Monday, December 20, 2010

Post Script

I'd like to make an addendum to my previous posting regarding the respect needed for the eight million other people living in New York City to make a life here work. I still agree with the sentiment, but also thing you must care deeply about someone else: yourself.

"Those who master others are strong;
Those who master themselves have true power."

Lao-Tsu was a genius. The intrinsic motivation needed to survive in this environment is not commended often-enough, as groping through the urban jungle can be one of the most disparaging tasks of every day life.

If you think too much about how you live daily, you'll never make it out alive. It's a combination of drive, determination, and discipline that makes the days work. Driven to succeed, determined to succeed, disciplined to succeed. Can you tell that my word for New York is success?

Taking the utmost care of yourself through each course of action in life directly correlates with the personal achievements. Many of these are little victories, but some day all of the small feats are going to add up to one very large W.

And I personally cannot wait.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Challenge

New York, I must admit to you: we have a love-hate relationship.

I adore so much of what makes this city one of the most beloved, but recently I've had to reassess my true emotions about living in this world. The crazy work hours, the weekend partying, terrible weather, the financial challenges... it can be taxing both physically and emotionally.

Then I get to thinking about how anything can happen here. It may sound cliche, but it's true. I'm at the center of it all and can't break away from the centrifugal force that pulls the eight million inhabitants to keep themselves in the game.

I'm constantly in awe that people make it here for years; to do so, though, I believe that you truly must have a love for other people.

I've found that I embrace the differences of each person. I've realized through careful observation of my own self that I love the heritage, language, religion, and structure of others. I actually cherish (some more than others) the unique characters that I meet on the street, in a cab, on the subway. I still think about people I meet months later.

The stories are endless. I've been introduced some of my best friends by being confined in small spaces with them and managing to survive. My work environment is top-notch, bringing together the best minds in public relations. With strangers, it fascinates me that I've made an entire subway car start laughing just from giggling and how I have been consoled when I cried on a street corner in broad daylight.

It's like we're all in it together - we live here. This is our city.

This is a place of extremes. There is no in-between, no indifference, no intermediate. No room for thinking about the what-ifs because this city never stops.

So it's time to forget the "maybes" and "what-could-bes."

Here goes, New York, I'm all in...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Les It Girl

I spent the summer after college in Europe, touring through a dozen countries and countless cities, starting in London and ending in the Greek Islands. Although I embraced the culture, cuisine, and citizens of each destination, none stole my heart like Paris. I was in the city as summer was fully blooming, Roland Garros was taking place (won by Federer and Kuznetsova for my fellow tennis fiends), and seeing the glittering Eiffel Tower at dusk as we drank bottles of red wine along the banks of the Seine captured me forever.

It was by chance that a few months later when I moved to Manhattan that I met Garance Doré, one my favorite bloggers, photographers, and illustrators. I was at Bergdorf's for fellow fashion blogger Scott Schuman's book release party when I saw her. Elegantly charismatic, I was curious to know who the woman next to Scott was. His wife? Friend? Publicist (and my next thought was how could I that be me)? Turns out, she is the female French version of our beloved Sartorialist.

Effortlessly chic, Garance stole the show in my eyes. I spoke with her about her beautiful photographs and cool illustrations that had been captivating me online for some time by that point. She had started with street photography, but now has graduated to the likes of French Vogue and earlier this year shooting Club Monaco's Fall 2010 campaign.

I read her posts as she updates, about a few times a week. I suppose I should note that read is a loose term, as I don't translate the pages into English. Garance's art speaks for itself, and I allow myself to get lost in the beauty of the French language.

And perhaps my favorite French phrase thus far: La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Favorite Season: Autumn

"Seasonality informs my selection of color, style and menus, even the scent I wear and use in my homes. The crisp days of autumn arrive, and I'm ready to move inside, where cozy fires and candlelight makes me feel warm and comfy... I revel in the aroma of wood smoke in brisk air, spiced apple cider, pumpkin pies baking, my favorite white truffles. Even my choice of music is different: Vivaldi, Bach and Sinatra."

Amen, Carolyne Roehm.


Listening to NPR archives the other day, I stumbled upon Susan Stamberg's broadcast about 31 Rue Cambon, Coco Chanel's glamorous Parisian pied-à-terre.

The description of the small space in the City of Light was precisely as anticipated: "It's all very opulent, sophisticated and elegant, and yet the apartment isn't a large or grand space. Though the objects are impressive and luxurious, the apartment feels embracing and intimate."

We all know her stylings brought us the irreplaceable little black dress, coveted quilted handbags, and interlocking double-C logo. Not to mention the flawless makeup, perfumes, and nail polishes.

A few irresistables...

And on those special nights, when I need a hint of inspiration from the mademoiselle, I don the ultimate classic: Chanel No. 5. Floral, feminine, and a hint of strength.

Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Lagerfeld for continuing to keep this fashion house a powerhouse.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aesthetically Pleasing

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend the day at The Manhattan House with interior designer James "Ford" Huniford.

Having recently redesigned a 3,300-square foot apartment in this modernist iconic New York City building, Ford fused the tranquility of a modern, clean space with classic lines to the industrial nature of his furniture creations.

From the chair with fabric woven from horse hair and the tree bark hand-placed wallpaper to the white-washed picnic kitchen table and the wine barrel head hoops artfully arranged in the living room, it created a stunning calm within the storm. Even better, Ford designed and created ninety percent of the furnishings in the nine-room apartment.

His passion for explaining the craftsmanship and eye for challenging the traditionalist viewpoint fueled my interest in learning more about him.

A few of my favorites from his past work:

"Interiors should be tailored to how people live," says Ford. "Rooms should flow from one area to another and not have themes. Most importantly, they should reflect the spirit and soul of the people who inhabit them."

Beautifully said.

Learn more about James Huniford at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Love of Style

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”

Seeking the intrinsic beauty amidst the droning chaos in the city demonstrates a daily challenge. The portrayal of unique style between the melding of the multitude of cultures, however, proves to alleviate that stress.

From the contrasting cozy studios in walk-ups and the highrises with classic nine layouts to the three-piece suits in the early morning trains and contemporary hipster-chic urbanites to the seasons changing with sweltering summers and frigid winters, I truly can't get enough of the ever-changing whims of the inhabitants and physique of this city.

Although I look to New York and its city dwellers for creativity in design, cooking, and traveling, I learned best from my mother about true style. She embodies the traditional elegance and classic beauty throughout all aspects of her life that I can only hope to achieve.

Here's to timeless inspiration, to endlessly being guided by our surroundings.