Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thrifting on a Snowy Day

Search and Destroy, 25 St. Marks Place
For particular types of items, I like Search and Destroy for thrifting. Despite its d├ęcor (think spikes, chains, and the occasional clown) the clothes within the store are actually pretty rad and have a British Punk vibe to them.  There are also always racks of faux fur coats there that I want. This time it was a little black pea coat with a leopard Peter Pan collar. But I was really shopping for a sweater that day (which they certainly seem to have surplus of). The one downside of Search and Destroy is the way they pack so many things onto one rack, making it extremely difficult to see what’s there. I did see lots of striped sweaters for $15, but stripes always seem to be my weakness, and I certainly do not need one more in my wardrobe.           
On their $20 rack I found this blue swing coat with a stark white fur hood. I can’t particularly tell what the design sewn on the bottom is (perhaps it’s of children skiing?); it was quite adorable.
If you're in need of creepers shoes, 90's hiking boots, or serious platforms they have that, too. These British flag ones up top are having a total Spice Girls moment.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Union Square Holiday Market

The 16th annual Union Square Holiday Market--which opens from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve---is the perfect destination for holiday shopping. The maze-like bazaar operated by Urban Space Management has outposts around other major attractions in the city, for example, Columbus Circle.  I had been to a couple of the others but I had heard a lot of buzz that the Union Square one was the best of them all. With two of my closest friends we headed to the square to check out the 100 or so merchants there.
We made a bee-line for the booth directly located at the entrance of the market selling apple cider. I love apple cider in part because it’s evocative of my summers spent in Hudson Valley huddled under cozy blankets or making homemade ice cream and jams, but also because it’s just plain tasty. Breezy Orchard Hill and Cider Mill’s version was refuge from the brutal wind. Their selection of enormous gingerbread men and women also looked good, but I was saving myself for the Momofuku Milkbar booth.
A brief synopsis of the holiday shops: the clothing stalls in the market ranged from handmade jewelry, scarves, and mittens, to silkscreened t-shirts and recycled handbags made of bottle caps and candy wrappers. There were also quite a number of food vendors represented. Momofuku Milkbar sold treats like cornflake cookies, there was a cannoli stand with flavors like eggnog and peppermint, and pretzel vendor which sold pretzels oozing with various cheesy combinations. The most popular food stand however, was Waffles & Dinges, rated #1 food truck in America.
 Karma Living was by far my favorite booth. It had a similar aesthetic to Anthropologie only the colors were all more vibrant and saturated. Today I’m going back to the market to take a closer look at their beautifully embroidered floral blankets and painted trinkets for my room.
There were a collection of stalls selling Tibetan and Indian-inspired items. At Himalayan Designs, elephant motifs on pillows, wooden boxes, and even “lucky wind chimes” were present throughout, attracting me immediately as elephants are my good luck charm. Going into the Union Square Holiday Market I was expecting to see a lot of Christmas merchandise. But quite a lot of them were atypical of what we traditionally think of as fit for “the holidays.” For example, I purchasaed a hand-woven Ecuadorian bird bag that I'm a bit obsessed with, but not sure if Santa is going to be giving many of those out tonight.
Naturally for lunch my friends and I walked a few short blocks down University Place to the Grey Dog.  To describe to The Grey Dog cuisine in short, it’s sort of like what you wish your mom made for you; comfort food with a twist. Between the three of us we ordered gooey grilled swiss and cheddar cheese on challah bread with a side of sweet potato and regular fries and a bowl of vegetarian chili.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bookmarc It

 Bookmarc, 400 Bleecker Street
Marc Jacobs is an entrepreneurial genius. Not only do the branches of his stores dominate lower Bleecker Street, but he has spread his brand making it available not only to fashion-conscious women, but to men and children alike; within a three block radius there’s Marc by Marc Jacobs women’s, children’s, men’s, and accessories stores lining the street. However, my favorite addition is Bookmarc which opened in September on the corner of Bleecker and West 11th (1 short block from Carrie Bradshaw’s townhouse, for you Sex and the City fans).  The cleverly named bookstore replaced the former Biography Book Shop, but sells more coffee table-style books than novels fit for a road trip. Don’t get me wrong though, those items curated for the store are spot on with the Marc Jacobs aesthetic and feel as if Marc himself picked them out. A mixture of iconic art, music, and fashion, items sold in-store range from books with photography chronicling Joni Mitchell or John Lennon to a biography of Oprah Winfrey.
A lot of the items in the store are geared towards students. For example, the MJ pencil cases and cheeky notebooks that say things like “Moby’s Dick (LOL)” or “Breakfast at Bleecker Street," and better yet, "My Grapes of Wrath Are Tasty And Delicious." I think my favorite item in the store, however, was a straw tote bag which had a map connecting all of Marc’s stores from Georgia to Paris. The picture above is of bandanas I found displayed around the store that had been used as wrapping paper; I would be thrilled if I was given a gift neatly hidden inside a Marc Jacobs shell. What a neat-o gift idea! Yes, I can say neat-o seriously...

  ALSO, there’s been quite a bit of speculation over at Racked NY whether or not Marc is opening a restaurant in Upper Manhattan.  I hope it’s true because I wouldn’t mind getting to taste a bit of his fashion empire. 
Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleecker Street

Located directly across the street is Magnolia Bakery. As it was a bitter cold night, I stopped in for a coffee and one of their Christmas cupcakes (complete with sugar snowmen and sleighs). It was unusually quiet there that night, atypical of the bakery as on most nights lines are pouring out onto the sidewalk. Candycane stripes wrapped around the beams, the glowing beads of lights framed the window, and the sweet smell of cakes in the air—it all felt sort of picturesque like a cottage at Christmas time in a bucolic setting.  
H&M polka-dot sweater, thrift-store-found denim jacket with shearling accents, La Canadienne boots, American Apparel skirt.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

First Flurries

As the first snowflakes fall, coating the sidewalks of NYC, I sip on searing spicy hot cocoa. It’s  the “Mexacali Mix” by Jacque Torres and has unsurprisingly become my go-to winter treat.  
 I’ve begun to read J.D. Salinger’s Franny & Zooey. Set in New York during the winter of 1955, Franny Glass is 20 year-old college student in the midst of a breakdown and her brother, Zooey Glass is a 25 year-old television star. This quote in particular, said by Franny, struck such a note with me: “Everything everybody does is so--I don't know--not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid, necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless--and sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you're conforming just as much as everybody else, only in a different way.” Even of my fave designers, Samantha Pleet took inspiration from the novel when conceiving her Spring/Summer 2011 collection. She infused the novel's signature glamour on both ends of the spectrum; from classic 1950s bohemian to upper crust Manhattan elite. 
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Emma for Otte NY

I recently did a write-up for one of my favorite upscale boutiques, Otte picking my favorites from their latest stock just in time for the holidays!! Check it out plus get a sweet 20% off all of the online Otte NY stock HERE

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