It's Raining Gems! Hallelujah!

Here, I have on Pomellato's Capri earrings with chrysoprase, blue sapphires, and rose gold.

After a coffee chat with a friend uptown at Bel Ami Cafe yesterday morning, it started to rain. I suspected that it was the beginnings of the Nor'easter. The rain wasn't a shower or even a drizzle, but rather large, heavy, semi-frozen plops that seemed to sit for just a second before splattering. I hurried down Madison Avenue, clutching my wool jacket closed tighter and ducking my head as though that would help. Here's what New Yorkers without umbrellas do when it rains: We periodically pop into a store or a cafe along the way until we make it to our final destination. For me, the nearest shelter happened to be the Pomellato boutique, which also happens to be my favorite jeweler. 

It didn't take long before I found myself having a seat and trying on trays and trays of beautiful jewelry. Colorful, glossy, shiny, sparkly...Like a little magpie, I bit. Oh, sure, this something I'd do on any old day: Walk into my favorite jewelry store, try on jewelry, figure out which one to go home with--or, in my case, dream about for years to come. It was the best cheap thrill a girl could ask for! 

The manager noticed that I was wearing a Pomellato ring. "We could have that polished for you," he offered, "It would be no charge to you and, in two weeks, it will come back looking brand new." I looked down at my ring. The stones needed to be properly cleaned and the gold mounting was scratched up with dings from years of wear. I wriggled it off my finger and laid it down on the tray.

I had a million dollar experience for all but $0. Paper bag princess moment? I think yes.


Backstory

I had first come across their Pomellato jewelry a dozen years ago when I was a make-up artist. One of my clients was a very fashionable French woman named Delphine. While I was applying her blush and pulling the brush towards her cheekbones, I caught a glimpse of her lapis lazuli earrings, a dark matte-blue stone with a touch of sparkle from the diamond pavé details. I couldn't stop admiring them. They were eye-catching yet understated enough for everyday wear. I asked her about them, hoping that they were costume pieces that I could afford. "These are by Pomellato," she told me, "I bought them in Italy." It was a name that I never forgot. 

Memories of a Former Uptown Girl

This picture of me was taken inside The Pierre and not inside of Sirio. (The actual restaurant was too crowded for a photo-op!)

For a good chunk of time, I lived on the Upper East Side--nearly six years, to be exact. It was a different time in my life. I was working as an account executive at Chanel and walked down Madison Avenue to the office every morning, branded from head to toe. I had moved there after four years of living in a landmark building on a cute block in the West Village.

It was a small universe from 60th Street up to 79th Street, bordered by Fifth and Lexington Avenues, so I knew exactly who I'd likely see on that morning walk. On my way, I'd catch a glimpse of my art dealer neighbor having his morning espresso at Terramare, and, around the corner at the now-closed La Goulue, the charming French maître d' would stop me for a hello and obligatory air kiss. And, of course, the flame-haired saleswoman from Bergdorf with her funky eyeglasses would be hurrying along just a few steps ahead of me.

I moved downtown to Greenwich Village two years ago and seldom make it back to the old neighborhood. Last night, I got a little taste of uptown life again at the opening cocktail party for Sirio, the new restaurant at The Pierre from Sirio Maccioni, the legendary impresario behind Le Cirque fame. The people-watching, as you can imagine, was a treat. There were moneyed old men with pretty young things, grand dames decked out in their baubles, and clusters of socialites looking chic and very... Blonde. You don't come by these sights too often downtown.

Sirio took over what was Le Caprice, a London export, and transformed it into an intimate and sophisticated space, taking design cues from the high style of 1960's Italy. It felt luxurious yet warm and approachable. My favorite element was the chrome-accented bar with a glass case displaying ocean treasures on crushed iced: whole Dover sole, glimmering under the light, and langoustines so fresh their legs were still tickling about.

I was curious about the contemporary Tuscan menu. It made me wonder if I will ever dine here. Life's so different now. I live just a few subway stops away and it feels like a completely different world. It seems that I'm back to being a downtown girl again, but maybe--just maybe--there's still a flicker of my uptown self somewhere inside.