Well, people. You know that saying that it takes as many days to get back in the game as you were gone? I think I needed like 3 overtimes. My trip to New York for the gift show was inspirational, as was being down in Florida with family (and a little work in there too!), but when I got back into the saddle last Monday, I really needed to kick it. And kick it I did. Now, on the 8th day, I feel like I can finally take a few moments to sit down and share some of the awesomeness that happened in the Big Apple.
Let's start by saying, a trip to New York is revitalizing on many different levels. You are surrounded by fresh perspectives, trending designs and culinary exploration all nestled in with the liveliness of the city that never sleeps. As I arrived in the late afternoon I was famished. I met my friend, Brad, and headed straight to Whitmans to get their "Juicy Lucy" (not to be confused with a Loosey Goosey) and some kale chips. While you can't go wrong with a cheese stuffed burger (please keep in mind about a month ago I was considering embracing being a pseudo vegetarian- only feathers and scales- but I am still having intense moments of weakness) it was the kale chips that got me. I gobbled them up so quickly I was wearing the crumbs as we exited the restaurant, as Brad nicely noted.
After Whitmans, we headed over to Kingston Hall to meet my friends, Ashlie & Liz, at a cozy fireside table that was the perfect way to escape the impending snow (that obviously followed me from Michigan!). One would never guess that on the other side of a fairly bland lobby a wood paneled, Jamaican club house awaits. It was as though we walked into a buzzing secret society of young professionals sipping on anything from coconut rum to draft beer. Where do you go after downing a Juicy Lucy, fried kale and a pint of Brooklyn Brew? To pizza, of course! We popped over to Nicoletta, a pizzeria that is managed by a fabulous chef in her own right, Tedo, who graduated from high school with us. To say she showered us with delectable appetizers would be an understatement. It. Was. Fabulous. You are probably wondering where the design happens in all of this, but after partaking in round II of culinary delights we decided to head home to rest up for the marathon of design inspiration that was about to commence.
Obviously, one cannot enter into a day filled with design heart palpitations and miles upon miles of vendors without first having some sort of sustenance. First Stop: Breakfast.
Enter, NYIGF. Many of my pictures might seem to be taken on the run. So much to see. So little time. Next year we might have a more organized approach, but for 2013 our plan of attack consisted of snapping photos, grabbing brochures and moving on (follow up research can be done at home on the computer!).
I loved these feathers so much it had me hoping that feathered flair a la Chief Crazy Horse will be in style for 2013.
Gift Show Warriors.
It was a creatives work out. Our dogs were barking. Our bags were heavy. Our backs hurt. Whoever said being an interior designer is for the weak has never walked a day in our shoes. This is tough work, people! So you might ask what one does after putting up the good fight? The answer is simple. Food. Our restaurant of choice was the fabulous Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel. After gorging on melt-in-your-mouth pasta we decided to hit up some retail destinations. Pictured Above: ABC Carpet & Home. Undoubtedly, to soak in all the inspiration one must spend at least 20 minutes testing out these extra deep and extra comfy sofas.
By the way, Brad & Ashlie, who were my fabulous hosts, might live on the cutest street in the East Village. Pure atmosphere. There is this constant yet quite noise, mixed with an almost desirable grit that makes this block seem magical. It's like a modern day Dickensian scene- minus all the squalor.
As Saturday closed, Brad, Ashlie and I headed to Brooklyn to have dinner at our friend's, Lee & Deeva, apartment. It was taco night. And kale salad night. Annnddd... I could have had a cocktail made with the kale salad dressing and have been perfectly happy (is there a theme here?!). We gathered 'round the projector and relived Leeva's recent trip to India. 1,700 images, countless entertaining stories, good ol' friends, a well deserved glass of wine and, of course, the kale all made for a fabulous way to unwind.
Sunday consisted of a early morning walk to Peels for breakfast and then a quick jaunt around SoHo before heading back to the gift show for round II. This was deemed the follow up, revisit, get-a-second-glace, sneak more photos, take some measurements day.
It also turned into the day where we ran into multiple friends designing for babies, designing for weddings or just being busy working bees.
As I parted I felt very lucky on many different levels. The "always" theme is I constantly am reminded that I'm lucky to have such awesome, welcoming and supportive friends. The over arching theme is that I love what I do. I love that I can work in a world where people are constantly surprising me, inspiring me and motivating me. Yeah, I know- me,me,me,me. But in all seriousness, it's a big world out there and people are not afraid to test the limits and take a chance. New York definitely illustrates this take charge, entrepreneurial industrialist attitude and a reintroduction to that, if even for the weekend, is enough to fly back to the midwest with a little lightness in my chest and a wide eyed view of what we can do in this world.