FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

Upper East Side

All Good Things Must Come To An End . . . Maybe

Lauren Caron3 Comments

This week I found out that my management company will not be renewing any leases, including mine.  I'm extremely bummed because I was expecting to live in my apartment for at least two more years.  I'm especially annoyed because I'm not done yet! I still have so much to do in order to feel like my apartment is complete!  My lease is ending on May 31, 2011 and because legally they can not kick me out this month, I am 'going to be a month-to-month tenant'.   That means I won't be homeless at least until July but I have already started looking for a new place, and as silly as it seems my ears perk up when I hear the words "Fourth floor walk up."  We're going to look at one tomorrow on the Upper West Side, so we'll see how things go.

If anyone reading has a lead on a place, please shoot me an email.  We must pay less than $2,000, we need at least a 1bdr. that is dog friendly and in a safe area.

I'd love to find a place where I could in a sense pick up where I've left off.  My boyfriend built the wall unit in such a way that it can be transported in pieces - so we don't have to worry about leaving that behind.  I am expecting that there will be some unplanned issues as that will come with the territory in any other place we move into.  I am going to keep my blog Fourth Floor Walk Up, but this move is going to have to be a new chapter that hopefully will be better than the last.  I believe that everything happens for a reason, so I have to accept any transition that occurs within my life.

2010 New York Holiday Windows: Ralph Lauren - Madison Avenue's Mens, Ladies & Kids.

SPACESLauren CaronComment

I finally forced myself off the bus tonight (with a load of bags may I say) to take photos of the glamorous Ralph Lauren Mansions on Madison Avenue @ 72nd street. I have to give myself a pat on the back because I was seriously carrying a heavy load tonight . . . Xmas presents galore but taking pictures was necessary!  Having done a little bit of freelance work with this company, I somewhat know the 'in's and out's' of their creative visual and I have to say, they take it very seriously!  It's very impressive how much of an importance they put on their visuals. With that being said, they spared no expense this year.

The first stop is the kids store. These windows are seriously sweet, although selling children's clothes at this level of maturity really expresses who their actual customer is . . . wealthy moms and dads.

These next few are cute, the train!

At the Men's Store, also known as The Mansion the windows took on different themes within the different brands featured in the store.   As always, they feature the equestrian theme and being a horse person, I love it!

RRL & Co.

Collection

Accessories

Home

Lastly, the new mansion or Chateau as I like to call it.

I have to say that my only complaint about these windows is the lighting; in person its beautiful, but the lighting is a little low for taking photographs.  By the way, a little interesting fact: This location is the first one to use realistic Rootstein mannequins.  The mannequins chosen were based upon the models that walked in the most recent Ralph Lauren Collection Fall 2010 runway show.

All rights reserved.  Please contact me if you would like to use my photos. Thank you.

Rowhouses

SPACESLauren CaronComment

If anyone is as big as a nerd as I am and is interested in learning more about NYC's Rowhouses please see the attached New York City Rowhouse Manual.  You can print out the pages and carry them around with you as you try to guess the styles of Rowhouses that are scattered around the city.

Great neighborhoods to check out are: Greenwich Village, Lower Brooklyn (Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, Boreum Hill, Fort Greene etc.) the Upper East Side, and Chelsea.  The two photos below are taken of buildings in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, gorgeous right?

My favorite streets on the Upper East Side are 92nd and 93rd between Lexington and Park Avenues. There a few 19th century wooden clapboard houses that still remain are some of the oldest int he district.  They just make me so happy when I see them. This sorry photograph was taken of one of the houses on my iphone. The 128 East 93rd street address built in 1866 looks to be a combination of the Italianate and Second Empire Styles.

In Greenwich Village you can find one of my favorite houses in the city.  The “Weathermen Townhouse” or Langworthy Residence located at 18 West 11th Street, designed by Hardy Holzman Pffiefer Architects in 1972, even though it was erected pretty recently (1970s), it has a bit of history in its design that makes this building a popular tourist stop within the historic district.  This house was originally built in 1845, alongside three other townhouses on the block that were built by Henry Brevoort Jr.

No photo credit unfortunately, this is photo I took of a photo at the architecture center in soho.

This building is a great example of contemporary design that keeps the integrity of the historic context.  The New York Observer wrote a story on this building, "On first glance, all of the five-story townhouses lining West 11th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues blend together, lending the block the same charming and unaffordable air of any other Greenwich Village."  The article continues to describe the sharp architectural differences that this building has as its first and second floor windows sharply jut out past the other facades of the neighboring buildings,  "The starkly modern building begs to be recognized, for its incongruity and its history," which makes the design decisions of Hardy Holzman Pffiefer so well conceived.  This building's reconstruction was due to being accidentally detonated when five members of the radical Weathermen group used it as a makeshift bomb factory.

One can see the intentions of the architect, because upon viewing, there is a feeling of an explosion.  The design is further enhanced as the architect preserved the historic character of the block, by keeping the original sightline, ground line, materials and stoop style in tact.  The scale is completely in keeping with the other buildings on the block as it holds the same amount of stories and bays as its neighboring buildings.  The new features are different enough from the historical ones in the other buildings that it keeps the integrity of the property and its environment

photo credit: wired new york

The last thing I would like note is there is this beautifully inspiring blog called A Brooklyn Limestone I have no idea what this woman does for a living, because their home is beautiful, they've done a great amount of renovating within the past two years (using all high end materials and appliances) and they're always traveling to exotic and exuberant places and all of her photographs are beautiful.  Its pretty intriguing.  I absolutely love her kitchen.

photo credit: Mrs. Limestone

U.E.S. (Upper East Side) 2nd hand shopping

VINTAGELauren Caron2 Comments

Thrift stores abound on the UES! Not too many know this about the district with one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country. But yes, not only are there are great 2nd hand designer stores, there also are great thrift stores.  In this installment of the UES I will focus on the less expensive thrift stores that you will find in the neighborhood. However, if you can't wait to explore this neighborhood and would love to check out the designer resale stores, you check out the handy-dandy map I've created.

This image was taken from the HW website. It's a photograph of the 17th street location.

As seen on the map numbers 1 & 8, the Housing Works Thrift-shops are my favorite thrift stores!  Not only are there great articles of vintage and second hand clothing, many designers will donate overstock or samples to these stores.  Sometimes even the original tags are on the pieces. I have found Marc Jacobs shoes, dresses and tops with the original price tags. I also bought a brand new pair of Cheap Monday jeans there.  Housing Works also offers great furniture, hence my couch that bought there. It was still wrapped in the plastic, an overstock item from some furniture company. It's a pullout couch, wool fabric with bolsters with a low price of $400!  The two Louis XV style chairs I also picked up from there for . . . $75 ea.!

On the UES there are two Housing Works locations. One on 90th and 2nd avenue and the other on 77th street between 3rd and 2nd avenue.  I tend to find better deals at the 90th one because I'm convinced the people who price the product don't know its worth. I've bought all of my furniture and artwork from this location because of that.  But there are always lines before the store opens on weekends. There are definitely cat fights at this location too! Its intense. The 77th street location is great for clothing, the last time I went I bought a BCBG Maxazria blazer for $30 and a J.Crew wool blazer for $8 (because it didn't have a price tag and the girl at the register charged what she thought it was worth).

photo found here.

2. The Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop expels the perfect musty-mothball-grandma thrift store smell.  Although I haven't found anything here yet, there is a good selection of both men's and women's clothing.

Photo found here.

3. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop is a very large thrift store that is well organized.  You'll never know what gems you'll find here. Sometimes a little over priced, the best time to go is during the 1/2 off  sales. One time as I was passing by, I noticed the same exact pinched pleat drapes that my mother had.  It was so odd because hers were custom made!  This is the photo I took from my IPhone.  She could not believe it! (see below)

4. & 9.  The Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop is a store that I have not yet explored myself.  I have heard great things about it though.

According to  The New York Magazine Shopping Section the "Spence and Chapin, long bastions for the education of New York’s blueblood feminine heirs, sponsor thrift shops to support the Spence-Chapin organization’s considerable good works in the larger community, mainly by recycling the high-end, high-quality cast-offs of elegant, label-happy UES moms. The jam-packed store donates thousands of dollars every month to charity, earned from the sale of near-new castoffs like Prada and Miu Miu dresses, Carolina Herrera leather totes, and Marc Jacobs peacoats, all at half their one-time retail price—or less. Granted, the gently worn clothes can be a season or two behind, but how much does a year matter when you’re talking Lacoste polos or lined Ralph Lauren gray flannel slacks? The shop is organized by category, with men’s clothing towards the back and women’s offerings crammed onto racks that line the whole space; a selection of furniture—heavy on the kitchen tables and chairs—is also available. The shop is usually crowded with both merchandise and people; shop early for the best picks. While the jaundice-suggestive fluorescent lighting could be better for choosing among the used Luca Luca gowns, shopping at the Spence-Chapin thrift shop is worth it for the bargains alone. Sadly, no schoolgirl uniforms are for sale." — Faran Alexis Krentci

That sounds great to me.  I'll definitely be checking out this gift shop very soon!

Read more: Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop - - Upper East Side - New York Store & Shopping Guide http://nymag.com/listings/stores/spence-chapin-thrift-shop01/#ixzz0iBo7bHfv

5.  At the Cancer Care Thrift Shop you'll find, after some scrounging and digging, designer brands with the tags still on them along with some cute costume jewelry, and handbags.  All proceeds benefit CancerCare's free, professional services for people with cancer and their loved ones.

6. I've never made it to the Council Thrift Shop because they're hours are 11-4:45 and closed on Sundays.  But according to reviews, for a thrift store it can be a little pricey.  One reviewer from Yelp.com ended up buying a Krups espresso machine for $17.00 though.

7.  The Goodwill store is one of the larger stores that is definitely lower priced then the UES thrift stores because most of the people who tag the items do not know who's who and what's what when it comes to designers.  In the past I've bought a few Ralph Lauren Purple label blazers for $8.  Upstairs is the mens department, where nice button-down dress shirts can be found. Last week, my boyfriend found this really nice flannel. It was a weird no-name brand "Criminal Damage" (we had a chuckle) but its a great plaid and nice colors.  The store is well known for putting their better pieces in the window displays. Once a month or sometimes biweekly on Saturday mornings the store will sell the goods via first come first serve.  If the merchandise is worth it, there will be a line down the block. This store is definitely worth looking into.

The original article from the New York Times, published on June 10, 2009, features the Goodwill stores. The location in the picture is of the Chelsea store.  That's another neighborhood with great vintage finds. The Chelsea installment is coming soon!