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Shareen Vintage

In an unassuming industrial building, tucked away behind rusting iron balconies, and up a freight-entrance style staircase lies a magical candy land of vintage style. Walking into a semi-residential apartment building, next to a whiskey bar, and across from several scaffolded sidewalks, the only hint towards the hidden glory that is Shareen Vintage are a few clothing racks seen through a window and a framed Hermes scarf in the stairwell and hallway. Sometimes a red ball gown can be seen hanging from a fire escape alerting potential-shoppers to a glimpse of what’s to come.

The surprise of this gem was such a shocker that I did not even know to bring my good camera – bear with the iPhone photos!

Once inside Shareen Vintage, it is as if I followed a leprechaun to a sartorial pot-of-gold.; as if a witch will snap her fingers and make this shop disappear, and I would believe someone if they told me it was ‘all a dream’. Talking to Shareen, she explains to me that she is most inspired by cinema and the ever-changing style of movie stars. From Bette Davis to Clara Bow to Audrey Hepburn to Brigitte Bardot to Sophia Loren or Diane Keaton, Shareen will have a frock to fit your decade. Shareen particularly loves the glamour of the nineteen-forties.

The shop girls act more like personal shoppers and best friends than retail workers. They offer me wine, pretzels, water, and dozens of other snacks. Together, my cadre of friends and I make this space our home for the next hour. Never are we felt rushed. We sit on blanket and sheet covered couches (ala your dormitory days) and wax poetic about who has the best hips, eyes, waist, and style for specific decades. We are empowered as we all change in front of one another, sans dressing room, admiring our own womanly bodies (celebrating and exposing ourself to our friends, not hiding). I feel about as liberated and open as I would if I were trying on my sister’s dress or my best friends jeans, in either’s closet.

A dress good enough for Daisy Buchanan to wear to a Gatsby soiree. 

Did I mention that Shareen, aside from amazing talent to collect, sort, and find unique vintage pieces, also repurposes fabrics, prints, and items for the “modern” age? Here are a few re-imagined dresses, some perfect for a casual walk through town square, others have been worn to weddings and to the Emmys.

The belts come in a bevy of colors from gunmetal smoke to a rustic brown leather. 

Shareen is bicoastal and bides her time between two shops in LA and one shop in NYC. Her mystical oeuvre and calming, honest, but stern spirit can be encountered every Thursday at 3 West 17th Street New York NY. Did I mention that most of her items are under $48 dollars? With over 2,000 pieces, there’s plenty of vintage diamonds-in-the-rough through which to sift. Step into her enormous and charming closet, you won’t regret it. Eclectic shops with their own life-force and personality, held in even older buildings are what keep me attracted to the ever changing nature of the creature known as New York City.

Image of Eighties Black-and-White Puff-Sleeve Party Dress, $38. Oleg Cassini Red-Sequin Party Dress, $44 by Melissa Hom, via.

Image of White Leather Fringe Jacket, $55. Big Fur Jacket with Leather Belt, $55 by Melissa Hom, via.

 

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My Week in Snapshots: 5/06/2012 – 5/13/2012

Somehow everyone in my life was celebrating a birthday this past weekend. It seems like I needed to be logged into Facebook posting ‘Happy Birthday’ messages, sending SomeECards, or texting friends all weekend. Everyone’s parents were clearly very busy in August. Missives and celebratory cards were sent via carrier pigeon, Morse code, and smoke signals! On Sunday, I traveled to my hometown very briefly for a family Mother’s Day Brunch! The weather was perfect for window shopping, strolling, and various forms of meandering. The transition from Spring to Summer brings some of the loveliest days.

Here are a few photos taken straight from my iPhone so that you can see friends and family through mine own eyes.

1. Historic Mount Holly was first settled in 1677 by Walter Reeves who acquired the land by payment from local Native Americans. The town, close to a dam, a main road, and a river, was the first way point between the major northeastern cities of Philadelphia and New York City. Walking through the colonnades and brick house rows feels very colonial. My family and I passed stone mills, cobblestones, and other items that are now on The National Register of Historic Places. One of the federal houses sold homemade quilts, and in the window these gorgeous flowers were blooming. Many houses from the district predate the revolutionary war and built in 1796, the County prison is now a museum. For more information, go HERE or HERE.

2. In the back of Momofuku Ssam is a new bar that opened in January 2012. The bar, named Booker and Dax, is an homeage to new techniques and technologies used in the pursuit of making delicious drinks. The approach to rethinking cocktails is considered, deliberate, and precision-oriented. Questions and curiosity are eagerly welcomed, but most of all booker and dax welcomes anyone looking for a good, strong drink. Some of their drinks are chilled used liquid nitrogen! Here I am drinking the ‘Jenny & Scott’ – yamazaki, mole and hellfire bitters. For the complete menu, visit HERE.

3. While walking through history Mt. Holly my family and I spooted a sign for a ‘Husbandman’ and were curious as to what this was. Well wouldn’t you know it, the term is an antiquated word for ‘a person who cultivates the land’, in short it means ‘a farmer’! You learn something new every day…

4. We had our family branch at a restaurant called The Robin’s Nest. I love its waterfront location and pistachio siding. The restaurant features eclectic cuisine peppered with a French American flair. The restaurant is quaint, friendly, and feels like eating brunch at home (indeed it’s in an old Victorian House), but with stellar food and drool-worthy desserts (Zagat agrees). Learn more HERE.

5. While walking home from work I was struck by the smell of something delicate and breezy. I was passing L’OCCITANE en Provence on fifth avenue. If you do not know the store, everything is sourced locally, and is one of the few cosmetics manufacturers who still produces in France. I smelled roses and lavender, but most of all was drawn in by these gorgeous Immortelle flowers. The canary yellow flowers are aptly named as they represent eternity and immortality – and are used in anti-aging skin creams. If you have not purchased a L’Occitane hand cream, do yourself a favor and order some NOW.

6. I want to click my heels together three times for my new, gorgeous sequined flats with nude piping. But really, how wonderful are these ballet slippers? AND they were under $50, HERE.

7. At work someone brought these tasty candies from Israel. The one in red is a copy of the ubiquitous ‘Kit Kat’ bar and actually phonetically reads ‘Kif Kaf’. Another one of the candies is called “Pesek Zman” and is a Hazelnut Cream Wafer Bar Covered in Milk Chocolate. These candies were DELICIOUS, I love duty-free chocolates. All are by the company “Elite” which is like the “Hershey’s” of Israel (BUT SO MUCH BETTER), if you are interested in purchasing these, I found some online HERE.

8. This is my lovely and dainty place setting from the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Gift of Music spring gala at The Plaza Hotel. The evening of dinner and music (including Mozart’s Magic Flute) raised $1 million for Orchestra of St. Luke’s performance and education programs, and The DiMenna Center for Classical Music. To learn more about this exceptional chamber ensemble that helps with music education programs and performs phenomenal shows, click HERE. The music was exquisite, and hearing a performance by Eric Owens, an operatic Bass-Baritone was transformative. He makes opera fun and accessible.

Peacocks in the trees, candles burning low, and the orchestra preparing to play in the ballroom.

Men in tuxes leaving the wonderful event with swag bags from Saks Fifth Avenue!

Oh hello! That’s a picture of me waiting in the cab line.

9. Madison Square Park has a notoriously wonderful dog park and playground. Some mornings, the park even hosts yoga on the lawn. Right now, the weather has been perfect, and the area is celebrating Madison Square Eats – a sidewalk smorgasbord celebrating the district’s best restaurants. This confluence of wonderful events has been filling the park with people to the brim! You cannot miss the splashy Marimekko umbrellas!

Image and further information found HERE.

10. Club Monaco worked with the Global Goods Partners to offer hand-embroidered woven bags from the Thailand-Burma border, beaded jewelry from Guatemala, and scarves from India. The so called “beachy boutique” is an annual capsule collection featuring a variety of dresses, breezy skirts, embroidered shorts and vests in rich textures inspired by the bohemian oeuvre and cultures of exotic vacations. Global Goods is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women, alleviating poverty and promoting social justice through partnering with third-world communities. These fair trade key tassels will add pizazz to any chain or purse, more HERE.

How was YOUR 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?