Archive of ‘Life’ category

À la seconde (West Village Adventure part I)

Friday saw me paying my second visit that week to my beloved West Village with my friend Rose. We first met up in Chelsea, though, and had a quick jaunt through Chelsea Market.

DSC_0878My ballerina inspired outfit in turn inspired the title of this post!

DSC_0881I attempted a ballerina move. This was the outcome. Better stick to my day job. (Oh, right, I have none.)

DSC_0882

After forcing Rose to conduct a photo shoot, we headed up onto the High Line for a bit and got off to head to the seemingly ubiquitous Warby Parker. Warby Parker offers fashion-forward glasses frames, both optical and sunglasses, for bargain prices. The brand has taken off at such ferocious speed, its founders were recently bestowed the title of “Brand Genius” by Adweek.

DSC_0885

DSC_0887Is it a glasses store or a library? Why choose?!

DSC_0888

DSC_0889

DSC_0890Best collateral in a store. Ever.

DSC_0891And best way of displaying appointment times.

DSC_0892

(more…)

Call for submissions

To me, personally. As in, does anyone in France read this and think they might be able to get me some of this?

Bioderma

Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio H2O

I told a friend I need to buy more eye makeup remover, and she told me about this. A Google search ensued, and now I know that I MUST have this in my life. With no plans to return to France in the near future, I’m desperate! I’m begging!

We could do a swap! I could send you something that you want from the US. This could be the start of a beautiful (literally, heh, get it?) relationship!!

Fancy a quickie?

I’ve been on such a roll this week, with an entry every day, that I feel the need to keep it up, despite not having the time to write anything in-depth. (I do have things coming up, though!)

Today I met up with my friend Rose and we ambled around the Meatpacking District a bit, and then headed over to the West Village (yes, again). A lot of window shopping was done on my part–budget!–but it was fun watching Rose buy a couple of things. We found our way into Warby Parker, Cynthia Rowley, Diptyque, MAC, Goorin Bros., Aedes de Venustas, Bisous Ciao, and Avignone pharmacy (it annoys me EVERY TIME that it’s misspelled!!). I brought my camera with me, so I’ll have a whole post on our fun day.

Our treat for our exertions on this unseasonably hot day was to stop off at one of my all-time favorite beer bars, Blind Tiger, for a pint. (Their menu rotates all the time, so today it was Victory Golden Monkey, since I adore tripels or tripel-style beer.)

IMG_20131004_150137Mmmmm….thirsty??

À la vôtre! Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Le Village de l’Ouest

I’m pretty sure I just made up that French translation for the West Village, but, you know, creative license. Regardless of how you say it, the West Village is one of my favorite, yet most unexplored, neighborhoods in the New York City.

The streets are small, narrow, and tree-lined. The buildings are dark brick, and hearken back to old New York. Turn down a street and random, and you can see doors on buildings that clearly used to be carriage houses. It’s so freaking cool. And pretty.

And there is no grid. The streets bisect with no logic. It’s the only place where West 10th Street and West 4th Street could possibly intersect. (I don’t understand!!)

So when, in an attempt to cheer me up about my job situation, my mom offered to take me to lunch at Cafe Blossom, I gladly accepted. (Okay, let’s be real. I would have accepted no matter where it was. It was SUPER sweet of her! But it was extra nice to get to share the beautiful neighborhood with my mom.)

I didn’t bring my good camera with me, but I did take some snaps with my phone.

20131001_160950_1It’s a real urban fairyland.

20131001_161057_1The details on the houses are just amazing.

20131001_160517_1I attempted to teach my mother how to use the camera on my phone with mixed results. 🙂

20131001_160514_1-2I donned my favorite outfit of the summer since the weather warmed up again.

I wrote all about the gorgeous VIB Rouge shade by Bite Beauty for Sephora, but never showed you how it looked on. So I attempted to get a few snaps. And one day, ONE DAY, I will remember to use my flash even during the day. Because you can tell I needed it. Whoops.

DSC_0845

DSC_0847

IMG_20131001_152339(Where I attempt to look just a little less pale.)

What do you think of the shade? And what are your favorite places in your cities?

Heaven Looks at You From the Brooklyn Bridge

As a means of coping with the almost-constant wanderlust I’m consumed with, I decided to immerse myself in some of the wonderful things living in NY has to offer. I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Brooklyn, and still live in Brooklyn. Yet, somehow, I had never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge until last Sunday.

I’d walked across the other two Manhattan/Brooklyn bridges before, out of necessity, though. (The Williamsburg Bridge on 9/11, and the Manhattan Bridge during the blackout of August 2003.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’d always meant to. I mean, it’s my favorite bridge in the world (so far). And it’s in my city. But it’s just like all the other things you don’t do in your own city that are kind of touristy. You just don’t get around to it. And I have a mental list of things to do with friends visiting from overseas, and it was always on the list, but the friends visiting never materialized. And so the bridge went unwalked.

The entire day was a NYC love affair, actually. It started off at Lincoln Center, where my friend Rose and I waited in line for and procured tickets to the live streaming event of the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night performance of Eugene Onegin.

This was followed by a trip down to Smithfield to meet friends and watch our boys play.

IMG_20130922_131750I pulled a Clark Kent for the occasion and donned my uniform.

IMG_20130922_131955Of course Xabi came along.

After Los Blancos proved victorious, we made a quick stop at the Stumptown cafe at the Ace Hotel for the best coffee anywhere to revive us, and headed off on the rest of our adventure.

DSC_0646-2I love how even getting off at the Brooklyn Bridge stop sets the scene for the beauty you’re going to see with this magnificent entryway.

We couldn’t have chosen a better day weather-wise to do it. The sky was a beautiful cerulean blue, with enough clouds to make it interesting, and the sun was shining. Stopping every few feet to take photos, I knew I was going to have a lot of fun playing around with some HDR shots and Snapseed. But even the straight-from-the-camera shots look like they were amped up, the day was so beautiful.

DSC_0651A glimpse of the ships at South Street Seaport.

Unfortunately, this also meant that a million other people were there, having had the same grand idea, so getting photos was a bit frustrating. But I think the trick is to just incorporate random strangers into your photos, and you wind up with stolen moments that tell whatever story you want.

DSC_0654‘Look, Ma! No hands!’

DSC_0660‘I think that girl was checking out my ass…’

Also, I know that upkeep of old bridges is very, very important, but white tarp over most of the walkway really ruins photos. Sigh. Well, this means I’ll just have to make sure to do it at least once more when the construction/upkeep is complete, n’est-ce pas?

DSC_0664

DSC_0668

(more…)

Bite Beauty Lip Lab: Shani in Lipstick Wonderland

Back to our regularly scheduled programming, folks!

It may have been a gray and rainy Wednesday outside when Ashley and I made our way to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab, but inside, everything was coming up lipstick!

DSC_0450

DSC_0443 DSC_0442

(more…)

Une mini virée en voiture de septembre 2013!

Hmm. Would you say “de septembre”? Any French speakers out there?

Anyway, Mini Road Trip September 2013!!

Okay, readers. This is the entry that is going to test whether my blog experiment is going to work, because this is the first one in which I bring in one of my divergent loves: football. Take a deep breath. I promise, it will be okay. There will be things to redeem it. I promise you. Photos will prove it.

Anyway, months and months ago, I bought tickets to see the international friendly match between the Portuguese and Brazilian national football teams, two of the best teams in the world. Also, two countries from which a few of the players on “my” team originate from. Cue excitement at the rare chance to see them play on American soil, even if it did mean I had to trek up to Foxborough, Massachusetts from New York to do it. Also, cue disappointment when two of my favorite players got injured before the match and had to pull out.

Actually, that shouldn’t have really mattered, since due to monetary difficulties (I’m currently unemployed), I thought we were selling the tickets. One deadbeat eBay buyer later, it was the day before the match, and a different friend (with a car!!) stepped up and the most spontaneous mini road trip ever was spawned.

Even though it’s not quite autumn yet, it is always a special thing to see autumn in New England, so I was quite excited. When I was younger, my family and I spent many a Thanksgiving up in Boston, and I have a dear friend in Worcester, so I was very glad to get back in the neighborhood. My friend, Rose, also went to university nearby, so we were going to stop off at her college town on our way back.

The match was a lot of fun, no surprise. I was rooting for Portugal, but alas, they lost. Here is why football is nothing to fear:

IMG_20130910_232852Here I am, missing one of our players who was injured, Cristiano Ronaldo. (He also happens to be one of the best players in the world, nbd.) I scavenged this wondrous thing after the Real Madrid v Chelsea match in Miami in August during the ICC tournament. Can you believe someone left this on the floor after the match?! Thank you very much to the several guys who felt the need to tell me that he wasn’t with the team that night, because I’m a girl and I obviously know nothing about sports or the players. And to the guy who offered me a whole dollar for my Cris head: Dream on!

DSC_0505See, football is okay, it has cute kids!

DSC_0516Cute kids holding flags questioning their life choices. (I’m talking to you, mister Righthand Corner.)

DSC_0548They are judging you for your skepticism. Yes, you. (Fábio Coentrão and Pepe)

DSC_0550Football has scenarios that play out like a Shakespearean tragedy. On the left, staring at a body on the floor. In the middle, praying to the heavens. On the right, well, I don’t think they looked like that in Shakespeare’s time, but you get my drift. Also, the guy between number 17 (Nani) and the abs, I adore your expression.

DSC_0556Football has handsome, well-dressed managers (Paul Bento) who suffer in the heat for style.

DSC_0551Football has some of the best hair you could ever want to see. On the right, beautifully full (Nélson Oliveira. In the middle, curls out of control (David Luiz). On the right, mohawk (Raul Meireles). There is something for everyone!

DSC_0577It also has players that travel faster than the speed of…my camera. :p (Hélder Postiga)

DSC_0586“Damn, she caught me.”

IMG_20130910_233609And football is nothing if not based on tradition.

And that’s without the exciting play! (That’s a lot harder to photograph. That’s all it is. Really.)

With the sport part of the trip under our belt, we set off the next morning for Amherst, Massachusetts to revisit some of Rose’s old university haunts.

20130911_101712_1But not before saying goodbye to Oliver. Who was having none of it.

Now, if you’re an American like me, you absolutely adored the film Amélie. (The French are amused at our mass infatuation with it.) Many years ago, I won a rubber duckie playing skeeball in Coney Island, and he became my travel companion, à la the garden gnome in Amélie.

P1000011Sadly, I seem to have lost Dirk somewhere in Paris when I was there in July. 🙁

I have been trying out a replacement for him, which you will see below. I’m still undecided. On the one hand, it’s a plastic cutout of my favorite player’s face (Xabi Alonso), and, so, naturally adorable. Still, he’s no Dirk. And he needs to be propped up. He can’t just sit places on his own like my Dirk. (Oh, Dirk, I hope you are happy in Paris, I miss you so!)

Anyway, back to the trip. As one must, we pulled over to the side of the road for some natural splendor.

DSC_0594

DSC_0593That’s Quabbin Reservoir in the distance.

Our first stop in Amherst was at the Lone Wolf, where Rose has fond memories of chowing down.

20130911_134815_1Xabi needed a cold glass of water.

Next stop was at Rao’s Coffee, for a really fantastic cup of Joe. We may not be university students anymore, but we still need our coffee!

20130911_141313_1Street art along the way. Can you tell it’s a university town? 😉

20130911_140601_1Xava Alonso, ladies and gentlemen. (Get it? Xabi? Java? Coffee?)

DSC_0595Amherst was quaint. And cute.

Our last stop was at UMASS Amherst itself, so we could go into the student shop for Rose.

20130911_143734_1Collegiate Xabi.

After that, we stopped off for some yummy ice cream, and that was it. Time to hit the road for good. It was really fun for me to relive Rose’s nostalgia with her, because I stayed home for college, and so I never had this experience.

I always get sad when fun things are over. I had thought it was because of the anticipation involved, but this trip had no anticipation, ha. But we had a great time on the trip home, listening to music and being dorks.

Hey, Rose, I’m ready for the next one! 😉 C’est parti!

(Please note: All photos are mine. Please do not use without permission.)

About a girl

Well, then. Here we are.

Since this is the beginning, there are 2 things that you should know about me.

1. La rêve! Only in my dreams do I dream in perfect French. Despite the fact that I’ve been learning for a couple of years now, I’m still even hopeless when I speak! But I like to pretend, and at least j’essaie (I try). And I’m persistent. And a bit obsessed with all things French. Have any of you learned a second language and have any tips? I am all ears, both asleep and awake! And if any of you speak French and I MISuse it, please correct me!

2. I am a failed blogger. I always begin with great intentions, and then somewhere along the way (sometimes after only the first entry), I lose all momentum. Under my belt, I have a music blog (my best attempt to date), a pseudo-knitting blog, a blog about my attempts at learning French, and a blog about what it’s like to be a fan of European football in America (so shameful, this one). It occurred to me that part of the problem might be dividing all my various interests up into different blogs. I fear alienating people who may begin to follow me for specific content with other content they have no interest in, but consider this your fair warning.

So, c’est moi! That’s me.

DSC_0158_2

…okay, I lied. There are more than 2 things.

3. I’m obsessed with makeup and beauty products. When I was a little girl and my friends would come over to visit, we would play with this eyeshadow palette that my mother had. We would always come out of it looking like little clowns, but that was our idea of fun. And it still is mine. I embarrassingly just earned my entry into Sephora’s VIB Rouge program. Which, basically, means that I spent way too much money on makeup this year. Whoops.

4. Ditto for being obsessed with fashion and style. Alas, that was not as easy to do with my mom’s stuff. Although I surely toddled around perilously in her heels well before I could actually fit into them.

5. Strangely, despite my Francophilia, I am also an Anglophile. Hey, the two of you may have a rivalry going on, but as an American, I can remain blissfully unaffected. This means my vocabulary is peppered with French words AND Britishisms. It’s a wonder anyone ever understands me. In particular, I adore Scotland, and it’s so bad, I’ve been 11 times. (I also have dear friends there now, so it’s not quite as bad as it seems!) It also explains how I fell into liking what the British call football (and what I will never call the “s” word), even if I do support a Spanish team. (Although, being American, I also like baseball. You resolve it. I’ve grown to live with it.)

6. I am never so happy as when I’m traveling. So I hope to share my future adventures with you all, as well as some of the things I’ve already learned and places I’ve already been.

7. I have never shot and uploaded a video to YouTube before, but I hope to attempt to for future entries. Please, go easy on me!

8. Oh! And I knit. Slowly, but pretty well.

So, basically, all these numbers add up to tell you that this blog is going to be a hodgepodge of all the varying and contrasting interests that make up me, and I hope you will stick around to see how it turns out! (I especially hope I do, ha.)

Merci, et, à la prochaine! Until next time!

1 3 4 5