January 12, 2015

New York: Spontaneous Chelsea Market Trip

75 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Chelsea Market is a marketplace located in the very hip Meatpacking District in New York City that has a variety of food vendors and little shops to create a unique shopping and eating experience. I've read about this place since I have come to the city and have been wanting to go and eat my heart out.

The market has over thirty-five unique vendors ranging from seafood havens to bakeries to Moroccan goods store. I went close to closing time and didn't get to visit all of them, but you can get a good sense just by walking through the architectural beautiful space.

The Lobster Place was the top place I wanted to visit. My boyfriend and I shared a 1 1/2 pound lobster to keep room for other eats and it was absolutely delicious. We also shared a cup of amazing clam chowder. It was ready within a few minutes of ordering and the meat was steamy and tender. They had a huge selection of fresh fish and even a sushi bar and oyster bar that I need to go back to try.

Another place I had to visit was Los Tacos No.1. The simple taco place was the only place we visited that had a long line even though they were about to close, but it went by quickly and the food was prepared within minutes. The handmade tortillas were the perfect vehicle to carry the fresh ingredients and, because seating is limited throughout the space, we scarfed them down standing up, but still throughly enjoyed them.

After walking around a bit, we started craving something sweet so we stopped by Fat Witch for some of their famous brownies. The caramel and chocolate chunk brownies were the perfect desserts.

Although this has been on my to-visit list for quite some time, I came here after an emergency trip to the Apple Store right down the street and decided to stop for a bite. I had heard that it is usually very crowded so I was glad in the end that we came during an off time. If you are visiting the city or even live here, Chelsea Market is a great place to get food or to just walk around.

January 9, 2015

Recent Reads

When I was younger, I used to love reading. I would love going to the bookstore with my mom to pick out a new book and I would beg to get two because I knew I would finish the first one within a day. After I entered college, it was harder to enjoy reading since I had to read difficult and sometimes boring works for class, but I still tried to read in my free time instead of binge-watching TV shows in Netflix...

I used to be an avid supporter of 'real' paper books, but I received a Kindle Paperwhite as a gift during the holidays and I have become an electronic reader lover. It is so much more convenient ergonomically to hold a light tablet instead of trying to keep a book open and since I have been trying to cut down on my physical possessions, the Kindle makes it easy to see my whole book collection in one hand without taking up any space on a bookshelf. I also love that it is connected to GoodReads so I can easily see what books are on my 'to-read' list and buy them straight on the device.

I just finished reading Amy Poehler's book Yes Please on my Kindle because I was too excited to use it and it was a book I had been wanting to read. It was exactly how a book by Amy Poehler would be: cute, funny, touching, and very real. Like other comedienne's memoir books it did include a lot of her personal pictures which would have been nice to see in person/color, but it was still enjoyable to read on the device.

I've also been trying to finish reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami since I started it last summer, but never found the time or would get into a lull. I picked it up again after I finished Yes Please and it picked up immediately. I read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami before and I knew I enjoyed his works, but found that with that book I would sometimes get distracted or bored as well. By the end of it, however, I loved it and it became a favorite. I've heard good things about Norwegian Wood as well and can't wait to finish it. Next, I'm going to try to get through some classics I have never read (This Side of Paradise on deck!). Hopefully, I will be able to finish my goal of reading 30 books in 2015. Would love any book recommendations you have!

January 7, 2015

2015 Color of the Year: Marsala

Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year is Marsala and described on their website as "a naturally robust and earthy wine red." Well, when I hear marsala, I think of Indian food. Either way, I am fully on board for a rich burgundy, red-brown color for this year. Whether you go for a deep wine or an oxblood color (ha...remember oxblood?!), be sure to incorporate this nice earthy tone into your winter wardrobe.

January 5, 2015

Instagram Accounts You MUST Follow!

I actually cannot remember what life was like before Instagram. Today, it is the first thing I check when I wake up and the last thing I check before I sleep. Although it has changed more into a mini-picture-blog rather than a Twitter-with-images like it used to be, it has introduced me to some phenomenal photographers that are armed with only a smartphone.

@PARISINFOURMONTHSThere is no other account that will make you envy life in Paris more. Her beautiful blog is also one of my favorite places to visit.

Alex is a graphic designer for one of my favorite brands, Madewell, and her aesthetic really encompasses their cool fresh look.

Everlane is one of the few brands I follow on Instagram because they show a really cohesive lifestyle to their clothing.

This account truly shows the importance and beauty of shoes.

Steffi's account is a minimal black and white wonderland with images of her awesome outfits as well as some cool decor pieces.

Lucy does not only take images of flowers, but look how amazing they are! Definitely some of my favorites.

Amy takes crisp and cool images full of color or snaps of her West Village neighborhood. Again, amazing pictures of blooms!

I love looking at creative flat-lay displays (where there are a bunch of items laid out in a nice way) and this is what Sharon specializes in. I love that she has recently started to take more images of her decor and food excursions, but every single piece she photographs is beautiful and feminine.

If you're still looking for more accounts to follow, you can find mine at @rachpark_ or for more NYC food-based photos check out @thebitemark. Happy 'gramming!

January 2, 2015

20 Basic Wardrobe Essentials

Everyone has a different definition of what is considered a must-have in their closets, but for me the basics are best in neutral colors and high quality fabrics. The styles should be very simple and classic to make them versatile in any season. Before I buy any new seasonal items, I am trying to build my capsule wardrobe of basics so that I don't find myself struggling to find something to wear or buy unnecessary things. 

When cleaning out my closet while moving, I realized I had so many clothes that didn't fit/were very old/were not my style anymore. I tried not to hold on to any items just for sentimental value and instead thought long and hard about whether the piece would fit into my style now and whether I could picture myself wearing it for a while. My end goal is to create a minimal wardrobe in which I actually wear and love every article of clothing.

Do you have any other basic wardrobe essentials?