Monday, March 29, 2010

Date with the city

Friday night I was introduced (via my friend Susan) to 2 things in the city:

1. Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
  • Spunky and delicious flavors like faux coconut, pistachio and strawberry
  • CHEAP cupcakes ($1.50) and CHEAP coffee ($1.00!)
  • Warm, colorful, pedestrian and frayed edges interior
  • How did I not know about this place?
  • These cupcakes rival all other cupcake places in the city!

2. 190 Bowery
  • What is 190 Bowery? It's a huge striking concrete building straddling the corner of Bowery and Spring
  • 6 floors, 72 rooms, about 35,000 square feet.
  • Occupied by photographer Jay Miesel and his family. His family of 3.
  • The entire first floor exterior is covered in graffiti (see above picture)
  • Miesel bought the BUILDING, not an apartment or floor but the whole building, in 1966. It was originally a bank.
  • New York Mag tells us that Maisel uses the first, second, and third floors as gallery spaces for his photography and art projects. The fourth floor, which Maisel once rented out to Roy Lichtenstein, is a work-in-progress. The fifth has various workshops, like the Mylar-window-shade room.
  • My fascination with this place is stirred up by its discrete and mysterious nature. Even the graffiti adds to it's aloofness.

All pictures taken by Leigh Davis for NY Magazine.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


One of my sweet and colorful friends here in New York gave me a little mention. Angie is such a great writer, definitely a Must Add to your Reader kinda gal.

My mom got me hooked on this blog and book. Molly Wizenberg has easily become one of my favorite life and food writers. Her book Homemade Life has just come out in paperback and she's going on a tour. You know I love a good book tour. She's coming to NYC on April 6th. Want to go with me?

And then theres my uber talented photography friend Jessica, who is based in Atlanta. I snagged a few minutes with her in January. What a talent. Geez!!

100Cameras. Such a clever and thoughtful organization. New friend Kelly is a part of it and put together this darling stop motion video from their booth at the Design Show this weekend.

Just finished the 6th book. And I'm in a bit of a funk.
If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about.

I Love Road Trips.

Drove from New York to DC this weekend.

Not in a bus.

Not on a train.

But in a car. A real car. I can't tell you how civil this feels.

Live in New York and commute with hundreds of others every day and you start to loose your grip on humanity.

On our way back we stopped in Philly for milkshakes at Franklin's Fountain.

Photo By John Fischer

Who knew Philadelphia was so darn cute! It was the West Village with a Boston edge. Very Americana.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Architectural Digest Home Design Show

I'm a little sad I'll be missing the Design Show this weekend. But, I've chosen a quick road trip to DC with friends instead. Doesn't this show look amazing!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Best Valentines Ever

After my somewhat grumpy Banana on Fire spiel, I felt the need to vouch for New York's goodness. So, before you mark this post as read on your reader, I want to tell you about the down right unbelievable event I was part of on Valentines.

It's called the Reveal Valentine's Day Makeover. Reveal is a grass roots movement of NYC industry professionals who come together to celebrate women recovering from abuse and sex exploitation. Reveal marries NY Fashion Week with the modern-day Cinderella Story by providing professional one-on-one consultation in fashion, beauty, skincare and hair. The goal? To corporately and intentionally help women feel beautiful, loved and chosen. No strings attached.

(This description was loosely adapted from the Reveal Blog. Go Check it out!)

What a day! Working the registration table, I had a great view of the entire operation. All day women walked through the door and were swooped up by their designated host and sweetly ushered from station to station. These women were beautiful before they ever walked through the door of Reveal. But let me tell you, they were glowing, stunning, confident BEAUTIFUL when they left. I'm thankful to have played even a small part in such a meaningful organization.

Take a minute and watch the video.

It will be time well spent, I assure you.

Reveal Valentine's Makeover 2010 from Reveal NYC on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Our girl Ree

Roommate Emily and I are huge fans of Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. We read her blog often, met her on the book tour and want to be her when we grow up. So when planning our menu for a small dinner party the other night, it was necessary to try Ree's recipe for Macaroni and Cheese. Can't say its the first time I've had it. My sister has made it twice for our family and we're addicted.

Table set and cook book out. Ready Go.

Pioneer Woman's Cookbook rally's my Domino Book of Decorating for the spot of Favorite Lifestyle Book.

Look at Emily grate that cheese! You know this domestic woman is single?!
Good thing only girls read my blog... Ha. Sorry Em.

Our dinner guests threw together an arugula, red pepper and goat cheese salad. Yum.

I didn't even take a picture of our finished and delicious mac and cheese. Probably because Ree's photography and cooking skills leave my attempts in the dust. So why don't you take a moment and head to her site. Brace yourself. You're about to crave mac and cheese.

Here I am. Just reading my book.

Thanks to our girl Ree, it was a hit.

I think I might go help myself to left overs right now...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More from West 89th Street

And we continue the apartment tour with my area. Our apartment is a Classic 6 Pre War unit, complete with a living room, dinning room, 2 bedrooms, kitchen and maids quarters. Seeing that we have 4 people living here, we've converted the dinning room and maids quarters into bedrooms. I love a good spacial challenge, so I took the quaint 7 x 10 foot maids quarters.

The path to my room is a bit of a corn maze. After walking through the foyer and making a sharp right turn, you end up in what I think of as the 'butlers pantry.' There are huge 8 foot cabinets and the shell of an old dumb waiter. My room is small and I needed to be clever and intentional with this precious space. So I moved a craigslist dresser and all of my shoes into the spot.

I spy shoe storage...

I do like shoes.

I also like bright shiny paint.

Above is the craigslist dresser, a thrift store mirror painted lacquer yellow and a Target lamp.

Now. Lets head to my room.

Most of my room is occupied by my bed, so I've gravitated towards textured layers of white for bedding. The air in New York is dirty and sooty so I bleach often. Fun fun. The bedskirt was a DIY project I crafted with hot glue, hem tape and kelly green Imperial Trellis fabric from Calico Corners. The installation above my bed is a mix of black and white photographs, scrap book paper, tea cup saucers, some of the same yellow paint from above and an Urban Outfitters clock. The faux headboard was a canvas I found in a pile of give away stuff recovered with Ikea fabric.

I went back and forth on posting a picture of my closet. Then I thought, I'd want to see inside a random New York Closet. So here it is. It, like the rest of my room, is tiny. Good thing I like organization and minimalism. All the clothing I own, aside from like 6 bridesmaids dresses that are living out their days of glory in Dallas, are in this apartment. Forces me to keep my wardrobe fresh, tidy and current!

Oh, how I love matchstick blinds. My mom helped me with this curtain! The plaid is from an upholstery store in the Lower East Side and the top print is from Ikea.

I've talked about this desk before, haven't I? I found it walking home with friends one night. It's actually a small set of drawers that were missing the drawers. I know its cheapo birch wood, but the size and shape were perfect for the space I had. After a thorough windexing and crafting of a curtain with a tension rod, I had a functional desk!

There you have it. My apartment! It's not forever, but it's sure a lovely right now.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Banana on Fire

You know what drives me crazy? Ambiguous life statements and updates like "Wow, Can't believe I made it through that!" or "Best day of my life" or even "What should I do, I can't stand it any longer". What do these dramatically vague statements even mean!! I know we all read these on facebook and twitter and buzz and gchat.... good grief that's a lot of social networking status updating. Anyways. In fear of Tuesdays post reading as one of those irking and unclear updates, I want to elaborate on why it's hard to come home to New York sometimes.

I had just come back from a great weekend with my family. We laughed and ate and laughed some more. We had a ball! Until I got the flu at Tech's baseball game and decided to fall apart while Ben was pitching. Oh, and my whole extended family and good friend Stacy were at the game. How's that for timing. My sweet family jumped into action. Before I knew it, Gracie had rescheduled my flight and was heading back to Dallas with my Dad, while my mom and I hunkered down for the night in Houston. We made it through the night and I finally felt well enough to travel. After a teary goodbye with my mom (I've jumped off an emotional cliff these days) I was ready to ease back into my New York life.

However, it's impossible to ease back into New York. To me, the city is like a giant wet dog knocking you down in excitement as if to say "You're baaaaack!". You understand that the dog means well, and is excited to see you. But the dog is huge, and wet, and a little smelly and leaves you sprawled out on the floor.

This is the greeting I get from New York. Everything is loud and involved. I feel like cattle being corralled onto the subway. The homeless man speaking spanish, to know one in particular, is going to town. Things feel dingy. There is trash glittered all over the pavement. My walk to work feels extra long and colorful. I see a banana that has been lit on fire and middle school kids acting rowdy. It's all a little much.

But, to know Manhattan is to love Manhattan. And I do.

Most of the time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

West 89th Street

Thats where I live. Just got back to my humble little abode from a weekend in Houston filled with family and baseball. Two things I love. Coming back to the city can be hard, though. This time, especially hard. (More on that later) So I thought I'd post a few pictures of what I come home to in this city to help me gear up for the week ahead.

The living room is the first thing you see when you walk in. We're sporting the 3 couch look right now. But hey, it works! We have Jamie to thank for the fabulous coffee table off the street. I'm getting the urge to paint it!

I claimed a few of these baskets that were left over from a photo shoot. Still haven't decided if I should paint them or leave them, but I thought it was a decent space filler for now.

The foyer is the other thing you see upon arrival. It's a work in progress. The bookshelf is from Ikea via craigslist. I have partially fond memories of my mom and old roommate hauling this thing across town. I say partially, because it was so heavy, we about died!

Between the 4 roommates, we have lots of magazines and books. Our small space gets overwhelmed by book covers, so I have the spines facing inward and the pages outward. Call me weird.

Thats the tour for now. My tiny maid's quarters is up next!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Anthro does it again

Have you seen the beautiful product photography Anthropologie has on their site right now? I was quite taken with it. They look like mixed media water color paintings. Oh, and they have a clever little stop motion video when you first click on the accessories page.
Of course they do.