Berlin: New Deli Yoga

Recently, I haven't been able to get the warm interior of New Deli Yoga out of my mind. My first official Berlin breakfast was in the cultural center of Kreuzberg. New Deli Yoga is a yoga studio fused with a cafe, and is essentially a Pinterest board come to life, Despite its minimalist interior, the hand written menus and chalkboards scrawled with specials were personal touches that made this place especially inviting. I had an awesome musli bowl and an exceptional iced coffee with my traveling mates before we embarked on a trip to see the remaining portions of the Berlin wall, which is just down the road.


Baby Went To Amsterdam

With buildings that are built to lean ever so slightly, canals that have replaced avenues, and bridges lined with flowers and bicycles, Amsterdam is a city straight out of a storybook. I was incredibly and unexpectedly charmed by a city that despite having quite the reputation, I ultimately knew so little about. Did you know the building that line the canals are not leaning because they're sinking into the ground? Older homes in Amsterdam have tall and narrow staircases, so these houses were accommodated with gables and hooks. These pull were used to lift items such as furniture to the upper levels. These buildings also lean forward slightly to keep whatever the gable is lifting from colliding with the facade. It's so resourceful and adorable at the same time, I can barely stand it.

With its narrow, winding streets and bridges, Amsterdam was essentially built for bikes. They lined every railing on every bridge on every street. My friend and I chose to walk everywhere, so that we could soak in every ounce of the city, but by the end of each day we found our selves wishing for set of wheels to carry our tired feet home.

A self-guided tour of courtyards in Jordaan, the most scenic neighborhood, led us to the most quaint private gardens. Outside of the courtyards, streets were lined with art galleries, artsy boutiques and charming coffee shops, so basically I'd move there in a heartbeat.

Our tiny rented apartment was in the heart of the red light district, which seemed rather safe despite its seedy reputation. Nothing could beat the view we had walking home at night from one of the many waterfront bars or low-key clubs, with the lights reflecting on the waters of the canals, a vision straight out of storybook. 


9th and Elm: Geometric

Lovmely necklaces courtesy of 9th & Elm
As of late, I've been nurturing a new-found interest in supporting local and independent designers. I think it all began after a lovely interview with a local soap maker for a store profile article, but I've been actively exploring the extremely creative and talented individuals who produce beautiful products right in this city. In a similar vein, 9th & Elm brings together a curated collection of independently designed and handmade goods. As with other popular flash sale sites, the product you'll find on 9th & Elm is limited in quantity and only for sale for a finite period of time.

In about a week after my order, I recieved a package with two beautiful delicate necklaces from Lovmely. One pendant is plated in 14k gold, while the other is cut out of raw brass, but I'm sure they'll layer beautifully. While I was drawn to the eclectic collection of jewelry, 9th & Elm also carries collections of clothing, housewares and personalized gifts. And you can bet they're all super adorable.


Double Denim DIY: Metallic Tuxedo Stripe

One of my last DIY tutorials for the Style Section was actually the brainchild of my assistant editor, who was unimpressed by the outcome of Refinery29's Denim Cutoff Cheap Challenge. The contributors must have been running low on their creative juices, because they all seemed to settle for the most basic edits, like cutting and cuffing. Jenn insisted we could do better, so you be the judge. Check out our Double Denim DIY Challenge over at The Triangle.

P.S. I was left to my own devices when it came to taking these photos, and lucky for me, my remote battery was dead! What you see above were some of the most awkward and difficult selfies I've ever had to take. There was a lot of twisting, craning and couch climbing. 


In Berlin: Part I

If there was a single city I could say I felt I didn't explore efficiently, it would definitely be Berlin. I joined a group of friends who had just begun to undertake the incredible task of visiting 11 countries in 13 days. Berlin was their second stop after Munich, and in an effort to add to my country tally I joined them on their German adventure. 

Much of the city's historical structure were destroyed as a result of heavy bombing during WWII, leaving a decent portion of the city's architectural landscape dominated by brutalist and functional modern artchitecture. Brandenburg Gate in Pariser Platz was an obvious and stunning exception. It's no wonder it serves as an essential trademark for the nation.


Equally as stunning in its design, much more moving in its intent, was the Holocaust Memorial. The systematic rise and fall of the cement monoliths were meant to invoke "an uneasy sense of order," an elegant yet slightly disturbing reference to a tragic past. 

I guess it turned out our self-guided tour of the city was primarily fueled by its architectural landscape. We were supposed to visit the Reichstag dome, but me being me, I booked our tickets for the evening after we were scheduled to leave! And despite being in yet another new and unfamiliar environment, I found the familiar food to be sort of comforting. Growing up with a grandmother with a penchant for German recipes, I realized I've come to associate schnitzels and spaetzle with my childhood, to a certain extent. I'm sure, as I was filling my plate with a heaping spoonful of homemade spaetzle and gravy, I never would have guessed I'd been eating a plate of the same stuff on a sidewalk in Germany. 

Next up: Part II


Dom Streater Pop-up at Knit Wit

Last Tuesday, Knit Wit and Skai Blue Media hosted a pop-up shop featuring the Spring/Summer 2014 collection of Dom Streater. The Season 12 winner of Project Runway hails from Philadelphia, so I knew this event would be perfect for the Style section. 

Dom was kind enough to answer several questions of mine for the article that will be running next week if I get my act together. A number of the attendees shopped the collection, and scarves bearing Dom's trademark prints seemed to be a big hit, as were her rain ponchos, especially considering the dreary weather.

I'm naturally rather introverted, so throwing myself into a small room full of creative people versed in the art of networking was quite the intimidating notion. I went in with the intention of being friendly, sociable, and I was prepared to network my butt off. Within a few minutes I realized that everyone here knew everyone else, and I had to find some way to fit in. What surprised me the most, however, were the number of people I had never met before who pretended to know who I was. I guess that sort of comes with the territory, doesn't it?

I was fortunate enough to speak briefly with a publicist for the event, the owner of the boutique and several other attendees who operated local businesses or agencies. When I mentioned I was a student journalist, they were more than willing to trade information, and I'm hoping to have some cool project in the works before the month is over.


In an Instant

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I know I'm not the only one in the world who has taken on a good amount of responsibility. I'm incredibly fortunate to be doing what I'm doing, although I don't always remember that as I'm pressing snooze on my alarm which goes off at 5 a.m. three times a week.

When I fulfilled the co-op required by my school, where I worked as a full time intern for six months, I chose to stay in Philadelphia for a myriad of reasons. Some of which made sense at the time, and some of which I thoroughly regret. For some reason, I had always assumed that I wasn't nearly privileged enough to work as an unpaid intern for a "big" name in New York. These past four months have proven me seriously wrong. I've somehow managed to make it through a full course of classes while working a part time job, editing the Style section of the newspaper and serving as the editor-in-chief of a student magazine. I managed to sleep a little bit sometimes, too.

I'm not sure how I did it, I'm really not. Now that I have a month left before I graduate, I took the time to reflect on the fact that I've been doing this for four months. For four months I've spent 12 hours a week on a bus. I've learned to hail a cab with 3 runway looks (including shoes) in a garment bag slung over my shoulders. I've (sort of) learned to navigate NYC's subway system and I can tell the difference between Uptown and the Upper East Side. I've also been in the Conde Nast, New York Times and Hearst building more times than I can count on my fingers, which for me was a pretty big deal. I'd just like to remind myself that I'm really freaking lucky, even though I just feel tired most of the time.


Detail of the Week: Madewell Sloane Satchel

Some people collect bags and some people collect shoes, but I don't feel like I have a particular affinity for either. I've developed a much more utilitarian approach to my accessories and after a series of impulse purchases, I've learned the importance of investing in quality materials. This makes the most sense when it comes to bags and shoes. I use my purse every single day, and I'm especially hard on my shoes (for some reason). 

This is my second Madewell bag and I'm absolutely smitten. Last year I treated myself to the Lovelock Satchel, which is a bit larger with one more pocket. I spotted this bag in the Madewell store on Walnut St. on Black Friday, and after I checked online and saw that it was sold out I convinced my mother to let me buy it and put it away until the holidays. I secretly pulled it out of its wrapping and preemptively used it for an interview, but as soon as I got home I tucked it away until Christmas and pretended to be surprised when I opened it.

I find that I don't use the front pocket, because it's rather inconvenient to open, but it's large enough to fit a wallet, phone, keys, headphones, lip balm, pen and a small planner with room to spare. That extra room is often taken up by a packet of almonds. Just in case you were wondering.


Buda + Pest (Part II)

Our antics from the night before coupled with the relentless heat made us decide to take our second day in Budapest at a slower pace. We wandered through town, along the river, until we needed to retreat into some stores with air conditioning. Even though the apartment our hostel was hosted in was stunning, with tall ceilings and beautiful moldings, we were roughing it without AC.

It turned out that my favorite treat from Prague, a trdelník, was also called a kürtőskalác in Hungary. This one was the best I ever had, period. Imaging a hybrid between a donut and a croissant, wrapped around a wooden spool where the outside became crispy before it was doused in cinnamon sugar.

At the end of the day, before we caught our night train home, we stopped at a craft fair that was being held at what I think was a local university. I picked up a couple of really cool printed, with images printed on pages from a Hungarian dictionary, and a pendant as souvenirs for family friends back home.

If I learned anything from this trip, it was to pay up for a full bed on a night train. If I thought the cramped bunker I had to share with 5 other girls was tough, I was in for a rude awakening. Our train coming home was overbooked and so we were demoted to a pair of upright seats for the 7-hour journey home. I can confirm that it was just as bad as it sounds.

At times I regret only being able to visit Budapest for such a short amount of time, but I choose to see it as an opportunity to pay it a visit again in the future.