January 27, 2016

An incomplete list of all the things I almost always overbuy expressly to avoid running out of

— Toilet paper: Charmin
— Twinings organic peppermint tea
— Patent black pumps
— Organic whole milk
— Eames dining chairs
— Diptyque "Figuier" candles
— Decorative candy bowls
— Commemorative teapots
— Vanilla extract
— Organic free range pasture raised eggs: extra-large or jumbo
— Ham
— Butter
— Collegiate sweatpants
— Organic steel cut rolled oats
— Frederic Malle perfume
— College-ruled yellow legal pads

January 25, 2016

Full-on fashion

Background: It's been just over ten years since I finished up the MA at Saint Martins and tomorrow I'm starting the first serious fashion job of my career. Not that all the jobs I've had up to this point aren't serious jobs—they were just serious in other ways. Working at the Post was all about scooping the News, developing the paper's first market pages, and shock value; launching Racked National was creating a national shopping blog POV from scratch and securing its place in the landscape of independent fashion blogs at the time; the three times I worked at Glamour always boiled down to moving the traffic needle with a content-first strategy while covering as much ground as possible without sacrificing brand value; and my under-a-year stint at Epicurious (food, not fashion) was all about getting the website to max traffic in the shortest amount of time while overhauling a 20-year-old site's functionality, purpose, and design.

The tipping point: About three months ago, I was summoned to the office of one of the most important people in fashion publishing. We talked about my career, the internet, and millennials—and the one thing that resonated with me the most (and that I've thought about every single day since) is when she said to me, "It sounds like you're a generalist." 

I don't want to be a generalist. I didn't spend my 20s doing semi-random master's degrees (first women's studies, then fashion) to wind up a generalist. I felt lost during so many of my higher education years and through a dozen internships (liver cell research lab; corporate law firm; PR agency; college administration) before finally, after landing at CSM, I felt like everything in the world and in my little life finally made sense. I guess at some point over the last ten years, I must have lost my way. Two years ago, I became completely disillusioned with fashion—for so many reasons, but especially the way the industry functions in the United States—and I thought I wanted out. Now, after a professional break—first with a stint in the food media industry and then as a digital generalist and news and politics editor—I'm ready to go back. And I'm not going the consumer-facing service media route this time: I'm going full-on news.

Wish me luck.

January 13, 2016

January 03, 2016

Apartment facelift time

I was well-aware, at the beginning of 2015, that December 28th of last year (uh, last week) would mark my ten-year anniversary of living in this apartment. That's a long time. So I made a resolution a year ago today that before the end of the year, I would either renovate and redecorate or move. Since I love my neighborhood and Manhattan real estate is totally bananas right now—the only way I'd actually be able to significantly upgrade my living space would be if I sold my one room studio and moved off the island—I decided in the beginning of December to make a real go at redecorating. And what I realized is that by changing just a few key things superficially, I could drastically alter the look and feel of my space.

Here are five things that are coming and going:
Bed: My friend Danny, who used to have his own organic mattress collection, told me that you're meant to get a new mattress every two presidential terms. My mattress is 10 years old, so I'm changing it up—and getting a new bed frame while I'm at it.
Custom shelving: When I moved into my apartment at age 28, I designed my space to perfectly accommodate the life (and stuff) I had back then. Ten years on, my book, kitchen appliance, and shoe collection have way outgrown their allotted storage spaces. So last month I met with a designer to create a customized bookshelf that will span nearly the entirety of the eastern wall of my studio.
New window treatments: I used to be super-minimalist (well, a minimalist who's always been thwarted by my own maximalism). To that end, my apartment right now is a glossy white box with pale-to-medium-gray furnishings and textiles (rugs, towels, sheets). But now I prefer comfort over austerity in my old age, I'm more interested in neutrals and warmth. So I'm adding drapery.
Bathroom fixtures: I was never really crazy about the toilet I'd installed in my very-small bathroom when I moved in in 2005—small bathroom fixtures are pretty hard to find—so a couple of years ago, I ordered a new Toto toilet and asked my super to install it (my building's staff is awesome and it's so much easier to work with them on building projects rather than hire unknown outsiders who then need to procure paperwork, COIs, etc.). Next up, I'm thinking about switching from a vanity to a pedestal sink. I'm still grappling with what to do about bathroom storage when I lose that under-cabinet space, but I think that what I lose will be made up for in easy-to-clean-ness and the additional feeling of spaciousness in a small bath.
New rugs: This is a no-brainer (new rugs = new look), but I've always been nervous about adding too much pattern-wise to an already small space. More investigation needed, but I've already mentally committed to the idea.