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Power Shop

Alex McCord talks sticker shock and Hamptons vacations.

By Alex McCord

First I have to express publicly that the running shoes on the beach were worn because I went for a run. There, otherwise my mother would never forgive me.

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This week, shopping happens. A few times a year, Simon and I power shop and outfit ourselves for a season, fill in wardrobe gaps or replace things that have been worn to death, etc. We don’t have time to shop here and there throughout the year, so prefer to go on a concentrated hunting expedition sporadically. In this episode you get to see us at a great boutique, Blue & Cream – headquartered in East Hampton with outposts in Southampton and Manhattan. We bought pieces that you’ll see throughout the season, even going back in time a bit as you see Simon buy a jacket and shorts that he wore in last week’s episode. We do tend to have similar tastes and enjoy spending the time together. Some people spend money on massages and spa treatments – I get the same kind of relaxation from spending an afternoon shopping with Simon, and when we’re finished with the experience we have great clothes which we keep for years.

Some people may have sticker shock, and that’s understandable given the turns the economy has taken recently. I do, however, feel that it’s vital to support privately-owned businesses such as Blue & Cream, or Epaulet, a shop near our home in Brooklyn. In my opinion, it’s important to live off your salary and save/invest whatever non-salaried income you have. If your salary stream hasn’t changed, it’s dependent on you to continue spending at close to a normal level in order to support small businesses, restaurants and the like.

What else happened this week? We hit the beach and Simon got dunked by a wave while I quickly removed myself from the freezing water. Note to self, stand up straight when wearing a bikini. While the Hamptons as an occasional, agenda-free weekender is growing on us, you can’t beat still, warm waters, such as the edge of Saline Beach where we took François snorkeling for the very first time last year and saw 13 squid hovering below us. For comparison, I do intend to do a couple of dives off the Hamptons next summer to see if you can see anything once you get below the surface. But I suppose it’s OK if the Hamptons are a little like Hove, in England – great for a weekend but I would NOT go into the water!

Yes, it’s true – Jill needs to know everything about everyone at every time. I think she knows all our shoe sizes and what’s under our beds. It’s part of her charm. I felt for her a little during Bethenny’s shtick – although it was hilarious, the look that crossed her face when saying “I guess so, I never thought I was so funny,” made me think it wasn’t completely funny after half an hour – tell me if I’m wrong Jill... Watching her send Ally off to Paris is a glimpse into the future for me, and I’m sure I’ll feel the same way when my little chicks spread their wings.

Speaking of the chicks, a couple of viewers emailed me this week asking why I sat in the back seat driving to the Hamptons and whether the boys were in car seats. Yes, Francois was in a booster seat and Johan was in a child restraint – about 200 feet from the house we rented we had to stop and let the cameraman jump into the passenger seat so I had to jump in the back between the boys. When we stopped, poor Johan thought we had arrived and was not at all pleased that we had another few minutes to drive, as everyone could hear. Ah, the magic of TV!

Thanks for watching, and check out what Simon has to say at

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