A year in photos

I read about this project a while back and told myself I would start on January 1st, 2010. New year, new decade. Every day you take a picture of something, anything. New events, new friends, new food, the change in seasons, the change in me. I don't know yet if I'll post the pictures here, maybe a couple here and there, if I should keep a seperate blog for all of them, or just keep them filed away for myself. Maybe I'll post once a month with all 30 photos for that month. Something to think about.

For those who aren't familiar with the project, you can read about it here

Everyone have a safe and happy New Year!


New Year's Eve

One of the many great things about New York City is that we get the biggest and most watched New Year's Eve celebration. In preparation (2010 is only mere days away!) I figured I'd take you through the history of our famous event.

History of the Times Square New Year's Eve and the Infamous Ball

New York in 1904 was a city on the verge of tremendous changes - and, not surprisingly, many of those changes had their genesis in the bustling energy and thronged streets of Times Square. Two innovations that would completely transform the Crossroads of the World debuted in 1904: the opening of the city's first subway line, and the first-ever celebration of New Year's Eve in Times Square. This inaugural bash commemorated the official opening of the new headquarters of The New York Times. The impressive Times Tower, marooned on a tiny triangle of land at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street, was at the time Manhattan's second-tallest building -- the tallest if measured from the bottom of its three massive sub-basements, built to handle the heavy weight demands of The Times' up-to-date printing equipment.

The building was the focus of an unprecedented New Year's Eve celebration. Ochs spared no expense to ensure a party for the ages. An all-day street festival culminated in a fireworks display set off from the base of the tower, and at midnight the joyful sound of cheering, rattles and noisemakers from the over 200,000 attendees could be heard, it was said, from as far away as Croton-on-Hudson, thirty miles north along the Hudson River.

Two years later, the city banned the fireworks display - but Ochs was undaunted. He arranged to have a large, illuminated seven-hundred-pound iron and wood ball lowered from the tower flagpole precisely at midnight to signal the end of 1907 and the beginning of 1908.

In 1914, The New York Times outgrew Times Tower and relocated to 229 West 43rd Street. By then, New Year's Eve in Times Square was already a permanent part of our cultural fabric.

New Year's Eve Ball, 1978. Photo credit - The New York Times

The first balls:

The first New Year's Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. It was built by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr, and for most of the twentieth century the company he founded, sign maker Artkraft Strauss, was responsible for lowering the ball.

As part of the 1907-1908 festivities, waiters in the fabled "lobster palaces" and other deluxe eateries in hotels surrounding Times Square were supplied with battery-powered top hats emblazoned with the numbers "1908" fashioned of tiny light bulbs. At the stroke of midnight, they all "flipped their lids" and the year on their foreheads lit up in conjunction with the numbers "1908" on the parapet of the Times Tower lighting up to signal the arrival of the new year.

The Ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was suspended due to the wartime "dimout" of lights in New York City. Nevertheless, the crowds still gathered in Times Square in those years and greeted the New Year with a minute of silence followed by the ringing of chimes from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower - a harkening-back to the earlier celebrations at Trinity Church, where crowds would gather to "ring out the old, ring in the new."

In 1920, a 400 pound ball made entirely of wrought iron replaced the original. In 1955, the iron ball was replaced with an aluminum ball weighing a mere 200 pounds. This aluminum Ball remained unchanged until the 1980s, when red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the Ball into an apple for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign from 1981 until 1988. After seven years, the traditional glowing white Ball with white light bulbs and without the green stem returned to brightly light the sky above Times Square. In 1995, the Ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes, and computer controls, but the aluminum ball was lowered for the last time in 1998.

The 2000-2007 Waterford Crystal ball

The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2000-2007

For Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year's Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal. The new crystal Ball combined the latest in technology with the most traditional of materials, reminding us of our past as we gazed into the future and the beginning of a new millennium.
The Ball was a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighed approximately 1,070 pounds. It was covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that varied in size and ranged in length from 4.75 inches to 5.75 inches per side.

The new LED crystal ball

The New New Year's Eve Ball

The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people still gather around the Tower, now known as One Times Square, and wait for hours in the cold of a New York winter for the famous Ball-lowering ceremony. Thanks to satellite technology, a worldwide audience estimated at over one billion people watches the ceremony each year. The lowering of the Ball has become the world's symbolic welcome to the New Year.

All info from Times Square Alliance


The holidays are over

Phew, so I made it through Christmas intact! I hope everyone had an amazing time and you're all getting warmed up for the new decade. I figured I'd just leave you with two quick pictures from my holiday

It's a terrible picture, but we have an artificial black Christmas tree. We try and always decorate monochromatically, so this year was all about the red, black and white.

Me and my hubby. Unfortunately I was getting ready to go out and you can't see my great 40s dress, but there is my favorite cashmere sweater with black fur collar and rhinestone buttons. You also can't go wrong with a holiday headband and ornament earrings!


One more sleep until Christmas!!!

I can't believe Christmas is almost here. After fighting past the tourists daily on the streets, braving the cold for some holiday market excitement, and our giant snowstorm last weekend it's finally almost here.

I hope everyone has a merry holiday and spends it surrounded by love, I know I will.


Doctors and Nurses

I don't like going to the doctor's at all. I don't like needles, having my blood drawn, the smell in the offices, all their questions, and I especially don't like the idea that there could be something wrong with me.
Unfortunately I've had some problems lately and I don't have a choice anymore and have an appointment tomorrow. Last time it equaled hospital visit + neurologist and not really any relief, so I'm trying to keep my mind off of it. I figured what better way than with some quality eye candy - this time with a little medical spin.

Shall we?

Two lovely Red Cross nurses. Could you imagine someone helping you in that outfit? They look much lovelier than what I'm used to, and I'll take 'em!  Picture from here

Somehow I doubt I'd be comfortable getting doled out a prescription from here. I don't even like the jar that holds the tongue depressors! Bottles from here

Is it just me or does the girl look alot like Marilyn? The label says "General First Aid Kit, Johnson & Johnson", and the way she's on a stage makes me think maybe it was from a tv show where they did live ads? Lovely lady in spring-o-lators with robot from here

Let's hope my doctors don't look nearly as intrigued looking at my charts. Image from here

And because I can't do anything without a dose of art - one of my favorites, Richard Prince, did a whole series on Nurses. They're based on all the vintage books with nurses on the cover. I love them terribly.



I love ballet. In fact, I love most dancing in general and have often been sucked into those shows like "So You Think You Can Dance". It's really just amazing how graceful and powerful the human body can be. When I was younger I took all sorts of dance - ballet, tap, jazz, street dance - but ballet was always my love. I used to walk around my house in my pointe shoes and I dreamed of dancing in The Nutcracker. Alas, as many young dreams do, it fell by the wayside for far too long and I lost any chance of every really truly dancing.
A few months back I started taking ballet again, thankfully with other adults and in a low level class that doesn't cause much pressure for me. Surprisingly with my lack of grace I've actually fallen back into it pretty well and am loving every second of it.

I'm sure you're wondering where this rambling is leading - well I saw this trailer the other day for the movie "La danse - Le ballet de l'Opéra de Paris" and it made me really excited (this compounded on the fact that its super ballet season in NYC and all I really want to do is go back and see something again this year).

So in my love of ballet I thought I'd throw out some eye candy, including art related images since most people only know about Degas painting (and sculpting) ballerinas....

Picasso worked a lot with Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, including even creating set backdrops and costumes for a performance called "Parade".

The below image is of Pablo Picasso and his second wife Jacqueline trying to teach him to dance (in fact his first wife was a ballerina with Ballets Russes)...

The artist Oskar Schlemmer also did drawings and created costumes for the Triadisches Ballett (Triadic Ballet) in 1922.

Then, behold, pure vintage ballerina goodies for the eyes!

Is anyone else here a dancer or dance lover?


NYC Nostalgia Train

Every year I look forward to the nostalgia train. For those non-New Yorkers - every year during the month of December, the MTA runs an old train (it's cars from the 40s to the 70s) every Sunday on the V line. The timing is a bit tricky, unless you're like me and you happen to live right at the end of the line. The schedule gives the exact time the train will leave, and it sits there for a good 30 minutes before departing so you can get in all your ooh-ing and aah-ing and picture taking.

An old b&w subway map and hand painted doors just below a Viceroy cigarettes ad!

Lucille Ball in an ad for Woodbury powder

Last year I missed all the trains and this year, of course, I get it on a day when I'm not prepared for it. I was of course wearing vintage except for my black and white spectators which are actually Steve Madden, but I still didn't feel dressed enough for it. Maybe another Sunday before it ends, I think I have 3 left! I need to get a good photo of the ceiling fans!

In case you want to ride the train as well, you can get the times it leaves from both ends of the line here. Give about 2 minutes between each stop on the line should you want to catch it from somewhere else.


Eyewear for the ages

I love any man who spends time to refine his look. I enjoy dandys, fops, cads, any of the types who really care about their appearance. This however, almost seems a bit ridiculous, even for me...

From the Telegraph UK:

Monocles to be sold on High Street

Vision Express, a chain of opticians, is to start selling the lenses after an unexpected spate of requests for monocles.

It believes most of the requests have come from young men wanting to ape the fashion of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers.

The eyepieces cost £50 and come with a metal frame, a pouch, and a string so the wearer ensures it stays around his or her neck if it slips.

Read more of the article here

Burton and a return

The entrance to the Burton exhibition....

It's hard to believe it's been since August that I have written in here. I did truly enjoy my blog (as I hoped others did as well), it's just that I got so darn busy!!

As I've mentioned before, I work for a large, world renowned museum. I LOVE my job, and sometimes it can get a little crazy in my life. For the past few months I have been working on the Tim Burton exhibition that recently opened and had an amazing good time. I think we reached around 700 pieces of drawings, costumes, figures, almost anything that you can think of. It was a lot of work, but it looks so amazing that it's truly worth having had to part with my lovely blog for a few months.

Since I didn't shoot pictures during install (except my one of me and Edward below) I had to find a couple pictures to show you all.

Me with Tim Burton wearing a vintage dress with little bicycle wheel design. (Helena Bonham Carter asked to touch it!!)

With the Edward Scissorhands costume. Those are my marching band pants and unfortunatley you can't see the super cute rhinestone sweater clip holding my sweater together or how great my curls looked piled on top of my head.

Our unofficial mascot - Balloon Boy

The blacklight carousel made specifically for the exhibition

You can see all about the exhibition including info on all the movie screenings on MoMA's website here


The Vampire phenomenom

Bela Lugosi as the best Dracula ever (he was even buried in his cape)

Everywhere I turn these days people are talking about vampires. True Blood, Twilight, it's everywhere. I think I never got into the whole "vampire" thing when I was young and impressionable partially because I have natural fangs (which my dentist always begs to let file down) and I get enough comments as it is about whether my teeth are real or if I made them that way. It's just genetics and I like them, but if I was a crazy goth girl though I'm sure I'd never hear the end of it.

Stephen Moyer as the vampire Bill Compton in HBO's True Blood

It's funny because lately I had fought the new wave of vampire frenzy until I couldn't take it anymore. I watched two episodes of True Blood before Season 2 began and was hooked. I had to find all the old episodes online so I'd be caught up for the new season. Now I can't wait for Sunday nights.

Robert Pattinson as Twilight's Edward Cullen

I never read the Twilight books until recently. I devoured two of them in a week (they are over 500 pages each) and now I just started the third. They are seriously so good it's embarrasing.


There is a great article from the NY Times about the vampire in TV and movies here

Vlad the Impaler

and you can brush up on your vampire knowledge easily on wikipedia

Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the movie "Interview with the Vampire"

Also, you can see how it's affecting fashion and what to expect for Fall (hint, it's a bit darker than usual...) here


I went to Bloomingdale's the other day, and it seemed like it was my first time in years. I had never even noticed all the small details from this amazing building that has been standing for nearly 150 years. Most of the elevators are still the original deco pieces, as is the main entrance sign. I guess I never knew much other than my grandma loved being taken there, and everyone knows the iconic brown bags. It made me very eager to learn more, so here's just a bit about this amazing store....

Bloomingdale's, a chain of upscale American department stores owned by Macy's, Inc., has 36 stores nationwide, with annual sales of $1.9 billion dollars. Bloomingdale's started in 1861 when brothers Joseph and Lyman Bloomingdale started selling hoop-skirts in their Ladies Notions' Shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side. In 1872, Bloomingdale's expanded and opened their East Side Bazaar, a harbinger of the modern "department store."

In 1886, it moved to 59th Street and Lexington Avenue, still their flagship store, anticipating and capitalizing on the northern movement of New York's upper and middle classes. By 1929, Bloomingdale's covered an entire city block. Two years later, the glamorous Art Deco edifice that still graces Lexington Avenue was completed.

In 1949, Bloomingdale's began its real expansion, opening its first satellite store in Fresh Meadows, Queens and by 1959, Bloomingdale's had created a complete circle of stores around the flagship, in New Jersey, Westchester County and Long Island. This dramatic growth continued in the 70's and 80's with the opening of stores in the Northeast, Florida, and Chicago. Bloomingdale's was on its way to becoming a true national entity. That vision culminated in November 1996 with the addition of its first four stores in California, the most ambitious expansion in the company's history.

From the beginning, the Bloomingdale's brothers catered to America's love of international goods, and by the 1880's, their European selection was dazzling. A buying office in Paris in 1886 was the beginning of a network that now spans the globe. The 1960's brought promotions resulting from Bloomingdale's fascination with the foreign market: the first was a small affair called "Casa Bella" featuring merchandise for the home from Italy. Over the next thirty years, the promotions took on a grand scale - including unique merchandise and cultural exhibits that would touch every department in Bloomingdale's. Major transformation of the Bloomingdale's image came in the 1960's and 70's. The promotions were so exciting that the term "Retailing as Theater" was coined to describe Bloomingdale's "happenings." It was the era of pet rocks and glacial ice cubes, of visits by movie stars and royalty, from Elizabeth Taylor to Queen Elizabeth II.

The new direction in merchandising was both to seek and to create. Buyers covered the globe to find exclusive, one-of-a-kind items. When they couldn't find what they wanted, they had it made. In fashion, Bloomingdale's launched new designers and created boutiques for already-famous names. Among the discoveries: Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis and Norma Kamali - and for the first time in America: Sonia Rykiel, Kenzo and Fendi ready-to-wear. Designers opening their first in-store boutiques at Bloomingdale's include Yves St. Laurent, Calvin Klein, Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler.

In 1961, Bloomingdale's made retail history in yet another area by introducing the first designer shopping bag. Artist Joseph Kinigstein was commissioned to create a bag for the "Esprit de France" promotion. Rather than doing the obvious - ladylike flowers in pastel colors - he reproduced antique French tarot cards in bold red, black and white. Most daring of all, the bag omitted the store name. Even so, it was unmistakably Bloomingdale's, and the collector's shopping bag was launched. Since then, Bloomingdale's bags have been created by both famous and fledgling artists, architects and ad designers. Their designs have been featured in art museums all over the world.

In 1971 "model rooms", a highlight of Bloomingdale's since 1947, gained worldwide attention. "The Cave," an intricate multi-level frame sprayed entirely in white polyurethane, was a spectacular example of the lengths to which Bloomingdale's would go to make a statement of style. Over the years, the model rooms have been showcases for the talents of everyone from architect Frank Gehry to filmmaker Federico Fellini.

During the 1970's, Bloomingdale's was a favorite stop of the international avant-garde, epitomized locally by the "Young East Sider" who lived right in the neighborhood. In 1973 the store wanted to stamp the Bloomingdale's name on panties to launch an intimate apparel promotion, they chose the company nickname as a nod to the young, trendy crowd, and the "Bloomie's" logo was born. Soon, New Yorkers were affectionately referring to the city's second most popular tourist attraction after the Statue of Liberty as "Bloomie's" and the hottest souvenir in town was anything emblazoned with "Bloomie's".


on vintage prejudices

I don't know if I'm overreacting, but I read this posting this morning and something really irked me

What I Wore Today 8/7/09

When you scroll down to the comments, a number of people called her look costum-y and grandma like. I know I probably shouldn't get offended on someoneelse's behalf, but I did. First off - I think she looks lovely. I happen to get a little bothered by girls wearing good quality vintage and they don't round of the look with the right hair and accessories. That's just my personal preference though.

My anger isn't even so much for the fact that people didn't like her outfit. Most of those people are probably teeny boppers who would love nothing more than to go outside wearing leggings as pants and base their weekend outfits around whatever magazines tell them to wear and what drunken startlets stumble out of some bar wearing. What really got me burned up was the idea that people call vintage clothing "costum-y" and "granny".

I'm sorry, but MILLIONS of people in the 40s and 50s dressed like that. It's not exclusive to little old ladies. I will never understand where that grandma reference came from. I've never seen a grandma wearing high waisted shorts. Maybe it's just the hair and the needlepoint bag they refer to, but I will never understand. I think she looks youthful and exhuberant and as far from a granny as possible.
Then costum-y. Just because my clothes aren't made of nylon blends and spandex it's a costume?? Poodle skirt and saddle shoes ok I get, but what about her says costume? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SOMEONE DRESSED LIKE THAT ON HALLOWEEN?!?! I haven't, and I doubt I ever will. There is nothing wrong with wearing quality made clothes that actually fit you properly.

I just had to get that off my chest. I wish more girls would take time to get themselves ready and presentable for the day.


Tim Burton

I don't know where the time has been going lately! I have been a very bad blogger and I feel a need to explain why.

I do a lot of my blogging at work during down times, lunch, break, etc. For all those who don't know, I work for the Museum of Modern Art in NY, and I LOVE my job. The past few days I've been immersed in something I've been looking forward to for years. The Tim Burton show we're having later this year is starting to trickle in and I'm helping to check the condition of all the works as they arrive. It's very time consuming and, though super fun (!), it has left me no time for other pursuits. I'm loving every second of what I'm seeing (there have been numerous squeals down in our packing rooms) so if you get a chance to see the show while it's up it's definitely one not to miss!

Tim Burton at MoMA


Red lipsticks

It seems everyone these days is talking about red lipstick - and justifiably so as red lipstick can pretty much make or break an outfit. I tend to wear a lighter, more coral shade of red to work (though I work in a free thinking museum, I'm still an office worker), but at night and on weekends it's bright red all the way. It's gotten to the point where I feel blah and washed out without it. So here's my recommendations and tips for red lipstick...

First: Make sure your lips are moisturized and clean. You don't want residue or flakiness to ruin your perfect pout!

Second: you must line your lips!! I've used a variety of lip liners, most recently Besame's until it slid out of the tube and got mushed in the cap(!), and I've found the brand really makes little to no difference. Some people just line the outside, some completely fill in, I'm a little bit in between myself. Again, not a huge deal eitehr way, as long as you use it to begin with!

Third: Apply your lipstick in one even movement on top and bottom lips. Blot with a tissue and apply another coat

Fourth: Reline the outside of your lips. This will give you a crisp outer line and make sure your lipstick doesn't run into the creases on the edges of your lips

Fifth: I almost always top off my lip stick with sealant. No matter your lipstick, they usually aren't designed to stay against eating, drinking, talking, etc. This stuff will hold any lipstick in place for numerous hours more than it's normal lasting time. I've even had it hold lipstick on overnight while sleeping when I was a very bad girl and didn't wash my face before bed after a night out! My favorite by far is Make up Forever Lip Seal - which scarily enough I can't find a picture of online. If they discontinued it I might cry because it is the greatest thing ever created!

As for lipstick colors, I'm very very pale but I have olive undertones. For me red lipstick can get too pink really quickly so I usually need a bit of a blue tone.

One of my favorite matte lipsticks is Make up Forever. I use Blue Red 205, but Cherry Red 207 and Red 206 are equally wonderful!

I'm a huge fan also of Besame's lipsticks. They're matte, smooth and they don't dry out my lips. I've noticed they have a tendency sometimes to bleed at the edges, and wear off in the centers, which is where lip liner and sealer come in. Don't forget your new friends! Besame truly has some of the best colors and consistencies, and how can you beat the super cute little gold container! I also love the smell of their makeup. I'm such a sucker.
I usually always use their "Classic Enchanting Lipsticks" but now I'm really curious about their "Voluptuous Lip Color Set". Unfortunately $35.00 isn't something I can spend on lipstick right now, so I'll just have to hold out until I can't take it anymore.

Now the best news of all... I just recently was gifted some of the new L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lip Color

This stuff is GOD SEND!! I don't know what this stuff is made out of - I'm almost convinced it's part super glue - but it DOES NOT MOVE. I can't vouch for the new colors, but I have the Target special edition red, and it's a miracle in a bottle. You can spot this one as it's the only one instead of having the silver shiny case, it's bright red and only sold in Target stores. It's so bright red and really truly doesn't come off. I even tried to scrub with soap and water because I was gob smacked, and still couldn't get it off. Only good quality make up remover is getting that stuff to go anywhere. Seriously - go by the stuff now! You won't be sorry!

So that's it - simple and easy. I won't talk about MAC's lipstick colors, because frankly, I don't really like them. They're way too shiny for my tastes and maybe I talk too much, but I can't get them to last more than 30 minutes on me. To each their own I always say.

Me showing off my new hat to my mother, while looking awfully tired from sitting in an airport for 5 hours waiting for my plane to finally take off for home!

No matter what color you choose, remember, it's the manner in which you carry yourself while wearing it. Red lipstick isn't for the timid, but it isn't only for the bad girls either ;)