Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vinyl never left us.

AMERICA.
Land of diseases.

In fact, just the other day I was infected with another one.
 It's called vinyl infection,
and its highly contagious so feel free to take my words as a warning before you start reading this blog post
for you might very well become infected by the end.

My guess is that I got it from those
flea markets that I can't seem to get away from.
Damn you flea markets.
Though another new infection should not exactly be what mankind is looking for, I have to tell you this one doesn't bite as hard as one might think.
Why?
Well, because...
IN SEARCH OF NEW MUSIC?
You get to discover new music that might just randomly be the best thing you've ever listened to in your whole life!
OK.
I enjoy exaggerations but still, you get the idea.
Vinyl music is not something that super intelligent data engineers at uber-cool companies like
(new kid on the block, you will start seeing their highly ambitious commercial next week,
where they make fun of the big brother, Pandora)
can systematically set up for you so that you enjoy "new" tunes customized according to your music taste.
On the very contrary, it could turn out to be the exact opposite of your music taste but that's how you grow out of the habit and into the new lands, isn't it?!
Take these guys for instance.
Breze Brewin DJ Eli Sub-conscious.
WHAT?! 
But I liked it.
Turns out, I enjoy some clean rap/hip-hop or whatever the case may be every now and then.

Something new?
Hell yeah!
And then there's the warm feeling of the tunes you're not only familiar with but more likely in love with.
Streisand for me is just one of those tunes.
But I bought the above record NOT for the music but for my uncontrollable admiration for her haircut and how classy she looked with it. Maybe not her music but this side of her from back when she was my age is definitely something new that I was able to discover about her through vinyl.
So be it new tunes or new attitudes, something new and exciting is definitely hidden somewhere along the long racks of records all over the world, waiting to be revealed,
hopefully by you.

COVER ART
I'm a sucker for art.
All forms of it.
I am NEVER able to get into that super deep state of concentration and body/mind coordination more than when I'm involved with the arts, whether I'm actively participating or observing.
I become "one" when art is around.
So it was no surprise to me when I started to pick records based on how I felt when I looked at their covers.
Which once again is something you probably won't be able to get from online music.
The feeling of your senses and the object of attention
becoming one.
Thanks to my new vinyl infection, I was able to discover
Sandy Hoffman for instance.
Or Karenlee Grant, whose style reminded me of another artist, whose works I admire so much, Banksy.
So militaristic and  graffiti-like, thus enforcing sarcasm.
LOVE IT! 
Then there are all these other beautiful covers that now in fact rotate inside my wall frame, which used to be empty, remember?
I found the perfect way to fill it with new art that I can change every week after my usual Sunday visits to the flea-market.
FULL OF SURPRISES
Then there are the great little surprises you come into here and there.
Like this little booklet of bull fight tickets they used to sell with explanations of the illustration in both English and Spanish.
Tell me now!
Where else would you be able to listen some interesting, good music
AND
learn all the info on the culture of the music you're listening to for less than $1.
$1.
Then we have the BOOK/RECORDS.
You can really learn in great detail the history and culture behind the music and artists' vision.
How about wall art materials?
Posters, photos, drawings, illustrations?
I'm telling you.
Possibilities are endless and an appreciative eye for the art will get hooked up instantly.


WATCH OUT

When you're buying used records however,
you need to be mindful of a few details 
that might interfere with your enjoyment of listening.
Like deep scratches.
Or believe it or not,
some of those $1 record boxes might come in empty.
If the cover is a great work of art that you enjoy just looking at, then no problem.
Because record or no record inside, you are still not likely to find any work of art for less than $1.
But if you're buying it for the music,
better check inside the box before you bring it home.

WHERE TO BUY
Reasonably priced (meaning $1. WHAT!?)
Vinly in New York City.

(previously mentioned here and here
OK I go there A LOT! 
Happy?)
Westsider Records starting at$1
This place is heavenly for vinyl lovers, especially for jazz fans. It is filled with records wall to wall. No kidding. Guy who works there on Sundays is pretty friendly and will throw in a couple of $0.01 records if you buy many.
Other Music starting at $7
For more stores and in fact many other great lists of places to shop in New York City, you can check my

STORAGE
I know man!
I can literally hear you screaming,
"Where the hell am I supposed to store all those giant records in my 500sq ft apartment!? Hello!!?"
Well, we went to Pour and kindly asked them if they had an empty wine case that we could...snatch...for lack of a better word.
But we couldn't leave it at that, of course.
We were too noble, so we ended up buying
"some" of their best wines.
We are a regular now and great friends with the guys in the shop.
So,
Vinyl, connecting people at all fronts.


But you of course, might be looking for more eccenteric and less...free...storage ideas.
No worries, I've got you covered. Just check in here.
It will help. I promise.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a flea market to go to and
new vinyl records to discover.
What will you do this gorgeous sunday afternoon?

Monday, January 28, 2013

#CityLightSeries - An Instagram Sensation

What is your favorite thing about New York City in winter time?

Mine is the lights.
It's like the whole big bad city is covered by glitter showers.

Oh yes, mine is definitely the lights.
In fact, I took my fixation with lights into a whole new level.
I created #CityLightSeries on Instagram.

Care to join me?
Take photos of any lights you like in anywhere in the world and attach #CityLightSeries hashtag to your photo.

 Let's see if we can turn a series into a sensation before this winter comes to an end.

Here's some of what we have so far:
Cava Wine House, New York
                     

                  
Rockafeller Tree 2010
The Summit Bar - New York, NY
West Village, New York
Upper West Side - New York, NY
Ayza Wine House - New York, NY
West Village, New York
5th Ave, New York
Upper West Side, New York
Mystic, CT
Want to see more? 
Right here!

Come on now.
Show me the light!
#CityLightSeries

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Winter in Connecticut in Style

It could be because I'm getting closer and closer to the danger zone in the world of numerical systems, the big 3 - 0.

Or it could simply be because I'm very sensitive about this issue; not sure what the exact reason is but I just cannot spend birthdays like they were just another day.

Birthdays are special and therefore must be spent in a special way.
My formula for "special" goes something like this:

(Loved ones + happiness)(travelfashion) - normal = Special

So on Wednesday, January 16 -my birthday- I did what was only acceptable when faced with the above equation;
Took the day all to myself, hopped on a car with my boyfriend at the wheel and did a mini day trip to Connecticut, 
in style but of course.

We went to three of the "Constitution State"s  main towns along the coastline: 
Stamford, New Haven and Mystic.
Here's a bit of what they look like in winter.

Stamford, CT

Cafe Oo La La
Cozy little cafe famous for breakfast
Things that might be so insignificant for anyone else are usually very eye catching for me.
Take this bottle of apple juice for instance. How can I not take a photo of it?! 
It's too cute.

Yale University
New Haven, CT

 One of my many lists of places to see is the list of all 
Ivy League schools.
So far, I've been to 
1-Harvard
2-Columbia
3-University of Pennsylvania
 and now,
4-Yale University
4 down, 4 to go.
Here's number 4; Yale.
 As we waved goodbye to New Haven and Yale, I was feeling very lucky to have snow on my birthday. Let's not forget that I'm a January child! I love snow and I am heartbroken that it hasn't really snowed in New York in 2 years like it used to, like it's supposed to. But at least on my birthday, I was able to enjoy a little bit of white goodness.

Before our next stop, Mystic, let's give a warm round of applause to the man, who made this trip possible.
Ma boo! ;)

Mystic, CT
Mystic is a small coastal town, which is exactly why we wanted to go there.
We were very specific with my birthday wish list.
To enjoy some great clam chowder soup followed by lobster rolls, accompanied by a local beer and be by the water. 
If you're looking for a similar experience, I definitely recommend the The S&P Oyster restaurant. It was everything we were looking for and more.
 
Cute, aren't they?

I might go back to these places to see what they look like in summer. 

Travel is a necessary element in my special birthday equation but "What about fashion?" I hear you ask.

Here's my Friday night out.
Birthdays are just not complete without a good old-fashioned indoor party with lots of friends and little bit of booze.
You know, as little as a shot glass would take, or two, or five. 
Who's counting?!
Vintage dress designed and made in New York by "Night Vogue";
Found in Puerto Rico; rocked the party back in New York by moi
I found the Head-piece from Filene's Basement when they were going out of business.
I've seen similar evening dresses by the same brand here, here and hereObviously mine is the best among all
Night Vogue vintage evening dress finds.
Although I have to admit, this one doesn't look so bad either.

Vintage is the essence of fashion my friends, 
for fashion is very much like history. 
It repeats itself.
And so will my birthday.
But that's OK.
Because,
Vintage and ladies only get more precious by time.