Category Archives: New York City

Dear Girls: Carrie Bradshaw’s NYC doesn’t actually exist

This is an open letter to all the young women. You know, the ones watching old episodes of Sex and the City, dreaming of the day they can move to New York and live in Carrie Bradshaw’s world.

I just want to be clear – that world does not exist.

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At one point, I was you. Living in my sleepy little suburban town just outside of Boston, watching Sex and the City episodes all day long when I wasn’t at work or shopping. And I slowly became obsessed with the idea of switching cities. I thought I was in the wrong one – I thought NYC was for me the way it was for Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha because of the way they lived.

Then I moved here. I moved into the most disgusting 3-bedroom apartment in Queens with two random girls who couldn’t speak English. At night, the bugs and rodents came out and I was convinced that this could’t be real life. Certainly not Carrie’s.

When I moved into a new apartment with a very nice (and gluten free) roommate, I started trying to find Carrie’s NYC. Almost every experience pointed to the fact that it wasn’t real. At first, I discovered small reasons, like the fact that Bed is closed… apparently for a tragic reason. Coffee Shop is not nearly as cozy and fun as it looks thanks to the rude hosts and hostesses who think they’re models (as someone in the industry, I can safely say most are not). Bungalo 8 was actually a good time (before it closed), despite Carrie running out. And Magnolia cupcakes are completely worth the wait if you skip the tourist attraction in The Village.

More importantly, no one has the funds to enjoy night after night out on the town with your girlfriends. Especially not aspiring writers who also have bills to pay (I speak from experience). And sure, there are happy hours to make a girl’s night out more affordable, but they’re so crowded that sometimes it’s just not fun.

And finally, sometimes New York is just not fun – mainly because it forces you to really examine the relationships in your life. You’ll go through the ups and downs of boyfriends, fauxlationships, situationships, and just plain bad dates. You’ll separate from good friends and then reunite. You’ll love your job and then hate it, and maybe love it again. You’ll realize you’re going through a quarter-life crisis and question everything you’ve ever done. And you’ll resent Carrie for the amazing times she portrayed on the small screen… And then you’ll reach a plateau where you’ll fall in love with everything again.

As I sit in my bedroom post #HurricaneIrene and watch a rerun of the season finale, I’m thankful. It shows my favorite protagonist walking down the street with You’ve Got the Love blasting in the background. I can’t help but smile knowing that Carrie Bradshaw’s New York City doesn’t exist, but mine does. And that’s pretty great.

Girl About Town: Saturdays Surf NYC

When Jay-Z wrote about Saturdays Surf NYC on his acclaimed lifestyle blog, Life + Times, I knew had to visit. My desire remained for two reasons: because I think anything that appears on Life + Times is instantly cooler, and because I drank the Hova Kool Aid. Regardless, the experience was everything I hoped it’d be, in an extremely understated way.

Outside, men sat with their coffee cups and enjoyed the sun on their face in this strange turn for fall that the August weather has taken.

Inside, the space is long and narrow.

A model watched a man (unidentified to me) leaf through her portfolio and tap on the photos he favored as she outlined her previous experience.

Customers talked surfboards and paraphernalia, never bristling once at the cost of a board (the least expensive ringing up at just under $700) or a book.

The greatest thing about this little coffee and surf shop was the barista. Oddly handsome and slightly hairy, he charmed everyone that went by. Men, women, children, pets… it didn’t matter. Everyone was friends, and like Cheers, everyone seemed to know your name. And if he didn’t, he asked. He wanted to carry on some interesting banter about the weather or the “big time” amount of ice coffee they had behind the bar. He was a reminder that on a busy Tuesday afternoon in SoHo that there is always time for a genuine connection between two people… He was a reminder to slow down and smell the surf wax.

So I did.

New York has broken me

You could call me an “emotional chick”. My father does.

I cry at (almost) everything. In fact, there’s no way I can get through an episode of Grey’s Anatomy without announcing to my roommate “I’m crying now” so we don’t have to sit there in awkward silence while I try to discretely blow my nose and wipe my eyes.

The sweetest sentiment can move me to tears. From a thoughtful comment by one of my girls to a “this made me think of you” trinket from my mother, tears are likely to bubble up quickly.

With good news comes tears of joy. And goodbyes? Fuggetaboutit.

But I’m writing this post because I’m convinced that living in New York, this beloved city, has broken me.

Broken.

I cry for them. The people we all so often come face to face with, begging for money with a song, a baby, an apology for the inconvenience.

And when I hear the familiar sounds of a song I was raised on, I find myself tearing up, reaching for my wallet, and giving anything I can afford to give.

A blind man gets on your Astoria-bound N train with a beautiful, broad smile and starts serenading you. When he graciously thanks the man across from me who caught him as the train swerved and he couldn’t see to find the pole to steady himself. And I find myself tearing up at the tragic scene, a happy, homeless man singing “What a Wonderful World” with nuances of Louis Armstrong – well, I’m convinced you do anything you can to make his song a reality.

Perhaps this is the naivety of a girl raised in the suburbs of Boston… But my parents raised me well. And I know good music when I hear it.

Written on my iPhone

ASH Flagship Opening!

On Wednesday, June 16th, I was invited to attend the ASH Flagship Store Opening.

Seriously such a treat, I was able to indulge in a liquid diet of champagne provided by Nicholas Feuillatte. For those eating, The Bubble Lounge provided super cute canapes. The Whittemore House Salon (a seriously stunning space in the West Village) provided stylists offering cute hair braids and fun feather accents.

And even more exciting, the night offered a super how crowd including the super sweet Christina of LoveBrownSugar and always fierce Claire of The Fashion Bomb. Additionally, appearances by the gorgeous Solange Knowles and Adrienne Bailon rounded the night off right.

[Don't mind my amateur photography skills, I'm just trying to work it out!]

Beyond the fun atmosphere, I was entirely smitten with the great shoes and accessories. All of the pieces were interesting, and studded to perfection, but I completely die over the Vera handbag.

[photo via the ASH digital look book]

For even better images of the event, check out the photos uploaded to LoveBrownSugar’s facebook page. And be sure to swing by the new store which can be found behind a cute little storefront at 44 Mercer in SoHo New York.

I Love Love…

…I really do.

And to hear about a failed love, or a love gone wrong (they are different) really breaks my heart. In a perfect world (like the one I grew up in, within which I have two parents who are more in love now than ever), I would imagine everyone is in love like the people who live (or work) in the building depicted in this image… so in love they had to shout it from (or write it on) the rooftops.

“Love You” written on a building just below the Mondrian SoHo. I love the effort to spread love.

iCovet Fridays, v.3

Here’s what I’m coveting this week:

90′s Music

I blame this on Something Borrowed, which features a scene with a great 90′s cover band playing some of my absolute favorite childhood songs. Since seeing the movie (and listening to Hey Jealousy and Hows it Going to Be on repeat), I’ve spent way too much of my free time (read: the few minutes between when I finish work and pass out) googling “top songs of the 90′s” and taking trips down memory lane.

Dates with the Girls

[Yeslan, Margaret (aka Maggie) and myself]

We don’t really have the chance to do it often enough because of what I like to call “growing pains” but dates with the girls make my life feel fuller. There’s nothing like Margaret’s work stories (oh hey Maggie!), Yeslan’s to-the-point questions, Laura’s budgets, Larissa’s side eyes, and Allie’s vino. Side note for my girls: we need to do better at group pictures. #Wompwomp.

Pinterest

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Entirely obsessed. Entirely. Pinterest is a “virtual pinboard” and community where people collect images across the web that are inspiring, amusing, or just a little weird. If you can’t tell by the ruffles and flowers, my collections tend to be on the girly side. Looking to join? Leave a comment with your email for an invite!

Whats on you coveting this week?

It’s like that episode of Sex & the City…

It’s an unfortunate discovery when you move to New York City and realize that life is nothing like the Sex & the City episodes that drove you to move to the city in the first place.

My life is NOT filled with the following:

  • Relentless sexy-time with handsome men who drop stock tips upon orgasm (Samantha)
  • Rich, loving, handsome, nice men – two of which have proposed to and married me (Charlotte)
  • A bar-owning, bar-tending soul mate and a successful career as a lawyer (Miranda)
  • A man with a driver who brings me red balloons & champers on my birthday (Carrie)

I do, however have a wonderful selection of women that I think of as my soul mates. Our lunches, dinners, and brunches revolve around the most no holds barred sex talk this side of the Hudson and we all love a good martini (cosmopolitan for me, please). And despite the harsh realization that the Sex & the City life isn’t the norm for New Yorkers – I’m happy. 

It is impossible to deny that the episodes are relate-able. It’s impossible to go to out with the girls and not hear at least twice “it’s like that episode of Sex & the City when…” because they always come full circle in our real lives. Is that to say we’re living recklessly, or forcing a correlation? Who cares? But it’s the reason why we love the show.

Suburban Girl’s Top 5 :: Pampering

The script is the same, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or fierce-hood: We are all young, therefore we are all overworked and underpaid. To be clear, I’m not entirely bitter or angry at this idea. It’s just the nature of the beast as young and eager people living in New York City.

Aside from living in “The City That Never Sleeps”, I strongly believe New Yorkers as a whole are possibly the most overworked population in the world. They thrive off of busyness and sacrifice vacations (even STAYcations!) for fear of not knowing what to do when they aren’t in the work place.

I can’t even understand this concept and I feel fine about that. Instead of trying to adjust myself to that mentality, I felt it necessary to come up with a number of “sanity savers” (yes, that is an official medical term). As I’ve had to practice some of them since moving to NYC, I figured what better time than now to bring you the second installment of The Suburban Girl’s Guide to Getting By in the City :: Pampering.

1. Shobha
After a long day at Fashion Week, I decided to treat myself. I usually get my eyebrows threaded at this little hole in the wall place in Astoria. It’s half a block from my train, the women are surly, and a good eyebrow threading costs $8 with tip. However this day, I needed to be coddled. I found myself drifting into Shobah Columbus Circle for the most incredible and relaxing eyebrow threading of my entire life. Between the lotions, the temple massage, and the surprisingly gentle motions of the threading, I nearly passed out. Well worth the $20 price tag for a much deserved treat after a hard day’s work.

2. The Townhouse Spa
I found myself at the Townhouse Spa for an event my company was producing. One of the amazing perks of being a favored intern at the time was that my supervisor allowed me to treat myself to the same amenities as the guests coming to my event. After a spa manicure, I went into the spa area for a facial that literally changed my life. It had been my first, and certainly would never be my last. Now, whenever anyone asks for spa recommendations, the Townhouse Spa is always the first one out of my mouth.

3. My Hair Salon
Let me preface this with noting that my hair salon is NOT NEARLY the most relaxing of places. However, there is nothing like having someone else shampoo your hair.

4. My Nail Salon
Spa manicure and pedicure please with a side of trashy magazines and headphones in both ears. Thank you and goodnight. Also, nothing makes me feel more like a loved customer with the chorus of women singing “hello!!” and “thank you, goodbye!” with my entrance and exit.

5. My Bedroom
Get your mind out the gutter, kids. My bedroom is my thing. It’s my safe haven, it’s my security blanket, it’s where I go to feel like I’m home (like, Boston home). After a particularly trying day, I love to rush home, close myself up in my room, turn on some Sade or Erykah Badu, light a candle, and paint my nails. I don’t know. It’s just my thing.

What about you? Do you have any special “sanity savers”?

Suburban Girl’s Fashion Week Recap: Michael Kors

I’ve saved the best for last: of the three shows I attended, the Michael Kors show was my favorite. The backdrop boasted bright springy greens while the clothing featured mostly whites, browns, khakis and navy, with the occasional pop of color. My favorite looks below:

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The trailing hot male model doesn’t hurt either.

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I NEED this sweater in my closet immediately.

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All images and the full show can be found on Elle.com

Suburban Girl’s Fashion Week Recap: Issac Mizrahi

I had very high hopes for this year’s Issac Mizrahi show. I was lucky enough to attend his show last year and sat there gawking at the incredible theatrics! Did you forget? HE MADE IT RAIN and it was incredible!

This year, he went the more traditional route sending models down a normal straight, white, boring runway with no golf carts, no rain, and no tech guys in New Balance sneakers hoping out from the audience valiantly with an umbrella. Womp.

That said, the show was beautiful. My three favorite looks below:


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all images via zimbio.

Gimme.