fresh starts

You might say it's been a while. You might be right.

For a long while now I've been questioning the value of blogs, fashion blogs in particular. My own in particular particular. 

Whether you're actually adding anything to anything by posting a picture of yourself looking suitably attractive and well dressed, but suitably unconscious of same so as to be considered "cool" and "fashion"? Whether this culture is something you want to be involved in and preoccupied with? Whether energy could be better directed elsewhere? 

I've been silent for quite some time while I ruminated and I've come to a conclusion of sorts. Not the end, rather a new beginning. 

For me, at least, I think the time has come for some change on the blog front. Not so dramatic as to be unrecognisable by any means, but a few wee tweaks in design and some significant changes in content type and quality are definitely on the cards. 

In my absence I've definitely been missing the writing and thinking out loud element of this blog. Now, however I find I'm craving more focus, more positivity, more meaning even. A clearer direction. 

We shall see where all of this takes us. 


Home time ...

I'm leaving New York tomorrow - going home. Less than eighteen hours till I am no longer here. 

It's been a far different summer from anything I could have imagined. Far better, I think, overall. I've completely ignored lots of things I said I would do. I've treated plenty of things I said I'd never do in a similar fashion. 

I've ticked waitress off my list(of professions to try). As well as seeing dawn from Central Park. Smoking on a fire escape is gone. 

I've responded to 'Nice jacket!' with 'Thanks, I got it at a thrift store in Williamsburg'. I've gone on errands in the garment district. I've gotten drunk on martinis (and Jameson and free wine and 'Hennessy and Cokes Tall No Ice'). Learned to understand baseball, more or less. 

I've started to write again, modestly. Decisions have been made about the future direction of things. It's been fun and enlightening. At times, there was far too much space inside my brain - I got lost in the caverns of it once or twice. I've developed a taste for pancakes I didn't think I was capable of sustaining. 

I've gotten unfit. I've learned to appreciate both the Irish mentality and the quality of Irish food. I've been homesick and I've been delighted to be here, mostly the latter. 

I've been inspired most every day. I've learned things about things and about people, mostly about myself. 

I am happy to have been here. To have met the people I did. To have experienced all that I have. I am happy to have been here, and yet I am happy to be leaving. Leaving my New York home for my real home. 

Home home. Where places have meanings stacked up like building blocks on top of them. Memories sewed like lining into their very fabric. Where almost nothing is new or unfamiliar.

I am excited to see my people again. I have longed for them often - precise moments where they would have been the ideal companions came up regularly. These experiences weren't lessened for lack of them, but I am happy to go home so I can tell them all about it. That I have them to tell all about it. 

Mostly I am glad that this happened, that I am here right now having done this, going home. Home home. T - 25 hours. 



I miss my wardrobe ...

I have reached the conclusion that the 'Wardrobe of Classics' - the achievement of which is often described in highfalutin publications as the pinnacle of a stylish life - is completely useless, if not downright detrimental, to ones daily attempts at the art of dressing

Yes, high quality simple garments which can be worn in a variety of ways are an excellent idea. Just like a wardrobe of cheap Penney's dresses is not ideal. The problem with the first is that a) people (i.e. me) get bored easily and b) those basic staples are not meant to be mixed with EACH OTHER all of the time. Basic Staple plus Basic Staple plus Basic Staple is rarely a recipe for sartorial success. Unless you are this girl.

One basic staple can be the basis of five different outfits - that's a good Basic Staple. But the important part is the other components of the five outfits. You need the colourful pants, interesting skirt, show stopping jacket. Just like pasta and rice are basic cupboard staples, eating pasta and rice all day everyday without any seasoning gets boring, fast.

My opinion is definitely informed by the fact that all my Outfit Makers were forgotten when I came to New York. 'These are all great basics' we said. 'You can wear this with everything.' I forgot the 'everything'. I left the 'everything' to the mercy of my sisters in Craddockstown.* 

So, NYC with basics - it's not the worst thing in the world, Especially not when it's a million degrees out and anything more than a vest and shorts equals melt central. Nonetheless, I miss my wardrobe, my Aztec Leggings, leather shorts, denim skirt, sequined skirt ... I could go on, but I'll stop there. 

My August mission now becomes, SHOP. Not a mission I generally have a problem with. Particularly when there are so many amazing stores around the place. On the list - everything in these images really. Living with the basics and surrounded by a people who like to dress plainly - Puritan roots maybe? - I have become obsessed with prints and embellishment and general OTT behaviour.

One of my favourite Irish bloggers Angela Scanlon Photographer Ciuin Tracey
 And so - to shop till I have a wardrobe I can pull from. 5 weeks left, this town won't know what hit it. 


*Cue scary text from home "BrĂ­d quick question, You know all the clothes you left behind? Could they go to a charity clothes collection?" Nooooooo was the immmediate response.


Can I get this wrapped up?

... begins the chapter on 'Questions I never thought I'd ask'. Also included are, 'Um ... do you guys have eggs?' 

The sister chapter 'Things I never thought I'd say' is similarly overflowing, the most used phrase being 'Tall Americano extra shot'.

In other news, I have fallen in love with New York. And Patti Smith. And drawing, again. 

It's surprising, and incredible, how easy it is to move 3000 miles from home and set yourself up for three months. I have been incredibly lucky. People wise, accommodation wise, everything wise really.

 It takes some time to get used to this city. For a good two weeks I was trying to 'figure out' everything, tourist wonder was my default setting. Different stores, different sweet packaging, different signs and traffic signals. Different ways people had of dressing, of speaking. Hearing fifteen different languages every day. Realising that asking someone where they're from isn't the straightforward opening question it generally is at home.Figuring out which way is up - literally. Difficulty with direction means I often have to go the wrong way before I figure out where I am. 

Time is flying away. Every second feels precious. That and my regular Starbucks order (triple tall Americano if you're wondering) mean sleep is not a priority. It feels like wasted time. And with only nine weeks left wasted time is not an option.

 Inspired is the short phrase for what I am at the moment. Every new street throws up something worth photographing - words are flowing in ways they haven't in longer than I can remember. I am reading like I did when I was 12. Voraciously. Patti Smith, Just Kids, Thinking - Fast and Slow and some Beckett so far. 

The default bag contents is sketchbook, notebook, pen, camera and roll of film. 

The clothing wishlist grows daily. My decision to be a sensible human being and not bring my entire wardrobe really bites. Clothes shopping is definitely on the agenda. Although not having Shutterbug to pull from is a sadness. White shirts are my new obsession - to wear with braces, black ties, city shorts and Keds/Converse. 

Similarly, my wise grown up decision not to bring every art material known to man(as well as a studio/the entire art college of equipment while I'm at it) is a hindrance. It does mean I have to explore all the art material shops in NYC though, which is no bad thing. Trying not to buy fifteen new notebooks every time I go inside is definitely a difficulty.

More photos will be taken soon. In the meantime - may I recommend New York heartily. Come. And never leave. 



Packing's going well ...

.... slash clearly isn't since I'm procrastinating with an outfit post. Which I procrastinated with further by playing in Picasa. So many effects, so little time.

I'm leaving for New York in two days, TWO DAYS! Naturally before I left, I plundered Shutterbug. (Thank you Blanaid) And since the 'good clothes' mentality has long ago disappeared I've been wearing the heck out of them ever since.

This clutch bag is my new favourite thing in the world. This hat is a close second, the fact that it made it unscathed through a night out in Kilkenny is nothing short of miraculous.

Hat - Shutterbug 
Jumper - H&M - via one of Kilkenny's many charity shops
Skirt - Shutterbug 
Boots - River Island 
Clutch - Shutterbug

In other news, college is finished till September. And I am leaving for New York for the ENTIRE SUMMER in TWO DAYS. None of this has quite sunk in yet. I shall attempt to process it on my seven and a half hour flight.