Saturday, 31 August 2013

bloggers and babies in brooklyn

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When I was in New York for a week two years ago (my first visit), one of my favourite mornings was the one I spent having tea with Monique, the super-stylish lady behind the blog Tipa Tipa (the photos are some of the favourites I've posted on my blog too). My last day in New York I headed out to Brooklyn to meet up with her again. Since the last time I'd seen her in person, I'd been following the changes in her life on the blog, seen her gorgeous wedding and envied her impeccable vintage style, but I was reallllly excited to meet the newest addition to her life, her beautiful 7 week daughter Elisane. We went for a delicious lunch at a nearby café to catch up on all the little intervening moments in life. Elisane was the best-behaved baby I've ever met; in the three hours we spent together, she cried once for about 5 minutes and even sounded a bit apologetic about it!

We chatted about past gossip and future plans, the things you inherit from your family, travel and community, and I just hope I'll see them again before another two years have elapsed. Oh, and Monique made fun of me: "congratulations, Emily, you can push a stroller," or "you haven't dropped her yet," which makes me think I might need a bit more practice with babies...

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I also envied Monique her fire-escape view and, let's face it, her whole apartment.
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Thursday, 29 August 2013

sunday comfort

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I wear this top and skirt (especially the top) from Family Affairs all. the. time. but I usually wear them separately, and when I do wear them together it's usually with the top tucked in so the whole thing resembles a dress. On my Sunday in New York though, I liked the kind of relaxed, I-woke-up-in-my-studio-with-a-paint-fumes-headache-and-went-straight-to-brunch look of not tucking it in.

I think I definitely have a more North American approach to Sundays... I want to look nice but be comfortable and casual as well. In Barcelona, I've noticed that as Sunday is often a day when people go out for lunch with their family, they often dress really nicely (amazing jackets and scarves and such).

Anyway, long story short, casual or dressed up, I love this set (I'm coming to the conclusion that I love matching sets in general) and it was fun to be wearing locally made clothes in New York.

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Photos by Kallie

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

foodporn and fun nyc

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I'm left with my usual bunch of photos that don't make up a coherent whole from a trip... most of them of food, naturally. Like I said, I ate super-well in New York: everything from a posh macaroni and cheese with truffle oil to a ravishingly good pulled pork sandwich to dumplings with the best dough of all time...

Here's a lightening tour of my happy stomach moments, occasionally contextualized with what else I did that day (let's face it, eating was the most important part).

On Saturday Kallie and I went to walk down Park Avenue for Summer Streets, a festival in which they close the street for pedestrians, runners and cyclists, with art installations along the way. We made friends in line and went through a tunnel of light, and then wandered happily chit-chatting...

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Athletic people, boo, hisss. I think I was still compulsively clutching an oversized coffee and nursing a hangover at this point. But I'm always a fan of taking the streets back from traffic.
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eating an amazing shrimp salad and The Best Dumplings Ever at Moon.... (what was this place called again Kallie?)

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Glamorous picnic-ers in Central Park shortly before I dozed off

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We regrouped, we redressed,

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We went for brussels sprout pizza

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And amazing, in-house made raspberry, mascarpone and cashew (oooooh) gelato.

On Sunday morning I went with these people (Kallie's boyfriend Rich is super, super, nice)
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To this place:
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To indulge in sinfully magnificent American breakfast (I had a BLT benedict, Kallie and Rich both had amazing breakfast sandwiches of various types)
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The day involved some other stuff (my spending yet more money), but we didn't forget the important things in life and wrapped it up with a beer and cheese pairing:
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And late-night pizza consumed on the floor and washed down with rosé.
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Right... who's hungry?

Monday, 26 August 2013

manhattan transfer, or how I tragically spent my inheritance on melted cheese and wedding dresses

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"Wedding dresses?" my sister asked with a quizzical eyebrow when I told her this.

Ok, so I had no pressing need to buy wedding dresses. But I went to New York, and I went to a sample sale of local Brooklyn designers with Kallie, and I pretty clearly needed (not) two white cocktail dresses, which I justified by saying that some time or another I'd need a wedding dress, I needed to buy both so I could choose well. (Also, I spent my budget, not my inheritance, poetic justice, etc.)

Right, back on track. I went to New York! I discovered there was a train between Montreal and New York (although had I known at the time that the journey takes 11 hours I might have been somewhat less eager), Kallie of Happy, Honey and Lark offered me her couch, and I was set. Although it was semi-planned the final stages happened in a rush and it felt spontaneous and girly and fun.

Kallie was the best hostess, tour guide, and melted cheese enabler. On Friday she took the day off and we headed into Brooklyn to that cursed sample sale, then had gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner, went for drinks with Emily of It Girl, Rag Doll, and went to NYC Rebel Night, where we danced with gay abandon, all answered to the name Emily, and at a certain point in the evening, unanimously headed for the photo booth.

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Scene of my impending economic ruin...

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grilled cheese and tomato soup

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I was introduced to the concept of beer flights

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Emily to the power of 3

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Photos by me, and Kallie, and the photobooth, and some guy at dance party

Saturday, 24 August 2013

home life

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Oh, temporary homes. I'm looking forward to having a proper home later this year (if all goes as planned) because things have been so temporary for so long. Where's home? Definitely not my "hometown" Vancouver. My parents have a house in Hamilton, but it's not like I'm from there. Barcelona is my home now but I spent the last several months a bit all over the place in terms of living situation. If home is where the heart is, then mine's in at least four different places right now.

But ANYWAY, if home is where you sleep, then that's currently this cute little third floor flat in Verdun, Montreal. I'm in love with the Montreal residential architecture, all little iron staircases winding up brick buildings to an entrance porch. We also have a little balcony at the front and a slice of fire escape at the back to watch the sunset and the back alleys of my temporary city.

If home is temporary, family is apparently forever. I'm wearing a dress, shoes and amber necklace that are all hand-me-downs from my mom (the dress made by her in the 70s, as I never fail to point out when I wear it).

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Thursday, 15 August 2013

a deleriously pretty summer wedding

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Montreal stuff is coming, but in the meantime I forgot to post these pictures, which are a chance to show off my favourite dress of the year. I've been wearing this to all kinds of summer parties in Barcelona, and it's one of pieces that makes you feel instantly special. Not the kind of thing I'd wear to the office, but a good antidote to the blah-ness of everyday life.

This was the wedding of a very old friend of mine, who I hadn't seen in 15 years. We grew up across the street from each other in Thunder Bay, Ontario, but when I was 10 my family moved out west. We didn't really keep in touch, but when he heard I was in the country I got a last minute invite to his wedding. It was gorgeous, it was amazing to see him and his brother again all grown up, and the food was really. damn. good. I always find weddings a bit weird, and I'm not sure I could have one that was so formal and ritualistic myself, but I won't deny it was a good time, and I must have had three helpings of pie and ice cream....

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me and my dad! :)

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There was a trio of cute Norwegian girls there, and one had a manicure of different animals with googly eyes and everything.

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My main memories of these guys are in pyjamas...

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Summer in Ontario, how I love you and your fresh berries for pies!

(dress is by Family Affairs; I like to support the independent brands by labelling them, although I don't with many of my clothes).

Saturday, 10 August 2013

canadian lit

I've been holed up in Canada for a couple of weeks, eating home cooking, taking no pictures, writing (yay!), reading (yay!) and working from home (blech). Also, recovering from a nightmarish scenario in which the first leg of my flight home (the flight was from Lisbon, I had to get a flight from Barcelona to Lisbon first) was overbooked, resulting in my losing my flight, having to buy a new one, and involving myself in a long battle with Vueling for the dismally small compensation they finally gave me (which I expect I only got because it's enshrined in EU law). Thanks for nothing again, Vueling Airlines.

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But! The Canadian Literature in English is about to be changed for Canadian Literature in French... I'm off to Montreal for the first time ever and I can't wait to explore this city which has been on my must-visit list for a decade. Endless photos to follow!

(top by Family Affairs, skirt by Q's Daydream, shoes by Naguisa)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

secluded coves and rocky beaches

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Oh summer! Oh, the beach! Even though for someone as white as me the beach almost inevitably means sunburn (even though I use factor 50, there's always somewhere you forget to put it; I've burnt everything from the tips of my ears to the soles of my feet...) summer is also incomplete without a trip to a rocky cove, to eat a picnic of salads and fruit, to read in the sun, to get progressively wimpier with each passing year about water temperature. Seriously, I was looking at old photos last night. When I was 21 I would swim in glacier-fed Canadian lakes, now I moan about the fact that the Mediterranean is "cold." I've been spoilt by life in hot countries.

Anyway, this charming cove is near Ametlla de Mar, near Tarragona. Five of us borrowed a car, packed our salads, forgot our bottle of wine (probably for the best) met up with friends who were camping in the area, and spent the afternoon getting gloriously sunburnt, buffeted by waves, raked across the rocks, and reading in the surf.

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I love my new one piece but I love it more for Canada... one of the great joys of the Mediterranean is going topless and feeling like a little kid, and I missed that...

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P.S. I had some fun looking at past idyllic beach posts...
In Menorca: here and here
In Cornwall: here and here
In Mataró: here
And ages ago in Mexico here