Wednesday, June 30, 2010

oh sweet paradise

Depending on my mood I have a love-hate relationship with New York. Today, it's more of a hate relationship and it makes me miss Hawaii, which I only have a love affair with. My family and I vacation there every year and we are planning on going out there again at the end of August. I cannot wait. Until then these pictures will have to be enough....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

let me be your tour guide

As I said in an earlier post, on my birthday I was able to go on an all day bus tour with my family and we were able to see almost every tourist sight imaginable in New York, either from the air-conditioned comfort of the bus or walking around during a stop. It was a great way to jam a seemingly endless list of sights into one day. The tour was exhausting but well worth it. We had a great tour guide who was an encyclopedia of information about the city, she grew up here so she knew all the little gems of restaurants that are unknown to the greater public. I learned so much on this tour I wish I would have written it all down, but here are some photos I took! Oh, and if you ever are interested in a tour, we used this tour service. We started early though to try and beat the heat and crowds. It worked! Until about noon.

the sun rising over 5th Avenue and St. Patrick's Cathedral

the Imagine Circle, our first stop- I want to visit again though when it is covered in flowers

John Lennon's apartment is the very top level, the three boarded off windows

The world-famous Brooklyn Bridge

The Manhattan Bridge, which is stronger than the Brooklyn Bridge so this is the one the subway cars cross, you could see them crossing from the boat, it made me not want to cross the Manhattan Bridge via subway....

South Street Seaport

Beautiful skyline

Ellis Island: known as both the Island of Hope and the Island of Tears. Hope for the immigrants who are starting a new life for themselves but Tears for the few immigrants who were denied.

The Statue of Liberty, which was given to the United States by France to celebrate our country's 100th year as a democracy. An interesting fact is that she is all copper, and when she was first given to us she was as shiny as a new penny! The artist actually knew that she was going to oxidize to this color and intended for that to happen because he thought the color of the oxidized copper would complement the blue of the sky and the ocean. So interesting!

9/11. This site is no longer referred to as "ground zero" because that is a military term that means destruction and the site is in the process of rebuilding. It's set to be completed in 2016 and it looks like it's going to be amazing. Seeing this sight is one of the most heart-wrenching things I've ever had to do. In part because my dad is a pilot for American Airlines (one of the planes that flew into the towers), it's just scary to think that he could have been in it. I'm a very empathetic person and I can imagine myself feeling what the families of those who lost loved ones would feel and I can't even fathom the pain and anger and grief they must have felt... Still feel today.

A banner at St. Paul's Chapel, also known as the Little Chapel that stood, because miraculously, despite the fact that it was so close to the trade towers, this little chapel did not fall. So tremendously touching. To see all the support people from around the country gave to the rescuers and new york citizens at this time is so moving. I've never felt anything like it.

sidewalk catwalk

One of the things I love most about this city is the endless source of creativity and inspiration that is everywhere. Right now, on the pedestrian walkway on Broadway running from Herald Square to Times Square is the "Sidewalk Catwalk". Thirty-two big name designers were given mannequins and allowed to do with it whatever they were inspired to do. These mannequins will be displayed on the sidewalks until Labor Day and then will be auctioned off. Oh, if only I could afford one! After I read about it here I knew that I instantly had to view the "catwalk" for myself. It was really an experience to see them. What was most interesting was how different designers interpreted what they were supposed to do so drastically different than others. Nanette Lepore's mannequin was fashioned with gigantic, colorful glow-in-the-dark flowers while Rebecca Taylor dressed her mannequin in a design that could easily be sold in stores around the country. Elie Tahari designed a dress out of aluminum and fiberglass and in person the intricacy of the design was impressive. I tried taking pictures of the little detailing that wasn't noticeable from afar, but when viewed up close showed just how creative these designers are. There was even a mannequin that was outfitted by Parson's students, how cool!


I would highly recommend clicking through the slide show that is on The Cut's post on the exhibition. Plus it has interesting little tidbits about each mannequin. And here is even more info if you're interested!

{Nanette Lepore's masterpiece}

{Isaac Mizrahi}

{Carlos Falchi's graffiti painted mannequin with a major bow}

{John Bartlett used materials from Home Depot in his design}

{Badgley Mischka's sequined gown fit for the Oscar's}

{Victor Alfaro used an actual parachute in his design}

{Isabel Toledo used drinking straws in the pleats}

{Elie Tahari's fiberglass and aluminum design}

{Rachel Roy}

{Nicole Miller used stones on the bodice of her dress}

{Stephen Burrows}

{Naeem Khan embroidered a leotard for her mannequin}

{Parsons Students Niyati Karwat and Emily Saunders used only natural materials, so organic}

the big TWO-ONE

It happened. The day I felt was taking an eternity to come has finally passed. I'M LEGAL! Since I have a summer birthday I am the baby of my class and some of my friends turned 21 back in November. It was agonizing to not have the comfort of going out whenever I pleased and wherever I pleased, but now I have that comfort too.


My birthday was incredible, probably the best birthday I've ever had. Except maybe in third grade when I took my 3 closest friends to Noah's Ark water park.... I'll call it a tie. Anyways, I spent my birthday with exactly who I wanted to: my loved ones, my family! I was worried that since I was spending my birthday in a relatively unfamiliar city that I would be alone and have the most awful, terrible birthday ever, where I would be sitting alone in my dorm with a bottle of wine, crying. But thankfully that nightmare didn't come true. Instead I filled the entire day with fun! First, my family and I took one of those all-day bus tours so we could hit all the tourist spots and hear lots of interesting facts that we wouldn't learn if we visited the spots on our own. We had to be at the bus stop by 8am so there was no partying at midnight on my birthday, which was fine by me, my body can't handle two days in a row of partying anyways. Once a month is about all I can take, fortunately and unfortunately. After the tour, I was exhausted but the day did not end! I went to dinner with my family at the Blue Water Grill, which had very good seafood. I ordered the coconut shrimp sushi roll because that is basically all of my favorite foods rolled together into one delicious entree. My family even surprised me by dropping off a cake at the restaurant early! It was carrot cake, another favorite. After dinner I parted ways with my family and my lovely roommate Jenna and I went to a little Mexican restaurant near Washington Square Park and ordered a GIANT pitcher of mango margaritas and sat and drank and talked and people watched in their outside eating area. Two and a half hours later and we only finished half of the pitcher and gave it to the table next to us.


I am not a huge fan of the club scene and hard partying. I would much rather prefer sitting in someplace chill and relax and slowly drink cocktails with a close friend or two. And that is exactly what I did. This will definitely be one of my most memorable birthdays ever, not only because it was my 21st but also because of where I spent it and who I spent it with. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday and I want to thank everyone for making it so special. Wow. I'm done being a cheeseball, for now.


Oh. And I got that Theory romper I was drooling over in this post. It's perfect. I was ecstatic happy when I got it. So I instantly wore it, of course :)

{my mom, brother and me at the Rockefeller Center}

{pier 16}

{my dad and me on pier 16

{candy store, where we bought an array of delicious candies}

{brand new fedora, I've been looking for one forever and I thought it completed my outfit so I had to buy the first one I saw}

{my brother and me at the restaurant}

{first legal drink}

{my carrot cake birthday cake, that accidentally got squished, but luckily my name survived!}

{Wearing a Kimchi Blue dress from Urban, Ash Wedges, and the necklace I made}


I love making jewelry, it has been an interest of mine ever since I got my first friendship-bracelet-making-book back in third grade and spent an entire vacation making bracelet after bracelet. In highschool I took a beading class and learned the basics of beading and wiring and then during my first month long winter break in college I completely tore apart all of the offensively in-your-face costume jewelry I accumulated during high school and remade the pieces into less offensive statement earrings, a couple of bracelets and a necklace or two. But since then jewelry making has really been put on the back burner in my life and I really miss that outlet for creativity. I decided to change that the other day and make myself a statement necklace, much like those in-your-face necklaces I dismantled just a few years ago. And I was actually very happy with my finished product. I went to the bead store and knew exactly what I wanted: coral! After picking out the coral beads and the color of the glass beads that are used as spacers, I knew that I wanted to add a little something more to make it even more unique. I decided that a black ribbon would be the perfect contrast to the organic feel of the coral, in both color and concept. It was a very easy project and took less than an hour. I wore it out for the first time yesterday and I got a few compliments! It is so rewarding to have people compliment you on something you made. I plan on continuing these little projects!

The beads are from the Beads of Paradise bead store by Union Square. I would highly recommend checking it out if you are ever in the area.

Finished product.

Wearing my necklace out for the first time. For my birthday dinner!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

quick before i dash away again

IT'S MY 21ST BIRTHDAY!!!!! yayayayay!
My family's here to visit for the weekend and we have spent all of yesterday and today running around like crazy people in order to see all the sights we want to in such a short amount of time. We're absolutely exhausted, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm about to get ready for dinner right now, but I surely will have so much to share in my next post! This is definitely not the 21st birthday I would have pictured myself having a few years ago, but right now it feels better. I'm getting to spend it with the people I love, and I couldn't ask for anything more than that!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

easy breezy summer sweater

My two absolute, most favorite, would make a whole entire wardrobe out of them if I could pieces of clothing are dresses and sweaters. This sweater I bought 3 months ago and it is by far one of the best (and smartest) purchases I have ever made. It was by one of my favorite brands, Theory! I haven't worn it in awhile and when I put it on last night to go to a movie with my roomie, I instantly fell back in love with it. It is a cashmere blend so it is incredibly soft and comfortable. Plus! it has a perfect asymmetrical hem to keep things interesting. It's a great piece for summer because it is so light, both in color and feel. Perfect to wear with itty bitty shorts to a casual rooftop dinner.

Photos taken by my amazing roommate :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

lessons in living

This weekend went so incredibly fast, I can't believe I have to go to work again tomorrow, which I'm not complaining about because I get to start my project!! This weekend was pretty busy, like most. On Saturday Jenna and I found the. most. amazing. beadstore. ever! It's called Leekan Designs and all the beads are imported from Morocco, China, India, and other parts of Asia. The necklaces they sold were all hand-crafted from metal and beads and were all unique. We didn't have much time to look around, but we are definitely going to go back, and buy some beads and make our own hand-crafted pieces! I think I already know what I want to make, but it will have to be a surprise! Saturday night we met a few of Jenna's friends at Lil' Frankie's for a delicious Italian meal.


Sunday we finally made it to our FIRST museum: The Met!!! We were able to see the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity exhibit and it was inspiring. So inspiring that we bought the book that goes along with it to put in our apartment next year. Each room in the exhibit was dedicated to a different time period in woman's fashion; it was very interesting to see how not only woman's fashion but also their identity changed as the years progressed and they entered the Flapper era and woman's suffrage movement. It also made me wonder.. why don't we have any of these amazing clothes nowadays?! We would never wear the beautiful pieces they used to, like the riding habits. But I guess we also don't have to worry about riding side-saddle anymore. And our tennis uniforms have undergone a makeover too. Sometimes I almost wish I was born in an entirely different century, I feel like life was easier and simpler back then (in certain ways).

The Leekan Bead Store

John Varvatos Store

An Installation piece in Washington Square Park

Egyptian jewelry: my inspiration for the bead store

modern art @the met

at Lil' Frankie's for dinner with Jenna :)