Bronwyn Collage IMG_0718.2.krIMG_0801.2.krGarden Bronwyn Fancy BronwynMy wonderful friend Bronwyn came to visit last weekend, which of course meant I had to have an impromptu photo shoot at my favorite museum (with a whole photo story about it coming up soon). I haven’t shot portraits in a while, which is a shame as that is how I got into photography to begin with, capturing those subtle moments briefly ingrained in our faces, like traces in sand that are quickly washed away. You could say that I cheated with this one, as her gorgeous hair and amazing green eyes effortlessly lend themselves to dramatic photos but while looking through the set I realized I loved them because in all of them her gaze is so penetrating and direct and yet never identical. It’s the sort of subtlety of expression I’m a dork for.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy looking through these as much as I did taking them!

IMG_0667.krIMG_0674.krIMG_0682.2.krIMG_0676.krAs promised, my semi-frequent updates! Yesterday these beauties from M. Gemi came in the mail and I had to take them out. I’ve been biting my nails over M. Gemi for a while but I could no longer withstand their amazing craftsmanship and photography (and the packaging, I’m such a sucker for the packaging). Nabbed them on their private sale that’s still going on, so go check it out! Entire outfit not pictured, but I felt like a flapper or like a character in a Jane Austen novel, with their classical revival style (think long Grecian gowns and dainty shoes).

  1. Alice Gao’s Lingered Upon is one of my favorite blogs where she posts the most beautiful photos. With all the recent trouble in France, her recent post reminded me that the country, and especially Paris, is gorgeous and wonderful, even in this dark time. And also Alice has impeccable taste.
  2. Morocco’s been on the travel bucket list since I started taking Arabic my freshman year of college and if you happen to need a to-do list when you jet off to the North African wonderland for a few days with Cartier, Carin Olsson of Paris in Four Months has you covered. I browse her beautiful blog to inspire my dreams of when I, too, leave everything and move back to Paris and try to photograph its special light.

And I’m always looking for new blogs and photographers and books to follow/look at/read so let me know what your favorites are!

P.S: The close-ups of my shoes were taken by Jake, who’s learning to be a wonderful Instagram husband. 🙂

IMG_0616.krIMG_0606.2IMG_0623.2.krIMG_0628.2.krIs brunch at 3pm still brunch?

Does lunch even exist on Sundays in the City?

As a recent initiate into the “City” life, I was far too early in my NYC education to be able to answer those existential questions on my own. Luckily, Russ & Daughters divined this eternal struggle – they serve eggs all day. However, I felt I would be amiss if I didn’t get a bagel at what has been advertised as the best place in NY to get one.

When our server placed the bottle of seltzer on our table, I knew I was home (Russian people drink so much mineral water. I used to have a bottle of  San Pellegrino by my bedside. It was almost religious). While I’m not Jewish (although my great-great-grandfather was), a lot of Jewish food shares so many elements with Russian food (although not the names) that I really can’t say which one influenced the other. Although I had to ask our resident food expert what all the names meant, in the end I could point to foods straight out of my childhood – caviar, kasha, latkes. However, bagels are distinctly non-Russian and hence a source of endless fascination for me, especially when presented on a board with all the accoutrements. I find that the ritual of arranging your bagel or bialy any way you want is such a pleasure in a city known for its fast pace. We may have had to run to Russ & Daughters Café when we found out a table for four was finally available, but once we were ensconced in the plush light blue booth (and no longer sweating in this July heat) we had all the time in the world to sample each other’s dishes and arrange the plates to make a perfect picture.

If you’re planning on passing by and don’t mind a wait, I’d recommend any of their boards, especially the Classic (smoked salmon, cream cheese, onion, tomato and capers) and the amazing sodas – we tried Blueberry and Ginger soda and were not disappointed. Actually, I doubt you can go wrong with anything on their menu.

(Some of the photos were taken courtesy of: Victoria Li and her amazing foodie instagram and her superior vantage point. But I still got to art direct and edit them all :))

Russ & Daughters Café

127 Orchard St

New York, NY 10002

Colsan“You’re such a foodie,” announced my friend after I had spent an hour wandering around Newbury Street, peering into cafes and restaurants, trying to find one that intuitively ‘felt right’ so we could finally eat lunch. I felt it was an unjust accusation, since I wasn’t picky at all about my food, I just wanted to try something new and perfect.

When my boyfriend leveled the same accusation against me later when I spent an appalling amount of time walking around Tulum trying to find something perfect and new and authentic to eat, I had to admit to myself that this was true. Slowly stepping out of my denial (which comes from a fear of being THAT food porn Instagrammer) I am devouring Park Slope, which is proving to be a veritable cornucopia of hidden gems.  Take Piccoli Trattoria, just down the street from our apartment, with the best (and very affordable) Italian dishes and now Colson Patisserie, a dream left over from that time I studied abroad in Paris and ate pastries instead of real meals – it was like eating delicious fruit clouds, except I wasn’t weightless afterwards… Photographed in the safety of my home is the rhubarb and strawberry brioche, the flourless chocolate cake (although I asked for the macaroon rice pudding tart and they gave me this by mistake) and some tiramisu for Jake, who strongly identifies with his Italian heritage. The brioche, the only one I tried so far, was delicious – so soft and not too sweet, dripping with fruit juices and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I cannot wait to try more flavors, and go back for those financiers everyone is obsessed with – I see a Sunday tradition in the making.

IMG_0516.krIMG_0510.krIMG_0498.krIMG_0509.krSummer in Maine

I had a glorious weekend of cooking under the sun and doing nothing in Maine and yet now that I’m back in New York I find I need a nap again. It has always been my mantra that the best rest is a change of activity (excuse the rough Russian translation) but I’m slowly coming around to the thought that one of those activities could be doing nothing. I still shudder at the thought, which is probably why I may need to stay away from highly diverse places like big cities and stick to little seaside towns with barely any electricity or connection to the mainland United States (although there better be WiFi).

Portland is hardly boring or all that small, but when you’ve been there for over a year and it’s lost its novelty, I can peacefully relax at home, or on a boat, and not feel like I’m missing out on everything. My favorite model returns to this seaside impromptu photoshoot. It was too cold to swim – it is still Maine after all – but I did relish getting to see another angle of my favorite landmark.

Hope you all had a Happy Fourth, whether American or not!

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