Monday, June 29, 2015

UES: Park Avenue

This summer, I was lucky enough to find good housing within my budget for my internship in NYC and am staying with friends in the Upper East Side. While it's far from the Park Avenue apartment of the "Park Avenue Pollyanna" Charlotte York in SATC, it still feels like a pinch me moment when I pass through Park Avenue every day. Like millions of women across America, I too have always identified most as the "Charlotte" in my group of girlfriends (and have taken countless Buzz Feed quizzes to prove it). 

I'll admit I do enjoy walking past the luxe and pristine exteriors of the UES that yes, are chock full of cookie cutter awnings, uniformed doormen, and perfectly trimmed bushes, but I have begun to truly appreciate the quieter, slower-paced vibe in this part of the city. After a busy day downtown, it's nice to come back to quieter city streets and uncrowded sidewalks. While it doesn't have the mass amount of trendy bars and restaurants or quirky little boutiques that can be found in the west side or downtown, I'm slowly but surely finding the hidden gems around my neighborhood (more to come soon).

Dress: J.Crew | Shoes: Jack Rogers | Necklace: Best of Everything 

Friday, June 26, 2015

China Through the Looking Glass

With the help of sponsors Condé Nast, YAHOO!, and various Chinese donors, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently showcasing a whimsical exhibition of Chinese–inspired couture that is… 
awe-inspiring (for lack of a better word). To help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Department of Asian Art, the Costume Institute collaborated to carefully craft the exhibition, which spans several galleriess and floors featuring everything from Yves Saint Laurent to the House of Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, and even Ralph Lauren (to name a few). 

Every designer stayed true to his/her iconic aesthetic, but often with a beautifully bizarre touch of Chinese flair or quirky take on Chinese traditions such as blue and white porcelain (there's a dress made completely of it), opium, and Ming furniture. Each design was more lavish and over-the-top compared to the next and carefully curated with contrasting traditional Chinese artifacts and American films with Chinese imagery that add a level of playful irony. The costumes are beautiful albeit highly inaccurate appropriation of Chinese costumes, but that's exactly the point. The purpose of the exhibition isn't to celebrate the traditional Chinese dress; it's a costume exhibition in every sense of the word. 

Note: With so much glass and lighting, my photos don't do these costumes justice!

Who: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, sponsors Condé Nast, YAHOO, and Chinese Donors, countless designers including Yves Saint Laurent, House of Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, and Ralph Lauren (to name a few), and of course, Anna Wintour
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (walk through the Egyptian gallery)
When: Until August 16, 2015
Why: It's not an exhibition about China or Chinese clothing in a traditional sense, but through the fantasized looking glass of the beautiful world of couture. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New PreppyU June Post

It's widely known amongst my friends that I'm quite smitten with flamingos. Read my PreppyU post on the blog of fellow Boston University terrier and now alumna Marie!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Big City Tyro in NYC Part One

I apologize in advance for this post being extremely over-flooded with photos. I've been meaning to write a recap of my adventures in New York for three weeks now (I can't believe so much time has flown by so far), but other things life seemed to  get in the way. Here are some of the highlights from the past three weeks from getting settles at my internship at Redbook Magazine to walking through Central Park most days to walk to work, celebrating my 21st birthday, visiting the MET on numerous occasions, exploring the West Village, seeing NYC from up above, and so much more! 

I've been updating an excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the places and things I want to see this summer (because that seems like the only plausible thing a Type A would do), and I'm already amazed at how much I've crossed off already in such a short amount of time! 

Below I explain my Big City Tyro moments in New York so far; be on the lookout for some notes in between the endless stream of photos.

I feel very lucky to be an intern at Reedbook Magazine this summer. Owned by Hearst Corporation, which also owns 20 other magazines including Elle, Marie Claire, Esquire, Cosmo, Seventeen, and Town & Country, we are located in the Hearst Tower at Columbus Circle. With over 40 floors, I get to overlook Central Park daily- and no, the view never get old. I've learned a lot during these few weeks and am proud to work at a magazine with many teams of strong women who work hard to produce a magazine for real women like them. I also feel lucky that Hearst has many great programs open to employees and interns including frequent guest "master classes" including designer Carolina Herrera (you can read an article about the session here).

Finding (affordable) housing was like the Hunger Games, but thanks to networking, I'm living with friends of a friend in the UES. The first time I walked past the Met on the way home, I had a true pinch me moment. The Met has been my favorite place on this earth since I was a child. I've gone five times already and never fail to see something new. Of course, I loved seeing the China Through the Looking Glass Exhibit (more n that later). The UES may not seem the most exciting and bustling area to some, but I like its more quiet vibe.

Monet at the Met, always a favorite.

Hydrangeas, one of my favorite flowers, have been starting to bloom around the city, but I couldn't resist a little bouquet to put on my windowsill.

When the weather is nice, I try to walk to work through Central Park. Although it usually takes an hour, it's so peaceful and there's always some new hidden gem to see like the Belvedere Castle. I miss my daily runs along the Esplanade, but the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir has been a great spot for running-and beautiful sunset views. 

Ralph's Coffee is a hidden gem located on the second floor of his 5th Avenue store. 

Always a fan of musicals, my friend and I decided to try our luck with rush tickets after hearing Gigi would be finishing its tour this past weekend. We went right to the box office at 5pm for the 8pm show on a Friday night and not only got tickets for $35, we got the 6th row! 

A fan of the movie, I didn't know what to expect with this musical, but I honestly like the musical more! I'll admit I was a Vanessa Hudgens fan during my teenage High School Musical days, but I wasn't sure she'd be able to pull of this role. She actually blew me away; I've been listening to the soundtrack non-stop for days. 

After seeing pictures of the Give ME Love aka obliteration room all over Instagram for weeks, I went to see it with friends on the last day. We ended up waiting three hours in the heat for only three minutes inside the gallery, which was the size of my dorm room. Still not sure it was worth all the trouble, but the kaleidoscope of colors were definitely infectious. 

During my first weekend, my friend and I explored some of Soho, which has many cool walls with graffiti art. I also go to eat at Freemans, a true hidden gem off tucked down an alleyway near the Bowery. The french fries were delicious and the ice cream store, Morgenstern's, down the block had a refreshing burn vanilla honey flavor I will be craving al summer long.

For an earlier birthday celebration, my friend and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge at 5am to watch the sunrise. You can read more about that here, but it was quite an adventure just getting to the bridge with two over-sized balloons in tow on the subway at 4 am in the morning. Also, special shout out to every stranger who wished me a happy birthday along the way, even if 4 out of the 5 of you though I was turning 12...

My favorite neighborhood to explore so far has been the West Village. It's bursting with quirky, charming little treasures including copious amount of brownstones, coffee shops, pretty doors, and little boutiques that remind me of an edgier version of Beacon Hill. There are so many cute restaurants to dine alfresco, including Bobo where I enjoyed mojitos, oysters, and the cutest patio (more to come later) with my friends for my birthday dinner.

My bosses were so sweet and threw me a little birthday surprise at my desk. I had plenty of sweets the rest of the week though, including drinks at the iconic Rainbow Room (with gorgeous views of the city) and birthday cake for breakfast- my kind of mantra. I even put on my dancing shoes this past weekend and enjoyed a quick visit from a friend out of town.

As with all adventures, I can't believe how many memories I will have to cherish for years to come.

What adventures have you been up to lately?