Biking in the city

Last weekend, Sam and I went for the first bike ride of the year! Sam will bike in all weather, but I’ll only bike when it’s sunny and warm. We just went for a ride around Central Park, but our somewhat harried ride to the park reminded me of this video, have you seen it?

It’s a short documentary-style video that efficiently tears apart the terrible state of biking in most of the US from the perspective of a dutch rider. He points out how dangerous it is for people to bike ride here, and how that filters into how we think about biking. Most Americans categorize biking as a leisure activity – I never realized how odd it might seem to a culture that sees biking as a mode of transportation to see Americans putting bikes on their cars to drive somewhere before getting on their bikes. It would be almost like seeing someone tow their car out to a race track to use it for the day before putting it back in the garage for a few weeks. Bizarre.

I can’t stop looking up bike rides to do up here – I’m hoping we can ride up to the Cloisters before this stained glass exhibit closes!

 

Return of the sun

During the last few weeks of bitter cold this year, Sam and I started to daydream incessantly about my warmer roots, wondering if the cold over here really is worth it when we have a built in community waiting for us in California. Finally, though, it feels like we’ve come out of it for good. I spent the weekend following the sun around our apartment like a cat, finding the sunniest spots to sit with my new iPad or a book. After such a long, cold, and dark winter, it was wonderful to feel like the world was bright again.

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Stacking rings

Now that I can actually see all of my jewelry, I can’t stop thinking about stacking rings.

36ten stacking ringvia

I know I’m late to this party, but they caught my eye a while ago and I just think they’re so cool. I can never decide if I like thicker rings or thinner rings better, and with a set of these I would be able to decide day by day. Continue reading

Corraling the little things

Before the great shelf building of 2014, the top drawer of my side of the dresser looked like this:drawer and organizer beforeI probably should have told you to shield your eyes, but what kind of fun is a good after if you aren’t thoroughly and unwillingly scarred by a before shot, right? Continue reading

Love in the time of craigslist

When it comes to lamps and nightstands and even silverware, Sam and I differ. We both love a clean, mid-century-esque base for a room (hence, we both love our couch and dresser). We both love wood with some personality (so our dining table and chairs are in the clear). But when it comes to decor, we're finding out I lean a little more to the “modern” side of that mid-century look and he leans a little more traditional. I don't want anyone to think he's asking granny florals and crochet pillows, he just likes a little warmer, a little cozier, than I do (and I think it says more about me that I felt the need to clarify that than it does him – the more traditional of you out there were thinking classic design and a cozy home from the beginning, but when I hear traditional I, unfairly, think octogenarians). I like clean lines, bright whites, and contrast – we don't have anything even remotely traditional in our bedroom yet, and it's looking very “California cool.” I don't know what that means exactly but trust me if you visit our bedroom you will find yourself nodding along with that statement like it makes more sense than anything you've heard all week.

Look at us, so happy and innocent, before anyone called anyone else's taste “tacky” accidentally.

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Beatify your tech

My laptop rightfully acheived senior citizen status long ago, meaning it always got first dibs on outlets (because it would last about 3 minutes when not plugged in before running out of battery and shutting down) and was treated with respect, reverence, and awe by all who came into contact with it. Continue reading

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

I love white vinegar. You can use it to clean pretty much anything safely – it gets out stains, gets rid of odors, cleans streak-free, and costs almost nothing. So when our kitchen cleaner was running low a few weeks ago, I went in search of a way to use my beloved white vinegar to get the job done.

It turns out it’s super easy, just jar citrus peels covered in white vinegar in an airtight container for about two weeks, then strain and dilute with water. Apparently, citrus peel contains d-limonene, which reacts when it comes into contact with oil, breaking it down, allowing you to get your stovetop clean! Science! Also, citric acid and vinegar are disinfectants and break down ew-y stuff (technical term) as well. So I tried it.

Street lights

When my sisters and I were little, we lived in a neighborhood made of cul-de-sacs, making it the perfect place for gaggles of children to roam around, always within sight of someone’s house, even if it wasn’t their own. We were given few rules: we had to stick together, and when the street lights came on at dusk, it was time to come home.

summer at dusk paintingWhile it’s been quite a while since I had to follow that rule, streetlights and dusk still bring a wave of nostalgia. Right now, it’s the exact right time of year when I end up walking home from the subway right as the streetlights come on and the sky can’t decide if it’s still light out or not. I love those few minutes when, even as the world darkens, the sky seems to glow against the city in protest before succumbing to the dark, and for me, nothing signifies the end of the day quite like the flicker of a streetlight waking up.

When I saw this painting by artist KikiandPolly on Etsy, I was instantly transported to that streetlights feeling from my childhood. Pure nostalgia, straight to the vein. Has a work of art ever done that to you?

Dining chairs!

I think when Sam and I moved into this apartment, I had a vague but deeply routed belief that we would spend more of our apartment budget on substantial items – a couch, our dresser – and less money on the things that blend into the background. Bathroom storage, nightstands, an end table on which to put a glass of water and a magazine. I thought we would spend like a hundred bucks, max, on our dining room chairs. And that they would be quality pieces of furniture. And that I would like the way they looked.

Photo Mar 09, 5 46 14 PM

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