Monthly Archives: July 2010

Dreaming of Fall

It seems like it’s been ages since I was shuffling around the tents at Bryant Park to see the Fall/Winter 2010 collections at Fashion Week. Since that season shows during February, it was pretty tempting to start stocking up on cold-weather clothing right away — especially given that the weather that week was particularly foul and freezing. I’m starting to feel the urge again to fill my closet with knits and tights and all things cozy, but more out of a desire for the now sweltering New York City weather to get lost! Here are a few things on my radar.

Some fantastically adorable capes from Topshop. I don’t think they’ll be released until August, but I really want the camel-colored one on the top!

This Buren bootie from Nine West. I haven’t tried the stockings with open-toe shoes look yet, but I might try with this one for the fall.

Dresses in Fall fabrics — Tweed! Jacquard! Wool! This Vivi Combo dress by Milly would be right at home in my closet.

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Festival at the Yokohama Fireworks, Japan

Thud! Thud! I move slowly in the heavy wooden sandals that have been given to me so generously by my host. The geta are the least of my worries though, because I’ve also been tied into my summer kimono so tightly that I think I might pass out in the heat. I look in the mirror and cringe: a tall, gangly blonde dressed up in traditional Japanese summer wear. I’m starting to understand what author Dave Barry meant when he referred to Americans in Japan as “water buffalo”. I feel so conspiciuous.

We arrive at the Yokohama Fireworks festival, and the throngs of people dressed in traditional wear only further my insecurity. The Japanese girls move gracefully in their stylish cotton yukata, while I amble along, hoping that I don’t get splinters in my feet.

We turn a corner onto a street of festival vendors, and the discomfort of my outfit fades away with the first wafting scent of grilled chicken skewers. We make our way down the street past colorful awnings of the stalls and sample the different yakitori offerings – thighs, gizzards, hearts – they have it all! Other stalls offer snacks like takoyaki (battered bites of octopus) and noodles that sizzle with crisp vegetables over habachi grills.

This was my first photo of the scene, and I took many more after I realized that this one was blurred and out of focus. Looking back at the images, this is the only one I’d show to describe it.

“This post has been entered into the Grantourismo and HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition”

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The Island That’s Really a Peninsula

Coney Island is not a place I’d recommend to tourists. It’s actually not a place that I’d recommend to anyone, for that matter. I feel that perhaps the idea of Coney Island is far more appealing than the reality of it: sort of dirty and run-down, overpriced fried food, and some really shady characters as night falls.

Despite these feelings, I ventured out to the famed “island” (P.S.: It isn’t an island anymore. The body of water separating it from Brooklyn was filled in, making it a peninsula) with my friends to check out the Siren Music Festival this past weekend. I was somewhat surprised to find the place pretty much the same as I remember it from two years ago on my last visit. It seems that every year there is a big announcement made that this is the LAST year of Coney Island, but other than a section of construction in the middle, there are still food stalls, amusement park rides, and midway games galore.

I resisted temptation to pay $10 to see the “Freak Show”. Something is just unsettling to me about this concept, even though I know that the “freaks” are actors nowadays and not actually people being exploited against their will. We did ride The Cyclone though, out of a bit of my boyfriend’s nostalgia for a science project that he did about the roller coaster back in grade school.

Even though I’m normally not a fried food kind of person, we did indulge a little bit over the course of the day. We felt it necessary to try Nathan’s hot dogs, since we had never tried them before. My bigger concern though was to make sure that we saved some room for a funnel cake at the end of the day. Coney Island might not be my favorite place in the world, but take crispy fried dough and mix it with powdered sugar and I’ll probably be alright for a few hours.

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More Macaron, S’il Vous Plaît!

This weekend was the Bastille Day festival run by the FIAF. As corny as it may be, I always love to walk around and take in all of the exaggerated Frenchi-ness just for kicks. This year we even tried the wine and cheese tasting, which turned out to be sort of fun but really crowded! I couldn’t tell if the room was a little smelly because of all the people or because of all the cheese. Maybe it was a combination of both!

I’ve noticed lately that the macaron is getting an awful lot of attention — sort of like the cupcake over the past few years. Quietly, they keep showing up everywhere and Bastille Day was no exception! Two macaron vendors were present at the event — Mad Mac and Macaron Cafe. While I can’t vouch for the quality of Mad Mac’s tiny delicacies (they were sold out of all the flavors I was interested in), they did have this entertaining macaron tree on display!

I bought three macar0ns from Macaron Cafe, and I was pretty impressed. The espresso was delicious and the cassis was delightfully tangy and tart. My favorite was a rose-lychee combination — it isn’t often that we get rose flavored sweets here in the U.S., but I’d recommend them to anyone! The flavor is really delicate and very subtly floral. Combined with the super-sweet flavor of lychee fruit, this was a winner for me! I wish I took pictures of those macarons, but unfortunately I was very hungry and it started raining so I just ate!

I have made macarons in my own kitchen before, but I won’t be able to do it again until the weather cools down — humidity does not a good macaron make! Until then, I’ll cringe and pay $2.50 for each little sweet that I want to try.

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Rock, Paper, Scissors

Sometimes it scares me a little that everything is going so digital. While I do enjoy blogging and I love my Kindle, there is something to be said for doing things the old-fashioned way with paper. I’m lucky enough to still have some friends who enjoy exchanging paper letters once in a while as opposed to just emailing or texting all of the time — those kinds of correspondences are special not only because of the time and effort it takes to write them, but also because they are more interesting visually.

I’ve been collecting stationery for a long time, and I thought I’d share some of my collection. I really enjoy some of the sets from Chronicle Books, and I’ve had loads of their stationery in the past that I’ve sent off to friends around the world.

The paper to the far left in this photo is a random set of Japanese paper that I got a while ago, and all the others are from Chronicle Book sets.

This set came from a very cool shop in Florence, Italy called Il Papiro. I didn’t buy too much when I was there, but I knew I had to have some Italian paper to bring home with me. The design features tiny pink buds surrounded by leaves and thin twigs embossed in gold. I save this paper for special letters — isn’t it beautiful?

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Oranges in Rome

Holiday weekends always throw me for a loop. Of course I’ll always take a Monday off, but that usually means even more work to be done in just four days when you get back! This week has had me thinking about how much I would love to take a vacation right now. I wouldn’t even be picky about where the vacation is. I’ll go anywhere!

The temperature in New York City is at a record high — seriously, it hasn’t been this hot in 9 years! What I wouldn’t give to be back on the trip I took last January to Italy. Sunny and 60 degrees every day is such a refreshing thing to wake up to in the morning! The oranges weren’t exactly in season while we were there, but I loved how cheerful they looked against the bright blue sky. Take me back!


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