Sunday, August 22, 2010

Oh Canada!

As promised, a wonderful post by my good friend and blogger, Nicole Cornell. Read this, then check out her blog Broke and Naked, please.

I recently was privileged to visit our neighbor to the north: Canada. My boyfriend and I were there to celebrate my dear friend’s recent marriage and made the trip into a nice little holiday. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that this was my first trip to Canada. Maybe it just didn’t seem like so much of a “must see” compared to the ancient cities of Europe or the spicy culture of South America, but whatever the reason, it had yet to happen and I was excited for the opportunity.

Upon arriving in Toronto, we initially couldn’t put our finger on it, but there was a palpable difference as soon as we entered this new city. We had left the USA. Aside from a mandatory visit to Niagara Falls upon crossing the border, we did not engage in a single “tourist” activity during our stay. We spent our days roaming the streets and riding the streetcars (or trolleys as I liked to call them, much to the Canadian’s amusement) and our nights eating and drinking our way through the vast gastronomy the city has to offer. It is very urban, in the best possible way, and I found myself comparing it to a Chicago/New York hybrid. It was obviously cleaner than either of these cities and every Canadian we encountered held true to the vicious rumor of them being so damn friendly!

But what was it about this city that made me go – Ok, I could totally live here. Definitely! – a statement I haven’t made since moving to New York 6 years ago. There is a definite “thing” happening in Toronto right now. First, there were construction cranes everywhere. This is a city that is thriving! Toronto is a bustling metropolis while still maintaining an ease and openness. The design stores (fashion and interior) we came across are right on the cusp of what is happening now, yet it is not contrived or fake like I often find the “next big thing” in New York to be. How do they manage to be doing and making interesting things, whether it is a restaurant, design showroom or an old distillery turned into galleries, shops and cafes? Upon speaking to Torontonians, I found out an important element of what I was trying to decipher. Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. They also continued on to talk about what lovely lives they had in the city, whether they were doctors, lawyers, or candlestick makers….fine, I didn’t meet an actual candlestick maker, but lets move on.

The point is, the quality of life the city, and the country of Canada offers is such that creativity is possible. There is a welcoming ease that draws you in and makes you wonder how your life might be different were it taking place here. Or at least, makes you realize what you have been missing all these years and start planning your next holiday in yet another fascinating Canadian city.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Be Back Soon!

As I transition into my move back to New York in September, I am currently playing nanny for my sister and her two adorable little girls. What am I learning aside from tolerance and patience? That parents are superheroes!

I had NO idea it was such an undertaking herding the little childrens, especially two little girls who can give any actress a run for their money. Anyhow, the point is, I have not been able to do my regular blog posts due to the fact that I am either relaxing when they are napping, or.. well, that's pretty much it.

So, I have a guest blogger or two coming on board this week. Ain't no shame in a little help from your friends.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lessons from New Hampshire

I live in New Hampshire. It's been a year since I moved here, but I left out that vital piece of information in conversations. Many people assumed that I was still writing away from my office in New York. Whether it was due to the fact that leaving NY and moving here was too much to fathom or maybe I didn't want people to think that being in NH meant that I didn't have any say about NY fashion anymore, I am not sure. In any event, I have in fact spent the year in New Hampshire where my wonderful fiance lives with his fantastic 6 year old daughter, and our dog Elton.

Never in a million years did I think I would end up back in Brooklyn, but folks, we are heading that way. The lessons I have learned this year have been invaluable and it has also taught me that I am SO not in the drivers seat.

Though I was away from New York & Brooklyn, my love for fashion remained true. In the early part of the year I started to appreciate the L.L. Bean way of life with the signature Bean Boots and just how awesome a faded flannel looks on a casual day. There were days where I struggled to put on more than comfy pants and a tee, because I wasn't headed to any office in NoHo where I needed to look my best. There were days when Eric would come home and I would be crying because I was having a hard time adjusting to this new life. But alas, I picked up my pity pot and acted as if.

It's really beautiful up here in New Hampshire; the natural landscape paired with the crisp air is quite special. I appreciated the fact that we were an hour from the ski slopes, two hours from some breathtaking beaches in New England, and closer to my family. I have met new people who have taught me that there is something to be said for a simpler life. I figured I was meant for the city and needed to be running from meeting to meeting, coffee to coffee, 24/7 and 365. However, with my forced time away from all of that, I think I slowed down.

New York poses serious threat to my bank account because let's face it, I am deeply, madly in love with the world of fashion. Buying something kicks up some sort of high for me that I felt I needed to survive. When you are sober, there's not too many highs left and that's OK with me. But shopping is one of them, and I have really gone without this year. What a gift that has been; I am not my clothes, I am not my shoes, I am Kate, and that is enough. I forget that sometimes.

I am thrilled beyond words that we are heading back to Brooklyn, it's a feeling of going home. But now that I am leaving the place that scared the bejeseus out of me, I need to share my appreciation for it. I fell deeper in love here, I got engaged here, I met new people here and I have fond memories that I will take with me.

Here's to our new journey! I don't know what the future holds and frankly, I don't want to know. Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes, and I have never been let down with the roads I have traveled.