…always a good idea.

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Oh Paris. You’ve captured my heart one too many times but always at different capacities.

This time, activities included…Wandering the streets without a destination. Checking out some trending coffee shops* (courtesy of Ms. Lost in Cheeseland). Sitting at cafés for hours to people watch with an espresso and a rosé. Eating macaroons. Falling in love with Le Marais. Seeing old friends. Meeting new friends. Not going to any museums. Gazing at my favorite Sacre Coeur from the window of a friend’s apartment (evidence above). Capturing the many images of graffiti on my Instagram. Discovering Le Canal Saint-Martin.

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*Foundation Café and Telescope are two trendy, english-speaking coffee shops brewing up delicious jo.

Filling My Soul With That Which Was Missing

IMG_7449It’s been over two weeks since I was on VACATION!!!!

It really feels like only yesterday. I miss it so much. The first week back was extremely difficult to even get into the swing of life here in New York City. Post vacation depression. Does that happen to you too? Sometimes I even have it when I leave my friends after spending a weekend together in DC or something similar.

IMG_4512In any case, the details of my trip are missing from this blog. I began my adventure in Burgundy (my home away from home) for about five days.  I snuggled with the kids, ate and drank on the terrace for hours, drove through the quaint wine town of Beaune and the surrounding vineyards and even stopped for coffee at my favorite café in Dijon. It was a brilliant mix of activities that filled my heart with what I was missing for the past  four years since living there.

I even had the opportunity to visit the vineyards of one of the wine makers that I now represent in New York City. Emmanuel Giboulot makes very distinct natural wine and it was exciting for me to see each specific parcel. Emmanuel was just getting back from vacation when we met in his cellar on the outskirts of Beaune. After tasting some new vintages and seeing the new label design (which I am so excited about), we took his truck up into the vineyards. This perspective, actually seeing each parcel, is helpful as I share his wines with sommeliers domestically. I can now see where the wine I am selling has come from and the actual terroir and agricultural characteristics. As much as I love drinking wine, being within the rows of hanging grapes is what I love even more. It invigorates me, especially in France while speaking French 🙂

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After the Côte d’Or I took the train north to Paris. I’ll recap next.

July 11 at 8:24pm

Tomorrow and Saturday you will be able to experience a beautiful natural masterpiece in the skyline of Manhattan: Manhattanhenge. As the sun sets, it will align perfectly with the gridded streets of the city.

Happening only twice a year, this popular photo opt is compared to the rising of the sun at Stonehenge in England (hence the name).

Will you be waiting in the streets to snap a photo?

Here is a tip for catching the view.

For a moment, I thought I would never make it to Budapest.

It is safe to say that my flight from France to Budapest was less than ideal.  I used Easy Jet Airlines because of the convenience and price, but I think that is the last time I will be using their services (or lack there of).  I arrived at Charles de Gaulle, checked in and was told that I had an overweight bag.  Making a rushed decision, I just paid the fee.  That was a mistake.  It was only after my expensive bag was take to a far away place on  the conveyor belt that I was told my flight was delayed XX hours.  It was only after I was told this that I realized I had a bag in my suitcase that I could have rearranged to make the overweight suitcase weight less.  Hindsight is always 20/20, right?  At this point I was throwing a little pity party and even called home (to the US that is).  I was overly exhausted after pulling an all-nighter to write my wine school application and now I was pissed to be in an airport dropping money on stupid expenses and waiting for an underterminely (that’s a word right?) delayed flight.  To top it off, when we finally did board the plane, we sat and waited for 30 minutes on the tarmac.  We then deboarded the plane because the initial problem was not yet resolved.  It had begun to rain during that 30 minutes, and we were all forced to walk through the pouring rain onto a little bus and then back into the rain and onto a new plane.  Needless to say, we were all a bit ticked off.  Luck for us, (FYI, sarcasm is kicking in) we were given a complmentary 4 euro ticket to use on food/beverage in the airport.  What a blessing! Thanks Easy Jet…not!

On arrival to Budapest I was greeted by my friends Orsi and Bogi.  We had planned to sightsee the afternoon I arrived, but my delay meant we hit the bars instead.  It was great to be with my friends and meet their friends.  We went to some really unique spots that night.  One bar was a completely outdoor area (I failed to mention that it was EXTREMELY hot in Budapest.  The heatwave that hit the east coast at the beginning of July also happened across the Atlantic).  The outdoor bar was filled with old boats and plastic lawn chairs.  A simple wooden bar lined the back and lights were strung from poles throughout.  Very simple and yet very effective.  The place was packed with people.

The next day was my only free full day so Bogi and I went walking around the city in the hot hot sun.  We saw the main sites and then checked into a hostel for the next day’s wedding festivities.  That evening we had an apéro (drinks and snacks) at Tibo’s friends’ apartment.  They stayed in Budapest for a week, making the wedding a vacation.  The windows were open to a wonderful sunset and unique scene.  We made sure not to stay out too late however because the following day’s wedding was sure to be a doozy.

The day of the wedding was hot but by this time we were used to the sweaty mess.  Bogi and I got prepared in stages, taking a few moments between each garment to sit and cool off as best one can with no A/C.  After this slow process, we found shelter in a cool taxi and made our way to the city center.  Orsi was beautiful, the wedding was concise and the reception lasted until 7am.  A little drunk and very sweaty and tired, I made my way to the hostel at 8am for an hour nap and then rushed to the airport for a flight to Ukraine and then NYC.  A whirl wind finish but so many great memories were had.

Nem felejtettem el rólad

My absence during the past few weeks has been due to my travels abroad.  I am so excited to return this week and write all about it.  I got to spend a week visiting my friends and “family” in Burgundy and Paris.  Then I took a flight over to Hungary (this trip will be a story for the books my friends, and not in a good way).  So now I am sweating away in Budapest where it is literally 100*F!  My friend’s wedding is this afternoon so we are all preparing for that.  The church is right on the Danube and the ceremony will be in French and Hungarian (her fiancé is French).  It will be magical!

I leave you with that but there are stories to come…

Szia

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Memorial Day weekend

I hope that everyone enjoyed a great memorial day weekend. I was happy to leave the city grind and head to the beach.  Long Beach Island New Jersey has always been my home away from home.  It’s my number one escape destination.  A relaxing place to be and a place that holds so many cherished memories for my family and me.

Seafood, sand, long walks and lots of laughing.  We had a great weekend and AMAZINGLY sunny weather. I was even able to take a dip (65* waters).

 

1. clams for happy hour

2. surf and turf. Salmon and Moroccan chicken.

3. drinks!! PLus an impromptu wine tasting with my dernière bouteille of David Duband wine (back to France in a month for more).

4. Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all of our troops, past and present.

 

MDCV

This post will be brief. Brief because my work day is brief. Brief because this week was too long to add to it a long post. Brief because the holiday weekend (the one that rings in the summer) awaits us all. Let’s begin…

Love checking out this site to see what people are making out of their passions. INSPIRED

I think I need white sneakers this summer. INVESTMENT

This is my idea of greatness! YUMMY

Answer this. It will make your day brighter. HAPPY

I don’t know where this is but I want to sit there, turn off my brain and read a book that makes me laugh.  DESIRE

I’m off to the beach. Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone.

PS-I took this photo in Italy. Isn’t she sassy!? I am in the process of uploading my photography to Flickr. Make sure to check it out 🙂

Fashion and Photography with a glass of Rosé

Today is the second day of four for the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography.  Held in the South of France, this is a chance for new comers to showcase their work. This year the 10 contestants (so many applicants to narrow down!) are of 9 different nationalities.

Getting your work showcased is hard in today’s fast-paced, cutting edge creative world.  This festival is unique in giving unknown designers a chance to show their finished work as well as the thoughts and ideas that came first (behind-the-scenes if you will).  This article from last year explains more.

Check out this video from French Vogue to get insights from the three creative directors. Hyères 2012: Behind the scenes #1 | Vogue English.

For live coverage of the festival, check out Vogue.fr‘s Tumblr or follow direct on Twitter (@HYERESFESTIVAL).

This time of year just screams FESTIVAL abroad and at home.  In California we just had Coachella and coming up in France is Cannes Film festival.  What other festivals are going on?  I need to get myself to one!!

A stroll in the park

This past weekend, new friends in attendance, I explored a bit of the city.  We were blessed with a sunny New York weekend and there is no better way to take advantage of that then to spend it in the great outdoors.  And in NYC this means Central Park!

As we strolled along the paths of the 843 acre park I couldn’t help but think of similar moments I’d had in France.  One of my first weekends I was asked to join some friends for a Sunday afternoon in Dijon.  We would go to the Parc de la Colombière and then a movie (movies were one of a few things open on a Sunday).  I spent a nice afternoon walking and talking with my friends but at the time I remember it all feeling a bit strange.  The concept of walking around a park with no real motive, dressed in normal clothes (not workout clothes) and just meandering around was foreign to me.  My friends and family at home never did such a thing.  I would go for a run or take a walk for exercise but would never call a friend to casually take a walk with me in jeans.

After some months, I adopted many French ideas and habits; taking walks on a Sunday afternoon being one of them.  So when I came to NYC I was excited to see the trend transferred over and Central Park filled with both joggers and wanderers like myself 🙂

Bethesda Terrace Arcade

 Naumburg Bandshell

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.