nyc. gems. // part. one.

While I'm not a New York native or current NYC resident (maybeeee, someday), I DO visit the city frequently enough that I've accumulated quite the list of *favorite* neighborhood spots (from Nolita to Williamsburg to the UES) that I'd recommend in a heartbeat. I have my favorite sorbet spot, my favorite hotel rooftop, my favorite place to stockpile sheet masks, my favorite slice of pizza, etc. etc. etc. I honestly struggled with how to make this series a reality — I debated doing individual trip recaps vs. in-depth profiles of shops and businesses. Ultimately, I decided that bite-size roundups would work best.

A charming pencil shop, a green lifestyle coffee shop with succulent cupcakes (s'cute!), and a lush rooftop/restaurant located in the heart of the Meatpacking District.

Urban Backyard

This must be the place.
 

...my initial thought upon stepping foot into Urban Backyard. Sure, I had seen snapshots on IG of this magical coffee shop located in Nolita, but photos simply don't do it justice. I arrived bright and early on a Monday morning (8 a.m. sharp!) to meet a friend, so we pretty much had first dibs on seating. Take note: The small "cozy" space adds to the zen atmosphere. But perhaps, it's the houseplants and adorable embroidery hoops lining the walls that entice you to linger a wee bit longer. As I like to say: "come for the cute aesthetic, and then stay for the succulent cupcakes." I sampled a few macarons (lemon + passion fruit) before moving onto a flourless chocolate cupcake (which was divine). The cushioned wooden futon couch accompanied by a goldenrod pillow beckoned for company, as did the open window. Last, but not least, it's the outdoor seating area in front — a dreamy tiled oasis, complete with gorgeous blooms and "cold water for fur babies" — that make passersby pause for a pic.
 

Bonus points for Urban Backyard's sustainable initiative. They have biodegradable hay straws, y'all. According to Yelp, they also offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup.


Urban Backyard
180 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
@urbanbackyardnyc


CW Pencil Enterprise

Pencil shops are rare. Pencil shops with *secret* sticker rooms are even more of a rarity. While I've known about CW Pencil Enterprise for what feels like an eternity, it wasn't until a dreamy (and long overdue) December 2017 visit to their Orchard St. shop that I became a true pencil devotee. ✏️ 

A little backstory. CWPE was founded by Caroline Weaver, a lifelong pencil aficionado, in November 2014. A brick-and-mortar shop opened shortly thereafter in March 2015. Whenever I'm in the city, I make it a point to pop in, even if it's just to pick up a few Tombow colored pencils or a sheet of stickers. The store itself is an aesthete's dream. Heaps of natural light and a p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y curated wall of pencils (over 200 varieties to be exact) make it a Lower East Side gem. 

Beyond everyone's trusty yellow No. 2 pencil, you'll find a slew of specialty and novelty pencils (from a baseball scoring set to toothpick-sized heart pencils) — plus notebooks, sharpeners, erasers, and other fun knick-knacks aimed to delight the creative enthusiast in all of us. Did I mention that there's a pencil sample station, complete with a notebook for doodles and notes? Yessss. Cuteness ensues.

Oh and certainly not least... ! My favorite part of the Orchard St. shop just may be the CW Sticker Emporium. With so many kawaii Japanese and world-class stickers to choose from, you'll 100 percent feel like a kid in a candy store. I dare you to leave empty-handed.      


CW Pencil Enterprise
15 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

RH Rooftop Restaurant by Restoration Hardware

Scattered all across the city, you'll find a plethora of hip hotel rooftop bars — many of which are charming — but it's not every day you discover a lavish + lush rooftop garden of this size. Enter the RH (aka, Restoration Hardware) Rooftop Restaurant, located in the historic Meatpacking District, a mere stone's throw away from The High Line and the Whitney. The perfect spot for people watching, grabbing a bite to eat (come early, as they don't take reservations!!!) or sipping rosé. I know what you're thinking… "but isn't that a luxury home-furnishings store?" My thoughts exactly! Part swanky showroom, part gallery, part restaurant — no detail goes unnoticed as you take the excursion from the first floor to the 🔝. 

While I can't comment on the food — we were just checking out the space for the first time — the atmosphere is quite lovely. It's fancy enough for after-hours, but relaxed enough if you're just there to soak in the views and hang out with friends. The scenery, no joke, is "inspired by the great classical gardens of Europe." And they don't rush you out, so you can truly enjoy your experience. 

On level three, you'll find a Barista Bar (espresso + wine). Not at all an inconvenience for me (I don't drink), but just FYI, there's no bar service on the rooftop wine terrace, so you'll have to purchase your drink here and then take it upstairs. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 


RH Rooftop Restaurant
9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

What are your favorite NYC spots? Have you visited any of these gems?

xo,

A
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currently. coveting. // summer. edition.

Happy summer solstice, friends. ☀️ All hail rooftop season, sunset strolls, popsicle weather, hammocks (I REPEAT, hammocks!), the list goes on. #lovesummerhateeverythingelse
 

To kick off my favorite time of the year, I'm sharing a few summer staples that are currently on my radar. Mostly out of my budget ATM, but these are all items that I'm confident that I could live in for the next three months.

Alyssa Coscarelli x Petite Studio Fuji Top in Ivory ($139): S'cute. Embrace Alyssa Coscarelli's retro-chic, city girl aesthetic with the perfect gauzy summer blouse — courtesy of the influencer's capsule collection for Petite Studio, no less. 

Alex Mill Silk Pajama Top ($158): I recently had the pleasure of swinging by Alex Mill's first brick-and-mortar storefront on Greene St., and this beauty caught my eye. The relaxed pajama-esque fit + femme floral print deserve top style marks in my book.

Emily Warden Designs Opal Heart Pendant ($118): This hauntingly beautiful opal heart pendant 100% calls for a sweetheart neckline.


Sandy Liang Tetra Dress ($425): Give this puffy sleeve Sandy Liang dress a twirl with Doc Martens for a stint downtown. 

Clare V. Fannypack in Tennis Balls Print ($299): Allow this hands-free tennis ball-printed fanny pack to accompany you from mini golf with pals to an outdoor concert. 

Sézane Valou Dress ($180): It's 24/7 frocks like this one from Sézane (ahem, peep the scalloped sleeves) that define daytime dressing to a T. 

See by Chloé Embroidered Laser-Cut Suede and Leather Espadrille Wedge Sandals ($255): If you find yourself saying “no way, José” to the season's "ugly" high-fashion Tevas, then behold — See By Chloé espadrilles to the rescue.

Vintage 1910's Camisole ($72): Drooling over this vintage blouse. Any takers?

Vintage 1960's Garden Party Dress ($88): Go ahead and RSVP "yes" to that rooftop soiree… 😉

What are you coveting for summer? Is there a specific trend you're looking to test-drive? Let me know in the comments below!

xo,

A
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who's that girl // no.1


Paging Alyssa Coscarelli, paging Alyssa Coscarelli... 

Who's that girl? She fancies coffee shops in NoLIta + gallery hops on the LES. She's a burgeoning fashionista who favors emerging designers (hey, Sandy Liang, hey) and absurdly cool under-the-radar labels. She's influencing, but not necessarily an influencer. 

K, cool, now that we've got that straight… behold, ze dress of summer (this puff-sleeve number may be a close second in my book) courtesy of Sandy Liang. All hail "Chinatown grandmas" everywhere. I'd RSVP "a million times 'yes'!" to the white daisy print and easy-breezy silo — best accompanied by '90s-inspired jellies or designer Teva-like sandals for a normcore vibe come the weekend. Bring forth a hit of sweet nostalgia with one of The Last Line's layerable BFF pendant necklaces. Angular pink glitter frames over teeny-tiny Matrix frames any day, please. Finishing touches include a minty fresh manicure and a vegetable-tanned leather daypack that successfully marries form and function. For the savvy adventurer, may I recommend a LOST iN travel guide? Vienna waits for you.

Shop the lewk (clockwise): Sandy Liang Picasso Floral-print Georgette Dress, Carla Colour Modan Pink Glitter Sunglasses, LOST iN Vienna, Sundays No. 34 Nail Polish, Matine Capucine Daypack in Honey, The Last Line Diamond Best FriendHeart and Flower Pendant Set, Alexa Chung Crystal Wreath Reilly Transparent Juju Shoes 

What's your dream summertime uniform? Let me know in the comments below!

xo,
A
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< peak summer vibes >


 

H to the ello… I'm back. Without being overly chatty, I've missed this little corner of the internet. From the onset, I've always had a "no pressure" approach to blogging. It's supposed to be fun after all. A side hustle that triggers creativity and allows me to share my latest fashion obsessions, outfits, and travels. 

I honestly couldn't have picked a more opportune time to mark my return to blogging. I low-key LIVE (insert praise hands emoji) for the summer months — especially the month of May. Just yesterday, I arrived at the conclusion that a blissful 62 degrees + ☀️ is the quintessential weather situation. Not too cold, not too balmy, but just right. Even though it's technically still spring, I can't help but reach for all my favorite summertime frocks, sandals, and straw bags (eep!).

During a recent excursion to Washington, DC's District Wharf, I stumbled upon a mural that just screamed 'gram me. I also discovered Blue Bottle Coffee (my new fave) and ventured to the top of 12 Stories for rooftop views — accompanied by $8 fries, no less (paying for the view, y'all!). Milk Bar fans? There's one too, in addition to a Dolcezza Gelato and District Doughnut.



The outfit: Let's talk about THIS dress. It's Free People… a little bit more boho than my taste, but it's become a summertime staple (peep the sky blue embroidered details). Equal parts easy-breezy and effortless, it's the type of dress that you can toss on and feel like a million bucks. I accessorized with a millennial pink straw circle tote from Clare Vivier (similar) and strappy coral sandals.

What are you most looking forward to this summer? Fun travel plans?! Is there a fashion trend that's piqued your interest? Let me know in the comments below!


xo,

A
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