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?