Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things I've Learned in NYC

  • People you don't know will say weird things to you that you don't want to hear, ignore them
  • NYC is the land of cheap manicures
  • You'll never eat or drink in all the places in this town but you should try anyways
  • You will meet so many people, decide which ones you like back
  • On the same note, turns out there are bad people in the world, you should watch out for those
  • Bank with Chase, you'll always have access to your $
  • There are more ways to get crosstown than the L, knowledge is power
  • Everybody in this town is frontin', don't buy it
  • Your metrocard is your passport, just don't store it near your credit cards
  • Duane Reade is both your best friend and your worst enemy
  • People ask where you live within the first five minutes of conversation, this is normal
  • They will also ask how much you pay in rent, this is also normal
  • It is a NYC sin to eat chain food, but who cares, just do it anyway
  • Avoid suits- unless you like hearing people talk about themselves
  • If it's too good to be true-it is, especially in real estate
  • It's a big, bad world out there, baby
  • You will miss home all the time
  • Coming here is exactly like starting a whole new life, be patient
  • Try to remember who you are over the thump of the bass
  • Stop comparing yourself
  • Filter your water
  • You can get away without having cable here
  • People will try to tell you that living here isn't worth it but this is when you get to be smug and say they "just don't get it"
  • You will spend so much money on food and cabs but it's usually worth it
  • Singular days will change how you think about things
  • You may not always want to, but when friends come into town, do all the touristy things they want to do, remember you were once new here too
  • Don't leave your phone in a cab, you can't always count on the kindness of strangers
  • You'll walk plenty, just eat it (whatever "it" is)
I am going to keep this list "live," and add to is as my life here unfolds. I think it'll be fun to look back on it and see what I still agree with, what I'd add to, and what I'd change. Suggestions? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dear Blog,

I haven't forgotten about you blog, in fact, I think about you at least once a day. I dream up ideas for posts and think about how that post- beginning, middle and end. But nothing makes it into this white box because I want whatever I put here to be perfect even though nothing here is perfect. It's like how some people untag unflattering pictures on Facebook, but in the reverse. I have the power to decide how this blog will look and what it will say, I'm creating the image I want people to see of me and that's a lot of pressure! I might be over thinking this but isn't the internet forever? I think I read that somewhere once. What I want to become President one day (hah) or become famous (hah) and some mean person who isn't a fan of whatever work of mine that has made me famous decides to dig up dirt on me and finds this blog and suddenly all of TMZ/E!/MTV/Conan/Soup are making fun of embarrassing blog posts of mine? WHAT IF.

More so, I read a lot of blogs. Some are frilly and fun (still with good writing) and some are more serious and talk about life in the way most young people don't (with exceptional writing). Instead of inspiring me or making me appreciative of the art of writing, they just cripple me with a feeling of inadequacy  When I hear a song, I think it's a shame I'm as great a singer. When I see a pretty girl, I think it's a shame I'm not as pretty (clearly my post on compliments/comparing ourselves to one another didn't stick :/ ) . So naturally when I read, I think it's a shame I'm not as good a writer. To be fair, I mostly just feel this when I read blogs. That's because I don't pick up In Cold Blood and wish I could create that kind of suspense because I don't have any interest in penning a murder novel. But I do write blog posts and there is no reason, without some dedication and investment, I couldn't write like that too. And in an ideal world, I would write every single day. Not just write blog posts, but write short stories, poems, anything at all. I remember what I loved most about the creative writing class I took Sophomore year of college was that I finally had a reason to schedule time everyday to sit down and write. Sharing your stories and talking about characters and wondering about the phrasing of this and the structure of that with like-minded writers was such an enriching experience, it eventually led to my taking graduate level poetry classes.

But then there kind of is a reason, or perhaps, an excuse why I don't write everyday. It's called a job and it prevents me from doing a lot of things between the hours of 9am and 6pm. And when I get home at 6, I want to unwind and not feel like I have to be the best at anything, let alone something that requires turning the creaky wheels in my brain. So, blog, after this long rant, my point is, (lord, look at all those commas!) I'm sorry and I love you and we'll be together when we can.

Until then,

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's almost my birthday!

The above, is a Magnolia Bakery cake. It's has three tiers, it's Red Velvet, and it's all mine. I think the only thing I wanted for my birthday last year was a Magnolia birthday cake and while I didn't get it, I think my 22nd birthday was one of best I've ever had. Realizing I probably won't be able to top the unforgettable fun that was all my favorite people in the world in my favorite place in the world for my birthday last year, I secured a Magnolia creation for this year's birthday! I don't know if my level of adoration for this bakery is healthy and/or socially acceptable but I'm glad my friends put up with it. To be honest, I have such fond memories of visiting Magnolia every time I visited New York growing up and those trips were always the highlight of my year, so that's probably where all this fierce loyalty/love is stemming from.

My college roommate is coming into town for my birthday (which isn't until Sunday)/birthday party which is enough for me because having unscripted, hilarious adventures is our forte. It's so nice to be around people who you've known for years and are so close with, which is exactly what my party will be. I've never been much for a big to-do so I'm opting for an intimate shin-dig at my place with good food, good drinks, and good friends. I can't wait :)

Who knows birthday adventures await, I feel like I'm in that moment when you take a big gulp of air right before you dunk your head under water. That almost dizzy feeling that's so full of potential. Does that make sense? Regardless, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I've got some celebrations to tend to ;)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A whole bunch of random thoughts [from 2 years ago]

I wrote this post on 6/9/12, at 1:37 PM. I remember writing it and feeling glad I did but knowing I wouldn't post it. At the time, I think this was somewhat of a diary post but now, two years later, it's mostly just a list of thoughts. There are still a few thoughts below that ring true (always yes to cake) and some not so much (Pinterest is SO FUN). My biggest departure from where I was when I wrote this is feeling so uneasy about my professional self. 2 jobs, 2 cities, and 3 years into my career, I feel like I've amassed a great deal of experience and built a network I can rely on to help me in and out of any situation. I was 23 when I wrote this, and now, as a 25 year old, I can bravely share this with the world in the hope that someone out there will read this and know that we all have days like this and from them, things only get better. So here you go, musings from my 23 year old self;
  • My birthday is approaching, I hate birthdays.
  • I would love to eat a whole cake right now. Chocolate on chocolate of course. 
  • I have to stop making to-do lists only to abandon them for marathon episodes of Mad Men.
  • I am so lucky and so hungry for more all at the same time.
  • How can it be so dark in my apartment when it's light out? 
  • I'm having one of those days. 
  • Meeting people you find inspirational is somewhat of a let down because then you realize they're just people like you when you wanted them to be a superhero of sorts.
  • Sometimes it's you and the world, sometimes it's you in the world.
  • I miss everything about my old life even though none of those people exist anymore.
  • Am I supposed to be successful or something? Shit.
  • I mostly want the things I want for how I think they'll make me feel, not for what they are. 
  • Expensive shoes should be comfortable like expensive meals should be delicious. 
  • Failure to launch.
  • I mean, what the hell am I doing?
  • When did I start hating birthdays?
  • If I eat chocolate chip pancakes for brunch, does that mean I have to go to the gym?
  • I probably shouldn't have texted you last night. Oops.
  • I wish the Upper West Side was actually downtown.
  • Pinterest is where feelings of inadequacy are born.
  • So, are we just never going to speak again?
  • 3 of my nails are chipped and I'm out of nail polish remover.
  • One day, I'll change my pillow covers weekly, not monthly.
  • You can clean and organize all you want, it won't fix the chaos in your life.
  • Is this post whiny?
  • We were supposed to see Perks of Being a Wallflower together.
  • I really wish I knew how to swim.
  • I just don't think it's fair how much more upkeep women have than men!
  • I don't know, I'm done with this.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bill Cunningham: New York

While waiting for a friend to Sunday Shop (yes, I do feel that deserves capitalization), I finally took Netflix up on their pesky FREE ONE MONTH TRIAL emails. My disappointment with their movie selection aside, they've got an eclectic collection of documentaries, of which I watched Bill Cunningham New York. Bill was the pioneer of street style photography and has been photographing since the 1940's. He introduced the American people to Jean Paul Gultier & Alaïa. He was one of the first photographers in Paris at the haute couture shows, brining European fashion to the states. His expansive knowledge on fashion over the decades in New York allows him to call out big names like Issac Mizrahi for ripping off designs. This man is a legend.

Did you know he's lived in the same 1 bedroom artist's studio in Carnegie Hall since moving to New York and becoming a milliner? He doesn't have a kitchen and his bathroom is in the hallway. He has never had a romantic relationship in his life (which he says he doesn't regret.) He navigates the streets of Manhattan attending multiple events a night on a bike, 28 of them have been stolen. Ironically, he owns no "wardrobe," only a few pieces which are mostly for utility, not fashion. 

Can you imagine being so passionate about something that you literally dedicate your life to it? He doesn't eat or drink at events even though they're some of New York Society's finest. He didn't accept money from Details magazine when he used to photograph for them so he could preserve his creative freedom. He is loved by so many for his unbiased and kind portrayal of his subjects because he cares about those women. How fearless of his too, to leave his family, and never think worry if he would "make it" or not. He just did the one thing that fulfilled him so deeply it was never a question. I think very few people are lucky enough to feel that way about something- let alone to achieve the level of success Bill has with their craft. 

What would you dedicate your life to, regardless of failure or success, but for the love of it? 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cheers to you, New York City

I graduated from Miami University exactly one year ago from May 7, 2011. 12 days later, I packed up my life and moved to New York City. This was always the plan, it was a life long dream. I was that friend talking about some place called Magnolia Bakery and how their cupcakes would save your life. How Greenwich Village was like a storybook and I'd live there one day if I could (I've since come to realize I'd rather live in Gramercy and play in Greenwich.) I wasn't always sure what I would do here but I knew whatever it was, it had to be here.

It's one year ago to the  day that I moved to NYC. Sometimes I still feel new here, and in truth, i'm only just beginning to settle into my life here. I thought I'd never stop making the same mistake of going uptown instead of downtown or vice versa. After my first day in the city, I got lost on the train for two hours. Now I mostly know how all the subway lines connect and how to get from point A to point B. But more than knowing how to get around, I learned how to get by.

They say it takes a full year for someplace new to feel like home. I still call Ohio home since that's where I've lived most of my life but, NYC has certainly lived up to my expectations. I fretted so much about what to do today. I felt like I had to have the quintessential New York day to honor this anniversary but then a friend put it into perspective. Instead of doing New York-y things for the sake of doing them just because today is a significant day, I can instead realize that this is my life now. This city isn't a place i'm visiting anymore, it's where I live.

In the interest of full disclosure, I want to make it clear that this year hasn't been easy. This year in the city hasn't been easy. For every glamorous night out, there is a tedious morning commute. For every exciting new friend you make, there is a deeply missed one somewhere far away. The amazing meals in fancy restaurants you know you couldn't experience anywhere else cost three times as much as anywhere else. This Thought Catalog piece is so honest in exposing the ugly side of New York. Like the end of the article suggests, most people who move here eventually move away. This city has a way of draining your energy, you can only keep up with it for so long. So if one day I do move away, I'll be oh so glad for my time in the greatest city on earth.

New York, you've been quite an adventure. I have no idea what else you've got up your sleeve but you've got me hooked and i'm willing to stick around to find out, at least for a while. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hester Street Fair

After an entire week of rain, there is finally some beautiful weather in New York! Dare I say Spring is here to stay? In celebration, I went down to the Hester Street Fair for their opening weekend with a few friends and if you haven't gone yet, you absolutely should. There is so much to explore and it's definitely one of those things where the fun is in the details so give yourself the day to peruse. There are tons of local vendors with booths for food, jewelry, art, clothes, etc. They rotate vendors every week so I'll definitely be going back. The fair is put on by the folks atThe Big Social, one of their most notable members being Suchin Pak. Remember her from MTV's TRL (RIP)? The fair has been around since the late 1800's, isn't that crazy? Check out this cool photo of the fair then & now from their website:

Look at all the vendors! It was the perfect day for a fair. I wasn't able to take any photos of one of my favorite art stalls but they were scenic photographs adhered to canvas with the rest of the photograph painted in acrylic all around it. I hope I'm painting this picture clearly (heh). There was also a booth doing vintage Polaroid portraits, Karl Lagerfeld was one of their subjects! 
I had a slider from Mighty Balls (the veggie balls with African Onion & Parm) and it was. So. Good.

I also had a sandwich from the Bombay Sandwich Company which, if I had to describe it, was a samosa in sandwich form. Just genius.
Macy's was there kicking off their Bar III pop up store. Shenae Grimes was apparently there but I missed her, womp, womp. 90210 is my guilty pleasure, no judgement please.
It was so tempting to buy everything in sight, so many quirky, fun things to look at! One local vendor was selling these cute ceramic map coasters.
The jewelry vendors had the best displays! 
I wasn't allowed to photograph too many but I did manage to snap this one, with permission of course.
My friend got a Nutella & Strawberry crepe from  
La Crêpe c'est si bon which was just as delicious as it sounds.

If you’re strapped for gift ideas, they're hosting their own Vintage Coterie Market in preparation for Mother's Day this weekend. Tons of vendors will be selling vintage finds like jewelry (which you just can’t go wrong with), watercolors, antique frames and plenty of other knick knacks.  And of course flowers from Jen Kim Made because Mother’s Day wouldn’t be complete without flowers! Speaking of watercolors, I purchased a watercolor illustration of my own from hélène pé. I don’t have a photo but the illustration is of a girl looking out the window at the New York skyline with “I love you more than New York” written in the sky. Whimsical and if you know me, i'm sure you'd agree it's the perfect find for me . She also has an Etsyshop that’ll give you an idea of her style if you want to check it out. I'm continuing my Unofficial Flea Market Tour of New York this weekend at the Brooklyn Flea Market. Let's see how it compares to Hester! Have a lovely weekend all :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Goodbye First Love

I've been wanting to see this film for months now and finally got the chance to see it last night. It's only playing in NYC for two days! It's a beautiful film chronicling the young love between Camille & Sullivan throughout the 8-year journey of their relationship. It was directed by Mia Hansen-Løve and what I loved most was how universal she wrote their story. While it's intensely dramatic, the film touches on so many relatable emotions. Regardless of your opinion on the movie (it's gotten mixed reviews), it's a very personal viewing experience since you inevitably compare it to your own experiences. And in true French film fashion, the ending leaves you pondering what it all meant. Life imitating art or art imitating life?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ashton Kutcher sells chips and racism?

This new popchips ad starring Ashton Kutcher is causing quite the controversy, have you seen it? The internet is up in arms over his portrayal of "Raj," a 39-year-old Bollywood producer.

MSN published this article citing his "brownface" as racism. He also plays a German fashionista (clearly fashioned after Karl Lagerfeld), a red neck (complete with beard and bandana), and a British pot-smoking hippie.

Is it terrible I'm not offended by this ad? Does that make me a bad person? Crap.When I first watched it, I knew others would be and figured I would be too. In fact, I was waiting for it. The line that would cross the line and then I'd get to go on the defense and stop eating popchips forever (even though they're really good.)

I feel bad I'm not offended though, like my opinion makes me ignorant or a "bad" Indian (what does that even mean?) While I think the "brownface" was a bit much. The same exact comedic effect of "Raj" would have translated without the darker skin-toned Ashton and he didn't really need to be wearing those traditional Indian clothes but the ad was funny! It was funny people. The British guy was funny. The German fashionista who stops laughing because he's worried about wrinkles was funny. The company relseased this statement about the ad:

"The new Popchips worldwide dating video and ad campaign featuring four characters was created to provoke a few laughs and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone," the company said in a statement provided to TheWrap. "At Popchips we embrace all types of shapes, flavors and colors, and appreciate all snackers, no matter their race or ethnicity. We hope people can enjoy this in the spirit it was intended."

And I agree. I think people should enjoy this in the spirit it was intended. So everyone- quit getting your panties in a bunch and just laugh at ad and eat some popchips.  *This was not a sponsored post.*

UPDATE: Thought Catalog posted a piece on this as well, "Ashton Kutcher Sparks A Global Conversation About Race, And How Maybe You Shouldn’t Paint Your Face Like That."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I cannot look at one more hyper sexualized image of a         woman without losing my mind.
I just don't want this little girl to grow up and think she has to look like that. Where are all the girls with their sassy t-shirts & their attitudes? I feel like i'm losing this fight.

I'm Speechless

I got an email from something called "The Listserve" today. Have you heard of it?

This video is pretty heartwarming.

The whole concept revolves around the question, "what would you say to 1 million people," and I have no idea. I have been asking myself all day and I suppose since I've never been given the platform to do something I never thought I could do, it's not something I bothered to think about. But I want to answer this question, and I want to answer it meaningfully. Even if I never get to be one of the people who write to the listerv, I want to answer it for myself. 

The email today was from a woman chronicling how she lost her job and her journey in re-defining what her career meant to her. She had the "dream"job and it look loosing that for her to realize how happy art school could make her. I can't draw a circle to save my life but that's not the point, the point is...the point is I wanna be a part of creating something, sharing something worth something to someone. I suppose that's why I have this blog. While I don't update nearly as often as I should, I don't want to just post pictures of peonies. There are enough pictures of peonies in the world and I just want to be more than that. Is that okay? 

So the question exists; what would you say to 1 million people? 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How to Escape your Funk

 You’re not sad but you’re not feeling your best, and The Funk, depression’s annoying kid cousin, just won’t leave you alone. It’s annoying when you feel blah at all, let alone when you don’t know why. Nothing in your life is glaringly wrong but you can’t help but stare off into space and the idea of socializing is the last thing you want to do right now. So what now?

1.     Stay in. I know, this sounds like bad advice. Why are you encouraging me to be by myself when I’m a victim of The Funk? Hear me out. You know your SUPER PEPPPY FRIEND WHO IS ALWAYS HAVING A GOOD TIME #WEAREYOUNG style? Do not make plans with her tonight. While she has been (and will be) a good source for an awesome night, tonight is not that night. In your mind, you think this will get you out of the office/apartment and into a bar with booze/friends and that will be good for you. In reality, it will just force your bad mood on others when you realize you’re actually just feeling quiet and introverted tonight and now suddenly, everyone is asking you what’s wrong and if you have to fake one more smile and act like you’re having SO MUCH FUN you’ll #die. Save yourself from this situation and accept that it’s okay to hang out with yourself sometimes, especially when you’re in a funk.

2.     Do the things you like. Behind on episodes of The New Girl? Catch up. Feeling tired? Nap time! Haven’t read Thought Catalog in a few days? You know how to open multiple tabs, get to it! Whatever your idea of fun is, go for it, even if it’s alone. In fact, better if it’s alone. Right now, you can’t be bothered to hold up your end of the conversation with a friend, acquaintance, or stranger so don’t. Make like Beyoncé and from now on, be [your] own best friend.

3.     Listen. Yes, the weather is schizophrenic and the year is a ¼ over and you’re not sure how but those are not the reasons for your funk. We’ve already established this isn’t the Big D but there is something wrong. Blue about a boy who isn’t texting you back? Whatever! He spells “you” with a “u.” You deserve better than that. Not loving your job? Monster.com. Figure out what you’re hung up on and start addressing it. You don’t need to find your dream man and your dream job overnight but making effort to change things is the first step towards feeling better.

4.     Don’t feel guilty. It’s hard to let yourself feel like this and you’re feeling bad for not going out and doing stuff but that’s okay! You don’t always have to be “on.” There are constantly a million and one things going on in this city and tons of people to meet and bars to visit but the great thing is, these things will be there for you when you’re ready for them. Forcing yourself to do things you don’t want to do for the sake of doing them isn’t helping anyone, especially not your wallet.

5.     Be patient. You know those subway ads that read, “BAM! And then it hits you,” or something like that (BTW, what the hell are those about anyways??)? Well I believe funks are the same way. One day you’re humdrum grey and the next day you’re not. While you do have things to sort out, it’s not some puzzle you have to solve before you’re back to normal. When you feel like it, you’ll do stuff again. When you feel like it, you’ll leave your house after your self-imposed 48 hour lock in. So until then friend, just ride it out. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

On accepting compliments

I'm terrible at accepting compliments. I most often deflect and say something like, "Ohmygosh, are you crazy? YOU are gorgeous!" Or flat out deny it like, "No. Trust me, I'm really not that [insert their compliment here]." And every time, I'm so taken aback by my utter lack of grace in accepting a compliment. I googled it once- "accepting compliments." I was so uncomfortable with even reading about accepting compliments I faked skimming the page before deciding to accept my awkwardness. But why! Why am I so awkward about it? It's not just me right? What is it about a compliment that puts people (especially girls, in fact, I'm mostly speaking about girls here) on edge? 

Is it so crazy that we're pretty? Or skinny? Or have such a pretty smile?  I think we think it is. 

Co-worker 1 & me: You are so skinny!
Co-worker 2: NO I'M NOT. It's just my legs! The rest of me isn't skinny. Stop it.
Co-worker 1& me: *eye roll*

I feel like any girl reading this can totally relate, either because she has heard it before or has said it herself. It wasn't just that she didn't think she was skinny, it was the precision with which she knew the limitations of her skinniness. Enough so to defend against the whole compliment.

I get it though, I really do. I walk the streets of NYC and see legions of gorgeous, skinny, perfectly dressed women. Women in heels with designer bags and bone structure that's intimidating. I also see these girls at parties I go to whose names I now know. And sometimes in addition to being gorgeous and skinny, they're really nice and then I have no reason to hate them. (Ugh.) What I'm trying to say is that maybe it's this constant ritual of comparison we women partake in that is stifling our ability to believe that these nice things people say to us about being beautiful aren't true, that they can't be true, because it's trueER about someone else. I read a Post Secret once that has stuck with me ever since. It was a boy holding up a note that said, "just because she's beautiful doesn't mean you're ugly." That's so, so true.

I realize I've mostly been talking about compliments pertaining to physical beauty here but that's because I've never once heard a girl protest to being funny or smart or clever. Why is that? I guess we are more comfortable accepting compliments about our brains than our bodies. Then again, why wouldn't we be? The models in the magazines aren't glamorized for their knowledge of current events. The media doesn't care to set standards for female intelligence, but they do want to make sure we know how big our busts should be and how small our waists should be.

So, I guess the next time someone pays me a compliment, I won't fight them on it. Because I don't have to be the prettiest girl in the world to be pretty. I don't have to be the "est" anything. Next time, I'll just say "thank you," because that is an appropriate response to their kind words and because that poor, unsuspecting person doesn't deserve the tail end of my awkwardness. 

I'm super curious to know if any of you reading this agree with my sentiments. Are you awkward when you receive compliments? If so, why do you think that is? Do tell!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost …. I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter Two
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit … but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

Cup of Joe shared this link recently and I love it. How simple and so universally applicable? I'd say i'm at about..Chapter Three ..the goal being Chapter Five. Is it weird i'm okay with that (for now)? Where are you?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

One Year Blogiversary

If we could all celebrate in one room, this is what I imagine it would look like.  

I started La Vie en Rose exactly one year ago today. It was the best way I could have spent that Saturday, and now one year later, I'm still having fun with it. So much has changed since then but having this platform to document those changes and share anything and everything with you all is what makes blogging so much fun. So, to every friend and stranger (Hi Russia!) who has kept up with La Vie en Rose over the past year, thanks a million! So eat some cake today for me, will ya? 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Every so often...

You hear a song that makes you forget all the other songs you've heard. At least for a little while.
Here is mine, enjoy. 

[Somebody That I Used To Know: Walk off the Earth: Gotye cover]

Friday, February 17, 2012

Subway Symphony

It was about 9:45 p.m. as I waited for the train to go home last night at the 96th street station. It had rained and you could tell everyone was antsy, especially because the trains were running slow and the platforms were getting crowded. I was just leaving dinner and a show with friends, looking forward to the solitude of the train ride home when I, along with dozens of other New Yorkers, were met with something much better.

For this one night, everyone opted out of our iPods in favor of something far more beautiful. It caught me off guard, especially the crowd of people surrounding this subway symphony, but slowly (and with strangers in tow), I drifted towards it. And in the middle of all this, was Dale Henderson, playing with such passion and fervor. He was in his own world and for tonight, we were a part of it.

There were young and old, singles and couples, people in a rush, and people with time to spare. A train came and went and some chose to linger. Did Mr. Henderson  realize that while his eyes were closed, the bevy of people surrounding him had theirs glued to him? The way his bow stroked the strings, the tactfulness with which he tackled the necessary motions for vibrato on the cello, the simple gesture of his elbows rotating and creating all of this. I was swimming in a sea of notes but couldn't help from looking around. The faces of all these strangers shared the same sentiment. What a welcome break from the everyday.

Dale Henderson, is the one man movement behind Bach in the Subways. Playing only Bach (and without accepting donations, mind you), his mission is to expose the masses to the beauty of classical music. Simple, and definitely something we can all support. I hope you'll catch him in your travels and experience this movement for yourself, but if not, you can find him here, and you absolutely should.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Did you hear? It's Valentine's Day!

It's almost the end of V-Day and no matter how old you are or where you live, i'm sure it didn't go unnoticed. I don't know how the red roses and heart shaped paraphernalia made you feel about your romantic life, but I do hope it didn't make you feel bad about the rest of your life.

Do you know the story of how Valentine's Day came about? Well if you don't, Wikipedia it right now because basically, someone was beheaded and stoned to death because they tried to marry and convert Christians during the Roman Empire. (This is my Spark Notes version of it and even though high school is over, this still suffices for me.) Not so romantic, I know. So to this factoid, I say yes, this is a Hallmark Holiday!

But to honest, I like Valentine's Day, for the same reason I love Christmas, even though i'm not religious. It brings people together. There is something in the air that makes strangers stare at each other on subway cars. It makes men, who otherwise can't be bothered to pick the restaurant, make secret dinner reservations and stand in long lines at flower shops and pay exuberant Valentine's day prices. Because it's February 14th, not the 13th or the 15th, but the 14th, and on this day, the whole world will be reminded of the sometimes forgotten existence of love.

Today was a big celebration of a big thing that makes life worth living and the world keep spinning (internal rhyme? what?). I'm not sure how you celebrated, or if at all, but I hope whatever it is you're looking for to fulfill you on this V-Day, D-Day (I don't mean this to be bitter! I'm just trying to say there's a lot of freaking pressure for everything to be perfect on this day alright?!) , you've found it. Or will find it. In ways both big (finding your soulmate) and small (finding a single friend to rom-com/wine/chocolate with you).

Remember Valentine's Day in elementary school? You know, brown paper bags and Valentines of your favorite TV cartoons? Of course you do, that's when Valentine's day was at it's purest and finest, so i'm bringing it back. Winnie the Pooh was my favorite cartoon growing up so here is my Valentine to you reader, Happy Valentine's Day, from me to you-hoo-hoo-hoo! (Aw, Pooh!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I am a consumer.

In most (all) cases, I will buy. I will buy two boxes of frozen meatless Buffalo Wings JUST in case this is the week I decide to have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and can't be bothered to restock my supplies. I will buy that dress I may or may not wear and feel minimal (no) pangs of guilt. I will buy things that I don't yet have the need for in anticipation of that need should it arise just because I enjoy buying things. One of my favorite hobbies includes creating a "need" for items I don't actually need. I need more accept pillows! I need more ingredients to cook with! I need more tubes of mascara! I never want to think, "perhaps he would have liked me if only I had more voluminous, alluring lashes." (Just kidding.) But seriously though, don't fight me on the accent pillows.

But today, was a rare occasion in which I was feeling frugal. I will not be a mindless consumer. I will understand the value of a dollar and save it. I will make my parents proud! Then my friend and I walked into a store called Lush. And it all went to shit.

Look at all the stuff they have! And it all promises to make me more beautiful!

You know the kind of store where all the sales attendants are super peppy? And really, really want to help you find what you need? Not in an annoying way though, in that get you excited to be there way. This was that type of store. At first it started with a skin conditioner. You put it on in the shower, like hair conditioner, and then you don't need to lotion yourself after because of this miracle product that just saved you 15 minutes of your life!

Then there was the Ocean Salt scrub. It's exotic and complicated sounding ingredients promise to strip your skin of all it's flaws and help you glow with the light of a thousand fireflies. I couldn't believe I had gone 22 years without these products. All of them, better than the last. It's Sunday, which means I'm more Mindy Kaling than Freida Pinto today. She made me take my hair down from it's half-ass bun and smoothed some mysterious (it was legitimately in a black pot) product in my hair and suddenly I looked like this:
But less sexy because I was wearing pants.

Do you see? Do you understand now that this little black pot was magic? It was Black Magic. I had to buy the Black Magic. This lady wasn't done with me though, she could sense there was more "need" she could create for me, so she gave me a complimentary facial. A freaking facial! There were bowls of lukewarm water, fresh washcloths, temple rubbing and a soft voice telling me to relax. So I did. And while she cleansed, toned, moisturized, and massaged my face, I finally understood. This is why some women become gold diggers.

She exfoliated my lips with chocolate sugar. She put rouge on them called It Started With a Kiss. She glossed them like my lips were her canvas. She knows me too well. She's good.

She gave me soap called Lust. She rubbed solid perfume on my wrists scented like Jasmine, my favorite flower. She gave me samples of every product she used on me. She let me break those really fun bath fizz balls in a bowl of water (Sidenote: This particular fizz ball was meant for scorned lovers, you break off pieces of the "body," curse your ex-lover, and say something negative about them while you throw the chunk (an arm...a leg...) into your bathtub. Creepy? Liberating?) . She invited me to their Valentine's Day party (where there were promises of cupcakes!). She did all of this, with a smile on her face, while she read me my total. And that, friends, is the power of a good sell.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I really, really love this.

You have to be standing in front of a mirror for someone to read the real message.
Fun, right? 

Monday, January 16, 2012

A few New York moments

I saw a fight on the train coming home tonight. I'm not sure I have ever seen a real fight before. Once, in college, a "gang" (can it really be a gang when it's in Ohio? Is that not just a group of male friends who maybe probably just have a secret handshake and are now calling themselves a "gang?") fought outside one of my tiny Ohio school's nightclubs. Sidenote: a friend of mine stood atop a pile of snow and shouted "Peace, everyone! Peace!" A variation of that did happen tonight though when an older gentleman shouted, "You're crazy lady! Calm down!" But perhaps that's not the same message my friend was trying (drunkenly...) to send. I digress.

The train pulled into 42nd St. Times Square when this happened so of course, authorities stepped in to stop the fight because the really tall man standing between the crazy-lady-trying-to-fight and the-stupid lady-fueling-the-fire wasn't enough to calm either parties down. It doesn't even matter what the fight was about or who was right or how it ended. What was significant was how it brought a train full of strangers "together" in this bizarre, circumstantial, but significant way. Suddenly people couldn't get home to their kids and no one wants to end a night (a Monday night mind you) with screaming and shouting and violence (and hair pulling. how stereotypical).

So when the passengers were asked to exit the train and suddenly the whole car was abuzz with the excitement of what just happened, I was happy to see that people were laughing. That sounds wrong, as if they were laughing at those women (maybe they were?) but what I mean is that they were laughing instead of being angry or complaining or what have you. Because of one woman having a bad day and another not being able to be the bigger person, an entire train full of tired (it was 11pm. who has the energy to fight at 11pm on a Monday night?!) people were home that much later and for such a ridiculous reason. Strangers were recounting and asking questions and speculating and laughing. Myself included. The stranger I was talking to told me to "get home safe, okay?"

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, an act of violence brought strangers together. And there is some sort of beautiful, twisted irony there.

I hope it's clear that I in no way condone violence or people laughing at violence. I hope it's clear what I took away from this night and perhaps it is clear but I'm just that type of person who has to make sure before concluding a post like this.

In happier news, it snowed tonight! It was the first snowfall of Winter and i'm both thrilled for the impending beautiful blanket of snow to cover my beloved city and dreading the walks through it. Regardless, Winter is finally here New Yorkers! I bet Central Park is stunning in white.

Ps- A final unrelated note. A man turned into me very suddenly on the side of the street tonight. He looked really, really happy (like...eyes light up happy) with a sweet grin on his face and it was washed away instantly and replaced with embarrassment when he realized I was not his girlfriend, that he meant to turn to. This very brief exchange was...I don't have a word for it. I just have the thought that i'm very glad that this man I don't know is that in love and that happy to see someone in the world. It was reassuring.


File this under "I wish I'd thought of that!" They say your best thinking happens in the shower, and now, you'll never have to worry about forgetting all your brilliant invention ideas (or your to-do lists if you're like me). 

AquaNotes are pads of waterproof paper (sounds like an oxymoron to me) that suction cup to your shower walls and allow you to write in the shower! They stay "dry" so you can take your note with you. They're surprisingly inexpensive and come in AquaNotes "Love Notes" version too.  
Wouldn't that be a really cute way for your guy to lead up to Valentine's Day?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Second time around

I'm getting a French Facial today, how perfect since it's lazy Sunday. I've only ever had one other facial experience in my life and it went terribly. My face was red and flaky for days (ew)! I swore I would never get a facial again but then I kept thinking, what if it was just this one bad experience? Maybe that lady cheated in beautician school and of course, she's the one that gives me my facial and because of her and this terrible experience, i'm robbed of a lifetime of dewy, fabulous skin? 

So i'm braving the cold weather and trekking it all the way down to Canal Street for this second go around. Also, it's a French Facial. I love all things French and I trust that this facial will somehow automatically be better than the last because the last one was just a facial. Look at all this rationale I have! Everything will be alright. 

P.S.- Look at how relaxed and soothed that woman looks! I selected this picture in particular with the hope that I'll look just like her during/after.
P.P.S.- Why is she wearing makeup during her facial?

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Social Media gives me anxiety. I love to hate Facebook and hate to love it. There are too many platforms to "check in" so I've pretty much stopped. And Twitter...well Twitter I don't mind. It's my go-to for instant gratification, and by design, I suppose that's the purpose.

Blogging though, well that I love. Granted I haven't been/can't/wish I could/promise i'll start posting everyday, I truly enjoy it. I enjoy this outlet to share ideas, catalogue thoughts, and make them permanent somewhere out there on the World Wide Web. It even works in the reverse where I'll have a thought or idea because I want to blog about it and in that sense, blogging (I think) really broadens your horizons, helps you shape your mind. I read SO many blogs and am always delighted at how much there is out there in the world, not just cool links and funny videos, but the stories bloggers share.

My absolute favorite blogger is Kate of Eat the Damn Cake. Not only is she an excellent writer, but the topics she writes about are relatable, honest, and deeply personal. I have so much respect for her and her ability to discuss the issues we all face with such clarity and wit. She'll make you laugh, she'll make you cry, and above all, she'll make you feel less guilty for eating the damn cake! I especially support the latter. So go check her out, she's doing some really great things over there.

On to part two of my confession. Yes, social media is at times overwhelming but, if i'm being honest (this is me being honest), i'm a bit intimidated and/or scared of it. There. I said it. It's out. I feel lame and archaic but it's true. And how I wish it weren't. I studied SM in college, obviously engage with it everyday, have my blogger/SM titan friends, etc., but that doesn't do much to ease my uneasiness. So where is all this stemming from? I sometimes post my latest blog posts on my Facebook page, a way to share what i'm writing since, isn't that the purpose of this blog? Well, last night I couldn't sleep. I kept waking up, wanting to go downstairs and delete that post, so no one would see it. What if people think it's dumb! AH, you're dumb! Then I'd chase that inclination with a thought that went something like THAT'S SO SILLY. QUIT THINKING LIKE THAT. SLEEP WOMAN. And I would but then I would wake up and worry again.

It's not like my last post was my airing all my secrets and exposing my skeletons. But it was something I wrote, about things I like that others may or may not "approve" of, and it feels like there is so much room for judgement there. The J word, an ugly but powerful truth of life. I would love to pretend i'm indifferent to other people's opinions but i'm not. Who is? I think i'm incredibly fortunate to have surrounded myself all my life with people I genuinely feel comfortable being myself with. I've never felt the pangs of judgement especially not from my inner circle because they are the ones who accept me as I am. But the rest of the world? Who knows what the world thinks of me. I don't but I also don't care to know.

I started this blog in February of 2011 and it'll be one year next month. In that almost year, I have never had the "Follow Me" button active. Isn't that like opening a bar but locking the doors? Or something. Even I can't get over how crazy that is and i'm the one that did it. So i'm mending it now. I've activated the Follow Me link, i'm posting the link to my blog on my Facebook and Twitter.

So, you there readings this, follow me! Tweet me! Share me! I've got worthwhile things to say, and I hope you'll agree. Happy Weekend!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Desperately Seeking Art

If I don't do something quick, I'll have white walls forever. I can feel it. I've got my fair share of baubles and knick knacks but that a decorated room does not make. Right now my justifications are oh, i'll do it when i'm not sick  or there's plenty of time, relax! But that's how one ends up living having never gone sky diving! Or traveling abroad! Okay, I know i'm making leaps here, but you get the gist.

I'm making good use of my sick day cough cough by scrounging the internet for things that make my heart flutter. What do you think?

PRINT N027 It's just so intriguing! 

Watercolor I've had my eye on this for a while.

Non, je ne regrette rien. Gold letterpress? Love.

Paris Night All the pretty lights! Points for NOT being a print of the Eiffel Tower.

I'm very weary of NYC art, especially when you live in NYC, but this one has such interesting perspective.

Rorschach And then I'd ask all my guests what they see! Just kidding.

But what do I do with such varied prints? Is that okay? Is chaos cool?
I once read that when it comes to art (and I suppose most things in life), if you absolutely love it, 
then it's the right choice. Maybe i'll just get them all, and that will save me from having to make choices. That's code for I love them all and I won't be made to play favorites.
But for now, I have some lovely prints that need to be properly displayed.
Off to the frame shop, have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The world has a funny way of giving back what you're searching for.

Travel Bucket List

The world is a book and those who do not travel 
only read one page. 
~ St. Augustine 

Yesterday, I woke up with the burning desire to dream of all the places I want to travel before I die. This was literally my first thought. Not what the hell time is it or ughhhhhh, rather I must go to St. Thomas!
Sometime back, I had this realization that you'll die having not seen most of the world. Think about that for a second. Are you thinking? Did it blow your mind and suddenly make your a determined traveler like it did for me? Of course it did! Now that we're on the same page...

It's not like I have to visit the Abbey of Melleray in Western France to see those monks that make cheese to feel satisfied with life (ps..- that's not genearl knowledge I have off the top of my head, I googled "monks cheese" and found that. p.p.s- they've since relocated to Kentucky...), it's just that when people mention those places people mention, I'd like to be a part of the conversation. I'd like to know just how white the sand is or clear the water. A friend's parents were telling me about their travels to Egypt and how seeing Ancient and New Egypt opened their eyes to the Western culture they were accustomed to. New Egypt is as much an urban city as Chicago or New York. Ancient Egypt is a vast dessert with mud-brick homes. Did  you know that more than half of Egypt's population lives in Cario? They said the pollution was so thick it made them cough. Here is a stunning picture I found of Cairo at night:

Fine. I found it on Wikipedia.

Enough of my ramblings about Egypt. Perhaps that conversation (paired with a Pinot Grigio and hummus and crackers) was what sparked all this. Not only had they seen these places, they'd been to them multiple times over! I know it's a luxury of their lifestyle, they own a small bed and breakfast in their costal tourist town in Turkey where they only work in the summer and follow the European custom of winter vacations.  I am fairly certain i'll never lead such a lifestyle but making time for travel doesn't have to be an epic commitment. Right? As I typed that, my first thought was Don't I only have two weeks of vacation for the whole year? I've already have travel plans this year with my family for a wedding, it's no where glamorous but it's somewhere new and that's just as important as it being somewhere glamorous. Speaking of glamorous, I'm now going to dream up my Travel Bucket List. I don't believe it's in any particular order, they're just all places I'd love to see.

  1. St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands- obviously. It was my waking thought!
  2. St. Lucia
  3. St. Tropez- I love the Saints I suppose.
  4. Turks & Caicos
  5. Egypt!
  6. France, France, France. I studied French for so long it would be a shame not to go.
  7. Italy. I've always had a fascination with Italy. Maybe it's the history. Or the Trevi Fountain (how touristy of me, I know). Whatever it is, I want to spend a good stretch of time here. Maybe I'll pull an Eat, Pray, Love, hah!
  8. Geneva, Switzerland. My brother says it's the most beautiful place he's ever been to and he's been to a lot of places so i'm going to trust him on this one.
  9. Monte Carlo, Monaco
  10. Cabo San Lucas. I guess I never got that one out of my system in college.
  11. Puerto Rico
  12. Bahamas
  13. Prague, Czech Public. Mostly because it's so foreign I need to know something about it.  
  14. Budapest, Hungary. See reason above.
  15. Tokyo, Japan
  16. Santorini/Athens, Greece! How could I forget this one? I always have Santorini in my mind as a place I'd really, really love to see.
  17. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! For Carnival! How spectacular would that be? I studied Carnival in a college music class and my fascination began there. 
  18. Morocco
  19. Dubai
  20. Kerala, India. It's only appropriate I end with India :) 
Okay, any more, and i'll just adding randomly to my list. I'd love to say this is the moment I decided upon these places and quit my job an traveled the world because you only live once, yada yada. But it's not. It's is a small towards making sure that do travel though and resist the temptation to get caught up in my life. Which I tend to do, a lot. I'd love to know what you think of my list, have you been to these places? Would you go to these places? I showed you my list, now show me yours! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

To new beginnings

One of these years, I want to be be there here.

2011 was a big year for me. I graduated college, moved to my dream city, got my first job, and my first apartment. It was also a difficult year, especially towards the end, so I can't say i'm too sad to see it end. I don't have any resolutions (I sort of think they're silly, don't you agree?) but I know there are plenty of things I'd like to be or do in this new year. Like watch move films, not movies, films. The kind that are limited release and it'll be hard to convince a friend to go with you but it'll be worth it in the end. I want to work really hard and move up in the world. I want to visit my family often because distance is a silly excuse to be away from the ones you love.

I really want to learn something new. Like...how to make a souffle or something. But something more exciting than just learning how to make  souffle, although I bet that would be delicious! I want to say learn a new language but I should probably refresh my dusty French before attempting Italian, my go-to want-to-learn-language. I want to end the year in a completely different place than where it started. I'm sure i'll have a new apartment (again) but more than that, I hope i'll look back and think "wow, so much has changed." I'm not entirely sure I can say that about this year. Not in the way I want to say it at least.

It's New Year's Day though and I always have this strange superstition that whatever you do on this day and how you feel throughout, will carry forward into the rest of the year. It's absolutely silly but it's the reason I always make sure today is enough of all the things you'd want for the rest of the year. For example, today I am spending the day with my best friends, going ice skating, eating at one my favorite places, and tonight, (we're not sure what yet...) we're going to do something new and exciting. Because that's what this new year is and should be, new and exciting.

I hope 2012 is everything you want it to be, Happy New Year!