diner girl: best diners in nyc
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
1226 Lexington Avenue (Upper East Side, 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
314 Court Street (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.
1110 Washington Street (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
meet me at the movies
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)