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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?


My Week in Snapshots: 4/29/2012 – 5/6/2012

What a social butterfly I had to be this week. I usually am in a bit of a hibernation, cocoon during the work week, yet my calendar was filled with soirees, galas, parties, birthdays, and all sorts of festivities. NYC somehow aims to be celebrating something every weekend; whether it be Cinco de Mayo (margaritas, please), The Kentucky Derby (mint juleps, please), The Tribeca Film Festival (Manhattans and Wine, please), or the River to River Festival of the Arts(Micro-brewed Beers, please). Here are a few photos taken straight from my iPhone so that you can see the fêtes through mine own eyes.

1. The subway system was filled with men in seersucker suits, pinned with boutonnieres, and women in swanky cocktail dresses ready to drink juleps, bet on the trifecta, the winning thoroughbred, and to consume some bourbon. However, my favorite sartorial delights were those women who were not afraid to wear BIG floppy hats.

2. I was a little confused by the street sign that told me to walk toward the sky.

3. While doing some weekly errands at the drugstore a man was displaying his artwork along a vacant facade. His name is Teofilo Olivieri and I eavesdropped on him speaking with some potential customers. He explained that we was originally from Hoboken, NJ and I thought I overheard him explained that he uses art as a form of therapy and is inspired by the people in NYC.  Teofilo’s pieces being for only $40.00. His latest series potrays animals stenciled on old, used library books. “I’ve been very visible in New York City for the past 10 years, but the book covers have gotten the most response of any of the things I’ve worked on in my entire career,” Mr. Olivieri said.

4. My boyfriend and I were craving asian junk food (aka, our local ‘chinese food’ restaurant). When we finished our feast, we opened up the fortune cookie to reveal this odd message, “Alas! The onion you are eating is someone else’s waterlily”. Googling this phrase, it seems that this is an  an old chinese bromide expressing what we mean when we say someone’s trash is somebody else’s treasure. Oh the universality of cliches!

5. While celebrating my friend Kimberley’s birthday, we first all met at Barcade in Williasmburg to order some pints of beer, play board games, and eat some junk food. Note my nude nail (caramel, natural, and buff manicures are my new ala mode). I am eating a vegan dessert from Champs Diner where these devil’s food oreo balls were only $0.85 apiece! I also learned how to play the very addictive board game, Carcassonne (I became a medieval conquerer and territory expander).

Joe Fresh Style in Caramel, $4

Image found HERE. Please note the arcade games in the background: Paperboy, Ms. Pacman, Rampage, Punch-Out, and my personal favorite Tapper (and oh so many more!). 

6. While visiting the Marimekko flagship store on 200 Fifth Avenue, I came across the epiphanic discovery that the Finnish 1960’s print house now creates CLOTHING and APPAREL. This is epic. The swing dresses and mod shifts are classically cool. The 4,000-square-foot shop feels like one of Dr. Seuss’ quizzical world, and is complete with an instore seamstress who can create masterpieces from bolts of fabric on demand. The ubiquitous Converse sneaker brand also collaborated with the textile giant to create the ultimate canvas shoe.


Images from Marimekko U.S.

7. Right around the corner from McCarren Park, Bar Matchless in Greenpoint, Brooklyn features drinks, a live music room, DJs, dancing, pool, foosball, and food. The weekly food specials often come with a free drink token, and the food itself is quick, easy, comfort food with a twist. The place is dimly lit, has several local brews on tap, and is a quintessential divvy hangout. More than the slightly “metal” decor, I fell in love with the bathroom. Completely covered in graffiti, weird messages, band posters, endorsements, and political stickers, the walls themselves felt like a unique piece of artwork.

8. My favorite 24/7 diner also happens to be a Cuban, homestyle bar named Coppelia. On Monday, as part of this restaurant’s year-old anniversary, a mixology competition was held to discover the next cocktail to be added to the menu. The mash-up, sponsored by Yerba Buena Co., SAVEUR, Pisco Sour, and Viral Fashion, was the brainchild of GM, Ricardo Palafox. Coppelia is giving a platform for industry members to compete against each other and for the chance to see their signature cocktail featured for the next year. Week Four’s final winner was Maury Robayo, head mixologist at Rayuela and Macondo, who created the Pisco y Pimiento with Pisco Porton, Campari, lemon juice, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, egg whites, black pepper. However, the drink pictured is one of the ‘loser’ featuring rose petals, and a lemongrass, sugar rim (it was still pretty tasty, although a bit sweet).



9. I walk a little over a mile to work, every morning. My office is based in midtown east, very close to The Empire State Building, Herald Square, and other extremely touristy areas. The hubbub and traffic is sometimes overwhelming. However, on May Day (May 1st), it was even more busy than usual. Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protestors, from all over The United States, converged on Fifth Avenue to protest financial institutions, government, inequality, civil rights, and a bevy of other issues. By the end of the day more than 50 arrests were made. The protest, seeming to occur without a proper permit, froze traffic in central Manhattan and made it very impossible for work to continue for a few hours.

10. Because there were so many holidays, celebrations, and protests this week the New York Police Department (NYPD) was waiting on several subway trains to hand out tickets for drunken intoxication, urination, and other raucous violations.

How was YOUR week?


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Mod About You

The alternate title I wanted was also “Mod, Mod, World”.

Elle Italia, 1992 (Here.)

(F*** Yeah 60’s Fashion!)

The term “Mod” is actually short for “Modernist” which was the term avant garde Jazz musicians used to describe their new creations in the 1950’s. The style, as we know it, was originated in London via working class, foppish, homosexuals. Many middle to upper class Jewish individuals joined the cause alongside London-based East Enders. The style of the “mod” subculture was derived from Italian fashions and things worn to beatnik coffee shops. The “mod” niche co-opted much of its symbolism from Jamaican Ska Colors, African American Jazz, bespoke Italian Suits, and anti establishment ideals. The British Mod style emerged from a desire among British youth to break away from the stiffness of “The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit” and their parents’, working class clothing.   Sociologist Simon Frith calls “Mod” the “first sign of a youth movement”, youths would meet collectors of R&B and blues records, who introduced them to new types of African-American music, which the teens were attracted to for its rawness and authenticity, they also watched French and Italian art films and read Italian magazines to look for style ideas. The Mod color palette usually ecompasses the primary colors (red, yellow, blue). Technically speaking, British Mods were actually part of larger gangs, traveling via scooter, and often their message was a bit violent (if not exciting). The Mods frequented clubs such as the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, and the Flamingo and Marquee in Soho. Riffing on the symbolism of the “mod’s” color scheme and often times revolutionary mores Barnett Newman created Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue? in 1966.

Barnett Newman, Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?, 1966.

Whereas the “mod” subculture is short for the term “modernist” many “mod” painters used bold patterns, anti-establishment techniques, and youth culture to create “modernism”.  Piet Mondrian was already using primary colors to challenge past “traditional art” motifs. He was also inspired by jazz, as noted in the title of his unfinished painting Victory Boogie Woogie (1942–44).

Piet Mondrian, Composition 10, 1939–1942, private collection

Marimekko at Crate and Barrel, NYC, 2012. The design shop had its origins in the 1950’s in Finland, but it’s most iconic prints hail from the 1960’s, greatly influenced by the “mod” aesthetic.

Clearly the “mod” boldness, colors, and youth culture are experiencing a bit of a revival and resurgence in Fashion Week’s 2012 Ready To Wear Lines both by Alice + Olivia and Kate Spade’s collaboration with fashion photographer Garance Doré

Images from Alice + Olivia and The New York Time’s coverage of Fashion Week 2012.

So how does this all translate into Interior Design? Midcentury furniture with a modular, almost futurist curvature help. Also, wallpaper in large, bold, repetitive patterns – usually with an amorphous, floral shape. The two images below actually show a subdued color palette based in watercolors and pastels.

Vintage French Flag Framed in Black
$600 –

sasha rug in rugs | CB2
$399 –

Marimekko Joonas 20 Pillow
$73 –

Zebra Frame 4″ x 6″

Marimekko Kivet Black Standard Sham
$32 –

I believe in the primary color scheme! When in doubt, buy some Alexander Calder prints here. The colors will inspired you and help to explain when a pop of yellow, or a dash of red are needed. For furniture, shop at CB2. Their whole collection has a hint of modernism that favors pops of color and bright, cheery rooms. Bold, typographic prints based in BLACK fonts also go along with the Mod look. When in doubt, anything with a Vespa or Scooter (an icon of the Mods) helps, like a time machine, to land  your room in 1960.

Image found via This Isn’t Happiness. 

Scans from CB2 2012 catalog.

As the mods would say, this is all so “choice”, “groovy”, “mint”, and “neat”.