The Latest of What I've Been Eating.
Ever since Serafina opened a few blocks from my office, I'd been wanting to go and try their pasta. (Yes, other people's Instagram photos were an influence.)
Perfectly al dente rigatoni with Bolognese a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan and a sprig of Sage. I could have had another bowl or two...
I always promise myself that I will start to eat more "healthy" meals in order to try and lose some of the weight I put on since starting an "office job," but it's easier said than done!
I'm still like a big kid in the sense that I'm not a huge lover of vegetables (other than potatoes), but I can usually find something that will fill me up.
Luckily, I had some errands to run near Union Square, so I stopped into Glaze for their teriyaki combo. I chose the salmon & tofu with brown rice and a side salad with carrot ginger dressing. And, oh yeah, a black cherry Boylan's soda.
Since reinvigorating my Broadway fandom, one of the shows that I enjoyed the most was Green Day's American Idiot, so when I heard that some of the Original Broadway Cast and the Touring Companies were getting together at 54 Below to sing songs from the show and other Green Day hits, I knew I had to be there.
However, any time you go to 54 Below, there is a food & drink minimum. Somehow, I wound up with the 5:30pm dinner seating for a 7pm show; so there was quite a bit of time to kill.
I went with the pan-seared Arctic char over black pepper & lemon spaetzle (one of my favorite pasta/noodle types), baby artichokes, olive oil & thyme roasted tomatoes. That along with "The Big Apple" - apple cider, cranberry juice & ginger ale with a cinnamon dusted apple slice, easily made up my F&B requirements.
The show was almost like a short rock show and it was fun getting to be up close to the action & befriend other "idiots!"
It had been a hot minute since I'd been down to Chinatown/Little Italy, so I decided to hit up one of the new off shoots of Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown; Nom Wah Nolita.
Now, while I really had a craving for beef rice rolls, I didn't know what the atmosphere would be like for this location. I soon found out that there was a much more limited menu at this location and settled for a scallion pancake and an order of chicken & chive dumplings.
Dim sum should really be done with other people or a group to get the true experience, but these two dishes were plenty for me and kept me fueled throughout my day downtown.
When my friend's said I could choose a restaurant for our belated Christmas gift exchange, I suggested Ozi Dumplings, which just opened up in Bushwick. Now, while Mimi Cheng's always has a special place in my heart, I was ready to see how these unique dumplings would compare.
I ordered the Cheeseburger dumplings with a "potato swirl." The dumplings were made with ground beef, onions, cheese and lightly fried before a drizzle of cheese sauce and pickles were added. I can't say that they were better than the "Emmy Burger" dumpling special at Mimi Cheng's, but since I can only get those once or twice a year, these are a great second place.
The "potato swirl" was nice and crispy; a nice addition to the dumplings. However, the highlight for me was the Ikezo peach sparkling jelly wine. Almost like a Jell-O shot, but with the fizz of my favorite Moscato.
In short, I would go back for the peach sparkling jelly wine and probably try another type of dumpling for round two.
Running errands in Union Square & Chelsea and I saw someone walk by with a Matchabar cup, so I knew they must have a location nearby.
Instead of opting for Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up, I went for the caffeine in a Matcha Chai with soy milk, always with ice, unless it's below zero.
Ask anyone who knows me and you'd know I can never turn down a good pastry. Today's special at the Gap-eteria (Cafe at work), was a chicken pot pie with a nicely sized piece of puff pastry on top.
Not as heavy or creamy as a chicken pot pie, say from KFC or Boston Market, but delicious and with some purple potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Bonus: When the Cafe was going to throw away the excess puff pastry, the Cafe Manager gave me a bag of them to take home! Woo hoo!
I'm pretty sure that carbs will always be my first love and Bison Witches is one of my favorite places to load up on them.
Sometimes I change what sandwich I get (opted for a grilled ham & cheese on wheat this time), but the tortilla chips with CCQ (chili con queso) and bread bowl of potato bacon soup are always my standards.
And, yes, I'm fully aware of how much "brown food" is in this photo and I'm okay with that.
All of my other Nebraskan friends in NYC agree: why can't we find an Indian restaurant as good as The Oven in the city? Were we spoiled by really good Indian food in Nebraska and we never knew it?
Well, it's always a stop when I go home, for sure. I got a little taste at Thanksgiving, when I stopped by The Cellar for a little after drink snack, but this was going to be my meal - chicken tikka madras biryani. Yes, it was a "treasure of rice" - chicken tikka marinated in a spicy coconut milk sauce with rice, raisins, cashews and a sliced egg.
After an underwhelming trip to the Valentino's Buffet, I knew I had to get back to Yia Yia's for pizza before I went back to NYC. So, I met up with my friend, Adam (who I've known since elementary school) and we caught up over some slices.
In the summer, I got ambitious and ordered two slices, so I opted for one this time and some garlic herb bread. "The Atlantic" is a delicious white sauce based slice with grilled chicken, bacon, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms with mozzarella cheese. Pretty much what would have been on a custom slice, if I had made one, but cheaper.
Imagine my surprise when Dad suggested that we go to Cracker Barrel for lunch!? Usually, it takes some prodding to round up the family and encouraging them to go here.
I always know that I want hashbrown casserole; something about that cheesy, onion-y, potato goodness always gets me, but I was pretty happy that their mini chicken biscuit sandwiches were back!
My only regret, getting medium poached eggs vs. soft. Do those even look like eggs (on the left)?
Always a must-stop on my trips back home, Goldenrod Pastries, is owned and operated by my friend, Angela. She and her team of wonderful ladies make all sorts of delicious treats and you can't beat the Nebraska prices!
I made sure to load up on some of these colorful macarons, especially since they're only $1.90 each!
Of course, my first dinner with Dad would be Asian food! He chose Yami (which he pronounced as "yummy") in South Lincoln. (I had to start to get reacquainted with my hometown, since Dad was now living on the opposite side of the city.)
I was anxious to see how the Korean food in Lincoln held up with some of my favorite places in K-Town. I chose the dolsot bibimbap, so it was in a hot stone bowl and some fried dumplings. Dad ordered off their newly added Thai menu and asked for it to be spicy, "on a scale of 1 to 10, I want an 11!" Phew!
The food was good and seem fairly traditional, but nothing can ever compete with the sukiyaki bibimbap from Gyu-Kaku!
I'm not sure how I worked just a few blocks from Ootoya for so many years, but never went to eat lunch there. Oh well. I was lucky that my flight back home for Christmas wasn't until the evening on the 20th, so I was able to grab lunch with my friend, Lily, while she was back in NYC.
She picked Ootoya and I quickly found out why. Wow. The food was spectacular and there was plenty of it! I opted for the mini Oyako Don (grilled chicken and onion simmered in broth and with a layer of egg on top), which also came with a plate of cold soba, miso soup, seaweed and savory egg custard.
One of my coworkers helped us plan our Holiday team outing, so we went to The Bar Room in the Beekman Hotel for food and Happy Hour. We were given a bottle of prosecco and while everyone ordered fancy drinks and food, I opted for the Baked Alaska.
However, I did sample this amazing onion dip, which I should have known was going to be amazing, since Top Chef's Tom Colicchio oversees the menu. The onion dip had caramelized onions in it, fried onions on top and came with housemade Gaufrette potato chips! I'm actually drooling thinking about this now...
Just before I was about to go home for the holiday, I made the trek up to Jackson Heights to make Christmas cookies and exchange gifts with my friend, Tempestt and her family.
Her daughter, Ellie, is 3 and it's so adorable when she calls me "Chenny!" We had several colors of icing and load of various sugar candies to decorate with, but I kinda think Ellie used most of them, piling them up on about 3 or 4 cookies.
I ended up making some "gingerbread men" looking like Sesame Street character or Muppets with my candies. We ended up making a few dozen cookies, which worked out nicely when I went to a holiday party right after and the guests gobbled them up.
For the past few years, my friend, Whitney & I have made a tradition of getting soup dumplings and going to view all the holiday window displays on 5th Avenue. After our November "dumps of the month" excursion, my friend, Deirdre, asked to come along to more of our outings.
We met up after work and went to Joe's Shanghai, where we split two orders of pork xiao long bao, some fried rice cakes, scallion pancakes and some broccoli beef. It was great to load up on some salty goodness before wandering around 5th Avenue in the chilly weather.
I finally got a ticket to see M. Butterfly before it closes, so I quickly looked up a place to eat on Yelp, which pointed me to Sapporo, just a few blocks from the theatre. I knew I wanted something hot, since it was freezing outside and the show was the only reason I went outside at all today.
However, I underestimated the size of the portions! I got a miso soup and order of pork gyoza. What I wasn't ready for was how large the chicken katsu curry was going to be! And it's definitely not the type of meal I could take into the theatre, even if I wanted to.
As the holiday break quickly approaches, I realized how much I need a break from the city. I got a nice break from the day to day, when my boss suggested that our whole team go out for a lunch break.
Now, while trying to find a place for all of us to agree on may have been a challenge, but once I suggested Two Hands, it seemed like everyone could find something there to suit their palates.
I opted for the "breakfast roll" sandwich, which I had the last time we were here, but this time with a shittake mushroom vs. bacon. A nice whole wheat roll topped with avocado, watercress, pickled shallots, a fried egg and homemade spicy ketchup; it was messy, but delicious! (And all the handsome Australian waiters didn't hurt either...)
It's funny how I've waited SO long to have regular weekends off and now that I do, sometimes I struggle to find something to do. Sundays have been particularly lonely, since they were usually occupied with talking to my Mom on the phone, after she went to church & breakfast with the family.
I didn't have much motivation to go into the city, so I walked the less than two blocks to Sally Roots for some brunch. A little smoked salmon benedict to help clear up my Sunday Blues (which is what I should call them now). I'd only ever been here for dinner, which is mostly Caribbean food, so a more typical American-style brunch was a pleasant surprise on their menu.
As I've never been a fan of side salads, that was my least favorite part of the meal, but everything else was delicious and only a few minutes from home.
I was also fortunate that when I was home, there was also a home football game in Lincoln. Now, while the Huskers haven't lived up to their late 90's/early 00's glory, there's always something special about home for a football game. In this case, it mean that a lot of my high school and college friends were also home for the Holiday.
After the game, (which we embarrassingly lost to Iowa) I met up with one of my Youth Leadership Lincoln friends, Bryce, at The Other Place; a hidden speakeasy, where it was nice to get away from all the usual football game patrons. We posted up at the bar, caught up on life and chatted with the bartender, who ended up being my high school choir's piano accompanist.
Since I had recently gorged myself on a burger at Brewsky's, I wasn't too hungry, but offered to go to The Oven with Bryce to eat and partake in one of Lincoln's best restaurants. We ended up going to the wine bar below the restaurant, The Cellar. While Bryce picked out some food and wine, I opted for a lighter course of mulligatawny soup and garlic naan. But you can rest assured that I will be back at Christmas time for a full meal!
A usual stop on any trip home: Goldenrod Pastries! With a rotating selection of gluten & dairy-free snacks, I always load up a box to eat while I'm home and bring a few things back to NYC!
I picked out 3 macarons: vanilla, hibiscus and an apple cider (which didn't make it into the photo, before I ate it), a cherry almond cookie and a devil's food cake loaf.
I'm alreadying thinking about what I want to get for my trip home at Christmas...
As my first really "retail free" Thanksgiving in ages, I took the opportunity to fly back home to Lincoln, Nebraska and spend some time with my family. (Since my brother & sister-in-law rotate Holidays, we usually only see each other every other year. I knew I didn't want to miss out this year, so I took a 4 day trip back to the Midwest.)
The only downside, I forgot how early everyone eats in the Midwest! While I might have been expecting a 2pm Thanksgiving lunch, I got an 11:30am Thanksgiving meal! My flight didn't get into Omaha until almost 11:30pm, due to delays, so I made it out to my Dad's new house, just after 1:00am on Thanksgiving Day. I did not get up in time to help prep, but did get to watch some of the parade (I had to see Dear Evan Hansen perform, after all)!
All the usual suspects were at this meal, so I heaped my plate full of all the best things: mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green bean casserole, a croissant and, oh yeah, turkey. My brother made some great poultry gravy, which I put on everything.
Ever since Whitney & I have enjoyed the "dumps of the month" at Mimi Cheng's, we usually look forward to getting the November special - the Thanksgiving dumpling.
This time around, I brought a long a new friend and co-worker, Deirdre, to revel in the experience of the dumplings and a Thanksgiving croissant at Momofuku Milk Bar afterwards.
Besides the Emmy Burger dumpling and the Brunch dumpling, the Thanksgiving dumpling rates as one of my favorites. Fresh turkey, stuffing and gravy in a pan fried dumpling with a side of cranberry sauce. I'm drooling just thinking about it! Is it November 2018, yet!?
Can you tell that our head chef at the Gapeteria (i.e. our office Cafe), loves Halloween? The staff whipped up some great treats for our Halloween party at the office!
Here are some ghostly risotto balls, covered in little pieces of cheese!
It's still hovering in the 50's/60's and it's almost November!? Makes sense that I would still be craving ice cream, then. In between shifts for Broadway Cares, I swung by Ice & Vice's pop-up truck in Times Square.
They were serving some new sundaes and regular scoops of their best selling flavors, along with some basic soft serve (literally, it's vanilla soft serve and it's called the "basic bitch"). After convincing a mom & her daughter that they should get the "Milk Money," I opted for a scoop of "Justice is Sweet" - chocolate ice cream with a szechuan peanut butter shell in a dark chocolate chai cone from the Konery.
The I SCREAM booth was also sponsored by Waitress and was there to help raise money for charity, so double the goodness!
Ever since I saw Yo! Sushi open up on W. 23rd Street, I'd been thinking two things: 1. This has to be better than the last conveyor belt sushi place I went to and 2. When can I go? So, when I got the chance to catch up with a former Madewell buddy of mine, we went to Yo! and perused all the choices.
I got a few plates, but these salmon nori tacos were hands-down the best part of the meal! Pieces of nori (seaweed), fried in tempura batter and molded into taco shapes, then filled with salmon, siracha mayo, yuzu salsa and tuzu tobiko. Slightly sweet, slightly salty and nicely crunchy; maybe I'll get two orders next time!
I'm consistently surprized by the variety of food around my office, so whatever my craving, it's easy to find something to satisfy it; albeit to my wallet's despair. So, my weekly TB with my manager took us downtown, towards the Financial District.
And that's where I was cheating a bit on #fatfriday with some cheesy tots and a patty melt grilled cheese from Melt Shop. My sandwich didn't look the prettiest, but oh boy, was it tasty!
I couldn't begin to count the number of times that I've walked by B Bar & Grill near my old office by NYU/Astor Place, but I had never eaten there. So, when my college bestie, Phil, suggested it for brunch, I was all in.
While my main brunch struggle is debating between sweet or savory and my almost constant craving for eggs; I went the sweet route for this meal.
These thick-cut slices of French toast with blueberry compote and maple butter were delicious! Not to mention the perfectly tangy fresh squeezed orange juice and getting a chance to eat outside.
Um, excuse me!? Veselka has BRUNCH PIEROGI!? I was expecting them to be like the breakfast dumplings at MImi Cheng's and perhaps I should have ordered them boiled instead of fried, but I was a little disappointed.
8 Varenyky filled with bacon, scrambled eggs, Vermont cheddar cheese and potatoes with a side of chipotle ketchup. They were slightly chewy and a bit bland.
As much as I love Veselka, this didn't give me much faith in coming back for brunch, nor did my waiter who kept interrupting my friend and me to say we were his last table and he wanted to leave...oy.
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When my date suggested that we meet at "Gulliver's Gate" in Times Square for a first date, it seemed like a good idea to me. We lucked out, too, because there was a tour group with extra tickets and we got entry for half price!
The whole exhibit is full of miniature recreations of NYC and various landmarks throughout the world. I took so many photos, Snapchats and photos for my Instagram story, but the best one? This view of Times Square: TKTS booth and all!
After my friend, Brynn, saw a photo of this tree in Time Out, she told me we had to find it! So, we wandered to Brookfield Place and I was appropriately dressed in my *NSYNC "Home for the Holidays" t-shirt and sequin bomber jacket, where I patiently waited for a small child to take a photo before I got mine.
This tree was decorated by the store, Babesta, and was covered in Yummy World x Kid Robot plush of all sizes. Then we made a stop into their store to browse, but I ended up getting the mini burrito plush for my desk.
I don't think that was the theme of the Bergdorf windows this season, but I was particularly attracted to this window because of all the colors.
Each Holiday season, I get soup dumplings with my friend, Whitney, and then we walk down 5th Avenue and look at all the window displays. This time around, we invited Deirdre, and made a great evening of it.
Another perk to helping manage 4 buildings is the various celebrations I got to attend! Gap has a studio space at Industry City, so we got invited to their Holiday Party spanning through several of their buildings and including free food, drinks, a photo booth, DJ, stores, etc.
It was a great night! Even the landscaping was decked out!
As you know, I'm in Times Square/The Theatre District a lot. I love nothing more than a good musical and "Dear Evan Hansen" has quickly become one of those that I go back to again and again.
I loved getting off the train and seeing the subway station wrapped in DEH ads. From the turnstyles to the card readers, the signature blue was everywhere at 42nd Street.
Gentrification is a weird thing. While I'm sad to see my neighbors displaced over the last 8+ years, I do appreciate Twin Suns Deli that opened less than 2 blocks from my apartment.
Their breakfast sandwiches on brioche buns and their breakfast burrito! Oof. I would eat them every day...if my stomach could handle it.
A little wink to the graffiti in the bathroom at Clem's. Also, since I don't work at Madewell anymore, I get some perks. One being free overnight shipping on order and another being free gifts, like this denim tote.
Back for my 2nd season of "red bucket" collections with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS!
One of my first collection was for Wicked, where I was quick to find Ashley Parker Angel's name on the board and ask for an extra Playbill for safekeeping/boyband memories.
If you know me, you know my dream job was to be a VJ on TRL! Well, this new reincarnation isn't exactly what I thought it would be, but I still appreciate that MTV is trying to stay relevant.
I saw this poster in Shubert Alley and couldn't resist taking a photo. Who knew that when I was in high school & college and taping TRL on a VHS tape each day, that one day I could walk by 1515 Broadway any time I wanted to?
Even since I saw an exhibit of Dale Chihuly's work in high school, I've made an effort to see more of his exhibitions when they're in the city or if I'm in a place that has one.
I almost didn't make it to his installation at the New York Botanical Gardens, but I was able to snag a ticket for one of the last "Chihuly Nights," where all of his sculptures were illuminated for the evening.
Of course, this neon abstract piece was my favorite.
You would hardly know that a few years ago, this was Toys 'R Us and there was a ferris wheel inside the store!
We got a special treat and got to shop in the new Old Navy and Gap stores in Times Square before they were open to the public. It's spectacular to see how the spaces were transformed for each brand, although setting up all the stations at the base of the elevator wasn't the smartest idea...I had a grand time and got some great new clothes!
The best part about cat sitting for my friends, might be this view from their private deck. I didn't edit this photo, but the sun was shining perfectly on this weekend afternoon.
Even if cat food smells gross & their chubbier cat has the worst smelling poops; this makes up for it all.
Growing up, Margaret Cho, was the first Asian-American I saw in media that reminded me of myself. More "American" than "Asian," and not typically small and submissive, I sat in front of the TV every Tuesday night to watch All-American Girl on ABC through the good and the bad.
In college, I helped UNL's University Program Council (UPC) out with spreading the news about her show and received a free table for my help! I got to speak with her briefly, where I blurted something out like "My Dad sounds just like your Mom, I'm Korean and I"m a HUGE fag hag!" To which she kindly replied "You ARE like a younger version of me!" and I could have died.
So, whenever she has a show in the NYC area, I will be there! In fact, the last time she was at the Gramercy Theater, her performance was filmed for Netflix and it's called "PsyCHO" and I was in that audience!
When I was walking back to the office, I noticed this balloon sculpture/installation in front of Maman in Tribeca. I'm not sure what it was for, but it was too pretty to not stop and take a photo of.
Mostly, I was "doin' it for the 'gram" as the Millenials might say...but I never posted this to Instagram.
Yet another morning off the Chambers J Station, but I wonder why this is a "V" instead of a "U?" Any ideas?
If you're ever needing some great home inspiration or just to get out of the office for a bit, a stroll through the housewares department at the fairly new Anthropologie downtown is just the fix.
While I probably won't be hanging up any light fixtures in my apartment any time soon, I loved this "bubble" chandelier and it's rainbow effect.
It'd been a few months since I had caught up with my college BFF, Phil, so we decided to meet up for brunch at B Bar in NoHo to catch up.
The weather was perfect, so we were able to dine al fresco, which would have been more enjoyable without the teenagers behind us running around and shouting for part of the meal. (How old am I sounding right now?)
For my second date with Chris, he chose for us to meet for breakfast at The Little Owl, which is located in the base of the apartment used for all the exterior shots on "Friends." You might recognize it from those shots as Monica/Rachel's main apartment.
But for as an avid "Friends" fan might realize, that exterior shot doesn't match much else. Where's the giant balcony outside? Where is Ugly Naked Guy/Ross' apartment across the street?
Either way, it was sweet of him to think of catering to my pop culture sensibilities, however misguided. We had a nice meal and walked around the West Village before heading our separate ways.
It might be my Nebraska roots, but I will always be a Pepsi girl. Never a Coca-Cola/Coke girl.
When I was growing up, Pepsi Co. acquired the contract for all University of Nebraska events and campus. Thus, not a Coke product in sight on the campus or at any home football game.
This also meant that we were great test market for Pepsi Products and were among the first markets to get Mountain Dew Code Red in the early 00's.
So, when I was in Long Island City with Tempestt & her family, of course, I had to stop and take this photo (and it was in an episode of "SMASH," too).
If you're ever walking through the West Village, take a stroll near W. 12th Street and stop to see the New York City AIDS Memorial. A stunning sculpture and right next to St. Vincent's, where the onset of the AIDS Crisis was first treated in the 1980's.
After staying in Bed-Stuy the night before, I took the J train into work and it was a nice change up in my morning commute.
First of all, it was only 1 train line into the city and it was above ground for more of the trip. When I got out in the morning light at Chambers Street, I had to stop and take this photo.
After a long week of meeting planning at work, we all gathered near the office at The Bennett for a little Happy Hour and to celebrate Mariel's upcoming wedding.
We posted up on the long benches against the wall and were shown the call buttons to grab the attention of our servers when we needed anything. The best part: the buttons would light up a number on the mirrored panels behind the bar! (We might have played around with them for a bit, too...)
Of course, I'd been to the MoMA Design Store numerous times and seen their bear and bunny lamps; but now there's a WHOLE STORE devoted to the Line App Friends in Times Square!?
Ok, so it's in the old TRL/MTV space, which makes me a little bit sad, but now it's so easy for me to spend time in there between Broadway shows and walk away with something adorable and amazing.
Someday I will save up enough money to justify buying one of these adorable lamps.
In hindsight, maybe I should have cropped the cars in the parking structure out of this photo; but the Gucci ad just caught my eye.
"What are we going to do with all this future?"
I'd never been to the Park Avenue Armory, but I was interested in seeing their "Hansel & Gretel" exhibit by Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Ai Wei Wei. So, off I went with my friend Christina and her sister, Michelle.
After grabbing brunch in the neighborhood, we entered the exhibit. The highlight for me was the interactive floor. As a commentary on security and observance, drones and cameras would catch you movement and project it onto the floors (see in my photo).
Reveling in the chance for Summer Fridays at work, I decided to make the trek to the Brooklyn Museum for their Georgia O'Keefe exhibit. I also found my way through their various permanent collections and the stunning exterior of the museum.
Before meeting up with some friends to head out to the beach, I swung into Juice Generation for a quick smoothie and there was this gorgeous plant display in their window.
It was a rainy Saturday morning when I gathered with some old co-workers and friends to celebrate Jasmine's birthday in Greenpoint. We caught up on life and challenged each other into a few games of shuffleboard.
After a lot of ups and downs, I walked by this window display at Maman Soho. A little inspiration and a hope that something good will happen soon. Maybe Mom is looking after me...
Over the last 5 years, I've been able to watch the Pride Parade from inside of Madewell. I was very excited to get to watch the parade from the street and not have to worry about being at work!
I met up with some friends for brunch, then we walked over towards the corner of 19th Street & 5th Avenue to post up and watch the floats. We got there shortly after the start of the parade made it downtown and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Gap float.
The parade is always sensory overload, but in the best way possible! Imagine my surprise when I looked up on the Logo float and saw Robby from Finding Prince Charming!? Yes, I shouted at him and was super happy when he turned and waved at me! (To be followed a few minutes later by Javier Munoz from HAMILTON and I died even more!)
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Happy Summer Fridays! I decided to take advantage of the shorter workday and head over to the Brooklyn Museum and see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit before it closed.
I didn't know much about O'Keeffe other than her flower paintings, so the exhibit was very informative. I really enjoyed seeing the various garments and pieces that she inspired. One of my favorites was this robe with the rainbow colored stripe.
Sometimes it's annoying setting up tons of work events, but never getting to reap the benefits of them. But this time, I knew I wanted to partake in the 4th of July treats and it was another excuse for theme dressing!
I broke out my new RSVLTS shirt (featuring rocket pops and the State of Liberty) with my Old Navy short overalls and some more themed enamel pins. The mini corn on the cobs and a borrowed beer for this photo opportunity, were the best accessories!
Well, I guess you can see how much the color has faded since my last post of my purple hair! The front is almost a plum color, while the back is still a vivid purple.
Of course when Boy Meets Girl announced that they were going to have a Care Bears collaboration, I knew I had to get something. I chose this Share Bear tank top, as she was always one of my favorites and she's purple!
On a little work field trip, I found this camo denim jacket at Anthropologie and although I hadn't purchased anything from Anthro in forever, their "Mother's Day" discount made it an easy decision. And, I'm glad I tried it on, (since I hate trying things on) because I only needed a small!
For the last several years, I've always taken my birthday off of work and visited the Met Museum to see the Costume Institute Exhibit. The first Monday in May is always when the collection premieres with the Met Ball, so it's a perfect time to visit.
I've been a fan of Comme des Garcons for awhile, but seeing so many pieces of Rei Kawakubo's work in person is an experience in itself. There were so many intricately constructed dresses, jackets and garments, it was hard to not take photos of everything.
This look is one of my favorites. Not practical at all to wear, but the colors with the red wig caught my eye.
Every other year, Nebraska alumni, fellow former Nebraskans and friends gather at the Husker Bar near Penn Station for the "Taste of Nebraska!"
I knew I wanted to be a little "festive," as my Mom raised me to appreciate a good theme to dress up for. I found a new red & white striped t-shirt from Madewell (naturally), and paired it with some Gap overalls. I had to add a few enamel pins: a vintage Nebraska pin, an emoji corn cob and my Waitress pie slice with a Nebraska baseball cap. I think I did a good job, don't you?
After finally changing jobs, I knew I wanted to color my hair for the first time in over 5 years! I did some research, (thanks, Pinterest!) and found some great shades of purple to show my stylist.
I was really happy with the way the color was looking this day, so I snapped this photo in my new cactus print Courier shirt from Madewell and one of my favorite pieces of Madewell jewelry.
I can't take credit for this pun, but once I saw it on Bow & Drape, I knew it was the t-shirt for me! I personalized it with the food emojis, but I knew my love of carbs and bad reality TV made this the perfect purchase.
I broke it out at work and it got lots of great responses!
For a little winter break, I got my team tickets to visit the Taylor Swift Experience when the Grammy Museum brought it to the South Street Seaport. I knew I had to wear my sequin bomber jacket, since I remembered Taylor wearing one during the "1989 Tour" and wouldn't you know; it was there!?
Here I am wearing my jacket, a Chance the Rapper "MALIA" t-shirt and standing infront of Taylor's costumes from the tour.
I took a short vacation from NYC to visit my friend, Jonelle, in Columbus, OH. Since she said to work, I took some time to visit the Columbus Art Museum and was very impressed by their collection. I happend upon an Isabel Marant installation and it was amazing!
Here's a sampling of some of her pieces that were on display. I really want that pink layered top in the lower left corner...
I can't seem to quit my Madewell addiction. My all black Transport Tote was looking a little worn, so I went to find a new one. I decided to get the Burgundy one and then head to the Meatpacking Store to get it monogrammed. And, yes, I'll always be "CHEN."
It's a nice deal when your Company has a Holiday Pop-Up Shop within walking distance from the office! I went with Brynn to check out the store in Soho, just a few days before it closed.
Of course, these days, everything needs to be Instagram fodder. This lightbox was filled with light bulbs and Gap logos, perfect for those square photos.
I was lucky enough to get chosen as Verameat's "Cute Customer," so I got 40% off any item of my choice! So, what did I pick?
-a "engagement ring"
-a spine ring
-a Chinese takeout enamel pin
I think that sums me up, right? After all, I'm not on any track to get proposed to and the ring doesn't scream "engagement ring."
My friend, Whitney, and I have started our own holiday tradition of spending an afternoon or evening each year strolling the holiday windows on upper 5th Avenue. (This year's viewing was only slightly impeded by the barricades out of Trump Tower.)
My favorite window of this year's displays was at Bergdorf Goodman, where this Roberto Cavalli clad mannequin was posed upon a giant rabbit and surrounded by oversize cactus plants. That multi-colored fur jacket!
One of the cool new things about my job is all the rich history that Gap Brands & Gap Inc. has. I got the opportunity to visit the Brands' Archives in the basement of our HQ.
One of the Archivists was showing us Sharon Stone's infamous turtleneck, Stella McCartney for Gap Kids' Bandleader Jacket, Missy Elliott's spray painted t-shirt and even Richard Simmons' bedazzled Old Navy tank top; but the highlight for me was this vintage Gap sweater. Why? You ask, because it was worn by none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda in the October 2016 Issue of GQ Magazine. Will this be the closest I ever get to LMM? Only time will tell...BroadwayCon was a close second...
As of late, I've been really impressed with the designs at Coach. I got my first Coach bag at my high school graduation from one of my Dad's business partners and I didn't know the importance of that saddlebag at the time.
Now, as they partner with Colette for their "Rexy" dinosaur collection, I was just browsing around when I saw these boots. Super soft leather and suede patches, Chelsea-style pull-on and actually comfortable; I knew that they had to be mine.
The salesgirl was very friendly, and offered to let me know when the Oxfords in a similar style went on sale. I can't wait to break these puppies in!
It's easy to say that you might be scared in these days, post-election. How can we find our fellow Americans who will keep up safe? Someone started a small movement with safety pins as a statement, so I added one to my coat today.
Will you join me?
A little piece of flair for my jacket for Election Day! You can feel the excitement/anxiousness in the air...could we have our first female President of the United States?
Since it was also my second to last day at work, I had to pair with a little bit dressed down look: a camouflage HAMILTON/NYC t-shirt, my Madewell jean jacket and topped off with my new Monsieur Coat.
I didn't want to wake up too early for the Kenzo x H&M launch, but decided to swing into the store next to work before heading in for the day. Even a few hours after the launch, there wasn't a line and there was quite a bit of product left.
I'd already scoped out the collection online, so I knew the few pieces, if any, that I wanted to pick up. The crossbody bags were a little different in fabric/hand than I wanted, so I just went this this crazy, awesome sweater!
Of course, when I arrived at work, everyone wanted to know what I had purchased. I got a few "that's ugly" responses, but overall, mostly everyone agreed that it looked like something I would wear. It will need a special occasion for it's debut, for sure!
I'm not one for bag charms, but I couldn't resist this little sherpa llama bag tag! I named him Lorenzo (Lorenzo Llama, get it?) and only a few of the sales associates got the joke.
I hope he'll keep my Transport Tote company for awhile.
Although, not quite "fashion" per se, the carpet at the Portland International Airport gets it's fair share of attention. I didn't have much time to wander around the airport, but I had to take the obligatory photo of my Converse & the carpet pattern.
I admit, I was SUPER late to the Gilmore Girls game. I only just watched all 7 seasons this last year, once they were available on Netflix. I became easily obsessed, which worked out well for the new revival/reunion episodes that are premiering next month.
I wanted a way to show my fandom, without being too obvious, and this Luke's Diner keytag seemed like the perfect way. Since my house keys already had other buddies, it only made sense to put them on my work keychain.
A little welcome to the new Meatpacking Madewell store! As part of the Grand Opening, b.kaspr was in store, hand-painting leather goods.
I didn't need a new Transport Tote, so I opted for a small leather zip pouch with my last name on it. This little guy became a social media star on his own, showing up on b.kaspr's Instagram Story & page. My friend also found it, when she was shopping, sitting on the table to dry.
Last year, I missed out on the Instagram sensation, 29Rooms by Refinery29 and was suffering from a major case of FOMO. This year, the rooms moved to a bigger space and it was only about a 10 minute walk from my apartment in Bushwick.
So, I grabbed a giant iced tea and prepared to wait outside in the sweltering sun until they opened at noon. I got there shortly after 10:30am and was only about 25 people back. My friend, Ashley, came to meet me and shortly after noon, we got to go in and explore the space.
Of course, one of the first stops for me HAD to be the RuPaul Wig Room. There were various fun shapes and colors, but this yellow wig underneath his signature saying, "You Better Work" was calling my name.
After my first-ever Mets baseball game, Emily & I walked through Flushing Meadows/Corona Park to see The Unisphere. Of course, I had to sport my blue & orange zebra striped Marc by Marc Jacobs dress! What better event than a Mets game!?
Also, it didn't hurt that it was nice outside and that Laurie Hernandez (from the Final Five 2016 Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team) was throwing out the 1st pitch. I mean, it's like they knew I was coming!
On my co-worker, Jordan's last day, we had to take a photo with our matching Nebraska pins! We weren't quite as matching as I have been other times at work, but how often do you find another Nebraskan in the city, let alone the same work place?
Funny story: we "met" when Jordan called to schedule her interview and I took down her number, which still had the 402 Nebraska area code. I might have scared her, when I said that I was also from Nebraska, but it made for a nice bond.
GO BIG RED!
A little belated birthday gift from my friend and boss, Melissa! This Britney Spears pin is everything! In fact, it gets lots of compliments. You can't be classic Brit-Brit!
Hit me, baby, one more time!
I don't remember how many years ago it was when I first watched the documentary film, Unzipped, about Isaac Mizrahi and what it was like to bring a fashion collection to life. I've been a casual fan of his for years, but my Mom is pretty obsessed with him, seeing that he's a regular on QVC and all. So, when she kept pushing me to go and see his fashion retrospective at The Jewish Museum in the city, I finally decided to go.
The exhibit, Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, featured the collection from the movie and so much more. Galleries were filled with videos, clippings, original sketches & swatches and accessories.
This was one of my favorite pieces from the exhibit and the movie and the colors reminded me a little of Sulley from Monsters, Inc.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I hardly ever wear skirts or dresses. This summer has been the exception; it's been so hot outside and in the subways that I've had to resort to buying some skirts and dresses.
So, it was equally amusing that I showed up to work and was in almost the exact same outfit at my Store Director, Melissa. I guess great minds DO think alike! Our layers were slightly different, but the theme was still the same!
Was it a coincidence that my friends and I ended up in red, white and blue shoes on the 4th of July weekend? We didn't plan it, but it was a great fashion choice!
Enjoying the long 4th of July weekend at Brighton Beach with some friends! I decided to break out my Hamilton snapback for fashion and for sun protection.
It was a perfect beach day, until my sunscreen failed me. Two sunburnt legs later, I was painfully trying to sit down and make it back home...