Thursday, July 16, 2009


Hey there! If you're on here looking for the latest news on The Secret City, we have a new blog address!

Hate to leave the ol' blogspot, as I have loved it. BUT, the typepad account allows us to do more 'STUFF'...which we will be doing in the near future. Thanks for stopping by. Chris

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who knew that childcare could be stylish?

This is me with the Parks--Steve, Kelly, Owen and Eliza. They came to the Secret City on Sunday.
They were dressed beautifully, all of them. And Owen and Eliza were the first children to take advantage of our childcare!

They loved Emma, our wonderful babysitter, and they drew pictures and had a great time. While we were celebrating the creative spirit downstairs, they were upstairs channeling it.

The Secret City is expanding, and allowing for families to participate in a way that supports the services, and the needs of those with kids.

So, bring yer kids to The Secret City!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A stylish fellow

He was a dancer. It was all he knew. Oh, and floral arranging.

A little story about style...

This is from my dear friend Patti Tippo. Patti lives in LA. She's a wonderful actress and a very stylish woman.
One of the tricks to Patti's style is she doesn't have too many clothes, but she has great taste. So, when I was thinking
about the people I wanted to ask to contribute to the service, I thought of her. What I did was ask 12 of my most stylish
friends to send in inspirations, images, a memory--something that meant something to them in regards to STYLE.
We put people's stories, images and inspirations on the wall of the space yesterday. At the part in the service where we look at the art on the walls, we went around and had people read the stuff out loud.

Patti offered this story. Enjoy.

"When I was 22, (this would have been the early 80s), I took a course through est, maybe it was through the Forum, but it was geared toward film industry people, and it was going to be grueling. For the orientation they had us stand up and introduce ourselves, there were maybe about 100 people. And you were supposed to stand up and divulge a secret, something you didn’t want people to know about yourself. So I stood up. I wanted to do the exercise well and I said, “The thing I don’t want you to know about me is that I think you’re all tacky.” Someone said, “What?” And I said, “I think you’re all tacky.” There was no laughter and I took that to mean that inside they knew I was right."

Style Update!

Hello all you beautiful and lovely people. Monday now, the day after our STYLE service. WOW. What an amazing, colorful, beautiful event. I'm going to post some pics here and give some highlights of the service.

This is Laurel Devaney and Lyssa Mandel, two of the Secret City Singers.

So, the reason I chose the theme of STYLE this month was complex. It is the dead of winter here in New York, and it's been a long, cold, gray one. And, as we all know, times are tough, and the world is freaking out about the economic situation. So, there was that. It was also fashion week last week, and New York does turn out for that. and in the streets around Bryant Park one sees a lot of stylish and international folks. On top of that, it was the Academy Awards last night, and well, you know those movie people like to dress up and talk about themselves, and that seems stylish, too.

BUT, I think the real, overriding reason to have STYLE as our theme was this: I felt the services needed a little bit more oomph. That joy that comes from wearing a smart outfit. Or the elan that emerges when we feel confident. The exuberance of feeling one's own personal style. And, it worked.

We had an amazing time, and the vibe in the room was joyful, and the service was the most expansive yet.

This is a shot of the food offering. It was an Opera Cake, made by Jack Lawhon, a wonderful baker and a dear, generous man. The cake was presented on two old silver platters. That's Lisa Rothe on the right, with her new, cute haircut.

The almonds were gold-dusted. MMMMM. I LOVE this picture.

We started with Jeremy playing some great, classic Brazilian music. Lots of Bossa Nova--Desafinado, One Note Samba, Girl from Ipanema. Songs with such great style; they evoke ease and sunshine and saudade, that great Brazilian word for a quality that we all know and feel cannot name in English. It was a sweet breeze that got the room set up right.

Nikki Hughes read the Cultural Calendar for us. Here she is on the runway, from the fashion show portion of the service.

The featured art on the walls this month was sent/brought in by different people. I asked some of my most stylish pals to send me something or someone whose style inspires them. We had seven people participate. We put their images and their own 'curation' notes on the wall and read them aloud. Here's Jamie Brickhouse with his style inspiration: Miss Joan Crawford.

And people dressed!

And new people came, too. All sorts of lovely new people. People like my cousin Maddy.

I'll write more tomorrow. Gotta get the follow-up emails out. Hey, we're on facebook now, too, as a group. If you're not a member, join now! The Secret City is taking off, and we don't want to leave without you!

Love and kisses.

And Coco Chanel.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Stylish Affair

We had out latest service today, February 22nd. The theme was STYLE. So much to report, and it's too late to do it now. We had a great service, though, and it was packed. Lots of new people, and lots of love and joy in the room.

I'll leave you with one of the many great images from the day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Hello style mavens. Our next service is this Sunday, February 22nd
and our theme this month is STYLE. What better way to combat these
late-winter, recessional/depressional blues?

I'm thrilled about the way the service is coming together.

We have Jeremy Bass playing Songs from Brazil on guitar.
Jack Lawhon is preparing an Opera Cake (!) for the food offering.
The walls will be adorned with stylish iconography submitted by our
most stylish friends.
We'll be screening an excerpt from STYLE WARS, the documentary
about New York subway graffiti in the 1980s.
Joanna Adler will be sharing some epigrams from Coco Chanel and
we will be having a participatory fashion show WITH PAPARAZZI!
And we'll be listening to some Bowie together.

As usual, we'll have out regular, juicy features like The Cultural Calendar,
the Mingling Ritual, Our Gratitudes, Meditation and coffee hour. And, of
course, The Secret City Singers will be with us, too, spreading the love.

I hope you can join us.

The Secret City
137 W. 14th St.
february 22nd, 1130am

Oh, and with the theme being STYLE, please dress.