Friday, March 20, 2015

I Joined ClassPass

After a shooting pain from my butt to my leg two Mondays ago made me cut my morning run short (and in effect, last longer) and limp back from the West Side Highway to my fifth-floor Alphabet City walk-up as the sun came up and the tears came down, I've had to stop running. I'm as neurotic as they come and lack of physical activity turns me into a really. pissy. person, so I've been trying to find new ways of releasing endorphins, which I know make me happy because I've seen Legally Blonde enough times to know that happy people don't kill their husbands. They just don't.

I didn't search far and did what most girls in my age bracket and life stage (and Facebook newsfeed) are doing to get their workout kicks and signed up for ClassPass. I fricken love it. I swear this is not a sponsored post (kind of wish it were though), but I am having so much fun with ClassPass. I don't have to think about my workout, I just show up at some boutique fitness studio in New York and let a spandex-clad instructor tell me what to do.

Some experiences have been better than others, on the local minimum list is when I showed up to a boxing gym at 6:53 AM only to find that it was locked and when the instructor at a spin class started playing recordings of himself giving motivational speeches (and a weird girl in the front started applauding). I hated that spin class, I really did.

I've mostly been taking spin classes, which, maybe because of the SoulCycle ethos, remind me of scary athletic girls from my past (the ones who shout "BALL BALL BALL" in your face during a lacrosse game. No. That is so unnecessary. Also, mouthguards, gross). Brief tangent but I actually saw a scary athletic girl from my past at a ClassPass class. It took me a minute but her blonde ponytail and gait that suggested a 7 minute mile could only be traced back to the hell that was soccer/lacrosse camp in 5th through 10th grades.

I feel like spin classes were The No. 1 Fitness Trend in 2012, an assumption I'm basing off my memory a girl at my summer internship that summer who would bring her own cycling shoes and furiously sign up for a FlyWheel class every morning. Maybe they've successfully transitioned from trendy to classic as more innovative offshoots (like water spinning at Aqua Studio) pop up? Some are much too fancy for me -- I couldn't figure out how to put the shoes on my feet at Peloton and had to leave a pair on the bike clips this morning at Revolve because I couldn't unclip myself (the instructor had clipped me in). My favorite so far has been at The Monster Studio in SoHo. It vaguely rallies around the theme of Lady Gaga, but I wouldn't have known that unless the ClassPass description hadn't said so. There are two giant flat screens playing music videos throughout class and the highlight is the blackout ride, when the room goes completely dark for the portion of a hilltop ride.

On a parting note, the song Sugar by Maroon 5 has played in every spin class I've taken thus far. I Really Really Really Like You played 3 times at my class this morning. TOO MUCH.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Goli: Persian Ice Cream Purveyors

My sister and I took our side project to new heights this weekend. Well, to be honest, it was mostly my sister's doing but I came along for the (literal) ride. In a bored end-of-February stupor last week, she decided to start a small-batch ice cream business that specializes in Persian ice cream. Persian ice cream (bastani), for the uninitiated, is saffron and rose water-flavored ice cream with cream chunks and pistachios. It’s somewhere in between the savoriness of maple bacon and chorizo flavors à la hip Brooklyn/Lower East Side ice cream shops and an artisan honey lavender-cardamom hybrid found in San Francisco’s Bi-Rite creamery. On the East Coast, its true version can really only be found on the dessert menus at Persian restaurants, but go to the Westwood section of Los Angeles (where the Persian diaspora is in full effect) and you’ll find ice cream stores that solely dole out scoops of bastani with wafers.

In order to bring quality scoop-and-serve bastani to New York, my sister found an ice cream maker for $40 on Craigslist, which we went to go pick up in Park Slope at 9 AM on Saturday morning. After a decidedly normal Craigslist interaction with a seller who had never tapped the urge to make cherry ice cream that had inspired her purchase, we took the new-with-tags ice cream maker to coffee and planned our next move, which involved us buying some super secret ingredients at a Middle Eastern specialty food store on Atlantic Avenue, so secret, in fact, that we couldn't translate the product label. Little known fact but Atlantic Avenue is ripe with Middle Eastern speciality stores -- highly recommend as the tahini there is cheaper than it is at Trader Joe’s and the Alphabet City Key Food (I’m adding tahini into my repertoire of breakfast spreads, FYI).

After too many hours in a nineteen-degrees Park Slope before noon, we decamped back to our parents’ apartment for quality lounge time and restarted the ice cream process the next day. Long story short we made a bomb-dot-com batch of Persian ice cream, which PRAY FOR US, will be available at Smorgasburg come this summer.

Check out the webbie here. Once you go Persian, there’s no other version. Am I right?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Giveaway Alert! Hausfrau

Hey all you readers out there, I have a giveaway for ya!

It's for a book because reading leads to a better, more enriched life, and isn't that the purpose of blogs in the first place? It definitely is for the blogger because no matter what happens during the day, I'll always have my blog, kind of in the way that Ilsa and Rick will always have Paris....?

Moving onwards and upwards. The giveaway is for a brand spankin' new book from poetess Jill Alexander Essbaum. The novel centers on Anna, a housewife married to a Swiss husband. They live in Zurich with their three kids and apparently have a picture-perfect life. Anna gets bored -- with Bruno, the minutiae of her daily life, you know the drill. So she goes after life and seeks "new experiences," which inevitably involve sexual ones, and therein lies the story. She can't get out of the affairs and go back to life as she know it. So what does she do? That's why you read the book (enter my giveaway for a chance and if you don't win, buy it) and find out.

The book hits shelves March 17. So, like, less than a week.

To enter the giveaway: comment with your FAVE book!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stan Smith: A Retrospective

I was going through bouts of anxiety in my lil old cubicle at work the other day, and you know when you circulate your list of worries through your head and each time a worry comes back around, it's more catastrophic than it was before? That was happening to me so I took a walk around my office to ya know, clear my head, a process that usually involves a stop in the kitchen to make tea and dip my hand into the gum jar, then a trip to the bathroom because when you're worrying or procrastinating, there's no place like the bathroom because time doesn't exist in the bathroom. (I came up with this theory in college when I was writing my thesis and looking for ways to procrastinate and started going to the bathroom to braid my hair.) Do you know what I mean? I don't really either but I'm currently 300 pages into Kafka on the Shore and there's a lot of metaphysical, three-dimensional time talk and what can I say, I'm a sponge when it comes to reading da lit-er-a-ture.

So I was in the bathroom, walking around my office, trying to get rid of my anxiety when I looked down at my feet and saw my shoes. Stan Smiths. My first thought was how lucky I am to work in a place where I can wear men's tennis shoes to work and still be taken seriously (I hope I'm being taken seriously, awkward if not). My second was that around this time last year, I thought these shoes were the batshit ugliest things I had ever seen and I wanted no part in the trend.

Ugly in a cute, black and white juxtapositional, way?
And so here it is, a retrospective on the Stan Smiths. I remember first seeing them dispersed throughout street style shots of New York Fashion Week in February. They looked so...white. And bulky. Boat-like, if you will. I was on board with the general Adidas sneaker trend but more partial to darker styles like the Campus (I just Googled them and now I need this ponytail iteration). The Stan Smiths hadn't been worn past the feet of fashion show attendees stateside, but then I went to Paris and blah blah blah Paris, am I right, and I saw them on the feet of both fashion industry folk and (well-dressed) plebs. Regular ladies in Monoprix toting around Vanessa Bruno bags, buying yaout, couscous and whatnot, were wearing Stan Smiths. And theirs weren't bright white but worn-in and clearly well-loved.

By the time I got back to New York and hauled my ass to the Adidas store in SoHo, they were sold out. A shame but never one to accept defeat in a shopping expedition, I found them online. I've been wearing and seeing them increasingly more on the street over the past year. They've been great conversation starters too, like the time a very flamboyant 50-year old man (the hip literary type I aspire to be friends with) complimented them in an elevator, or when a classmate at the acting class I took to find my inner voice told me she loved my shoes. There was also the time I wore them home from Crown Heights but that's an inside joke between me, two rompers, and my roommate.

Just when I thought I had found a favorite sneaker, a new one comes along to covet. Enter the Isabel Marant interpretation of the Stan Smith. They're strikingly similar and you could argue that they're a total copy, but they're branded with Isabel Marant and come in metallic hints and a leopard-print variety. Not going to critique them at all because I'd buy them if I could.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


 Sonoma, Feb 2014

Griffith Park, LA, Jan 2015

 17 Mile Drive, Carmel, Jan 2015

 17 Mile Drive, Carmel, Jan 2015

 17 Mile Drive, Carmel, Jan 2015

 17 Mile Drive, Carmel, Jan 2015

Napa, Feb 2014

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Small Indiscretion

There's something about the winter that makes me read more. I know this because I keep a log of books I've read since the summer of 2008, aptly titled "Books Read Since Summer 2008." Each line contains the title, author, and date finished of a given book, along with a check mark that I have no idea why I put there. Not only is my book log a prime example of my Type A personality traits, but it lets me know at what time of year I read most: the summer because of #beachreads, and the winter because of bed-reads. I realized I was falling prey to the bed-read during last week's polar vortex when I tried to cancel any engagements, social or otherwise, so I could lounge in my crazy-cozy bed in my warm-enough fifth-floor walk up apartment. I'm a homebody of the highest degree, so give me a home and I will try to never leave. Which is why I've been reading voraciously for the past couple of weeks. It takes too much effort to do anything else.

I just read what I wrote and I'd like to assert that I'm not a hermit. Granted, I did work from home yesterday and was still in my pajamas drafting this post at 9 PM, but they were a fresh pair that I put on this morning after I showered. Anyway, the overarching point I'm trying to make here, the bridge if you will, is that there's no time to read like when you're nesting for the winter, and there are plenty of books to go around. So may I suggest you take a gander at A Small Indiscretion?

It's the debut novel from auteur Jan Ellison, and if you like to fall into a book, then you'll definitely enjoy tripping into this one. It centers around Annie Black, who moves to London from LA for a winter. Twenty years later, she's living in San Francisco when she receives a photograph in her mailbox that catapults the novel's plot. It's an emotional read dealing with love, loss and everything in between. Highly suggested, so snatch it up when it comes out on January 20.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Style Icon: Alexandra Golovanoff

Thought it was due time I share another one of my girl crushes/style icons with ya. Alexandra Golovanoff, the host of the French TV show La Mode, La Mode, La Mode (a name which could never be pulled off on American TV. Not punny enough/at all.)

What I like: her slightly Russian features, beachy blonde hair, and seemingly permanent smoky eye. And her style. Though I'm a fan-turned-imitator of the minimalist French way of uniform dressing, I like how Golovanoff doesn't do a strict pant-shirt-heel combo and instead mixes and matches prints, textures, and silhouettes. Although many of her outfits seem to be straight off the runway (ie. Celine Spring 2014), her choices reflect a certain boldness and creativity that isn't very typical of what you see on the heavyweights of French street style. But then again, she's a front-of-camera television star, not an editor. Whatever, food for thought below.

Doesn't she make you want to go blonde?!?

Images via: Vanessa Jackman,, Glamour Paris,