Sorry for the belated blog update, my new job is consuming my energy time like a black hole! How do you bloggers and blogettes keep up? Advice? Secrets? Magic Pills?
HERE WE GO:
I first met Andrea through her cousin, Danielle, who was a friend of mine in middle school and high school. Through the transitive property, that means that Andrea is a DOUBLE friend. Back in my pseudo punk-rock teenage years, I would congregate around curbs, food courts, and malls (that usually included Hot Topics, Claire’s, and Piercing Pagodas). I might even distinctly have a memory of Andrea, wearing an Hello Kitty t-shirt, making out behind a dumpster with a boy named Al…maybe. We also went to Ska/Punk/Hardcore/XXX/Emo shows at old Veterans of Foreign War lodges, churches, and roller skating rinks. We had too many emotions so we journaled about them in live (and dead) journals. We both adore diners and have particularly fond, albeit weird memories, at a special grease joint called The Silver Diner. In a way, we clearly had the troubled upbringing of a Pink Lady from the 1950’s.
Andrea and I have both grown-up, gone through puberty (phew), and matured since then (she’s married now), but clearly we each have kept some (if not all) of our roots in geekdom. Welcome to Andrea’s humble abode!
Name: Andrea Dunlap
Location: Bordentown, NJ
Established in 1682, Bordentown, NJ is a “little city…with a lot of charm!” and I swear most of that charm comes from The Dunlaps.
Hello Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown, NJ. Is ANYONE going to make a Futurama joke? Image found HERE.
Eat: We really like the Dublin Square pub down in South Jersey (near my parents) and were quite delighted to discover another one just down the street from us in Bordentown! Although that may technically be Hamilton. The roads around here still confuse me a little. Anyway the burgers and curry fries are delicious and they have all kinds of beers/ciders/etc. on tap. We’re also a fan of Jade Island, a local Chinese restaurant which is legendarily hard to get to. The food is good and the decor is tacky yet refined.
See: There is a fabulous old Britishy style building on 206 called Byland Abbey. It’s apparently a historical site but I cannot for the life of me find much about it online. Downtown Bordentown is also cute. It’s like a wee Haddonfield or New Hope, for those familiar.
Shop: I am pained to admit to the internet that I really, deeply love Target, and second to that is HomeGoods, and thirdly to that is the Forever21 in the ghetto mall near my job. Okay, and I also really enjoy Trader Joe’s because one time, a cashier with the name “Matty Ice” rang me up. Another cashier told me that I apparently have a doppelganger at their store and we share the same “energy”. Well, thank you, sir.”
Although one of us has clearly not lost her affinity for the weird ghetto Jersey strip mall culture…ahem, what is NOT to love about Trader Joe’s? I mean, I still love Kohl’s….so I can’t really be the judge. Image found, HERE.
Do: “Okay so, my husband and I are kind of nerds. We used to play D&D once a week with a group of friends but due to schedules and jobs and life getting in the way, that hasn’t happened in awhile. So to fill the void in our lives, we watch TV! Our current favorites include Downton Abbey (season 3 I need you in my life, now), Bones, New Girl, The Finder, Psych, Snuff Box, IT Crowd, Luther, Sherlock, and Doctor Who. When we DO get out of the house, we love visiting New Hope/Peddler’s Village or just going to the local B&N to read and relax.”
Unicorns, sprinkles, glasses, and moustaches – we have been attached by a nerd coven! From left to right, Eddy (Andreas friend who made the Pokemon pictures she has), DJ (he likes wrestling and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Andrea in, of course, a unicorn shirt. She was at Barcade (A BAR AND ARCADE) in Philly for another friend’s birthday.
And now for her grand apartment tour!!
Andrea writes, “This is a little rug I bought from Ross (I know, I know, but occasionally I find something decent, even though it is the Wal-Mart of the discount stores). I like strawberry designs but I do not like actual strawberries, go figure. At the top of the stairs, there is a lot of Pokemon art. I told you we were nerds. The poster was a whopping dollar from Chinatown in Philly a million years ago, and the two paintings (well, they’re stencils/paintings/spray paint/graffiti/whatever) were made by our very talented friend Eddy. The chalkboard contraption is from IKEA, my home away from home. I like to change the illustration every month. Actually, right before I took the picture I realized it still said April… awkward.”
I present to you a drama in several acts, through a series of bookcase vignettes. Andrea explains some history of this visual extravaganza, “The books are never ending. The shelf with the dragons is my “sci-fi” shelf. Yes, my books are organized by genre. Yes, I used to work at Borders. Yes, my husband did too and that is where we met. There’s also my decidedly creepy Jigglypuff collection. He’s my fave. Books, books, everywhere! And not a drop to drink. Er, read.”
“Someone told me this dog is from some Barbie set from a million years ago. No idea if that’s correct. The dolls are from an old dollhouse. The dog/dolls were my mom’s.”
“I sewed that tooth myself! The Snoopy toy plays the Peanuts theme song. Yes, that is the face of Anne Frank peeking out from behind the tooth. It’s the audio version of her diary and I only bought it because it was $6 on clearance and I felt guilty leaving it there. (Jewish guilt is hard to argue with.)”
“Here is our other main book display across the room. Those figurines at the top are Mighty Muggs, which my husband collects. Thankfully they don’t make a lot of them anymore because we’d be broke. Also we have no more room, haha. Anyway these books you see are all manga (Japanese comics), my husband’s sci-fi books (Star Wars/Warhammer/stuff I do not read) and I think some graphic novels. We need another bookcase, if you can believe it. I also want to note that all of the manga you see here is alphabetized. I just think it’s funny.”
“An aerial view of our coffee table. The silver gingko dishes were a wedding gift, the wicker star is from Pier 1, and the A & J dishes are from West Elm. (His name is Justin. I guess I should have said so earlier.) Oh, the flowered rug was a wedding gift too. It’s kind of weird to have a rug on top of carpeting but oh well.”
“The coffee bean curtains are from IKEA, the shelves are full of figurines (mostly anime), the shelving unit below is all video games, and the futon is covered with a green blanket because the pattern on the mattress is so ugly that I cannot bear to look at it. It’s a hideous print with fake Chinese characters and coins.”
About her kitchen and refrigerator Andrea notes, “It’s mostly weird magnets, pictures, and odd notes that I have kept over the years. The note on the heart paper is from my grandmother. I was babysitting my uncle’s dogs and while at work, one of them pooped in my cousin’s room. My grandmother happened to stop by and had the good fortune of cleaning up the poop. She left me a note to inform me of this. That was over five years ago and I still keep it makes me laugh. It looks like such a nice sweet note from far away but then it is actually about poop. I have a thing for lunchboxes and the husband has a thing for beersteins, so what better place to display them than atop the cabinets? Also worth mentioning would be the gluten-free chocolate orange brownies on the stove, yum yum!”
“My husband has two main passions in life: Star Wars and tikis. I have no idea where the tiki obsession comes from but he has amassed quite the collection. The masks are gifts and the signs were all from HomeGoods/Marshall’s. The tiki mugs/glasses were from tacky souvenir shops in Savannah, Atlantic City, and other such places.”
“Troll dolls and Sailor Moon stamps. Don’t be jealous.”
“Oh, sorry, before unicorns here is a fabulous stuffed poodle that belonged to my mother. I believe this came from France while they briefly lived there.”
“OKAY BACK TO UNICORNS!!! My collection is composed of lucky thrift store finds, gifts, or just stuff I had when I was younger and recently found. I love a man in a top hat and suit riding a unicorn. That sounds wrong.”
“Why is there a teddy bear riding a unicorn? I don’t know. That one is actually a music box too.”
Displayed in the bedroom, the toppers were made by a wonderful lady on Etsy.
Did I mention Andrea and her beau recently got married? Here they are reliving the glory days at Borders Books and Cafe (RIP) in their wedding photo-shoot. Photography by Richard Lavigne.
I hope that everyone had a magical, fantastical, and phenomenal visit to the world of Andrea Dunlap – to be renamed The National Star Wars, Pokemon, and Unicorn Museum of America. Is there anything that YOU like to collect (yes, YOU my digital audience)?
Keren Veisblatt Toledano is a Senior Strategist at Brooklyn United, a digital agency for bold brands. In her spare time, Keren can usually be found taking photos of old doors, visiting museum, soaking in Epsom salts, admiring copper pots, reading dystopian science fiction or sneaking a slice of lemon into her drinks. Her motto is, “A morning without coffee is sleep.” She lives in a brownstone with her cat, Cagney, husband, Michael, and son, Josiah, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY.