Jersey Sure!

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I may be a New York City boy and Mamma Biscuit may be a New York City pooch but there is a whole lot of Jersey love when it comes to the consumption of reality TV at the Pug Palace. I mean, the George Washington Bridge is just a stones throw away from our front door connecting Manhattan to the unruly state, and no matter how hard I try to suppress it, I’ll always remain a guido at heart—even with this giant hairy upper lip of mine! Now Mamma Biscuit and I love lounging in front of the tube to watch our beloved Jersey related shows. We have watched everything from Cake Boss to Jersey Shore and Jerseylicious to the ongoing seasons of the Real Housewives of New Jersey and let me tell you, we feed our cawfee talk addiction on the regular. With that said, these Italian-American shows go beyond the borders of New Jersey and into scarier territory like Staten Island and Long Island—or as I like to call it, wrong island in front of Tommy to make him mad! Shows like Long Island Medium (Theresa Caputo is such a fraud) and Mob Wives (Big Ang is my hero and I actually designed her book cover) really inspire me when it comes to the contemporary guidette look. Long nails, poofy hair, giant gold jewelry, leopard-print-everything and harsh, ill-applied make-up seems to be the uniform throughout. Every garment is too short and too tight and the neckline is almost always plunging showcasing some of the biggest breasts I have seen on basic cable. Anyway, several weeks prior, Mamma Biscuit and I popped into Popcorn Paws (our version of Kim D’s Posche Boutique) and stumbled upon this leopard-print shirt that just screams Olivia from Jerseylicious. If you have no idea who and what I’m talking about then I suggest you stop reading this post because it’s only going to get more specific. As Mrs. Giove from Jerseylicious would say, “SHOW SOME RESPECT.”

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Teresa Giudice from the Real Housewives of New Jersey has called Mamma Biscuit seeking legal advice about the charges brought upon her and her husband Juicy Joe for tax fraud and Mamma needed something to wear that would make that dishonest, hairy monkey with no forehead comfortable and at ease—so our little gremlin plans on wearing this leopard-print shirt in lavender with sequins, what do you all think? It may not be skintight enough and I may have styled it with a tasteful brooch but I think the sequins and leopard are tacky enough to distract Teresa into convincing her to stop lying to the government. I swear, when I brought Mamma Biscuit into the park to take these pictures, I had Melissa Gorga’s god-awful song On Display playing in my head. I just love that Mamma Biscuit can go from Vogue couture to this crap and still maintain a sense of confidence and grace—it’s really what makes out little spumoni face timeless!

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So as I was snapping my camera at Mamma Biscuit during this photoshoot in the park and really channeling our love of New Jersey, a pedestrian stopped behind me to enjoy the cuteness of it all. She said, “looks like your pug is ready for her close-up” and as I turned to see who it was, I nearly fell over. Julianne Moore gave me a wink before walking off into Fort Tryon Park. YES, you read that right, I said Julianne Moore. In a matter of seconds, Mamma and I were transported right back into NYC because you know a celebrity sighting like that would never happen in New Jersey!

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New season of the Real Housewives of New Jersey starts on Sunday, July 13th—can’t wait!

Enjoy

Posted in Fashion, Outdoor Life, Portraits | 4 Comments

Giving Face!

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It’s been a really tough week to say the least. I feel like I have nearly forgotten about Mamma’s little corner on web here and when I do have some spare time to actually sit down and write, something work-related always seems to come up. So I apologize if you haven’t seen anything new here in a while, such is life here in NYC. We all have our careers to tend to but the one thing that gets me through a really tough week is coming home to our little spumoni face. She’s such a good little girl who always knows how to cheer me up—even when she’s being a bad little girl whose only focus is getting her gummy mouth on another soft-chew treat. So I decided to quickly touch base with you all today before I head home from work to give you a little dose of Mamma Biscuit. I mean, why should I be the only one to enjoy this face and that tongue? Our little gremlin sure knows how to give face and work her cutest angles to lure food out of us. It’s really her specialty!

So these photos were taken two weeks ago during a stroll through Fort Tryon Park. Now when I say a “stroll” what I really mean is Mamma Biscuit walks for two minutes, does her poopy and pee pee business and then practically begs to be carried like Cleopatra the rest of the way. Shocking, I know!

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Secretly, I don’t mind it. Carrying Mamma Biscuit like a baby sure gives all of the pedestrians something to smile about and makes me feel like I’m squeezing onto a plushy teddy bear in public—a win-win situation if you ask me.

Here’s another photograph of Daddy and child—my two dogs!

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Oh and here I am looking like Mario from the Mario Bros. video game while holding Mamma Biscuit. I can assure you that although I am Italian, I am not a plumber so don’t throw any barrels at your screen!

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Happy Friday y’all! It’s gonna be a fantastic weekend and Mamma Biscuit and family are so ready to take it on!

Enjoy

Posted in Outdoor Life, Portraits | 10 Comments

Big Trouble in Little China!

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I have a confession to make: I have been secretly daydreaming about taking Mamma Biscuit on a grand trip to China so that she can reacquaint herself with her homeland roots as a pug. Seriously, since the very first day that Tommy and I adopted her from Curly Tail Pug Rescue (nearly six years ago) I have been running my mouth to everyone about touring the Great Wall of China (among other sites) with Mamma Biscuit by my side. Wouldn’t that be fabulous to see our little gremlin trucking along the ancient walls, channeling her ancient Chinese roots with her tongue dangling down to her knees? Pugs are Chinese royalty dogs and you all know that Mamma Biscuit is the Queen of our pantheon. Hell, she’s the Queen of all pugs on the internet worldwide. Mamma exudes so much royalty that she makes Kate Middleton look like a schlub from the English country side. For her, it’s innate! Now pugs have a very rich and amazing history that can be traced way back to 700 BC at the time of Confucius when they were known as lo-sze. The breed is considered one of the oldest canine breeds today. Perfect, Mamma is about to approach her 14th birthday this July so she knows a thing or two about being old. Aside from Tibetan monasteries, only members of the Chinese imperial household were allowed to own these small-nosed dogs who always stayed by their master’s side even during royal occasions when foreign guests were present. It is said that female pugs were held in high esteem so much so that they had the same rank with the wives of the emperor. WOW, I’m sure Mamma Biscuit would have made an Emperor’s wife green with envy with the amount of attention she would have stolen from her husband had she been alive back in those times. I mean, Tommy fights a continuously losing battle when he tries to compete with Mamma Biscuit for MY attention, that’s for sure! Anyway, this VIP treatment was true during the time of the great emperor Ling To (168-190 A.D.) who also ordered that his pugs be guarded by the palace’s soldiers and be fed with only the best food. He greatly loved his pugs that anyone who was caught attempting to steal a pug was meted a death sentence. At any rate, the reality of Mamma Biscuit traveling to the Far East will remain a pipe dream indefinitely because the last thing I would want to do is subject our little gremlin lady to a stressful 15-hour flight across the globe—not at her age. So I thought that the next best thing was to take Mamma Biscuit down to Chinatown here in NYC to see if it would spark the same energy in her little puggy
heart . . . and it sure did. So come along for the tour.

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Now choosing a specific street in Chinatown to photograph Mamma Biscuit was literally a no-brainer. For those of you who have never been to New York City, know that the most scenic street in Chinatown is the iconic Pell Street. Short and narrow, lined with brick apartment buildings, small storefronts, and an abundance of awnings and flags, the abrupt end at Mott Street gives Pell Street a sense of intimacy and makes it the “go-to” street for filmmakers looking to capture the heart of NYC’s Chinatown. We arrived super early Saturday morning before any of the fruit stands and fish markets opened up. We found a little nook in the corner in front of a red and blue Chinese sign for a printing facility (I think) to set up Mamma’s throne: a milk crate!

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We then outfitted our little critter with her very own genuine silk embroidered Chinese dress/jacket in teal with yellow piping. Lined with pale yellow faux fur, this dress/jacket is equipped with a little silk pouch that serves as a change purse for when Mamma needs to run to the open markets to squeeze a zucchini or two. It also doubles up as a condom pouch in case she wants to go gallivanting with her pug girlfriends in downtown, Schanghai on any given Saturday night. Safety first people, safety first!

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Mamma Biscuit sure seemed spirited as she watched the old Chinese ladies walking by while standing on her milk crate. They pointed and giggled at her and Mamma smiled on, feeling the spirit of her roots slowly return.

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While Pell Street is certainly one of Chinatown’s most iconic streets, Doyer Street is found branching off of it midway down the block and is one of only a few curved streets in all of Manhattan. In fact, Mamma Biscuit and her milk crate were parked a few steps away (across Pell Street) from the entrance to Doyer.

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If you look at a map, you’ll notice that Doyer Street is not a perfect curve but rather has a number of sharp angles which earned the nickname, Bloody Angle. Doyer Street was the site of numerous gang street battles and murders through NYC history and an alleged network of tunnels connecting several buildings also made for easy getaways for such violent activities. The street is essentially an old cart path and is named for Hendrick Doyer who ran a distillery here in the 1800’s.

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It’s very narrow, and feels removed from the intense hustle and bustle of the heart of Chinatown. In fact, it was so early in the morning and the streets were so vacant that all you could hear was Mamma Biscuit panting for another peanut butter treat as I was snapping my camera in her direction.

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When we finished up our photoshoot, we walked Mamma Biscuit down Mott Street towards the very beginning of Mulberry Street where we set up shop in front of a Chinese funeral parlor situated directly across from Columbus Park and literally right next door to Le Baron, a trendy little nightclub in Chinatown. Tommy and I rang in the 2014 New Year at a party at Le Baron and it was so much fun. It was so funny to see nightclubbers and club workers getting out from a Friday night party while photographing our Pug on a milk crate.

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Many stopped to bear witness to Mamma’s unbearable cuteness and undoubtedly hashtagged there iPhone pictures of her as #chinatownpugrealness! On our walk back to Canal Street, we passed by Pearl Paint Art Supplies store that has recently closed. Many landmark stores, restaurants, nightclubs and bars in and around NYC are vanishing due to extreme high rents. Mamma stopped at the corner of this iconic red building to pay her respects by squatting down to urinate!

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All in all, Mamma Biscuit has gained a new bounce of confidence in her step after visiting Chinatown. Our little Spumoni Face may never have the chance to touch Chinese soil in her lifetime but I think it’s comforting to know that she lives in a city that has a neighborhood that is rich with Chinese history. A neighborhood that authentically represents who she is as a royal breed.

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Like Cinderella, the best and well deserved Queens come from a troubled and abusive past. Mamma’s royalty is innate and has always lived inside of her and she’ll take that with her for the rest of her life.

Enjoy

Posted in Fashion, NYC Life | 6 Comments

Cowboy Up!

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It’s official, our holiday seasons from this point on at the Pug Palace will be whole lot gayer now that I have acquired my very first Diamonds of the Sea Merman ornament.

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These hard bodied muscle stud merman of all varieties have been floating in and out of my life throughout the years while hunting seasonal items and several weeks ago, my dream came true when my friend Chris gifted me one from his travels to Georgia. Now anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a huge cowboy fanatic (I’m a regular Imelda Marcos when it comes to collecting cowboy boots) so it was only fitting that Chris snatched up the last “Clint” merman ornament known in existence! I say that because I make it a point to check out every gay book store in every town I visit (these ornaments are sold all year long) and have never once come across the legendary Clint ornament. I’ve seen photos of him online (he was part of the 2006 collection) and I always make a point of asking about him in the stores but I get the same response from all the sales clerks, “OH, Clint, that cowboy flew off the shelves years ago.” So Chris, if you’re reading this right now, thank you for lassoing what might be the last Clint merman on earth for me, I owe you big time.

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There is so much glitter on this cowboy you would think that good ol’ Clint spent the first part of his life hanging on Mariah Carey’s Christmas tree!

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In keeping with the western spirit (and talking about gay book stores in general) my new Clint merman ornament would look extra hunky and sexy next to my red bandana balls that I picked up at the “Going Out of Business” sale at the Rainbows and Triangles store here in NYC several months ago.

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I was shocked when I stumbled upon a completely ransacked Rainbows and Triangles but somehow, I managed to find a set of three bandana Christmas balls at 80% off and Mamma Biscuit wagged her tongue (and curly tail) giving me her approval!

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So that’s it folks, a little Christmas for you in the month of May. Only two more months and we’ll be celebrating Christmas in July on QVC. Quite frankly, I’m already yearning for the fiber optic/flameless seasonal wares that only a Home Shopping Network could provide—my void will be filled soon enough!

Enjoy

Posted in Holiday, Vintage | 8 Comments

Secret Garden!

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In my secret garden, I’m looking for the perfect flower
Waiting for my finest hour
In my secret garden, I still believe after all
I still believe and I fall
You plant the seed and I’ll watch it grow
I wonder when I’ll start to show
I wonder if I’ll ever know
Where my place is
Where my face is
I know it’s in here somewhere
I just wish I knew the color of my hair
I know the answer’s hiding somewhere
In my secret garden, there’s

A petal that isn’t torn
A heart that will not harden
A place that I can be born
In my secret garden
A rose without a thorn
A lover without scorn

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OK, enough of my Madonna/Erotica flashback and onto this post of Mamma Biscuit acting all cute and fury in her secret garden—which is basically my mother’s backyard! My mom had us over for an after-Easter-dinner at her house on Sunday and while she was busy preparing her famous fettuccine in artichoke sauce, Tommy and I went outside to snap a few photos of our little gremlin on one of the many stone benches littering their garden. See, that’s what happens when you grow up in an Italian family, your yard looks like a villa filled with religious statues, makeshift fountains, mini lakes and bushes that look like they have been sculpted by Edward Scissorhands himself! I have vivid memories of my father doing yard work and generally gardening in a three-piece suit—and believe me, that was a sight in our neighborhood that was and still is predominantly Jewish with the occasional Japanese family brought over by their respective companies to live and work for a year or two!

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At any rate, I’m concerned about Mamma Biscuit’s weight. I remember when this pink sweater was loose on her and now, it’s as snug as a glove. I’m also concerned that we’ll never see Spring or Summer judging by how cold it has been. Even with the sun out on Sunday, the wind made our outdoor photoshoot a brisk one to say the least. But back to Mamma, doesn’t she look absolutely adorable here? The pink sweater, the pearl-pin heart pendant, her pink tongue and moist snout are all enough reasons alone for the weight gain. I seriously need to scale back on the amount of peanut butter treats I giver but how can I when she looks up at me with those watery marble eyes and jaunty head tilt. I swear, sometimes this dog seduces me with her eyes. There are moments when she looks at me in such a way that I almost feel compelled to buy her drink and ask her out on a date!

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Anyway, we hope you enjoy this little Mamma Biscuit vignette from our weekend out in the suburbs. Mamma sure loves visiting Nana’s house because like me, my mother caves in and will give her a treat anytime she’s looking for one. Maybe my mother is to blame for the sudden weight gain . . . sigh, all mothers are to blame for their children’s weight gain, especially the Italian kind who really know how to cook!

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Enjoy

Posted in Fashion, Outdoor Life | 12 Comments