urban sophisticate

A Woman's Personality

(Check your Venus Sign)

The Urban Sophisticate: LEO, SAGITTARIUS

Her strengths: This woman is funny, hot, and spontaneous. When you walk into a room with her, everyone stares at you in envy. Neil Strauss, the author of the best-selling dating memoir The Game, puts it simply, “This is the kind of girl everyone wants, and it makes you feel awesome when you’re the one who has her.“ 

Her weaknesses: "You need enormous confidence to date a woman like this,” Strauss says. “She gets off on attention, but you can’t get jealous.” If you’re independent, you’ll dig her ambition, but make sure she wants you–and not just the ego boost you provide. 

The Arty Hipster: PISCES, GEMINI

Her strengths: She knows where all the dive bars are and all the art shows with free wine. She’s exciting and stylish, but not as untouchable as the urban sophisticate. “She actually likes nerds and intellectuals,” says Ian Coburn, author of God Is a Woman: Dating Disasters. And she actually cares about culture. “She can be great for a guy who wants to learn more about art and music,” says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a relationship therapist and the author of She Comes First. 

Her weaknesses: Do you keep going after her because you hope her cool will rub off on you? If your interests don’t match, don’t expect to just coast along on her taste. “Girls like this have opinions,” Kerner says. “And they want you to know the difference between Jonathan Adler and Jonathan Richman.”

The Vegan Yoga Gal: AQUARIUS, LIBRA

Her strengths: She’s got great skin and a long neck, and she gives you long back rubs with wacky oils. All that deep breathing means she rarely flies off the handle, and you value this perhaps even more than you value her amazing, high, tight rear, which is saying a lot. Strauss says, “This is a woman who really wants to make a deep connection with life, and a man who wants the same could be really into her.” Fisher says that independent, analytical, or creative guys could find her alternative view fascinating. 

Her weaknesses: Remember, Strauss notes, “These women are almost exclusively interested in men who are into the same stuff they are.” Love her, love her lifestyle.  

The Alpha Female: VIRGO, ARIES

Her strengths: She graduated from college in 3 years and went right to law school without taking a vacation. She’s hard to keep up with. Ironically, it’s not the alpha dog who should try dating her. “A scientist, artist, or teacher will do well with this woman,” says April Masini, author of Date Out of Your League. “If you’re not interested in power plays, she won’t fight you." 

Her weaknesses: She has a lot in common with alpha males, but these relationships are too intense. "They can’t make time for each other,” Fisher says. Coburn cautions that pushover types are often attracted to such women, and some alpha females – the sadistic ones – are attracted right back. “Obviously, if this is your dynamic, it isn’t good.”  

The Intimacy Junkie: CAPRICORN, SCORPIO

Her strengths: She goes to yoga, too, but it’s the easy kind that’s more about “connection to the self” than sculpting a smoking bod. So what if she’s a little in your face. The sex is amazing. Strauss likes women like this. “She is the best kisser in the world. Very intense, very into connecting.” Fisher says independent men will love such a deeply verbal gal, and Kerner thinks all men should date someone like this. “Most men need help learning to communicate, and she will help them." 

Her weaknesses: The intimacy junkie makes you feel great at first. She’s so into you and your feelings. Analytical men will find themselves easily ensnared in her macramé web. "He will be super into her at first, but there’s going to be a lot of talk about the ‘meaning’ of the relationship, which might cause it to implode,” Fisher says. 

The Happy Homemaker: CANCER, TAURUS

Her strengths: She’s no gold digger – all she wants is a Volvo wagon and a nice, cozy three-bedroom. She wants to have your kids, take care of them, and take care of you. “Some guys draw a great deal of ego satisfaction from providing for a family, and there is nothing wrong with that,” says Masini. A man who grew up in a very traditional household will love her, and, conversely, a guy who grew up with domestic chaos craves this woman for the stable home she provides. 

Her weaknesses: Remember that when she says she’s not going to work, she means it. Career-minded men could be happy with an arrangement that allows them to focus on their work while she manages his domestic life. But if the financial stress builds, you may not be able to convince her to get a job. 

Signs As Woman’s Personality

The Urban Sophisticate: LEO, SAGITTARIUS

Her strengths: This woman is funny, hot, and spontaneous. When you walk into a room with her, everyone stares at you in envy. Neil Strauss, the author of the best-selling dating memoir The Game, puts it simply, “This is the kind of girl everyone wants, and it makes you feel awesome when you’re the one who has her.“

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They Wanna Make Me Their Queen

( Prompt: princess diaries style “I grew up not knowing I was royal and suddenly my royal grandparent showed up out of nowhere and told me I was so now I guess I’m the heir to the throne and you’re my crush from my pre-royal days but I still have a crush on you” AU )

A/N: So. I’ve decided to make a Tom Holland/Spiderman fanzine, and if anyone is interested to contribute (and tell me how the heckie to go about doing it ), please PLEASE send me a message and we can work this out!! I actually want to send the fanzine to Tom Holland himself, but I also have no idea how to send it to him so PLEASE SEND HELP. 

WARNINGS: Underaged drinking, so I’ve put it under a read more!

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The secrets of sun gazing

The Sun is the supreme body in our solar system. It encloses just about 98% of the sum solar system mass. Its interior could hold over 1.3 million Earths. The Sun’s photosphere reaches the temperature of 6,000°C (11,000°F), it is so amazing and powerful that no wonder why many traditions around the world used it as the principal symbol of their religions.

More or less every civilization use solar symbolism. Several of history’s most important cultures such as the Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, American Indians, Incas, East Indians, and Taoists, Christians, developed solar religions. All of them had widespread and sophisticated urban empires with a deep rooted philosophy and dogma, in these cultures the sun appears as the supreme ruler of both the superior and the inferior realms. The sun was always the giver of light and life. It was directly connected to enlightenment or illumination; it was the foundation of wisdom. In Christians and Jews associated angels like Metatron, and Raphael with the sun. Autonomy, authority, righteousness, and intelligence are some of the characteristics that any of these influential spiritual groups believe the sun had, and it is within this framework that sophisticated solar principles are found.

In Egypt the sun was the god Ra who created all living beings with his tears. In egyptian mythology, Ra has a voyage over the heavenly realms and fights during the night against the god of darkness “Apepi”. The sun god has a fundamental position in the Sumerian and Acadian belief systems. In India S?rya is glorified in the Vedas as an omnipresent, omnipotent, all-pervading god. In the beginning he was Narayana “he who is in the heart of all beings” as the Upanishads describe. He expels darkness, evil dreams and diseases. The dynasty of sun kings is typically peaceful, in contrast to the pugnacious moon kings. During modern Roman history, sun worship gained substance and in due course led to what has been called “solar monotheism.” Most of the gods of that era had solar qualities, and even both Christ and Mithra obtained the traits of solar deities.

The feast of Sol Invictus on December 25, in due course was taken over by the Christians as the birthday of Christ or Christmas. The monarch in Peruvian tribes was as in Egypt an incarnation of the sun god, Inti. In Japan the sun was a feminine figure, her name was, Amaterasu, who was considered to be the absolute sovereign of the planet. The Japanese flag has as a central symbol of the sun. While doing the Sun Dance the American Indians do not eat or sleep, they gaze at the sun while dancing. For the aztecs the sun was represented by two gods Huitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca. Many of these ethnic groups left behind writings, hieroglyphics and paintings depicting solar gazing.

“The sun holds fantastic powers for those who desire them. Light is the essential nutrient of all life, we just have to learn how to metabolize and comprehend this brightness and in due course it can help us evolve and free us from the chains of the EGO. Mankind will not remain on Earth forever, but in its quest for light and space will at first timidly penetrate beyond the confines of the atmosphere, and later will conquer for itself all the space near the Sun.”
– Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky

  • “You can’t use my room for anonymous sex. I’m kind of a neat freak that way.”
  • “My shrink told me I was crazy! Well, who’s the narcissist with severe attachment disorder now?”
  • “Whenever I’m sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.”
  • “The best I can give you is a fake smile and dead eyes.”
  • “You’re like God. There’s no one hotter than God.”
  • “If I catch you even so much as breathing the same air as her I will take those peanuts you’re trying to pass off as testicles and I will squeeze them so hard that your eyes pop out and then I’ll feed them to you like grapes.”
  • “Not awkward, guys. Not awkward if we don’t let it be awkward.”
  • “If I can talk a stripper into paying me for a lap dance, I can talk my way out of a speeding ticket.”
  • “When will you learn that the only difference between my life and a porno is my life has better lighting?”
  • “Ugh! You are worse than my shrink. ‘We have to talk about your father,’ or ‘I’m not going to teach you how to hypnotize people, you’ll only use it for evil,’ or ‘I’m not going to conduct a couples session between you and this woman, she’s obviously a prostitute.’ I don’t need this!”
  • “I’m sorry, I don’t speak ‘I never get laid’.”
  • “I feel like I’ve done so much good I have a soul boner.”
  • “It is a lifestyle blog for the upscale, sophisticated urban gentleman, and it’s never gonna take off if I can’t post today’s boner joke.”
  • “The first time I rode in a limo I was five. I was on the way to my grandfather’s funeral. I suppose, in a way, I still am.”
  • “Your ego’s writing checks your body can’t cash.”
the signs as settings

the empty lawn after a popular, outdoor concert, littered with confetti and a few lingering fans that are trying to savor the energy of the night by dancing carelessly in the field that is still lit by the bright stage lights. they continue even as the lights shut off and the stars gently illuminate the surroundings in replacement. in this moment, it’s as if everything but their heartbeats seems to freeze in time.
a sumptuous hotel located on the outskirts of a quaint town that is too small to be noted on any maps, but its desolation gives it a certain charm. the inn only occasionally books guests– travelers of many different backgrounds who all need a place to relax and refresh their mind; oddly they all feel a sense of familiarity rush over them just as they enter the lobby, almost like they’ve come home.
a prominent outdoor plaza that serves as the main attraction in an anomalous boomtown. the blue sky that hangs above always accompanies fluffy, white clouds. an abundance of fashion shops and ice cream parlors cover the area, surrounding an inventive fountain that citizens often throw pennies into, silently making their wishes. even still, the hectic complex fills with sounds of the chatter of lively visitors enjoying the active scene.
the exquisite pier that stands at the edge of a small, placid beach town where everyone knows each other by name and collectively works together to maintain their hospitable reputation. tourists who stumble across this town fall in love with the tranquil environment and convivial residents. before departing, they carve their initials into the lofty beams of the pier as a promise to return to the lovely community again someday.
the polished deck of a luxury cruise line where young guests congregate to prepare for a sleepless night as they watch the sun set behind the horizon of the surrounding ocean, radiating explosive shades of red. after the red sky fades to a deep blue, loud music erupts from the speakers and an unforgettable party begins. all worries disappeared with the sun and the night is strictly one of untroubled memories.
a narrow, hidden street alley that connects a sophisticated, urban town to a thriving orchard which is a world of its own. the alley turns into a beaten down path that leads to concourses of apple trees that the city children climb for a taste of the succulent fruit, as they look out and gaze upon the perfectly aligned rows of trees that stretch for miles in an unfamiliar direction they never knew they could wander. 
a simple and gorgeous lake house in a neighborhood of pleasantly colorful homes which all surround a quiet, turquoise lake that reflects unique, breathtaking sunset colors every evening. this is a place where summer seems to never end and cordial, lakeside barbecues are a daily tradition, complete with parents’ laughter and young romance.
the open rooftop of a tall skyscraper in a constantly evolving city, simultaneously in the middle of everything yet so far away from it all, scattered with strings of dimmed fairy lights. the only sound to be heard from the building is the distant whisper of traffic and rushed commotion on the streets, which seems to be silenced as two lovers share their first kiss stories above.
a wide meadow of overgrown grass that sways fiercely even at the touch of a soft breeze. bold adventurers excitably prepare their enormous hot air balloons for daring expeditions they’ve only dreamt about their entire life. the vibrant spheres rise out of the field’s heavy morning fog and into the liberating air, loaded with eager drifters who graciously let the wind determine their destination.
a minimally decorated, but enchanting ballroom located in the dull part of a developing metropolis. the room is lit by a singular, luminescent chandelier and is full of strangers masquerading their troubles away, even just for a moment, and becoming completely immersed in the charming music and somewhat special company of people they may never see again.
a retro diner located off of a dark and winding road that wraps deep into the heart of a seasonal forest, operated by a family of carefree misfits whose minds can be compared to the neon “open twenty-four hours” sign that flickers on and off throughout the night, almost synchronized with the thousands of fireflies that populate the enthralling woodland that encompasses the dazzling restaurant.
an intricate, wooden gazebo concealed by a large forest of giant willow trees. the surrounding trees all carry several tire swings dangling off the branches like delicate ornaments beneath the birds who reside in the layer above, belting their melodies. the timeless location is only to be discovered by a few lost souls who will return time and time again to this secret, mystical getaway.


Located in the Haute-Marne district about 250 km from Paris, the Chateau de Cirey was marked by the presence of Voltaire who lived there for 15 years from 1734 to 1749.

Voltaire was the guest of Gabrielle Emilie de Breteuil, Marquise du Chatelet, another great intellect of the 18th century.Voltaire was forced to flee Paris and take refuge at Cirey in 1734 after the publication of “Philosophic Letters” also know as “The English Letters”. The “Letters” strongly criticized existing French institutions. The French parliament, angered by the letters, ordered that Voltaire be imprisoned. Having already served two previous sentences in the Bastille, Voltaire preferred to flee.

The Marquise du Chatelet, a friend whom Voltaire had met the year before, offered him asylum at her Cirey property. The chateau was located near the border with Lorraine which was an independent province at the time. It was an ideal refuge for Voltaire who could cross the border if he was pursued by the authorities. After he left Cirey, Voltaire continued this habit of living near borders. However, this didn’t keep him from regular visits to Paris.Voltaire considered staying at Cirey until the arrest warrant was renounced allowing him to return to the capital.

When he arrived at Cirey, he found the chateau in a dilapidated state with cold winds blowing through various openings. The chateau consisted of the right wing with its high roofs which dominated the canal. This wing of brick and stone, style Louis XIII, was built by Louis Jules du Chatelet in 1634. It was constructed upon existing ruins of an 11th century fortress. Surprisingly, Voltaire fell in love with the region, changed his plans, and decided to stay definitively at Cirey. First of all, he had to make it habitable. With the approval of the Marquis du Chatelet, Voltaire undertook major restoration of the chateau. Finding the chateau too small for his many guests, he enlarged it creating a long gallery overlooked by a terrace.

On the grand entry door of the gallery, Voltaire expressed his philosophical convictions and his love of the arts and sciences. The sculpted stone door frame depicts a marine theme composed of seashells and the two faces of Neptune, awake and sleeping. Voltaire believed in Maupertuis’ theories of evolution which portrayed the sea as the source of life. He symbolized this with the marine theme.

Other attributes of the arts and sciences portrayed on the entrance door include:

  • a world map for astronomy
  • the compass, the ruler, and the T-square for geometry
  • the pen and its holder for literature
  • again, astronomy
  • a palette for painting
  • a mallet for sculpture
  • a bagpipe for music

Among the inscriptions are these lines written by Voltaire reflecting the serenity he enjoyed at the chateau (lower left under the pen):

‘Refuge of the arts,

Solitude where my heart rests in profound peace,

It is you who bestows the happiness

That the world promised in vain.’

Voltaire had another purpose in restoring the chateau - to attract Mme. du Chatelet. Preferring the urbane, sophisticated life at court in Paris to the austere life of Cirey, Mme. du Chatelet delayed returning to Cirey. Emilie gave up her life in Paris for Votaire and joined him at Cirey. Thus began one of the greatest intellectual and romantic relationships of the 18th century between these two exceptional people.


Unbottle the scents of adventure.

Do we all not live for summer? From ice cream dripping down our wrists to longer days and shorter to-do lists, we can’t get enough. And if summer is our time to break out of the mold and make our daydreams come true, then we should have a scent that speaks to that genuine side of life. Well, consider it done. The Sephora Glossy matched some of the season’s best pastimes with a perfume that will take you there and back again. JESSICA VELEZ

THE OCCASION: Date at the fair

THE SCENT: Prada Candy Kiss

Soft and sweet, Prada Candy Kiss is the cotton candy of perfume. So, that makes it perfect for an innocent date at the fair, where bright lights render you starry eyed and rides make you giddy and dizzy—or maybe that’s the romance? Sit close on the Ferris wheel and let your date breathe in the orange blossom, suave vanilla, and musk slowly spiraling through the summer night air.

THE OCCASION: Boating at the lake

THE SCENT: Miu Miu Eau de Parfum

Chic and sophisticated, Miu Miu’s debut fragrance carries notes that are both fresh and earthy in its matelassé bottle. Docking off for a morning boat pedal at the lake, surrounded by gliding geese and swans, will give you a similar sense of its uprooted ingredients. Lily of the valley, jasmine petal, and ginger notes call for an outdoorsy yet refined experience such as this.

THE OCCASION: Berry picking

THE SCENT: CLEAN Reserve Amber Saffron

Part of the CLEAN Reserve collection, the Amber Saffron scent was crowned the “most delicious” by the brand. Why? Because raspberries were squeezed into the blend. The effect is a spoonful of sweet to this otherwise musky and sensual fragrance. So, the next time you’re hankering for a berry jam or pie, get into the spirit by dabbing this on before grabbing your wicker basket.  

THE OCCASION: Making spiked lemonade


There’s so much to love about a Sunday morning in the summer. Like the fact that your alarm clock is dead to you (at least for the day) and you can give your pet all the tummy scratches in the world. But, you might feel a little hot and sticky. For that, we have a twofold remedy. First, spray on this clean and zesty fragrance, and then get to squeezing a fresh batch of homemade lemonade—spiked or extra sugar is your call. Bonus points if you drink it on the porch.

THE OCCASION: Watching a free movie in the park


This prim-meets-posh scent was inspired by an uptown woman’s Saturday afternoon while strolling down 10 Crosby street. But where does this urban sophisticate go when the sun has set, but it’s too muggy to stay indoors? She heads—patchwork quilt and wine bottle in hand—to her nearby park’s public screening of a classic film. The scent’s notes of pink peony and French narcisse will be welcomed amongst the local foliage.


The Classic Costumes of VERTIGO

Edith Head’s designs for Kim Novak in Vertigo are arguably some of the most important costumes in film history. The film revolves around the idea of identity and appearance with Novak playing dual characters. Madeleine and Judy are defined by their sharply differing styles: one sophisticated and urbane, the other earthy and more vibrant.

This demure gray suit is first seen on Madeleine as she enters a flower shop, a stiff, drab figure in a riot of color. The same costume reappears midway through the film when Jimmy Stewart’s character uses it to transform Judy back into Madeline. 

Remarkably the costume is little changed from Head’s illustration, which was executed by Grace Sprague.  The jacket collar is slightly altered but otherwise, Novak’s Madeleine appears at the flower shop holding the mink almost exactly as rendered in this working drawing.

Compare this outfit to the green sweater and skirt ensemble currently on view in the Academy’s Hollywood Costume exhibition. That rather garish costume is worn by Novak’s Judy, and it is a striking contrast to Madeleine’s wardrobe. The vibrant color draws the viewer’s eye and the soft fabrics emphasize the actress’ figure. 

Novak has said over the years that the differences between the characters’ wardrobes helped her immensely as an actress.  Wearing Madeleine’s tailored suit affected the way she carried herself and gave the illusion of hard lines while Judy was all about soft curves and tactile fabrics.  Good costume design is meant to do just that—inform a character’s development—and Head’s designs wonderfully illustrate the power of costume and their transformative effect in defining identity.

Come see the difference for yourself.  Hollywood Costume is on view now through March 2 at the historic May Co. building, soon to be the permanent home of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.