Tag Archives: new yorker

Apartment Tour – The Kitchen

I was toying with the idea of doing a blog tour of my apartment for a few months and, with the urging of several friends, finally decided to go for it. Even though it’s not the first room you would see when walking into my place (that would be the living room), I wanted to start in the kitchen. Side note: Most of the links will take you to larger close-up shots of the items I’m describing. Other links will take you to purchase options, if available.


It looks like a standard-issue apartment kitchen anywhere in the United States. BUT, my friends, this is New York City. I have an EAT-IN kitchen! This is pretty much unheard of here.

Here’s a reverse shot. The shelf over my butcher block island, which holds my collection of tea cups and saucers, is a painted board from Ikea with brackets from Anthropologie. The fruit bowl was a housewarming gift from a friend. My bar setup features a custom illustration from my favorite illustrator/comic artist, Lucy Knisley. Lucy and I share a passion for Pimm’s Cup, so I asked if she would draw her recipe for me. The bar tray is from West Elm. Little flask on tray was a gift from a friend (Apartment 48). The little chalkboard (from Pottery Barn) has my current grocery list on it. In high school, I had seen a giant version of this in the home of a friend who is a film production designer, I’ve wanted one ever since.

I picked up a few things in my apartment from various movie set sales. The butcher block island is from Manchurian Candidate (free!), the chair and the framed logo on the wall above it are from Julie & Julia ($20 total). Also found on the walls of my kitchen, maps from the places I’ve traveled.

See, a table and chairs! I pull the table out a bit and flip-up the side extension to seat more people. I swear I didn’t set the table for this photo shoot. I had my sister and her boyfriend over for dinner that night. The table and chairs were purchased (for $90) from a store in New Jersey that was going out of business. The tablecloth and linen napkins (cause that’s how I roll) are from Anthropologie (on sale); plates are from Home Goods and were a gift from my sister. Glasses and silverware from Target and Crate & Barrel. The vase is from Fishs Eddy. I bought it (for $25!) when I was in high school, knowing one day I would have an apartment to put it in. I like to think ahead.  And, if you looked overhead while sitting at the table, you would see this chandelier. I snagged it for $25 from a Shabby Chic-esque store in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.

Lastly, my fridge. I grew up with a fridge that wasn’t magnetic, so posting things on it still feels like a novelty to me. Above the fridge are a few of my cookbooks. These are the ones I use most often. My copy of Mastering The Art of French Cooking was given to me at the Julie & Julia sale. It was one of four used in the film. To the left of my fridge hangs a print of my favorite New Yorker cartoon, and to the right, my knives and some cooking tools. All gifted or purchased from Williams-Sonoma. I’m a big fan of Global knives. They’re just heavy enough without bothering your wrist and they slice, dice & chop beautifully.

Not pictured: My Le Creuset dutch oven (gift from my parents) in which I cook everything (even things not meant to be cooked in a pot) and KitchenAid Mixer (I scored the floor model at WS for half price, because they were discontinuing the color!)

Check back tomorrow for my favorite room, the living room!

Monday’s Watch, Listen, Read


I would not have made it through high school or college without some of my best friends. We were all outsiders for one reason or the other. There’s a kinship shared between outsiders during those tumultuous years that helps you get through. I could not imagine life without these friends and relatives, some of whom happened to be gay, lesbian or bisexual. These peeps were my film camp buddies, musical theatre program friends, my prep school and college classmates, my relatives by marriage, and my family by choice.  They were (and still are) my rocks.

The main thing you learn from being an outsider, gay or straight, is that it sucks when you’re in it, but it helps you to become a stronger person. You learn a lot faster that life isn’t about judging or winning, it’s about loving and living in those little moments of beauty — seizing them wherever and whenever they can be found.

Whatever you’re going through now, know that you’re not alone.  There are other people going through the same thing and it will get better. Every day you wake up and every night you go to sleep, you’ve conquered another demon. Keep going. The world has so much to offer and you have so much to offer the world.

Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project is a series of videos aimed at gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered youth. The message is simple: whatever you’re going through now, it gets better. No amount of bullying or loneliness should push someone to the point of depression or suicide. You are worth more than that. Listen to Dan & Terry’s story and to all the other videos on their YouTube page. These stories will one day be yours, too.


This song has been playing on a continuous loop in my head. The paper animation in the video reminds me of a Victorian-era valentine. Beautiful.


I’ve been catching up on back issues of the New Yorker, so this week’s reading is a little less formal but no less habit-forming: Refinery 29. This site is one of my daily go-to sites. It’s a bit of an obsession. I’m sure they have my IP address flagged as a stalker.

I’m not a person who spends a ton of money on clothes. I’ll splurge the day I find the best pair of jeans ever created (or maybe a custom pair) or if I find a fantastic pair of shoes I know will haunt me for years to come if I don’t buy them — this has only happened three times, so far. Apart from those things (and perhaps, one day, an Oscar dress) I’m a pretty practical shopper. That said, I grew up with a mother who made us compare fabrics: brushed cottons and cashmeres to acrylics and polyester. “Feel the difference? You don’t want that rough stuff against your skin.” Our mother always told us the staple pieces in every wardrobe should consist of at least one crisp, white man-tailored shirt, a pair of black pants, a good pair of dark jeans, a nice black leather belt and a dark brown leather belt. Everything could be built on from there. Most PTA moms wore khakis or Lily Pulitzer. My mom dressed like she never left Manhattan, all clad in black with the occasional pop of a white collar. You can take the girl out of the city …

My mother’s fabric obsession lead to my sister’s interest in fashion and later, her degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. My love of fashion is quieter, though no less passionate. You can wear what you want and I won’t judge (like my mom and sister do) but I’m very specific in my tastes.  I’ve also forecasted my share of trends. I take full credit for bringing back the chandelier earring. I was also wearing a Mad Men-style skirt and peep-toe shoes six years ago, when Matthew Weiner was still developing a little pilot about 1950s ad men. Those peep toes and skirt were inspired by my favorite Carolina Herrera collection ever, RTW 2003. I stalked and refreshed Style.com till that collection was finally posted an entire day after it hit the catwalk — it nearly killed me to wait that long. I’ll also profess my love for The Rachel Zoe Project here. But please, Bravo, focus more on the Balenciaga and less on the babies.

Whether it’s in or it’s out, prêt-àporte or Haute couture, Refinery 29 is my little pop of white in a sea of inky black fashion coverage.