Monday, December 29, 2008

Everybody needs a jumpstart cuz' batteries can die

I had such a lovely Christmas. I took my first long-distance train to Lancaster, PA. Penn station was hustling and bustling when I got there on Christmas Eve. It was a little chaotic trying to figure out where to go, but I made it to the 656 Keystone train pretty easily. The trip took about three hours. I spent my time gazing out of my window at the fields and small towns that passed us by while listening to my new favorite band (The Silent Years...I can't get over how incredible they are!!) I sat across from a really tall guy from San Francisco whose name was Dale. He told me a lot about the town I was going to and about the Amish traditions that go on there. Every time the train conductor would walk by to announce which stop we were approaching, Dale would wink at me and give me a thumbs up. Haha. Once I arrived, I found my old friends and family waiting for me on the platform. We spent the holiday in Hanover, PA in a sweet two-store house with a big backyard, a cozy fireplace and a large Christmas tree.

It was interesting being in a town that was SO different from where I have spent the last five months. The fact that I got to see so many trees and patches of grass was more than I could ask for....but the best present was definitely spending time with a big family and feeling lucky enough to be included in their holiday traditions and caring spirit. I left Pennsylvania feeling refreshed and excited about experiencing a completely different kind of lifestyle than I have experienced thus far on the east coast. Although my stay lasted just two short days, I left feeling rested and really happy.

Back in NYC, I spent the last three days with my friend Scott who was visiting from California. We roamed around Manhattan and Queens while I did my best to play tourguide. It was so much fun showing him all of the places that Kate and I have discovered in the city. His last night here, we took him to two places that we took Robby and Matt to when they came out at the beginning of the month. The first stop was barcade (which is exactly what it sounds like: a bar with a ton of vintage arcade games to play!)

Then we went to Alligator Lounge. Whenever you order a beer they give you a ticket to get a free pizza. What more can you ask for?! The three of us had so much fun...and then the WEIRDEST thing happened to me on our way home! We were walking in the subways toward the G train and we heard someone shout, "You!!" I turned around and a guy around our age pointed to me and said, "You're JEWISH!!!" I looked at him, very confusingly and said, "Whhh....whhat?!" He said it again and I said, "Noooooooooooooooooooo I'm not!" (Even though I am.) He kept shouting at us the entire time we were on the subway platform! "You're JEWISH...YOU celebrate Hanukkah DON'T you!?!!?" It was so bizarre, haha. That's New York for you, I suppose!

I loved how Scott's favorite parts about the city were so similar to mine, like how convenient and fun it is to ride the subways whereever you want. You go underground for 10 minutes and pop up at some random part of Manhattan. He also loved the people watching, the fact that you can walk anywhere, how everything is open 24 hours........this city is alive and I felt very proud to live here and was excited that I never got us TOO lost.

Rockerfeller Center
St. Mark's

Central Park

Today our friend Laurel is arriving from Texas to stay for New Years and then tomorrow Jenna shows up from Texas, too! It's going to be a busy week because I also have a ton going on at work...but luckily I have had a wonderful few days off of work and I feel energized and ready for the new year.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another year older

I get to say that it was 24 degrees on my 24th birthday.

I had a great, relaxing day. Thanks everyone for all of the birthday wishes. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow day!!

Yesterday marked the first serious snow storm to happened here this winter. It started snowing the minute I walked into our store in the morning until the moment we walked into our apartment last night. There was just so much snow near the store...and I was even more surprised once Kate and I got to Queens. Cars were completely was exciting! While trudging through the piles of slush on the walk home, I realized that I definitely am completely unprepared for what daily life in snow will be like. I have a lot to do! I don't have to go into work today until 2:00, so my morning is going to be filled with Christmas shopping and a desperate search for thick leggings and snow boots.

The park next to my store around 6:00pm

Kate in her Eskimo suit and flowered Doc Martens

Views of our backyard/fire escape this morning!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The first real snowfall of the season

...happened a few days ago. They were huge, chunky snowflakes that began falling while I was at work and stuck to cars and trees in big white sheets while I walked home that evening.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who would have thought...

...that I could find such an amazing pair of vintage cowboy boots anywhere other than Texas! I bought these babies while Robby was in town. They are a cherry colored eelskin boot that goes up to the knee, I've been trying to wear them as much as possible to break them in. I absolutely love them.

This last week has been really busy. Traffic at our store has been inconsistent but I really feel like we're chugging along pretty nicely considering how worried everyone is about this recession we're entering into. We had a conference call yesterday that kind of prepped us for what the next few months might look like...but I'm keeping my head and spirits high. Yesterday it was just Kate and I at the store and although we did ridiculously well for just two of us being there, the day dragggggggggggggged. I also (partially) busted a shoplifter. We caught her trying to make off with a pretty large, very expensive leather handbag. While she was at the register attempting to pay for it, Kate and I could see miscelaneous, randomly placed lumps underneathe her clothing. I hate how I couldn't just say "ma'am, I can see a wallet jetting out of your pants..." but she definitely towered above me by a good foot and a half. I really think that she might have been a man, as we've had a lot of men dressed as women trying to shop lift from us. What kind of trend is that?! Gotta' love the world of high-end retail! Anything goes.

Eeek, I didn't realize what time it was. I better get going to work! Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

If I ever hear ONE more version of jingle bells I'm gonna....

This morning I received a red flagged email from our VP of Retail telling me to prepare for a walk-through visit by our company's board members. Eeeeeek!! Apparently they were flying in from Boston to go to all of the Manhattan stores and see what's up. We often have people from corporate who come into our boutiques. I have met a lot of the licensing representatives, our CFO's daughter, etc etc but never the people who actually OWN our company. Kate and I got to work pronto. The store looked pretty well put-together to begin with, but we decided there needed to be a few changes. The two of us went into merchandising-mode. At some point, I think my pupils turned red and I started talking like a robot while simultaneously humming along to the Christmas Holiday blend on our stereo. It was great having Kate's help because I think we both have a similar eye for merchandising and display...and ultimately we were both very happy with the outcome of the store's setup today. Sadly, all of my anxiety about the board members coming in today was unneccessary because they never showed up! I guess their flight from Boston arrived late. Instead, they will be coming at some point tomorrow. (I hope they come before four. If they don't, I won't be able to attend the annual Christmas party that they're throwing at the showroom!) At least the store looks great, we finished boxing up the clearout merchandise and the markdowns for our big sale are completed. Now I'll just need to drink 987345 cups of coffee in the morning in an effort to calm myself down. (Is it weird that Caffeine has the opposite effect on me?! Years of espresso addiction have finally paid off.)

In other of the girls from another Betsey store found this sketch and emailed it to all of the store managers. Betsey has designed an option for Michelle Obama's gown for the Presidential Inauguration. I love how fashion-savvy Michelle Obama is. A long list of incredible designers (Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfield, Zac Posen, etc!) have all sketched designs for Mrs. O. I wonder which one she will ultimately decide on. Here are a few of the ones I liked the best...

Kai Milla

Christian Lacroix

Diane Von Furstenburg
Zac Posen

You can check out all of the designer's sketches here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A new chapter begins.

I just got home from dropping my little brother off at the airport. Despite the fact that he is now 19 years old and hovers a good three or four inches above me, I don't think I'll be able to stop referring to him as my "little" brother. It just isn't happening. I'm bummed that his time spent in NYC has come to an end, but I will see him again soon when I fly back to Austin at the end of January.

I feel like so much in my life has (and is about to) change since the moment I saw my friends and family trudging up the stairwell to our apartment one week ago from tomorrow. My last four months of life in New York have been consumed with feelings of isolation, independence, loneliness, excitement, homesickness, happiness, encouragement, passion, exhaustion, the list goes on! Although I have been waiting for Kate, Robby and Matt to arrive for such a long time, I must say that actually having people around me twenty four hours out of the day was quite an adjustment! I have been alone for so long that it felt strange to be social and remember what having friends felt like. When I was coming back from dropping Rob off at the airport just a little while ago, it felt abnormally good to ride the subway back to the apartment by myself. I have developed an intimate relationship with myself. When you're forced to spend so much time internalizing everything, exploring things on your own and adjusting to a new place, you begin to crave that alone time. Solitude is the one thing I have come accustomed to here. From that solitude, I have developed a new sense of my self and a sense of independence. However, I have simultaneously lost (but have not forgotten about) an important part of what makes up "Tara"....the ability to be a good friend and to get out of my comfort zone. My mission for the next few weeks is to become adjusted to this new way of life....a new life filled with Katie-kate as not only my friend but my roommate. It seems like such a simple idea, but for someone who has spent so much time alone, it will definitely be an unexpected adjustment.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Movin' on up!

Great news! I've been featured again on the Pink Spotlight on Betsey!

You can find my little bio here: So exciting!!!!

I feel ecstatic now that the Austin crew has arrived to NYC. I can't describe how calming it feels to know that I don't have to spend all of my time here alone anymore. Yesterday, Robby, Matt, Kate and I woke up late and went over to MiniStar. It is this awesome little Greek diner that my mom and I found near my house while she was visiting last week. Best thing about New York? Early bird specials! Eggs, hashbrowns, wheat toast, coffee and OJ for $3.95...what more can you ask for? After vegging out, the four of us walked back to the apartment and unpacked a little bit. We decided to take advantage of Kate's retal van, which, during their road trip, had officially been dubbed as "The Chipotle Express". We ventured out onto the BQE (once again, it is so odd to travel ABOVE ground instead of in the subways!) and drove down to IKEA where we scored some pretty great purchases. A bed for Kate, a chair and a few home accessories later, we were on our way back up to Queens to drop off our sweet finds! Our apartment has made a huge transformation, it truly looks like a home now that Kate has brought so many trinkets from her home back in Texas. I will take pictures eventualllllyyyy.

Everything is great and I am so happy! This afternoon we are going to go down to Williamsburg so Robby and Kate can do a little vintage shopping at one of my favorite places, Beacon's Closet. We'll probably roam around that area for a little bit and then head back to Queens. We are meeting up with some of Matt's friends later on this evening at this cool "Beer Garden" that is well known in this part of town. Should be fun!

Hope everyone is doing well :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm so sorry for the lack of posting. Ever since my mom arrived last week it's been go, go, go! I'm wating for Kate, Matt and Robby to show up to my apartment any minute...I couldn't be more excited!!!!!!! FINALLY, the time has come where I won't be alone anymore! I promise I'll get back to posting as soon as things settle down a little bit.

I hope everyone is doing well.

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