Monday, February 04, 2013

Consider The Lobster



Ladies and Gentlemen, today I ask you to consider the lobster.
He is the haughtiest crustacean, he shamelessly flirts at the salons of  writers, artists, fashion designers and restaurateurs without ever letting his monocle slip.
He is an oceanic muse, serial monogamist and spiffy fencer. 
He can be a cheap date at a sea side road shack or the toast of the town at a top restaurant. He is a man for all seasons. 
My favourite 'lobby' is Sir Reginald (I made that bit up)  Wilton as seen below, visitors to London should be sure to swing by and shake his claw. 
He is, however, an utter snob, so do beware. 












Picasso

Dali lobster phone


Annie Hall




89 comments:

  1. I considered the lobster sweater but the thought of its claws reaching for my neck made me a little crazy. The funniest incident I can remember about this crustacean is my dad packing me a lobster sandwich for my plane ride back home. Imagine that when others are having their airline meals.

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    1. Tiffany : oh yes it is making a beeline for Rose's neck, I hadn't noticed that.

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  2. I got to see the original Schiaparelli lobster dress last summer at the Prada/Schiaparelli exhibition at the Met. Is it bad to say that I have always found lobster motifs on clothing to be a little unsettling? I think it's the antennae and spiky little legs sticking out at the sides. Lobster on a bun, yes, lobster on a dress, definitely no.

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    1. Louise: their antennae give me the heebie jeebies too.

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  3. I adore your photo collages. The picture of Anna Wintour is fabulous. I purchased lobster critter pants last year. Anything that reminds me of summer, Maine, NH and Nantucket can't be bad, sartorially or otherwise!

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  4. I'm with KnitYarns on this one - I love lobster prints! But, generally speaking, I would rather have a lobster on my plate than on my skirt.

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  5. Fantastic post Tabs! I remember that dress on Anna Wintour. Isn't the other one a Schiaparelli?

    If you ever go to Maine, go to Mount Desert Island, where all the Old Rich have their summer homes (Rockefeller, Martha Stewart... Okay, she's New Rich). Every second restaurant is a lobster restaurant and they all have huge signs outside proclaiming they're the best. "Best Lobster Restaurant In The World!" "No WE'RE The Best Lobster Restaurant In The World!' "Come And Try Our Lobsters: Forget The Rest!' But the last little restaurant, at the end of the street in the main town, just has a small sign taped to its door: 'We Have Lobsters, Too'. It was the funniest place. Great stories about Ms Martha and how she rules her estate from there too. You should do a post on her. Or on people who have cattle and horses and dogs that match their interiors. I'm sure you do that in Scotland too....?? xx

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  6. Great photos Tabitha. I like the Tibi dress; perfect for summer. Lobsters always remind me of San Francisco, maybe because of Fisherman's Wharf (?) however they are the height of indulgence in my opinion. My London friends tell me Burger and Lobster in Mayfair is fab! Could wear the Tibi dress there x

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    1. Fifi: I went just before Christmas, burger and lobster is a very tough call, I think their duo works really well.

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  7. Dear Tabitha

    Adore this post. So witty and clever. It's so interesting to find all the different themes/questions you post. Would love to have seen the Schiaparelli lobster dress. Do you know where it normally lives? Also love Anna Wintour's dress, tres glam!

    But I think unsettling is the point about the use of lobsters. The surrealists were anti-bourgeois and loved to juxtapose familiar (relatively anyway) objects in unexpected settings, aiming to shock the eyes and the senses and wind up the imagination. Schiaparelli was a brilliant designer and so courageous and original in her links with the surrealist movement.

    Personally I wouldn't have the courage to wear a lobster outfit but I salute those who do. Though one would have to be very careful: would have to be either great designer original or if cheap/high street worn fishing or similar - or if very clever worn with other really outre pieces. Also needs to be worn with a great sense of humour! Best wishes, Pamela

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    1. Pamela: i don't but Louise ( above)saw it at the exhibition last year.

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    2. Tks Tabitha. Will ask at the V and A or next time I'm in Paris.

      Don't think Anna W got it wrong with the lobster gown. She has the sophisticated glamour and confidence to carry it off. Most women couldn't - and the average top model/starlet would be totally bemused and have no idea of the references. You can see by the expression in her eyes and her smile that she's enjoying the humour of the allusion to Surrealism and Schiaparelli. Don't think she needs to change her hair style either - it's her trade mark and it suits her so well.

      Would love to have seen the back of her dress with presumably the rest of the dear lobster (hopefully one day there'll be an exhibition of some of AW's fabulous designer gowns - and not just at the Met). The dress also reminds me of Nancy Mitford's book "Don't Tell Alfred" and the episode of the "sweet lobsters" - have you read it, Tabitha? Great fun if you haven't, highly recommend. Best wishes, Pamela

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  8. Oh I love that lobster scene from Annie Hall! Could be a scene from our house.

    I swear, whenever I turn on the radio, Rock Lobster is ALWAYS the song that is playing!!

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  9. Is that supposed to be a lobster on Anna Wintour's dress? I thought it was just her extra antennae peeking out.Haven't looked twice at lobster since a horrible food poisoning episode some years ago. But every Saturday, unless I'm off out somewhere I have fresh crab -much prefer it.

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    1. Sulky that reminds me of David Icke/the Queen Mum and the lizards.

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  10. David Foster Wallace. Precious. Pompous. Whatever he might have to say about the lobster would be wrong. Not the Wilton's type. Happily.

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  11. I am the chair of the local lobster dinner fundraiser - Rock Lobster will be in heavy rotation on the ipod that night! People have already started giving me little lobster trinkets lol!

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  12. Sadly, I am allergic to lobster in real life,though our local aquarium housed a blue lobster I was quite taken with! I think the lobster dress was brilliant and witty. My favourite? Annie Hall - I have seen the scene in real life and it is always hysterical! Of course, no one ever considers the quahog!

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  13. Love a lobster dinner.
    What comes to mind is that scene from Julie and Julia when her husband has to help her cook the lobster in the pot while the song playing is lobster killer!
    Anna looks fab in her dress.
    Do you get fresh lobster in Scotland?
    We have it flown out from the maritimes for special occasions.

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  14. Whoa!
    I do not have the 12" 45 of that track!
    What a great dance tools, so silly but so good. I play the first two albums some mornings to get me pumped for class. It always works. "Rock lob ster... yea yea..." Sadly a lot of the lobster via Maine consumed in the states actually comes from Texas where they are slowly dribbled cold ice water on until needed for munching. They were once considered food for the poorest of folks.. funny how stuff like that flip-flops... Big Ole' ocean bugs and butter...YUM!

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    1. Scaleworm and Suburban Princess: it's years since I've heard that album, it used to be a great cheer up play.

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  15. Let's bring it back! Great pics and I've always wondered how the FIRST person to EAT lobster went about it. It's such an odd looking creature.. I can't imagine being the first to try it. So.. never judge a book by it's cover, right? :)

    xxL

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    1. Leslie: Oh absolutely, the last thing its says is "I'm juicy and tasty eat me" If I look at it too closely beforehand I can't eat it.

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    2. Ditto. They're so ugly, but grilled, dipped in butter...heaven.

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  16. Not sure if I could carry off a lobster dress, but I did wear one with an enormous Frilled Neck Lizard embroidered on the back back in the 80s ... the decade with no taste, I recall. Love eating lobster but nothing surpasses the lobster chowder once consumed at a simple cafe by a beach in New England, with rain lashing outside. It seemed perfect, somehow!

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  17. It is too cold here for lobsters to live. Kind of a bummer, but there it is.

    The power is down at the Super Bowl. I know, that's a little random.

    We have great oysters. Pearls are good.

    Power is back up after about 30 minutes.

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  18. And I just love the B-52s. I find lobster always better in the remembering than in the eating.

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  19. This is one fashion trend I will not encourage. The signature social event of the Class of '82 was a Toga Party hosted by yours truly. The evenings apex was a mesmirizing Rock Lobster dance by an Ichabod Crane lookalike classmate from atop the roof of my house as Sheriff's deputies cordoned off a perimiter

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    1. Goodness, even Anna went for this nonsense? First misstep Ive seen her make; now Wintour of my Discontent.

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  20. the lobster is a signifier of social class anxiety

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    1. Fidele: that is hilarious!

      GSL: Toga parties were the bees knees I remember going to one at the Roman hypocaust in Bath with my Latin class - how we lived it up!

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    2. Well, if you think about Woody Allen and the waspy girlfriend . . . and his dystopian fantasies in Sleeper. . . and J.Crew's little embroidered lobsters on the polo shirts of old . . .

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    3. Fidele - yes it was a spot on comment.

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  21. I can't believe Anna Wintour wore that dress. Doesn't do it for me. Did you ever read the article David Foster Wallace did for the N.Y Times on Roger Federer comparing what he did with a tennis racquet similar to a religious experience? If you haven't you should look it up as that man had a way with his words .

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  22. I love that first lobster dress you chose, when I lived in Boston we did a lot of little trips to Maine and the lobster was everywhere there.

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  23. I did a double take with Anna Wintour's dress. Hm.... never thought of lobster as a fashion statement but guess I am wrong uh....

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    1. SG and Marsha : I think she was wearing it for the exhibition opening but I'm not sure.

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  24. Haha! Is he the new hipster icon? Oh dear. Well, I like mine with clarified butter, asparagus, and a loaf of crusty bread.

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    1. I think he's been hip for 100 years or more.

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  25. Hello Tabitha:
    What a superb post. Full of fun and sophistication and a timely reminder of the absolute delight to be had in eating lobster.

    We must go down to the sea again....!

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  26. Awesome post! I guess I am odd in so far as I hate to eat lobster yet I love collecting all things with lobsters. A while ago I purchased a pencil with a lobster on it from the LACMA recreating Dali's lobster phone in pencil form. What is it about these creatures that we all find so fascinating? I like how your post shows them as a muse of sorts in the world of fashion, art, music and film... not to mention the culinary world!

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  27. Oh what a hoot you are - this is hilarious. I'm afraid I'm rather more partial to lobster on my plate than on my decor though!!! xx

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  28. 'The essay is concerned with the ethics of boiling a creature alive in order to enhance the consumer's pleasure, including a discussion of lobster sensory neurons.'

    I do consider the lobster.

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  29. The lobster claw on that Tibi dress and where it is situated on the model's anatomy makes me feel anxious.

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    1. Claire- he has wandering claw trouble.

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  30. Great...hey, so I should consider to paint a Lobster too...maybe a curvy one?...haha...
    Happy day
    <3

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  31. Like Sulky Kitten, I prefer crab; even better, prawns. What I can't abide, that chefs love to do to prove freshness and all, is to have recognizable bit of critter show up on my plate. I don't want to have to remove heads etc to get to the tasty bits, I think that's what they are paid to do. Sadly, it's a lost cause to complain. Not at all sure what is attractive about having a lobster on clothes...I suspect a perverse sense of humour.

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  32. Love this post!!!
    Must now listen to B52's :-)

    Happy Monday!

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  33. That scene from Annie Hall makes me laugh every time I see it. Thanks for the smiles early this morning.

    Elizabeth

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  34. Lunch for today is decided. I'll go to my favorite little restaurant and have their fabulous lobster roll. I'd much rather eat it than wear it.

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  35. Hmmm...You made me hungry for Lobster and it is only breakfast time here in Miami. Perhaps a lobster roll for lunch? Have you ever had Florida Lobsters? You only eat the tails but they are delicious!

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    1. Japolina and Desert Flower - that's it rub it in, you'll both sit on the sun eating it won't you?

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  36. I love it, I want a lobster hat...preferrably not a real one though ;) xx

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  37. I want a lobster phone! Imagine what that looks like held up to the side of your head haha.

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    1. Cate : I'm sure I saw a horror film like that recently!

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  38. Hate to say it. But that lobster is no monogamist!!!
    He's a player!
    Happy Monday, all ;)

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  39. CLAWS CELEBRE Come from an area where a generation ago having to take lobster sandwiches (vs. cheese, ham, PB etc.) to school was considered "poverty", the local Mickey Ds serve 1.2M squishy pretender sammies seasonally and the fisherman are really feeling the pinch. Definitely in the "eat" always, "wear" never category for me. Loved your shell game tho' Tabs. And craving a roll from Lane's neck of the woods, right now.

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    1. Amazing to learn that lobster was once considered "poverty" food! Though when we lived in Colombo (Sri Lanka) years ago our cook used to buy live lobsters from the fish market really cheaply (but they were more expensive than fish).

      But when we first stayed at one of the tourist hotels in Trincomalee there was a glass doored fridge with just lobsters, each one with an individual price on it. We were staggered by what the hotel was asking. The price per lobster was double what an employee in the shirt sweatshops (some well known brands) in the FTZ near the Colombo airport earned in a month!

      Just discovered your link in last post into the pineapple garden folly. Amazing isn't it! Don't you adore the old English eccentrics! Would love to stay overnight there. Of course we won't go into relative costs (as I did above) and consider how much it cost to build and how much he paid his agricultural workers.

      Best wishes, Pamela

      PS Every few weeks we used to have the crabman visit our house in Colombo 7. He walked door to door dragging a huge sack of live crabs. He'd bravely plunge his hand in and pull out a crab with a waving claw for the cook to inspect. John would decide whether the crabs were worth buying each time. They cost about 5-8 rupees then, incredibly cheap and delicious. The poor crabman had significant bits missing from his fingers where the crabs had taken revenge.

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  40. All I can think of is Darrell Hannah crunching into a spiny backside in "Splash." Oh, and a lobster burrito on the deck of the Auberge overlooking Napa Valley. Speaking of spiny, She Who Must Be Obeyed was a good choice of pics. She scares the crap outta me.
    Queen of the Clean Up Parade

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    1. Get Fresh:What a headline! Really? That's amazing, Shipham's paste was probably the option here.

      Coco: How on earth can you remember that? I forget everything within one week.

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    2. "This is how we eat lobster at home." I like Splash, too. I used to dream I could breath underwater as a child. It was great.

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  41. You, little thief! :D

    Frankly, I prefer my lobster on a plate, cooked and with a side of melted butter.

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  42. I must be living in Mar (or deep suburbia) had not noticed this lobster trend creeping up on us. Funny that La Wintour is taking such a fashion risk, have not seen her do that before...

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  43. The Schiaparelli dress was stunning in its time but you won't catch me wearing a crustacean. Just eating one. Great pictures. Your mind wanders to fabulous places Tabs!!

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    1. It wanders down too many dark allies, that's my problem!

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  44. In my opinion, the lobster should stay on the plate!

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  45. I had a dress with lobsters all over it, I think I bought it on ebay years ago but it was an Anthro dress. It was one of the stupidest things I ever bought. I sold it on ebay and made $5 over what I had paid, I couldn't believe it.

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  46. I absolutely LOVE this post!! I am just crazy about lobsters, both for eating and for wearing! :)

    XOXO,
    The Glam Pad

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  47. I still have a wall hanging depicting a lobster made long ago in Primary school.

    There is that very funny Simpsons episode with Homer adopting a lobster.

    Are you fascinated by Richard 111 Tabitha? The find has absolutely captured my imagination

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    1. smr: isn't it incredible about Richard 111? I watched the programme on Tv about it last night, just so fascinating.

      Dani : I know that dress, i would have kept it to romp about in the back garden

      mette: I can't talk about other's hairstyles, I've had a variation of the same theme since I was four, I'll be a sight at 90.

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  48. I fortunately have no lobster experiences.
    But what caught my eye was AW again. Ok, her hair is perfect, but on this occasion, why not wear it differently.
    Now the whole " look " is so blaah.
    However, she left her sunglasses in her purse, which is a +-

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  49. Too many summer on the Cape and Islands. Phobic about animals on clothing. A good lobster roll while on a boat, with a bottle of French rose, now that's sounding quite appealing right now.

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  50. Pish-tosh. I will never abandon the prawn.

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  51. Kathy: It's a 'look there' isn't it?

    Curator: Are you vegan? Just wondering...

    Ann: I like a good old retro prawn cocktail with lurid pink sauce and frilly lettuce.

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    1. Ah yes! Prawn Cocktail. The height of chic dining when I was but a wee bairn. Too fancy for children to eat of course - the forbidden fruit (well, prawn actually) of adulthood.

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  52. I will pass these snaps around my lobster town-- should be amusing. The lobstermen call them "bugs". This time of year we grill them.

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  53. Not sure about the lobster prints, but I do love Anna Wintour and I do love Rogano. Maybe next week I will try out Wiltons. Would almost be worth the trip just to see the sign outside - LOVE!

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  54. I'm not a fan of lobsters since my husband has a terrible allergy to them but they do have a certain graphic charm.

    Rowena @ rolala loves
    Enter my iPad Clutch Giveaway!

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  55. Wiltons..sigh..A total time warp and I hope it stays that way for a very long time.

    I grew up about a half hour from the Texas/Louisiana border, though, so I instinctively think "crawfish" before "lobster," unless it's sitting in front of me.

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  56. Just bought the Joie Lobster sweater on Amazon. Love it.

    -MaryBeth
    www.lifeandstyleafter40.com

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  57. The lobster is a gorgeous creature all on its own… forgetting silly couture or cuisine. However, as a meal, I cast my vote for the US West Coast Spiny Lobster…freshly caught, steamed, grilled, or howsoever one may wish. But then, I live on the West Coast. East or West…fresh is best…like crabs. My mother was from Baltimore where we ate Blue Crabs. On the West Coast we eat our Dungeness Crabs.

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  58. I've never tried lobster...it makes an interesting fashion statement hahaha

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  59. Loved this Tabitha! The Mainbocher Lobster dress is so cool. Is that the one the Duchess of Windsor wore?

    Anyhow, I'll eat lobster any time I can...Once we were in Grand Cayman at a place called the Lobster Pot. It was right on the water and the lobsters were obscenely enormous! Of course I had to eat the whole thing and my husband still reminds me about what a pig I was...I didn't want to waste it! Of course I felt like killing myself about an hour after..

    xo
    Kim

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  60. that shack in Maine, that would be a wicked cool LOBSTAH shack

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  61. Very good post. I have to confess, I'll bet a thou that my gf will love your blog, unless I myself would not consider reading it, since you know... I am a guy;-)
    But still, very good research and entertainment Tabitha!
    You'll have another reader till tomorrow-my gf!
    Cheers and keep on the good work.

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