Last Wednesday was my birthday, and this Wednesday is Alex's. Honestly, I didn't really feel like making much of a big deal over it this year. Too often I fall into that endlessly lame trap of using a birthday as an excuse to feel extra pathetic and sorry for myself, which is a repugnant but persistent habit. So instead I just tried to have a good day, and leave it at that.

Since Alex has been gone on tour for four weeks and still wont be back for almost three more, we spent an afternoon before he left hanging out, buying flowers, exchanging gifts and drinking drinks to celebrate in advance. Alex shared his J.Crew giftcard (I got these) and bought me roses and lilacs. I gave him this shirt and this book. He's going to be in Munich on his actual birthday, and if any of you happen to be headed to the show that night please cheer extra hard during his bass solo in "Young Adult Friction" for me, wontcha??








I feel like this awesome set of images by photographer Hana Pesut probably begs some sort of proper socio-political commentary. But it's late, and the last time I queered anything I was a bright-eyed college sophomore watching hardcore cyborg porn in a Star Trek themed gender studies class (UCSC, bless), so I'll just be honest: I like it when dudes wear lady clothes! Be sure to check out the rest of the project, titled Swithcheroo, on Hana's site.



Recently, a reader asked me to share some of my wardrobe staples for both summer and winter. I definitely have an awful lot of riff-raff hanging out in my closet, but there are a few basic things that I rely on and that are pretty integral to my wardrobe. That said, it should be noted that I'm still on the hunt, as I have been for ages now, for a few of these things. The perfect (or even acceptable) camel coat still eludes me, as do a quality pair of black leather flats. And those Acne boots will continue to haunt me for many moons to come, I guarantee it...

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Summer: striped top // sisal tote (similar) // silk button-up // simple leather sandals (similar) // jean shorts // watch (similar) // sunglasses

As much as I love a little floral sundress, when it comes to warm weather dressing I invariably fall back on my shorts. Quite simply, they're the best thing for adventuring: for crouching on rooftops or lolling around at backyard BBQs, for running and jumping and climbing. Stripes and cream silk tops, sloppily tucked, and flat sandals that I can walk long and hard in are also in heavy rotation.

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Winter: grey sweater // scarf // camel coat // black flats // trousers (similar) // boots

It's not exactly a secret how I feel about Winter. I hate it. Winter is great for about two weeks around Christmas, and otherwise it can go screw itself. I also have a hard time finding winter clothes that I like, seeing as a) they're always too expensive and b) I'm one of about twenty five people who is not REMOTELY excited by the idea of layering, heh. But all pissing and moaning aside, I like to try and keep things relatively simple when the weather allows. Since I have a real aversion to tights, I spend most of winter in trousers and jeans with boots or flats, and a colored scarf breaks up the sea of black and grey that the city becomes in the cold months.

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Beauty: lotion // cleanser // mascara // ointment // bright pink polish

I thought I'd throw in a bit about beauty as well just for fun. I don't wear a lot of make-up, but mascara (and blush, though I'm not particular) are absolute necessities. I've used Full 'n Soft since high school and I can attest that it lives up to its name. Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a lifesaver for chapped hands and lips (uuuurrrgh winter!!!) and Cetaphil is gentle but thorough year-round. I'm a bit crazy for bright pink accents at the moment, and I've been wearing Revlon in Sweet Tart on my toes for weeks (though NARS would do nicely too.) Finally, the scent of this lotion always takes me back to a time when I lived in a place where lemons grew on trees. It's sunshine through leaves and grass between your toes--and it makes my skin soft too.



After finding defeat in Bar Harbor, Alex and I left determined to get our fill of lobster before crossing state lines. Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster Co., a short, sweet drive from Portland, happens to open May 1st (the earliest we found), and it was everything we hoped and more. Obviously, we could have sat down at a lot of restaurants in Bar Harbor or Portland and most places in between, and ordered a nice big lobster dinner. But the beauty of the lobster pound lies one part in the freshness of the lobster (from the tank to your table in fifteen minutes flat) and the friendly, unfussy atmosphere. Sides are simple and delicious, like fluffy stacks of cornbread, corn on the cob, little boiled red potatoes, and strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert. The fact that everything was doused in little cups of golden butter didn't hurt going down either. It was GLORY. I've saved you the carnage shot here, heh, give thanks!

We spent that night at The Elms, one of the most beautiful B&B's I've ever seen and a short drive outside of Portland proper. Although it was bordered on one side by a rather busy stretch of road, once you stepped inside the doors of the 130-year-old building it felt like you were miles away from everything. It was so quiet in there it was almost eerie, but it was also incredibly well-kept by its owners, who have filled it with lovingly selected antiques. Every detail was just so, down to the gilded wallpaper in the foyer. We stayed in the Cottage Room, so named according to our host because it had a certain faded charm particular to many seaside cottages in Maine. He finished by telling us that he very much intended to keep it that way, which made me wish that there were more people on this planet capable, like him, of understanding the beauty in leaving something old and worn just the way it is.

One of the highlights of the trip came the next morning, our last in Maine, when we visited the Portland Architectural Salvage. Imagine the most fantastic old attic you always wished your Grandparents had, filled with strange, amazing fantastic old junk and furniture and dusty trunks and cloudy glass bottles. Now, multiply that by four entire floors, and you're most of the way there. It was a dream, although on the pricey side. I wanted to take everything home with me, from ship's wheels to wash basins and bags of milkglass doorknobs. If you ever have the chance, it's definitely worth a wander--thanks to all who recommended it!

Our last night we spent in Cambridge outside Boston. I had never been before, and I loved all the pretty houses and apartment buildings painted greens and creams, and the lilacs bowing their heavy heads in the rain. Now, holed up here on my lonesome, inching my way through an NYC summer, all I can think about is going back. I know that other adventures await, but they still feel impossibly far off at the moment.



The two nights we had in Bar Harbor we spent at Canterbury Cottage, a small, sweet, four room B&B on a quiet street populated by three more B&B's (if it ain't broke...) I'd be lying if I said I didn't choose the place, and our room, for the wallpaper. I mean, it got really great reviews on Tripadvisor too, but holy hell that wallpaper...

There are definitely advantages to visiting a town like Bar Harbor just before the season starts: lodging costs significantly less, restaurants range from peaceful to deserted, and there are few crowds to contend with. The downside is that many of the places we hoped to visit, in particular a couple of renowned lobster pounds and the antique stores in nearby Bernard, weren't open for at least another week yet. We did have enormously delicious wild blueberry pancakes at Café This Way, where the walls next to our table were lined with beautiful old books. I was sad that I had missed my chance to snap the requisite buoy shot, not having the guts to make Alex pull over when we passed the Maine-ly Maine Gift Shop, until we spied this fence-ful next door to an antique shop along Route 1 on our way out of town. Buuuuuoy oh buoy (had to.)



Maine! My camera battery was on its last legs this day, so I'm surprised any of these came out at all. We spent most of it driving around exploring Acadia National Park. Took it pretty easy on our citified-selves, hiking the trail (and off-trailing it a bit for some rock clambering) from Newport Cove to the Thunder Hole (not especially thunderous that day.) Then we drove up to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and peered down across all the little islands like jelly beans in the bay. Everything reminded me so much of home, including the little woolybear caterpillar we befriended in the parking lot.

It had been so long since I had been in a real, proper National Park, the kind that overwhelms me and allows no room in my mind for politics or cynicism, leaving me in quiet awe of the continent I happen to have been born on. I hadn't yet experienced that feeling on this side of the country.
It was familiar and foreign, all at once.



N.E.E.T. Magazine

I took part in a really fun feature in the latest issue of N.E.E.T. Magazine that just came out a couple days ago. It's all about my ideal vacation spot, which right now is Santorini, the Greek Island where Summer Lovers was filmed (I wont rest until every last one of you has seen that movie, for serious!) Man, I really wish I could wear that imaginary outfit tomorrow...

I also have a piece in the latest issue of BUST about Rachel Becker and the badass guitar straps she makes for her label Heavy Leather NYC. I'll try and get a decent scan soon!