Old Hollywood with a largely French influence…j’adore

I am a sucker for an awards ceremony.  Fancy dresses, the red carpet, a packed venue, awards and the surprises.  It transports me to “Old Hollywood” where things feel glamorous and special.

The Oscars epitomize this feeling.

For me, last night’s 84th Academy Awards ceremony had a more prominent “Old Hollywood” style feeling.  Popcorn was served, the performance portrayed “a night at the movies” and a silent black-and-white film won best picture.

I began the night early with the preshows.  I spent my night watching everything leading up to the big event allowing me to get a real inside look.

It began with the fashion on the Red Carpet.  If you follow my tweets you are already aware that I literally sat with laptop on my bed, E! on the TV and disclosed my every thought about everything I saw.  That’s what Twitter is for, so no apologies 🙂

Then I flipped over to ABC where they featured some nice behind-the-scenes interviews about what goes into making global production a reality.

Sidenote: Did anyone else notice the amount of French during this year’s program? I’m not only talking about Jean Dujardin or his movie “The Artist”* or even the Paris based films “Hugo” and “Midnight in Paris,” but the commercials as well. I felt like for a while every other ad featured a French song or had French words or used a picture from France.  No complaints by me but interesting all the same.

Top 5 moments for me:

1. Cirque du Soleil (I’m already proving my above point!) performance. How do they do it?  This gave an extra magical feeling to the evening.

2. Seeing Christopher Plummer (stud from Sound of Music) win an Oscar at 82, making him the oldest person to do so.

3. The winner in the documentary category about women victim to acid burns in Pakistan.  I am interested to see the film because it is an issue I am not familiar with but intrigued by.

4. The French in me was more than ecstatic about “The Artist” winning best picture and Jean Dujardin** overtaking Hollywood big timers Clooney and Pitt.

5. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis presented.  Loved the skit they did, especially dropping the cymbals on the floor at the end.

Now here I am at work, exhausted from staying up late after an already busy weekend.  But I just can’t deny my love for movies and of course my love affair with the fantasy of an award show.

*I have yet to see this movie but it has been on my “list” since I left France in October.  It premiered in France first and I remember being excited to see it before my fellow Americans.  I never did make it happen before jet setting back home and now I am itching more than ever to go.  A friend told me about an old theater in NYC with a chandelier in the middle of the room and everything. I feel this is the perfect place to see a black and white silent film!  Talk about time traveling to an “old Hollywood” era.

**Last year in France my favorite movie that I saw was “Les Petits Mouchoirs” (“Little White LIes”).  This was my first time seeing Dujardin and c’etait le coup de foudre 🙂

Long weekends are a gift

Thank god for a holiday tomorrow because I need an extra day to relax and catch up after a busy weekend.  Good busy, as it usually is, but busy nonetheless.

It began Friday night with a concert at Nublu.  Since my move up to NYC I have been catching up with an old friend who has been in the city for a few years now.  She is the lead singer of Wax Poetic and so when I found out the group was performing I just had to go hear her.  I invited a few friends whom I knew wouldn’t mind an adventurous night of new music and new venues and headed to the East Village.

Sissy and the band put on a great show and en plus, I think I have found a new place to hit up on the weekends.  Of course it was a late night for this girl–the concert didn’t even begin until 12:30am and in true rocker fashion our party continued long after the last set!  Vive la vie à New York 🙂

Then Saturday we went out to celebrate my uncle’s birthday at Buddakan.  When you’re 20-something and trying to make it in the big city, it’s always nice to have family around to take you out to dinner –and it doesn’t hurt when the restaurant is amazingly chic!  You might be familiar with the spot for its cameo in Sex and the City Movie (rehearsal dinner scene).

It really was a cool place with a quasi VIP style and amazingly delicious food!  It is served family style and comes as it is prepared.  We tried a variety of things and ended with birthday apple cider doughnuts served with the most delicious creme fraîche ice cream.  Wish I had some right now.

Today I spent the afternoon in Brooklyn with some girlfriends.  We ate at a really neat South African themed restaurant.  Spending a Sunday surrounded by friends, drinks, food and reggae music was relaxing– especially knowing that the next day doesn’t mean work.

How did you all spend the weekend? Any good eats devoured or fun venues discovered?

NYFW

My dream: go to a fashion show.

My reality: take pictures outside of a fashion show of people going into a fashion show.

Even though the reality was less glamorous than my dream (it was snowing and windy today in the city and I was snapping photos with no gloves on–enough said) , I had such a great time today trying my hand at being a street fashion photographer! I took some pointers from the more experienced ones out there and made sure to be aggressive and outgoing.

Some of the pay offs to freezing my buns off in front of the Lincoln Center:

1. The extravagant fashion samples I came across.  At one point I felt that my pictures could have been put together for a visual shopping wish list.

2. The people I got to see.  Before I tell you who I spotted you must know that I am a daily follower of many bloggers (my blog roll is to the right).  Some write about food, others fashion or beauty and most revolve around my love affaire with all things French.

One of my all time favorite blogs is that of Garance Doré.  I love the way she writes and the stories she tells (and it doesn’t hurt that she is French).  I also love her relationship with Scott, the photographer behind The Sartorialist (also holds a place on the blog roll).  Another blogger I adore is Elin Kling‘s.   Her simple black and white style and stellar jet setting life style interest me enough that I follow her on twitter as well.  Being a writer, and more specifically a blogger, I was definitely more excited to see these well known bloggers and photographers than I was to see celebrities.  Even so, you also should be aware that I am addicted to Rachel Zoe and her outlandish reality show.  She and Roger are just to die for.

Now that it is all out on the table I’m sure you can take a stab at my spottings of the day.  There is of course a story for everything so here I go:

I got to Lincoln Center in the early afternoon (right before the DVF show).  I didn’t really have many expectations and actually thought I would’ve been happy to just take a picture of the building to say “I was there.”

I sarted just taking pictures of people I didn’t recognize in clothes that I loved.  I was drawn to a nice shoe, a vibrant bag and actually lots of the men ensembles.

(stop by my tumblr account to see many more inspirational fashion shots from today!)

love the mix matching of prints and the lips: to die for!

Then I stumbled across some familiar faces as well…

Joe Zee: ELLE's creative director

Solange Knowles

Louise Roe, fashion journalist

And I got hooked!

I was freezing cold but just kept standing there looking around for–honestly I don’t know who I was searching for.  I think in the back of my head somewhere I wanted to see some of the above names but wasn’t sure it was even a possibility.

Then Rachel came walking down with Roger.  Bananas!

I was late on the photo op

And after that I saw Scott from the Sartorialist.

At that moment I realized that I might have the chance to see Garance!  I just had to search.  Finally I spotted her as she came walking through in her green army coat and high bun (read her blog and you will find she always talks about throwing her hair up like that).  I even had the chance to go up and talk to her as she was alone (seemed not too many people recognized her) and I was on a little fashion blogger high.  But as I mustered up the courage to go and say my opening line (in French of course) I was stopped by a few religious outreachers.  Nothing against religion but please do not come up to me and lecture me in the streets, especially when I am about to talk to my favorite person whom I’d never met!

Garance in lovely shoes

Garance and her peeps

Needless to say, Garance had slipped away by the time I got out of my Bible reading.

Darn.

At this point I was freezing and decided to stop while I was ahead.  As I was walking down the steps I noticed a tall woman in black and white.  At second glance I realized who it was and ran back up the stairs to get a better angle.  Elin Kling had arrived and I had full access to a photo shoot without the masses of other people.  She laughed, tucked her shirt in and posed for my photo!  Perfection.

As Elin passed me and entered into the ring of photographers I hurried back down the steps and ducked into a warm Starbucks.  I spent an hour defrosting (it literally took that much time) and I even got to chat with a French couple.  Love speaking French, even it is with strangers in a coffee shop 🙂

All in all I enjoyed this little Sunday in the Big City.  I will be dreaming of beautiful clothes as I start this work week.

motivating circumstances

I have never in my life been so inspired to find the job of my dreams.

I would love to say that it’s the New York air providing this burst of inspiration but honestly it’s mostly due to the undreamlike temp job I am currently doing.  Its seems like a great company with a nach for what they are doing but my repetitive data-entry position is rather dull.

Ok Ok I get it.  It’s not permanent, it pays and the dull process is actually a very helpful and necessary job for this large company.  All this however doesn’t negate the fact that it’s not why I moved to The Big Apple.  I want my dreams to come true and I want to have my mind blown.  Baby steps they say.  And I am taking those steps even if they are in high heels thank you very much!

At least I can thank these jobs for giving me motivation to go after what I want for a career.

But it’s the weekend so hooray for that.  The first weekend living in this metropolis and I cannot wait to explore (and apply for jobs–I did say I was inspired after all).

Already last night I enjoyed a ramen dinner with an old friend at Momofuku.  There are so many great restaurants and bars to try…just need to land that job to pay for it all 🙂

Then today I hit the streets of Brooklyn as I did another tourist run.  This time I took a different (and longer) route which led me all the way through downtown Brooklyn, ending at the Brooklyn Bridge.  I enjoyed seeing another side of this borough as the area I live in is a bit…dodgy we shall say.  Cannot wait to explore the boutiques and cafés in and around the downtown area!

Pratt Institute

Exercising body and mind

I went for my first run through Brooklyn this afternoon.  It was interesting to say the least.  First of all I have never really run through a city.  I am more a suburbanite who enjoys running through a nice park or through the winding roads of a friendly neighborhood.  So having to “look both ways” at each intersection, pass by millions of people (mind you all with their heads down at their phone making my run turn into a little martial arts as I leapt over trash bags and veered sharply from fire hydrants) was different.  Luckily no casualties occurred 🙂

I did get to see a wide variety of people, places and things.

The first group I came to were kids getting off the bus from school.  Some had the iPhone glued to their hand or iPod plugged into their ears (like my familiar suburbanites).  Other groups of boys were pushing each other and a group of girls were talking so loudly at one another I could make out every word with my ear buds in.  The most surprising thing in this group was the language coming out of most everyone’s mouths.  I was shocked to hear elementary school kids dropping the f-bomb in front of the crossing guard!

Finally I got to Grand Street and turned the corner away from the schools.  It was funny because this street is home to about a million 99¢ stores.  There were even a few bars that I wouldn’t mind checking out sometime.  Little hole in the wall places–you never know.

Then I came to the river and along with it a fellow runner (the only other one I saw today).  It was quiet down by the Williamsburg Bridge and a lot of old factories lined the street.

I made my way down the road until I got to the heart of Williamsburg: Bedford Avenue.  I turned the street and there were a very large number of people dressed in black.  It was as if I entered a party without the dress code memo.  I almost felt wrong jogging along in my spandex pants and Nike zip-up.

If you know anything about this area of Brooklyn you know that the people I had just bumped into were the Hasidic Jewish community.  Due to their distinct style of dress and hair cut (for the men), they are an easily recognizable sector of the Jewish faith and a lot of them live in Brooklyn.

The first time I noticed a family dressed this was actually at Elis Island the weekend I visited with the French boys.  I saw a woman and her many children visiting the museum and the boy with them had long curly sideburns.  I figured they were foreign, but not that they most likely lived in Brooklyn.  Then as I was moving in last weekend I drove by a large group of black clad men with huge furry hats.  My dad mentioned that they were Hasidic Jews and this spiked my interest.  So when I stumbled upon the neighborhood today, where a large number of this group resides, I knew I had to do some more research about what they stood for and the reason behind their distinct look.

What I found out was complex to me; one who does not study religions.  In basic terms this sector of the Jewish faith began as a reaction against the over legalistic Judaism during the 18th century in Eastern Europe.  The most prominent thing I noticed was the dress and hair.  To me it seemed they all dressed the same but in fact there are many different groups of Hasidic Jews and each has a slight variation.  It was also interesting to read that their style was a non theological practice.  It is mostly based on historical and sociological reasons.

The hair however, that idea comes from a biblical commandment to not shave one’s face.  They first shave a boy at age 3 and usually all the hair except for the sideburns is shaven off.

It all interests me so much and I would love to learn more about my new neighbors.

This move is already more eye-opening than I had imagined.

Beginnings in Brooklyn

Today marks the beginning of a new adventure.  I must say, I am more apprehensive than I have been in a long time.  I guess when I left for France my heart was racing just as fast and my mind was battling negative thoughts just as frequently.  But these are things that are now hard to associate with my move to France since I have been through that situation and had such an amazing experience.  In my mind, there was no way I was nervous or afraid–a quick look at my journal (or this blog) would prove me wrong of course.

So today I moved into an apartment in Brooklyn and on Monday I begin the process of temping and searching for a job.  It’s a lot all at once but I’m so excited for all the new things ahead.  And there will be plenty of new things–I know very little about Brooklyn. Manhattan already seems less foreign to me after having toured my French visitors around last weekend, but Brooklyn…

Brooklyn is a very unfamiliar and uncharted land for me.  I understand the risks of living in the area and will take them into consideration as I explore (staying safe and aware of my surroundings) but I also have to rely on my tendencies to think little, take chances and fly by the seat of my pants because I believe it is the only true way to wring out every ounce of excitement and discovery.

You will all be along for the ride I hope 🙂

This month is all about NYC, and specifically Brooklyn!!!

The preview to the Brooklyn adventure last weekend

my tradition continues: crêpes and groundhogs

Today last year I was eating crêpes and reading about a groundhog.  This year, back on the other side I am going to do the same 🙂

Today, February 2nd is Groundhogs Day in The States and La Chadeleur in France.  Both have superstitions involved.  The first being an animal seeing a shadow to predict the seasonal changes.  The second being flipping a crêpe in a pan while holding a coin in your hand.  If it is a successful flip you have luck for the year!

Where do these silly traditions come from anyway?

Last year I said that I would combine the two traditions from now on, so I guess my dinner is set for tonight 🙂  Cant complain, I LOVE me some crêpes with cheese, ham and egg!!

Unfortunately little Mr. Phil did in fact see his shadow, predicting winter weather for another 6 weeks.  But if the weather we have recently been experiencing is winter then bring it on!  Yesterday I went for a run in shorts.  It was so beautiful out I couldn’t help thinking it was May.

Today however, coincidently the day of Phil’s prediction, the sun is hidden yet again and the temperatures have dropped…so maybe Phil is right.  But those few days of blissful spring temperatures did lift the spirits pretty high!

Are you superstitious?  What do you think of Phil’s annual predictions?