My new favorite Bag Maker!

I have to share my latest Etsy obsession. I bought one of The Bag Basement's backpacks earlier this year. I absolutely love how they are made from recycled jute rice bags that are hand dye cut out with patterns. It is huge and has tons of pockets. I use it for an overnight bag/workout bag to bring clothes to work, etc. It really has tons of uses come to think of it. I will also bring it with me to NYC to carry my purchases for the long days out shopping on my back.

The second bag is very similar to the bag I just bought as my summer handbag. I love the cool tie dye effect and it is the perfect size for everyday use. The strap is adjustable so it can be worn across your front if you want which is a great feature.

I also just bought a necktie for my Uncle's b-day. I didn't choose this I love nerds one but how cool is it. She has a bunch of unique designs that you won't find at the mall for sure.


New York Dreaming

After far too much deliberation, and some consultation with my Mom, I have bought the above dress from eShakti for my niece's Bat Mitzvah. I'm having them customize it by adding 3/4 length sleeves made from the tulle overlay material in the dress. I don't feel comfortable with my arms right now so I thought that would be a good compromise. I think it's dressy enough but also more appropriate to wear to other events around here, than the black one from yesterday with the funky sleeves. Thanks to those who weighed in on my big decision, especially Pricilla for confirming what I knew in my heart, that my favorite choice was too casual.

Mike and I planned on going into NYC after the weekend celebration and spend 4 days there. I had the tickets purchased and room reserved when winter hit us in full force. For the first time in the 5 years he's been with this school district, they used all of their snow days and had to tack days on at the end of the year. This gave Mike an out from the trip into the city that he wasn't really looking forward to anyways.

I decided to put on my big girl panties and plan a trip for myself. Honestly, I have been thoroughly obsessed with planning my trip down to the minute for the past few months. Looking at guide books and NYC apps on my phone has helped get me through this very dark and dreary winter. I have spent lunch hours that I should have been blogging walking the streets of the Village and Soho on Google Maps plotting my routes. It's actually sad and kind of embarrassing how much time I've invested into this short trip. I've always dreamed of going to New York and I don't know if I will ever have this opportunity again to do exactly what I want to do.

We will have 2 more Bat/Bar Mitzvas to travel for so who know what I will do in the future but I figured I should take advantage of this opportunity to cram as much shopping/photography excursions into the trip as I possibly could. I also know how directionally challenged I am so I wanted to plan the routes ahead of time so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed and feel hopelessly lost when I was there.

I know things will not go exactly as I have them planned and I'm open to some diversions, but having it planned to the letter will help me feel more in control when I am so far outside my comfort zone. I also have a few photography tours booked. I'm especially excited about the Paparazzi tour since it will be a private tour. We'll run around the city and try to capture a celebrity of some sort. He will also take pictures of me and give them to me on a disk so I will have some pictures of myself from the trip.

I'm going to post my master plan for your amusement:
arrive late afternoon.
Find room in The Jane (113 Jane Street)
Visit Chelsea Market. (75 9th Avenue)
Visit the High Line.
Shoot Hudson River at Sunset. app. 8:30 pm.
Dinner at Spotted Pig in West Village (314 W. 11th Street)
Drink next door at literay haunt White Horse Tavern.

Breakfast at Cafe Gitane in the Jane.
Find my room in Chelsea (357 W 30 St #5)
Shop Habu Textiles (135 West 29th Street Suite 804) &
Mood Fabrics (225 West 37th Street, 3rd floor )
Go to Art in the Park Festival at Washington Square Park, starts at E. 12th St. from noon-6 pm.
Drop off bags and head to midtown.
Walk 34th st. West to 5th Ave.
Shoot ESB from corner of 34th and 5th Ave.
Shoot the NYC main library with lions from 5th Ave. entrance, go inside to shoot the main reading room.
Walk through Bryant Park
Shoot Grand Central Terminal at 89 East 42nd Street.
if time go to Chrysler Building at 405 Lexington Avenue.
Walk 5th Ave. to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral between 50th and 51st Streets.
Eat dinner in midtown early at Sake Bar Hagi (152 W 49th St), get there by 6:15
Be at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Sunset.
Walk through Times Square after dark.
Walk back via Broadway.
At 32nd St. Greeley Sq. turn left towards K-town.
On way back stop for a late bite in Koreatown. Possibly Woorijip: cheap cafeteria style (12 W 32nd St between 5th Ave & Broadway)
if still energetic a late show at Upright Citizen’s Brigade. 307 W 26th St (between 8th & 9th Ave) OR The Magnet Theater Show (254 W 29th St between 7th Ave & 8th Ave)

Run with Paparrazi tour from 9-12. Meets up at Christopher St & 7th Ave
Eat lunch at Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli (369 Broome St between Elizabeth St & Mott St)
turn left, Shop on Broome St.:
Papabubble: personalized handmade candy. (380A Broome Street)
Clic Bookstore & Gallery: photography goodness! (424 Broome St between Lafayette St & Crosby St)
Shoot the Haughwout Building at corner of Broadway and Broome
Pearl River Mart: Asian Super store! (477 Broadway between Grand St & Broome)
Purl Soho: Yarn! (459 Broome Street)
Kiteya: Japanese handmade goodness (464 Broome)
Turn Right on Greene.
Shop on Spring St:
Evolution Nature Store: skulls, fossils, & fun (120 Spring Street)
Free People: Boho accessories & clothes (99 Spring Street)
Kiosk: kitchy stuff from around the world (95 Spring Street)
Kate’s Paperie: stationary, etc. (72 Spring Street)
Pylones: colorful cuteness (69 Spring St
Tierra: handmade jewelry (65 Spring St between Lafayette St & Cleveland Pl)
Dessert at Rice To Riches: Rice pudding goodness! (37 Spring St)
Walk to East Village about 1 mile stopping along the way:
Calvin Tran: “hear go hell come!” (246 Mulberry St)
Pass Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral (263 Mulberry St between Jersey St & Prince St)
Cat Fish Greetings: handmade cards (219A Mulberry Street)
Billy’s Antiques and Props: in green tent, quirkiness (76 East Houston St)
Dashwood Books: Photography bookstore (33 Bond Street between 2nd St &
The Smile: yarn, art, & coffee for refueling (26 Bond St)
The Future Perfect: art + kitsch (55 Great Jones St)
Hannah Clark: handmade jewelry (60 E. 4th St)
Sara’s Vintage & Handmade Jewelry (65 E. 4th St)
Random Accessories: random knick knacks (77 E 4th St at Bowery and 2nd Ave)
East Village Books:used bookstore (99 St. Marks Pl between 1st Ave & Avenue A)
De La Vega Museum: funky art w/ a message. ( 102 St. Marks Pl)
AuH20: handmade clothes & jewelry (84 E. 7th St)
TEICH designs: handmade bags & jewelry (84 East 7th St.)
Cobblestones: reasonably priced vintage accessories ( 314 E 9th St between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
Local Clothing: cheap thrifting! (328 East 9th Street)
Katinka: Hand-dyed Indian textiles (303 E. 9th St)
A Repeat Performance: quirky antiques (156 1st Avenue)
Obscura Antiques: sublimely bizarre! (280 East 10th St)
Drop off bags in my room.
Play Dead show at 8:00 at the Player’s Theatre (115 MacDougal St.) pick up ticket at will call window.
Falafel at Mamouns (119 MacDougal St)
Taxi back to room.

Breakfast at Skylight Diner (402 West 34th St.@ 9th Ave)
Photo Walkabout tour of Chinatown & Five Points from 10-12:30
Eat lunch in Chinatown.
Visit the WTC site, St. Paul memorial, & Trinity Church
Visit Battery Park for views of harbor and SOL.
Visit the Irish Hunger Memorial. (290 Vesey Street)
if time Take the Staten Island Ferry from Whitehall Terminal Manhattan.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge.
Visit Jacques Torres Chocolate. (66 Water Street)
visit some galleries/boutiques in DUMBO if time:
Powerhouse Arena: art and books (37 Main St between Water St & Howard Aly)
Umbrage: photography gallery & bookstore (111 Front St. Suite 208 between Washington St & Adams St)
Spring: Art and handmade creations (126 Front St between Adams St & Jay St)
Stewart/Stand Art & Design Store: (141-A Front St between Pearl St & Jay St)
Shoot the bridges from Brooklyn Bridge Park & Manhattan skyline at sunset.
dinner somewhere cheap and quant.

Sunrise at Roosevelt Island Tramway (app. 5:30 am)
Photograph the 19th century smallpox hospital at south tip of island.
Take tram back to Manhattan
Shoot the Flat Iron Building and Madison Square Park.
Breakfast at Eisenberg Sandwich Shop, get sandwich for later.
Leave for Newark 12:30 pm
Flight home 2:50 pm


Bat Mitzva Dress

Since I'm back to my old blogging self again I thought I would reach out to you all for help solving a shopping delima I've been agonizing over. I have my niece's Bat Mitzva in May in New York and I have no idea what to wear. I'm assuming a nice dress that I would wear to a wedding or other special event is appropriate but I just can't decide. I have a few picked out from my favorite dress shop on-line, eShakti. They will even customize the dress if you don't like the sleeves or length which I love about them. I know the pictures are kind of blurry since I had to blow them up but if you click on them it will give you the full view.

I'm afraid the first black and white one might be a bit too casual but it's actually my favorite. It's a light cotton and I could probably get a lot of use out of it after the event. But I don't want to stand out as the informal aunt from the midwest, especially since we've already been told Mike needs to wear a tie and jacket.

The purple and black is a bit more formal but it's also not as much my style either. I like it but I don't love it. The next black one is my compromise dress. I think it's a bit more formal since it's primarily black but it's still a lightweight cotton that I could get a lot of use from. But is it formal enough is the question? The last option is the most formal of them all. It's a little black cocktail type dress that I probably would find little reason to wear again but I know I wouldn't stand out in the crowd.

If you have any opinions on these possibilities I would love to hear it. Thanks!


Coming Home

I don't know if anyone still cares or not but I am finally coming back from my extended blog vacation. I don't quite know what happened this year to cause my first major blogger's block. But the longer I waited to post the less I seemed to have to say and the harder it was to break the silence. My old blog buddy Nancy from N. Fallon Design Studio sent me a very sweet card in the mail this week that made me realize it was time to come back home. I shot the above of the girls on the first weekend I had my brand new Lensbaby. I will be devoting an entire post to my new love later I'm sure.

It's been a pretty difficult year but I won't go into it all now. The short version is that I've been fighting the major D, which saps the will to interact with anyone right out of me. Also, one of our dearest friends is in the middle of chemo treatment. This has caused an incredible amount of stress and drama for Mike and I both, which honestly neither of us handles all that well.

I haven't been knitting much either so I don't have much to show for my time off. I finished a vest for myself that I'll post later this week. I have made some good changes too but I will go into those on another day.

I will try to check in with some of my old pals today. I really have missed the support and connections from the blog world. I know lots of you have taken breaks too. I was wondering how you got yourself back into the swing of things after an extended break? Was it just like getting back on the old bike, which ironically I actually never learned to ride in the first place...

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD