It’s getting hot in New York, and I’ll say this: summer in the city is in full swing. All the beautiful weirdos are out, and the energy in the city is frenetic, exciting and, admittedly, a little dicey. More on that later. For now, I’m enjoying more sunlight, not wearing a coat to walk the pup, and that lazy warm weekend vibe when the city empties and the pace slows.
So here are five things top of mind as the weather warms.
And the sneaker of summer is…
The classic high-top Air Jordan. On women. From teen girls in Carroll Gardens to Xers in Tribeca, I’ve spotted chicks in Jordans, which look so cool. Girls here are rocking them with everything from short dresses to jumpsuits, and I’m a fan.
On the flip side, there seems to be a bit of a Barbie bonanza happening, too. Kim K is in full “Balenciaga Barbie” mode, according to Vogue, and so is her meshpucha Khloe. And local favorite boutique Meg has this Barbie-pink apron dress that is part ’50s housewife, part cute kitty. This trend is not for me at all but I find it interesting, as gender roles are top of mind, that such a traditional role model would resonate. Odd that.
Also, terry cloth is EVERYWHERE. It’s somehow a continuation of that ’70s tennis vibe from last summer but even more aligned to riding in the back seat of my mom’s brown Ford Granada wearing something like this. And since many people think New York feels like the ’70s again, it’s not that strange that the ’70s would be back again in a style sentiment.
This brings me to something else. I was strolling downtown with a dear friend, and we were talking about how New York feels “edgy” again. For many of us who have been here for years, this could be seen as a welcome change from years of finance d-bags populating our city with their popped collars and bottle service. But here’s what.
I’m about as edgy as Humpty Dumpty these days, so I’m not sure I am welcoming this new sharpness. I am a fan of feeling safe. And though perhaps when I was younger I romanticized some junkie version of New York, seeing a guy shoot up behind an umbrella while I went over the Manhattan Bridge was unsettling. But at least he was polite. There’s that.
For many years post 9/11, the city became very safe. During Bloomberg’s era, raising children here was desirable, and one would reject suburban living like the plague. Many diehard New Yorkers were lamenting the end of the edge. And that New York without a constant whiff of danger was not New York. I nodded solidarity and agreed that a Travis Bickle version of New York was inspired. Still, if I was candid, I preferred a Carrie Bradshaw tube top, tutu, and cosmopolitan version. It turns out I’m a bit soft. I can throw that special brand of New York shade like the best of them, but give me sanity over Summer of Sam any day.
The truth is, when I moved here in 1993, the city was still slightly shifty. Alphabet City had its corners, and there were still sex shops in Times Square, long before Bubba Gump or The Olive Garden. But in general, New York was on an upward trajectory in terms of crime and gentrification and an influx of wealth and money from people like me who were so damn excited to (finally) be here. The rents were cheaper then, and you could still afford to live here, as long as you hustled, as I often did. I remember getting paid for everything from coat checking at clubs to inviting people via phone to parties for promoters (IYKYK). My day job of advertising something or other. But after 9/11 broke us all, we put ourselves back together and lived in a city full of life, good vibes, and, strangely, a sense of security with all that solidarity.
But cut to now. The pandemic, the protests, and the general primordial vibe make the city feel odd now, particularly at night. I used to love going out, but now I just stay in. What’s become of me?
I’ll quote James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, who famously sang about losing his edge; I know I’ve lost mine. In some ways, I am grateful, and in some ways, I crave a cigarette and a 2 am stroll through the East Village.
Besides losing my edge and overthinking, there are a few things you should know about to enhance your summer shopping.
First up, Garance Doré’s new skincare line is simply le bomb and minimalist. I love the moisturizer: excellent packaging and the perfect weight for summer skincare. Good stuff from the former illustrator/blogger/fashion scenester.
Also, these bags I spotted at 180 in Tribeca are so fabulous. Also French and super-duper chic. I love how the inner lining can come out and be its own little thing. So good.
And I’m a bit mad at myself for wanting these Adidas x Gucci loafers as much as I do. But they’re fun, and that’s that. And though I may not be edgy, I’m still fun.
Also, if you have not tried Saie’s Dew Blush cheek tint, you’re missing out. It’s sheer and pretty and provides that perfect hint of tint your skin needs. I’m obsessed with the peachy shade, but all of them are great.
And after my recent quick trip to LA, I discovered the sweetest store, Moonastar, up in Topanga Canyon that sold this scent bundle that is gypset chic in scent form. It’s good for working from home and giving your space a much-needed spiritual lift. Divine.
So as I dodge umbrella-toting junkies and contemplate my New York edge cred, I’m looking forward to my cousin’s wedding in July and, of course, CANCER season, aka my bday. I’m setting my sights on good vibes, sandalwood-scented Saturdays, and digging in and rediscovering my beloved city and maybe even my edge.