My Favorite NYC Spots, 1 Year In

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Life / Odes / Travel

October 1 marks one year since I began living in New York City. In that time, I’ve come by plenty of must-see landmarks and even more Instagrammable sights. But today I want to take a moment to appreciate the corners of the city that I find myself returning to again and again—not only to ‘gram but also because of how they make me feel.

These are the places where I go to find my chill, in all senses of the word. These spots are mostly in Manhattan—and uptown—because I live in Harlem and that’s just what’s convenient. In this next year, I hope to venture out farther…

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Summer Favorites, aka A Season of Comfort Shoes

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Odes / Style

I bought four pairs of shoes this spring/summer: Two have velcro closures, one pair are slides, and the last has a strap with elastics so it basically functions as slip-ons. This is me diving feet first into glorious Comfort Shoe Land. And it feels! So! Good!

In this process, I realized that to find comfortable, well-made shoes that aren’t boring, it’s well worth checking out brands that, well, er, specialize in shoes, like Cole Haan and Camper.

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Shopping on a Budget: an Ode to Old Navy

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Odes / Style

News came out this week that Gap Inc. is shifting focus to its more profitable brands Old Navy and Athleta, while closing hundreds of Gap and Banana Republic stores, which have both been struggling to find themselves over the last several years.

As an accidental Gap Visa cardholder (Naive College Me thought I was just signing up for an innocent store rewards program), none of this is surprising.

While I regularly browse Gap/BR/ON to see what’s new and what’s good (gotta use up those credit card rewards!), recent wins have almost all hailed from the most basic of the sister brands—and I mean “basic” in the best way.

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Paris and London, for the First Time

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Life / Style / Travel

I knew I’d go to Paris someday, but I didn’t necessarily think it would be a family trip, let alone one involving, uh, the Rubik’s Cube World Championship. But that’s how life works and I’ll gladly take it.

The trip was jam-packed, really jam-packed. My brother had his cubing competition for three full days and I had to work three half days. Thank God for Paris’s 10 p.m. summer sunset, which gave us three-to-four hours of evening daylight to pack in as much sightseeing as possible.

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Life / Travel

Usually at the end of another month, I find myself thinking, Wow, where did the time go? In June, time flew by per usual, but each week was accounted for: There was my first taste of Scandinavia, there was the long-awaited Curbed IRL offsite, there was a belated birthday dinner, and there were a few things that sprung up along the way, leaving huge impressions. I can only begin to explain in pictures…

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Spring Favorites

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Life / Odes / Style

In the spirit of appreciating #thelittlethings, I’m going to take a page (steal a scene?) from my favorite Youtube vloggers and start documenting the products, books, shows, music, etc. that I’ve been loving. Without further ado, here are bits and pieces of my spring 2017 ☼

1. Supported Fish PoseWhat I do before each yoga class; it’s the perfect antidote to scrunched-up-chained-to-the-computer-desk shoulders.

2. Nature Republic Herb Lotion (Bulgarian Rose/Peach)—Both smell so good, but more importantly, it goes on milky/smooth, which I prefer to thick/sticky. (They’re always in stock in stores.)

3. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon—First k-drama obsession in a few years! So charming, love, love, love.

4. EOS “Sweet Mint” Smooth Stick—These look so sleek and tbh, much more storage-friendly than the regular EOS balls. Also: It’s like $3.79 for two at Bed Bath & Beyond!!!

5. Umbra Woodrow trash bin in mint—I technically got this last fall, but finally evangelized about it on Curbed a couple of weeks ago.

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Making Instagram Productive

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Life / Odes

Every new Instagram feature makes the news—an especially big splash if it’s lifted from Snapchat. But the new Instagram feature that’s giving me life isn’t one that approximates Snapchat, but one that’s more of a low-key Pinterest. Yep, I’m talking about “Collections.”

When Instagram added a save-for-later/”bookmark” feature, it was already a good way to differentiate stuff you liked because-you-had-to-because-you’re-a-good-friend from stuff that, well, you might actually want to look at again. The newer “Collections” feature lets you group saved posts into categories that you can name yourself.

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K-Indie for Spring

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Spring to me is synonymous with Korean indie…K-indie! The bands I like the most—10 cm, Standing Egg—all have that addicting acoustic sound, with whimsical instrumentals and some SERIOUSLY. GOOD. VIBES. Which is all I want to feel for spring, when the weather is getting better, days are getting longer, and more fun is begging to be had. So I made a playlist.

I suppose for a singer/band to be considered “k-indie,” they can’t be signed under a major label; I don’t think that’s true of all the artists I included. For the purposes of this playlist, I’m just looking for that feeling. What feeling? Listen on…