They say New York is a place where you can meet the love of your life walking down the street. “They” are not lying. If you look at the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist, multitudes of couples appear to emerge as a result of the L train commute. A friend of mine met her husband rollerblading by the Thompson street deli. I myself once met a guy while standing in line at Jamba Juice: he bought me a wheat grass shot and I thought he was my future husband – that is, until we went on a few dates and I discovered that he was a Persian Jew who couldn’t eat shellfish, let alone marry a shiksa.
One friend of mine, whom we will call Kate (think Kate Beckinsale in Serendipity) had never had a romance blossom from a chance encounter. Despite having spent twelve years in New York City, no handsome stranger had ever swept her off her feet in the midst of a mundane Tuesday, a fact that she would bitterly mention while manifesting her disdain for the modern dating culture. “I’ve never even had my Katherine Heigl romcom moment, and now I have to use an application to date?” It was clear that she was pining for a serendipitous twist of fate, which made it even more exciting when she called me a few weeks ago to inform me that she had met a cute guy at her local supermarket.
A longtime proponent of the office job with an affinity for planning my next-day work outfit as a sort of meditative bedtime mantra in lieu of counting sheep—blue jeans, blazer for client meeting, those stacked-heel booties for that post-work date, ommm—I recently switched professional gears and found myself simultaneously juggling a few freelance projects, most of which could be easily managed from the comfort of my living room. The initial couple of months were fantastic: My skin was glowing from its makeup-free regimen, I relished in being the only one of my friends not to need snow boots during the winter storm, and a small fortune was saved that would have otherwise been spent at Barneys. I realized that with a few notable exceptions, I had pretty much survived the entire winter in one stretchy pair of Frame Denim jeans and an assortment of cotton marinières—and not of the cool La Ligne variety. The real wake-up call came when a guy I was seeing asked me to a benefit and seemed quite relieved when I arrived looking relatively put-together in an ensemble (Thakoon pencil skirt, Céline heels) left over from my days of chic Parisian office attire. Later that evening, he confessed. He had been worried. Apparently, during a recent mid-work session rendezvous at the Bowery Hotel, I had “looked a little rough.” Rough how? “Oh, you know . . . like you hadn’t washed your hair.” A small part of me died. Had I really fallen subject to the standard cliché of the millennial freelancer: in perpetual pajama party mode, schlepping around coffee shops with a Carhartt beanie masking her dirty mane? Redemptive measures had to be taken, and quickly. I decided to ask my other freelancer friends, all poised women whom I had never seen leave the house sans manicure, on how they manage to avoid the seemingly inevitable sartorial slump that comes with having nobody to answer to but yourself.
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Prelude: This is NOT a letter for the real dbags of this world, the men born lacking an inherent moral compass, the Dan Bilzerians who wear their douchiness on their Tom Ford sleeves, treating people like disposable commodities while preserving the capacity to sleep peacefully through the night.
This is an open letter to the Unintentional Dbag, the man with good motives who got lost somewhere along the way. The Unintentional Dbag was most likely a complete dork who couldn’t get a girl to save his life in high school. This freed up time for him to study, go to a good college, and do very well for himself, at which point he discovered that, in addition to great restaurants and prime real estate, money also has the power to buy the affection of tight-bodied young ladies vying for their first taste of caviar and Cartagena.
I’m standing in the snack isle at Whole Foods, starting at what seems like endless rows of granola bars. There’s a Chia bar, it has coconut in it.. I like coconut, but it’s kind of small. There’s a giant Clif bar that seems like it would fill me up, but look at that sugar count! The Think Thin bar seems ok, but do I really want to be the girl who “thinks thin”? Luna bar? Too basic, I can do better.. This excruciating mental process continues for ten minutes until I throw in the flag and leave the store empty-handed. Twenty minutes later, I’m starving.
“Night at the Urban Farm” by Kelcey Vossen
(Warning: this story contains numerous bad cookie puns. Dieters must proceed with caution.)
I love cookies. You love cookies. Everyone and their mother, elusive French people included, love ‘les cookies’, a universal symbol of comfort and happiness. That said, when Raya recently matched me with the owner of a trending New York cookie chain, I couldn’t help but be very excited. Unlike the DJs, producers, photographers (shudder) and actors (double shudder) that Raya stocks in abundance, the profession of cookie entrepreneur suggested an appreciation for other things warm and cuddly like curvy bodies and quirky personalities. The cookies, granted, were vegan and organic but, hey, tomayto tomahto, right?
Whilst moving back from Paris six months ago, I bitterly bid adieu to many things I loved – fresh croissants, Dries sample sales, cheap travel, men in great suits, the list goes on. In the midst of these misgivings, one of the consolatory thoughts that kept me going was the knowledge that New York had evolved significantly over the years, propelling the rise of an entire new micro-oasis, equipped with its own cultural trends, sartorial codes, and my own personal form of male kryptonite – Brooklyn hipsters in all their disheveled glory! After months of extensive research via the powers bestowed upon me by Raya (who should probably pay me, at this point!), I am pleased to present the 10 Commandments that one should follow if attempting to navigate the wacky waters of this outer borough!