Wednesday, April 23, 2014


A colleague told me that a woman sitting near his desk cracked her knuckles all day long. She has it down to a science. Apparently, she’s found a way to use just her thumb to crack all her knuckles in one fell crack!
She doesn’t have a clue how annoying her sound effects are to people around her.

I remember being warned that the more you crack your knuckles the bigger they become. It’s also believed that it could cause arthritis. Not.

Unfortunately, I have no advice for you. I don’t know what you should say to a serial knuckle cracker. If he/she is a close friend or relative, I guess you could tell them how annoying it is.  But what would you say to a colleague or your boss? I’m taking suggestions.

So, to knuckle crackers, think before you crack next time in the company of others.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Recently, I met E!’s Alicia Quarles. She’s pretty and pretty nice and very well mannered. You know how some people think and act like they’re FABULOUS? Not Alicia, but she is. And if you ever see her enjoying a meal with her husband or just living her life in the city, she won’t mind you approaching her, she figures she’s in your living room, why not?
Of course, we would like you to use discretion, at least let her finish chewing.

What do celebrities do that you wish they wouldn’t?
My number one pet peeve with celebrities is when they walk into a room and say hello only to me. The A-Listers get it. They’ll greet everyone, from the producer to the sound man. Acknowledging the hard work of others is real class.

Have you ever-encountered poor manners from someone you were interviewing?
Another pet peeve is lateness. Once, a celebrity was so late, I cancelled the interview. I let their reps know that money was wasted and not just my time but the entire camera crew’s time. The next day, the celebrity came to my office and apologized and delivered a bottle of wine.
Wouldn’t you love to know who it was? But since Alicia has manners, she won’t tell. 

 How do you feel about asking personal questions? I never begin an interview by asking personal questions. On those rare occasions when I’ve been directed to ask something I truly didn’t feel appropriate, I’ll say, “I’m not comfortable asking this, because (then I outline the reasons).” It’s a lot about instinct, I feel it out and that tells me whether to “go there” or not.”

 What were some of the golden rules of etiquette in your home?
My parents taught us that appearance was very important, not in a vain way but they believed that you don’t get a second chance to make an impression. We had to dress for occasions properly, (not easy for me, I was a tomboy).
You’d never know it. 

What was an absolute no-no?
No elbows on the table! My parents also taught us what cutlery to use and how to use it. It’s paid off. I have good table manners.
Too bad her table manners aren't contagious.

What do you think of young people with respect to etiquette?
I’m impressed with the degree of etiquette today’s young people have. Young folks are portrayed as being a generation of disrespectful people who don't have manners but nothing could be further from the truth. What I've learned from my observations is that teens today generally do have etiquette, even if they are glued to their phones.
 Nice to hear someone say something nice about young people.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

When Children Sit Still In The Wrong Place By Yvonne

I watched these two kids sit in seats reserved for the elderly and disabled. Neither child fit these criteria. They sat quietly and well behaved as seniors walked by searching for seats. One woman looked as if she were about to ask, thought about it and moved on.

Their mother was sitting nearby. Most likely she suggested they sit there, this way she could see them. I get it, to her it's a safety measure. To me, it's a shame. And then we wonder why adults displaying poor manners day in and day out is the status quo.

I'm sure they were good kids, they were just doing what they were told. That, they did.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Lounge Club Room
Alan Linn’s private club The Norwood is a special experience spanning five floors in a well-appointed town house.  Private clubs can be excruciatingly stuffy and overloaded with a sense of entitlement –excuse my generalization.

He recently told me what it takes to be a member and what he expects from members.

What is the one expectation you have of all club members?
That they are still curious and open to meeting new creatives in New York and to come try out new things whether it be documentaries, wine tasting, life drawing, informative talks or just sitting in a roomful of interesting people.

Do people name drop to get in? How is that handled?
It is not who they know, that is not important to us. It’s more about what they can contribute to the club and what we can offer them.
What's the most common mistake they make, if any?
As long as they respect our staff and Club rules such as no cell phones or photography, in common Club areas we're pretty tolerant.  The Norwood is an Arts Club, not an old school stuffy club. Dress code is not important to us as different members' professions dictate their style.

Is tipping any different from a private club to one that's not?
No, I don’t think so but it’s probably better as members get to know the staff. Many are connected on social media like Facebook so I think they’re are more than fair when it comes to tipping.

How does your staff or you deal with the sense of entitlement that some private club members can have?
I don’t think we take on members with the attitude of a sense of entitlement. We take that into consideration when we interview prospective members.
If it arises, we have a talk with them and if that doesn't work we refund their membership and kindly say we do not think this is the right club for them.

Who is your ideal member and why?
Collaborators and creators I never name names that why we are private

Would you allow yourself into The Norwood?
Unlike Groucho Marx, I would join a club that would allow me membership, and I think I am an ideal member who likes meeting folks, educating myself on new art, music, film, and food and as a Scotsman a wee dram or two.

Do people put their feet on the furniture? Is that addressed?
I would personally say "Oi get your feet off the furniture" with a cheeky smile. I fear no one.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Yesterday, I had a wonderful savory crepe and glass of humble white wine.  A woman was seated to the left of my table. I figured she was an artist because her jeans were splattered with paint.
            At a certain point Madame Artiste stood up with her back to me, faced the mirror on the wall next to her table and undid her ponytail. She shook her hair out, gathered it only to make another ponytail.
            I didn’t order a crepe with dander. I was kind of speechless and it all happened so quickly there wasn’t time to point out to her how her actions were rude and plain nasty.
            You don’t comb your hair at any table. Didn’t your mother ever tell you that? Maybe Ms. Picasso thought what she did was all right. What’s a little shake of the head? It’s not like she was using a comb.
            And while we’re on the subject of hairy conditions, if your hair is long, maybe you should sling it around so that it’s in the front of you and not in the eyes of person standing behind you on the train, subway or on a line. Don’t you want to know where your hair is?
            In closing, if you’re having a bad hair day, keep it to yourself and away from a good meal.

Monday, February 10, 2014


            I was on a packed train one evening trying to find my center as I was jostled from all directions.  A Yogini was nearby and as she tried to find her center, she knocked me off mine with the yoga mat hanging off her back.

            Many of my friends practice yoga and I believe them when they tell me how great they feel, how at peace and centered they feel - I can see it. But does it put you in such a special place that nothing else matters? Centered I get, self-centered I don't. 
            I didn’t say anything; I just tried to stay out of her way.  I was annoyed but not too concerned as I am with backpacks. Yoga mats have no hardware, they have a friendlier texture and hers was a tranquil blue. But it took everything I had not to ask, “Umm, could you watch that mat? It’s in my space.” I took a deep breath instead.


Sunday, January 26, 2014


When you're finished with soup (this was very good), don't leave the spoon in the bowl. It could make a mess for whomever is clearing the table.
The bowl should be on a plate.  If there isn't a plate, only then is it correct to place the spoon in the bowl.