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New York City

winter101fauxfuri don’t know about where you live, but it’s been cold as beejesus ’round these parts. i love the northeast, i really do, but sometimes, a girl just wants to wear a sweater and a snood and call it a day. though i have to admit, i do love me some faux fur. i’ve got two (identical; one’s light brown, the other, dark brown) faux fur jackets that i scored for 10 pounds each back in 2006 at london’s portobello road flea market, and beyond the fact that i’m pretty sure they’ve got many a story hidden in their sleeves, they keep me damn warm when the temperatures drop. there’s nothing like a little (faux, of course) fur to snuggle up to when you’re waiting for the crosstown bus on a chilly winter morning. and as the ladies above prove, it’s easy to look tres chic while doing so. now, where can i get me an oxblood jacket?

john-derian-new-york-city-home-apartment-the-selby-3i have a pinterest board titled “someday home.” on it, i pin rooms that i hope will, someday, be included in the home in which i live with my big, slightly rowdy but effortlessly clean family. the home in which we’ll eat stack upon stack of chocolate chip pancakes. the home in which a roaring fire will crackle all throughout the holiday season. a home with a cozy guestroom for two and enough bathrooms for all the kids and then some. a home with a large entryway and maybe even a leopard stair runner. living in new york, where space comes at such a premium, and saving is somewhat of a foreign concept, it’s hard to imagine that i’ll ever own a home of my own.

one of my goals for 2014 is to start really socking away money to buy a place, ideally, here in new york. somewhere that’s really mine, not a landlord’s. easier said than done, of course. but in the meantime, i’ll just pretend i live here, in john derian’s amazing east village abode.

{all photos via the selby}

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4taylor-500x666did you see this beautiful first apartment in brooklyn, featured on design*sponge the other week? i fell head over heels for the space, mostly because it’s got everything i dreamed i’d have in my first new york apartment. i moved to the city having very little understanding of what it meant to find (and secure) an apartment in the concrete jungle. i thought crown moldings and hardwood floors (not parquet, yuck) came standard. i thought i’d have lots of light and maybe a little balcony on which to stand and smoke cigarettes in the evenings (i don’t even smoke cigarettes, mind you, but the image is romantic and seems fitting to a new new yorker). i thought i’d have slightly chipping paint in the kitchen, and exposed brick in the living room, and the sort of quaint, early 1900s light fixtures that are so ugly they’ve become cool again.2taylor-500x666

in my first apartment, i got one of these things: a little bit of exposed brick walls. but i also paid way too much for a shoebox of a room with little to no natural light. i awoke each morning to the sound of pigeons cooing. i could not tell what the weather was come daylight; my window abutted another building. it was less romantic than i envisioned, and so when i moved a year later, i looked for two things and two things only: light, and space. i got them both, but with them, i sacrificed character. now, i live in a much larger shoebox, but it’s all angular lines and 1950s finishes (parquet floors, yuck!). it’s modern, yes, and updated, yes, and for that i am thankful. but it has none of the charm, none of the character, that i associate with a new york apartment. i’ve come to believe such apartments are hard to find – a place where you can get space to entertain your friends and family, while still getting original hardwood floors and gorgeous crown moldings and quirky light fixtures to boot.10taylor-500x750

apparently, i was wrong. they might be hard to find, but they are not impossible. case in point: this beautiful crown heights apartment, which belongs to a 25 year old girl named taylor. taylor found and designed the space all by herself, and it’s a beautiful, layered home comprised of flea market finds, hipster furniture pieces, and cozy antique tchotckes. i want it for my own! all of it! this home gives me hope that someday, i can get a one bedroom apartment just for me (and penny, of course), with all the charm and character i want. and maybe the paint will be peeling just a little bit, but it won’t matter, because i’ll have tin ceilings and herringbone hardwoods and all will be right with the world.11taylor-500x333 3taylor-500x666 1taylor-500x750 9taylor-500x750 12taylor-500x750 5taylor-500x333 6taylor-500x333 7taylor-500x333 13taylor-500x750 bathroomhall 14taylor 8taylor-500x375

a girl can dream!

Winter Hats

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN

i’m a gal who loves a good winter accessory. i have an entire dresser drawer dedicated to hats, scarves, and gloves. i probably own around 15 scarves, maybe as many hats, and at least 4 pairs of gloves (and counting). what can i say? i grew up in the northeast. i went to school in upstate new york. i then moved to new york city, a place that is, deceptively, much colder than you think it’ll be. something about all those tall buildings creates a serious wind tunnel syndrome, and let me tell you, it can be positively FRIGID here come december and january.

i remember last year, in the weeks following hurricane sandy, when we had no heat, or hot water, or power. each day, i’d walk home from work, crossing the line between NoPo (north of power) into SoPo (south of power), where i lived. as the lights disappeared and the skyline behind me blended into the night stars, it got cold. like, really cold. and then i’d trudge the ten flights of stairs up to my apartment, which was also dark and cold. for at least a week, every night, i returned home, lit all the candles i could find, and put on two layers of pajama pants, a sweatshirt, a hat, and big wool socks, and sat with my faux fur blanket snuggled around me on the couch, a comforter on top of that. a tweet from last year post-sandy reads: Trying to stay warm sans heat = currently wearing sparkly rainbow converse, faux fur leopard jacket, plaid scarf + hot pink pom hat. So chic

there’s something to be said for the kind of chill that you just can’t shake, and in the days following sandy, i learned firsthand how that kind of cold works. i was lucky to get power back about 10 days after the hurricane, and heat and hot water soon after that. i don’t ever want to be that cold for an extended period of time, let me tell you.*

that kind of cold means you layer with all you’ve got. it means hats are absolutely essential (they keep the heat in, folks). in other words, if you don’t have a great winter hat, it’s time to go out and buy one. maybe even one of the ten above?

*ps: there are many in this city (and probably in your city, too) who go without the cold weather gear they need to get through the winter. if you’re anything like me, you’ve got extra clothing you don’t wear. please consider donating to your local coat drive, or find a shelter in your area that’s accepting donations for hats, scarves, and gloves. new yorkers, you can find information about the new york cares coat drive here. 

WANTED_JCrew Leather Texting Glovesi’ve been on the hunt for cute texting glove for a while now. i found this pair at shopbop, and while they’re cashmere, and probably extremely cozy, they’re sort of blah, design-wise. if i’m going to splurge on gloves, i want to find something a little bit more special. especially given that these gloves will be going all over the place, holding bus railings and subway poles morning, noon and night.

we’ve officially hit frigid, cover-every-open-patch-of-skin season here in new york, which means i’ve got to find a good pair of gloves, pronto. lucky to me, j.crew has all my bases covered, with these chic but classic leather gloves that have been specially treated for smartphone use. i mean, HELLO, genius idea. should i tear myself away from my phone more often? yes. could i do without instagram while i wait for the 7am bus? of course. but do i want to? hells to the no, sister. a girl’s gotta check her instagram feed even when it’s cold!

and for that, i present to you, these j.crew gloves, officially on my WANTED list.

Happy Thanksgivingi don’t know about you, but i’ve got a whole lot to be thankful for.

1. my family. they keep me sane, and prop me up when i can’t stand on my own.

2. my friends. they make me laugh, cry, and keep me on my toes.

3. my cat, penny lane. she is the best kitten i know.

4. my health. my body enables me to work hard, to stretch, to push itself to the extreme. i am in better shape than i’ve ever been, and i feel so thankful for it.

5. my job. i love what i do.

6. the work i do outside my job. i write for others on the side. i keep this here blog. these things keep me from experiencing too much writer’s block, and challenge me to up my game and perfect my craft.

7. my home. it took many years, but it finally feels like home.

8. my city. new york may knock you down from time to time, but it always picks you back up.

9. my exercise routine. i have finally found not one, but TWO places to sweat it out. to let all my worries melt away, and to get in shape while doing so. thank you, bar method, and thank you, soul cycle.

10. inspiration. this city is full of it. my job is full of it. the internet is full of it. i rarely lack for inspiration, and for that, i feel quite lucky.

what are you thankful for today?

Fur Sure

when i first moved to new york, i was pretty sure i wanted to work in fashion. i’d had my first taste of city style the summer before, when i interned at deutsch and lived in chinatown, and seen my share of chic new yorkers with model off duty style and unwashed hair and so cool it hurts vintage clothing. i’d even purchased some of that so cool it hurts clothing for myself, at angela’s vintage on 11th street in the east village. so when i graduated college, and moved to new york with an english degree and my cat and not much else, i gravitated toward the fashion world, thinking, if i could merge my love for style with my love for words, i’d be golden. of course, it’s never that simple. carrie bradshaw isn’t a real human being. her closet isn’t a real new york closet. her wardrobe, on that salary? also not real.

what is real is how insanely creative and energizing the fashion industry is. i found this out firsthand while covering fashion week for a little ol’ blog i wrote for (not this one) for a few seasons during my first few years in new york. at the time, i thought fashion week was, quite possibly, the most glamorous thing i’d ever seen, let alone been a part of. i suppose, to this day, that’s probably still the case. i saw celebrities up close. i sat right behind anna wintour’s infamous bob. i watched insanely beautiful clothing walk down the runway, hung on the slight shoulders of insanely beautiful people. i wore a ridiculous sequin cape from the 60s one day, a tie dyed mini dress the next.

but eventually, the novelty wore off. the sheen seemed more like cheap lame. the clothes were beautiful, yes, but the people weren’t my people. they were elitist and exclusive. they lived a lifestyle i couldn’t afford to live – and one i’m not sure i’d live even if i could afford it. they were all about the surface, and i don’t live a surface life, in any sense of the word.

don’t get me wrong. i love pretty things. i love to look at beautiful clothes. but would i spend $1000 on a pair of embroidered jeans? never. i don’t even wear jeans. i think spending $400 on a purse is a TON of money. i’d never spend a month’s worth of rent on anything but, well, my rent. and i’ve found that i’m much happier in a different kind of creative industry.

these days, my outfits are more boring. i still wear sequins (i’m wearing them today, in fact, on my cardigan), but you’ll rarely find me in an all out “outfit.” i dress for comfort, mostly, for 10 hour days at work and 14 hour days away from my apartment. i solely wear flats, thanks to a recent foot injury, and i’ve taken to wearing my hair in a high bun because i can’t be bothered to style it. you could say that as i’ve gotten older, i’ve gotten more lazy. but i think what’s really happened is that i’ve become more in tune with my personal style, more okay with who i am in general, and that’s reflected in what i wear. i have a uniform (leggings and big sweaters in the fall, maxi dresses in the summer), and i’m okay with that. i’m not the kind of girl whose outfit turns heads, and i don’t think i’ll ever be. maybe the girl who moved to new york five years ago could have been, if life had doled her a slightly different piece of pie. and that girl? she totally would have worn the outfit above, fur collar and all.