Blondi’s Salon: An Oasis Of Chic In A New York Desert


So there was I, in the back of my car, driving uptown on Broadway in Manhattan for a meeting with a potential client. Then it happened. I happened to glance in the mirrored glass that separates me from my driver and gasped.

My hair was a MESS! My beautiful cascading blonde waves looked greasy! More so, because I was wearing a headband. In my hurry to pick a suitable Missoni outfit and leave, I had neglected to check my mane in the mirror, except for a glance across the room.

I couldn’t meet a potential client looking like this! Glancing out the windows of my car, all I saw were Supercuts, whatever that is. But then I looked out at Broadway, and saw:


Sparkly objects instantly get my attention, and these were huge chandeliers, hanging in a clean, chic white space filled with—salon chairs!

I ordered my driver to pull over, then called my client to say that an appointment with Meredith Viera would be delaying me a tad.

The chic chandelier’d emporium was Blondi’s Salon.

“I need a shampoo and blowout IMMEDIATELY,” I said to the lovely young blonde thing behind the desk. “And FAST. I have an important meeting!”

(Note: this does not capture the magnificence of the chandelier, but that is hardly my fault. Different lovely thing, too.)

The young lady, whose name was Stephanie, smiled and waved over a stylist, a man with long hair named Anthony. “Anthony can take you right away, Miss,” she said.

Anthony, who, it turned out, is quite the intellectual (he quoted both Dante and Virgil), took me in hand. Bucky nestled quietly in my lap under the black cover, ready to bite if Anthony’s hands went any lower than my collarbone. (It’s been known to happen.)

The results were magnificent, and achieved in record time! It was then that I knew I had to write about this beautiful salon, nestled on Broadway near 106th Street, next to a hardware store. Cognitive dissonance, to say the least.

The owner, darkly handsome Joseph Nasser, started Blondi’s in Los Angeles twelve years ago, before moving to New York City. He opened his first New York salon on the East Side, then another one close by, where the clientele includes celebrities, society mavens, and the crème de la crème of both sexes. The salon has been featured in such publications as New York Magazine and GQ.

Nasser was born in Lebanon, where he started cutting hair at the tender age of fourteen. His brothers were a doctor and an engineer, respectively, so young Joseph’s interest in hair was considered a tad peculiar.

However, it paid off handsomely. Joseph Nasser had noticed there were no first-class beauty salons in the neighborhood known as Morningside Heights. His Upper West Side based clients were begging him to open one. He opened it in what was the former local Obama campaign headquarters, which Nasser considered a great augury.

His hairstyling staff has worked in all of the most prestigious salons in New York City, and they have swiftly built up a loyal following. For those who are used to midtown prices, Blondi’s is surprisingly reasonable: womens’ haircuts start at $45, mens at $30. They do it all: color, extensions, makeup and even bridal makeup.

Nasser is proud that they are able to offer Japanese relaxers for the hair starting at $250, as opposed to Brazilian relaxer, which can cost upward of $600. Blondi’s Salon has a number of glowing reviews on a number of sites, including Citysearch:

I have requested that Anthony do my hair during New York Fashion Week, because a girl needs to look impeccable at all times! I can think of no higher recommendation than allowing him to style my blonde locks.

Do look them up; they are always running specials and discounts as well!

Blondi’s Salon
2742 Broadway
New York 10025


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Sonya Sotomayor, A Plus-Sized Woman,On Her Way To The Supreme Court!


I am beside myself! Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee for the Supreme Court! Not only is she a perfect candidate, she is a beautiful plus-size female!

Oh, yes, and she is Latina as well. In my excitement I forgot that for a moment. Below is an excerpt from an article from today’s USA Today.

by Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor by a 13-6 vote Tuesday,
along almost perfect partisan lines and after two hours of debate.
All Democrats voted for Sotomayor, President Obama’s first nominee to
the high court. All Republicans except Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, opposed. The nomination of Sotomayor, a 17-year veteran of the federal bench, now goes to the full Senate for a vote. That is likely to be held the week of Aug. 3, just before the Senate leaves for its summer recess.

Graham said he was backing Sotomayor partly because he believed President Obama, having won last November’s election, deserved wide latitude to make appointments within the judicial mainstream.
Graham deemed Sotomayor “well qualified,” of “good character” and within “the mainstream.” Sotomayor would be the first Latina justice in U.S. history. “Now that’s a big deal,” Graham said.

And to his fellow conservative Republicans, Graham added, “She can be no worse than Souter, from our point of view.” Newly retired Justice David Souter, whom Sotomayor would succeed, was named by the first
President Bush in 1990 yet became a reliable vote for the liberal wing.

Democrats currently control 60 of the 100 votes in the Senate, and an easy majority vote for Sotomayor is not in doubt. Sotomayor, who would become the 111th justice in history, would be the third woman ever appointed and the second current female justice. Justice Ruth
Bader Ginsburg is presently the only female on the nine-member high

Must dash to the phones–I am certain a woman in that position needs a stylist, and I am that stylist!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Dateline Washington DC: Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Gown


So, Michelle Obama is wearing a glorious ivory one shoulder gown by Jason Wu. (Jason Who? No matter, the entire world will know his name tomorrow.)

Photo by Damon Winter/The New York Times

The only problem with it is that she cannot dance in it, because the new President keeps stepping on the train. But it is so much more beautiful than some of the horrors other designers came up with. For instance, this strange concoction by Betsey Johnson:

The gown is crafted of ivory silk chiffon, embroidered with silver thread and Swarovski crystal rhinestones, with organza accents. The shoulder treatment is rather like a sash, exquisitely feminine and regal. One’s only criticism is that it is a tad fussy, but why not on a night like this?

Our new President Barack Obama looks so handsome in his white tie. It suits him ever so much better than those stuffy business suits! Who would have thought we had elected Fred Astaire to the White House, sartorially speaking? Too bad he didn’t go the whole route and wear tails, but during this terrible recession, it would have sent the wrong message.

FYI, I’m in a gown by my favorite designer, Oscar de la Renta, in blue and gold silk dupioni, and I am carrying Bucky in a custom-designed matching carrier (lined in absorbent and waterproof material inside. Your faithful correspondent has been around this particular block many times before). My feet are still cold–the Secret Service confiscated the space heater I stole from Dick Cheney at the Inauguration. How could I have slept with that man back in the day? What was I thinking? Oh, well, it was une folie de la jeunesse, and he didn’t look quite so evil a few decades ago.

Must dash–I’m here at the Creative Coalition Ball at the Harmon Cultural Center and my nose is most definitely shiny! Actually, Anne Hathaway is bearing down on me with a look in her eye that tells me she read my blogs about the Golden Globes.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Dateline Washington DC: Inauguration Fashion!

(This is Mademoiselle’s assistant, writing up her notes from the Inauguration. I hope she gets good and looped at the post-Inaugural luncheon, she’s been impossible.)

It is absolutely frigid out here, even my silk knit lingerie does not help. I am bundled up top to toe. Thank goodness Bucky is back at the Willard Hotel; the little darling does not do well in these temperatures. The estimates of the crowd range from 1 million to 16 million, but all I know is that my toes are frozen.

Hillary Clinton is wearing a cobalt blue coat that would be perfectly acceptable except for that strange ruffle across the back. Laura Bush is wearing a suitably toned down gray ensemble; considering how loudly her husband had been booed on his entrance, it wouldn’t do to dress to be noticed.

Dick Cheney is being wheeled out in a chair…how did I ever bring myself to sleep with him back in the day?

Ah, Jill Biden is wearing a wonderful lipstick red coat with an assymetrical collar. It is a bit hard to tell, but I think she has on black gloves with large black bumps on them that resemble nothing so much as Elephant Man disease. Her husband, the Vice-President elect, has on more makeup than she does, it seems from here.

Michelle Obama is wearing a marvelous sheath with a matching coat over it, in gold with white embroidery by Isabel Toledo. She has accessorized it with green gloves and matching green pumps. This is definitely a First Lady with a style mind of her own. I don’t care for the jeweled collar, but otherwise, this is an instant classic. (Pardon my fawning, but this is the new administration and your faithful correspondent knows which side her bread is buttered on.)

They are beginning the ceremony–whose hair is stiffer, Dianne Feinstein’s or Joe Biden’s? Neither one’s is moving in the icy wind.

What does Aretha Franklin have on her head? Oh, dear, she is not in good voice this cold morning. Somebody just called out “Sing good!” Poor Aretha cannot oblige. She must have a cold. All the moaning and melismas in the world can’t cover up the fact that the woman is having a hard time hitting the notes.


Ha. Cheney thought he could hide it under his wheelchair. Oh, that is such a relief…to be continued!

Elisa sans Bucky the Wonderdog

Dateline Washington DC: The George Bush Farewell Party


It is going to be SO COLD tomorrow when Barack Obama is sworn in…the wind sweeps across the Mall like a knife, but the glow of good cheer from the crowd (plus the sheer numbers) should help keep events heated up.

Last night I let myself be dragged to the George Bush farewell party at Glen Echo Park in Maryland by some Republican friends who hoped that proximity to the soon-to-be-ex-president would help their deep despair. It didn’t.

For one thing, the party was colder than The New York Public Library during February Fashion Week. There was no heating in the building! We had been warned to bundle up, dress casual. One felt that one was at a slightly better clad NASCAR rally.

The guests huddled in overcoats, mostly in gray and black, which suited the funereal mood. There were occasional pops of color in the form of cheap fleece jackets; I suppose the outgoing administration must watch their pennies from now on. And of course, funny hats, mostly the foam kind.

Not even copious amounts of Budweiser and barbecue applied to the wounded psyches of the guests made a difference in the temperature. It was held in the Great Spanish Ballroom…why they could not have dragged in a space heater or two baffles me. But perhaps the Republicans are past caring. Many of them were planning to leave town the next day, not to return until well after the inauguration, if at all. One woman confided to me that she and a number of others had taken a house in Palm Springs. Shivering, holding my (ugh) paper plate of ribs, Palm Springs seemed like a delightful idea at that moment.

Fortunately, I had the excuse of work calling me, so I could make my escape early in the evening. Never have I been so happy to return to a warm, stuffy workroom filled with idiotic panicky staff!

Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog

Barack Obama Elected President!


I held a gathering of selected friends, both Democrat and Republican, to watch the election results. As the evening went on (and the cocktail consumption increased), the Democrats grew louder and happier and the Republicans grew quieter. Finally they went into the corner of the room and started muttering amongst themselves. Ever the gracious hostess, I adjured them to return to the party, but “party” was definitely the wrong choice of words. “We did, and look where it got us!” one of my guests snapped at me.

I chose to overlook his rudeness and return to the center of the room. When Obama was announced the winner, there was an eruption of cheers both in my living room and out on the street. His speech was quite stirring (even if the occasional cutaways to Oprah Winfrey and her strangely drooping false eyelashes were a distraction). Even your faithful correspondent found herself smiling and brushing away a tear or two.

The only questions I have after last night are:
What was Michelle Obama thinking with that dress??

Here is a graciously stylish woman, wearing a black and red fright that made her look like she had what the tabloids love to call a huge “baby bump”. Had she been temporarily possessed by Sharon Osbourne?

What will Sarah Palin do with those clothes? My guess is that they will be donated to the Palin Foundation For Empty Closets, located in Wasilla. Call it intuition.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

A Letter From Some Colorado Doctors…


At first I resisted, but then I felt I simply had to bring this letter to your attention. It is was sent to me by a dear friend from the past, and I have reprinted it from Your faithful correspondent has never been in Colorado, nor does she ever intend to be in Colorado, but as the old saying goes, “it could happen here.”


A 62-year-old man, who we’ll call Joe Smith, came to the emergency room for the third time in 2 weeks. He had no other place to go. Two weeks before, at another hospital, he had been diagnosed with cancer. Only he didn’t have health insurance, because neither of his two jobs offered coverage.

Joe couldn’t afford to buy an individual health policy and was too young to qualify for Medicare. Now, because of his cancer, no insurer would accept him. It was an all-too-familiar American tragedy. Joe needed his cancer treated, but without insurance the cost of treatment threatened to bankrupt his family. To date Joe’s cancer remains untreated.

LindaB :: A Message from Colorado Doctors
As physicians in Colorado (see our signatures below), we see a case like Joe’s every day. As doctors, we see it as our ethical obligation to advocate for the interests of our patients. In this year’s presidential election, John McCain and Barack Obama offer two starkly different visions of what is wrong with our healthcare system and two different prescriptions for “change”.

Sen. McCain’s plan focuses on an unregulated market for health insurance, makes no commitment to provide insurance to all U.S. citizens, and doesn’t address the health delivery system. His plan uses the $360 billion/year of new taxes generated by eliminating the current employer/employee pre-tax exclusion for health insurance benefits to create credits for buying individual health insurance in an unregulated market. The consequence for Colorado could be fewer employers contributing to health insurance, increased taxes on workers, fewer people able to afford insurance and growth in the number of uninsured.

Sen. Obama’s plan provides access to guaranteed, affordable insurance. His plan allows those who like their employer based insurance to keep it. For those without good health insurance his plan creates new, affordable insurance options by pooling them into larger risk pools. In each case, premiums and direct costs will be made affordable, and people will not have to fear losing their coverage or entering bankruptcy if someone in their family becomes ill.

America’s health care system is broken. A privileged few can get extraordinary health care. However, compared to most developed countries, the overall quality of our healthcare is poor; management of chronic illness is limited; and investment in health information systems that improve care is minimal. Our system is the most expensive system in the world, but in Colorado alone we have almost 800,000 men, women, and children living without health insurance. An additional 500,000 Coloradans are underinsured. This lack of insurance is associated with early death and disability. It leaves thousands of Coloradans one illness away from personal bankruptcy.

For Joe and all of our patients who are uninsured, underinsured or will become newly uninsured under McCain’s plan we are speaking out. We believe Sen. Obama’s plan can lead us closer to an affordable, equitable, and accountable health care delivery system that secures our patient’s future.

Suzanne Brandenburg, MD
Laura Donigan, MD
Daniel Jamieson, MD
Danielle Loeb, MD
Joel S. Levine, MD
Judy Zerzan, MD
Agreed with and signed by an additional 96 physicians and 21 medical students from Colorado


My goodness, I really have to stop this political jag I have been on, dahlings. I am actually starting to watch CNN over my assistant’s shoulder, and after the season finale of Project Runway I watched the last part of the presidential debate!

Has anyone noticed how oddly assymetrical Sen. McCain’s face is? His consultants should only have him photographed from the right, so that you don’t notice that odd little bulge on one side. And besides, it’s only fitting that he be photographed from the right, don’t you think?

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog