Weekend Whimsy: Grey Skies

Seems it will be a pretty grey weekend in Brooklyn over the next few days. Perfect for roasting a chicken, cleaning the apartment and reading a few articles — maybe even writing one.

Looking for books to read this winter? Bustle has pulled together Hannah Horvath’s Reading List and Judy Blume and Lena Dunham curated a reading list for The Cut.

Darling have partnered with Soul Pancake to create the digital series That’s What She Said — their first video looks beautiful and touches on the always interesting concept of body image.

This easy face mask might be a nice addition to a lazy weekend. Plus, a winter skin saver!

Meryl Streep wins every time. Plus, I’m sort of obsessed with the idea that she and Emma Thompson are friends – throw in Diane Keaton and you have my dream dinner party.

Hope it’s a beautiful weekend folks!

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Weekend Whimsy: 2014

Here in New York it feels like the weekend started early — the snow is piled high, the subways are slow and the day is perfect for bundling up and embarking on a chilly walk through slippery streets.

A round up for a snowy start to the year…

Man Repeller’s Horoscope summary for 2014 — the perfect breakdown for the lazy astrologist.

I’m headed to the Russian and Turkish Baths tomorrow. It’s the only way to get warm in this kind of weather!

And then to Han Dynasty for Dan Dan Noodles and other spicy things. The theory is, if I eat spicy enough food it’ll increase my internal body temp? This might be a stretch, but it’s really cold out there guys!

If you have some time this weekend and you want to feel embarrassed by how little you’ve accomplished — Tavi Gevinson and Lorde did a great interview in Rookie. It’s an inspiring, insightful discussion about creativity, feminism and the music industry (and they’re both 17 so, yeah).

Happy first weekend of 2014! May you have snowball flights and hot chocolates galore.

P.S. A new year a new look? Let me know your thoughts on the new aesthetic…

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Hibernation Ends

This last week I tried out my new writing schedule and I am happy to announce that it was a great success. What a thing, to have structure and organization in your everyday. How delightful, to know when you are working and when you are finished! It was a true game changer for this little freelancer. Working from home, creating your own job, your own hours and your own niche can be very exciting and wonderfully free form, but it can also be scary. It is often difficult to draw the line between work and life, especially when you are young and want to succeed. I am exploring these issues a lot this year:  personal value, work/life boundaries, responsibility and accountability, balancing, letting go.  To be your own boss is to always be accountable, to always be measured by your harshest critic.

After a fairly indulgent weekend (I had friends in town, Easter brunches to attend and a particularly perfect glass of rose on top of the Wythe Hotel on the first sunny day we’ve seen so far in Brooklyn) I am ready to be back at my desk. I have finally caught up with the fact that it is Spring: the time to plant your seeds for the months ahead. I am yearning to buckle down and get to work. I am ready to fulfill my promises and finish up my projects. I can’t express how grateful I am that this sensation has arrived. I was feeling stuck in my winter hibernation for a little too long; aware it was time to wake up but oh so hesitant to do so. Now is the time for cleaning and organizing. The sun hangs in the air a couple hours longer allowing us so a few more precious hours each day. I am craving radishes and ramps, bright and early wake up calls, 10pm bedtimes and afternoon walks through these Brooklyn streets. Spring is in the air friends. Fingers crossed my momentum (and the weather) hold strong.

Also, a little side not for this April 1st:

Today is a special day. It is the birthday of a very important person. Sometimes there are little surprises in life that exceed our imaginations and make us grateful for the unknown. When I met my friend (roughly ten or so years ago) I could never have comprehended the value his presence and friendship would have in my life. Some people show up in our world and, by some lovely of twist of fate, are just what we need.  It is these people who remind us to always believe.

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

-Roald Dahl

Thank you friend. Happy, happy birthday. 

The Blues, The Mean Reds, The Winter Greys

This last week, the sky in New York City looks like someone has colored it in with a No.2 pencil. The clouds are knitted together so tightly that the sun and the blue skies of Fall have become distant memories. It is a struggle. No matter what time you wake up in the morning it feels like 6am or 6pm. Though I try motivating myself to put on a bright lipstick and a cute outfit, all I really want to do is layer some grey over some black and blend into that hanging coal colored sky.

Suffice to say, a grey mood has followed those grey clouds. We are in the nadir of winter. That sleepy, suffocating part when it seems there is no end in sight. The camel coats and apple cider days are long gone and the skirt and sandals days seem more like a silly dream than an inevitable future. What to do? Well, I suppose cozy dinners with friends are in order. Tucked up inside warm apartments with wine glasses cradled in our hands and roast chicken on our plates. And movies, Michael and I saw Les Mis for our date night last week. Exercise would probably be a wise choice though it seems unfavorable. I must don my leggings (and the second pair I have to wear over them because it’s so cold out) and plant my feet on a yoga mat with my fellow sweaty New Yorkers. Perhaps a pedicure? I’ve lost all hope with my feet since they are never on display any more. There’s nothing worse than having chipped toe nails in a yoga class and having to stare at them every time you end your sun salutation. Warm cups of tea and some long hours in a cozy chair with a good book – I just started The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Cleaning. Oh yes, upon return from our European adventures I realized how desperately our lovely apartment needs a good scrub. Baking – I started yesterday with some easy Martha Stewart breakfast muffins. Pancake month begins at Clinton St Bakery in Feb so I suppose a good long pancake eating adventure will be in order. And work, now is a wonderful time to get to work, to get things done, to be a good little worker bee.

There’s so much to do. This grey month is so obviously a time for moments of great productivity and peace. And yet, I just want to curl up in my bed and lay. I want to look out my window as the rain taps at my sill and day dream of the sticky heat of July. I want to wake up in the morning and throw on a dress and be done with the process of dressing. I want to walk, walk, walk New York in the way you only do in the summer months. With a sweating cup of iced coffee or a MexiCola in hand, searching for the next ice cream or air conditioned store to cool down in. I was a summer baby and I have grown into a summer woman. Don’t get me wrong, I love the apples in fall and the pre-Christmas glitter and ribbons. But the real winter? It is not my time. I feel more like a bear than a bee. A bear, wandering around confused by why she is expected to work when the sun has stopped doing it’s job and it is clearly hibernating time.

Well, at least I don’t have the mean reds…though perhaps a trip to Tiffany’s would cheer me up.

How do you escape the Winter Greys?

Zurich, Switzerland

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So, we landed in Switzerland a week before Christmas. Zurich sort of feels like the inside of a snow globe – tiny cobblestoned streets, church spires rising into the sky and twinkly lights dangling above the roads. It is the perfect place to get you into the Holiday spirit. It is also small and there’s something so nice about that. We only had two days there and whilst we did not get to see everything, we certainly felt we got a good taste for the city.

Do.

Walk. The city is small enough that you can walk most places. The above ground trams are great but don’t be afraid to just walk it.

Old town. I think 3pm is the perfect time to go visit. See the churches and the architecture in the daylight. Once it goes dark, the city lights up and old town is filled with alleyways and Holiday markets.

Holiday markets. Even if you are a scrooge, these will get you in the spirit. The markets are buzzing with people and there are so many delicious Swiss goodies on display – eat wurst here with some hot mustard and a paper plate. Grab a glass of Glühwein (hot mulled wine) and walk the market with a rosy glow to your cheeks. Holiday markets are everywhere, be sure to visit the one in the train station – it has a huge Swarovski Chritmas tree. The best market is the one with the singing Christmas tree in Werdmühleplatz. A big platform shaped as a christmas tree with 5-9 year olds packed into it singing carols. It is the physical embodiment of Christmas spirit.

Visit Kreis 4 and 5. This is the new, hip area of Zurich. It’s a little more industrial but it is very cool. It’s nice to see the young life in a city so old. The tallest building in Zurich is there (a whopping 36 stories) as well as Im Viaduct, which is a series of shops set into the old stone railway arches under a bridge. Im Viaduct is a little pricey but it is a cool place to see and there’s lots of shopping to be had.

Walk to Lake Zurich. It is a beautiful view of the city and there are thousands of swans!

Eat.

Les Halles is an adorable Swiss restaurant that was recommended to us by a friend who lives there. It is packed with people. You seat yourself wherever you can find a table. You go up and order mussels or wurst, you drink Swiss beer and listen to the loud chatter.

Zim Guten Gluck is great for lunch or breakfast. It is a hip little restuarnt that reminded us a lot of Brooklyn (except there was only one person manning the kitchen and there is a smoking room). The food was absolutely delicious and they serve your basic Swiss meals  – mind-blowing muesli etc. But they also serve some Swiss delicacies that we’d never heard of – Pufferli. Try them. Trust me. Delicious.

Babu had the best pastries and cappuccino (as well as free wifi). It is the perfect place to stop and catch your breath (and a delicious sweet treat).

Sprüngli, Sprüngli, Sprüngli. The chocolate heaven in Zurich. They have stores all over the city but try to make it to their flagship on Bahnhoffstrasse. Glass cabinets filled with truffles all in a row – it was maybe my favorite part. Their chocolate truffles were out of this world. Plus, it is the best place to buy a yummy souvenir from your trip.

Know.

Frey is a great Swiss chocolate that they sell in grocery stores. It is very high quality and far more affordable than Sprüngli!

Food there is expensive. It was rare to find a meal less than 25 Swiss Francs – even at small, dinky restaurants. We were on a budget so we saved our good meals for the places above and made frequent trips to Migros the Swiss grocery store. First, I should say, I love being in European grocery stores. I could spend hours in the cookie aisle, the cereal aisle and the toiletries aisle. Second, the produce in Switzerland is excellent so why not enjoy a $4 meal of  cheese and apples whilst you walk the city streets?

Public transportation is excellent. Truly. It is clean. It is on time. And, it is above ground so you actually get to see the city. Take the train from the airport  – it takes 15 minutes to get into the city center. It is maybe the easiest, most comfortable airport to city journey I have ever experienced.

Place I wanted to visit but didn’t make it to: Volkhaus, for a hip meal.