A few weeks ago, I was walking through the lighting department at IKEA and came across this children’s nightlight called Spöka. I’ll admit, my main reason for purchasing it was for looks, but it’s also quite genius in design. Unplugged, the charge lasts 4-6 hours and the inner diode light, though not replaceable, lasts 50,000 hours! The outer shell is made of a soft silicone and can be turned on by pressing on the top of the head. It has a warm red glow and I’ve been using it as a desk light.
If red isn’t your color, how about:
♥ Green or Blue?
Today was the start of Oktoberfest and my last morning in New York City, so I joined friends at Zum Schneiders’ German restaurant on Avenue C for lunch and drinks. It was a fitting goodbye, since I just missed all the Oktoberfest festivities in Portland. I’m sitting at JFK waiting for my plane to board… I’ll miss my friends, the aimless wandering, the loads of grafitti layering every surface, the bars that stay open until 4.a.m., feeling the electricity and energy hum in every corner of the city, squishing into subway cars, the lack of perfection and new-ness that adds to the old world charm, a separate store for everything imaginable (instead of suburban superstores that lack soul), and the sense that anything is possible.But, I feel okay because I know that goodbye isn’t forever and Lee Z will be waiting for me at the Portland airport and I have school and work (yeah, they actually let me take a three week hiatus!) and an internship I’ve been excited to start for weeks now. It’s going to be a hard adjustment, but I think I’m ready, I think it’s what I need right now. Nine months (three semesters) left until I am free of school, free of a lot of things. By then, I hope I’ll be ready to move on with the next chapter of my life.
On Tuesday, I stumbled upon the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy. This is the 80th year of its existence! The celebration usually takes place during the last two weeks of September and honors the patron saint of Naples.
This is the second year I’ve gone to the festival. There’s over a million visitors in a two-week span, so the streets are pretty packed. Booths line the streets full of Italian confections, Italian-themed t-shirts, carnival-style games, and beer. All the Little Italy restaurants are open and most have menus available as you walk by. There’s fancy sit-down restaurants next to pizza places, so there’s really something for everyone.
I briefly stopped at the statues near a church to look at religious items like saint charms and holy cards, then kept walking to Chinatown, which has sadly gobbled up most of Little Italy at this point…
As you can probably tell by now, I have a slight infatuation with my friend’s monsterous Elvis painting… Yesterday, I ended up in the back room of the Swiss Institute and behind the thick black curtains, an experimental film of Elvis performing in all his glory was looping on a small screen attached to a huge black wall. I was the only one there, trying to absorb what I was seeing. There was footage of older Elvis spliced in with footage of Elvis in his prime, performing on Youtube in full-screen mode from a spinning laptop with a dangling microphone in front of it. Totally surreal.
Later, I was on the fouth floor of Saks being served mini red velvet cupacakes and diet coke in a glass bottle with a red straw in honor of Valentino’s RED line. Once I was off the subway and back in my friend’s Brooklyn neighborhood, we walked into a cookie shop that was serving free handmade gourmet treats. It was like my birthday all over again. The magic is still here when you least expect it…
For the first time ever, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge
with Auntie Nubs on Sunday. It’s one of the oldest suspension bridges and took 13 years
to complete! I love that it’s so pedestrian friendly with a special walkway. The walk takes about 20 minutes and I think the perspective of looking off into the Manhattan skyline is pretty amazing and a great (free) photo opportunity.
Once you’ve crossed the bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn, the sign waiting at the other side really does read, “Welcome to Brooklyn. How sweet it is!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Auntie Nubs took this photo of me the other day at our hotel in Chelsea. I don’t think I even realized that she was taking it and that’s what I like most– the imperfection. I’m missing a sock, my laptop cord is tangled, everything is a little off. And, that’s reality. Being a Virgo, I strive for perfection in my work, but not in myself because there is no such thing. It’s a waste of time. I think it’s true that self acceptance comes with age; it’s a sign of maturity. I noticed that I felt more comfortable in my skin when I hit 25. And, I hope to be fully accepting by 30. And remembering how I felt when I was 20 is slightly embarrassing. It’s a process. I used to hate being short, and I used to hate my freckles. I used to hate that my toes were a bit snaggly from wearing pointy shoes. But, at some point I realized that none of these things were life altering or even that big of a deal. I believe that as long as you’re doing what you love in some capacity every day, the less the little things seem to matter. If you’re happy, it shows. The two people who I really admire for following their passions are Australian Blogger / Fashion Maven Gala Darling and Illustrator / Comic Queen Star St. Germain. Both of these girls love what they do and you can feel it in their work.
The weather has been a little bit crazy this past week; the day after my birthday on the 14th, the temperature dropped about 30 degrees and I think that contributed to me getting sick. The nights have been feeling Fall-like, but the days have been creeping back into the 80s. Hence, wearing light laters has been working well.
♥ Cardigan, UO- this is an extra small, but still cozy and roomy.
♥ Tunic (underneath), Love Child
♥ Knit beret, Forever 21
♥ Leggings, American Apparel
♥ Vampire’s Kiss necklace, Fred Flare
♥ Boots, John Fluevog (no longer made in white!)
♥ Baby Gisele purse, Luella Bartley
This has been the first day I’ve been able to sleep in (on my vacation, no less!) and finally, I’m taking it easy. I can’t seem to fight off this cold and I need to get better ASAP because tomorrow night is my going away dinner at the Kion Lounge.
Yesterday I spent the morning in the East Village and the Lower East Side. The East Village is still by far my favorite part of the city. It’s definitely losing some of its grit and charm as big businesses move in and glass condos sneak into the blocks, but I still adore the tiny shops, the mix of nationalities and the surfaces covered in grime and stickers.
BAMN! is on St. Mark’s Place and always draws me in- it’s the return of the automant where for a handful of change, you can get warm food in an instant!
Search & Destroy is a punk-inspired vintage store also on St. Marks and I loved the wheat pasted signs on their door.
The heads of German and Greek doctors and scientists are carved into the entrance of this hospital.
I noticed this antiques / odds and ends shop on East 9th near 1st Ave. and I thought their window display was really cool. If I lived here, I would’ve snapped these letters up in an instant (even if they would take up my entire room!)
I love the frozen in time feel of Kat’s Deli, New York City’s oldest deli which has been in existence since 1888! (This is actually on the edge of the LES.) That glass highrise of condos being built in the background wasn’t there a year ago….
♥ If you want to to know more about the history of the East Village, this is worth reading.
♥ My friend’s apartment bedroom on St. Mark’s Place is featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Physical Graffiti’ album. How cool is that?!
♥ This NY Times article details the resistant nature of East Village inhabitants to corporate change and chronicles the rich ethnicity of the neighborhood.
♥ A photo gallery featuring all the St. Mark’s Place funkiness…I probably should’ve taken more pictures but I have pile of about a hundred from this area snapped on past trips…