Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A year in review

Despite how tired the idea that a year has flown by, I must admit that I subscribe to this cliche once again. Last night I finished a most delish meal (at Northern Sky in the East Village, you should all go, it is my new favorite place, especially since my old favorite place, Corner Shop Cafe, has yet to reopen) and a very good glass of wine. During dinner the conversation was mostly about travel, about the best places like Barcelona and New York, and the places I cannot wait to go to, like Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Greece, and the travels I am about to embark on in just a few days- Paris and Berlin! With a full stomach, a sleepy head, and good company I repeated a sentiment that has been happily coming out of my mouth more and more often.
"Life is good."
The same feeling when I'm hung over, but not that hung over and I'm eating good pizza and drinking wine and know I'm going to ride my bike again. Or when I'm at a party really good friends and I've drunk wine and dancing is happening and there is a really cute guy who wants to dance with me. Or I just watched a friend drink a whole double shot of oily gin to get the team back in the bingo game. Or just brunch. I fucking love brunch.
Maybe drinking is a running theme...
I don't know if I am the kind of person that is just wholly content ever, but I certainly feel like I'm on the path. Not to paint this year too rosy, I had a couple of months where I was not sure if I was making the right decisions. I lost my internal strength and my motivation, and with it I lost my way- but with faith that I would come out of it I let that weirdness take its course.
While it was happening I fell in love with rock climbing, which is the most best thing ever, and I'm totally obsessed. Right now I'm just a plastic puller, with occasional trips to a rock face which usually scare the crap out of me. After almost a year of climbing I still cannot do a single pull up, but I manage to climb hard anyways, developing my technique despite my muscles. There has to be a metaphor in there somewhere about finding your own path. I actually took trips out of the city- that's right, I desired to be in Not New York City- upstate to climb the 'dacks and go camping, which were mostly foiled by rain, but such is life. I talked about food politics, classical music, and how the human population's stupidity never fails to amaze instead.
I took a trip to Israel- which is such a weird, interesting, and nutty country that I encourage at least one journey there. I didn't fall in love with the place like many do- although the desert is just WOW- however I did fall in love with my travel companions. While ten days of non-stop bad food combined with long bus rides seems like a set up for no fun it just made us love each other more. Because of the relationships I made I have been to Upstate NY, Philly and Baltimore, with trips planned to CT, Boston and New Orleans. I have a friend who wants to join in on the baller "Buy a Brownstone in Brooklyn" plan, which will fucking happen goddamnit. Unless the "Buy a Plot of Land and Live in a Shipping Container" plan happens instead.
I switched jobs- my first adult job switch. If I thought asking for reviews and raises was scary, switching jobs is terrifying. I loved my old job dearly. My boss took a chance on me- as I was wholly unqualified for the position- and taught me the ropes, and eventually let me start steering my own ship. Now that I'm in my new position the lessons I learned are continuing to reveal themselves even though I hadn't realized I was learning something at the time. Funny how that works. Now I am really starting to feel settled in my new place of employment and while I had to trade in my short in-boro commute for an awful MTA trip twice a day I now have a window with a view of a park. We all have to make concessions.

Speaking of jobs, Phil and I were hired to make another video! As in, we're getting paid for our work. As in someone saw what we did, liked it and sought us out to make another one because they believe that it will help them sell their product. As in I couldn't be more flattered. And bonus- I get to make another video with my best friend, Philip!

I cut my hair and dyed bits of pink. I thought it was fancy. Someone still hired me with pink hair.

Last night when I was in the the lawn in Prospect Park at 2:40 am watching the first Lunar Eclipse on a winter solstice in 400 years with two of my friends who had also ridden there on bikes.
Four years ago leaving college was a very upsetting moment for me. I was SO happy to enter the real world, get back to NYC, and enter the next phase because I was done with Chicago- but I was heartbroken to leave my college friends. My fourth year I had a core group of friends and much like a well curated museum they all fit together and I fit with them. I loved them so hard and I knew I was leaving them. Last night I felt like I was close to cultivating those relationships again. I have found people who ride bikes (on 42 mile long 5 boro bike tours), climb rocks, like making things (and want to start collectives), wear wigs, fancy shoes, and might spend too much on a coats. Friends who will craft sweaters for holiday parties, and have me over for long platonic dates with cooking, eating, drinking and movie watching that rival any romantic date I've had. Friends who want to go camping on islands and friends who want to go on ski trips. Friends who fly in and take me to fashion shows, come to roof top parties at the Standard and basement parties in SoHo. Friends who call me from Brazil, Germany and France. Who are doing amazing Peace Corps stuff in Ghana. Going to grad school in Boston and Baltimore. Who work on Daft Punk music videos. Who go to all day concerts with me and let me take naps in the middle of Union Square park. Could I have more amazing people in my life? Probably not- I challenge the universe to throw some more at me. I think I can handle it. 2011, bring it on!

Also- Hot Toddies. Those make life good and will cure your colds. Get on it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vivian Tam

Is there any place cooler to watch a show than from backstage? Chloe even let me put on a headset to listen to how exactly the shows are coordinated. The girls stand in line- waiting, chatting, being (omg) real people with personalities, then BAM they hit the corner and seriousface comes on. Every once and a while they would make a silly face at us as they came off the runway, or comment on something they did while they were strutting their stuff as they ran by, already getting their clothes yanked off by a wrangler. The second they finish they are running around getting into their next look. Super cool to see the inner workings, hear the commentary (because the people coordinating the shows, well they are humans too), and just get dazzled by the fashun.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Backstage Shenanigans

Chloe knows I geek out when I get to see what goes on back stage. So she takes me. And I geek out.
I got to watch them testing out the HUGE VIDEO WALL. The back was just tons of cables coming out. Because I've worked in video before, I know there was a rhyme and reason to it, but it looked absolutely outta whack. I really liked seeing this super non-fashion dad on the screen.
There are secret tunnels that run all over the place. Chloe knows to make my little heart go pitter patter, all she has to do is text me "Lets meet by the tunnel." Usually she is running around like a cray cray because she has work to do, but she let me take a FIERCE FASHION POSE to satisfy my goofiness. Hopefully Tyra would approve of my finding the light.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Charley and I- New York Urban Planers, I mean Co-Presidents, I mean Co-Gods, I mean Kanye and his Phoenx.

Charles: i say we just get rid of queens and slide brooklyn up
actually midtown too
so brooklyn is still close to downtown
and no one really needs midtown
me: I hate midtown
except for bryant park
Charles: maybe hell's kitchen can be an island
and we'll move bryant park into hell's kitchen
i like that reworking of the city
hmm, although losing queens might not be the best, make it an island too
i say replace it with staten island, but keep the subway connectivity
then just throw staten island into the middle of the atlantic
me: lets get rid of SI
take all teh ass holes, put it on the island and give it to NJ
Charles: yesss
me: we're so smart
Charles: we should be mayors of the city
me: yes
bicycling for everyone!
Charles: who needs midtown!
me: and lots of buses!
Charles: with bike racks on them like in SF
me: and chicago!
Charles: and congestion pricing! and upper manhattan being closer to brooklyn!
me: yes
Charles: i love how i'm charles in your gchat btw
me: hah
its your name dude
Charles: i should legally change my name to charley
like next job i have i want it to just be officially charley
in my signature i still put charles
like my formal signature
i'll still say regards, charley
and then charles ferrari client relationship manager IHS inc corporate corporate corporate
Charles: that's exactly what it says
corporate blahdy blah
me: nice
I love that
when we start a company can it say that at the bottom of our signatures
Charles: yes
yes it can
me: when we are co-presidents of nyc
Charles: charley ferrari
co-president of nyc
corporate blahdy title manager relationship strategist specialist
me: hah
destroyers of midtown
Charles: lol
slayers of staten island
Charles: maybe we can swap williamsburg and greenpoint for inwood and washington heights
i mean they're kind of the same shape
and the architecture in north brooklyn sucks
me: green point is good stuff
Charles: the art deco apartments and hilly topography would be a nice complement to brownstone brooklyn
yea some parts are
ok greenpoing can stay
Charles: bye bye williamsburg
me: see ya bushwick
Charles: yeaaa
me: hello inwood!
Charles: just pop inwood sideways there
but keep the water surrounding it! so make it like a little inlet with inwood popping out
like seriously, we should be city planners, our plans are amazing
me: That's true
except this is more than city planning, this is earth planning
screw being co-presidents, lets me co-gods
Charles: yess
me: of nyc only
Charles: i really like this plan
we'd make awesome gods
the cloisters can be our mount olympus!
how AMAZING would that be
like i always thought, if i ever became a vampire, i'd totally live in the cloisters
me: yes charley- if you ever become a vampire
this is very likely so its good you have a back up plan
Charles: god or vampire is likely?
i think vampire is more likely
god is a good backup
i'll also be very content with satyr
me: five year plan?
Charles: hell yea
i would be an awesome vampire
i've been told on more than one occasion my teeth already look like fangs a bit
like my incisors are very pronounced
me: good to know
Charles: if you were to be something supernatural aside from a god what would you be?
besides a gho0o0o0ost
me: like an established thing, or something I can make up?
Charles: you can make it up, be entrepreneurial
me: I'd be a kanye
Charles: i could be your phoenix!
me: perfect

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The show was phenomenal. The devil was in the details, because the show was very simple. If I remember correctly almost all the songs were Sleigh Bells, opening with this song: http://tinysong.com/v950 which you should probably listen to while reading the post as it gives the proper mood and delicately balances between light, airy and girly, and heavy and grownup.
The color story hung out mostly in the beige/white/light colors arena which is why this dress made such an impact. Hello red. Simple, charming, and mischievous running parallel.
This man knows about embellishments and really uses them to pump up the volume in a subtle way while still making an impact and strengthening the storytelling in the collection.
Like I said before- nothing ground breaking or brand spanking new, just a lovely collection that I would want every single piece from. It was well-rounded, cohesive, and just luxe enough. It showed a ranged from great knits and casual separates to fantastic night on the town looks, and kept the surprises staggered throughout.Oh hey guys...
high five?
C'mon, you can't leave Mr. Lippes hangin'!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fashion Week- ADAM pt 1

Man oh man alive did I drop the ball with hollering at the tents in any sort of timely manner. I will say that between the new job, and uhhhh life (?) I've been struggling to keep it all up. But I've been getting used to the schedule and I'm looking forward to keeping this a-going.
So did you guys totally freak out at the floating marble block over the entrance? It was soo well done. It lessened my apprehension about the new location (I don't like change). My little darling Chloe called me up to stop by check out the ADAM show.
She was allz like -Hey I ain't no model, don't take my damn photo. But I did because she's so darn ADORABLE.
ADAM just makes really beautiful clothes. Are they crazy off the wall? Are they twenty colors and oversized silhouettes? Nope. But do I lust after them? Are embellishments used thoughtfully? Are the proportions perfect? Yup. Its clear that Adam has a point of view, and its to create really top notch clothing for ladies.
I love the backstage craziness. The handlers took some time making sure this girl's shoes worked correctly.
I like to think these are someone's moms helping add last minute extra notches to the shoe's buckles. Remember when I said fashion is so not glamourous? This is the personification of that. Its hard work and crouching behind a trash bin trying to get one more hole- using a tired, old leather punch- on a fabulous pair of shoes.
I love seeing the designers talk about their collections. Sometimes designers have a lot of say and are really hands on with their collections, and sometimes they just provide more a face for the collection and might approve things that go through the system. Now I have no authority to say either way, I've never been to the ADAM studio, but it appears to me that Mr. Lippes is really part of the discussion, which makes sense considering his history- holding the title of creative director at one of my absolute favorites, Oscar de la Renta.
The front of house was super packed as to be expected.
I watched the show from the sound booth, which made be feel a little bit cool. In my head I pretended I was an important person overseeing the production. Basically I sat up a little bit straighter...

Show coverage next post!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vote Transit!

I'm super pissed that the price of the monthly is being raised, yet again. The MTA is fining the people that use it the most, their most loyal customers. And with noticeable service cuts (hello ten minutes late to work today), they are charging more for a worsening product. Not only does this personally affect me, and many of you, but more importantly it makes the fares prohibitively expensive to our fellow new yorkers who are not as fortunate as us to have a salary as high as mine. On a personal level the 17% (!) raise stretches my already stretched pay, and even paying back student loans and medical bills I can still afford it, I just won't go out to dinner, or see a movie. Consider the single parents, the perpetually unemployed, those who work several jobs, the disabled, etc and need the public transit to make their lives work, and also need the extra dollars to make ends meet.
I rarely support organized rallies, but this is my community, my city and my problem. This is our public transit. I'm going to this rally, for you, for me, and for those who cannot go to advocate for themselves and I hope that you will join me!
Details below- and info on the raise at this link-

And from the Transportation Alternatives site:

VOTE TRANSIT! A rally to stop the fare hike and future service cuts.

Vote Transit! A rally to end fare hikes and service cuts

On October 27th, Transportation Alternatives' Rider Rebellion campaign is hosting a rally to stop the fare hike and future service cuts, "VOTE TRANSIT!"

Just days before the election, transit riders from all five boroughs will come together with a single message: if you want transit riders to stand up in NYC and vote for you on November 2nd, then stand up in Albany and vote for transit!

New York City's transit riders are tired of fare hikes, tired of service cuts, tired of dirty stations and tired of elected officials that won't do what's necessary to end New York City's public transit crisis. To fight the fare hike and future service cuts, the New York State Legislature must take bold action in 2011.

Be there!

Music and performances
Special guest speaker: TBA
Representatives from all of the major political parties

Start: October 27, 2010 - 5:30pm
End: October 27, 2010 - 7:00pm

Union Square, south side

East 14th St and Union Square East

Monday, October 25, 2010

That time that Kanye made a Matthew Barney film.

I'd never thought I'd say Degas and Kanye have a few things in common...
Oh yes- I love this a lot-

Things of note:
Michael Jackson bizzare-o parade
Feather crotch
"Do you know your she's a bird?"
"No I never noticed that."

My favorite part- when Kanye remixes Power and she dances and then it cuts to the little boy in red running across the field.
This is really what people should be doing. Yes, its funny because its Kanye and he's a silly person, but damn at least he is making some fucking art son.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Duck Eggs

Yes, yes- I've been naughty. Its been almost a month! So much has happened- including a new job for me! (and fashion week, bastille day at le bain, weekend trips to visit friends, plus next month is do it myself month, but more on all this later) That is part of the reason that I've been MIA, trying to adjust to the new schedule, making sure I have my ducks in a row (digression, the co-op had a sign next to the eggs section claiming they had duck eggs. I searched for them and upon finding none, asked a receiving coordinator for them- to which he replied "There are no more." Dejected I continued shopping only to be paged over the PA minutes later "Will the shopper who requested duck eggs please find me, we have them!" BALLER! I took the massive box from this hands and let me tell you, the box is huge because THEY ARE HUMUNGOUS! I brought them home and have yet to eat any. Truth be told, I am a bit nervous- but I'm excited all the same. I was also away all weekend so I was not duck egg-ing it up. I'll try to remember to let you know how it goes).
Anyways my first day of work I jumped right in and went to a party with my new co-worker. We headed into to SoHo to the NY Spaces fete at Sicis' showroom. YES! That amazing tile showroom where they do things with tile you never thought possible.
Happy birthday Mister President.
So in addition to amazing displays they had rows where you could just help yourself to tile samples. And it was just beautiful to look at. And rainbow bright-y.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shake a Spear in the Park

Bridget, who is near and dear to me as we've been pals since I was erroneously calling her Brittany way back in the 7th grade, hosted her second annual Shakespeare Picnic in Central Park, and it was a resounding success! Festivities included eating, drinking, reading and performing the good man's work, and wearing white (which I failed at, as it turns out I don't own white clothes). There were also two rounds of "Who's On Your Face?" which Bridget might not have been so happy about if she knew she had the Biebs hanging out on her forehead.Bri and her roommate and co-host, Brooke, amped us all up through really well written and witty emails in ..kinda-Shakespeare-english.
Below-a sampling!

Dear fair maids and squires of the greater New York metro area,

But one annum has not yet passed since our last foray into the great art of picnic, and yet the summer wanes, bringing us, yet again, to our favorite time of year. We invite you most heartily to join us from noon until dusk in Central Park to continue our grand tradition with the Second Annual Shakespeare Picnic in the Park.*

For those of you new to what can only be described as the literary event of the season, some history is in order. It all started with the opening scene of Much Ado About Nothing. As we watched the white-clad Messinians lounging on a hillside, drinking wine, painting, and reading poetry, we asked ourselves "Doesn't that sound like fun?" And answered with a resounding "Aye!"

Bernard enjoying the festivities and chillaxing. It was really just one of those great days.This year Barbara and I were asked to redo our rendition of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. Her "english" accent always sounds like she's dying and I always laugh. We're not too good at acting. Kelly and Brooke (above) are much better.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tie Dying

Rebecca is one of those fantastic ladies who while sometimes takes a wild ride on the train to crazy town, most of the time its a good kind of crazy. She's always making. She's a maker of things. If you want to feel inspired, watch her finger some new fabric she's just bought, or pull out plastic baggies filled with different kinds of beads and talk about its potential, her plans for its future. The best part is unlike most, she follows through. If you stop by a few weeks later, you can see the finished product, a gorgeous skirt, or a stunning necklace. There is no bullshitting in Reboc's world.
She decided that the latest thing of interest, besides learning French (she's in Paris right now, don't you know? Avoir l'amusement ? Tu me manques! Et dites bonjour a Agathe pour moi!), is learning how to tie dye. She invited her "besties" over for a day of fun in the sun and Avatar-blue hands.
When I got on the roof I was, admittedly, a few minutes (or an hour) late. But this is how I roll. Everyone was already tying up their tee shirts and pillow cases into little cloth sculptures in order to block the dye and control the pattern. We soaked them in a bath to prepare them for dying.
There were two kinds of dying to try out:
Tom here is doing an indigo bath, which I didn't realize wasn't just dying something blue. I learned that it actually needs to oxidize in order to achieve the correct color. When placing your garment in the bucket to dye it cannot be moved because that will introduce air into the mixture and oxidize the bath. It also cannot touch the bottom because some of the chemicals will have settled to the bottom and I guess its better to leave them undisturbed.
After the garment comes out of the indigo bath we laid them out to dry on this plastic sheeting. The pieces actually came out this awesome neon green and then we WATCHED them turn blue as the air activated the indigo. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Some of us lamented that we wished we could hold on to that great green color to which Rebecca replied "Its indigo, get over it!"
Jon tried out the other kind of dying, which is your more garden variety, sleep away camp style tie dye. We had a reddish purpleish and a yellow to play around with.
While we waited for our clothes to accept the dyes the sky put on a magnificent show for us.
And one trip to the laundromat later, we were Tie Dye Champions!
Oh yeah, I cut my hair. Its actually been short for a while, and check it, there's some pink in there too.
All in all this was a most fun day of making and hanging and drinking beers- and summer's not quite over so GET ON IT!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Camp Lo

One day, way back when snow was still on the ground, I got an email asking me to come to Camp Lo from Terry, my Boston pal. Not really knowing the fuck Camp Lo was I inquired and I got this email responding to my inquiry-

hey nora,

camp lo is the best time of the year.

charlie or ashley never told you about it?

you should come... seriously,

So Camp Lo was to remain shrouded in mystery...
After some back and forth with Charley and Jersey (no one I know calls her Ashley...) I figured out it was like a sleep away camp for "grown ups" complete with an arts and crafts table, boating, tubing, hiking, and drinking. Lots of that.
And then I forgot because snow and cold doesn't make me want to leave my well heated apt and think about living on an island on Lake George.
Fast forward several months- the gang's all here, in size order, on a dock.... waiiitttinngg for the mystery boat to pick us up with our gear.
The prep email we all received said something to the effect of
"You don't have to call, just be there by 4 and you'll get on the boat. If you miss the last boat, you don't get to come to the island until the next day."
To pass the time Charley had the really awful idea of playing badminton with himself right on the edge of the dock.
45 minutes later we decided to call.
And our trip was able to begin! Being a city gal, getting on a boat to get to an island where there is nothing really like civilization at all is really exotic. Even if is only a ten minute boat ride tops. And a walkie talkie. And iPods.
The NYC kids (us) were supposed to be on clean up duty after dinner, but I missed the memo and came too late to really help. I contributed by taking photos of Babs cleaning the skillet. She seemed to be having such a good time I didn't want to impede on her fun.
And later that night we played round after round of 13-person-teamed Flip Cup. It was my third time playing. Ever.
I loved it!
We must have played close to 10 rounds of the game. My team won all but 9 of them.
(see what I did there?)
The next day it RAINED every single moment. This didn't stop anyone from going on a boat, tubing, or swimming in the lake. The weather just contributed to making me sleepy as fuck, resulting in the most EPIC NAP EVER! Now that's what I call vacation.
Babs made her beer can carpet all by herself! Babs also loves skull caps and Joe Boxer bathing suits.
And any favorite rainy day activity- FACE PAINTING TIME! By the time I left most ladies had facial hair. Its tres chic indeed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Oh New York, the way your architecture grabs the last rays of sun, like a lover resistant to let go of its beloved's hands.
Oh, I can wax poetic.
This photo is an argument for the lost art of making beautiful buildings that have thoughtful details and static materials that are not GLASS and CEMENET, ones that have some staying power.
It is also a testament to my never ending love affair with the city. This just does it for me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes!

Oh fashion week- you're just a few measly weeks away. Oh yes, how I miss you, like long distance lovers waiting to be reunited, I stare at your pictures online and sometimes feel butterflies in my stomach, tingling in anticipation.
To tide me over until we meet, so soon, so soon- the Custo Barcelona finale- a video.

I know, my posts have been video heavy lately. Whaddya think? I'm kinda into it, but maybe there's a downside?
Lemme know!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

PS1 Warm Up!

Every summer PS 1 MoMA hosts Warm Up on Saturdays. Let me tell you about a good time. If you want to have one I think you should head over before it comes to an end. There are two things that make Warm Up better than just visiting the museum.
The first is there is always live music and people dancing. Usually its DJ stuff, but every once and while you get a band too. And its super fun to be dancing with all these people in the middle of the day with our devil may care attitude.
The second best part is the outdoor installation, usually interactive, done in collaboration by the Young Architects Program. This "gives emerging architects the opportunity to build projects conceived for P.S.1’s facility in Long Island City, Queens," according to the website.
This year the installation was so simple and subtle, that it really was just right, perfection. Like a reflection of a great summer day- one that involves both sun and shade, relaxation and activity. Streching over the expanse of the yard was a great trapeze-like net held up by several poles. The great net hosted plenty of brightly colored exercise balls which created nice patches of shade to hide from the sun. There were also strategically placed hoops through which you could bounce the balls out from the net and let them careen down to the ground (or attempt to throw back into the net... which I failed at spectacularly) to sit yer ass upon. Or bounce around. Or throw at your friend's face. The whole installation encouraged interaction, and not only did I see people trying to get the balls out, but every once and a while I spotted intrepid people climbing the poles:In the side room, the poles made different sounds as you wobbled them. They were connected to the internet, and if you had a iPhone you could control the volume of the poles with it.
Also there were a few hammocks scattered around, but it was almost impossible to snag one. They did look comfortable though.
The art inside I have to say was the worst collection thus far. I guess when you don't have Olafur Eliasson everywhere everything else just pales in comparison. There was this neat tree, cement dust installation- a comment of the de-rainforestation going on in Brazil.
I've heard that one before...
And of course the basement is always cool, both in temperature (zing!) and if you like old relics. Someone had been gold leafing bits and pieces everywhere, but all we saw of his/her presence was bits of gold scattered on the ground and smatterings of leaf on the vintage machinery.

We headed back outside to get some dance party in:
And from somewhere balloons floated out into the crowd. Those balloon combined with bubbles from a bubble gun added to the fun! I took a picture but BARBARA PHOTO BOMBED THAT SHIT!
Take two-
Also- this guy was there...
And these guys. They are art.