Sometimes in “the Greatest City on Earth,” you go somewhere and find out that it’s (A) really really popular and (B) a huge tourist/locals destination. Enter: Strand Bookstore in the East Village.
On Saturday, I visited with my friend Glo for the first time and it was basically a playground for bibliophiles. Notice the suggestions above? Employees give you their own recommendations for books and when/why to read them. They have really thorough sections, like the Banned Book section:
They also have super dope merchandise. I have a small tote bag addiction (read: I have upwards of 10 just for grocery shopping/additional storage on-the-go), but I had to have on of their cute bags:
And then there’s just the cute journals and cards that I did will myself not to buy. They have pretty much all of the coolest stuff for writers and doodlers. I was in heaven…..
And so, kiddos, I had a great time. If you visit NYC or you live here, definitely make a trip. You’ll leave with something you need, and probably a few things you just wanted really badly. If you have been to NYC before, where do you think I should go next? I’m trying to give this whole “exploring in the coldest winter” thing a try!
This is what I did Saturday afternoon :]
My Christmas vacation is quickly coming to a close here in Kentucky/Cincinnati (yes, near where “Peeta” is from). It’s been super cold and snowy, but one thing I’ve missed more than Jay-Z misses Kanye being single is the space and the natural light. My tiny Brooklyn bedroom/apartment doesn’t really afford me any extra light or space, so it has been nice to stretch my little body out. Here are some of my favorite parts of my house:
My mom had this really big “travel” and “vintage” period, and I love these quirky old suitcases because they are simply decor. They serve no purpose aside from making the house feel like a home.
My mom has had these records since she was in high school. That peach box is real, it’s not some prop from Urban Outfitters. How cute?! I’m sure she doesn’t listen to the records anymore, but maybe one day we will.
Between the first picture and this one, you can hopefully tell what my mother’s favorite animal is. She adores elephants. There are elephants in almost every room of the house.
This has been one of my favorite things since I was a kid. My sister and I used to pretend we were the two women in this tapestry and we would make up stories to go along with it. As an adult, I just love the Egyptian influence. Very swank.
At first, being black, the idea of living in the woods seemed like we were breaking all of the horror film rules. After living here for a while I started to feel more in-tune with nature.
Almost like Pocahontas but less hot.The two decks on the front of my house that overlook the stream and my mother’s plant habit bring the outside in at every turn. I’m going to start buying plants for my NYC apartment asap.
And there you have it! All of these lovely things that I just love and plan to miss about my home.
To me, Christmas is the best time of the entire year. I’m not particularly religious, and while I love giving gifts, I always feel too old to have a list for anyone else—but I do love it. Being able to take time off work (BIGGEST BONUS EVER) to see my darling family is so nice, and as much as I knock it, I love Kentucky and Cincinnati. I like the slower pace but the ability to go to a city if the feeling arises. I like driving. I like all of that. As a kid, Christmas really did mean Santa, and not sleeping at all the night before. My sister and I got walkie-talkies one year, and we would chat room to room about how we were holding up under the supreme anticipation. As we got older, we watched Titanic all day Christmas Eve to make the hours pass faster. I mean literally back to back to back (it’s a really long movie, okay?).
I’ve only been home a few days, but I already know that it’s going to be one of the best Christmases ever, because I’m lucky to be able to give gifts and be here with my fam-bam. So whatever Christmas means to you, or whatever you’re celebrating in the colder seasons, I hope it is all you’ve wished for!
I’ve been pretty much AWOL the past week or two because of some majorly unexpected life shifts. If I can give you any advice for your 20s, it’s to never get too comfortable. Things can change overnight and you’ll have to be ready to adapt! Blech, enough with being cryptic.
-Realized just how much I inhabit the same wavelength as my friend, Nessa, who took beautiful pictures of me during her stay in NYC.
-I saw the cutest Pomeranian staying warm in front of this heated area in front of a bodega.
-I had the pleasure of meeting up with a friend from high school at the Bengals bar in the Lower East Side. The Bengals won! Who-Dey.
-Took a walk around Brooklyn, and noticed that (A) the street art here is beautiful and (B) it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
All the love,
The way we see ourselves is largely based on how others see us. Even the reflection in the looking glass is interpreted by everything that has ever influenced our ideas of beauty and lack thereof—even before our speedy membranes and neurons and other science words of which I loosely remember the meaning— have had the chance to fire. Photographers of merit have an innate gift, a supreme talent of not only being in the moment, but shooting an image that actually mirrors our true selves. No wonder people used to think that the snap of a shutter could literally steal their soul. Like everyone else, I have perceived flaws that I’d like to change. When I look at Nessa’s photos, I don’t see any of my flaws as flaws. She didn’t airbrush them away, she just made them seem like beautiful quirks. Her photos have this dreamy, whimsical feeling, and I’ve never felt better about photos of myself. I’ve honestly never thought I could look girly and darling and interesting, and these photos have changed my outlook on myself. If a skilled artist can capture this in myself, then it must be there, right? It’s also worth noting that her casual professionalism made me feel less awkward in front of the lens. She was encouraging and specific about where my focus should be, and I could feel her vision evolving (that sounds so airy-fairy, but come on, you know what I mean) as we shot frame after frame.
So I think every single person should have photographer friends. Not only that, but they should seek out the artsier humans that can interpret all that we are in completely captivating, creative, lovely ways. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s hilarious, witty, and loads of fun to spend a chill weekend with. Please her out on YouTube, Instagram, Her Blog, Twitter, and wherever else you can find her.
My friend Nessa (the best photographer around) is coming to visit this weekend! Preparing to have the best photos of me in existence taken. And to have way too much fun.