NYC

Our 14G: a minimalist New York City studio apartment

I recently realized that I can no longer tell people I have been living in Los Angeles for "about 6 months." For some reason 6 months made me feel like I was still new here, fresh off the plane. But it has been 9 months, and pretty soon it will be a year! It's crazy to me how at home I feel here but also how new it all still seems. I still remember my commute to and from my lovely little apartment, the long waits for an elevator, and the casual conversations with our doormen like ti was yesterday. 

Probably needless to say (because if you've followed along for a while you know how neurotic I can be) but I panicked a little about our new home still having so many unfinished projects. This past weekend I decided to start honing in on them which led me down memory lane (aka my camera roll) looking for inspiration. Thats when I decided to put my numerous photos of our old place to use. 

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Our apartment was a ~525 square foot studio on the 14th floor of a high rise in Battery Park City. Despite having only one window in the entire apartment it was very light, and despite being a studio we had little issue with storage space. But that could have been a product of both my partner being pretty minimalist and strategic with our belongings.

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#Our14G on instagram

Bedroom

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I loved our bed "room" and never had an issue with not having a wall or door, even when we had guests for extended stays. I think I just appreciated how minimal it forced us to keep the space, and how open and airy it felt. We had a high bed frame (where suitcases could fit beneath) and a king sized mattress that probably wouldn't fit inside most 1 bedrooms in NYC. We each had matching side tables and side table lamps and a long dresser facing the bed. The dresser was actually 2 ikea pieces we each had before moving in together (thats why his is more yellow-ish than mine!), but we didn't really care and I kind of like the sentimentality of the two coming together in our first home together. Lastly, at some point we added a small armchair and runner to this area to warm it up and give us an extra seat to gave out onto the river from.

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Undoubtedly the best part of this apartment was the view onto the Hudson. It's what sold us on this space and it created our refuge from the business of the city.

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Our mostly white minimalist spot didn't need much more decoration than it's single large window. Just look at how much the view would change from day to day and day to night.

living space

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Our living space was where we worked, relaxed and entertained (yes we entertained!). Along on side of the room was out couch and oversized ottoman, separated from the bedroom by a low bookshelf and plants. On the opposite wall were our desks and desktop computers that also served as netflix players.

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A similar floorplan to ours

Above is a similar floor plan to ours, the kitchen and closets are slightly different, but you get the gist. Adjacent to our entry way and kitchen we kept a small cafe table that was rarely used for eating and more for serving and collecting mail. We mainly ate at the bar or (admittedly) on the couch. I also included a gratutious bathroom pic, I think I took this when we first toured the apartment which is why the sole decorative item which I was obsessed with is missing, a mudcloth print shower curtain from Target. 

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And with that this walk down memory lane comes to an end. So many sweet memories from this home, now off to continue nesting in our new one!

Be Outraged and Resist

Trump has been in office for a week and the country is on fire. It started with limiting a woman's right to choose and an effort to start dismantling universal healthcare (see the reinstatement of the global gag rule), setting back climate change efforts and clamping down on science as a whole (see Keystone XL & Dakota Access pipelines and Federal science actions), and attacking immigrants on multiple fronts with a particular emphasis on Muslims (see the border wall and Muslim ban). I have been slow to accept our new reality. I tried to be cautiously optimistic the days before his inauguration, then I tried to avoid the news as my greatest fears were being realized, then I was just sad. Now I am really pissed off and ready to work. Trump and his hateful policies must go. So here is what I am doing and I encourage you to do to. And this isn't where I am stopping, if you have any suggestions of other actions we can take please leave them in the comments below so everyone who sees this post can take part too.

Let's be outraged. Let's resist. Let's take our country back.

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Make Your Voice Heard

Call your representatives, write letters, sign petitions, demonstrate in the streets if you have to! Our representatives are supposed to represent us and so it is our responsibility to make our positions known and continuously apply pressure on them. Use Common Cause's representative locator to find out who your reps are. And if you need a little extra help on what to say, check out this article for some tips about how to talk to your representative when you do call.

Organize

When President Obama told us in his farewell speech to organize I had no idea where to start. Luckily I have some incredible friends who did. We have begun by sharing good information and finding ways to do the above (reach out to our representatives). One friend has offered up her apartment on a weekly basis as a hub to create call scripts, make calls, write letters and keep information sharing. There is also an incredible guide and directory of how and where to get involved called the Indivisible Guide. Start with this and you'll be good.

Share Good Information

This requires staying informed and not propagating "alternative facts." Misinformation/fake news is a dangerous thing as we have already seen with this administration. We need to armor ourselves with the truth and be cynical with the media we consume. Also, good information is power. Articles like  what to do if ICE agents come to your door should be widely shared so that everyone has the knowledge they need. 

Donate

A little can go a very long way if we all chip in. I am personally giving to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood and Justice Democrats(at minimum). I will be cutting out my work lunches, extra coffees, and any other frivolous spending to give all that I can. This is an investment in a country I want to live in and society we can be proud of after all!

Stay Positive

If we stop believing in the power of the people and democracy there is not way we can win. So please take care of yourself and those directly in front of you first. Practice self care and go at your own pace. Do what you need to in order to feel like you (and not a hopeless shell of you), feel strong, and remain hopeful. We could be in for the long haul and everyone of us needs to be able to take some time for ourselves.

"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."

-desmond tutu

That is all I have, again please add ideas to this list. I want to know what actions you are taking and how you are taking care of yourself. Now is the time more than ever to spread love, count our blessings and support one another to ensure this time does not become our new normal! 

XO

Kings County Distillery

When I am not traveling I love to spend my weekends exploring new places around me in NYC. Recently the city had Open House New York (OHNY), and annual event where institutions and businesses open up their doors for exclusive for discounted tours that highlights design and planning around the boroughs (so cool right!?). My partner and I decided to cross over to Brooklyn to tour Kings County Distillery.

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Kings County Distillery is the oldest distillery operating in the the 5 boroughs, but that isn’t saying much because it opened in 2010! It was the first post-prohibition era distillery to open up and has become a whiskey lover's favorite. I personally am not a whiskey kind of girl (I much prefer a spicy gin or full bodied glass of wine) but I had gifted my partner a small bottle of the bourbon a year or so ago based on the beautiful look of the bottle. He was immediately smitten.

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The distillery is located in Brooklyn’s historic navy yard in the relatively small former paymaster’s building. Because of their artisan small batch roots this is not a problem for the whiskey and moonshine makers. What they lack in volume is more than made up for in quality. Over the course of the tour we learned that the founder, originally from Kentucky, began making moonshine with a roommate after college, and later decided to move their small illegal operation to the navy yard once demand exploded and the FBI caught wind.

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We toured the basements where the mash is fermented in open air vats and then made a spirit by the stills. And then went upstairs to where the bourbon is barrel aged in a delicious smelling room. We ended our tour with a tasting of the classic moonshine, seasonal spiced moonshine, classic bourbon, and chocolate whiskey.

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In all it was a lovely to see how a product I respect so much is made, and meet some of the people part of that process. It really sparked my desire to learn more about other local products!

Governors Island in Pictures

Last Tuesday I spent a beautiful NYC Summer day on Governors Island with couple hundred colleagues. While there is so much I could say about this work event, or mandatory fun days in general, I would rather share a few of my most favorite pictures of the day. 

Jersey City peaking out from behind Castle Williams
Jersey City peaking out from behind Castle Williams
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The island has a long history of serving as a military base, strategically located just off the tip of Manhattan, during the colonial period and American Revolution. During the Civil War it housed prisoners of war in two primary fortifications, Castle WIlliams (above) and Fort Jay (below). Now it primarily serves as a public historical and recreation space.

The pretty flower boxes of Fort Jay
The pretty flower boxes of Fort Jay
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Colonels Row
Colonels Row
Governor's House
Governor's House
View of Manhattan from the Hills
View of Manhattan from the Hills
Nolan Park and Officer's Quarters
Nolan Park and Officer's Quarters
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Missing from this post (and my visit) are the hammocks and adult slides, two very alluring attractions that ensure another visit soon!