Originally posted February 2014.
Fashion week just ended for winter 2018 so it’s a timely taste!
I have a bit of a fascination with fashion. I love reading fashion blogs, love the challenge of making the most of my tiny wardrobe budget. I’ve even considered adding a weekly What I Wore type feature- New York Starvinging Artist Style?- to New York Cliché. Would you read it? (I see my dude readers shaking their heads adamantly nooooo.) I love New York Fashion Week.
I always get caught up in the madness of these bi-annual seven days. For three years I lived in it. Literally lived a block away from it. The September NYFW moved from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center was the same month I moved to W 64th Street. Any time I left the house, I passed by the tents, by the photographers snapping pictures of attendees, by the back stage entrance where all the front-row celebrities exit their town cars. I even worked many events thrown in conjunction with Fashion Week, most memorably one with horribly bitchy models. I saw so many inside elements of America’s biggest fashion parade, but the inside of the tents remained a total mystery.
I always wanted to get inside the tents, even strategized ways of sneaking in. Gigantic, impermanent, impenetrable, canvas structures: they are the main venue of all the runway shows. You can’t get in with out a press pass or your name on a list. Money doesn’t buy you a ticket to a fashion show, unless your a socialite, but the point is the tickets are not for sale. It’s incredibly exclusive. You have to be “deemed worthy” to attend one of the shows.
This year, I found a loop hole. Volunteering your time will get you in the tent. That is how I found myself backstage for the final show of Fashion Week. Amongst frazzled designers, irate PR people, and dozens of naked models who needed me to help them get dressed.
New York Fashion Week Backstage
Abandoned lots are rare in New York where every square foot of space is worth big bucks. The exposed walls are prime space for street art. The art that goes up is often the most fleeting – as soon as contractors settle on building agreements the paint will disappear into the concrete jungle.
So catch these murals on 14th Street between 6th and 7th while you can! By the famous street artist twins OSGEMEOS whose signature style may have inspired the Nickelodeon show Hey Arnold! That’s complete conjecture on my part…but maybe you see it too?
I love that the chimneys of the building got incorporated in the fly outfits! Read More
Every Friday I feature some fleeting moments from my week that made me stop and think, “I’m so lucky to live in NYC!” Here we go for this Valentine’s week…
There were hearts all over the streets of NYC this week. Just the colorful pick-me-up we needed during this month that’s dreary and draggier than a morning commute that relies on the MTA…
Hearts chalked for several blocks in Soho. Think they were drawn with chalk or the dust of Conversation Hearts? Tomayto, tomahto? Read More
There’s something I’ve always loved about New York City on Valentine’s Day.
The daily, dreary commute home is suddenly full of people clutching little tokens of affection. Strangers on the subway suddenly have so much more context. A women has two bulging plastic bags from Rite Aid, when mI see the teddy bear ears poking out of each and I think of the little kids she’s going home to. The man sitting in front of me fiddles around with a blue pen in one hand, as he holds a pink flowery card in the other. He clearly wants to write this card as he sits on the subway but is struggling to find the perfect words… Or maybe he’s just self conscious because he can feel my imaginative eyes on him…
New York Valentine’s Day
At 6pm last night, it seemed that every other man on the street held a bouquet of flowers. Men poured out of the one flower shop I passed and lines for bodega flowers stretched out on the the street. I imagine the Valentines they are hurrying home to and it makes me smile. Read More
My Uncle Charlie was the most charming, dapper man I will ever know. Born in waning years of the Gatsby era, he spent his childhood avoiding the Depression by traveling Europe and lied about his age to go fight the Nazis. Yes, my Uncle Charlie could have easily been a character in a romantic movie, he had the plot line and the looks for it too. I never saw him wearing a top hat or dazzling dames on the dance floor, in fact I didn’t meet him until he was in the waning years of middle age, but it was always easy to imagine.
Uncle Charlie and I
I don’t remember ever seeing Uncle Charlie without a smile on his face or a twinkle in his eye. Even as he began suffering from Alzheimer’s, he would put on a happy face, at least for entertaining company. Warmth and positivity exuded from this man. Never in a Santa Claus way, at age 90, Uncle Charlie was still pure Fred Astaire. Even while doing something like washing dishes. I can still hear him singing the jazz standard he always sang over a soapy sink, “Heaven, I’m in heaven…” the first line of “Cheek to Cheek“. Life was worth singing about, even over banal chores. Read More
Public indoor spaces are a hot commodity during the winter months in New York City. Sometimes you just need the change of space from your apartment or office. Where do you go if you don’t want to spend money on coffee refills and feeling jittery all afternoon? There’s a New York public library on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village that has more ambiance than any coffee shop.
Jefferson Market Library
It’s a beautiful red brick building with a clock tower! Before it was donated to the NYPL it was a courthouse! Inside you’ll find stained glass windows and long tables with a surprising amount of space (and outlets!) to spread out and get work done. And of course shelves and shelves of books!
You take a spiral staircase to get to the main adult reading room. Beautiful stained glass meets you at the top. Read More
A heart-shaped box of chocolates is the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift cliché. If you want to think outside the box this Wednesday, NYC has countless treat options. Here are some of my favorites!
If your Valentine is a certified Chocolate Lover get them something special from New York City’s very first chocolatier! Li-Lac has been churning out chocolates for V-Day since 1923. One of the more unique things they do are chocolate molds. You’ll find something fun for every taste from pure chocolate miniature dinosaurs to Empire State Buildings, footballs to grand pianos.
The most decadent cookies in NYC are from Levain. They’re so big they look like scones! Absolutely delicious and unlike anything you can DIY, you’ll likely have to wait in a line to get your hands on them. The line moves fast (promise!) and makes them more of a special treat! Four flavors to try that would make a perfect quartet of cookies to try – though it would probably take days!