Thursday, May 20, 2010

In the words of Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff: Summer Summer Summertime, Time to Sit Back and Unwind

After selling my college textbooks and getting back a measly $63, I am home and so ready to get this summer started.

I kicked off vacation with a weekend trip up to NYC with my mom. She was being taken by a furniture design company who put us up in a gorgeous room at the Bryant Park Hotel. We met up with my friend Chris for a fantastic lunch at Via Quadronno on the UES. If your stomach is in the market for delicious a panini and wonderful espresso go here. The space is cozy (if you have issues with basically sitting on a strangers lap in a booth, I guess this isn't your place). The flying pigs painted on the walls and the tiny tables with Pellagrino make you feel like you are anywhere but 73rd and Madison. 


I ordered "La Madunina" which was a panini with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, black olive paté, and fresh tomatoes. The prosciutto was the closest thing to the pure bliss I've tasted in Italy, along with the incredibly fresh melted mozzarella. I was worried that the paté might out-flavor everything, but it was perfectly distributed and was a wonderful complement to the other flavors. I wish I took a picture to show you the greatness of this panini, but here is a photo of another sandwich that captures what you are getting yourself into when you eat at Via. 

 photo: Via Quadronno

Before heading to the Met, we finished our meal with a Cappuccino. Unreal. My friend Charlotte can attest to my adoration for foam, let me just say this was the Pièce de résistance of foam.  

Later that day, I met up with my friend and fellow Art History major, Morgan, at the Park Avenue Armory for Christian Boltanski's No Man's Land exhibition. Prior to its New York arrival, the show was at the Grand Palais in Paris. Of course the connection I made was that Chanel has its shows at the Grand Palais and Marc Jacobs has his at the Armory. Boltanski's work deals with death, mortality, and memories. Some of his work displays massive collections of items. At the installation, there was a pile of 30 tons worth of clothing surrounded by a graveyard-like grid of clothing lit by sterile halogen tubes and a massive crane. In intervals of about 40 seconds, the crane would lower, pick up a claw-full of clothing, and let it drop back on the top.

In such a grand scale, the clothing could not be treated through single articles, but as one large unit. This brings up questions of why do we keep things and what importance or utility do items have after they are used or their owner is gone? The sheer volume of clothes effectively displayed the notion that the purpose of collecting and saving things can lose meaning or be forgotten. Why do we need material reminders of anything? Why can't we trust our ability to remember? 

As I pack up my house to move, I've been faced with many of these questions. I've come across too many math worksheets from 5th grade and untouched Beanie Babies. I forgot why I kept some projects from middle school, which obviously were important to me at the time. There is a struggle when deciding what to toss and what to keep. I might come across an item had meaning to me in youth, but now I wrack my brain trying to figure out why I need a brochure from Sesame Place. 

To distract myself from the insane amount of papers, toys, books, clothes, furniture, art projects--you get the idea--I've realized my beloved Rich & Skinny dark-wash skinny jeans are way past their expiration date. I have officially worn multiple holes into the pockets, the once ink wash appears more like a pair of faded Levi's, and they are paper thin. Mind you, I have worn them basically every single day since I purchased them in November 2008. Luckily, I didn't need to break out into a full blown quest for a great pair of skinny jeans. I'm ready to buy me some J Brand Petite Low-Rise Pencil Leg jeans. 

 photo: J Brand
I've always loved J Brand. I wore out my gray skinnies years ago and have rediscovered my Love Story flares. I love the way their jeans fit, definitely true to size and the perfect amount of stretch. The details are simple, no fancy pockets or stitching. These skinnies are great for me because I don't have to worry about a trip to the tailor or excessively rolling them up. I know these jeans aren't cheap, but to find a great pair of jeans that I know will last a long time and are well made is worth it. 

Many empty boxes await to be packed and a huge carton of strawberries in kitchen has my name on it. I'm out. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I promise you I'm still here!

So while I have a moment to breathe in the midst of packing up my room and saying goodbye to friends, I would like to say that I am still alive despite my hiatus. Although I cannot dedicate myself to a full out post, I once again have a quest. My newest challenge: Finding the perfect Maxi dress. I always want to say maxi-pad, but that would be wrong. Ever since Spring weekend, I've gotten an itch to own a floor sweeping jersey dress. Of course I found the perfect James Perse tank dress at 60% off, but some force told me not to buy it. I hate you force.

Photo: Alexander Wang

I'm tempted to just give into the T by Alexander Wang and shell out the dollar bills, but I've never owned one of his pieces. Are they worth it? Do they pill after a couple washes? Halp.