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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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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Are You Americanah?

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From being a single lady to a grown woman, there is not much that Beyonce didn’t teach me in life. But if there is one thing I would have never expected Queen Bee to pass on to me, it’s Nigerian literature.

We all heard a mysterious woman talking about gender equality in the middle of the song “Flawless.” The beautiful, determined and resilient voice intrigued me right away and is no other’s than the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. After watching a few of her Youtube videos, I fell in love with the author’s sassiness and ended up buying her latest book, Americanah.

Who knew I would relate so much to the hero’s story, largely inspired by the Ngozi’s experience as an expatriate in America? Ifemelu is a Nigerian girl who moves to the USA to study and becomes aware of her skin color, culture, and passion in the process. Saying that I loved this book would be an understatement, so here are ten reasons why you will too, featuring a few sneak peeks:

#1 If You grew up with the American Dream, and most specifically the New York Dream

” ‘You look like a black American’ was the ultimate compliment, which he told her when she wore a nice dress, or when her hair was done in large braids. Manhattan was his zenith. He often said: ‘It’s not as if this is Manhattan’ “

#2 If you struggled to get a visa and were traumatized by the whole process

” Many of the internationals understand the trauma of trying to get an American visa and that is a good place to start a friendship.”

#3 If you’ve had to deal with roommates

” She was standing at the periphery of her own life, sharing a fridge and a toilet, a shallow intimacy, with people she didn’t know at all. People who lived in exclamation points. “Great!” they said often. “That’s great!” People who did not scrub in the shower (…) and this, the absence of a sponge, made them seem unreachably alien to her.”

#4 If contemplating the American food industry leaves you speechless

” All his life, he had eaten oranges without seeds, oranges grown to look perfectly orange and to have faultless skin and no seeds, so at eight years old he did not know that there was such a thing as an orange with seeds.”

#5 If you ever were the “Exchange Student”

” I. Need. You. To. Feel. Out. A. Couple. Of. Forms. Do. You. Understand. How. To. Fill. These. Out? and she realized that Cristina Tomas was speaking like that because of her, her foreign accent, and she felt for a moment like a small child, lazy-limbed and drooling. ‘I speak English’ she said. “

#6 If listening to American students thinking out loud in class was painful

” School in America was easy (…) but she was uncomfortable with what the professors called “participation,” and did not see why it should be a part of the final grade; it merely made students talk and talk, class time wasted on obvious words, hollow words, sometimes meaningless words. It had to be that Americans were taught, from elementary school to always say something in class, no matter what. “

#7 If you hustled hard to find a job in the US and felt extreme frustration

” Ifemelu wanted to fling the phone away. Keep her in mind. Why would Ginika even repeat such an empty expression, “keep her in mind” ? “

#8 If you know how it feels to be broke in America

” It was late autumn, the trees had grown antlers, dried leaves were sometimes trailed into the apartment, and the rent was due. Her roommates’ checks were on the kitchen table, one on top of the other, all of them pink and bordered by flowers. She thought it unnecessarily decorative, to have flowered checks in America; it almost took away from the seriousness of a check. “

#9 If you were fascinated by race issues in the US

” Why didn’t she just ask ‘Was it the black girl or the white girl?’ Ginika laughed. “Because it’s America. You’re supposed to pretend that you don’t notice certain things.”

#10 If you created a blog about your experience in America

” Sometimes they say “culture” when they mean race. They say a film is mainstream when they mean “white folks like it or made it.” When they say “urban” it means black and poor and possibly dangerous and potentially exciting. “Racially charged” means we are uncomfortable saying ‘racist.’ “

In conclusion, if you feel like a foreigner in the US but like an American everywhere else, you are (and will love) Americanah.

Order the book here

 

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