Ahh East Coast vs. West Coast, a rivalry that many tattooed tears have been shed over. I feel a bit torn between the two coasts and I’m going to paraphrase Dr. Dre here to explain why, “Cali is the state that raised me but New York is the city that pays me” (I took a lot of liberties on that quote). On the one hand I grew up in California, I love the sand, surf, sun, and… car. On the other, New York is where I started my “adult” life. I love the convenience, fashion, and arts in the Big A; especially the fact that you never need a reason to be dressed up. But above all else, I love Mexican food, which California has New York beat in spades, with one major exception: Lupe’s. Of course you’ll find some great fusion Mexican restaurants in NYC, but it’s that Cali street style that owns my heart. My dad is basically the original Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Dude knew about food trucks before food trucks knew about food trucks; basically a cheap eats visionary. So needless to say, when he puts on Fleetwood Mac and takes you to the back of an East Palo Alto bodega for lunch, you know you are in for some solid Mexican nosh. Maybe it’s because I grew up on this style of Mexican fare that I consider it to be the superior south of the border option, but to me Lupe’s is a little SoHo gem that settles my longing for the Golden State.
Location: Shelter Pizza, Williamsburg – Brooklyn
Dress: Self-Portrait (similar vibes here and here) | Belt: Gucci (I also like this one and this one) | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman (kind of obsessed with this pair and this pair at the moment) | Purse: Chanel
Personally, I love a patriotic palette and have this weird pull towards clothing items that sport the spirited American Flag. When we go shopping Stephen will mockingly point out every star-spangled piece of apparel he sees. This is a common trait of female shopping buddies, when a mutual friend is missing you’ll pick up items that they always wear with an added, “if Karen were here she would totally buy this.” My love of red, white, and blue doesn’t stop at clothing; I can also appreciate a little flag flare when it’s tastefully done in interior design, another passion of mine. When I was a Girl Scout, you could create your own merit badge – I chose interior design and leveraged my bedroom overhaul as the test space for the badge requirements, very Troop Beverly Hills of me if I do say so myself. My parents would have described my younger self as “precocious,” but when you live in a one TV household and HGTV is on 24/7, you pick up a few tricks of the trade and an affection for mood boards, accent walls, and house flipping. Needless to say, when you combine my loyalty to Team USA and my penchant for a statement wall, I was immediately drawn to Brooklyn’s Shelter Pizza and this corrugated metal flag adorning their rustic facade.
Location: El Luchador, NYC
Skirt: Old (similar here, here, and here) | Sweater: Zara (similar here, here, and here) | Necklace: Chanel (vintage) | Boots: Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots | Skateboard: 5boro NYC | Jacket: Express (Similar here, also love this one, vest version here)
There was this brief moment of clarity when it was 15 degrees outside and I looked at Stephen and said, “who the F decides to start a fashion blog in the middle of a NYC winter.” I swear, every winter I decide I’m moving back to California. When people talk about the East Coast they always say, “but you have the seasons, I love the seasons,” well…if you mean it’s freezing all winter, ridiculously humid all summer, and nice for about three weeks every fall, then yes we have “seasons.” But alas, I drank the NYC Kool-Aid and despite the inconveniences, crowdedness, and astronomical cost of living I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Luckily, NYC winters bring with them unpredictability and brief patches of 50-60 degree weather. I think it’s sort of interesting how SoCal residents will bundle up during this type of weather, whereas New Yorkers practically throw on shorts and decide outdoor seating is an option again. This day at El Luchador was one of those days.