New York Trend Alerts – Spring 2015

Movie Theaters: OUT/ Museums: IN

Oscar season has passed, winter is officially over, and “HBO Now” is finally available, so why would New Yorkers want to pay 15 dollars to pile up in the dark? If you’re not convinced, just google “NYC movie theater bed bugs” and that should do it. Between the new cultural attractions and upcoming exhibits, ain’t nobody got time for movies, unless they are playing in outdoor parks of course. The new Chelsea location of the Whitney Museum just opened, and we can’t wait for the Hudson Yard Culture Shed to arrive in 2018. The High Line will be connecting the two centers for the perfect cultural stroll. In the meantime, The Met is hosting a Van Gogh exhibit this May and the Moma is currently showing Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, an artistic look at the mass movement of African-Americans from South to North that marked the 20th century. Y’all gonna learn today!

Apple Watch: OUT / Ringly: IN

I personally don’t think the Apple Watch was ever “in” but it’s now officially dead – sorry Karl and Queen Bee, maybe it wouldn’t be if we could all get the same custom-made (and free) gold Apple Watch. The New York-based jewelry brand Ringly came up with a much better concept: a tech accessory that will allow you to live in the moment instead of being a slave to your messages and emails. Ringly is the perfect combo for people who do suffer from FOMO but choose to enjoy life. The smart ring is connected to an app allowing you to filter all your notifications. The cute device will change color or vibrate only for things you want to know about. That way, you won’t reach for your phone unless it’s for something important. Hopefully they come up with a design for men soon!

Ringly is available on ShopBop & Bloomingdale’s

Soul Cycle: OUT / Walking: IN

Don’t get me wrong, New Yorkers are still addicted to Soul Cycling. But the fascinating practice of biking in a candle-lit room to a Beyonce/Lady Gaga/90s playlist has already made it to France, which tells me it will soon make it everywhere else, which also tells me that New Yorkers will soon be over it. While waiting for the next crazy work out to take over, walking is making a huge come back. This is mostly thanks to technology: the newest smartphones or wristbands allowing to convert steps into burnt calories motivate people to walk more. Many New York offices started hosting “Walking Challenges” and reward the most active employees on a weekly or monthly basis. Plus, recent studies have shown that “sitting is the new smoking.” We are basically wasting years of our lives and ruining our bodies because…shocking…we weren’t made to stay at a desk all day! So this Spring, ditch the Soul Cycle studio and save $40 for a free walk in Central Park.

Fancy Restaurants: OUT / Fun food districts: IN

If there is one trend in New York that will never go away, it’s food. We will always be foodies and do ridiculous things to try the newest places like waiting in line for two hours or hopping a ferry, a bus and a train to taste the latest treat. But it feels like New Yorkers are no longer down with paying the price of a plane ticket for a fancy yet non-filling meal. Upscale “food districts” seem to be the new hype and a good alternative to boogie restaurants. In the past few months, Gotham Market, City Kitchen and Le District opened in Manhattan, following the foot steps of the successful Eataly and Brookfield Place. Smorgasburg remains a Spring & Summer all time favorite, with an open-air flea market and beautiful view on top of an amazing selection of food vendors. Bon appetit !

Michael Kors: OUT / Backpacks: IN

Has New York’s favorite handbag brand gone out of style? Michael Kors’ shares are down 37%, and it looks like the designer is victim of its own success; now that everyone wears the famous purses, watches and accessories, why would people be willing to pay a premium price? For shopaholics and early adopters, it’s time for a new brand. Until fashion gurus announce the “new Michael Kors,” another trend has made its way to the accessories department: welcome back…to the backpack! The 90s have been invading our closets for a quite a while now, and it wouldn’t be a true revival without the iconic backpack. I knew that the Brooklyn’s hipsters had never really forgotten about it, but it’s now spreading everywhere, from corporate offices to Manhattan nightclubs. So don’t be afraid to embrace the nerd in you!

 

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5 Shows That Capture The Real New York

There are many TV shows that are either shot or set in New York, but only a handful are truly New York-centric. Here’s my top 5 of the ones that capture life in the City in the best and realest way possible:

#5 LOUIE

The only reason why “Louie” stands in fifth position is because it’s harder for me to relate to a mid-age divorced father than let’s say, a columnist with a passion for heels and fabulous girlfriends. But that doesn’t take anything away from the genius of Louis CK. The comedian describes the contrasts of life in New York with subtlety and a sharp sense of humor that is reminiscent of Woody Allen: from the low-key downtown artist life to the loneliness and anxiety of the Big City, “Louie” just gets it. I only wish there was as much jazz in the streets of New York as there is in Louie’s head.

#4 GIRLS

Having no idea where you’re going in life is a pretty common feeling for Millennials living in New York…and whining about it at a vegan Brooklyn coffee shop is their local sport. Yes, Hannah is annoying and that’s why “Girls” only gets the fourth position. I mean the girl has a paid writer position at GQ and quits because it’s not intellectually challenging enough for her? I die. But besides the obnoxious elitism of the show, “Girls” does a great job at capturing the mixed experiences of young adults living in New York. From trying to make it as an artist to having your heart treated like “monkey meat,” “Girls” is the first show to reveal the not-so-glamorous side of life in the City as a twenty something girl in a raw, yet hysterical way.

#3 HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA

A show that was cancelled after two seasons as #3, really? Yes, really. Because to this day, no other one did a better job at grasping the vibrant hustling spirit of New York’s youth. Ben and Cam have that cool group of friends you wish you had when you first arrive in the City. They are all fighting not to get sucked in the system and dream of becoming the best version of themselves. They are creative and street smart but get easily distracted by New York’s random adventures and endless parties. “How To Make It In America” is touching because it represents our complex generation: diverse, ambitious but also incredibly lazy and impatient. I’m still hoping for its return one day.

#2 SEX AND THE CITY

Do I even need to explain? “Sex and the City” was the first show to introduce New York as a character as opposed to a place. The City is one of the girls: it has a personality, a voice, a style. It’s magical, cheeky, and fabulous. “Sex and the City” is a  New York institution, restaurants or neighborhoods featured in each season  reflect what was “in” at the time of the episode, but also set the trend IRL. To this day, we still don’t know how Carrie could afford her stunning brownstone apartment and countless Manolo Blanicks by writing this one magazine column, but it doesn’t matter. The ups and downs of single life in New York and most importantly the sacred aspect of female friendship in such a crazy City are the reasons why the show will forever live on.

#1 BROAD CITY

How can I explain the hilarity of Broad City? If you haven’t started following the adventures of Ilana and Abbi, then stop everything that you are doing and turn on Comedy Central. If you have, then you probably screamed “YAS QUEEEEEN!” while discovering my #1. “Broad City” is simply the best show I’ve discovered in a very long time, and my favorite New York-centric show currently on air. “Broad City” is to 2015 what “Sex and the City” was to 2000. It paints a colorful portrait of what young souls in New York are up to these days: carelessly partying, smoking, Tindering, procrastinating, and laughing…a lot. You wanted “Girls” without all the whining? Broad City did it. Ilana and Abbi who both created and star in the show as fictional versions of themselves don’t take anything too seriously which is what makes the show so real and relatable. “Broad City” wasn’t the result of an all-star production team in search of the next big thing in comedy: it comes from the talent, energy and sass of two New York comedians who were trying to prove their parents they were actually working on something. It has that “Started from as a web series now we’re here” liberating format that makes it unique. Now go binge watch the first two seasons!

What are your favorite New York shows?

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New Yorkers You Will Meet: The Filthy Rich

 

As I often mention it, everyone has a side hustle in the City, but I haven’t told you about mine yet. When I came to New York in 2012, I had the opportunity to work at catering events while I was job-hunting. Now that I have a full-time position, I still do it occasionally for extra money. It’s pretty much like being a waitress or hostess, but at private events, including people’s homes. This is how I’ve gotten to know the surreal world of a New Yorker type I like to call The Filthy Rich.

The filthy rich lives in a loft, preferably in Soho, Chelsea or the Flatiron District. The filthy rich enjoys gigantic books on coffee tables, white furniture, ironic art installations and candles, lots of candles. As a matter of fact, the filthy rich’s weekly candle budget probably equals a month of groceries for you. Electricity is so 2000 and late.

The filthy rich throws fancy parties with his filthy rich friends who like tiny food with complicated names. It takes more time to describe the tiny food than to eat it, but it doesn’t matter. The filthy rich still wants to hear about it:

FILTHY RICH LADY: “And what is this meatball-looking thing?”

ME IN MY HEAD: “You just said it, it’s a meatball.”

ME FOR REAL: “It’s Polpette Alla Romana”

FILTHY RICH LADY: “And what is that?”

ME IN MY HEAD: “It’s free food. FREE FOOD. And it’s so small you will literally burn the calories by chewing it so get over yourself and eat.”

ME FOR REAL: “It’s a meatball. Would you like to try?”

FILTHY RICH LADY: “No, I’m good. It’s so pretty though!”

Oh yes, filthy rich ladies don’t actually eat. I have a theory that they are on a diet called “Eating By Default:” if they hear a thorough description of a food item and stare at it long enough, their bodies somehow gets all the nutrients from it.

Male or female, the filthy rich does make up by drinking. A lot. The filthy rich can’t handle the sight of an empty glass, like, ever. That’s why he hires people whose one and only job is to refill over and over again. The filthy rich’s friends are more important than him. It’s usually the reason for filthy rich events in the first place. The host sometimes requires you to “shadow” a guest, which basically means following them around like a puppy and refill their glass when it’s closed to empty. Just picture going to a party with a Boozy Fairy God Mother. Here’s the challenging part of the job: you can’t wait until the glass is actually empty, because God forbids the filthy rich guest has to stop talking about his new boat and must NOD at you. That would be catering drama.

Some filthy rich people are not that fun because…well, you know…mo’ money mo’ problems! So occasionally, they will hire you as a “party motivator.” Not that this isn’t self-explanatory, but just to be clear: the filthy rich gives you  money to make guests dance and clap their hands. Yes, caterer workers do make a difference in people’s lives.

Overall, the filthy rich isn’t that bad; he usually lets you try the tiny food and tips. But when I grow up and become filthy rich myself, I hope I don’t turn into a filthy rich person.

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10 Times Beyoncé Helped You Deal With New York Life

Because no one else is schoolin’ life better than Queen Bee herself…here’s some advice we can all use when life gets New York tough:

#1 When you wake up and get ready to face the concrete jungle 

#2 When tourists ask you which way Times Square is

#3 When the Starbucks barista misspells your name 

#4 When you’re having a ladies’ power lunch

#5 When someone is messing with your money and there’s really no right way to say it

#6 When people think they can cut you in the Shake Shack line

 #7 When your friends invite you to the Meatpacking 

#8 When you run into the guy you date while he’s on another date

#9 When your friends are flaking on you because it’s raining or snowing

#10 When the door guy at the Box doesn’t believe you’re over 21 

 

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10 Ways New York Changes French People

#1 Eating sausages or bacon in the morning doesn’t totally repel you

#2 Drinking is no longer an after 6 PM activity

#3 You discovered the concept of wearing colors

#4 Taking the train has become a last resort option

#5 Online dating is nothing to be embarrassed about

#6 It’s not weird that everyone is on a constant diet

#7 You said things like “the service was terrible” because you waited 10 minutes for your food

#8 You got used to checking your bank account before ordering cheese and wine

#9 You think that going out on weekends is for tourists

#10 The amount of French people in New York overwhelms you

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Are New York Women Divas?

Ok, we should probably try to define what a diva truly is before even answering that question. For a minute I thought that Beyonce did that a long time ago…

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But if being a diva simply means killing it like Queen Bee, then why was I upset when my bestie Rahima said that New York kind of made me one? That’s because there is this negative, bitchie and whiny connotation behind the word diva. As a New York girl, “Stop being such a diva!” is something I hear all the time – and I swear that it’s (almost) never justified. I’ve noticed a few typical situations that provoke people to call a woman the D word:

#1 She clearly states what she wants

#2 She clearly states what she doesn’t want

#3 She voices her opinion even if not asked

#4 She complains when she doesn’t get what she earned

#5 She has high expectations of people around her

Wait a minute…if you replace “She” by “He,” you have the description of every single man across the five boroughs. New Yorkers are known for being confident, bold, and anti-bullshiters.In this City more than anywhere else, hustlers were born and are celebrated. So why are we called divas when men would be called hustlers? Well, probably for the same reason why we are sluts when men are bachelors. Taking risks, being determined and ambitious are characteristics that make great men and, apparently, not so great women.

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Has becoming a New Yorker changed my behavior and the way I interact with people? Maybe. But the consuming nature of life here changes anyone. New York women may be more demanding than the average person, but that’s because New York demands more than the average place. While the City keeps us just as busy as men – if not more because, let’s face it, we have to stay fly – we still have to work harder to be on equal terms. Yup, for every 77 cents that we make, they get one dollar…and we should be softer?

As much as I’m feeling Beyonce’s definition, people use the word diva as the sexist version of a hustler, and not like she intended. But New York women are just standing their ground like anyone else. They are not divas, they are true hustlers…in heels.

 

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10 New York Facts That Every Girl Should Know

#1 Thanking Strangers Who Are Being Nice Is Safe nicki Where I’m from, thanking or smiling to that random guy who said something nice is not always the best idea. In New York, not only strangers wish you “a blessed day,” but you can politely answer without the fear of being chased down to your door step.

#2 In Fact, If No One Compliments You…Something Is Wrong braxton-hotmess If you’re looking good, New Yorkers will let you know. You didn’t get your daily dose of “Damn girl” on your way to work today? You may want to reconsider your outfit, makeup, or attitude.

#3 Promoters Are Your Best Friends satc3414 In some countries, inviting girls to the club and showering them with free drinks all night could be the definition of pimpin’. In New York, this is a normal job and there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it!

#4 Hair Blowouts Are Life Savers summerbey2 There is no such thing as a bad hair day in New York; you can get it done anywhere! For girls on a budget, you only need 20 dollars to look like Queen Bee in neighborhoods like Chinatown or Washington Heights.

#5 Paying Full Price For Clothes Is Not Normal shopping Sales here are an ongoing event! So before buying that Michael Kors purse full price, take a trip to Century 21, Marshalls, or other outlet shops outside of the City to find your happiness for less!

#6 Dating Multiple People Is Ok  

jessa-girls-attractedSeeing more than one person at the same time would be something you do on the low in many other cities in the world. No need to sneak around in New York: dating and being in a relationship are two different things!

#7 “You Look Skinny” Is A Compliment skinny bitches The first time someone told me I was skinny, I worried about my health and ran to Shake Shack. But don’t get it twisted: “skinny” is the new “thin” in the City.  It’s the ultimate compliment, especially coming from another woman or a gay man.

#8 “Natural Flavor” Labels Don’t Mean Shit liar When you are a country girl like me, you are not expecting food labels to be sneaky. Here, “Natural Flavor” labels don’t mean that a certain product was made with natural ingredients; it only says that it tastes like it was.

#9 Brunch Is An Excuse For Day Drinking Zooey-Drink-Quote In most places, brunch is supposed to cure your hangover with a nice omelet and fresh squeezed orange juice, but brunch in New York is an extension of your Saturday night; it involves unlimited alcohol and dancing on tables.

#10 Mani/Pedis Will Improve Your Social Life nails You will not be judged as shallow for rocking a neo orange or pastel pink at work. You will be respected for it. Getting your nails done is not a superficial activity in Manhattan: it’s a conversation starter with your boss, random girls on the train, and a Girl Power statement.

 

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