Biting the Big Apple

FINALNYSKETCH

Is New York the best city you’ll ever visit? Probably. 

Dubbed ‘The Big Apple’, home to the biggest in music, theatre, fashion and food- there are very few which come close to the calibre that this city is acclaimed for. The concrete jungle is literally bursting at the seams with creative industries, and the dining culture can be anything from Cafe Gitane’s causal local vibes, to Nobu’s star-studded atmosphere. The cool thing about the place, is everything exists in some sort of harmony; the rich and the poor, the trendy and the daggy, the vintage and the modern, the art and the curator. The glamour and the glitz is still discernible, of course, but New Yorkers now embrace this fusion of authenticity and contemporary fads- take the art galleries for instance, where Picasso and Dali grace the walls of the Guggenheim, while the contemporary installations of formaldehyde horse heads and Hitler puppets are strung from the infamous white building.You’d be attempting the impossible if you think you can fit it all in during one trip- solution: attempt to live like a local.

If I had 24 hours up my sleeve, the problem is not how to fill the day, but what to fit in:

8:00am- Breakfast at Cafe Gitane on Mott St

9:00am- Take the subway downtown to The Meatpacking District, walk along the high line (a green strip of elevated parkway, lining the abandoned 1930s railway)

10:00am- Stop for Coffee (or a drink) at The Standard Hotel

11:00am- Catch the subway back up to Bleeker St (explore the never ending chain of shops; especially the Marc Jacobs Book Store)

1:00pm- Devour a steak at Mercer St Kitchen

2:30pm- More shopping along the cobbled streets of Soho- Acne, Opening Ceremony, Rag&Bone, Vince, Anthropology etc. etc.

5:00pm- Have a drink at the Crosby Bar watering hole

8:00pm- Dinner at Balthazars (something you cannot miss out on)

Artists and hipsters alike, all are slowly creeping into the tiny unclaimed pockets, all searching for the next ‘cool’ place their hipsteresque boots can trudge through in the winter, and their Chanel loafers can tread in the summer. Formerly on the fringes of the city, Brooklyn, Queens and the Meatpacking District are now boroughs in their own rights, becoming epicentres of cool. There is no one place that all will find their favourite- it is the individual’s unique style and lust which draws them to particular cross streets, only to come home and encourage their friends to take a bite out of the Big Apple themselves.

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Prada Pastels

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Miuccia Prada, a genius in her own right, and an artist no less. While i’m usually not a fan of Prada, (the ridiculously overwhelming and off-putting ‘LV’s’ stamped across nearly every collection is nothing short of an eyesore) however this year it was different. The doll-like faces seen on tote bags, across silk dresses and the bold tropical prints ironically fused with fur, is something really special. After making the Alabaska portrait my desktop background, doodling her complexion onto lecture papers countless times, and even researching where I can get one myself- i’m obsessed. This collaboration of artist’s works and fashion house designs help to create an unexplainable hype around the items- after all it is simply just a bag. It’s made me respect Prada as a brand more than I thought I ever would, with muralists such as Gabriel Specter, Stinkfish, and Pierre Mornet all collaborating their unprecedented talent. There is a perfect balance between the feminine pastels which grace the leather to construct the bold complexions of each girl and it’s simply refreshing to see technologically-enhanced prints being substituted for these real-life masterpieces. I hope this trend will remain in the limelight and the balance of art and fashion stays humble enough to focus on the rawness of an artist’s brushstrokes, because i’m not ready to be faced with another ‘LV’ print just yet.

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http://youtu.be/jVq9b2EZcqg 

Wanderlust or Wonderlust?

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When people would endlessly tell me, ‘you’ll get the bug, I promise you will’, and to return from a trip with, ‘sooo…didn’t I tell you!’- all referring to ‘wanderlust’ the blogger, hipster-esque way of saying ‘I love travelling’. In actions, its more to do with the fact as soon as you dump your suitcase down in your bedroom, rather than unpacking the crinkled shirts and now sole-less shoes, you just want to zip it back up again. I do admit to recalling that feeling, after my first big overseas trip to Europe. Yep, I had it, the wanderlust feeling- all-consuming and inspiring, a (healthy) addiction I had just discovered laying not so dormant anymore.

You see wanderlust tattooed, scripted, and written in relation to anyone with the bug for travelling. Yet, what about that stage, where simply wondering is the only option- although not necessarily the worst out of the two. Wondering about the next over-seas holiday, trip up the coast, or even an overnight stay at a breach house, is something really inspiring- my next mission being Sri Lanka. I so often find myself thinking about the next adventure, and this I feel is the true feeling of holiday-lusting. The energy of a holiday starts from the energy you commit to it at home, whether it be saving up the funds, deciding on your diary, or even simply just charging your camera. The opportunities in this world are immeasurable, and I believe there is definitely a part of this world for every human to appreciate.

See flower installation also posted on instagram: sophiaathas

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Impressions of a Dreamer, by the Dreamer

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The Orchidaceae, from the Orchid family, is amongst my favourite flowers, fresh from the flower markets at 4:30am. The colour that this flower produces is absolutely incredible, and I can’t help but be satisfied by the way an potted orchid finishes up a composition oh so well. They are really fun to draw and sketch, and when you look up close, the tiny mechanisms which create the famous orchid structure are so delicate and subtle it hardly looks real- only something nature can produce.

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The Acne Studios, SoHo

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This little gem, SoHo, nicknamed after “South of Houston Street” offers a little bit for the endless shoes which creep amongst the famous apartment ridden streets. Whether it be Acne boots, op-shop sandals or the so frequently spotted Chanel loafers, the mingling of various styles is what makes this area so unique. The result is something really special, a collective yet cold neighbourhood, where concept stores thrive next to the big brand names which don’t intend to intimidate.
Wearing the Acne coat, it was only fit we ventured into the Acne Studio Store (33 Greene Street) where the aluminium maze was packed with just as much colour as the streets. Acne has a way of remaining on its pedestal of an established, designer label just high enough to be out of people’s reach, but so accessible when eventually appreciated. The shop was an elegant fusion of ancient pillars with mirrored cabinets, strewn with the distinctive leather jackets, fur-trimmed skirts and the Vanessa Jade Green clutch, which would seem to most than nothing more than a box.
Amongst the seamless fashion houses, riddled with creativity, is the simplest form of beauty found in the symmetrical external staircases and apartments wrapped in shades of bricks. If there is ever a time you find yourself in New York, be sure to enchant yourself with the Acne studios just as we did.
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A not-so-Camilla Europe

While I was never the one to dabble in Camilla frocks, holding a champagne on a super yacht, visiting those diamond-encrusted cities in Europe made me realise there is more to Saint Tropez than just glam. Just after school I took a big trip, starting down in Nice, France making our way up through the country side into Paris, and then starting across from left to right. With culture bursting at the seams and the smell of fresh tomato and bocconcini at our disposal, it was like a fairy tale. In the 21st century, pictures, articles, opinions and ‘try this’ is never-ending and the investigation before visiting a place can give you a pretty realistic idea of what to expect. With Paris- not at all. My hard-to-please sister was literally dumb-struck when entering the effortlessly paved streets of the French wonder, as the history of the place sits so contently within the buildings, museums and monuments. But what is it that makes it like so?
It is the absolute confidence of every living (and non-living) being, where everyone exists in this snow-globe world, giving their own little touch to the Parisian  lifestyle- all proud to call it home. From Saint Germaine de Pres, to the Champs Elysee, the eye will wonder for days, and the soreness of your feet will not justify you stopping. Every cobble street corner provides a new opportunity to wind around, duck under, and walk over the bridges, walkways, carousels and more. It is a city which looks even more beautiful in winter, with the people just simply having their ‘shit together’ (quote my sister). There was something really special about walking along Rue de Rivoli with christmas carols blaring, iconic models locked arms with their mums, and the big brand shops opening their doors for any walk of life. It wasn’t like the exclusivity of American shopping, it had a feel of authenticity and establishment where the shop assistants were not so interested in selling, but rather chatting and educating you about the brands. YSL being our favourite, where my sister’s be-all-end-all boots were sitting so perfectly on the top shelf- she couldn’t resist. I’m not sure if it was more to do with the absolutele beauty of a man serving us, or the boots itself, but it was one of the best retail experiences we have ever had.