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"Remember - you are your own brand," business coach Franne McNeal was telling some 100 women crowded into a downtown Manhattan office lounge one evening last week.
The Associated Press' highly subjective pop-culture journey through the year:
Only 11 years after her death, Elton John sang his ode to Marilyn Monroe. "And I would have liked to have known you, but I was just a kid," went the lyrics. "Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did."
Looks can be deceiving. Take Seamus Mullen.
It's a balmy March evening just before the official arrival of spring, and a few diners are already happily venturing to the small tables outside Red Rooster, chef Marcus Samuelsson's eatery on Lenox Avenue in the heart of Harlem.
Are children in France born polite? A former Wall Street Journal reporter set out to determine just what French parents are doing right in her new book "Bringing Up Bebe."
So you're visiting someone's home with your child and hot chocolate is served. As the hostess' kids sip the delicious concoction politely and silently, your own little dear takes a gulp and promptly spits it back into the mug.
There's an unspoken rule at Fashion Week: It's all about the shoes. And we're not talking about the models. We're talking about the audience.
It's a blustery day — February tends to be that way in New York — and Marian Kihogo, a fashion stylist and blogger from London, is dashing from one runway show to another, from the tents at Lincoln Center to studios and galleries scattered around Manhattan.
Can President Barack Obama's campaign recapture the glamour quotient of four years ago? Yes it can, says actress Scarlett Johansson, even if it's one designer tote bag at a time.
Can President Barack Obama's campaign recapture the glamour quotient of four years ago?
Imagine you're in the audience at, say, "Swan Lake," and the ballerinas you've been watching suddenly swoop over to your seat, envelop you with their wings and spirit you onstage to flutter along en pointe.
Once upon a time, an indie movie was made for $150,000 about a street musician and a flower-seller in Dublin. Its folk-pop songs and melancholy romance touched the hearts of countless fans, and the film raked in $20 million.
Once upon a time, a little indie movie was made for $150,000 about an Irish street musician and a Czech flower-seller in Dublin. Its breezy, improvisational feel, pleasing folk-pop songs and melancholy romance touched the hearts of countless fans, and the film raked in $20 million.
New York eatery Pure's upscale clientele is a mix of vegans, vegetarians and just plain foodies.
His wife couldn't be there herself to accept her honor. So Mark Kelly, husband of recovering congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, spoke on her behalf. But, he made clear, his wife was still running the show.
"It's shocking, I know," says Gloria Steinem, allowing herself a wry grin.
For a foodie, the new film about Spain's renowned elBulli restaurant is a bit like an Angelina Jolie movie for a teenage boy.
The scene would have been hard to imagine three months ago, when Julie Taymor was pushed aside as director of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," an unprecedentedly expensive production whose well-publicized troubles had already made it the butt of late-night jokes.
Jon Austin's wife, Amy, had a blunt assessment for her husband as the Minneapolis couple watched Rep. Anthony Weiner's stunning confessions on television this past week.
By the time she was in eighth grade, Rory Mann was so aware of the differences between her and other students that she couldn't bear to enter the cafeteria. Instead, she ate lunch alone on the cold, hard bathroom floor, propped against a wall.
NEW YORK (AP) — It's hard to forget the haunting photo that leaked out early last year: Pop star Rihanna, her elegant face bruised and battered after a violent assault by her then-boyfriend, R&B singer Chris Brown.
There was no salacious sex scandal, no prostitution ring, no mysterious trip to Argentina.
They've called it the "Mancession" -- a recession that's affected men disproportionately, because of its brutal impact on male-dominated sectors like construction and manufacturing.
"OK," went the e-mail that circulated among parents recently at a New York City elementary school. "Is 'everyone' in the fifth grade REALLY watching 'Glee'?"
NEW YORK | The ritual celebrity apology: We've seen it time and again, from Kanye West to Mark Sanford to John Edwards to Mel Gibson to Mark McGwire. And now it's Tiger Woods' turn.
So imagine you're out with your dad, and in a moment of utter parental geekiness, he happens to mention to a bunch of strangers that you're, um, romantically available.
Was it only a decade ago that a blackberry was a mere summer fruit? That green was, well, a color, and reality TV was that one show sandwiched between music videos on MTV?
Little Falcon Heene of "Balloon Boy" fame surely had no idea he was encapsulating an entire year of popular culture when he told his parents on national TV: "You guys said that we did this for the show."
There was a list at the door, but the beautifully dressed guest in the chic, red-soled Christian Louboutin shoes wasn't on it. Still, she insisted she was a friend of the host. Not wanting to offend, the staffer at the door waved her in.
Like any wife who knows her husband well, Nancy Martus knows what will annoy her man. Like when she utters the phrase, "Oprah says..."
Of all the adjectives one might use to describe Newsweek's current Sarah Palin cover, "unflattering" probably isn't one of them.
She's hanging with Elmo and Emeril Lagasse, Big Bird and Bobby Flay.
At the bustling Pi pizza restaurant in St. Louis, the staff has come up with a new mantra: "It's just pizza!"
A cough in a subway car: It's as familiar a sound in New York as the honking of horns in traffic. So Michelle Henriques was startled the other day on her morning commute to hear a man's cough greeted by a gruff reply from a fellow passenger: "Hey, would you mind covering your mouth?"
The Right to Bare Arms. Sleevegate. Up in Arms. The Upper Body Stimulus Plan.
One is a soft-spoken teenager who never sought fame, but was thrust into the national spotlight at the most delicate moment of her young life. The other is a glamorous pop star, a fixture in celebrity magazines and on countless iPods.
NEW YORK | Soon after New Yorker Geralyn Lucas was laid off from her television job in January, she took her 2-year-old son to the playroom of her apartment building. She realized she had never been there before.
She's a busy mother of two and a full-time executive at a film distribution company, but sometimes Susan Margolin can't help it: She Googles Barack and Michelle Obama, not to check on his latest policy initiatives, but to see what they're doing as a couple.
WASHINGTON | Malia Obama peered out through the viewfinder of her camera from her perch on the inaugural podium. And what a view she had: A million or more people packed onto the National Mall, listening raptly to her father give his inaugural address.
Depending on your political tastes, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sarah Palin or even Tina Fey could be considered Woman of the Year. But here's the harder question: Was this the Year of the Woman?
Bonnie Rabin is fond of saying that divorce lawyers are a bit like liquor stores. They're busiest in the really good times, and the really bad.
Andrea Reynolds, a mother of four young children in southern Louisiana, can't remember the last time she bought a dress. She also can't remember her last vacation -- unless, she quips, you count those three weeks in a hotel fleeing Hurricane Rita in 2005.
Rebecca Horvath was an undecided voter before the news broke about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her 17-year-old unmarried daughter's pregnancy.
Sure, Madonna may have scandalized the Vatican and shocked nearly every parent in America at some point during her long and provocative career full of shrewd image transformations.
When Amy Morris' twin boys, then 11, went on an academic trip to Washington last year, she agreed to give them cell phones at the program's request. But this summer she was dismayed to learn that girls at her 8-year-old daughter's day camp were using cell phones they'd taken along in their b…
Young Tad Lincoln herded goats into a White House sitting room. Quentin Roosevelt rammed his wagon into a historic painting. John Kennedy Jr. had to be scooped out of a hiding place in his father's desk. Amy Carter famously brought a book to a state dinner.
"Hair is really funny stuff," John Frieda is saying as he tosses my locks around in his hands, contemplating their state. "Most people don't like their hair."
Like many men his age, Gregory Ameo, 53, struggles with high blood pressure and cholesterol. He hates pills, but accepts them grudgingly. He eats better than he used to and takes walks for exercise. He takes fish oil and garlic, in case they might help with the cholesterol.
My son's baseball teacher scheduled an end-of-year, mother-son game the other day, and it was a blast. The 5-year-old boys "won" (wink wink), but not before us moms got to hit a few grounders and run the bases in Central Park in the middle of a work day.
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