviolet heat and the wacky rain of late, Indigo offers to savvy urban divas the opportunity to come on over and get in touch with their INNER BEAUTY. Perfect, right? I mean, we spend enough time getting acquainted with our outer beauty, so how refreshing to actually focus on what’s going on inside, exploring joys and pleasures of internal wellness. Nomi Bachar will lead a private workshop on Thursday, July 20th, with a series of guided exercises and meditations (yup, it always comes back to exercise and relaxation, don’t it?), and offer simple and practical tools for eliminating that familiar self-critical inner chatter (zip it… zip…it), and connecting to new beliefs about our ravishing, stunning selves (you know you are). Believe it. And afterward, step out into the world with a more loving, compassionate and beautiful sense of your radiant self (or so they declare, and you better believe I’m anxious to find out).

Indigo offers so many… fun (there I said it, that’s the only word for it… fun) packages and experiences to test-drive your far-flung tastes. I sooo love the concept of the on-going circle set-up: a standing date with a group of friends for custom scheduled experiences. Absolutely no
forethought necessary, just show up and go with it. (And I’m quite sure the single menfolks out there could benefit from some sort of Fletch type of romantic dating service… just a little brainstorm, Holly, you can have that one for ‘nuthin.)

Some of Indigo’s notably hot events in the near past include: Edit Your Closets with Help from Our Stylist, NY Fashion – Uptown/Downtown: at Barneys NY, Summer Strategies, Shop Til Their Jaws Drop – Master Stylist Excursion, and my personal favorite, Reveal Your Inner Diva for a Day. That is exactly the ticket, yah.

So go on now, allow yourself to be a smidgy intrinsically vain won’t you? Be more
fully involved, engage with life on a deeper level? C’est la vie, carpe diem!
[b]Inner Beauty Workshop[/b] July 20th, 11-2p.m.
RSVP by July 11th

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[b]IT’S A BEAUTIFUL LIFE[/b] By Michelle Quinn
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[/center] Look here… I get it. I know the bind you’re in. Your shopping quandary, so to speak. You ‘n me both, sister. We women each have our one particular obsession when it comes to [b][i]accessories[/i][/b]. My current fixation (read: àƒ¼ber-fascination) is with handbags: be they hobo, tote or evening. I just can’t stop the fixation!

I had a moment of truth the other day, while moving. I realized, after packing yet another box of finely-crafted, very pretty and oh-so cleverly designed purses, that my accessory collection obsession now teeters dangerously on the fringes of Betty Ford intervention status. But do I crumble? It’s true that my funds might be less than endless (as in frustratingly finite), so I frequently find myself overspending.

Between un-packing the collection in the new loft, and meditating on past-purchase-guilt (accentuated by my latest YSL purchase, equal to half of June’s rent à¢â‚¬” but sooo worth it), coupled with the recognition of my utter self-centeredness at forking out mini-me fortunes for veritable evening-time key-holders, I experience a profound panicked moment of regret.

How to assuage my half-Jewish/ half-Irish guilt? The warring voices in my ancient shopping brain duke it out, driving me half-mad: spend-thrift, spend-thrift! If I really stop and think about it for a moment, my rational brain wonders what kind of difference my purse funds could have actually made had they been donated to a worthy cause (eg benefiting people other than myself or why am I contributing to Donatella’s empire)? Deeper into my growing guilt/ charitable vibe, I do some quick math (well honed from snap-calculating purse-resources) and discover that my May shopping funds alone could have funded a small village in Africa for the month. Reflecting on the coveted YSL makes me wince. I am forced to ask myself: [i]has my handbag mania gone awry?[/i] [center] an image
[/center] I commence upon a googling frenzy. And I’m much relieved to learn that many of my fav fashion houses are already deeply committed on the charitable front. [i]Could it be possible for my accessories obsession to live in peace and harmony with this newly burgeoning global-awareness complex? Could I channel my passion for accessories into a bona fide do-gooding mission? Am I having an epiphany?[/i] Entree CLAIRE V. (la vie Claire translation: it’s a beautiful life).

The company was founded by Laura Bradford (with partner, Jennifer Jen) in 2002 in response to her travels through South East Asia, where she witnessed firsthand the utter destruction and human devastation caused by genocide and landmine injuries in the Cambodian Provinces. Overcome with compassion and determined to make a difference in the decimated lives of one of the world’s highest amputee populations, Laura created Claire V.’s silky-fruity collection of women’s handbags and accessories ( Gorgeous handcrafted silk yummies (all over the fashion pages for summer into fall) in so many flowery, draw-string, pouchy, sinewy sexy styles, all made by landmine victims. Workers are (of course) paid fair wages, which would be otherwise unlikely because of being an amputee; which would typically force them back into the same landmine-laden fields. Claire V. also contributes 10% of annual net profits toward health initiatives and education for woman and children in South East Asia.
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[/center] Claire’s mission is right on point, and will help guide me in my quest for fashion coupled with altruism. So I’m thinking: it’s time for all of us to be more conscious about where, to what and whom our hard-earned duckets go. We can be more proactive about seeking out public information (thank you Freedom of Information Act – rock on!) so we can find out which companies support public interest, and which are simple opportunists. We can begin to make fully conscious choices about where we lay down our dollar, peso, pound, euro or yen.

I’ve already started yapping the good-purse word to my fellow handbag style mavericks about Claire V.’s juicy collection and their cause, which is more than worthy of the balance of July’s rent allocation.

[b]Claire V.
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