Dating New York — Is it Right or Right Now?

I started seeing NYC two weeks ago. We’re still in the early phases of dating. Assessing how much we like each other. Wondering whether this is a fling, a friendship, or the real deal.

The city is beautiful no doubt. The architecture stops you in your tracks. It catches you unaware and before you know it, you’re staring into it’s eyes and forgetting where you are.

The weather is like that extra weight you hope goes away, but if it doesn’t, you suspect you’ll get used to it.

New York is a very smart city. Always thinking. You can easily find yourself having fantastic conversations with very bright people who do really interesting jobs, and then just as you meet them, you meet their friends, who aren’t smart or very nice and then you’re back to missing the city of your past with it’s “no worries,” and “it’s all good” attitude, longing to be back where you came from.

When dating, it’s good to be firm in who you are, but open to new ideas and ways of doing things. It’s not easy after many years of steady sun and moderate weather. Driving versus walking. Flip-flops versus snow boots. But, change can be good. It’s fun flirting with the sexy bad boy, cold and rainy, then hot and steamy, but maybe it’s best to stay with the one who’s been so reliable.

I brought less baggage to this city than ever and even after arriving I dumped more. My mover asked me, while unloading my boxes and furniture, “Ever seen the move ‘Fight Club’?” I said, “yes.” He said, “Oh, then you’ll remember the line, ‘You don’t own your stuff, your stuff owns you.'” My immediate next thought was, “He’s right. I need to get rid of more shit. So, I’ll have less shit to move when I run like hell from this godforsaken city, back to the West Coast.”

But, there’s so much of this city I have yet to explore. We haven’t gotten intimate yet. It’s too soon for that. Our interactions are limited. Work to home, home to work. A few walks around the block. A couple of restaurants near my apartment. We haven’t even gotten to first base yet — public transit — much less a Knicks game, Broadway show or bike ride through Central Park. I have a lot to offer the city, but its offerings are probably even more than I can imagine. I hope I don’t disappoint it.

It’s too soon at this point  to know if this will turn into a long-term thing, or be a fond dalliance, but I’m excited to get to know NY. I like a lot of things about it so far. But I’m a realist, I know it won’t be easy. A happy relationship takes work. As a couple I wrote about this past week, who celebrated 82 years of marriage said, the secret is: respect, affection and not sweating the small stuff. Sounds like sage advice.

Time will tell.

Rufskin

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The owners of the Rufskin Clothing line and the new North Park store have been partners for over twenty years and the adorable couple, Douglas Coats and Hubert Pouches, are a perfect team.

Pouches was a modeling agent.

The two met in Paris while Coats was still modeling.
Pouches is also a renowned clothing designer. The handsome Frenchman has worked with the famed and ultra-modern design house Andre Courreges, (gossip has it Courreges invented the mini-skirt), and Victoria Secret.

In 2001, Pouches turned his talents inward, and began designing for himself.  He’d always wanted to design a line for men; so, it didn’t take long for the owners to create Rufskin.

Using Pouches’ astrological sign of Aries to create the Rams head logo, and Coat’s American love of Tuffskin jeans, Rufskin was born in the form of a very lucrative wholesale business.

Channeling the 70’s Pouches brings his couture experience to designing a very sexy line with a distinctly European flair.

The flagship store is the first for the small pop and pop company.

Currently the line is sold in over sixty-three boutiques worldwide.

The look of the San Diego store is flamboyant and sophisticated at the same time.  As you enter, the first piece of furniture you see is a white Ostrich sofa.  The dressing rooms are decorated with the same white animal fabric.

“In the US, the line is decidedly more geared for Gay men. In Europe however, men are more risky dressers, and a little more fashion forward.  So, anything goes,” says Jason Wimberly, the very hot star of Rufskin global sales.

The number one best selling item for Rufskin is the denim line.  Called by names like Ziggy, Webster, or Carter, all the jeans come with attitude and all are more than a little bit sexy. Designed with a low-rise and some very comfortable stretch fabrics, the writer only wishes that were made for women as well.

Rufskin is all made and manufactured in San Diego.  From the fitted sleeve tees, to the low-rise athletic shorts, the denim and leather underwear (complete with cock ring detail), to the unitards, the photo print swimsuits, and the custom lambskin jackets—Pouches loves San Diego and says he’s committed to keeping his business here.

Sabrina Reflexology

Meet Sabrina Cox, a reflexologist and natural nails technician who has taken the ubiquitous manicure and pedicure treatment and raised it to a high art. Working at an Art Moderne building on Normal Street in Hillcrest—an understated, second-story space with nothing to distract from pure escape and indulgence—Cox blends the pampering of m

assage and the health benefits of reflexology with the art of creating beautiful hands and feet.

“It was my mom who told me to add the nails to the treatment,” says Cox. “The real reason women get their nails done is so they can have their feet and hands rubbed.”

Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears, and they have referral areas, or zones, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on reflex points—the feet being the primary area—reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote natural functions of the body.

Cox’s salon only uses natural nail products. No funky toxic smells here. She uses a nail line called No Miss—no petroleum based solvents or Formaldehyde. Neither does Cox trade in gel or acrylic nails.

“My services are limited,” she says proudly. “Pedicures and manicures with reflexology treatment or just reflexology alone. That’s it.”

For her pedicure with reflexology treatment, Cox has clients sit in a zero-gravity chair. The chair tilts back, relieving pressure on the lower back, and also giving Cox full access to a client’s feet. After a nice hot foot bath, salt scrub, and cuticle clean-up, it’s time for Cox to knead away the stress.
“It’s a hurt so good kinda’ thing,” notes Cox.

After the 30-minute reflexology treatment, Cox adds an oil or lotion, followed by and another 10-15 minutes of massage. Last comes the polish.
“I want people to walk out feeling and looking differently than when they came it,” says Cox says. Customers spend $45 for a pedicure with reflexology; and $75 for a reflexology-only extended session.

A visit to Cox is more than just the little pity-pat play massage with a mani/pedi at the local nail shop. Considering the health benefits, how beautiful your little piggy’s will look when you leave—and the near-ecstasy of having someone knead your feet into submission—it seems worth the time and cost.

Make-up Super Stars

You don’t have to drive three hours north to Los Angeles to get fabulous hair and make-up done. Whether its hair extensions, Brazilian smoothing, a flawless face or a phenomenal cut-and-color, San Diego is home to creative and talented stylist.

Sheila Nellis is a cosmetic superstar, and Trish McEvoy’s right-hand woman. Nellis started as a make-up artist 20 years ago in San Diego’s Robinson’s stores with then-beauty giant Adrien Arpel. Today, she travels the globe for McEvoy, and her work can be seen in L.A. on Oscar night.

When Nellis is in San Diego she can be found at cosmetic counters wherever Trish McEvoy is sold, as well as behind the scenes on magazine shoots, runway shows and in a few lucky brides’ dressing rooms. Nellis says the look of San Diego is fast becoming the look everywhere: beachy and fresh, with a focus on clean, clear, great-looking skin.

Her one recommendation: more sunscreen.

One of San Diego’s best kept secrets is celebrity hair stylist Travis Parker, who has coiffed the heads of the beautiful and accomplished—Cindy Crawford, Katie Couric, Hillary Clinton, Gwynth Paltrow and Helen Hunt.

Parker’s chic, hip salon is in La Jolla. He’s a self-proclaimed “workaholic and neurotic over-achiever” who has kept his finger on the pulse on what’s fabulous in street culture and applied it to his luxury demographic.
Parker says women’s hair color should go lighter as they get older—better to warm skin tones. At $185 for a cut and $120 for color, Parker isn’t cheap. But the quality of his work is well known—he is constantly on the go, lecturing and training in Paris or Tokyo for the L’Oreal cosmetic company.