October 31, 2012

Storm Sewing: Lace Mini Skirt

Earlier this week, as many of us here in New York City prepared for and hunkered down during Hurricane Sandy, we had to keep ourselves entertained, as we couldn't go outside. 

I baked some hurricane cookies, put on season three of Downton Abbey, and then got to work on a sewing project that had bit sitting in my "To Sew" basket for far too long. 

Remember this spring when I repurposed a beautiful vintage lace dress my mother gave to wear to SIPA Gala? 

Well, I had some extra lace left over from cutting off the bottom, which I saved because it was so beautiful. I always knew I wanted to make it into a short gathered skirt, and--after six months--finally got around to making it! 

A bit blurry

There's a black grosgrain ribbon waistband, which is a bit hard to see against the black top. 

After removing the hem trim on the original dress, the edge of the lace was scalloped, so I just left it, since it was less boring than a straight hem, and I knew it wouldn't fray. 

And the best part? It was more than free! Since it was left over fabric from an already free dress! 

I can't wait to wear it this fall--with black tights and booties and a sweater--and next spring--with flats and a light blouse. 

October 30, 2012

Post-Hurricane Sandy Update

Aside from a few hours of very loud and scary wind (reaching over 110 mph (177 kph) up here on the 17th floor) which shook the building like an earthquake, we in the Upper West Side were thankfully pretty unaffected by the storm. Our lights barely flickered, and we didn't even have cable/internet connectivity problems, let alone power outages or water supply issues. 

Manhattan south of 34th st with no power
There's some debris outside our building--mostly branches and some pieces of scaffolding--but nothing so big that residents haven't already started cleaning up by hand.

Ground Zero construction site flooded by sea water

I foresee today being much less scary, but still intensely windy and it seems like it's starting to rain (which oddly enough, it didn't really last night). However, the entire city is still shut down and isolated--the MTA has experienced the worst damage to the subway in the 108 years it's been open (all the tunnels in the East River are flooded), and all the bridges and tunnels are closed, except for the Lincoln Tunnel which still is for emergency personnel only. 

The face of a building just fell off on 8th Ave and 14th St
It's going to take days to pump the water out of the tunnels, and asses the damage of the salt water on the transit infrastructure, so it looks like no one will be going anywhere for a while. 

Hurricane Cookies (Earl Grey Shortbread with Sea Salt and Earl Grey Glaze)

Luckily I stocked up on plenty of provisions before the storm, and I could really use  couple of days to relax, so being stuck at home is definitely far from a worst case scenario for me. I've already baked hurricane cookies and caught up on this season of Downton Abbey.

Part of a crane dangling off the top of a sky scraper across from Carnegie Hall

I won't give you an inventory of all the damage to the city, but if you're interested in learning more about the extent of the damage in NY/NJ, this NYT live update feed is a pretty comprehensive list of what's been going on for the last 24 hours, and of course the internet is crawling with news about the storm. These and these are some more unbelievable photos.

Avenue C in the Lower East Side

I was extremely fortunate, in that none of this has affected me in any material way (unless I decide I want to go somewhere). I'm warm and snuggly in bed, drinking a latte and writing to you guys on my charged laptop via my functioning internet. 

Battery Park is completely underwater

My positive thoughts are with all the people who have lost or suffered as a result of this devastating storm. I hope rescues and repairs are able to happen quickly and efficiently, and that services be soon restored, to those already affected, and I wish as little impact as possible to those still in the storm's path. 

October 29, 2012

Bracing For Snowicane Sandy

As I'm sure most of you have read in the news, New York (along with much of the Northeast and the Midatlantic coast) is about to get clobbered by Hurricane Sandy--aka Snowicane, Frankenstorm, Count Snowcula, Noreastercane.

A tropical storm from the south, a low pressure system from the west, and an arctic front from the north are combining right around here into what meteorologists are saying will be a Perfect Storm, much much bigger than Hurricane Irene, which devastated the East Coast last August.

It's a little bit scary. 

[note: the map of the US doesn't change size, just the storm above it]

Luckily there was a lot of forewarning, so precautions are being taken. Yesterday the MTA shut down the New York metro completely--for only the second time in history, after Hurricane Irene last year--until further notice.

There is a mandatory evacuation of residents of Zone A (coastal areas of the city) and as soon as winds get strong enough, they're going to shut down the bridges and tunnels, effectively marooning us on our respective islands.

I live pretty much as close to the center of Manhattan as possible (Upper West Side near Central Park), so I'm not worried about flooding from the Hudson River. And I live on the 17th floor, so I'm not worried about rain flooding.

Last year we did have some water damage from Irene--the wind was so strong that it essentially drove the water through the bricks into our apartment--but luckily just a couple of weeks ago they storm-proofed the exterior of our building, so hopefully that won't happen again.

Yesterday I bough plenty of food, drinks, and I even bought a pretty (pink) 7-day candle in case the power goes out. I have plenty of shows to watch (catching up on Downtown Abbey) and sewing projects to work on while I still have power, and after that I have plenty of books to read by candle light.

We have a gas stove, so unless some serious infrastructural damage happens to this city, I'll even be able to cook, even without electricity (I'm thinking grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner).

All in all, I think I'm pretty prepared for this storm, and one of my roommates is home, so at least I'm not all alone. Although I have to say, the howling wind up here on the 17th floor is a little eerie.

Luckily I have a cute (very unimpressed with the storm) puppy to snuggle if it gets too scary. 

October 26, 2012

Fill In The Blank Friday: Favorites Edition!

*A Caveat: I don't really do favorites. I find it extremely difficult to pick the one thing out of a category that I like the most. Therefore the following are just things I really really like.*

1.  My favorite feeling in all the world is   accidentally waking up early on a weekend morning and realizing that I can go back to sleep for a couple of hours   .

2.  My favorite smell is    baking bread    .

3.  My favorite taste is   anything buttery .

4. The most beautiful thing I've ever seen was    probably the Alhambra. It's one of the most spectacular places in the world.

5. The best sound ever is   the sound of children laughing. Try to listen to it without smiling.

6. A smell that reminds me of my childhood is  Labello chapstick .

7.  My favorite of all the senses is   probably sight. I can't imagine living in this world without being able to see it .


Don't forget to link up with Lauren

October 19, 2012

Fill In The Blank Friday

1. One thing I plan on doing to relax this weekend is    not much! My mom is going to be visiting me this weekend, so although I anticipate a very fun, activity-filled weekend, I don't think it'll be extremely relaxing. I am excited about going to the theater, having brunch at my favorite crepe place, seeing some friends, and probably hitting up and museum or two    .

2. A big pet peeve of mine is  when people walk really slowly on the sidewalk, especially walking three people wide. I have people to see, places to go, get out of the way!  .

3. I am really loving  these sunny and crisp fall days we've been having. After what felt like a very long summer, it's nice to wrap up in a sweater and trench coat  .

4. The rain is    a little bleak, but also kind of an excuse to take it easy a little. The day seems less fraught when it's damp and grey .

5. My favorite girly indulgence is   coordinating a nice outfit. It's not really an indulgence, but it gives me a lot of pleasure to get up in the morning and put together an ensemble that makes me feel great all day.

6. A song I always get stuck in my head is    none, really. I hardly ever have music stuck in my head.  .

7. The best cure for stress is  a day with no responsibilities. Putting all your to-dos and deadlines off for a day and spending it doign somehting you never have time for .
Don't forget to link up with Lauren!  

October 18, 2012

Quick Update

The CN Tower

I'm back from Toronto after a pretty epic trip (for multiple reasons, which I will get to later).

I don't have time to write now, but I just wanted to say that I had an wonderful weekend, met tons of amazing tiny new humans, ran a great race, caught up with old friends, and discovered a great city.

More later, but now it's time for bed cause I have to leave the house at 7:45 tomorrow morning!

October 12, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

Happy Friday!
1.  My favorite flower is   the poppy. I love how ephemeral it is, while being so vivid and saturated. I also love peonies--they smell so good! .
2.  You should never talk about    something that leaves one or two people in the group completely out of the conversation. I hate it when everyone but me is talking about sports, and I always try to steer the conversation away from grad school when its all my SIPA friends except for one or two other people. It's rude to, however unintentionally, alienate someone from the conversation. Broader things topics like religion, or politics, or money aren't always appropriate--there's a time and a place--but I don't think they should never be discussed. That said, I will almost categorically refused to partake in conversations about bodily functions. Maybe I'm a product of snooty French upbringing, but I find it really inappropriate and uncomfortable    .
3.  My favorite discovery as of late is  kimchi. I mean, I've had it before, but I've recently been on a bit of a Korean food kick, to the point where I have two jars of kimchi in my fridge that I eat as a side to almost anything .

4. This fall you will probably find me wearing   tights, boots, trench coats, lots of black and grey and brown. I find this fall's oxblood trend nice to look at, but shades of burgundy don't really suit me. I prefer rich greens and browns. Also, I think I might try to bring back hats--in a non-hipster way.
5. I wish I were   "a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller..." Haha no, in all seriousness, I wish I were a little more disciplined. I know this job search would be much more successful if were treating the job search like a full time job. But it's hard to do that while working full time.

6. My favorite TV show currently is    The Wire. I just finished the whole series a couple of weeks ago and I wish I could watch it all again for the first time. I've recently started Breaking Bad, which is good, but not as good. I'm also excited to watch season three of Downton Abbey--I have a few episodes downloaded to watch on my flight tonight .

7.  This weekend I want to  catch up with old friends, meet some new little humans (almost all my friends in Toronto have babies), and run a successful, satisfying half marathon--maybe run a personal best?

Don't forget to link up with Lauren

Have a splendid weekend everyone!

October 11, 2012

On Seeing Old Friends

Tomorrow I'm flying to Toronto, Canada for two very important reasons.

1) To see a number of old friends.
2) To run my first international race--the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon.

I'm extremely excited about the race. It's not as exciting accomplishment-wise as my first half, since it's not my first, but it's my first of hopefully many international races, so that's pretty exciting.

Although I'm most looking forward to seeing a number of friends who I haven't see in a long time--and some new babies whom I've never met!

My friend and old college roommate, Rebecca, I haven't seen since we graduated college five years ago! She's since gotten married and adopted a little girl, and I'm so looking forward to meeting her wife and her daughter. 

Kate, whom I'm staying with and running the race with, I saw last October (when she came to visit for Halloween) but I haven't seen her sister Liz in about six years, and Liz has a two-year-old whom I have yet to meet! 

Rebecca, Kate and Me (left to right) on St. Patty's Day in either 2005 or 2006.
As evidenced by the wet spot on my jeans, we may have been drinking. Maybe.

Domina--whom I saw in Jamaica in January--has since had her baby (she was six months pregnant when I saw her), a bouncing baby boy whom I can't wait to meet. And Maria Lorella, her precious daughter, is almost two!

Domina and me in May 2008 at the party I threw for my cousin Lorenzo's birthday at my beach house.
 So it'll be a long weekend of running after finish lines and running after toddlers--both of which I'm sure will be loads of fun, if totally exhausting!

October 8, 2012

Emily & Sait's Wedding

This weekend my lovely friends Emily and Sait got married in a beautiful autumn ceremony at Sebasco Harbor Resort, near Bath, Maine. 

The location was absolutely splendid--right on the water with little boats dotting the ocean--and the foliage is just starting to turn in Maine, so the surrounding woods were gorgeous shades of burgundy, ochre, and orange. 

Saturday night they had a finger-lickingly delicious lobster bake in a rustic wooden cabin, where we ate, drank, and toasted to the (not quite yet) bride and groom. It rained a bit, but that only served to make the dinner more cozy and intimate. 

The bride contemplating her lobster

Paige and Me, making the lobsters dance

The delicious lobster bake meal that we decided we would go back in time for to eat again.

The bride and groom, tearing up as their loved ones shared stories about them.

Saying a few words of their own

The Lobster Bake Last Supper
Sunday morning the weather had cleared into a splendid clear and crisp day, perfect for a sunny outdoor ceremony right on the water. 

The bride and groom's parents all said a few words, prompting more than a few happy tears from the guests in attendance, and then the happy couple exchanged vows.

Sebasco Harbor

Happy Wedding Guests

The groom and his beautiful mother

The blushing bride with her father

Exchanging rings

The ceremony was followed by a lively reception and delicious lunch with dancing, music, and more hilarious (and tear-jerking) toasts by the Emily and Sait's brothers and sisters.

The view from the reception

The couple's first dance (they changed into traditional Gambian dress for the reception, as Sait and his family are from the Gambia and that's where Emily and Sait met)

The amazing autumn-inspired meal

The Wedding Guest Tree

It was a beautiful--and most importantly, fun--wedding and I wish the happy bride and groom the very best in their future life together. 

October 5, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

1.  The last thing I ate was   a delicious latte that I just made myself at work, and a glass of ruby red grapefruit juice   .

2.  The last time I went to the beach was    in May or June. It was the only time I went to the beach this summer, which made me super sad. Usually beachy summers are my MO   .

3.  My last vacation was   in January, when I went to Jamaica to visit my friend Domina and her family. I've been on a bunch of little vacations since then--and a work/school trip to South America--but my vacation to Jamaica was the last time I took a whole week just to myself.

4. The last place I drove was     Italy I think? I have no idea. It's been over two years since I've gotten behind the wheel of a car .

5. The last song I listened to was   "Put Your Records On," by Corinne Baily Rae, just ended on the stereo at work .

6. The last thing I watched on TV was    an episode of Breaking Bad a few days ago. But I recently finished the entire series of The Wire. So good .

7.  The last time I said "I love you" was   last night in a text message to my best friend Molly, who's going through a tough time . 
 Don't forget to link up with Lauren!