BLK/WHT

Interestedly enough, we do a lot of laughing. You can’t tell from these images because our in house photog, John Ricard, likes to capture those somber moments. You know the moments pre or post laughter or deep cackle. Or those times where we are dog tired from a day of walking the city streets. We do a lot of that.

I suppose a face without laughter evokes an emotion that makes us think a bit more about the subject. The emotions bring you to a place where you may think of your own emotions or feelings. It may even make you sympathetic. Whatever it is, there is nothing like a black and white portrait where a smile, a smirk or even a somberness is captured.

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NYC MTA
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Hair Grease and Comb
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Ascending 
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Tacos and News

Images: John Ricard

Tool: Leica

Kings Theatre: Brooklyn’s Finest Edition

The Kings Theatre, formerly Loew’s Kings Theatre, is a live performance venue in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. Opened by Loew’s Theatres as a movie palace in 1929 and closed in 1977, the theater sat empty for decades until a complete renovation was initiated in 2010.

I recently got a chance to tour the theatre as a guest of a member of the Prospect Park Alliance. I have been wanting to tour the theatre since it reopened but time and money had your girl put this activity on the back burner. What a treat it was to get an invite for a tour of a theatre that is in my very own backyard.

I watched a great documentary about the renovation a few years back. It is a story of a group of men who went to Erasmus High School (who spent a great part of their youth at the King’s Theater) and their plight to revitalize the theater was truly moving. I don’t know if the students at Erasmus High can spend hours at the King’s Theatre now because it is no longer a movie house, it is more of a concert venue. The prices if concerts and rent are both too damn high but it is without a doubt, hands down, a great addition to the community.

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The stage.
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Every inch of this theatre has a detail worth noting.
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This amazing ceiling reminded me of a what we see in modern day Sci-Fi movies as the representation of a UFO. It is elevated, high and amazing.
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The moldings are ornate and intricate and looks like wood and marble but is actually a cast made of plaster.
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Our Kings Theatre Tour Guide gave us an intimate talk and this ladies powder room was easily one of her favorite places and it was also one of mine.
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The carpet pattern is the original carpeting from the 1920s. I loved the skirt’s pattern parted with the carpet’s tapestry.
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Molding on the wall and baseboards elevates a room.
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Listening closely to our docent’s words.
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The fleur de lis crests were all around us. The velvet chairs on the upper level had these crests embroidered into it. The French influence was felt and our guides shared that the Kings Theatre was modeled after the design of the Opera House in Paris.

http://www.kingstheatre.com/about/history/

Cookies and Chill: Doubletree (Bedford Glen)

I did not intentionally plan a weekend getaway from NYC but it so happens that my husband wanted to visit a jiu jitsu school in Boston so who am I to say no to a road trip? As the work week went on, from the first time he mentioned the trip, I anticipated the get away more and more. I jumped onto the Doubletree Bedford Glen website to check out the hotel’s amenities and saw that there was a pool and a gym. (FYI, I still have not made it to the gym.)

I envisioned myself reading magazines, my book and sipping coffee by the pool. No tall tropical drinks here because it’s cold. I have to say, upon entry to the Doubtree, I was not let down. The hotel is clean, spacious and beautiful. There are tons of real plants that are used to decorate the hotel’s lobby which offers a feel of the outdoors while you are inside. Brilliant!

The rooms are spacious and there is enough room for all three of us to lounge comfortably.

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Plenty of counter space in the bathroom and the lovely is a flat lay lover’s dream.
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Old faithful. You cannot go wrong with Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries.
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The COOKIES!!!!
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For a super reasonable fee, you can feast like a queen for breakfast at the hotel’s buffet. There are newspapers like USA Today and The Wall Street Journal that you have access to daily.
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We definitely made it to the pool and Angelique got a chance to use her beloved Mermaid Tail. The little boys who were in the pool cried out in delight, “A Mermaid!”
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There is a desk and a very comfy lounge chair area in the room.
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Two comfy double beds.
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You can find me here.
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How dreamy are these plants?
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Angelique applied some press on nails for me and now I’m feeling myself.

The weekend wind down is essential in order to conquer the many work weeks ahead.

 

 

 

New Showrooms: Red Hook Ikea Edition

There is nothing better than a lazy Sunday afternoon trip to Ikea! We make it our mission to walk through the entire showroom and then through the Marketplace. There is something to see in every corner and every step I take moves me closer to filling my big yellow Ikea bag with Norwegian goodies.

Our visit is never early so we never get a nice, neat Ikea showroom presentation. By the time we make it there on a Sunday afternoon or evening, all of Red Hook Brooklyn has already mussed with the pillows and tussled the sofa seats. The beauty and the curse of New York is the hectic pace and loads of people everywhere. Even though the showroom pieces were not in the best of shape, they were beautiful nonetheless.

Take a look at my favorite showroom moments:

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This gallery wall is perfectly done. I love the mismatched shapes and sizes on the frames. 
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Angelique contributing to the mussing up of showroom sofas. How comfy do those pillows look?
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I love this faux cow print foot stool. 
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Where in the world? If this does not inspire you to travel then nothing will. Take your travel photos out of the album and pin them to your wall.
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Pretty in Pink. I would normally not veer towards an entire sofa unit done in a soft pink but this works.

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The green sofas and wooden chandelier really brings an earthy vibe to the room.

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This wall unit is giving me an Italian Lacquer feel, which is not my speed, but the earthy accessories work with the piece.
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My favorite!! The kitchen!! (In my Oprah Voice). Grey and stainless steel. It’s a winning combination.
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But for real though, I’ve said it before, wooden cabinets are timeless.
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The girl and I. Can you spy my yellow Ikea bag?

 

 

Soap & Glory: Pretty Scents Edition

In the midst of all of my Christmas shopping a few months back, I picked up this Soap & Glory bath and body gift set. It was on sale at a drug store (Walgreens, CVS or Rite Aid–I can’t remember which one) and the sweetest salesperson had a table set up, she was dressed in a pink tutu and peddling the bath set. The set was on sale for 50 percent off. It was originally $40 but on sale for $20. I though it was worth it. The package was pretty and the products looked and smelled good.

It’s February and I just got around to trying my body wash and body butter. Can I just say, “wow!” Your shower will smell amazing and you will leave a trail of pretty in your entire house. I love showering after a long day of work or after a workout and this scent helps in the destress process. It’s great for helping to wind down. The scent is very luxe and there is enough body wash here to last me close to a month. A little goes a long way. I layer my scents because it lasts longer so having the body wash and body butter in the set is great for layering.

I use the body wash, followed by a quick slather of the body scrub. After my shower, I leave a little moisture ok  my skin and moisturize with the body butter.

layer your scents so that they last longer

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The set comes in a really cute pink box. It’s not reusable but the packaging looks like a big brand you can find in Sephora.
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The star of the show. This body wash feels so silky. There is a bonus loofah and the lather is great on the loofah.
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The scrub. I use it two or three times a week after showering with the body wash.
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The bad ass body butter!
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I keep the hand cream in my pocketbook and I’m getting my heels ready for summer with the Heel Genius.
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The set comes with a thick pink loofah and this cute headband. Everything is soft and plush.

Pick up your set at Walgreens for 20 bucks!

 

Do You Own or Rent?

Super personal question, right? There is a clear and definite answer to the question and most people buy or rent for specific purposes. Many of us can’t afford to buy and many of us can’t afford to rent! There is a play on words there. I’ve met plenty of renters who often say that the reason they rent is because they cannot afford to buy a home. Living in NYC does not make buying easy. Most homes (even those in horrific shape) have a price tag of over a million dollars. Who can afford that?? (Plenty of people, but me and mine can’t right at this moment.) I’ve also met plenty of home owners who say that they would never even entertain the idea of renting because it is synonymous with throwing your money out of the window every month.

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Love the muted colors on the wall and velvet seating paired with the pop of color on the curtains and art on the wall.

I know a few people who are looking to buy homes or condos and every single one of these people have different budgets that they are working with and different needs. Some people have specific neighborhoods that they want to be in and others are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city but be close enough to the city to get to work.

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Dark walls are in but I don’t know if I can be committed to a dark wall if I don’t have access to megawatt natural lighting. I love the option of a dark sofa and dark canvas art in an all white room.

The key to figuring out if you want to rent or buy is to first figure out your needs. What do you need? That is the question that you first have to answer (for most things in your life actually.) If you are ok with renting and knowing that the money that you pay to a landlord does not benefit you at the end of the rental relationship then renting is for you. There is a mutual understanding in the relationship and you may not want to be bothered with the headaches of home ownership. Home ownership does come with certain headaches but it also comes with the joy of knowing that you have made an investment in yourself and your family.

But whether you own or rent, you can hook up your space. The decor ideas are all around IG and Pintrest, are affordable and found in some of your favorite home goods stores.

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I know white cabinets are all the rage but I love nothing like I love dark wood cabinets paired with marble counters and glass tiles. The white is a trend and is bound to become old, fast. Stick with the wooden cabinets.
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There is nothing greater than a cozy bedroom. We see the mixture of dark grey and light grey here again but done with the lamp shades and pillows instead of on the wall.
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But if you are going to do the dark walls then please keep the furniture, bedding and accessories white or light.
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A great tub is the standard when you are buying a home. A stand alone tub is really a luxury. It is a place where you can wind down at the end of the day.
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A girl can dream, right? 🙂

 

 

Statement Coat: Do Something Different

Mixing the old and the new, high and the low is essential in building style. No one should be wrapped in one bran or one trend. It makes for a look that does not strike interesting or feel authentic. I love a mix of textures and prints. I am a sucker for wearing all thing black so that can get a bit boring if there  isn’t something interesting happening.

 

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For me, in the wintertime, there is something to be said for having a great coat that you might not see on everyone else. The bigger, warmer and Sofer the better. I recently picked up this long, black velvet feel coat at L Train Vintage. It was the only one in store so I probably won’t see anyone else in NYC swagging out in my coat. The trend has been loads of leopard prints, faux furs and teddy bear coats on all of IG and the blogs.

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Quite frankly, the Social Media has caused for a complete overload when it comes to the ways trends are presented by influencers and bloggers. Even though the influencers are all different, the trends ALL look the SAME. Damn Gina! This NYC girl needs some type of variety from said influencers. Swag up and deliver that leopard or teddy bear coat in a different way.

P.S. I’m no influencer so the coat just went over what I wore to work on Friday and I drafted my 13-year-old to take these pics. I wear what’s comfortable but I love seeing great style. It’s like moving art.

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Coat: L Train Vintage; Sweater: Forever 21; Black Tee: Old Navy; Blue Jeans: H&M; Leather Bootie: Sears

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Art On My Wall: Basquiat

What better was to spend a sleepy Sunday than to visit the magical Brooklyn Museum of Art. The building is truly this majestic place right in the middle of the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. If you have to walk, run or jog, please do get there to catch the “One Basquiat” show currently on exhibit until March 11, 2018. It is called “One Basquiat” because there is 1 of Basquiat’s painting on exhibit. The lucky painting that we are getting to see is the now famous piece called “Untitled” that was recently acquired by Mr. Yusaku Maezawa, entrepreneur and contemporary art collector.

Mr. Maezawa is young, at 41-years-old he is an accomplished entrepreneur but also a philanthropist as he shares his love of art with us. He recently wrote on Instagram: “When I first encountered this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art. I want to share that experience with as many people was possible.”

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“Untitled” by Basquiat
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Brooklyn born and bred, Basquiat.

while I was at the Brooklyn Museum, I had to visit the 3rd floor. It’s where you can view the vast exhibit on Egyptian relics. Below are some pieces of Nefertiti in sandstone. I am forever intrigued by Egyptian history, culture and life.

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Style Fashion Week: Cipriani

 

It’s New York Fashion Week and all of New York City (I exaggerate, not all of New York City) is enjoying the scenes, the festivities and the shows. I am not a fashionista and not invited to most shows and I rely on the recap done by the New York Times for my season looks from my favorite designers. Watching for my couch may very well be better than waiting to watch shows from seats that are not front row. I kid, it’s always better to see and hear and feel the entire aesthetic but the constant run to shows can be hectic and should be left to the professionals who does this. I did manage to watch a show put on by Style Fashion Week held at NYC’s famed restaurant, Cipriani. The energy was great and the people were all fantastic. The designers were varied and the looks were both funky and pretty.

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What I wore to the show.
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The hat is from Forever 21, the fur scarf is from Zara, the jacket is vintage from L Train Vintage.
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Bag is from H and M.

The designer looks on the runway from Style Fashion Week.

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Pretty dresses floated down the runway.
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How gorgeous is this gown.

 

 

Sensational Saturday: L Train Vintage Furs

I’m driving through Williamsburg, Brooklyn and could not help but stop into one of my favorite vintage stores. I’ve been trying to find a teddy bear coat or fur coat because they are on trend. I tend to follow trends, not to the extreme, but add maybe one piece that is on trend at the moment in my closet. I don’t walk to walk around in clothes that I won’t feel great in two months from now. I follow my little shopping ♡ when I see a trend. If a piece is still on my mind after weeks or months of me thinking about it, then I act on it. Go out and buy the piece girl!

Well, thats what happened at L Train Vintage today. I stopped in to try on some vintage coats hoping to find a piece with some character and something that I may still love after the trend dies down. I bought a great black coat from the 70s, in great condition, for $18. It fit like a glove but I have no pictures of me in it. My photog, my daughter, wasn’t feeling my coat of choice so she inadvertently took no pictures of me in it. She has tons of pictures of me trying on some fur pieces though. I was low-key in love with the shrugs but did not pick one up because I’m trying to practice self control.

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L Train’s huge iconic mirror.
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Found a honey brown fur caplet that was just the right size for me. 
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Combing through the racks with a fellow shopper nearby.
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There is a large selection of full length furs but I’m 5 feet so they swallow me. I need a mid length situation.
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This is the girl who almost went home with me but I left her in store. She was $30. Well worth the price. The satin lining was in great condition. Perfect for throwing on over a cocktail dress.
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This bag is almost as popular as the Bloomies bag at this point. Am I exaggerating? Maybe just a little. 
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Till next time L Train Vintage.

Do you shop vintage? If so, what are some of your tips for finding great pieces at bargain prices.

 

 

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