Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things I've Learned in NYC


  • People you don't know will say weird things to you that you don't want to hear, ignore them
  • NYC is the land of cheap manicures
  • You'll never eat or drink in all the places in this town but you should try anyways
  • You will meet so many people, decide which ones you like back
  • On the same note, turns out there are bad people in the world, you should watch out for those
  • Bank with Chase, you'll always have access to your $
  • There are more ways to get crosstown than the L, knowledge is power
  • Everybody in this town is frontin', don't buy it
  • Your metrocard is your passport, just don't store it near your credit cards
  • Duane Reade is both your best friend and your worst enemy
  • People ask where you live within the first five minutes of conversation, this is normal
  • They will also ask how much you pay in rent, this is also normal
  • It is a NYC sin to eat chain food, but who cares, just do it anyway
  • Avoid suits- unless you like hearing people talk about themselves
  • If it's too good to be true-it is, especially in real estate
  • It's a big, bad world out there, baby
  • You will miss home all the time
  • Coming here is exactly like starting a whole new life, be patient
  • Try to remember who you are over the thump of the bass
  • Stop comparing yourself
  • Filter your water
  • You can get away without having cable here
  • People will try to tell you that living here isn't worth it but this is when you get to be smug and say they "just don't get it"
  • You will spend so much money on food and cabs but it's usually worth it
  • Singular days will change how you think about things
  • You may not always want to, but when friends come into town, do all the touristy things they want to do, remember you were once new here too
  • Don't leave your phone in a cab, you can't always count on the kindness of strangers
  • You'll walk plenty, just eat it (whatever "it" is)
I am going to keep this list "live," and add to is as my life here unfolds. I think it'll be fun to look back on it and see what I still agree with, what I'd add to, and what I'd change. Suggestions? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dear Blog,

I haven't forgotten about you blog, in fact, I think about you at least once a day. I dream up ideas for posts and think about how that post- beginning, middle and end. But nothing makes it into this white box because I want whatever I put here to be perfect even though nothing here is perfect. It's like how some people untag unflattering pictures on Facebook, but in the reverse. I have the power to decide how this blog will look and what it will say, I'm creating the image I want people to see of me and that's a lot of pressure! I might be over thinking this but isn't the internet forever? I think I read that somewhere once. What I want to become President one day (hah) or become famous (hah) and some mean person who isn't a fan of whatever work of mine that has made me famous decides to dig up dirt on me and finds this blog and suddenly all of TMZ/E!/MTV/Conan/Soup are making fun of embarrassing blog posts of mine? WHAT IF.

More so, I read a lot of blogs. Some are frilly and fun (still with good writing) and some are more serious and talk about life in the way most young people don't (with exceptional writing). Instead of inspiring me or making me appreciative of the art of writing, they just cripple me with a feeling of inadequacy  When I hear a song, I think it's a shame I'm as great a singer. When I see a pretty girl, I think it's a shame I'm not as pretty (clearly my post on compliments/comparing ourselves to one another didn't stick :/ ) . So naturally when I read, I think it's a shame I'm not as good a writer. To be fair, I mostly just feel this when I read blogs. That's because I don't pick up In Cold Blood and wish I could create that kind of suspense because I don't have any interest in penning a murder novel. But I do write blog posts and there is no reason, without some dedication and investment, I couldn't write like that too. And in an ideal world, I would write every single day. Not just write blog posts, but write short stories, poems, anything at all. I remember what I loved most about the creative writing class I took Sophomore year of college was that I finally had a reason to schedule time everyday to sit down and write. Sharing your stories and talking about characters and wondering about the phrasing of this and the structure of that with like-minded writers was such an enriching experience, it eventually led to my taking graduate level poetry classes.

But then there kind of is a reason, or perhaps, an excuse why I don't write everyday. It's called a job and it prevents me from doing a lot of things between the hours of 9am and 6pm. And when I get home at 6, I want to unwind and not feel like I have to be the best at anything, let alone something that requires turning the creaky wheels in my brain. So, blog, after this long rant, my point is, (lord, look at all those commas!) I'm sorry and I love you and we'll be together when we can.

Until then,
Ni

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's almost my birthday!

The above, is a Magnolia Bakery cake. It's has three tiers, it's Red Velvet, and it's all mine. I think the only thing I wanted for my birthday last year was a Magnolia birthday cake and while I didn't get it, I think my 22nd birthday was one of best I've ever had. Realizing I probably won't be able to top the unforgettable fun that was all my favorite people in the world in my favorite place in the world for my birthday last year, I secured a Magnolia creation for this year's birthday! I don't know if my level of adoration for this bakery is healthy and/or socially acceptable but I'm glad my friends put up with it. To be honest, I have such fond memories of visiting Magnolia every time I visited New York growing up and those trips were always the highlight of my year, so that's probably where all this fierce loyalty/love is stemming from.

My college roommate is coming into town for my birthday (which isn't until Sunday)/birthday party which is enough for me because having unscripted, hilarious adventures is our forte. It's so nice to be around people who you've known for years and are so close with, which is exactly what my party will be. I've never been much for a big to-do so I'm opting for an intimate shin-dig at my place with good food, good drinks, and good friends. I can't wait :)

Who knows birthday adventures await, I feel like I'm in that moment when you take a big gulp of air right before you dunk your head under water. That almost dizzy feeling that's so full of potential. Does that make sense? Regardless, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I've got some celebrations to tend to ;)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bill Cunningham: New York


While waiting for a friend to Sunday Shop (yes, I do feel that deserves capitalization), I finally took Netflix up on their pesky FREE ONE MONTH TRIAL emails. My disappointment with their movie selection aside, they've got an eclectic collection of documentaries, of which I watched Bill Cunningham New York. Bill was the pioneer of street style photography and has been photographing since the 1940's. He introduced the American people to Jean Paul Gultier & Alaïa. He was one of the first photographers in Paris at the haute couture shows, brining European fashion to the states. His expansive knowledge on fashion over the decades in New York allows him to call out big names like Issac Mizrahi for ripping off designs. This man is a legend.

Did you know he's lived in the same 1 bedroom artist's studio in Carnegie Hall since moving to New York and becoming a milliner? He doesn't have a kitchen and his bathroom is in the hallway. He has never had a romantic relationship in his life (which he says he doesn't regret.) He navigates the streets of Manhattan attending multiple events a night on a bike, 28 of them have been stolen. Ironically, he owns no "wardrobe," only a few pieces which are mostly for utility, not fashion. 

Can you imagine being so passionate about something that you literally dedicate your life to it? He doesn't eat or drink at events even though they're some of New York Society's finest. He didn't accept money from Details magazine when he used to photograph for them so he could preserve his creative freedom. He is loved by so many for his unbiased and kind portrayal of his subjects because he cares about those women. How fearless of his too, to leave his family, and never think worry if he would "make it" or not. He just did the one thing that fulfilled him so deeply it was never a question. I think very few people are lucky enough to feel that way about something- let alone to achieve the level of success Bill has with their craft. 

What would you dedicate your life to, regardless of failure or success, but for the love of it? 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cheers to you, New York City


I graduated from Miami University exactly one year ago from May 7, 2011. 12 days later, I packed up my life and moved to New York City. This was always the plan, it was a life long dream. I was that friend talking about some place called Magnolia Bakery and how their cupcakes would save your life. How Greenwich Village was like a storybook and I'd live there one day if I could (I've since come to realize I'd rather live in Gramercy and play in Greenwich.) I wasn't always sure what I would do here but I knew whatever it was, it had to be here.

It's one year ago to the  day that I moved to NYC. Sometimes I still feel new here, and in truth, i'm only just beginning to settle into my life here. I thought I'd never stop making the same mistake of going uptown instead of downtown or vice versa. After my first day in the city, I got lost on the train for two hours. Now I mostly know how all the subway lines connect and how to get from point A to point B. But more than knowing how to get around, I learned how to get by.

They say it takes a full year for someplace new to feel like home. I still call Ohio home since that's where I've lived most of my life but, NYC has certainly lived up to my expectations. I fretted so much about what to do today. I felt like I had to have the quintessential New York day to honor this anniversary but then a friend put it into perspective. Instead of doing New York-y things for the sake of doing them just because today is a significant day, I can instead realize that this is my life now. This city isn't a place i'm visiting anymore, it's where I live.

In the interest of full disclosure, I want to make it clear that this year hasn't been easy. This year in the city hasn't been easy. For every glamorous night out, there is a tedious morning commute. For every exciting new friend you make, there is a deeply missed one somewhere far away. The amazing meals in fancy restaurants you know you couldn't experience anywhere else cost three times as much as anywhere else. This Thought Catalog piece is so honest in exposing the ugly side of New York. Like the end of the article suggests, most people who move here eventually move away. This city has a way of draining your energy, you can only keep up with it for so long. So if one day I do move away, I'll be oh so glad for my time in the greatest city on earth.

New York, you've been quite an adventure. I have no idea what else you've got up your sleeve but you've got me hooked and i'm willing to stick around to find out, at least for a while. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hester Street Fair

After an entire week of rain, there is finally some beautiful weather in New York! Dare I say Spring is here to stay? In celebration, I went down to the Hester Street Fair for their opening weekend with a few friends and if you haven't gone yet, you absolutely should. There is so much to explore and it's definitely one of those things where the fun is in the details so give yourself the day to peruse. There are tons of local vendors with booths for food, jewelry, art, clothes, etc. They rotate vendors every week so I'll definitely be going back. The fair is put on by the folks atThe Big Social, one of their most notable members being Suchin Pak. Remember her from MTV's TRL (RIP)? The fair has been around since the late 1800's, isn't that crazy? Check out this cool photo of the fair then & now from their website:


Look at all the vendors! It was the perfect day for a fair. I wasn't able to take any photos of one of my favorite art stalls but they were scenic photographs adhered to canvas with the rest of the photograph painted in acrylic all around it. I hope I'm painting this picture clearly (heh). There was also a booth doing vintage Polaroid portraits, Karl Lagerfeld was one of their subjects! 
I had a slider from Mighty Balls (the veggie balls with African Onion & Parm) and it was. So. Good.

I also had a sandwich from the Bombay Sandwich Company which, if I had to describe it, was a samosa in sandwich form. Just genius.
Macy's was there kicking off their Bar III pop up store. Shenae Grimes was apparently there but I missed her, womp, womp. 90210 is my guilty pleasure, no judgement please.
It was so tempting to buy everything in sight, so many quirky, fun things to look at! One local vendor was selling these cute ceramic map coasters.
The jewelry vendors had the best displays! 
I wasn't allowed to photograph too many but I did manage to snap this one, with permission of course.
My friend got a Nutella & Strawberry crepe from  
La Crêpe c'est si bon which was just as delicious as it sounds.


If you’re strapped for gift ideas, they're hosting their own Vintage Coterie Market in preparation for Mother's Day this weekend. Tons of vendors will be selling vintage finds like jewelry (which you just can’t go wrong with), watercolors, antique frames and plenty of other knick knacks.  And of course flowers from Jen Kim Made because Mother’s Day wouldn’t be complete without flowers! Speaking of watercolors, I purchased a watercolor illustration of my own from hélène pé. I don’t have a photo but the illustration is of a girl looking out the window at the New York skyline with “I love you more than New York” written in the sky. Whimsical and if you know me, i'm sure you'd agree it's the perfect find for me . She also has an Etsyshop that’ll give you an idea of her style if you want to check it out. I'm continuing my Unofficial Flea Market Tour of New York this weekend at the Brooklyn Flea Market. Let's see how it compares to Hester! Have a lovely weekend all :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Goodbye First Love


I've been wanting to see this film for months now and finally got the chance to see it last night. It's only playing in NYC for two days! It's a beautiful film chronicling the young love between Camille & Sullivan throughout the 8-year journey of their relationship. It was directed by Mia Hansen-Løve and what I loved most was how universal she wrote their story. While it's intensely dramatic, the film touches on so many relatable emotions. Regardless of your opinion on the movie (it's gotten mixed reviews), it's a very personal viewing experience since you inevitably compare it to your own experiences. And in true French film fashion, the ending leaves you pondering what it all meant. Life imitating art or art imitating life?