Les Gaufres, The Waffles

photo copyI have an unhealthy addiction to beautiful photographs of beautiful people.

I check Instagram every thirty minutes and log onto Tumblr for hours at a time. I go on Facebook to stalk the people with glittering lives and find them through what I can only imagine to be sheer desperation. The glitziest crowd is the Manhattanites. I once met a dark-haired girl over the summer who lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side, a true-life Gossip Girl in the flesh, hailing from Argentina’s international elite, with a backstory worthy of a Pulitzer Prize winning novel.

She vacations in Paris with her closest girlfriends, and they parade around the hotel room with thin flutes of champagne and dressed in nothing but white bathrobes, probably scented with roses. I know this because there are pictures of it all over Facebook. It’s an absurd life, but it looks amazing on camera, frozen into place and glossed over with a vintage filter. Nothing looks quite right these days without a filter over it. In fact, it would be a real discomfort, an act of defiance, to see a photo Instagrammed in unvarnished color, with no sepia or burnt-orange tinges and only the truth, black and white as ever. Continue reading


A Riotous Introduction of Sorts.

tumblr_mjlbvy7zp71r0hz4io1_1280I grew up in a world of mildly rich people with dippy problems.

These problems often concern serious trifles gone awry. A majority of them deal with the three final rungs on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Belonging, Self-Esteem, and Self-Actualization. As for the people, we’re not The Rich Kids of Instagram. We don’t have inheritances or titles. But many of us are moderately wealthy tykes of the Lexus-driving variety and we all just graduated from the Academy, which comes with its own presumptions. We’re (more or less) well-educated and well-off, and we advocate for little brown children in South America via Valencia-tinged Instagram feeds. We’re also fiercely suburban, albeit in denial of the fact. As it seems, life is an absolute idyll for us, as absolute an idyll as the 1950s American Dream in 2014 can be.

Continue reading

Announcement (plus a story, which is why this post is so long)

If anyone out there reads this blog regularly, you’ve probably noticed the dwindling number of posts I’ve been getting around to. Truth be told, my fashion blogging craze has begun to lose its sparkle and I’ve started drifting off towards other quote-on-quote “creative projects.” Over the past week, I’ve been cooking up a short story, so I’ll post the first few paragraphs at the end of this post to prove it to you. Hopefully, I’ll be blending in more creative pieces into the typical fodder of le blog.

Start of untitled short story:

The golden sun, milky and pure, that poured into the road took me by surprise. And so did the skinny ribbon of cracked asphalt, and the wheat fields miles away from any shopping center or subdivision. Something raw and wild crept out from behind the landscape. From the rusty pick up trucks that spotted the curbs, to the creaking traffic lights that swung above the intersections, something was wedged between the cracks of it all that felt blissfully untouched. I couldn’t tell you how, but the world that lined route 463 felt perfectly removed from the rest of the universe that whirled beyond it. It was a beautiful anachronism, the idea of a two-lane road that stretched for miles like a quaint curving stripe. I sped along it with a goofy smile smeared on my face and music pumping through the speaker system, a study in smooth happiness.
Eventually, I reached the hills. They bubbled up and down making the road rise and fall and twist back over itself. I drove right past Mill Road, where I was supposed to turn right. I had to make a looping U-turn through a sparse neighborhood in order to get back to it. Driving on Mill Road was like riding a children’s roller coaster, one of those wooden Gemini Jr. ones that didn’t have any upside-down loops but had plenty of swooping turns and drops. I thought it was a sheer delight. And between the skinny skeletons of trees, when I rounded a bend, I could catch a glimpse of a huge basin of water beyond. It almost looked like a wide river if you didn’t know any better. The hills cradled it into a valley where it shimmered like dull silver.

I drove along Mill Road for 2.7 miles until it brought me to a mailbox labeled 1129. A long driveway stretched behind it leading to a house that couldn’t be seen. I pulled in slowly, rolling along the ashen pavement and passing a carved wooden sign that read “Fantasy Farm” in large, cartoonish letters. The house was made of dark panels of wood punctuated with black triangles for décor. Another big black triangle of a roof sloped casually over everything. It was a squat, horizontal house, only two floors high, and it sat like a solemn wooden dwarf in a forest clearing. The air around it had an evergreen tint, and the grass at its feet was a faded olive. It all felt a bit tired, as if the dwarf-house had been waiting for someone to arrive. But the moment people came, every crease of weariness melted into a warm welcome.

Snapshots No. 8 – Internet Roundup

Judging from my lack of updates, you have complete right to accuse me of lazy blogger syndrome these past few weeks. For some reason, I blog in a fashion similar to a cyclical weather climate. I shift from a manic storm of posts within two days, wind gusts at 40 mph, to light sprinkles scattered here and there, partly cloudy. Why can’t I adopt the temperate weather of California or some other sunny state that’s consistently 75 degrees and mostly sunny.

Anyway, enough of my rants to be a better blogger. I have here for you today the roundup of my latest adventures through the internet. Start off your weekend with some fresh inspiration and a dollop of good world-wide-web fodder:


1. Are you the jet-setting, cultured type (or aspiring to be) and have nothing to do this fine Saturday? Check out the Monocle Weekend Agenda for some ideas, such as Parisian art and re-imagined London architecture.

2. Continuing with the Monocle theme, have a listen to the latest Urbanist broadcast about the value of a “third space” between work and home. You’ll hear from Ray Oldenburg, the author of The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community

3. Thinking about joining the running cult? Have a look at what the world would be like if everyone ran via this bit from Refinery29.

4. For the creative artist in you, try this Brain Pickings article called “Tchaikovsky on Work Ethic vs. Inspiration.”

5. And if you aren’t sure if you’re the creative type, read this widely popular piece from HuffPost on “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.”

6. Fashionistas will appreciate Vogue’s new My Life in Vogue project, featuring videos of regular people and their stylish lives.

7. Retail junkies or lovers of Creatures of Comfort should check out these two stores: Hare + Hart (sustainable leather fashion that would go great with your globally inspired look) and Maryam Nassir Zadeh (a bright, refreshing boutique featuring an exquisite array of lesser known designers to whip out, if you’re into that kinda thing). While we’re at it, have a look at my earlier post on Merci, an amazing concept store in France.

8. I love my indie magz. See what I’m reading on my Issuu profile.

9. Are you into design? Continue the hunt at habitusliving.com

10. And last but certainly not least, go visit Blouinartinfo.com if you haven’t already. Such a classic for any culture nerds, art lovers, and high-fashion aficionados out there.

Movie Musings – Masculin Féminin

Masculin Féminin is bursting with literary allegories, motifs, and themes. One could do a feminist interpretation of the way Madeleine constantly plays with her hair and touches up her makeup. One could psychoanalyze the scene where Catherine eats an apple. But I, for one, will spare you all that in lieu of a feverishly written fit of personal opinion…

Seeing this movie, I felt like a Parisian café dweller eavesdropping on a particular group of people as I watched the world go by. The dialogue was so natural and unvarnished, it could only be the fragments of an overheard conversation. Like an extension of the French custom of people-watching, this film celebrated those little details, plot lines, and tiny idiosyncrasies that you fill in about someone when you pass him or her on the streets. Skipping to the beat of France in the ’60s, this movie presents a perfectly imperfect picture of life as a blithe adolescent in that time and place. Continue reading



Excuse me as I indulge in a quick blitz of some pure, unadulterated fashion today. If I were to take a shot at the vintage-modern style paradox, I’d picture something of this sort. Chic, old-fashioned shoes, luxurious satin shorts, a trendy turtleneck and a classic handbag blend together for a perfect tension of eras. Accessorize that with a slightly art deco statement necklace and lush, noir-rouge lips and you’ll be posh as a Ritz.And here’s a swanky little tune to serve as soundtrack:


P.S. As far as music on the blog goes, I’ve been dying to throw in some of my favorite globally sourced songs. I’m thinking of doing a World Café weekly special featuring all kinds of fun, eclectic things, so stay posted folks.

Snapshots No. 7 – Due to Inclement Weather…

Speaking from giddy experience, there’s nothing more fantastic than a snow day except another completely unexpected snow day, announced just as your first one draws to a reluctant close. The phrase “due to inclement weather” is a beautiful thing indeed. I’ve been whiling away my sweet time reading a great book (Specialty Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, which, for those who might not know, is not in fact a discourse on colliding particles but a whirring fiction novel that sweeps one off his/her feet) and drinking Keurig’s Single Cup Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa. If you’re familiar with Blue van Meer, I’m starting to think my writing has subconsciously picked up a “Bluish” tint to it. As in, I feel like I’m talking like the character whose murder-mysterious, electrifying world I’ve currently fallen into..

To book lovers the world over, pick up this read for your next escapade. It’s crackling with intelligence (there are more esoteric literary, political, and academic references in this novel than snow flakes on my front lawn),  brimming with one-of-a-kind analogies (“If Servo were in a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, he’d be the Painfully Tragic character, the one who wore bronze suits and alligator shoes”), full of marvelous observations (“The fluorescent lights made a soured halo around his hair so he looked like a hand-painted Jesus one finds hanging on clammy walls of churches that smell of Gruyère.” And also, “Shutting down disturbances…was the only reason Ms. Hambone ever emerged from her office, where she allegedly spent her day shopping http://www.QVC.com for Easter Limited-Quantity Collectibles and Goddess Glamour Jewelry.”), and populated by extremely three-dimensional, larger than life characters that threaten to step off the page and invite you to a cup of coffee, or, depending on who you’re dealing with here, invite you to go camping only to leave you stranded in the forest.

There I go again, talking like the narrator of whatever book I’m reading at the time. It’s a pesky habit I have.


I’m so excited to tell you guys about Smarthistory! I featured Artsy.net back in August and now, here’s another way the internet is boosting my right-brained soul. Smarthistory.com “is the leading open educational resource for art history.” In short, this is a gold mine for budding autodidacts like myself eager to learn how to find enlightenment in a tasteful dab of paint. Academic yet accessible essays and videos will teach you how to appreciate all those enigmatic pieces, the ones you know have some sort of cultural significance lurking behind that funny tree squiggle and blob of a person.  To get started, here are some videos and articles to read and watch: a delightful video on the art of making Greek vases, an introduction to Impressionism, an enlightening discussion on Couture’s Roman’s of the Decadence, an intro to Buddhism, a study of Giotto’s Arena Ghapel, an analysis of Matisse’s Luxe, calme et volupté, and, my favorite so far, an essay about Matisse’s Goldfish.

Mike Frederiqo Fashion Illustrations

I’m a recent émigré to the whimsical world of illustrations. Its polka-dot elephants and sassy stars (Marc Johns) beat reality a hundred to one. This fanciful planet is already populated by a furry bear playing a keyboard and another dressed as a narwhal (Julia Pott), but now, the style legends have entered the realm, thanks to Mike Frederiqo and his peachy fashion illustrations. You might have already seen them making their rounds on the internet. Nevertheless, enjoy some inspiration today with these bendy, stretchy logos as they pay an offbeat homage to sartorial greats. Anna Wintour looks quite charming like that, wouldn’t you say?
P.S. Blogging will be suffering a bit of a setback as first semester ends. Please excuse the hiatus over the next few days as I’ll be busy with phosphorylation cascades, G-protein-linked receptors, and cyclic AMP…. Oh how I wish I could activate a transcription factor triggering a gene for the instant memorization protein.