I left for New York last Friday night and arrived Saturday morning, just in time for Bianca’s birthday party. But right away, I knew that things wouldn’t be the same this year. After all, it was September 10th, the eve of the ten year anniversary of September 11th. I’m used to visiting New York at this time every year but security was at an all-time high. As I made my way to Bianca’s apartment on Wall Street, barricades were everywhere. My Supershuttle van was even pulled over and searched. Even though it was inconvenient, I was secretly relieved, knowing that the city was doing everything it could to keep us safe.
Once I was settled in, I wandered around the Financial District and discovered my new favorite coffee shop, Financier Patisserie. Great coffee and pastries with a French theme and immaculate branding immediately won me over.
Onward we marched to designer discount mecca Century 21 where I tried on everything avant garde and bizarre that I could dig up (just for fun). WTF are these, Rick Owens?!!
The Jungle Juice Saga.
When I’d heard that Bianca had invited a grand total of 50 people to her apartment birthday party and was concocting a special jungle juice elixir complete with whipped cream flavored vodka, I knew it was going to be unparalleled. Friends flowed in, beverages were poured into red plastic cups, a full-on dance party ensued and speakers were blown. This party did not disappoint.
When the clock struck midnight, it was time to go dancing. Of course, midnight also meant that it was officially 9/11 and the city streets were barricaded everywhere our cab turned. We zigzagged down different paths until we got through and made our way into a club full of people. Nobody wanted to give into fear and I admired that.
Birthday Aftermath And An Anniversary.
The next morning, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I woke up to faint sounds of the National Anthem drifting in from St. Paul’s Chapel, just down the street from the site of the World Trade Center. As we walked towards Stone Street for breakfast, layers of security had the area covered but we finally got through the crowd of various uniforms. It was a somber day.
Monday in Midtown.
As soon as Monday morning hit, I headed towards Midtown for meetings and stopped to admire Grand Central Station and the Empire State Building in the process.
With some free time on Monday afternoon, I strolled through Soho and stopped at a few of my favorite places including Dean & Deluca and Le Pain Quotidien. I love Le Pain so much that I visited it three separate times during my stay, including an awesome lunch with Anna of D16 (where we discussed graphic design and Michael Jackson in great detail).
It had been two years since I’d seen Amelia Arsenic but she happened to be visiting from London. On Tuesday, we commemorated the occasion than with a photo shoot with Lydia Hudgens around the edges of Soho.
On Top At Le Bain.
Once the clock struck 11, Bianca and I were on our way out the door towards On Top at Le Bain, a party that takes place every Tuesday on the rooftop of The Standard. I wore my sequined mouse ears a dress with peaked shoulders and red patent wedges while Bianca wore a white wig and matching dress.
Club kids reminiscent of those from 90s ruled the floor. Perhaps best of all, the center of the club featured not only a disco ball but also a jacuzzi and swing (!!!) We moved through the capacity crowd on the grass-covered rooftop, eating crepes and looking out over the Manhattan skyline.
Turning 30 Isn’t Scary When You’re Surrounded By Friends.
On Wednesday, Joey arrived just in time for my 30th birthday. Every year, Gala and I throw a joint party since our birthdays are just a day apart (hers is the 13th and mine is the 14th). We wanted to keep the party simple and low-key and chose to have it at a great bar called Bedlam. Friends from Los Angeles, London and more showed up and we shared a shopping bag full of cupcakes. Gala looked beautiful in a Betsey Johnson dress (of course) and I wore a vintage Marimekko number. Out of all the parties we’ve thrown together, we agreed hands-down that this was our favorite. But trust me, there are too many photos and details to do it justice here! So, I’m saving it all for another post. Stay tuned!
Say Goodbye With A Dance Party!
On my last night in New York, I was tired. Well, that’s an understatement. Exhausted is more like it. Everyone hit the bars and clubs but me but I was determined to not be a total downer.
When Bianca and her husband Yaniv arrived home at 2 am, we turned the living room into a dance floor and shimmied the night away. It started out innocently enough when I realized that the Absolut Citron bottle matched my new neon sweater and quickly escalated into sliding around in a Viking helmet and sequin dress. Bianca and Yaniv stuck with the sombreros (no, I didn’t ask where their hat collection came from!)
Best living room dance party EVER. The only downside was that it ended at 3:30 and I had a 6:30 am wake-up call for a shoot with Gala. Oops.
One Last Collaboration.
On Friday morning, I pulled myself together, grabbed my bag of outfits and caught a cab to Gala’s place bright and early. We had a joint shoot booked with Lydia and I wanted to make the most of it. We hit the East Village streets dressed in mouse ears and sequins to the delight of churchgoers and school children. What a morning! After the shoot, I arrived back on Wall Street, packed my bags and headed home with Joey once again. The week of nonstop fun and magical encounters had come to an end. This New York trip was everything I could have hoped for…and then some. Until next time!