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March 22, 2015

New York and Nesting

Well, folks, it’s come down to this—a quarterly blog post. I can’t believe this is my first piece of writing in three months! [Sigh.] Who or what’s to blame?

In a word: work. Lots of work. (You know, the all-important day job that pays the bills and provides health insurance.) In particular, weekly treks to Wilmington. Trust me when I say that Delaware’s largest city ain’t the most, uh, appealing place to commute to. Kudos to local officials and real estate developers for wanting to revitalize its bleak downtown area with new apartment buildings designed to attract millenials, but it still has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the country, so much so that Newsweek named Wilmington “Murder Town USA.” (Yep, for reals.) Don’t get me wrongmy team up there is awesome; it’s the logistics and stress of business travel that’s wearing me down. (And the fact that Amtrak could not run a single train on time during the entire month of February to save its life.)

But hey, my winter of grumbling discontent has passed. And of course, there was a lot to smile about in the first quarter of 2015 too. Here’s a recap:

Back in January, Andrew and I spent a long weekend in NYC. The theme? Art, art and more art. We went to the blockbuster (and breathtakingly crowded) Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition at MoMA where Andrew furtively snapped this photo. Overall, it was a true visual feast of color and creativity.

In a quieter section of the museum, we walked through this small exhibition examining music and design—”art forms that share aesthetics of rhythm, tonality, harmony, interaction, and improvisation.”

Iconic posters in riotous colors.

In between museum-hopping, we dropped by the flagship Cartier store on Fifth Avenue so I could make my first big jewelry purchase as a grown-up. It’s the classic Trinity ring that I’ve been coveting for awhile. I like its understated luxury that doesn’t scream “bling!”

Neither of us had ever visited the Museum of the City of New York, a small gem located way up Fifth at 103rd Street. This dazzling and delicate installation called “Starlight” hangs above the main rotunda.

This is the non-Instagram-filtered version :) My secret’s out.

The main draw (pun intended) for hauling our butts to the MCNY near Harlem? The Mac Conner show. Billed as one of the original “Mad Men,” Mr. Conner (who’s still alive and kicking at 102 years old) is an illustrator who worked on Madison Avenue ad campaigns from the 1940s through ’60s. His style is Norman Rockwell with a little Roy Lichtenstein thrown in. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Snapping my reflection in the galleries. (Outfit details: Nike Internationlist kicks, Patagonia’s Better Sweater Coat, AG Stilt Jeans, Dover Street Market nylon tote.)

Taking a break from taking it all in.

I applied a black-and-white filter on this image of the cafe area. The negative photo effect on the skyscrapers render them like the human genome—the way New York City seeps into your DNA.

We walked down Fifth towards the recently renovated and reopened Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. I’m standing at the center of a cool installation called “Controller of the Universe” by Damián Ortega. It’s an explosion of suspended hand tools.

You walk single-file through the installation under the surly gaze of a nervous security guard. (No backpacks allowed.)

This was from a vignette that depicted the life of Peter Cooper’s daughters. I love that rich wallpaper.

A chandelier sculpture (and engineering feat) made from shards of dinnerware and utensils. I like the juxtaposition of the modern piece against the ornate century-old woodwork.

Our one splurge-y dinner was at David Chang’s hip dim sum eatery Momofuku Ma Pêche in the lower-level of the Chambers Hotel.

At street level, there’s the Momofuku Milk Bar where you can get desserts to go. I took this photo of customers waiting for their sugar fix, lit up in pink neon.

We bought two rather large cookies to munch on later. They didn’t last long.

Back at the ranch, I’ve noticed that my relentless travel schedule has made me even more of a homebody. As a strong introvert, my environment affects my sense of well-being and comfort more than most.

Frozen snow and a streetlight’s warm glow on our backyard cherry tree in early March.

To compensate for time spent in unfamiliar surroundings and shabby Sheratons, I’ve become obsessed with nesting. While we’re thankfully not undertaking another renovation this year, we are assessing and replacing some furniture.

In the master bedroom, we finally replaced a couple of rickety IKEA end tables with new marble-topped “Penelope” nightstands from West Elm.

Perhaps this brutal winter (remember the 9-degree temperature readings, the howling winds, and inconvenient snow?) majorly messed with my mind, but I’ve been thinking about painting the interior of our front door a bold color. Last weekend, we finally did it!

And how fitting that the Behr Ultra semi-gloss paint we chose is called “Sunny Summer.”

Home is definitely where my heart is.

A few notes: