Music for the Independent Yogi

With apologies to Emerson College’s radio station, WERS (which bills itself as “Music for the Independent Mind”), I offer the playlists of Amy Leydon, one of  the country’s top yoga instructors. She’s not afraid to play something slightly inappropriate (System of a Down?!?) in between “come to a comfortable seated position” and “namaste.” Excellent dinner music, background music, and even some dance(able) music. She’s just got a unique ear and eclectic taste and makes me look forward to hearing what she comes up with next.
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Ted Baker Owes Me A $795 Shopping Spree!

When the London-based clothing label Ted Baker opened its Boston boutique on Newbury Street a few years ago, I attended the opening party because it was a fund-raiser for one of my favorite charities, Community Servings.

I’d been to the Ted Baker store in London and tried on a few of his things at Harvey Nichols, none of which really caught my fancy, which I was rude enough to tell a salesperson at the Boston location when she greeted me. In fact, I told her, the only item of Ted Baker clothing I owned was a pair of boxer briefs I’d bought duty-free on a British Airways flight after realizing that I had an 8-hour layover and needed a fresh pair.

“I’ll bet I can show you something you’ll like,” she said, and I told her she was welcome to try. She obviously read me well, because she led me directly over to a rack holding a blazer that I instantly fell in love with. Shot through with multi-colored threads, it would go with literally anything, and it fit me perfectly. It was a fairly bold fashion statement—a highly memorable article of clothing—and so I said I would buy it on one condition: that they send the other two like it to a Ted Baker store in another city. I didn’t want to run into someone else in Boston wearing the same jacket (which is why I generally shop for clothing only when I travel).

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The Time I Asked Elizabeth Taylor To Dance

In 1981, Elizabeth Taylor was starring on Broadway in a revival of the Lillian Hellman play, “The Little Foxes,” and married to husband No. 6, John Warner of Virginia (whose previous wife was the banking heiress Catherine Conover Mellon). At the time, Taylor was past the glory days of her career but because of the husbands and jewels and assorted mishigas, she was still the most sought-after specimen in the pop-culture petri dish of stardom. She was also at her very fattest.

I, meanwhile, was 16 years old, an insecure adolescent trying to hide behind a façade of ennui, and I was at my very most obnoxious. My family, who measure up as crazy on any yardstick, was having dinner in The Edwardian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York. A grandiose, rococo restaurant with potted palms and a band playing Viennese waltzes at the edge of a parquet dance floor, it was considered chic in its day.

The cast of characters included my father, his second wife (about whom the less said the better), my brothers, and some cousins. We were already seated (and probably well into cocktails) when a commotion started at the host stand and then rippled outward, almost instantly captivating the entire room. Elizabeth Taylor had arrived.
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