THE BLOG
05/13/2012 07:43 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Best/Worst Brands May 7-14: Fifty Shades of Shame, Slim Aarons, Members Only

I am really mad at you, the media set. It all started with Angelina's leg at the Oscars. I could not imagine that was news. But it was news and you wrote about it and then someone even created a Twitter page in its honor. It wasn't J. Los Versace jungle-print cloth dress or Marilyn's windblown dress from The Seven Year Itch. It was a leg. When I asked a baby boomer friend of mine, a flower child of the sixties, what she thought about the leg she met me with silence that said, "I don't have time for such idiotic questions." With the Fifty Shades of Grey tipping point upon us, it seems we are living in the age of Victorian morality (don't say leg, say limb). Is the covering-of-our-furniture-with-embroidery-so-the-legs-of-our-tables-not-show tipping point upon us as well? I read a few chapters of Fifty Shades and while it dripping with sexual innuendo and erotica, I don't find it to be fantasy. Across religions and demographics, from the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn to the monied Millenials and Mommies in Scarsdale, it's book club and Facebook-worthy. Is no one getting any? Both Maureen Dowd's "Fit to be Tied" in The New York Times and Katie Roiphe's "The Fantasy Life of Working Women" in Newsweek took a short cut and invented a trend as myopic as women want to be dominated. I am thinking the trend is more along the lines that we are living in the age of Shame. And I am so ashamed of that.

Let's stop reading and start living this summer. How? I call it citysurfing. Desperate to feel like a jetsetter again? No time to safari in Africa because your employer still hasn't gotten the European quality of life memo? Here is how citysurfing works:

1. Think of three to five things that conjure up your summer dream. It's the perfect fitted halter top worn at a summer pool party, blasting Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, walking down a cobblestone street in Europe, or being photographed by Slim Aarons on a chaise lounge.

2. Choose cities and lodging to match those vibes: Halter top vibe pairs well with South Beach at the Sagamore Hotel to get your pool party on with an impressive art collection surrounding you. Match up Bruce, of course, to New Jersey and hang out at the Borgata. Slim Aarons goes well with the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills where you can linger for hours on the rooftop. The cobblestone? Let's go to San Sebastien at the Villa Soro.

3. You've got 94 days of summer and two long weekends (July 4 is on a Wednesday unfortunately), so pick another two or three weekends and get busy with being the jetsetter you always dreamed you could be. Forget the Hamptons, Fire Island, or Martha's Vineyard and go #citysurfing. Share your experience with me @321takeoff.

4. One last thing: You must pair your vacation with the right clothes. Take your Members Only bomber jacket for cool summer nights. For the perfect beach cover-up, pick up a Toddland's "Abolish Sleevery" tee. Leave your Uggs at home. Don't import bad fashion this summer.

Speaking of imports, I walked by the Fiat dealership last week and was reminded about about my mysterious love affair with that brand. It began when I was 5 years old and my uncle had this darling little beige 124 Coupe that got stuck at the same stoplight every morning. It was so exotic to me. Fiat was exotic, yet Toyota, even further away geographically, was not. It's been thirty years since Fiat imported into the U.S. and debuts here with its 500 model. I want to take that Gucci runway model for a test drive because it's beautiful and I don't care how many times I get stuck at the stoplight.

I leave this week Best/Worst with the best brand in the world. Brand Mom. They nag. And nag. But let me explain what that is. What they are trying to do is break the laws of nature every single day. They wake up everyday and before they even have a thought, they are preparing in the most primitive of ways how they are going to be able to take the pain away from their children today. The nag. It is a disparate attempt to walk in our shoes. I love the nag. I love you Mom.

If you've got a product, destination, or idea that you think moves culture forward, send me a message @321takeoff.