New York Diary: Survivor:Fiji, Karolina, Whoopi, Laura Bennett, Daniel Vosovic, and Jay McCarroll
Where do I begin? How about with : I love New York!!! It is, by far, my favorite city in the world! It almost pumps blood into my creative veins; being surrounded by all the fashion, art, architecture, the "hustle and bustle" of the original Metropolis, the shops, the models, the restaurants. The whole city thrills me like no other. It is "real", and a nice break from the "It's not what it seems" surreal world of La La Land.
My trip to New York City was bookended by work and the "Survivor: Fiji" Finale, in which my sister, Rita invited myself and David to attend. In between, however, was some "play time". As soon as we arrived , I was off to work, doing some fashion segments which I will talk about later next month. I got the privilege to do some more "red carpet" interviewing at an event for Katie Couric's Colon Cancer Foundation at the Chelsea Piers.
The highlight of that event was meeting Whoopi Goldberg. The Oscar-winning actress, came up to me, as I tried, nervously to introduce myself , "Hi , Whoopi, I am Nick Verreos from..." She stopped me and said, in her own unequaled way, "I know who you are...and I loved you! You should have been in the Final Three!" Well, I almost died and became speechless (rare) and of course, thanked her profusely. She then asked me for my business card. Unfortunately, I did not have one! I just about died a second time. I also became nauseous. And then, in that one-of-a kind Whoopi voice, she murmured in my ear, "Nick, you NEED to have a business card... AT ALL TIMES!" Needless to say, I reached for some paper and wrote my information and handed it to her. Lesson learned: Always have business cards. I don't like giving them out, I think it is cheesy and so "LA", but in this instance, it would have certainly been appropriate.
Immediately following my Red Carpet duties I rushed to the opening of my friends (Andy and Taylor pictured to the left) new gym STATION. Located in an absolutely fabulous building in the Meatpacking District (next to the Gansevoort Hotel), STATION offers these amazing vibrating exercise machines that are all the rage in Europe and are just now being offered here in the states. RuPaul as well as editors from W and all the top magazines were on hand to check out the buzz on this new hot spot.
I also got the chance to attend a chic opening party for a new Soho store called "Curve", which one of my favorite Supermodels, Czech beauty Karolina Kurkova was hosting. The party was filled with a "Who's Who" of A-List fashion types. Stylist Rachel Zoe (wearing an amazing dress and even more amazing Cartier Panthere diamond jewelry) with Hal Rubenstein, editor of "In Style" Magazine, designer Rachel Roy, model Bridget Hall, as well as a bevy of Upper East Side socialites that you always see on the "People Are Talking About" section of "Vogue" Magazine.
I also made a pit stop at one of my favorite bath and beauty product stores, "Lush". They were having a "Grand Opening" of their Soho store and asked me to stop by. Of course, I obliged and ended up buying my Mom a "Happy Mother's Day" gift box of "Lush" goodies, which I am sure my niece and nephew will use, instead of her. I also posed for photos with some of the shoppers in the store.
During my week, I got a chance to visit some of the East Coast "Project Runway" designers. I met Daniel Vosovic for a relaxing FOUR HOUR lunch where we ran into singer Jody Watley, who was in town for a special performance, staying at the same hotel I was. I also got to visit Laura Bennett at her spacious Manhattan Loft. I thought my Loft Studio was big, but WOW! This was my first time there, and I finally got to hang out (and play a little bit) with her kids. The "Project Rungay" boys were also there at Laura's pad, witnessing some heavy "off-the-record" dishing that will never get printed!(sorry guys).
I even got to visit the Poiret Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was gorgeous and inspiring. Everyone must go, especially students of Fashion Design. Paul Poiret is credited with being the designer who de-corseted women in the early 20th Century, with his loose chemises and then-shocking Kimono robe ensembles. His designs look so contemporary, especially now, during this season when every other dress is off the body and shapeless.
On Sunday,the day of my sister's "Survivor: Fiji" Finale (and Mother's Day), I spent the most amazing time with my beautiful 6 year old niece, Casia and 9 year old nephew , Alain and my lovely mom, of course. I took the kids to the Times Square "Toys 'R Us" and told them they could buy anything as a "treat" from "Uncle Nick" for being such good students and getting the wonderful grades this year. We even got to ride on the Ferris Wheel that is inside the store and demolished the candy section. Later that afternoon, we headed to their hotel to prepare to go to the "Ed Sullivan (David Letterman) Theater", where the Finale would take place. My mom wore a custom "Nick Verreos/Nikolaki" design I had made for her. She looked radiant on this very special day. My sister, I later found out, also wore one of my cowl-draped tops from my collection.
We were at the theater for FIVE HOURS, from 6 PM until 11 PM. The time actually went quite fast. We watched the final episodes on flat screens in the theater plus the live finale. We were thrilled to see that towards the end, host Jeff Probst (please get rid of the choker!), asked Rita a question about being a Mother and she spoke lovingly of her kids. We had been told, during the commercial beforehand that the camera would show the kids and to have Casia hold up the "Happy Mother's Day" sign they had made for Rita. When the time came, it was all so sudden, that Casia got nervous and forgot to hold the sign. If you saw the snippet, you might have noticed me nudging her to pick up the sign. But it was too late. Oh well, they still got their three seconds of fame and I am sure they were the Stars of their respective schools when they returned to San Antonio.
My beautiful friend, Ali (pictured to the left), then invited us to the official "Survivor: Fiji" After Party at "Pop Burger" in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan, hosted by Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca, of "Survivor" fame. Jenna was stunning in a puffy-sleeved shirt dress and Ethan, well, one word: HOTTIE! I never told him this for sheer embarrassment, BUT, all I wanted to do was run my fingers through his ringlets! He was the perfect host. My sister mingled with her fellow contestants , introducing me to them, soon discovering that a lot were fans of "Project Runway".
Since this was the last night of my New York trip, I decided to go out with a "bang". After the party, we headed to Hiro at Maritime. Hiro is one of my favorite hangouts on a Sunday night in New York City. It is always packed and always fun. I always wonder if anyone has to go to work the next morning by the looks of all the people there dancing as if it was a Friday night. We quickly went upstairs for a drink and out of the corner of my eye, in the "VIP" section, I spotted NY Diva Amanda Lepore, Celebrity gossip queen Perez Hilton, AND (wait for it!) Kylie Minogue!!! OK, this is what I am talking about: I LOVE New York!!! If that was not enough, , I feel a tap on my shoulder, and I turn around and it is none other than Jay McCarroll!!!! Jay was looking very incognito in his over sized black sunglasses (Note to Jay: I would love to get me a pair!). My night, and week, was therefore, complete. I headed back to my friend's Chelsea apartment for much needed rest for my next day flight back to La La Land. I hope to be back in NY very soon!!!