Archive for November, 2007

City Slickers

After sitting in 9.5 hours of holiday traffic, we’re finally home from our whirlwind Thanksgiving weekend in New York. After a Thanksgiving gathering in Long Island followed by another family feast on Friday in New Jersey, we tackled New York City on Saturday to enjoy our old home turf.

Between the two of us we lived in NYC for 8 years (in 10 different apartments and 3 different boroughs) before retreating south to my home state of VA. And the only time we lived even remotely close to each other was in Astoria, Queens. Which would’ve been great if we’d known each other then- and it hadn’t been 2 years apart. Details, details…

So we took a quick tour of Astoria to revisit our old apartments (and to be reminded of how low our standards were when we were both broke college students). I was particularly grossed out by the state of my old place. I can’t tell if it got worse in the past three years or if I’m just sugar coating my memory of it.

Sherry Astoria John Astoria

Sherry Was Here                  John Was Here

After slumming it in Queens, we decided to spoil ourselves with a trip to the new CB2 store in SoHo (one of our other old addresses). It opened about 3 weeks ago as the first and only CB2 store in the world. So (surprise, surprise) it was pretty crowded. But it was still tons of fun to see all their stuff in real life. We restrained ourselves and walked out with only a few disco-ball Christmas ornaments. Probably because we knew we’d have to carry our purchases around with us the rest of the day.

CB2 in SoHo

While in SoHo we also checked out the semi-new Z Gallerie store (where we picked up another Christmas ornament) and a new Japanese store called Muji (picture American Apparel meets Ikea – I know, hard to imagine). We also grabbed lunch at a cool gourmet coffee & crepe shop called Kitchen Commune where, like dorks, we were more interested in the decor than the goat cheese and turkey crepes we ordered. For instance, check out this cool, huge kitchen-utensil chandelier:

Kitchen Commune

After lunch and a swoop through Chinatown, we hopped back on the A train towards the top tip of Manhattan where my big sister and bro-in-law live in a sweet apartment they bought last year. There we got to sit back and watch someone else’s home improvement for a change. Here’s strong-man Marty showing off the chandelier he hung to better define their dining space (sound familiar?).

Marty’s Light

They got the light at Lowe’s after a few other light fixtures (including a shade from CB2) didn’t work out. Everyone was thrilled with the final result, and I empathized with Marty’s relief that the project was over.

That pretty much wraps up our quick trip to the big city. We’re not sure when we’ll be back next, except that we want to go when it’s warmer!



Adding A Pendant Light To Create A New Eating Zone

Sorry we haven’t been more frequent bloggers over the past two days. We’ve spent Thursday and Friday stuffing our faces and being thankful for fabulous family and friends… and for the fact that our new pendant light from CB2 is finally hung over our new dining area. Here it is as seen from the kitchen:

Pendant from kitchen

And from the “living” side of our living/dining room:

After pendant

It’s amazing how dragging a table and chairs into one side of our living room and adding a light fixture creates an instant dining area that everyone thinks has always been there. It’s like it was meant to be! Getting that pendant lamp added only cost around a hundred dollars- a small price to pay for a brand new eating space that works perfectly for “open living” lovers like us. And since we conveniently placed our dining area right off of our kitchen, it’s easy to serve and set the table thanks to the close proximity.

Speaking of the kitchen, the electricians also rewired that room as well (it’s a total lighting makeover- we’ll blog about our five new recessed lights in a little while) and hung our seeded glass pendant from West Elm over the sink as well (ignore the ugly ceiling marks, we’ve got some spacklin’ to do).

New kitchen window

Oh and we got new windows for the ENTIRE HOUSE. Which make all the difference! See how sparkly new they look in the photo above? Now the whole house is a lot less drafty than it used to be with 50+ year old windows everywhere. And our new double hung versions with Argon and Low-E are tax write offs, too. What more could an old house ask for? It only took the window guys about three hours and after I spent the next day repainting all the window molding a bright glossy white, it was a total facelift for every room.

Hope everyone else is having a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend. We’re off to stomp around our old stomping ground- NYC- for the next two days (where we met and fell in love). Should be fun and freezing. Of course we’ll keep you posted about everything from the new CB2 store in Soho to Burger’s take on the big apple.