Is it just me or does Angelina Jolie (doing press for Salt) look like a rich Midwestern housewife from 1982 hopped up on chardonnay and ready to seduce the pool boy with her press on fingernails and Vanilla Musk scented body? Is she really allowed to wear such things? Some ladies over at WWD think not. I might have to agree with them, albeit for different reasons — Mainly because these outfits are just no good.
My first Olafur Eliasson experience was gazing at his Waterfalls in New York as I rode the Q Train over the Manhattan bridge to work every morning — certainly making my daily commute a little more bearable. My second was yesterday a little later in the morning here in Berlin, the city that both Olufar and I call home.
The photos above were not shot with a Holga or altered by Photoshop, but taken yesterday in the depths of three large smoke filled rooms in the Martin Gropius Bau Museum that made me feel like I was in another, very colorful, dimension. Olufur plays with the use of color and light throughout the exhibition, offering many chances to feel as if you've entered an alternate universe — video, mirrors and shadow make you second guess what you are really looking at. It was all a playful way to start my day that added a little bit of fun to what could have been a regular morning — just as his waterfalls did in NYC but with a very Berlin twist.
Innen Stadt Außen is only running until August 8th, so if you haven't seen it I suggest you get on it. More details here.
This weekend started out the complete opposite of last weekend: mellow and cold. With all the activity and heat of the past days, staying in and wearing a sweatshirt was actually a nice change. But things picked up when at the last minute we decided to go out on Saturday and ended up having one of those nights I always equate with NYC, where you end up in random places you never planned having fun you never expected. Love when that happens, but still my favorite part of the weekend was making dinner before we went out. Despite the cold we decided to barbecue on the balcony and I introduced Karsten to the world of watermelon salad: a weird and wonderful place where watermelon is mixed with feta, olives, mint and more. Sounds crazy I know, but for some reason the combination is amazing. I included a recipe below and highly suggest that you try it if you never have. As for the rest of the weekend.
It all went something like this: staying in, tuna melts, David Lynch, house shopping, Baltic Sea booking, balcony bbq, watermelon salad, random Neukölln party/show, dancing, Konrad Tönz, Club der Visionaere, sleeping in, breakfast/lunch in bed, Neukölln swimming pool, water slide, Vietnamese food, reading, bed.
3/4 cup halved, thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1/2 quarts seeded, cubed watermelon
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pitted black olive halves
1 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
*Place the onion slices in a small bowl with the lime juice. The acid of the lime will mellow the flavor of the raw onion. Let stand for 10 minutes
*In a large bowl, combine the watermelon cubes, feta cheese, black olives, onions with the lime juice, and mint. Drizzle olive oil over it all, and toss to blend. Dig in and be prepared for a pleasant surprise!
The premiere of Mad Men Season 4 (how long has it been!?!) is tomorrow and I seriously cannot wait. It's not like I will actually be able to watch it or anything, but it makes me happy just knowing that it is out there and at least somewhere in the world people will be enjoying Don Draper and Co.'s ridiculous chain smoking good-lookingness. How long do you think it will take until someone uploads the show to one of my Chinese websites? Oh the luxuries of the expat life...
My friend Mary (who turns 29 today!) loves Latin music. Anytime you go into her house or car it is almost a guarantee that something will be blasting in Spanish — anything from Manu Chao to the mix of hits the guys at her corner Bodega made especially for her. She just thinks everything sounds better in Español and she is probably right, but we still make fun of her a little for it.
Karsten makes fun of me a little for the fact that every time he walks in our house I am blasting some sort of dreamy (usually depressing) indie pop music. Nothing wrong with a little teasing every now and then, right? But anyway, I just came across the hybrid of mine and Mary's musical tastes, at least I think so. I can't stop listening to El Guincho from España — lovely poppy Spanish indie music (not depressing at all) that's just so perfect for hopping around in the sun to! Too bad I hadn't known this when I was with Mary in NYC, it could have been our summer soundtrack.
Since the heat has been consistently staying above 90 degrees (about 30 C in this country) this is how I have been wearing my hair — just a tiny bun on the very tippy top of my head (bangs pinned in a pomp or not depending on humidity). I like how it is foolproof for absolutely no hairs touching the back of my neck but still couples as an actual hairstyle making me feel done up despite the crazy heat — and it's just so easy. This chic muse must have unknowingly inspired me.
In other summer style notes: as I was heading to the grocery store today I looked down to see that I had quite in fact turned into a crazy cat lady. The cat menagerie below was not planned — not sure if I should take it as some sort of forewarning of times to come or just embrace the cat (print) lover in me to the fullest and slip into some cat shoes, a kitty hat, throw on some Cat Power and have a sip of tea from my cat mug. Meow.
(Jumper: American Apparel, Dress: Zara, Bag: random store in Neukölln)
This weekend was the best welcome home a girl could have. I was finally over my jet lag and able to really get out and enjoy the city. It was a great reminder of how much I love the summer in Berlin.
It all went something like this: evening walk, gazpacho and shrimp avocado salad on the river, Anne meetup, first beach bar of the season, lightning show over the water, Jay spinning at Muschi Obermaier, dance party, late night sleep, brunch at home, local designer White Market, East German stamp necklace purchase, Prenzlauer Berg walk, glasses and hat shop fun, eiskaffee (coffee with ice cream), Mitte window shopping, Alexander Platz, Vietnamese food on Oranienstrasse, photo booth, sunset at Görlitzer Park, experimental theater surprise show, Rioja outside at favorite Spanish place, next door nightcap, sleeping in, breakfast in bed, cleaning house, shawarma dinner on the balcony, the United States of Tara.
(Dress: thrift, boater hat: Prenzlauer Berg hat shop)
Last night my boyfriend and I were bickering about the color of my new canvas shoes (just another granny pair of slip-ons I stocked up on at K-Mart when I was in NYC). He insisted they are gray when they are in fact TAN — although I may be pretty blind when it comes to my vision I swear he is a little blind when it comes to color (he of course thinks the same of me). Anyway no big deal really, just silly meaningless banter. But coincidentally today while procrastinating writing a story I came across this Color IQ Test and scored a zero! And zero, my friend, is as good as it gets. So I have perfect color vision (I don't think I have ever had perfect anything), I can't wait to tell my BF! You should take it — it's actually kind of fun — and tell me what you get.
Last May my friend Julia popped over to Berlin for an amazingly fun weekend that I wish I could re-live this weekend and the next. Here are a few of her photos. I love the bright crisp colors and amazing light. Also take a look at me during my preppy yuppy clothing phase (jacket, jeans, shirt are thrift, clogs are Swedish Hasbeens and the glasses are from German department store Karstadt).
I was having my final American and red meat (more on that later) meal (a $14 cheeseburger no doubt — oh NYC) on Monday before my flight back to Berlin and in walked an adorable girl in an adorable dress. It had the perfect white collar and black tie right below the collarbone and a sweet blue and white print silky fabric that hung just right: a mix of preppy and sailor without going overboard (no pun...) in either direction. I have had my mind on one of these for awhile now, but she solidified my desire. Although hers was obviously designer, I hope to find mine in a thrift store. I swear my mom had the exact one I want when I was one growing up. I can picture it: it was a white blouse with a scoop neck and black bow. Though if I can't find it (I'll be damned!), I might have to fork out some dough for one of these delights.
New York is what it is: heat waves, rooftops, beaches, parks, subways, shopping, eating, drinking, biking. So fun, so hot, full of my friends and family, full of familiarities and full of all the comforts and drama that come with that. Some of my peeps are doing amazingly well, some seem sad and bored of the city, some are embarking on whole new lives and adventures and some were too busy to even see — this is my New York. It was my home for almost five years and feels mostly as it always was when I was back for almost three weeks. Every time I left the house I enjoyed myself, spent too much money, over-heated, laughed and walked my butt off. But despite it feeling just like home, I have come to the realization that it no longer is.
I was nervous to go to NYC at first because I thought I would never want to leave; then I was nervous because I was up for a job that would move me back permanently. In the end neither scenario played out: I came this close to getting the job but didn't and I definitely was ready to go back to Berlin when the time came. NYC will always hold a place in my heart and another dream job may lead me back there one day — but if the time comes I do not want to be dropped off splat in the middle of my old life. Although it felt good and comfortable to live it once again, I have realized that I should keep my eyes focused on the future and that somethings and some lives are better left in the past. So tschüß New York (that's German for toodles!).
Here are some pics from that past three weeks in good old NYC.