The Energy and the Ecstasy

Getting to Spring With a Credit Card and a MetroCard


Prosecution Complex

For Fitzgerald it was the rich, but for psychologist Fiona H. Travis, it's lawyers who aren't like the rest of us. Nearly every section of her new Should You Marry a Lawyer?(Decision Books, 168 pp., $18.95) follows the same pattern: Some aspects of marriage are universally taxing, she says . . . but if you're married to a lawyer, it's worse. According to the testimonials Travis has gathered in 25 years of practice (as well as 40 years of marriage to a prosecutor), the "lawyer personality," honed in the adversarial culture of law school, doesn't translate well to the home. This evidence, added to a divorce rate exceeding that of any other profession, would seem to give a clear answer to the title's question. Yet the bulk of the book is devoted to helping those who've already made the choice, offering relationship advice so conventional (one chart is titled "Communications 101") that the presumed need for it makes lawyers look even more stunted. Travis presents the profession as so dehumanizing, in fact, that it could serve as an ad for other titles by the same publisher: Should You Really Become a Lawyer? and Running From the Law. BRIAN SEIBERT

Kundalini class: Kamaljit surrenders to what is (see "Om Shalom" below).
photo: Sylvia Plachy
Kundalini class: Kamaljit surrenders to what is (see "Om Shalom" below).


Strip Search

As famed ecdysiast Gypsy Rose Lee declared, "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly . . . very slowly." Don't tell burlesque instructor Ducky Doolittle, who teaches the Ducky Doolittle Classic Strip Tease Workshop (MUSEUM OF SEX, 233 Fifth Avenue, 212-689-6337, April 29 at 7 p.m., $30/$20 for students), designed for would-be stage stars as well as private dancers.

She may know how to swirl her hips with excruciating languor, but she's also able to cram a century and a half of burlesque history, legend, and tips into less than two hours. Doolittle wants to be everyone's "burlesque big sister." From her glossy pageboy to her vertiginous high heels—not to mention the irrepressible bosom in between—she's a font of know-how, sex appeal, and good humor. Dressed in a lace and satin confection, she puts the audience at ease with giggles and shy smiles. The lecture-demonstration instructs girls—and the occasional boy—in theory (flirtatiousness, shamelessness) and practice (eyelash glue is great for pasties). Materials include a worksheet for devising a burlesque name (mine? Carol Gardens) and a shopping guide for props and costumes. And before sending attendees out into the night, Doolittle makes certain they're versed in a few standard moves: the stroll, the showcase, the bump, the grind, the quiver, the shimmy—we're still dizzy. Bombshells away! ALEXIS SOLOSKI


Retail Therapy

Your skin is dry and flaky, your lips have split, your hair is hat, your mind is frazzled, your living room feels dowdy, and your bedroom is, shall we say, underpopulated. You can't get to the Caribbean, but your MetroCard will take you to ARCADIA (261 West 19th Street, 212-243-5358), a tranquil shop where Jay Gurewitsch, whose family has been in the candle business for generations, has assembled a brilliant collection. The rear section houses a Japanese rock garden displaying candles, gurgling fountains, and more; up front, near the south-facing window, are shelves of top-of-the-line unguents and potions for men and women (the Dr. Hauschka products are 10 percent off through March 14), chocolate body frosting (and chocolate voodoo dolls, so you can eat your enemies), and carefully selected silver jewelry (some engraved with the wisdom of the Dalai Lama). French bubble-bath confetti, anyone? Gurewitsch chooses products made by indigenous populations that are marketed by fair-trade-certified companies; among these are soapstone sculptures from Kenya and dream-catcher boxes made by Mohawks. Scan the racks of funny and apt limited-edition greeting cards. Arcadia is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. ELIZABETH ZIMMER

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