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Tag Archives: New York City

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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.

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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?

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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!!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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).

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

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

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

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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?

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“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.

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if you’ve ever spent a drunken night in new york city’s east village, chances are you’ve ended the evening at one of two places: pommes frites, or ray’s candy store. both are east village/new york institutions, purveyors of all things greasy and good. at both places, you order a large serving of fries and choose from a bevy of sauces, from chipotle mayo to sesame peanut to honey mustard and beyond. there’s some deliriously beautiful about standing in line at ray’s or pomme frites, your legs jittery from dancing, your hair caked to your neck with dried sweat, the scent of your deodorant creeping up to your nose, your head and your heart giddy with the fact that you live here in this beautiful crazy city and you’re out there soaking it up with every cell of your being. of course, there’s also something deliriously beautiful about stuffing your slightly tipsy face with fries and assorted sauces, of plopping yourself down on the nearest bench or stoop or one of pomme frites’ picnic-esque tables and sitting in silence as you eat, only the sounds of teeth coming down on crispy fries to keep you company. 

i’m partial to ray’s, because it’s an institution that’s been around forever, because it’s simple and sweet and a hole in the wall, and i love me a hole in the wall – but to be sure, pomme frites has more sauce options. but you know what? i can also make my own french fries, in my tiny but cozy kitchen, with the oil splattering the tiles on the back of my oven and dotting the floor with grease. and then i can make some of the amazing sauces (many of which are the same as the ones you can get at pomme frites) that i found over on saveur. YUM A LICIOUS.