Category: Photography

Une mini virée en voiture d’octobre 2013—Part II

Where last I left you, the sky looked like this:

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DSC_1092We were on a ferry, heading here:

DSC_1090Ahoy, Shelter Island!

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Une mini virée en voiture d’octobre 2013—Part I

Salut tout le monde! Hi everyone! To prevent you from photo overload, I’m going to split my road trip recap into 2. Today, we start at the beginning.

The great paradox of being unemployed is that you finally have time to travel to your heart’s content, but you no longer have the money. But when Rose suggested we take advantage of a deal for a night’s stay on Shelter Island, I jumped at the chance to get off my couch and get in a car. (I didn’t even know where it was; I didn’t actually care.) Road trips are about the only kind of travel I can afford right now, and it’s such a beautiful time of year to be traveling, with all the fall foliage.

We got a little bit later of a start than we had planned, but we lucked out with the traffic. She picked me up in Brooklyn and we headed out to Long Island. Of course, us being us, there was going to be some kind of detour. That day’s was for a bathroom stop at an outlet mall, where we saw they had one of the cosmetics outlet stores. Of course we had to stop. Rose got the burgundy lipstick she had been craving for fall, so it worked out pretty well.

Back on the road, we were headed for the city of Greenport, where we would get the ferry over to Shelter Island. We only had one time constraint: We had to find a place to watch the Real Madrid match by the latest 2:45. We beat that time by a great deal, getting to Greenport before 1 pm. Good thing, since this gave us time to walk around the tiny, quaint, seaside town. It was a grey, overcast, drizzly day, but it was still an adventure.

DSC_1055It’s so cute!

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Les Cinq Petites Choses #2

It’s time again for 5 things that I’m loving lately.

#1 – My hair is curly, but it’s also very fine, so achieving any volume is always a challenge. I’ve tried a million different volumizing products that usually just manage to make my hair oily within a day and nothing much more. Kate of gh0sparties is always recommending products for this purpose, but being unemployed, I’ve only been able to add them to my shopping list for when I’m working again.

Fortunately for me, I received a replacement September Birchbox because of a damaged item, and this time around, it contained a travel size of Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray. I actually use Davines shampoo and conditioner (I switch between Love Smoothing and Love Curl Enhancing), and I’ve been waiting very impatiently for their fabled OI All In One Milk to become available for purchase (and now to have money). So I was really excited to try this.

I like my curls to look more styled, so I didn’t use it for the beach wave effect, but instead for the promised volumizing action. And, guess what? My hair looked AMAZING after. With plenty of body. And it lasted for a couple of days, with no oiliness.

DSC_0971You’ve gotta love the name of this thing as much as the packaging.

#2 – A brand new knitting project with winter in mind. There is nothing I like more than a long, chunky scarf when the weather makes it so that you want to bundle up with one. And I’m a super slow knitter, so bulky scarves that knit up quickly are right up my alley. Plus, finding the perfect pattern to pair with the perfect colorway of yarn is like finding balance in the universe.

That’s where the Panda Scarf pattern by Kelly McClure comes in, combined with Plucky Bulky in Vintage Icebox by the Plucky Knitter.

DSC_0977It’s going to look like icicles!!

DSC_0975It’s so fluffy!!

#3 – A little splurge I allowed myself was to purchase one of my coveted fall nail polishes, Peace, Love & OPI by OPI (as pictured here with Illamasqua Stance). I saw it in and ad, and I just had to have it. I love the duochrome colors. I love the color combination possibilities.

And another great find in my September Birchbox was my Ruffian nail polish in Delirium. As I mentioned in my video, I was delighted to receive that color, because it’s the one I wanted the most. It’s an absolutely gorgeous shade of purple (as seen here), and purple IS my favorite color.

DSC_0978Technically these are 2 things, but I’m just filing them under “nail polish.” 😉

#4 – One of the things I have been doing to try and improve my French is to read a lot of blogs written in French (salut à tous!), as well as to watch a lot of French-speaking YouTubers. It has definitely helped my listening comprehension, and I’m so glad at how much more I’m understanding (IF ANY FRENCH SPEAKERS ARE READING THIS—I had never heard of the verb “craquer” before and now EVERYONE is using it. Is this a new popular word or was it always used?). Sadly, my speaking still is pretty abysmal, as you might have heard if you watched my last video.

One particular tutorial I loved was this Autumn look by Julielovesmac07. The weather in New York hasn’t seemed to be able to settle on Autumn yet, weaving back and forth between Indiam summer and fall, but this makeup tutorial by Julie just SCREAMS apple cider and pumpkin picking. And luckily, I had all the eye shadow colors and similar blush. I’ve just got to work on the lip color! Even if you don’t speak a word of French, you’ll be able to follow along with her. And she has a ton of other great video tutorials.

Julie Look how pretty she looks!

#5 – My friend Amielle has done more by her age than I ever knew was possible to do at 21. Previously an au pair in the French Alps, she is now looking after the children for a family in Madrid (lucky bitch ;)), learning a new language, and documenting all of it, diligently, on her blog (since December 2010! THAT is dedication I, as a failed blogger, cannot conceive of!).

She studied as a photojournalist, so her posts are full of beautiful photography of her travels. But it’s the entries populated with her wry humor and thoughtful introspection (and, sometimes, amazing gifs) that blow me away. And if you don’t like any of that, her “Things I’m Loving” at the end of each entry has introduced me to so many cool, useful, entertaining, and educational things. It’s basically a post like this in every single one of her posts. You should go read them.

Amielle My fake little sister is adorable, no?

What things are you loving lately? I’d love to hear!

Allongé (West Village Adventure part II)

Continuing the tale of our day in the West Village (and the fitting ballet terms), we finally made it to Aedes de Venustas. But not before being accosted by the beauty sales equivalent of a used-car salesman. Okay, that’s being harsh, because this guy was actually quite good at what he did.

We were walking down Christopher Street, on our way, and we passed by this man generously handing out samples in front of his skin care store, Shalva. (That’s how he reels you in!!) He promised us a treat (I swear, it wasn’t candy), so we came inside and were treated to a demonstration of the products. Our hands were scrubbed with a Dead Sea salt scrub, and then slathered in a really luscious body cream he promised we’d only have to apply once a day. (I told him I use hand cream about 4 times a day.) There was some special deal going on, but since I’m broke, I had to pass. (Which may have been lucky, if you read the reviews. I think they’re a little harsh; my hands felt soft hours later, but I can understand. As I said, he was really good at his job: trying to sell this stuff.)

With our hands feeling soft as a baby’s bottom, we made our way to Aedes. Sadly, they don’t allow photographs in the store, but I highly recommend you visit to see for yourself. It is a boudoir of visual and olfactory delights. Literally. There is carpeting and drapery and vanities and cabinets. It is dimly lit. But populated with the most high-end and obscure perfume brands you could hope to find. It really is special. If you’re looking for a scent that you won’t smell on everyone else, you know where to go. And they even will give you a sample of any one fragrance you choose. (For more samples, see their web site.)

DSC_0933The fantastical Aedes window, the only thing you’re allowed to photograph.

Once we finally made it out of there (trust me, you’ll never want to leave, either), we were trying to find a specific pharmacy, but wound up getting a little lost, having not yet resorted to using Google maps.

DSC_0934With intersections like this, can you blame us for getting lost?! How does this even work?!

DSC_0935But we just considered it as taking the scenic route. 🙂

DSC_0936I was inordinately pleased with my inspired nail color combination choices.

DSC_0944A moment’s rest, an excuse for more posing.

Ironically, in order to get where we had to go, we had to get back onto Bleecker Street. This time around, we passed by Goorin Bros., and I was so enamored of a hat in the window, I stood outside for five good minutes knowing it would break my heart if I walked in, tried it on, and then walked away. But I went in anyway. And it was as gorgeous as I feared. It is now at the top of my wishlist. But more on that on Wednesday. 😉

DSC_0949I also tried on this beauty. Believe it or not, I would actually totally wear this. (Sadly, I can’t find it on their site.)

I tore myself away, nearly in tears. But I consoled myself at Bisous Ciao with a couple of macarons. Feed the sadness, right?! And at least those I could afford.

DSC_0951Honey Lavender and Rose. Macarons make EVERYTHING better.

After all that meandering and getting lost, we finally made it to Avignone pharmacy (yup, still hate the misspelling), only to find out they didn’t carry what I was looking for, either. In the absence of this mythical Bioderma Sensibio H2O, I settled for Klorane eye makeup remover. (Of course it had to be French.)

Walking around all day in 80+ degree (Fahrenheit) weather, we definitely worked up a thirst, and so a nice cold beer was definitely in order. We stopped off at one of the best beer bars in New York, Blind Tiger, and indulged. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

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Outfit details here.
Nail polish: Peace, Love & OPI – OPI, Stance – Illamasqua
Ring: Shirley Dom

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.)

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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.

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

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DSC_0890Best collateral in a store. Ever.

DSC_0891And best way of displaying appointment times.

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Les Cinq Petites Choses #1

I’ve seen several bloggers doing different variations on “(insert number) of things,” but seeing the way Daphné does it,  I decided it just sounds so much better in French, so I’m following suit. 🙂

Here are my 5 little things of late:

#1 – I finally found something that makes me WANT to carry my Nikon dSLR around with me!

As you can probably tell by from some of my posts on this blog, I love to take photos. Traveling with a good camera is always a struggle. Do you carry a camera bag? And advertise that you’re a tourist/carrying expensive equipment with you? I’ve bought two bags, one from Epiphanie and one from Kelly Moore, that look like purses but have compartments inside for camera equipment. But both of them wind up feeling very heavy and bulky. On my last trip, I literally wound up stashing my Nikon in a fabric tote bag and just carrying it around in that, despite the lack of protection.

Then along came my Rebecca Minkoff Collin Camera Bag. I’d seen the version that certain bloggers got and coveted it dearly. It was while it was still sold out, but then the new colors came out. And, amazingly, they showed up on Gilt, w00t! (The snap seems to be coming out of the leather a tiny bit, so maybe that’s why it was on sale already?)

It’s not large enough to carry an extra lens, and it’s not large enough for when I use my zoom lens, but for just carrying my camera around with my prime lens, which is what I use most these days anyway, it’s perfect. If I pare down, I can even carry everything I need in it, sticking little things in the front pocket. And it looks good, too.

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#2 – As part of working on my français, I’ve been watching a lot of French films. Combine that with a hearty endorsement from Entertainment Weekly, and Starbuck went to the top of my Netflix DVD queue.

And, franchement, it belonged there. I liked this movie so much, I watched it twice within a 24-hour period. Yes, it’s a little farfetched, but it’s also funny and touching. And worth at least one watch. (And I admit I laughed for a reason unrelated to the plot—my French friends complained to me about Montreal/Quebecois accents and, watching this, I TOTALLY got it.)

Naturally, an American remake is already in progress (quelle surprise, sigh), but I would definitely recommend checking out the original. If only to giggle at the accents. (That’s not how it’s pronounced!!)

#3 – I think the best part of being told that I spent enough money at Sephora over the past year to qualify for Sephora VIB Rouge is the exclusive shade of Bite Beauty lipstick that came with my welcome kit. My love for Bite has already been partially documented, but I’ve been waiting for summer to be over to break this beauty out.

It is THE perfect Fall red. It’s a tiny bit darker, a tiny bit deeper than a bright, true red. Very, very vintage feeling. So much so, in fact, maybe somewhat inspired by all the World War I and II historical fiction I’ve read lately, that the other night, I did my hair up in pseudo Victory Rolls, put on some black eyeliner and a vintage choker I bought at a flea market, and painted my lips with this red. And I looked like I stepped out of another era. Which is how I like it.

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#4 – I had let my subscription to Birchbox lapse when they sent out samples of Joie’s then brand new signature scent, Folle de Joie. But reading the blog and following them on Twitter, I kept seeing them talk about how amazing the scent was. I’m a bit of a perfume collector (more on that a different time), and every blogger who had tried it seemed to adore it.

I’m a bit finicky with scents, having a very sensitive nose and stomach, so I sometimes can’t wear scents that are popular with other people (for example, Flowerbomb). I decided to go into a Joie store when I was in the neighborhood and try it on for myself. Besides for needing to try it on first, another perfume is the last thing I should be spending my money on right now.

Luckily for me, the sales assistant was so lovely and gave me a sample to take home. I confess, I came back another day with a friend so we could both get another one (she graciously gave me hers), but only because I loved it so much and knew I would run out. (I was right; I’ve already finished one and am on to my second.)

People describe it as very summery scent, but I don’t see it that way. It feels to me like an all-year scent. It just seems to fit me.

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#5 – Sorry, I know I’m laying it on thick with the French in this post, but I try to absorb it however I can, and this includes listening to French music. I have a friend who knows more about music than I ever have, and she keeps introducing me to bands, especially French bands. Amusingly, most of these French bands sing in English. But she recommended I buy Lescop’s album, and I’m glad I did.

But it’s on especially heavy rotation right now, because it’s moody, atmospheric, perfectly French, and perfect for Autumn. Listening to this album is the aural equivalent of wrapping up in a cozy sweater with a cup of tea. It just evokes the season to me, and I’m welcoming it with open arms.

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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?

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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!

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