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My Week in Snapshots: 5/19/2012 – 5/26/2012

I have not been in my own city for about five weekends in a row now. This a double edged sword: awesome because I get to see much of the East Coast and am always hanging out with new people, tiring because I pay a lot of money for my apartment and I feel as though I am “wasting rent” or….sometimes I just need to be still, be horizontal, and take a bath at home. This past weekend I was in Boston visiting my boyfriend’s family. The travels took me on an Amtrak train ride up the coast where I could watch the sun slowly set alongside the tracks.

Here are a few photos taken straight from my iPhone so that you can see the New England sites through mine own eyes.

1. A new frozen yogurt store opened up mere blocks from my apartment in Chelsea, NYC. This is dangerous seeing as though I LOVE frozen treats, but that also my yogurt intake goes WAY up in the summer. It’s a direct correlation. Anyway, the store is called 16 Handles and it has ever-rotating 16 flavors and unlimited and limitless toppings – cereals, jimmies, fudges, syrups, cookies, candies, fruits – there are like 100 toppings from which to choose.

2. The train ride from NYC to Boston took about five hours. During this time my boyfriend got extremely bored and decided to make an article about Rocco DiSpirito in Arrive Magazine, an article about Spiderman. Doodling can pass hours easily!

3. The sun sets over the tracks as we have our dinner on a train and head to beantown. Seeing the world from an elevated perspective, whether it be via an airplane or a train, allows ones to reevaluate the landscape.

4. In and out of train stations, bus stations, and through constant traveling, I spy other couples making the same trek as us. The elevators go up, the escalators go down.

5. My boyfriend’s childhood home has a guest room wherein family albums are kept and displayed. We sat on the guest bed one night and pored through hundreds of all photos of his mother, grandparents, and high school yearbook photos. Somehow I always feel more connected to a person when I am given an intimate glimpse into their visual memories. Here is a wall of photos from my boyfriend’s grand-family in Morocco.

6. The weather in NYC this week has been straight out of Jumanji or some tropical rainforest. One morning, the fog was so thick on my walk to work that the skyscrapers were blending into the clouds. Here is the skyline of the Flatiron District from Madison Square Pare.

7. Only in NYC will this antique chaise be casually thrust aside to the curb! If I had a truck I would have grabbed it immediately. Beware of bedbugs!

8. Boasting a genuine19th century atmosphere created by the many historically significant structures here – including some of the oldest churches and libraries in the nation – this residential area is also home to some incredible Back Bay, Boston townhomes built throughout the last century. Driving through Back Bay and viewing the Victorian architecture instantly transports me to the colonial era.

9. Artist Alex Katz is all over Boston and is having an exhibition of his prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) who touts the gallery as, “A world of glowing light and vibrant color, “Alex Katz Prints.” Bold portraits, idyllic landscapes, scenes of sophisticated leisure—they’re all here in the works of the renowned contemporary artist. With arresting simplicity of line, color, and form, Katz distills his subjects down to their essence, with a powerful graphic punch.”

The gallery scene is also bringing all of their Alex Katz prints out of inventory to celebrate his local rise in fame. Here I am holding an original, limited edition print, “Bathing Cap”.  Katz is on my “dream list of artists to own”. 

10. My morning coffee routine got a bit more trendy now that I am stopping at Keko Cafe. Featured in New York’s 50 Best, the cafe serves a daily, traditional High Tea Service. Keko Café opened in 1996, bringing a touch of European café life to Murray Hill, NYC. The food, drink, and décor are inspired by the English tea tradition, French café life, and Tunisian flavors in some dishes. I love the vibe of the gilded frames, travelers trunks, and parisian cafe chairs.

Image found HERE.

What did YOU do this week?

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Meet & Greet – Rachel

Meet Rachel. I can tell you right now that she is going to HATE me for using that photo – she is notoriously hard to get photographed, like an illusive unicorn. She is a close friend of mine who has now been living in New York City for about 2.5 years. She is originally a West Coaster (but her heart belongs on the East Coast) from Irvine, California. Rachel studied Film Production at The University of Southern California and is a Production Assistant for several TV shows (including Gossip Girl, The Big C, Mildred Pierce, Pan Am), and a few movies. I actually visited her on the set of a new pilot just last week. She and I both enjoy a clever cocktail. However, we hardly EVER go to the movies together, she is an extremely theoretical and judgmental critic (as she is well versed in cinematography) – she was definitely NOT the friend to ask to see Twilight at midnight. Har har. Rachel has lived in Barcelona, Spain were she gained a working knowledge of Spanish. I can only guess that this is where she had her love affair with Spanish director, screenwriter, and producer, Pedro Almodóvar Caballero. Her favorite quote by him (and in life) is thus, “Una película vista por mil personas se puede convertir en mil películas distintas, y todas son legítimas” – meaning, “A movie seen by a thousand people can be converted into a thousand distinct movies, and all are legitimate”.

Aside from one of the best senses of humor (wry, sarcastic, facetious, realist) among any of my friends, she also has one of the best personal styles. However, I do not think I have ever seen her wear a color (except in jewelry). She is the paragon of minimalistic greys, whites, and blacks.

As part of my ongoing EAT/SEE/SHOP/DO series, I asked her to come up with a short list of her favorites:

EAT:  “Favorite place to eat is such a hard question. It depends on what mood you’re in. If you want formal, if you want casual, it all changes. My favorite hang out spot is The Grey Dog at Union Square – I take everyone there . But if we’re talking my favorite culinary delight, I would say Boqueria or I Sodi. A coffee shop is my absolute favorite, if you want to capture my essence…you know how I feel about coffee”

The Spanish tapas and paella joint in NYC has several types of Sangria (including a beer infused version) and amazing small plates. Boqueria, 53 West 19th Street
New York. Image found HERE.

This tiny Italian restaurant on the West Village/Tribeca border is quaint, cozy, and familial. Aside from a perfect after dinner espresso, all the pastas and sorbets are handmade!  Now, let us join together for a moment of silence as we thank Rita Sodi for honoring the integrity of fresh (including locally made olive oil) farm food and the authenticity of traditional italian cuisine. Image courtesy of the restaurant, I Sodi, 105 Christopher St., 10014 New York, NY. 

The founders of The Grey Dog explain, “In 1996 the Grey Dog coffeehouse was created. She was named after Moose and Goose, our two labrador retrievers, one white the other black. The goal was to build a small coffeehouse in the world’s great city. We wanted to concentrate on little things that often get lost in big city life, like getting to know the names of our patrons and serving wonderful fresh foods at very reasonable prices.” The Grey Dog, 90 University Place  New York, NY 10003. Also, Rachel and I always talk about how “laissez-faire-hot” the baristas are. Image found via Elaine is Eating, HERE.

SEE: “My favorite building in NYC is the Empire State Building, I never really go into it but,  it’s the key symbol for An Affair To Remember (one of my favorite classic movies).”

SHOP: Of favorite places to shop she explains, “Oh my god, I love shopping up and down the entire Fifth Avenue strip in the Flatiron District. All my shops are there, such as Anthropologie, Free People, Zara.” She pauses, “….I don’t know I’m not very exciting, Keren. I should be saying some weird vintage shop that I love, something funky but, I like Rag & Bone – it brings happiness to my heart.”

Here is Rachel (or as we all call her “Jaros”) looking snazzy in her threads and hailing a cab. She’s the cab hailing expert, we all call her “the team captain”. 

DO: “My favorite thing to do on a day off is to get a coffee at 11th Street Cafe and then to go to the Angelika Film Center by myself.”

Image courtesy of Parsons’ Urban Research Tool found HERE.

AND NOW, the grande finale, A TOUR OF HER WEST VILLAGE DIGS:

Do you have any friends whose style is extremely different from yours, and yet you LOVE it?