style cues from the crazies of nyc

The Inspiration:

Walking around the streets of NYC you are bound to run into some crazy characters. There’s the usual person who talks to himself, the random panhandlers on the subway, and the occasional homeless person who will start screaming at you for no apparent reason. But my favorite characters are the ones that express themselves through eccentric fashion. Whether it’s Miss Columbia with his puppy and parrot, or the green lady, the guy that wears different leotards and screams at people in Union Square, or a random alien dude walking around the park on a Sunday afternoon with a giant colorful pyramid, I LOVE running into these guys.

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Obviously, the best place to get style inspiration is from the crazies on the street. So, this week in an effort to fit in with the colorful characters of New York, I decided to brighten up my style with some colorful highlights. Not being ready for a permanent membership to the crazy club, and inspired by Pinterest, I tried out pastel hair chalking.

The How To:

Just like  (almost) everything else in life, the best place to start for any “how to” is watching someone else do it on YouTube. There are about a million hair chalking how-to videos, I found this one to be the most helpful.

All you need to chalk your hair is a flat iron, a curling iron, and chalk pastels ($10ish at craft stores, make sure not to get oil pastels).

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From there it’s as easy as 1-2-3 (and 4).

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Start with wet hair, I found it worked better to wet each section right before chalking it. Make sure you wear a shirt you don’t really care about, because this will get very messy. Apply a heavy layer of chalk to each section you want colored, use the brightest colors for darker hair. Once you have all of the sections covered in chalk, seal the color in by drying your hair with a flat iron (make sure the iron is on low-medium heat, higher heat settings melt off the chalk and damage your hair more). Once the hair is dry, curl the ends and hair spray the crap out of them. And voila!

The Results:

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Right after the chalking, my hair looked fantastic in the bight, sunny lighting of my bedroom! But the colors didn’t show as well in less brightly lit areas. The pinks and blues had much brighter results than the purples and greens.

About six hours later, I couldn’t see any color on my hair, the same couldn’t be said about my gray shirt which was now covered in a layer of pink and purple dust (again, if you chalk your hair don’t wear any clothes you really care about).

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I was beginning to chalk (tee hee) the whole thing up to just another DIY fail that should go up on Pintstrosity, or some other craft fail site. But then something strange happened, I went to meet some friends at a bar, and someone took a picture of me with flash… and just like magic the colors were back! You couldn’t see them at all in real life, but for some reason they showed up in pictures with flash.
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So I guess the lesson to be learned here is, if you’re going chalk your hair, just stay in well lit, sunny places and take lots of pictures with flash.

sona and the three apartments

Looking for an apartment in New York is the most time consuming, frustrating, torturous, nightmare of an experience from hell. First there’s the countless hours of browsing Craigslist, Naked Apartments, Pad Mapper, and every realtor’s website ever. Trying to sift through all the scams, figuring out which apartments are just “bait and switch” listings (yep, that’s a thing), and trying to guess from syntax clues which potential roommates are crazies. Then there’s emailing to set up appointments and trying to write an email in a way that doesn’t make you sound like a crazy. Image

After that comes the very exciting part of running all over the city looking at apartments that are the size of a small LA closet, have no windows, are actually just a platform built over someone else’s living room, have one shared bathroom for the entire floor of the building (seriously), and have rents higher than the average mortgage on a three bedroom house in any other city. After doing this for weeks and weeks, you decide that it’s probably better to never leave your current apartment, even if you have to stop eating to afford the newly raised rent. At least you’ll be skinny, right?

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I’ve been on the apartment hunt since mid January. And this Friday, just like many others before it, I set out to look at some more apartments. But this time things went a little differently than before, I actually found 3 apartments that I liked all within my price range!

Apartment 1: Too Dingy

The first stop took me across the bridge to Williamsburg. Located in a fun and trendy neighborhood full of great bars and restaurants, tons of vintage shops, and soooo many cute boys, this place was already at the top of my list before I even got there. The first “Nope” was the climb up to the sixth floor of a walk up building that smelled like mold and old people, but it wasn’t a dealbreaker. Then I met the roommates who were a really great couple in their mid twenties. I instantly liked them and decided that I wanted to live with them, even if living with couples is generally a bad idea. The third bedroom in the apartment was also vacant, so that left the possibility of a crazy moving in which wasn’t exactly great. The building had an amazing rooftop terrace with a view of the Manhattan skyline. The room itself was ok, pretty small but not unlivable, with a window that looked on to another building. Then I walked into the bathroom and instantly “Noppppped” out of there. For visual purposes, take a look at an only slightly exaggerated image of what the bathroom looked like below. There was dust in the sink! The one place where water runs through and is practically impossible to get dusty was covered in a thick layer of dust!

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Apartment 2: Too Pristine

Apartment number two was all the way up on the Upper East Side. Walking up to it on the clean streets lined with chain retail stores and designer boutiques, I knew this wasn’t exactly the type of neighborhood I wanted to live in. But then I walked into the apartment. This apartment was like nothing I had ever seen before in NYC. It was beautiful. A three bedroom duplex with a huge living room, decent sized rooms, and a bathroom in each bedroom! My. Own. Bathroom. I was in love. The roommates were nice enough girls, though a little bit older in their early 30s. I was beginning to reconsider my commitment to being “more of a downtown person”. What the heck did I know anyway, I’d only been here a year! Maybe I could be an “uptown girl”. But the girl who would live in an apartment like this just wasn’t me. She’s the girl that’s getting ready in the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada that’s not Anne Hathaway, the girl that’s polished and put together, the girl that grabs her designer bag and coffee from the corner Starbucks as she hops into a cab to her high power, glamorous job. This girl could be me in a few years, but it just isn’t me now. Again for visual purposes, see a slightly exaggerated image  of what the apartment looked like below.

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Before I had even reached apartment 3, I had heard back from both places saying that they wanted me to move in. So here I was, trying to decide if I wanted to live the Girls life or the Sex And The City one. On one hand I could live in a crappy apartment in a fun, young neighborhood full of people that were trying to figure out their lives, or I could live in a beautiful apartment in a more polished, grown up neighborhood with people who seemed to have things figured out already. Decisions, decisions….

Apartment 3: Just Right

As soon as I walked in I knew this was home. It took me about 30 seconds to tell the girl I’ll take it.

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Located in the best neighborhood in the city (in my slightly biased opinion), the East Village, only a few blocks away from my current place, this apartment was exactly what I was looking for in a New York apartment. It’s in an old, red brick building (is there a proper name for those?), a walk up but only on the 2nd floor, has an exposed brick wall, and an old (none functioning) fire place in the bedroom. There’s a fire escape right outside my window, which looks out to Tompkins Square Park across the street and the Empire State Building in the distance. Sure, I’ll be giving up some of the comforts of my current place, like a doorman, a gym, laundry, and a roof deck. But who needs all those things when you have a beautiful place in the prefect location right? (I may come to regret this)

So after months and months of searching, I’ve finally found the perfect place! I’m so excited to move, and even more excited to decorate! Everybody celebrate!

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