Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry and Bright

The holidays are a time for traditions. Though they're often cheesy and silly, I think that traditions define what it means to celebrate family, friends, and loved ones around the holidays. There are personal traditions (it doesn't feel like Christmas until I've watched It's a Wonderful Life) and there are family traditions (at Christmas dinner, my mom puts out those crackers with little prizes in them and we all wear our paper crowns through dinner, despite how silly we all look).

My favorite holiday tradition though is the annual party I have with my friends from high school. This year was our 10th annual-a big milestone! It started in 1999, in a friend's basement with a Secret Santa exchange, cookies, and silly movies, and has progressed to fancy appetizers, a ridiculous Yankee Swap, and plenty of libations. Our little group has grown to include boyfriends, husbands, pets, and soon, there will be babies. We are scattered around the country, and though we don't often talk or get together as much as we could, we still manage this one time a year to come together, saddle each other with crazy presents (this year I got a leopard-print "snuggle"--not to be confused with a Snuggie), and laugh until our stomachs hurt. It's a good time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Get Festive: Weekend in New York, 12/11-12/13

I spent this past weekend in New York, getting into the holiday spirit. Christmas in New York is a wonderful time--full of sparkle and spirit. As my bus crawled its way down Fifth Avenue Friday night, I peeked into the opulent buildings, windows warmly lit, decorated with twinkling trees and glowing candles, doormen standing like toy soldiers at each grandiose entryway. The shop displays get more elaborate each year--Cartier was adorned with a giant, sparkling red bow, Bergdorf's Men's store had actual props and characters from the Fantastic Mr. Fox movie, and nearly every store front was full of color and glitter. Here are some highlights from my festive weekend:

Just another Saturday morning in Williamsburg. NYC's SantaCon took place Saturday, and we were treated to all manners of Santas, elves, reindeer, gingerbread men, and Frosties everywhere we went in the city.

Ninja Santa!

Brunch at B Bar & Grill--SO GOOD.

One of the best lattes I've ever had.

Probably my favorite window display, for its creativity and sheer strangeness. This was at Bergdorf's.

Close-up shot, courtesy of Joe.

Joe's Christmas tree, which is pretty much the most adorable tree I have ever seen.

On Sunday, we went to see It's a Wonderful Life, my absolute favorite Christmas movie, at a theater in the East Village. So much fun to see it on the big screen.

How are you getting into the holiday spirit?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Give a Hoot

I've always felt a kinship to the owl--bookish, screechy, green. I am loving this French Connection top--kind of want to add it to my Christmas list.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Salem in November

On a sunny Saturday just a few weeks ago, Joe and I decided to take a drive to Salem. We figured it would be a good time for it, as the weather was still nice, but all of the Halloween hoopla had died down for another year. Neither of us had ever been before, despite its proximity and accessibility from Boston. I was charmed by the town--though we didn't visit any of the tourist traps they call museums (the Peabody-Essex is obviously an exception--that's the real deal), I enjoyed just walking around, taking in the sights and the colonial feel. Here are some photos, most taken on Chestnut Street, a street of beautiful historic homes.

Chestnut Street

Someone converted this old car into a 3-wheel motorcycle. Very Back To the Future.

I loved all of the doors of the houses and how they were decorated for the fall.

The Derby Square Bookstore is a chaos of books--all half-price new books, remaindered from other bookstores, stacked in delightfully precarious leaning towers all over the store. When you spot something you want, it's like playing a game of Jenga to remove it. Who doesn't enjoy an extra challenge while book shopping?

To the Farthest Port! We took a walk to the end of an old pier and read about Salem's history as a commercial center hundreds of years ago. The ships have long since stopped coming, but it's fun to imagine what it was like in the old days of bustling maritime commerce.