back in the new york groove

hey friends and lovers!

I hope you had the most warm and beautiful Valentine's Day weekend! 

I've been back in Manhattan for 3 weeks now and, as always, it's been a blast. This post is going to be a little update on the last few weeks of events, including my latest restaurant finds, the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show, J's visit, and a Nike event I participated in!

It's going to be a big hodge podge, I apologize in advance!

image.jpg

I FINALLY made it back to Manhattan on January 25th, after having my flight cancelled 4 times because of the massive snow storm. I made it back with ten minutes to spare before my first class of the semester and headed right there!

Academically, I feel so fortunate lately. I am lucky to go to a school that is such an advocate for professional development. After a few meetings with my amazing academic advisor Marcia, we determined that I will be able to graduate a year early because of my credits from high school rolling over. At FIT, each student receives an Associate's degree in one subject and has the option to advance into a different, related degree for their Bachelor's. I will finish my Associate's degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications and graduate this December. Then I will (hopefully) go into my Bachelor's in International Trade and Marketing with a minor in Sustainability and Ethics in the spring, study abroad in Italy during one of my semesters in that program (a dream of mine for a long, long time), and intern over one summer. After that, my dream is to get my Master's degree from Fordham University in Fashion Law, the first program of its kind in the country. 3 degrees, 4 years? Let's do this!!!! (I also made the Dean's List last semester, which I am pretty proud of!)

Sorry if that sounded like a lot of academic nonsense! I LOVE living in the city, but my first priority in life right now is my education. I've loved learning since I was tiny, so finding out I can graduate early, save money, and pursue my dream has been an incredibly gratifying experience.

While I have spent the majority of the past few weeks adjusting to my new school schedule (I have class Monday-Wednesday, which is superb) and getting back into the rhythm at work, I have had some marvelous opportunities arise that I would love to share with you guys!

NIKE BARRE

image.jpg

My first week back I was invited to Nike's premiere party for their new YouTube series, Margot vs. Lily. My friend Emma invited me, who is lucky enough to be an intern for Nike!

My friend/coworker Melina and I excitedly trekked over to 10th Ave for the event!

Nike held several events to promote the show that weekend. The one I chose was Nike Barre, hoping that it would be the easiest class. I took ballet during my sophomore year of high school, so this class seemed like the most rational class to take.

image.jpg
image.jpg

We arrived and took an elevator up into the warehouse they rented out. They had a really cute open-concept bedroom type space set up to match the personalities of the main characters in the YouTube series, Margot and Lily. We went over to the desk and got our t-shirts, sporting the saying "Everything will workout in the end" (so positive, love them!), as well as some sneakers to train in that I fell in love with. We spent a little time socializing with a few other FIT students who came to the event and then we headed upstairs to view the first two episodes of the series!

image.jpg

We were handed some popcorn and candy and watched the show. I enjoyed the first two episodes! It is on Nike's YouTube channel if you want to check it out! Coincidentally, I met the actress who played Margot at work a few days later and was able to compliment her on her work on the series!

image.jpg

After that, we headed upstairs for a workout! We had two wonderful trainers lead us in a barre workout, which is not ballet-based as I originally thought. It's a lot of holding one position until your muscles VIBRATE. IT HURTS SO MUCH. Or maybe that was just me because I am not very adept in fitness.

image.jpg

After the workout, we headed back downstairs to the bedroom space, turned back in the shoes (tear), and grabbed some awesome after-workout food! Nike provided some swag bags, health juice by Juice Witches (I had Stardust, it was delicious), and Sweetgreen salad (apple and butternut squash, ever since I've been craving salad from there which is so not me). A new Glossier Balm Dotcom was in the bag which was such a nice surprise! Glossier is one of my favorite skincare brands that you should check out if you're looking for a nice basic skincare/makeup line!

image.jpg

Overall I had a blast at this event and I am so grateful that Nike puts on events like this in my city! I will be sure to attend some more this semester!

image.jpg

YEEZY SEASON 3

image.jpg

I'm not a big fan of Kanye West's efforts in fashion in the past. However, when I found out that he was having his Season 3 unveiling and new album listening party 4 blocks from me, I was intrigued enough to buy tickets.

Many students from my school volunteered as stylists and dressers for the show which I heard was a demanding yet rewarding experience. They had to be up at 2am to transport the clothes from Jersey City to NYC and worked until the show at 4pm. I went just to observe with my suitemate Courtney and we had seats in the Bridges section of Madison Square Garden, which ended up being the perfect way to get in on all the action. We had comfy seats, an overhead view, and outlets for our phones to charge, which was a nice perk. If you're ever seeing a show at MSG and you're not a diehard fan, I recommend those seats!

The show itself was a little underwhelming. I loved two of the pieces in the collection, specifically two maroon colored jumpsuits, but the burnt-orange palette is not something I would attempt personally because I think orange is unflattering on just about everybody. I thought Kanye would perform some songs from the new album, but instead he played them off of his laptop. I did enjoy a lot of the songs and am still awaiting the release of his album on iTunes! I consider myself a fan of Kanye's music so it was fun to be able to be one of the first in the world to hear the album. 

image.jpg

The models stood in one place for the entire show. It lasted just over an hour. I would say it would've been worth about $20-30 to see, but not what I was charged. I did enjoy the experience, and it was cool to be in the same room as Anna Wintour and accomplished industry professionals, but next time I will probably think twice before shelling out more than $30 for a Yeezy show.

image.jpg

Kanye did announce a forthcoming video game he designed called "Only One" (my favorite of his recent singles) that follows his mom going through the gates of heaven. I did get a little teary when he showed the preview. I thought it was sweet that someone frequently depicted as an egomaniac would create such a touching tribute to his mom. I will be checking that out in the future!

DUMBO ART CRAWL

image.jpg

Last week, I went to an art walk in DUMBO with my friend Madi and some of her friends! I had a great time exploring the galleries. Just wanted to make note of one that stuck out in particular: Smack Mellon. I was blown away by their current exhibit and couldn't get a photo to do it justice. It makes you feel like you are a polar bear swimming at the zoo, using tulle and projections. If you're in the area anytime soon, I highly recommend stopping by! The walk from the subway to the gallery is very photogenic as well, if you're looking to take a nice photo of you and the Manhattan Bridge peeking out between buildings!

image.jpg

A WEEKEND IN HARLEM

image.jpg

Whenever Jordan visits, we try to stay in an Airbnb in an area of the city where I don't spend a lot of time. I live in Chelsea and work in the Meatpacking, so last time he visited, we chose to stay on Wall St., right next to Tiffany's. We stayed in a beautiful, quiet high rise building. While that was a peaceful trip, this time we chose a place on the direct opposite end of town, with a lot more culture.

image.jpg

It was off to Harlem we went!

image.jpg
image.jpg

We had the most overwhelmingly positive experience. We chose our place this time months ago because we fell absolutely in love with the interior design of the rooms and the story (featured in the New York Times). Anita (our host) bought an entire apartment building in Harlem with her divorce settlement and decided to follow her dream to open her own Indian restaurant and renovate apartments on the upper floor. The rooms Anita designed were absolutely stunning, which is natural due to her background in luxury hotel management. There are three room choices: Heaven, Earth, and Paradise, the penthouse suite. We chose Heaven and the room was even more beautiful in person than it was in photos!

We were greeted with fresh chai and cheddar curry biscuits when we arrived, on the house. We felt so welcomed and at home during our stay. We were invited to a musical performance in the restaurant that night. Although we didn't attend because we were a little tired, we heard the music through the floor until midnight that night and slow danced to No Woman, No Cry. The next night we came in again for some chai and chatted with Diego, who helped us during our stay. He also attended FIT and we had a great conversation. Another employee handed me a handmade flower broach for Valentine's Day. I felt so at home!

The place was one block from the 2/3 train, giving visitors easy access to all of the city. It was so convenient!

If you are interested in renting this room, here's the link!

image.jpg

It was lucky for us that we chose this visit to splurge on a room because the weather this weekend was unbearable. Mayor de Blasio issued a warning for New Yorkers to stay in this weekend, however, we were determined to go out a bit. 

image.jpg

We had the most amazing brunches at Tartine in the West Village (authentic French, cash only) and Cafe D'Alsace on the Upper East Side (most amazing French toast. EVER). 

If you're ever in the city, you definitely need to visit Kith Treats. I am biased because of my affinity for ice cream (it's genetic, undebatably I got it from my mom), but if you were a fan of cereal as a child, you'll love this. Kith Treats allows you to blend any cereal they have (there's a lot of choices) into a soft serve ice cream. I had Cinnamon Toast Crunch and J had Lucky Charms, both were spectacular. Ice and Vice is still my #1 ice cream pick in the city, but this is in my top 5.

image.jpg

Activity-wise, we spent some time at the MET, the Frick Collection, and shopping and that was about it for this trip. It was below zero outside so we couldn't justify going out a lot. We still had the best time. I finished off the weekend feeling so grateful for the person I get to spend my days with. We have an exciting opportunity over spring break in March and will also probably take a road trip, I will be sure to blog about that!

I hope your 2016 is going well! Based on September's poll, you guys seem to like hearing about lifestyle posts the most. Right now that's overwhelmingly what I post. I think come springtime I will work on an outfit post. I'm also thinking of doing a week of vegetarian Trader Joe's meals, which I have been considering for awhile, so that may be coming up in the coming months!

THERE IS A NEW POLL UP ON THE POLL PAGE! As of January, I've been a vegetarian for 5 years, meaning I've saved 1,010 animals! I'm looking for a new lifestyle challenge that I should implement, somewhat inspired by Lucie Fink's 5 Day challenges on the Refinery29 YouTube channel. Let me know what positive lifestyle change I should do a challenge on!

much love,

em

what I've been watching: Spotlight! Mind-blowing film. Also Dear Zachary, which I recommend you never watch because I have never cried harder in my life!

what I've been reading: mostly textbooks. but also Egghead, Bo Burnham's poetry book!

what I've been wearing: my Sorel snowboots (warm and cozy) and the boyfriend jeans J got me for Valentine's Day!