There’s nothing I love more than a vintage inspired diner. However, in NYC, they can be very hit or miss. Either they’re so iconic, they are impossible to get in (would you believe Katz Deli actually has a security guard managing the line outside now?) or the food is subpar, and who wants to have a mediocre meal in a city that is known for amazing food. Here are my suggestions for diners with a good balance of tasty food and vintage vibes by borough.
Lexington Candy Shop (UES- Manhattan)
If you’re looking for an iconic NYC diner without a long line, check this place out. It’s been open since 1925 and not much has changed. I can’t comment on all the food, as when I went I only had fries and a milkshake, but it was very no muss no fuss. Aside from the vintage interior, the windows also have coke bottles from around the world displayed in it (which you might recognize from my Instagram).
Cobble Hill Coffee Shop (Cobble Hill- Brooklyn)
As I said, its not uncommon to be disappointed by diner food. However, the food here is extremely solid. I’ve even been there when theres been a line to get in, which is a testament to their food quality. Aside from solid food, the interior and exterior also looks like your classic, vintage inspired diner.
Schnackenberg’s (Hoboken, NJ)
Okay, so I know it’s not in NYC, but if you cross the river and find yourself in my neck of the woods, I’d recommend checking out Schnackenberg’s. I come here a lot since it’s not far from my apartment, both to shoot content for my blog and IG, and also because I love their grilled cheese, milkshakes and doughnuts.
P.S. If you'd like to shop my top, you can find it here:
My heart ring is sold out :( but it is from Little Sky Stone, you can check them out here:
Top: c/o Dolly & Dotty
Headband: c/o Lysande (@shoplysande)
Ring: c/o Little Sky Stone
Skirt: J.Crew; Shoes: DSW
Location: Remedy Diner (East Village, NYC)
Photos by Michelle Zagardo
Last Friday, I went to the movies to see "Won't You Be My Neighbor", a documentary about Fred Rogers. If you're like me and grew up watching “Mr Rogers' Neighborhood” on TV, I'd definitely recommend seeing this documentary because it was an extremely nostalgic and sweet film. Growing up, to me Mr Rogers was just an old man on TV. But learning more about him and his life through this documentary was inspiring because it really illustrated what a genuine and special soul he was.
By now you know I love a good theme, so I felt it was only fitting to wear these popcorn socks from Two Left Feet and carry this clapboard bag from Yummy Cactus to the matinee showing. I thought this retro inspired red dress from Smak Parlour would pair perfectly with these accessories, and apparently lots of people in the theater agreed. Before going into to see the movie, people kept asking if I was dressed specifically for Mr Rogers, since he is known for his iconic red cardigan. Although I didn't plan it, I think my outfit ended up being a good homage to him.
Thank you Two Left Feet for sponsoring this post!
If you’re interested in shopping my socks, you can find them here:
If you’re interested in shopping my bag, you can find it here:
Socks: c/o Two Left Feet
Purse: c/o Yummy Cactus
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour; Sneakers: H&M; Bow: Claires; Watch: MVMT
Location: Angelika Film Center (SoHo, NYC)
A few weeks ago, I asked a friend what color came to mind when he thought of me, and he answered red. When I posted a photo on Instagram wearing this wrap dress from Karina Dresses, someone commented saying that they thought I looked best in red. I’ve noticed I’ve been drawn to wearing red more in the last couple of years, but thinking back, I remember shying away from wearing it when I was younger. I always perceived red as an attention seeking color. Growing up as a dancer, everyone always said to wear a red leotard to an audition, in order to stand out. I never wanted to (and still don’t) want to be the center of attention, so I usually gravitated towards black and navy blue. While I still love wearing these colors, I am starting to feel like maybe red is more of my color. Maybe its from gaining more confidence from getting older. Maybe its the fact that I live in NYC now and there are lot of crazier things for people to stare at than a girl in a red dress. Whatever the reason, I am definitely going to consider red one of my signature colors from now on.
I’ve read articles recently about bloggers who will only wear one color, in order to have a cohesive Instagram feed. To me this is a bit extreme. At the end of the day I want to wear and buy things I like. However, I have always wanted to have a cohesive and recognizable style, even prior to the rise of social media. While I won’t allow Instagram to dictate what I wear, it has definitely helped me pinpoint my style and really fine tune it. Here are some tips for how to find your signature colors.
decide what colors are NOT your signature colors:
If it seems too difficult to pick your favorite colors, think of it from an opposite approach and what colors you don’t like wearing. For example, I love red, yellow, blue, green, black and white…but that seems like it’s every color of the rainbow! As I said, I don’t want to limit myself and I want to wear the things I truly love, but deciding on a few colors you will not wear is an easier way to narrow down your signature colors. For example, I don’t like brown or purple, so these are two colors you will most likely never see me in.
choose the right tones:
When I was younger, I considered all reds to be the same. I never realized how many different tones there were and the vibe each shade of red gives off. For example, there are rich, classic reds. There are deep, dark Burgundy reds. There are bright, poppy reds. There are reds with an orange undertone. While classic or dark reds come across as very sophisticated, bright, poppy reds are more fun, and these are the red shades I gravitate towards. Choosing specific tones also allows you to wear more colors with ease. For example, I usually prefer bright, saturated colors, as opposed to dark or pastel shades. For example, I’d choose a saturated mustard yellow over a light buttercup yellow.
balance out your look:
If you’re wearing a color that’s out of your usual palette, find a way to make it “you”. For example, the other day I wore a pink dress I love that I’ve had for years. While pink isn’t usually “my color”, I think that particular dress still fits in with my signature style because of the silhouette, collar detail and polka dot print. If what you’re wearing isn’t one of your signature colors, try adding accessories or shoes in one of your signature colors to unify the look. If you’re trying to take a photo for a cohesive Instagram feed while wearing something off palette, trying picking a location that is in one of your signature colors to balance out your feed.
Let me know if you liked this guide and what your signature colors are!
If you’re interested in shopping my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Bow: Claires; Saddle Shoes: DSW
Location: The Classic Coffee Shop (Lower East Side, NYC)
Another one of my favorite areas to vintage shop in NYC is Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn. I spent this past Monday, a cloudy Memorial Day, vintage shopping in this area, so I decided to make another little shopping guide to my favorite stores in these neighborhoods. Williamsburg is just a short subway ride from Manhattan (one stop on the L train) and you can easily walk to Greenpoint from Williamsburg.
309 Bedford Avenue
Open 11am-8pm daily
Come Here For:
Arbor Vitae is an extremely reasonably priced vintage store. They even have $5 racks out front, where I've scored one of my favorite skirts from.
567 Driggs Ave
Open 9am-9pm daily
Come Here For:
records, books, glassware, antiques, furniture, vintage photos & more!
The name says it all. This giant warehouse has everything from little vintage knick knacks to furniture. It's definitely a lot to dig through, but you can definitely unearth some hidden gems here.
Fox & Fawn
570 Manhattan Ave
Open 12-7:30pm daily
Come Here For:
This store is mostly women's clothes, but they have a small men's section as well. The prices are very reasonable and I've scored several of my favorite vintage finds here!
74 Guernsey St
Open 11am-8pm daily
Come Here For:
Beacon's Closet has several locations here in NYC, and to be honest, I'm not always a fan. Some of their other locations I find to be overcrowded and overpriced for the quality and brands they are selling. However, I like this location because it is very spacious and it is the location where I've seen the largest vintage selection.
10 ft by Stella Dallas
285 N 6th Street
Open 12-7:30pm daily
Come Here For:
Prepare for sensory overload. This store is huge and has a ton of great product. The front of the store is more modern (80's and 90's) and a bit more affordable. The back is older vintage (50's, 60's, 70's) and a tad more expensive. However, all of the product here is extremely well curated and high quality!
I can't believe June is here and 2018 is half way over already. At the start of every year I make goals for myself, and with the midway point here, I like to check in and see where I'm at. When 2017 was wrapping up, I felt like I was finding my footing in a lot of areas of my life. I had high hopes for 2018, but this year has thrown me for a loop. To be honest, recently I've been feeling a lot like this sad cat on the sweatshirt I am wearing in these photos.
At the end of March, I lost my job because the brand I was designing was eliminated. Everything feels very up in the air right now, and I'm caught between struggling to find another design job in an industry that is currently very unstable, and questioning if I even want to stay in fashion or if I want to take this time to explore a new career path.
Since I'm not working a full time job at the moment, I've had a lot more time to dedicate to my blog and Instagram, which has been great since I enjoy creating content so much. However, I've been feeling discouraged recently with my growth and engagement rates on Instagram. I know I shouldn't let the numbers dictate my outlook. However, it's hard to not feel like this is another area of my life that is also unstable or unsuccessful.
Now believe me, I know that things could be A LOT worse. And while I feel down in the dumps about certain areas of my life right now, I've actually accomplished a lot of personal goals so far in 2018. Already this year I've traveled to Memphis and Miami for the first time. I've gone back to dance classes, one of my passions that I've neglected over the last several years. I also got to be an extra for a tv show (The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, which happens to be one of my favorites) which is something I've wanted to do since I moved to NYC five years ago.
The point of this post is not to complain about my failures or brag about my experiences, but to remind myself or anyone reading this that life isn't measured solely by job titles or Instagram analytics. There's something to be said for personal accomplishments, and we should acknowledge these life experiences as well. I often get caught up looking at people my age and feeling like they're so much more accomplished than I am because they have their own home, husband, kids or successful career, all of the accomplishments that society traditionally rewards. But it's important to remember that everyone has a different path. Not everyone accomplishes the same things in the same time frame, and that's okay. For now, I'm going to continue to put myself out there, keep my fingers crossed and just enjoy the ride.
If you're interested in shopping my sweatshirt, you can find it here:
Sweatshirt: c/o Yummy Cactus
Collared Shirt: Vintage; Skirt: Madewell; Sneakers: Madewell; Headband: American Apparel
Location: Schnackenberg's (Hoboken, NJ)
I started taking Instagram "seriously" three years ago, in the beginning of 2015. It was then I consciously started posting photos of more interesting and meaningful things, rather than just photos of my friends and I out at bars. I remember one day that spring I was walking home, and snapped a photo of the animal print flats I was wearing in a pile of pink petals from a cherry blossom tree on my street, then uploaded it to the gram. The following spring, I posted a photo of a cherry blossom tree on my street, this time with a pretty building that has mint green accents on it in the background. And last spring I posted a photo of a cherry blossom tree in front of a historical row home while I was in Philadelphia for the weekend.
It may sound stupid, but I feel like before Instagram, I didn't even notice cherry blossom trees. Social media often gets a bad rap since so many people nowadays feel the need to document every little aspect of their lives, rather than truly live in the moment. And while I agree it is a very fine line between posting what you're passionate about and oversharing, I do think that one benefit of social media is that it has made me more observant of my everyday surroundings. For example, I'm constantly looking out for new locations to shoot or interesting things to photograph. Since my blog and Instagram are vintage inspired, it's helped me notice little remnants of the past, such as an old school door or sign, small details I might not have otherwise noticed.
I shot these photos last week, and by now the trees have all lost their pink petals. It feels like spring is already on its way out and summer is fast approaching, but I wanted to document some cherry blossom trees once again this year. In this post I am wearing a vintage dress I recently bought at the Brooklyn Flea, and paired them with these new shoes I recently received from Charlie Stone Shoes.
If you're interested in shopping my shoes, you can find them here:
I paired these shoes with frilly ankle socks, both for a girly spring look, as well as to help break them in. Wearing cute socks with a new pair of shoes is one of my favorite hacks for breaking in a new pair of shoes. These flats run true to size and are beautifully made. However, like with most leather shoes, they need some time to stretch out a bit.
Shoes: c/o Charlie Stone Shoes
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters; Ring: Kate Spade
Last Friday, I made my first trip of the year to Coney Island. Coney Island is one of my favorite things about New York City summers because it really does have an old school, retro feel to it. Even though most of the attractions are new, there are still a few original rides left.
The Ferris wheel, better known as The Wonder Wheel, was built in 1920. In 1989 it became a historic NYC landmark. The Wonder Wheel is definitely my favorite ride. It's cool getting to see the whole park from a birds eye view, even though it's equally as terrifying too haha. Some of the cars intentionally "swing" during the ride, so make sure you opt for a stationary car (like I do) if this isn't your thing.
The Cyclone is another original ride. It is a wooden roller coaster built in 1927. It also gained NYC landmark status in 1988. I rode this ride once, but to be honest, I wouldn't do it again. Since it is old and wooden, it is super rickety and rough, a very different feel than riding a modern roller coaster.
I'm not a huge ride person, so I mostly just like to go to walk around and enjoy the ambience. And of course I always stop at Nathan's for french fries and lemonade. My friends all swear the hot dogs are amazing too, but I don't eat meat, so I can't directly comment on them, but I'll take their word for it.
I can't wait to go back to Coney Island again this summer!
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Necklace: vintage; Ring: Kate Spade; Sneakers: H&M; Sunglasses: Guess; Headband & Bag: unknown (both were gifts)
Location: Coney Island (Brooklyn, New York)
Finally spring (or really summer, since it's been in the 80's all week) is here! I received this dress from Smak Parlour a few weeks ago, and I've been dying to wear it ever since! This dress has so many of my favorite things rolled into one- mustard yellow, stripes and a high neckline. I thought this playground in Hoboken with its blue and yellow ground would make a great backdrop. I decided to go all the way with the playground theme and buy a hula hoop and bubbles as props. I haven't used either of these things in years, and I forgot how much fun they could be. It felt nice to get outside in the sunshine and be carefree for a change.
If you're interested in shopping my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour
Shoes: Kate Spade; Bracelet: J. Crew; Sunglasses: Vintage
Location: Hoboken, NJ
"Who would ever want to have purple legs?"
I remember one day when I was in high school I heard someone say this in the hallway, only to look down and remember I was wearing plum colored tights that day. I looked behind me to see who made the remark, and realized it was a girl I was "friends" with making fun of me.
I've never been one to stop wearing something just because someone made fun for me for it, but I decided to write a blog post with some tips for wearing colored tights, as I know they can be out of some people's comfort zone when it comes to dressing.
•keep the look neutral
Keep the majority of your look neutral and have the tights be your pop of color, like how the main colors in my outfit here are navy and white.
•anchor the look with sophisticated pieces
Colored tights can easily look juvenile or clownish, but adding more sophisticated elements to your outfit, like my beret and pointy toe flats, will elevate your look.
•tie the look together
If you can add an accessory to pick up the color in your tights, such as a belt, purse or headband, that can really pull the look together. In this case, the lenses in my sunglasses had the same tint as my tights.
Tights: c/o Vienne Milano
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour
Shoes: Franco Sarto (bought from Century 21); Beret: JJ Hat Center; Sunglasses: Vintage
Photos: Jenna McGeehen
Location: The Immigrant (East Village, NYC)
Last week I had the opportunity to visit the TWA lounge located downtown in One World Trade Center. If you are unfamiliar, TWA was an airline that operated from the 1920's to the early 2000's. Visiting this space was an absolute dream come true. I literally felt like I was in an episode of Mad Men. From the retro decor, to the amazing panoramic views of Manhattan, to Frank Sinatra playing over the sound system, I couldn't help but feel inspired. Aside from the amazing vintage furniture and items, the lounge also houses TWA travel posters, flight attendant uniforms throughout the decades and a flight departure display board. They even keep TAB soda and candy cigarettes stocked in the lounge, which I of course used as a prop for these photos.
If you are in NYC, I would definitely recommend visiting the lounge! Since it is located in One World Trade Center, security is very strict, for obvious reasons, so you cannot just walk in. To schedule an appointment, all you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can schedule a visit for yourself, with a larger group or even book the space for an event. Now I'm seriously considering hosting a Mad Men themed party here...
Thank you TWA for letting me live out my Megan Draper fantasies for the day!
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour
Scarf: Target; Sneakers: H&M; Earrings: Trudy's Variety
Location: TWA Lounge in One World Trade Center (Financial District, NYC)