Go somewhere

brooklyn_-1brooklyn_-7brooklyn_-12brooklyn_-2brooklyn_-13brooklyn_-14 brooklyn_-3 brooklyn_-10 brooklyn_-16brooklyn_-8Wearing – Jungmaven dress, Birkenstock sandals, A.J. Morgan sunglasses, Gorman bag

Jumping a little ahead in time, New York was the last stop in our holiday. By this time, we’d roasted ourselves in the Californian desert and breathed in the pine-scented air of the Oregon forests, and now found ourselves on the other side of this vast country pounding concrete, dodging yellow taxis, and weaving through the busy streams of people.

We decided this time round to stay in Brooklyn in a sweet apartment in Williamsburg, a great decision as it took us away from the Manhattan bustle and into the smaller and (slightly) less trodden streets where it’s more about being effortlessly cool than the incessantly bright lights and flashy Broadway smile. Relaxed chic is the brand, and places selling vintage threads to boutique cheese ooze out of every nook and cranny.

Brooklyn is the Solange to Manhattan’s Beyonce, and no offence to the Beycrew but I know who I’d rather hang with.

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Long time no see

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So…it’s been a while. And after months of absence our reunion has been highly emotional. The last few days this here blog and I have run across a beach and flung ourselves into each others’ arms in slow motion. We’ve skated across a crowded ice rink searching for someone only to realise we’re the one each other has been waiting for our whole lives. You get the picture.

It’s not like I meant to leave for so long, but there are times when fortunately and unfortunately other competing goals take off and shoot you in another completely polar direction for some time. One part of my life was growing in a big way and consuming all my time and energy, mentally, physically and emotionally.

So our trip abroad came at the perfect time. It was a release from work pressures and time to reacquaint ourselves with things that bring pure pleasure and immerse ourselves in adventure and wonderment. What a way to feed one’s soul.

Our journey was both leisurely and fleet-footed as we practically consumed our surrounds as if stars and horizon-eating roads could sustain us. A teaser of the west coast took us into the desert then up Highway 1 to take in Big Sur. We collected pine cones and driftwood in Oregon until the big lights of New York City ultimately drew us in. And then as always happens, it was homewards for us but full, happy and satisfied.

Visiting an Impossible place…

impossible-2Whilst we were in New York last October (gosh has it been that long already?), we took the opportunity to visit the Impossible Project. A lot of us would still have fond memories of taking Polaroids and eagerly and often impatiently waiting for the image to appear like magic on that little rectangular piece of film. And then somehow, as 35mm film took off in popularity, our Polaroid cameras fell into disuse and made way for the newer, cheaper technology. And sadly Polaroid stopped making their iconic instant film altogether in February 2008. Since then, the Impossible Project has been trying to recreate the film for those great old-school cameras which hasn’t been easy as the chemical “recipe” behind the film has essentially been lost. As they have had to almost rediscover or reinvent the process from scratch there have been a few glitches with initial batches of imperfect and unpredictable film. Persistence seems to have paid off as their last production of film has been relatively successful, producing results similar to the original Polaroid film! Having heard good reviews about this recent development and also being longtime devotees, we just had to find the store to get our eager little hands on this new and improved film. We are proud owners of two very different Polaroid cameras – an SX-70 from the 1970s and a one600 belonging to the last run of new cameras ever made by Polaroid in 2006.

So begins the hunt – the hunt for the Impossible Project New York.

Now the store is located in SoHo, one of the best shopping districts in New York (or dare I say, the world…!?!? My suitcase and wallet would certainly testify to that!) so getting to the store itself was pretty tricky, requiring one to run the gauntlet of many pretty shops singing our names like irresistible sirens. I can’t say we got through unscathed and we may or may not have made a number of retail detours until finding ourselves at the correct address. But what we found was not what we expected – it looked like a block of apartments. Dodgy-looking apartments.

Do we? Don’t we? Do we? Don’t we? We ummed and ahhed for a while outside, trying not to look too dodgy ourselves.

We finally decided, what the hey what’s the worse that could happen, besides we’ll never see these people again if we make complete fools of ourselves, and pressed the doorbell. The door clicked open and we entered a rather rickety-looking elevator. It rose slowly and we could actually see little glimpses of what looked like people’s apartments. Hmm, bad idea, we’re about to enter someone’s private abode. Should we pretend like we know them? Or just come straight out and apologise for the mistake?

We reached our destination and opened the door, somewhat gingerly.

What greeted us was one of the coolest artistic spaces in New York. Wall to wall framed art, film boxes galore, a bazillion (at least) Polaroid cameras of varying types. Dizzy with excitement at the fact of actually being in THE Impossible Project, we walked around the store several times, essentially doing victory laps, before caving in and buying 10 or so boxes of film!

You can buy Impossible Project film in Perth from the Ruck Rover General Store in Northbridge and Pigeonhole at various locations around Perth CBD. Check out The Impossible Project themselves online – they even sell refurbished Polaroid cameras!

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Click here to see what happened on the other side of this Polaroid I took of Steven Chew during our photo shoot a couple of weekends ago!

Tiny mementoes from NYC

I bought these wee bracelets from Helene Pe at Artists & Fleas in Brooklyn as a teeny tiny way to remember our amazing time in New York. Helene is a French artist and jewellery designer whose quirkiness and eye for detail make her works both punchy but irresistibly delicate at the same time.

Visit her homepage and tempt yourself by visiting her online shop!

***What I’m wearing – black button-down tank by Ecote (similar), cat print trousers with gold zip detail (can’t find anything quite like it but these and these are pretty cool!), bracelets by Helene Pe, sunglasses by Robert Marc, shoes are a $5 find from the Ladies’ Market in Hong Kong (these are cute!)

***What Schnooks is wearing – fur model’s own (similar here and here)

***We do not condone the wearing of fur unless you are naturally blessed! (i.e. furry animals and Greek men)

Bitten by the Brooklyn Flea

Obsession#2 – vintage cameras!

One Saturday during our holiday, we decided to see what the fuss was about flea markets. After initially setting off in the wrong direction, then trying to find a nonexistent subway station, and then of course having a minor domestic quarrel, we found the Brooklyn Flea – a flea market of pretty legendary proportion. All bickering and foul moods were forgotten as we wandered through the rows of clothes, records, knick knacks, and even stalls from local designers with clothes and accessories selling items with a vintage/organic feel. Not to mention some pretty delicious locally made food and drink as well! Mmmm, horchata…

Can anyone spot the Catherine Holm?

After catching flea market fever, we decided to check out another along the Brooklyn waterfront the next day. More amazing trinkets were to be found, and to top it off there was a wonderful view of Manhattan in the background.

Check out the skyline!

If you ever do get the chance to go to New York, you MUST leave the bright shiny stores of Soho and 5th Avenue (I know that’s difficult!) and get yourselves elbow deep in the vintage clothing, animal skulls, old coins, organic (probably homegrown) hemp products, and local designer fare that can only be found at flea markets. I highly recommend the ones found in Brooklyn and Williamsburg – the “Brooklyn Flea” and “Artists and Fleas”. You’ll find yourself surrounded by families with young children, people searching for a bargain, and of course a bevy of hipster cool kids (the number of top knots, Ray Bans and bow ties does noticeably rise as you near the market!).

Oh and I did mention we were obsessed with vintage cameras! Well here’s our haul from the fleas…

Can you pick which one’s actually a pencil sharpener? Comment below if you can!

***What I’m wearing – mustard cable knit sweater by Co via Urban Outfitters (similar), chambray shirt by Anthropologie, sunglasses from past season by Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar), rose necklace by Anthropologie

***What he’s wearing – day 1 – burgundy crew neck sweater by Hawkings McGill via Urban Outfitters, light green backpack by Herschel – day 2 – dark blue and white checked shirt from past season by Industrie (similar)

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