July 15, 2021No Comments

play it again: volume 25

2 minute read

Yesterday we walked through a field of French lavender, just before a summer rainstorm. And I have to say, I don’t think I’ve encountered such an intoxicating scent before — heady and sweet, yet earthy and musky. An alchemy of seasonal magic coming together to do what nature does best — surprise and delight. Oh, how I wish I could bottle it somehow. A souvenir of a summer day that I could revisit in the cold of winter. For now, the lavender at my bedside will have to do.

In case you're yearning for the south of France right now (or in this case, East Marion out on Long Island!), I hope today's playlist transports you for a moment or two.

Luxe Provence dress designed by Jamie Beck // Vintage Chanel earrings (love this pair!) // Shot on location at Lavender by the Bay in East Marion

Photography by Léanne Ansar

July 6, 20214 Comments

a day at old westbury gardens

3 minute read

Have you ever wanted to walk through a Gilded Age dream? I know I have, the moment I first "met" Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan out in Fitzgerald's glittering East and West Egg — fictional towns on the very real and very prestigious North Shore of Long Island. Once nicknamed the Gold Coast, the area was a haven for captains of industry (primarily steel and transportation) and their lavish mansions and lifestyles. Over 500 estates in total peppered the coastline by the early 20th century, among them were the homes of Vanderbilts, Astors, Whitneys — names that perhaps Fitzgerald pictured Gatsby entertaining until the early hours of the morning, searching for Daisy's eyes around the room every chance he got.Over the years, many of these Gold Coast Mansions were sold off, demolished or burnt down, but a small handful still remain — Old Westbury Gardens chief among them — and as we walked around the estate the other day, I couldn't shake the feeling of a party long ago ringing through the air still. Music waltzing along on a summer evening breeze. The clinking of champagne glasses and mid-Atlantic accents intertwined in conversation. The breathless excitement of lovers running just out of sight from the dance floor to steal a forbidden kiss.

While I may have stood there on a quiet, summer afternoon, seemingly exploring what is now a public garden and museum, my imagination joined an evening I'd only read about — where Daisy's perfume still lingered and the green light at the end of the dock still flashed. A party that even time couldn't disband — an immortal Gilded Age dream.

If you find yourself in the New York area this summer itching for a day trip, I can't recommend visiting Old Westbury Gardens enough. It's a true step back in time.

Prabal Gurung dress (borrowed) // Loewe belt // Jacquemus hat (might need to eventually snag this one) // Sarah Flint sandals // Vintage Chanel earrings // Photographed on location at Old Westbury Gardens

Photography
Allie Provost

June 14, 20211 Comment

postcards from the plaza + new luggage

3 minute read

Years ago, when I first saw the Wes Anderson film Darjeeling Limited, I became enamored with the idea of beautiful luggage that tells a story. If you remember at the beginning of that movie, Adrien Brody's character chases down a train in India that's just left the station, with several of his vintage monogrammed Louis Vuitton suitcases in tow. In true Wes Anderson fashion, there's a delightfully melancholy song from the 70s playing (Kinks' 'This Time Tomorrow'), as Brody narrowly catches the train, his bags a chic pile of finely crafted, well-traveled leather beside him. The luggage isn't necessarily pivotal to the film by any means, but it makes comical appearances throughout as each character lugs their own set from stop to stop, a metaphor perhaps for their individual emotional baggage. But make no mistake, it's the most beautiful emotional baggage I've ever seen. 

Since then, I've dreamed about owning my very own set of heirloom-quality luggage, particularly a set by Steamline Luggage, a brand whose old world approach to modern travel needs just speaks directly to my heart. I can't tell you how many times I've admired older women at the airport or the train station, with their leather suitcases, perhaps a hat box or two and a beautiful scarf adorned in just the right spot. Sophisticated yet effortless, as if they somehow breezed in ready for departure, while the rest of us huffed and puffed. To me, Steamline embodies this bygone era of glamorous travel.

Naturally, when their team reached out to me about photographing their new linen Editor collection that launched yesterday, I had to read their email twice. Followed by an excited Google search for long train trips I could take to christen my new bags. Oh, the places I'll take these beauties — the years of adventures we have ahead! Of course, I can only hope I don't have to run after the train like my friend, Adrien. But if I do, I know exactly what song I'll be humming in my head, as I pray the kitten heels on my feet keep up. 

Until then, staying local and checking in at one of my favorite New York hotels like The Plaza, certainly doesn't disappoint either.

Carolina Herrera gown (borrowed) // Oscar de la Renta gown (borrowed via Nova Octo) // Brandon Maxwell dress // Maticevski dress (borrowed via Nova Octo) // Steamline Luggage (gifted)

Photography
Allie Provost

June 8, 20211 Comment

where to watch the sunrise in nyc

3 minute read

The scene: Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant) and Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) sneak away out of sight from other passengers as their cruise ship prepares to dock in Manhattan. After a whirlwind secret romance, they are now facing the reality their trip must come to an end and they must face their respective realities apart from each other. Terry has prepared a letter for Nickie. Nickie begins to read from it.

Nickie: You have a date my beloved — July the first at 5 o'clock. But you don't say where?

Terry: Well, you name the place and I'll obey.

Nickie: I don't know, I can't think. How about the top of the Empire State Building?

Terry: Oh yes, that's perfect! It's the nearest thing to heaven we have in New York.

Nickie: 102nd floor and don't forget to take the elevator.

Terry: Oh, no, I won't. Darling, if things don't work out —

Nickie: Don't talk like that. I'm not listening.

Terry: Just in case one of us —

Nickie: We'll both be there! Hold the thought.

Terry: Hold the thought.

I've always loved that scene from An Affair to Remember (1957) but couldn't help but wonder why they never clarified the time precisely. I mean, of course 5 in the afternoon makes far more practical sense, but 5 in the morning — well that's just breathtaking! Thankfully for you and I, the Empire State Building does offer a Summer Sunrise ticket, where just like Nickie and Terry, you can rendezvous with a former lover (or just enjoy the view with a friend).

In case you're looking for other spots to catch the sunrise here in the city, keep reading below for some of my favorite vantage points.

Where to catch the best sunrise in NYC

Are there any spots I left out?

Rasario dress via Nova Octo (borrowed) // Manolo Blahnik heels (gifted) // Vintage Chanel earrings (similar style here) // Erdem hat // Vintage opera binoculars // Photographed on location at the Empire State Observatory decks at sunrise

Photography
Allie Provost

June 7, 20211 Comment

where to stay and what to do in nyc this summer

4 minute read

When you take as many photos of beautiful doors around NYC as I do, you strike up a lot of conversations with the doormen and women usually nearby. Most are quick to ask if you’re lost or if they can help with something so when I tell them I just had to stop and admire the architecture, they seem to sigh along with me — admitting that they too, find the building to be pretty spectacular. I've also come to find if you're wearing a Yankees cap, they'll usually let you take as many photos as you like (within reason, of course). Unless they happen to be a Mets fan, in which case, ask them how deGrom's pitching is going this season. But I digress —  I suppose this is a rambling appreciation post dedicated to all the doormen and women of New York City, but especially Tony at The Plaza Hotel, who always has a smile and a joke ready and doesn't shy away from a good photo opp moment. In fact, Tony and I go all the way back to 2018 — anyone remember these photos? Needless to say, it was so nice to see him again a few weeks ago at their grand reopening and perhaps with enough coaxing next time, I can encourage him to finally create that Instagram profile so I can tag him properly!

And on that note — given how often this question has popped up in my Stories lately — I wanted to share a handful of my recommendations if you happen to be heading to NYC this summer. An assortment of where to stay, where to dine and where to soak up all that NYC energy that is so tangible right now, in all the best ways possible. Hope you enjoy and, of course, welcome to New York!

Where to Stay:

  • The Plaza, Upper East Side; I will happily admit I'm definitely biased here, as The Plaza is one of my favorite hotels and all around landmarks in the city — and I fully recognize it may not be in everyone's budget to stay here for their entire trip. However, I'd recommend booking a night or two midweek if you can, for a taste of the experience. It's quintessential NYC at it's finest — and you won't regret the proximity to the park. Other iconic hotels to consider? The Carlyle and The Pierre are two other beautiful contenders.
  • Beekman Hotel, Financial District
  • NoMad Hotel, NoMad (North of Madison Square Park)
  • High Line Hotel, Chelsea
  • Greenwich Hotel, TriBeca
  • Wythe Hotel, Williamsburg BK
  • 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO
  • Equinox Hotel, Hudson Yards

Where to Dine:

A quick housekeeping note: Most of these are in the West Village, new and old spots alike, because we frequent them the most.

What to Do:

Brandon Maxwell dress // Sarah Flint heels (gifted) // Vintage YSL glasses (gifted, similar style here) // Steamline luggage Editor collection (gifted) // Vintage Chanel earrings (similar style here) // Vintage Hermes scarf // Boden belt (in love with this version!) // Photographed on property at the now reopened Plaza Hotel

Photography
Allie Provost

June 2, 2021No Comments

play it again: volume 22

3 minute read

During my many walks around the city over the course of lockdown, visiting The Plaza always felt particularly comforting to me. In the best of times, the hotel sits so proudly at the corner of bustling 5th Avenue traffic, a stoic guard watching over Central Park. And in the most quiet of times, like much of 2020, it felt like an old friend I needed to see every so often — a beacon of what makes New York so special; a magic that could never be extinguished. In those early months of quarantine, I’d pass those iconic gilded doors and think to myself, “I can’t wait for the day you’re open once again.” And I’d daydream about a return of parties and late night rendezvous that lead to midnight champagne and dancing until our feet hurt, dressed in our very finest. If the city is our oyster, the Plaza is most certainly the pearl. A testament to everything that heady, whirlwind New York romance is made of. And each time I’d walk past, I promised myself to savor the moment their doors were open once more — a moment, I’m so pleased to announce is finally upon us.

As of a few weeks ago, our dear Plaza, the stomping grounds of so many quintessential “only in New York” memories is re-opening and I, for one, may have teared up a bit when I breezed through their gold revolving doors for the first time in far too many months. My dear Plaza, it’s so lovely to see you again. I’ve missed you so.

And in case you want to get in the overly sentimental Plaza mood like me, look no further than today's playlist, which I think would be fitting for roaming the many grand hallways and ballrooms of my favorite New York institution. Heck, would be perfect for dancing down the hallway, too.

 

Carolina Herrera gown (borrowed) // Vintage Chanel earrings (similar style here) // Shot on location in the Grand Suite on the 20th floor at The Plaza Hotel (which is now reopened!)

Photography
Allie Provost

June 1, 2021No Comments

my new therapy: garden escapes

2 minute read

Perhaps this is a product of the past year or more of staying local, but I've picked up a new hobby so to speak. And that is, garden hunting. Well, more specifically, historic homes, mansions, castles and yes, gardens, that are open to the public to appreciate, tour and generally drool over. Fortunately, New York has no shortage of any of the above — largely thanks to a few Vanderbilts, Roosevelts and other early 20th century industry tycoons, and I'm terribly fascinated by the stories behind them all. Just last week, Allie and I visited Untermyer Gardens just north of the city in Yonkers, a 43-acre public park that is the remaining portion of the former home and estate of New York City lawyer, Samuel J. Untermyer. Construction started in 1916, and it's a marvel to visit, inspired largely by Indo-Persian gardens, complete with a reflection pool, walled gardens and a Grecian-style open-air amphitheater.

Over the weekend, Ty and I visited a few more beautiful historic properties just outside the city and many of you have requested a full roundup of these spots sometime soon. I'm here to report, I'll happily deliver on that request.

I'm curious, now that the world is opening back up, slowly but surely, have you found yourself still desiring to stay local? I've always loved road trips, but I think this past year has made me realize just how much I do enjoy them and how easy they are to fit in.

Brock set (rented via Nova Octo) // Sarah Flint sandals (gifted) // Photographed at Untermyer Gardens just north of the city in Yonkers

Photography
Allie Provost

May 17, 20211 Comment

summer’s siren call

2 minute read

What does your summer siren call sound like? Is it the nostalgia of an ice cream truck jingle as you dig for change in your pocket? Or maybe the crack of a baseball bat at the first, deliciously warm home game of the season? Or perhaps it’s my personal favorite — the sound of oars lapping the water, as you glide out for a leisurely boat ride in Central Park, the city a distant hum as you lean back and marvel at how lovely the sun feels on your skin.

Personally, I've been hearing summer's siren call more and more lately. We've been indulging in weekend day trips upstate to appreciate sweeping views of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River. Back here in the city, the mood feels lighter, parks are filling up with happy picnics, tickets for performances are on sale and even just a simple boat ride out at Loeb Boathouse with friends feels like a chapter from a previous summer. A summer that I know we all desperately missed last year.

Yes, I’d love to know — what does summer sound like to you this year?

 

Zimmerman dress (old, similar style here) // Jacquemus hat // Photographed at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park (Tip: if you'd to get a more aerial shot of the boat, have your photographer stand on Bow Bridge.)

Photography
Allie Provost.

April 29, 20211 Comment

postcards from upstate: germantown airbnb

4 minute read

Here's a fun random fact I learned the last time I was at the Guggenheim museum: While we might attribute cottagecore to something of a recent internet aesthetic craze — idealizing a bucolic, rural lifestyle where linen dresses and wildflowers are bountiful — its roots are much older. Marie Antoinette, on a whim to emulate all the naturalistic paintings of the late 18th century, commissioned the construction of a rustic retreat in the greenery outside the Palace of Versailles, known as the Hamlet. The string of cottages gave her the feeling of escapism not far from palace grounds, where she would indulge in a "simpler" but far from rigorous way of life (because let's be honest, she wasn't actually tending to any of the farm chores herself). But perhaps, much like my dear friend Serena and I indulged last week while we were upstate, she'd daydream instead about a nostalgia just out of reach of her lived experience, a painting in her mind of rolling green hills, gauzy clouds peppering a soft blue sky and the hazy promise of spring making her think, "perhaps this life is for me."

As some of you might have seen on Instagram, Serena and I spent the better part of last week in the dreamiest renovated barn in the heart of Germantown, a quaint hamlet in the Hudson Valley, nestled amongst the Catskill Mountains, just two hours outside NYC. The property itself spans 14 acres, with its own pond, dock and wooded forest, sure to keep the "Marie Antoinette city girl yearning for nature" in all of us happy and content. While we saw very little reason to leave our cottage oasis, we did venture out once or twice to explore the area — I've listed some of my favorite upstate haunts below, in case you're planning a trip soon.

Highlights in the area

  • Main Street in Germantown: Only a 5 minute drive from the barn, you'll find yourself in the center of town. Highly recommend checking out Otto's Market (where we got all our groceries for the week), Gaskin's Restaurant (James Beard nominated) and a handful of independently owned artisan shops, sure to keep you busy for the afternoon.
  • The town of Hudson: You all know how much I love Hudson — I could shop around there all day! A few must-sees: hat designer Behida Dolić, vintage furniture store Magic Hill, The Maker Hotel (for lunch, dinner or drinks perhaps?) and Hudson Wine Merchants (where we picked up our bottles for the week).
  • The town of Kingston: We didn't spent much time here, but did happen to grab pizza one night at Lola with a friend who lives in the area. As with most upstate towns, it's very charming.
  • The town of Rhinebeck: Before heading back into the city, we decided to stop in Rhinebeck for a little window shopping and lunch — highly recommend The Amsterdam if you can snag an inside booth near the bar. Very cozy!

As for the rest of these photos — I think they do the property more justice than my words ever could! Enjoy!

In order of appearance: Les Rêveries dress (on loan) // Jacquemus hat // La Ligne dress // Sarah Flint flats (gifted) // Cinq a Sept dress (on loan, similar style here) // Jason Wu dress (rented via Rent the Runway) // Behida Dolić hat // Une Femme nightgown (gifted) // House of CB dress (on loan) // Les Reveries floral slip dress (on loan, similar style here)

Photography by Serena Goh and yours truly

November 30, 20202 Comments

nyc small businesses: west village

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