This year, I was lucky enough to have an entire week off for fall break, unlike many of my friends and my brother who only had a four-day weekend. The first few days I stuck around awful old AZ. It wasn’t until Wednesday morning that I left–no, ran out with a plan to never return. And so, I went to the airport early that morning and boarded a flight to my absolute favorite place in the world and my true home, New York City. After a long, five-hour flight to Newark and three different subway rides, I laid low and just had a scrumptious homemade dinner with my grandparents. The next day, I went to my favorite part of the big city, Greenwich village, specifically the east village. I did a little shopping (and a lot of coffee drinking), went to this amazing little Chinese market thing with the greatest knickknacks, hung out around NYU for quite a while, and spent some time writing and taking photographs in Washington Square. After that, I met up with my god-brother Adam. We aimlessly wandered around the village, Chelsea, and the meatpacking district looking for a yummy place to eat. Finally, we found this fun place in Chelsea called Elmo. ‘Twas quite delicious! We walked over towards to river, saw some beautiful views of the city, and (unfortunately) walked through Times Square. God, I hate it, but Adam insisted. He also insisted on stealing my camera and taking a gazillion touristy photos of the city. I also saw an adorable “homeless” man who was holding a sign that said, “why lie it’s for beer.” As if that weren’t funny enough already, he flipped over the sign, and the other side read, “it’s also for food and weed.” I took a photo with the guy and gave him two dollars. And sure, those habits aren’t the greatest, but ya gotta admire his honesty! The next day, I did some shopping on the one and only 5th Ave. then Lexington for Bloomy’s! I got some super cute stuff, including a dress for my god-Sister’s wedding next weekend. After that, I went to another hated place of mine, Dylan’s Candy Bar. It’s not so much that I hate the place, itself, and really the same goes for Times Square. It’s just that I hate how many people they both attract. Anyways, I go to the city like once every month or two, and every time I do, I bring all of my friends Dylan’s. I grabbed the 15 chocolate bars and scurried downstairs to pay. First, I saw the register on the far end and the huge line that it brought. And then I saw the register right under the staircase. No one was waiting for it. Like what? I ran up an dropped off what seemed like a thousand chocolate bars. The cashier was hilarious and we got to talking. He was writing a book, in which one of the main characters was from Arizona. When he asked about it, I basically gave him the cold, hard truth, telling him in depth how utterly awful it is. When I finally left, I headed uptown to the Met. I learned something very new as I stood at the ticketing counter. The prices that are listed above are not at all mandatory but merely suggested. You just pay whatever you can. So essentially, you could pay 50 cents, even 10, to get in. Once I got my little green pin on my scarf, I went up the famous stairs to the two exhibits that I wanted to see, ‘Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop’ and ‘Regarding Warhol: 60 Artists, 50 Years.’ First, was the photography. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed. I mean, the exhibit delivered what it said it would, and most of the pieces were quite fascinating, but it just wasn’t really what I had expected. The Warhol exhibit, on the other hand, was fucking amazing. I’ve never seen so much of his work in one place. Awesome. Just awesome. To anyone who ha the chance to go, go. After the Met, I went to my favorite restaurant in the city. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to disclose the name, as my favorite part about it is that there are no tourists. I will tell you that it is French food, and it is easily my favorite meal in the country. Yesterday, my final day in New York, began in Central Park. You see, in all the many times that I’ve been to the city, I’ve never really spent a ton of time in the park. I walked through it, taking photos and petting dogs, not to mention looking at gorgeous runners who were training for the upcoming NY Marathon, for about an hour. After that, I headed to this very elite vintage show at the Metropolitan Center on 18th. I bought some absolutely fantastic clothes, including this AH-MAZING sequined, plaid, double-breasted coat, a Lanvin fur crop top, and a little gift for my close, fashion-loving friend Nick. As amazing as the clothes were, my favorite part of the show was meeting these incredible fashion-forward people, especially the gay guys. Actually, many of these friendships were sparked by my phone case. For those of you who don’t know, I have a very odd, very cool phone case. It’s basically brass knuckles. Apart from its recent being taken away by Boston TSA only two months ago–I shipped it back–it has made me quite a few friends. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people comment on it, whether it’s a waiter in Phoenix, a Starbucks barista as I scan my phone, or a fashion blogger in New York. The point is people are always talking to me about it. So with my gorgeous clothing in hand and my new friends’ numbers and emails in my phone, I was off. I took the L train to Union Square and 14th street and wandered through the Farmer’s market. A shot of wheatgrass, a new gorgeous model friend, and a vegan muffin later, I reached the end if the market. I walked towards the local band’s concert that was going on. Not bad, and hey, I got a free cd out of it. I also made, yet again, another new friend, who was actually a freelance writer in the area. After listening for a few more minutes, I decided to go to the village. As I was walking down Astoria, I noticed a ton of food trucks, one being a weed lollipop dispensary. As I walked by, I just kind of sheepishly laughed, though, I now regret not buying a few for some of my friends. And I mean, one has to wonder how they make those things! But I kept of walking. I walked down Bleecker for a bit and decided to go to Washington Square. Before I did this, though, I must call Nick and tell him about the amazing vintage shopping. And so, I did. I sat on a bench just outside of the park and talked to him for quite a bit, and when we both had to go, I went into the little circle that I so love. I took out my notebook and pen and wrote for a good ten minutes before I was interrupted by a few dance guys who were in the square. They were hilarious and really amazing dancers. After an hour or so, they were approaching their last two acts, the human helicopter and this people jump thing. At that point, I realized that I had actually seen them before, years and years ago when I was a little girl. I watched as the one guy swung his twin brother around on top of his head. Pretty damn cool. They then proceeded to ask for money before completing their show. I looked into my wallet, hoping for a five or a ten dollar bill. Shit, I only had twenties. I quickly fled the scene before they could make it to where I was sitting. I headed back towards Bleecker with the hopes of having some pizza at John’s before parting my city. Before I did that, though, I stopped at this adorable little macaron shop that I had been to once before to get a few raspberry ones and the famous Amy’s Bread to get a load of bread to bring back to my dad–it’s his favorite–and a coffee. As I approached John’s, I realized that I was supposed to have dinner with my grandparents since it was my last night. Dammit. I guess it was okay, though, because the line was already down the block, which reminds me to tell you all, if you’re ever going to John’s, which you all should, go for lunch, not dinner. It gets WAY too packed from about 5 ‘o clock on. I proceeded down Bleecker. If you haven’t picked up on it already, Bleecker is my favorite street. I walked into one of my favorite perfumeries, Bond No. 9, and tested out some new scents. After buying a bottle of Manqué–I think that’s what it’s called?–I went into the most fun store in the city, the Marc Jacobs on Bleecker. You see, Marc Jacobs apparently has a really cheap line of clothing called Jacobs by Marc Jacobs. It’s like a third of the price of Marc by Marc, but it is still Marc Jacobs. Years ago, the store was much bigger and much crazier, but now, it’s a bit sized down. I bought this adorable bracelet, a black t-shirt that I thought said, “Marc Jacobs,” but I later found out that it actually said, “Marc Jackass,” which made it all the more cute, and some Marc Jacobs condoms. I mean, you know you have a problem when you’re buying designer condoms. HA! After that, I headed to my grandparents, had dinner with them, and packed. Now, I won’t bore you with my horrific packing skills, but let’s just say, I’m the worst over-packer as is, let alone once I’ve done a shit ton of shopping. Apart from the fact that I brought a checked bag, that my brother brings to Europe for 2 weeks, for a three-day trip, in addition to my huge Louis Vuitton tote bag and my Burberry garment bag with two coats in it. I’m fucking pathetic, I know. The fact of the matter is despite my efforts to leave room for new things, it wasn’t at all enough. It took me three hours to get all of my stuff into that bag, and zipping it was a whole other hour. Whatever. I guess that just means that I had a successful trip. As I got into my seat on the plane and looked out the window at the beautiful skyline, my eyes honestly got pretty watery; but then, I realized that I get the privilege of living in this wonderful, wonderful town in just a little over a year. So Phoenix for the next year and a half, New York for the rest of my life.
Last night, I went to my gazillionth concert this year. It was, of course, the Black Keys. Being that they are one of my favorite bands, I was SO excited to see them after months of anticipation. I went with two of my bestest friends Rachael and Sydney. We planned to grab dinner at this delicious Sam Fox restaurant downtown, but, unfortunately, by the time we got there, it would have been an hour wait! We were instructed by the hostess to try some Italian restaurant a block over, but we instead resorted to chipotle. Being the picky eater that I am, I resorted to Starbucks. I had a scrumptious dinner of a triple venti soy latte and a banana. Oh, and I can’t forget the five chips I stole from Syd’s dinner! After that, we were off! The concert was at US Airways Center–ha, I’m on a US Airways flight right now–where the Phoenix Suns play. Needless to say, it’s fucking huge. As we got to our seats, after a long wait for t-shirts, I realized that our seats, although quite good, were not very close to the stage. You see, it’s been about two years since I had last seen a concert there so I had well, kind of forgotten how incredibly huge the general admission a.k.a. mosh pit is. The regrets of not getting GA tickets began. The opening band quite frankly sucked. They had one good song. Out of like ten. I later learned that the two girls, Teagan and Sara were lesbian twins from Canada. That explains the accent. Finally, yet said their goodbyes. Initiate the set change. Half an hour and a bag of cotton candy later, the Black Keys came on. As expected, they were incredible. Amazing music. The end. The concert was a blast, apart from the parent-aged, overweight, scantily clad–I’m talking man tanks and no bra–excuse for a couple that was practically having sex in front of us. In all honesty, they were putting on more of a show than the actual show. And the man of this “couple”, oy! He not only had on literally a women’s tank top, but he also had his hair all spiked up towards the front. He had a receding hairline. Like the long hair spiked down as some sort of illusion? Definitely isn’t working. Oh, and his dancing! Let’s just say, he probably would have fit in far better at a Metallica concert or some other heavy death metal concert, not an indie rock. Apart from that huge distraction (to everyone around us really), the show was awesome! At the end of the day, though, we came to the conclusion that seeing low key bands at small venues like the Marquee or Crescent Ballroom and being able to stand in the front row, practically touching the band. So I guess we’ll just stick to those, but it was definitely a great concert and a learning experience!
Down here in Phoenix, we have a little tradition of going down to central Phoenix–Roosevelt Street, to be exact–on the first Friday of every month to eat amazing (and unhealthy) food, listen to incredible music, look at beautiful art, and be a part of the hundreds, probably even thousands, of people there. One of my best friends Sarah and I started the night off at a football game. We got bored and decided we’d be better of going to First Friday. And so, after a quick outfit change in the parking lot, we were off. Our first stop was the sidewalk. Well, it was kind of a constant stop throughout the night. As we approached some of the shops and food trucks, we passed a church where multiple guys, with saggy pants and chains…the whole nine yards, were rapping. As we listened more closely, the word ‘Jesus’ became more and more apparent. Rapping about Jesus. Wow. The oxymoronic qualities that that possesses. If the shock of that weren’t enough, as we walked past an apartment building, I noticed a pile of silver chains. Wait, no, that’s not a pile of chains. That’s a person wearing a pile of chains. And with that oh-so-fashionable outfit, the man was preaching, “Marijuana is good for you. It makes you smarter and better looking. Everyone should smoke marijuana!” First official stop: the chocolate-covered fruit truck. After some delicious dark chocolate-covered strawberries, we wandered through the abyss of white tents that featured art and jewelry, food and sculpture, and so much more! We eventually made it to one of my favorite record stores and dug through some amazing LPs. I left successfully with three records in hand: a Beatles, an Edith Piaf, and a Bruce Springsteen. Mission accomplished. We made our way through the incredibly diverse crowd that was viewing the heavy metal band that was playing in front of the store and headed towards our savior, coffee. There it was, our shining beacon of hope. I approached the door. I placed my fingers around the handle. I pulled. Nothing happened. The door would not open. Sure, there were tons of people inside, including baristas, but the door just wouldn’t allow us to go in. We decided to go around to the side, hoping that it would deliver an entry. There was, indeed, and entry, however, it wasn’t exactly to the coffee shop. Instead, it was a small portal into a wonderful world of art (a.k.a. a gallery). This wasn’t just any gallery, though. It was the gallery, a place where I would want to live. With its industrial appeal and its modern, open-space zest, this smattering of rooms served as the perfect journey. And of course, with every journey, there comes a great reward at the end. Finally, we had made it. Steaming hot lattés and cappucinos awaited us. And as we walked into this intimate coffee shop, low and behold the door on the opposing side, the one we had originally tried to go through, swung open. It was a push. Not a pull. As I shook my head in that “holy shit, I’m such an idiot” manner, I came to the conclusion that perhaps it was best to go through the other door. We got to see some lovely art and an amazing space. Sarah got in line while I found us some seats. The wall was full of little nicknacks that a vintage nut and hoarder like me just loves. The people sitting at the next table were playing that game where you have to put the circles in order but can’t take them off of the board. Shit, I always forget the name. And I looked over at a family a few tables over. The attempting to be “hip” dad was giving his business card to a renegade photographer. For the first time, I realized how absolutely remarkable an event like this is. With just one night in every thirty and just a few hours within those twenty-four, the entire city (or at least the cool people in it) comes together as one, their diversity ranging from adolescent girls wearing band tees and walking around with their moms to 22 year old guitar players to 60 year old women dressed up as zombies, blood and all. This night was a melting pot, of cultures, of age, of sexuality, and of religion. It was truly spectacular.
*PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT AT ALL A POST TO VOICE MY POLITICAL BELIEFS*
As many of you know–or at least, I hope you know–the 2012 presidential election is quickly approaching. Now, everyone knows who the nominated Republican is and, of course, his Democratic opponent, but the majority of Americans often overlook any and all other candidates. Sure, Democrat and Republican are the most prominent of the parties, especially as we, as a country, have never had a president who is of any other political party (other than Whigs and Federalists, which now both fall under Democratic and Republican). Some of you may have heard of a little thing called the Green Party, most likely through 2000 and 2004 Green party nominee, Ralph Nader, who actually took up over 2.7 million votes in 2000. Ever since that controversial presidential election (Gore versus Bush), though, the Green party has been given very little attention. For instance, do any of you know who this year’s Green party candidate is? Well, it’s Jill Stein, who remarkably has 2% of popular vote, as of September 14th, which could equal approximately 2.4 million people. Stein is a Harvard-graduated medical doctor who has previously run against Mitt Romney for governor of Massachusetts. Clearly, she lost. Anyway, Stein proposes a Green New Deal for the nation that will supposedly create 25 million jobs, end unemployment, and transition our country to a green economy. She also guarantees a higher level of public education and Medicare for all, as well as to break up the banks, and end corporate domination of elections. Stein originally came into politics as a mother and a non-member of any political party. She was very concerned about healthcare and tried to voice that concern. She came across the Green party, who shared her desire to get money out of politics. Stein was then recruited to run for public office, as what she calls “a desperation act.” She claims that nothing else was working, and it was to truly vocalize her and the Green party’s beliefs. Stein has since then been engaged in politics and has run for multiple political positions. Her name will be on ballots in forty of the fifty states come November, leaving only 15% of Americans unable to cast their vote for Stein.