Archive

New York City

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. 

Advertisement

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.

One-Kings-Lane-office-Matchbook-Oct13-lobby-chesterfield-spotted-pillows-David-Hicks-La-Fiorentina-chaise

i’m a big fan, and frequent shopper (when my pennies add up) of one kings lane, the online interior decor flash sale site. OKL appeared on the scene a few years ago, back when gilt was the main player, and no one was doing the decor thing on the ‘net. since then, they’ve pretty much exploded. their revenues are out of this world, their design eye is beyond, their blog and social properties are perfect curated…i’ve got a crush, for sure. of course, it doesn’t hurt that OKL is the brainchild of two smart, savvy women, susan feldman and alison pincus, who saw a hole in the market, and filled it with ease. OKL has offices in both san francisco and new york, and their manhattan office was featured in the most recent issue of matchbook. it’s gorgeous, isn’t it? i can’t imagine working in such a lovely space. i feel like i’d be inspired every time i blinked. have a look below, and click here to read more about how one kings lane came to be.

One-Kings-Lane-office-Matchbook-Oct13-Susan-Feldman-Alison-Pincus1

One-Kings-Lane-office-Matchbook-Oct13-pinboard-workspace-1

One-Kings-Lane-office-Matchbook-Oct13-lobby-Lucite-bar-cart-buse-art1

One-Kings-Lane-office-Matchbook-Oct13-lobby-chesterfield-spotted-pillows-brass-table1

One-Kings-Lane-office-Matchbook-Oct13-lobby-chesterfield-spotted-pillows-art

Image

have you ever been to haven’s kitchen? it’s an awesome combination cooking school, event space, and restaurant located on a quaint block in chelsea, and it’s impeccably designed, with open shelving, subway tile and beautiful industrial-style finishes throughout. HK is the brainchild of ali cayne, and specializes in sustainable, seasonal food (yum). they offer a wide range of classes (i’ve got my eye on baking with apples thanks to my weekend trip upstate to harvest moon orchard), and also offer the opportunity to pop in for a pastry and a chai for those looking for a bit less commitment.

Image

i’ve long been interested in the founder ali cayne, and have kept my eye on haven’s kitchen since it opened a few years back, so i was thrilled to see cayne’s home featured in the new and improved domino issue that went live last week. according to the piece, cayne relocated from uptown to a west village town house last year after realizing that she needed to bring her work and home lives closer together. she selected the home because it had good bones, and poured her heart and soul into breathing new life into the space, working closely with her architect to select every paint color, finish, and piece of furniture you see here. impressive, right?

ImageImage

the color palate is quite similar to that of haven’s kitchen: black, white and neutrals with a pop of yellow here and there. metallic finishes abound, but never feel overly glitzy. the rooms are simple and cozy, homey and one of a kind. the living room, especially, reminds me of jenna lyon’s old brooklyn townhouse (also featured in domino way back in the day!) – though i do wish that rug were bigger. it’s so tiny!!

Image

can you imagine having such a sundrenched kitchen? so beautiful and filled with light. i love that deep grey on the trim. gorgeous! and looks so beautiful with the brass accents in the space.

Image

can we talk about that range hood? i mean…i die. i’m also loving the white subway tile contrasted with the dark grout. it really makes the room pop, don’t you think? i’m always envious of people who dare to attempt open shelving in the kitchen – how is it that things don’t get dusty? i am an anal OCD clean freak and my apartment STILL gets dusty!

Image

i’m especially partial to cayne’s office; i can’t resist that wall to wall inspiration board. i love that she has to stand up on her furniture to pin things to the top. in the pinterest age, i can’t help but appreciate people who still tear things out of physical magazines and create their own personal collages.

Image

i’m also loving the use of black and white in the master bedroom. so clean and classic – and allows for cayne to add a pop of color if and when she pleases without messing up the color scheme (i’d go for hot pink).

Image

that light fixture is insane, no? it’s actually really not doing it for me – i would have preferred a sputnik.

Image

I am dying over that nightstand, however. are those lucite legs i see? the detail on that baby is amazing.

Image

ah, the kind of closet dreams are made of. again with the black, white, and gold. love those pendants. so chic.

Image

more of the cozy living room. i love this little fireplace reading nook. in the daytime, the space clearly gets a lot of light, but i’d venture a guess that at night, with a roaring fire, those chairs are as comfy as can be. they’re a bit modern for my taste (i would have gone for worn leather), but i’m still loving the look.

what do you think? are you a fan of haven’s home?

Image

have you guys seen cameron diaz’s re-designed west village apartment? it was given a seriously glamorous  makeover by the queen of glitz, kelly wearstler. you can see the entire apartment in elle decor, but for now, let’s focus on the living room. mostly because it’s my favorite room in the apartment, but also because i put together a mood board for it for one of my freelance clients, and i couldn’t resist sharing it here with you all.

pretty fancy, right? it’s not exactly my style, per se, but i do love me some grasscloth on the walls. especially when that grasscloth is ROSE COLORED. i imagine if you lived in this apartment, you’d always see life through rose colored glasses. then again, if you’re cameron diaz, you probably think life’s pretty peachy as it is.

anywho, you can shop the look with the pieces below. my favorite? the brass legs, designed and created by wearstler herself. they remind me of those vintage hand chairs. so freaking awesomely cool, no? LOVE.

Living In: Cameron Diaz's West Village Apartment

Image

do you guys remember this video? hokay, so, here’s de earth. chilling. damn, that is a sweet earth you might say!

about halfway through the video, the french guy says, in a ridiculously french accent (in response to an impending missile assault from the US) but i’m le tired. this video came out way back in 2008, and yet, to this day, whenever i’m feeling really overworked, or, let’s face it, just really freaking sleepy, i say to myself, in a french accent, but i’m le tireddddd….

and guess what? i’m le tired. like, really le tired. i’ve got myself on a semi-exhausting schedule, and every time i tell myself i need to slow down, i don’t do it. or if i do do it, i only slow down for a day or so, and then i get back on the horse and continue pushing myself forward.

i read an interesting article about accumulated sleep debt a month or so back, and it got me thinking about my accumulated lack of sleep. i used to think of myself as a morning person ( i think i still am a morning person, just an overtired one), but lately, i feel like that pop in my step that i used to feel when i woke up early is gone. and by lately, i mean, ever since i started this job a year ago. here’s how i see it. before i took this job, i slept till around 8am every morning. soon after i accepted my job at draft, i realized there was no way i’d be getting out at 5. not even 6, really. which meant evening bar method classes were out of the question, unless i wanted to kiss my social life goodbye and get home at 9pm every night. which i didn’t. so i started taking morning classes at 7:30, which are great – but they mean waking up at 6:30 every morning five days a week. which meant that i lost 1.5 hours of sleep each morning, or 7.5 hours of sleep a week. multiple that by the 60ish weeks its been since i took the job, and you’ve got a whole of sleep lost. it’s no wonder i feel more tired now than i did a year ago, right?

add onto that my undiagnosed but definitely in there somewhere slight OCD (which means that if i get it in my head that i’m doing something within a certain time period, i have.to.get.it.done, no matter how late it means i stay up or how tired i am or how unnecessary it is that i do it right now) and you’ve got yourself a hot mess. for example, last night, exhausted from a rough class at soul cycle (my second of the week, on top of my 5 a week bar method schedule – why am i not skinnier with all this working out?!), i had intended to go to bed early. but i had also told myself that i was doing to do my laundry, because i’m seeing vampire weekend tonight at barclays (!!), and it needed to get done.

it took longer than expected to get home after soul, so before i knew it, it was 9pm and i hadn’t showered, cooked, or put my laundry in. so i proceeded to do all of the above, and didn’t get to bed till almost midnight.

now, a normal person would have said to herself, this laundry doesn’t need to get done tonight. it’s almost the weekend. leave it, and go to bed.

but not me. no, i’d told myself i’d do it, and so i was doing it.

it sounds crazy, right? but i won’t be able to sleep if i haven’t checked it off my to-do list. never mind what happens on days when my to-do list is too long to conquer. enter anxious sarah.

every morning, at the end of bar method class, the instructors have us sit, cross-legged, facing the front of the room. we place our hands on our knees, palms to the sky, and we close our eyes. and we take two long, deep breaths, in and out, in and out. and every morning, i wish this moment would last just a little bit longer. that i could slow down, just a little bit.

i love my life, and i love all that i do. but the frenetic pace of new york city and all the exciting opportunities that come with it mean i’m constantly running from one thing to the next. from bar method to work. from work to soul cycle. from work to dinner. from work to run errands. from work to my apartment to do more (freelance) work. from my apartment on the 10th floor down to the basement laundry room and back again.

why do i thrive on this busy pace? especially when it’s running me ragged? am i so afraid of my own thoughts that i won’t allow myself to slow the fuck down?

because, really, that’s what i need. to slow the fuck down. pardon my french, but it’s the truth.

in december, i will fly to nicaragua, to a sleepy surf town, for a full week, where i will have no choice but to slow down. there will likely be no internet, no phone, no instagram or facebook or twitter or anything to keep me plugged in. and so i’ll have no choice but to unplug completely.

here’s hoping i come back a changed woman. only 3 or so months stand between me and that freedom. let the countdown begin.

Image

last night, after a delicious dinner and a successful ikea furniture building session with my friend sophie, i mentioned that i had a tinder date scheduled for this week. i explained how i didn’t exactly have high hopes because a) tinder is for sex, and i’m kidding myself thinking it’ll ever result in anything real and b) my last tinder date went well (i thought), until the guy kept putting off our second date until i told him he could tell it to me straight, i could handle it. he never told me anything again. as in, stopped texting me completely. so, that was a success. not.

i’ve written on here before about how hard it is to date in new york. how most men aren’t even looking for anything serious. it’s like all the guys here spend their lives believing they’re living in one giant strip club: they can look, they can touch, they can do whatever they want, but at the end of the night, they never have to see the woman again. suffice it to say this is a frustrating dilemma for many of the women in this city.

but, as sophie so eloquently put it last night, “is it really the worst thing if my most terrible problem is that i’m single? is being single really so bad?”

the answer is split down the middle. 50% says yes, it is really so bad to be single in this city. we all (sophie and myself included) fear that we’ll die old and alone with our cats. that we’ll never find love in new york. that we’ll never find love anywhere. that online dating, and meeting men in bars, and talking to our crushes at work is futile. that we’ll be 37 and have kids on our own because we want them and we can’t bear to wait around the one any longer.

but the other side of the answer is this: that we can’t have it all, and what we do have is good. that, when you look at the whole pie, things are pretty spectacular. take myself, for instance. i have an apartment i have grown to love. i put lots of time and effort into designing it, and taking care of it, and as a result, it truly feels like home. i have a very good job – so good, in fact, that i was featured for my career on one of my favorite websites a few weeks ago. i make a decent amount of money. i have a few freelance gigs that i really enjoy. i have a cat i am positively obsessed with. my family is my rock, and my happy place. i have great friends. i’m slowly making new friends, thanks to things like bar method, and book club. i’m working actively on losing weight and getting in shape, and with my new addiction to soul cycle, i think i might just get there. i’m planning a trip to Nicaragua to visit my dear friend martha in december. it will be my first true vacation in five years, and i can’t wait.

in short, things are good. i am lucky. i have quite a bit to be thankful for. and when i subtract “i am single” from the equation, everything is amazing. it would do me well to try and remember that. because sophie’s right, really. it’s not the worst thing. it’s not the best thing, sure, but when you factor in all the other pieces of the puzzle, i could do a whole lot worse.

Image

“I’d known since I was 5, when my parents forced me to move to California, that I was going to live in New York eventually and that everything in between was just a horrible intermission. I’d spent those sixteen years imagining what New York was going to be like. I thought it was going to be the most exciting, magical, fraught-with-possibility place that you could ever live in; a place where if you really wanted something, you might be able to get it; a place where I’d be surrounded by people I was dying to be with. And I turned out to be right.” – Nora Ephron, my first New York

it’s been a little over five years since i moved to new york. upon my arrival, i was shy, inexperienced, and unprepared post-college for what the city was about to throw my way. i thought i was ready. we always do, don’t we? i was wrong, of course. i’d idealized new york to be, like nora ephron says, the most exciting, magical, fraught-with-possibility place you could ever live in, and while this was true, it was also the scariest, toughest, most intense place you could ever live in.

and yet, five years later, i’m still here.

it was only about 2 years ago that the city started to truly feel like home. i like to think i have two homes – one in northampton, where i grew up, and two, here in new york – but the truth is, for my first few years here, i ran away quite often. i still do, of course, but now, when my metro north train chugs into grand central station, or i drive across the GW bridge and see the hudson shimmering alongside me, i get this strange tingling feeling that spreads from the tip of my hair to the bottom of my toes, and i think, i’m home.

and that feeling, in and of itself, is pretty darn magical.

last weekend, as my friend alissa and i walked home at 2am along third avenue, we saw two spotlights shoot straight into the sky from downtown, like alien invaders along lower manhattan. and we both were silent for a second, or maybe even thirty, as we looked down toward the former site of the twin towers. it’s strange being a newer inhabitant of this city on september 11th. i wasn’t here when the towers collapsed. i wasn’t here for the smoke, or the rubble, or the horrific days that followed. i can’t exactly relate to those who were here when it happened.

but i always feel a strange combination of pride and sadness on this day, even as a new york city newbie. because now that i call this city home, and i truly feel that home in my heart, september 11th approaches, and i find myself with this overwhelming sense of don’t fuck with us, combined with feelings of i’m so sorry this happened to you, new york and this is the best city in the whole entire world, i’m sure of it.

nora ephron was right. this is most exciting, magical, fraught-with-possibility place you could ever live in. it’s the most wonderful city in the world. new york, the city, picks up its people when they fall down. and you know what? new yorkers pick up their city when it falls, too. for as impatient, and as rude, and as in a hurry as new yorkers are made out to be (and sometimes are, let’s be honest), they’re also some of the strongest, ballsiest, smartest, most interesting people out there. and above and beyond all that, they’re loyal to a fault,  to both their city, and their fellow citizens.

and that’s what makes new york the best place in the entire world. i’m sure of it.

new york, today is for you. i’m so happy to call you my home.