I don’t know if it was the lorazepam last night or the massage/mani/pedi combo that got me back on track today but I am feeling revived. Whew! My gates now shut in unison, the computer man got the internet up for me again, and I am driving a stick shift rattletrap but it has air conditioning and brakes so things are looking up. (A quick thanks to my parents for struggling with the manual transmission thing with teenage me, a skill that has really paid off in the Third World, unlike algebra II).
I did not have a quiet coffee at 10:33 a.m. last Friday because I was still in the car with Maria, stuck on the Marginal in Sao Paulo. Eventually we met up with the other women at Daslu, the super chique store in Sao Paulo. Last week I received in the mail a black plastic free parking card with my name on it: now I know I have arrived. And just as I am leaving! Even Maria and Mrs. O’L did not get this little gem in the mail. The store used to be set up in two mansions in the Itaim Bibi section of town. You would wander through maze like hallways to get where you were going and all the clothing was set out in rooms according to color. There were no dressing rooms so everyone stripped in front of each other to try on clothes. This, in itself, should be classified a sport in Sao Paulo. Who has the cutest pair of silicone boobs? The tighest tummy? The least amount of cellulite? The new store, which covers about one city block, still does not have one dressing room. Women fling the clothes they’ve tried on onto the floor or strategically situated settees where other women in maid’s uniforms from the 1950’s pick them up, fold them, and put them away. Patty P said, “Bergdorf’s has nothing on Daslu.” I have never been to Bergdorf’s (shocker) but believe Patty P for sure. We only really made purchases in Housewares where we were greeted by my friend Fanny. I only bought a candle and a small crystal bowl to go with the other crystal items Mrs. O’L convinced me I needed to entertain the Chinese officials who will be swamping my house. Since I used the crystal items recently for Minna’s baby shower, I felt better about the purchase (Minna had her first biological child, a girl named Marisol, at age 43 shortly after said shower. Need I say more?). Maria, meanwhile, bought some cute, but way overpriced, ceramic bunnies. Believe me when I say I am aware of the price point.
On the way out of Daslu, we saw the owner, Eliana Tranchesi, exit her Porsche Cayenne and enter the store, flinging her slouchy handbag at a one of the male door attendants. It was a Devil Wears Prada moment. She was wearing black leggings, the rebirth of a style I abhor, a black tunic, two ginormous snake bracelets on her right arm, and sunglasses. She does not look like she is undergoing cancer treatment, bankruptcy proceedings, or marital separation, as has been reported.
After Daslu we drove over to Jardins to Adriana Barra. Despite the awesome website, the store, in the back of a charming (and hidden) courtyard, is a disappointment. The salesgirls wear Havaianas and floaty shot silk dresses with big sleeves. About the only thing I could get over my shoulders was a kaftan for $700 USD. Kaftans remind me of Mama Cass. In a show of restraint, we also passed on the $1,000 silk granny dresses. Very beautiful, all, but completely impractical. Maria did buy a show stopping pair of print pumps (one shoe = two bunnies).
Then it was on to lunch at the Emiliano. This looks like a shabbier version of the Grand Hyatt and not nearly as interesting. Rooms run about $500 a night and it is Gisele Bundchen’s preferred accomodations. We had the executive lunch (delicious and reasonably priced). Most notably, the waitresses wore uniforms which looked like they were made in Siberia during the Cold War. Sad and ugly attire for such a swank place. At the end of lunch I asked our very charming waiter if he knew if Gisele was in fact knocked up. Demurring, he said he did not know but I swear he was blushing. I’ll just bet he knows.