DEAR HOT: My company has sentenced me to a New York City business trip right in the midst of the cold and snow. I'm not into theater. I can't stand the Knicks. But shopping might save the day. What do you recommend?
DEAR HOT SHOPPER: If your time's limited, just remember the three B's: Bloomingdale's, Bendel's and Barneys New York, all of which are shopping havens for those in the know. But if you've got more time to scout out Big Apple treasures, there are two new guides to Manhattan shopping right off the presses.
The more detailed and less expensive of the two is "Shopping Manhattan, the Discriminating Buyer's Guide to Finding Almost Anything," by Corky Pollan, who is the "Best Bets" columnist for New York magazine. Published by Penguin, it's $12.95 and available through bookstores.
"Buying New York" is designed for out-of-town retailers and includes lists of wholesale and retail resources, museums, restaurants and flea markets. It's $95 (plus $4 shipping and handling) for a main guide and four seasonal updates from Buying New York, 1441 Broadway, Room 338, New York, N.Y., 10018. For more information, call (212) 505-8085.
THE CUTBACK: That's what the Beverly Hills Umberto salon is calling its new low prices that are a response to the R-word ( recession ). This salon, where Winona Ryder and Janet Jackson come to have their tresses trimmed, is offering modified services to men and women who walk in without an appointment. For $35 they'll receive a shampoo, haircut and blow dry from a stylist "who's the best person for their hair," according to salon coordinator Babette Beja (the regular price is $50 to $80). Beja says there shouldn't be much of a wait, but the salon is least busy on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
GALS 'N' DOLLS: Feeling guilty because you're 35 and still playing with paper dolls? Martha's Vineyard, Mass.-based designer Lorraine Parish understands. She's designed a Pop-Up Catalog to display her latest collection of sophisticated, classic styles--and provide her customers with a paper doll fix in the process.
Of all the catalogues that have been cramming our mailboxes lately, this one is a standout--literally. When opened, eight paper dolls jump up. They're actually cutouts of black-and-white photographs of a model wearing Parish's suits, blouses and dresses, which retail for $85 to $400.
Parish says this marketing technique allows her to customize the catalogue for various regions and climates across the country, using different designs and fabrics.
The catalogue is also designed to draw you into the lives of the two-dimensional models. The doll in the current catalogue is named Marita; she's destined to marry her boyfriend, Max, who will model an upcoming line of men's clothing. Then they'll have to have a dream house, and of course their perfect, catalogue-friendly offspring will come along . . .
The catalogue is $15; extra paper dolls are $1.25. To order, call (508) 627-3320 or write Lorraine Parish/Lakota, South Road, Chilmark, Mass. 02535.