SF vs. NY: Lady Edition

Admit it: we’ve all got a bit of a lady crush on someone. For me, it’s the Duchess of Cambridge (obsessed), the First Lady (doubly obsessed!) and now, the women of New York. Like Parisiennes, I found the women of New York to have a definite look and style. While Parisian women are all about feminine polish and an understated, classic look, New Yorkers are fierce, functional, and trendy in comparison to California’s laid back style. So, who wins?

Ladylike bags vs. satchels and totes: Because public transit in NYC is so stellar, I imagine New Yorkers can scoot home between work and the gym, or to touch up before a night out. Ergo, they trot around all day with beautiful – and miniscule! – handbags. In SF, buses take so long, it’s best to bring everything with you when you leave in the morning which, while practical and bicep-building, does make us look a little bit like sherpas with our GIANT purses. Point: New York

Black vs. Crazy Colorful: Let’s be honest – San Francisco is known more for our hippie chic than our haute couture. But, for all our crazy colors and mismatched style, the basic black uniform can be both intimidating and boring. I’ll take SF style any day, even if we do look more bohemian than Balenciaga. It’s part of our charm. Point: San Francisco.

Pulled back buns vs. beachy waves: Maybe it’s the proximity of the beach, or maybe it’s the weather, but I rarely have cause to do my hair. The humidity brings out my natural curls and the rain dampens any attempt at styling, so it’s best to work in a dollop of shine serum and let my beachy waves do their thing. The women of New York have to contend with heat, rain, snow, wind, and all the breakage that comes with trucking around the city all day, which probably explains why I saw so many perfect ponytails, polished buns, and close crops. While I love a low-maintenece routine, it would be nice to get dressed up and actually do my hair for once – even if it’s going to go under an adorable hat. Point: tie.

Which city is more stylish to you? Who wins?

Images via The Sartorialist, from both SF and NY

New York Eating

Coming from THE foodie city, I am always a little skeptical of rave restaurant reviews. I challenge anyone to find better Asian fusion than Burma Superstar, or a more delicious deep dish pizza than Little Star. Heck, even our food trucks are worthy of a Zagat rating. The Indian burrito at Curry Up Now will blow your freaking mind.

That being said, even though New York is New York, the alleged center of the universe of all things awesome and hip, I was still like, “Whatever New York. Show me your goods, because I’m prepared to be unimpressed, no pressure. Bring it.”

And bring it, NY did. I was even able to indulge in my insane pumpkin obsession in some new and surprising ways, for which I give NYC some extra points. Points I wish I could trade in for an Indian burrito now that I’m home. Too bad it doesn’t work like that.

{Pumpkin and salted pretzel fro-yo at Momofuku Noodle Bar}

{Salty, lemony oysters at The Mermaid Inn}

{Top notch spicy hot dogs on the street}

{Pumpkin tempura at Hane Sushi Bar}

{Ricotta, sausage and broccoli pizza at John’s Pizzaria}

{Classic skinny latte at Joe: The Art of Coffee}

{Pumpkin scones at Alice’s Tea Cup}

{Embarassingly tasty pumpkin donuts at Dunkin Donuts}

What’s your favorite restaurant? And why? Let’s talk food, people!

And the winner is…

Okay, before anyone gets sad feeling, remember, we’re all winners at something. Did you win a toddlers and tiaras pageant when you were small? GOOD FOR YOU! First prize at the science fair? CONGRATULATIONS, YOUNG SCIENTIST! Or maybe you recently got a wet, sloppy kiss from your dog, or your baby, or that person you live with and love a lot. You did?! THAT DEFINITELY COUNTS! You win, too! You win AT LIFE! Hip hip, huzzah!

The winner of the New York prize, however, is…

{The Highline}


Ms. Hanna Nichols!


In addition to her cute bit of New York advice, Hanna is also one of my dearest friends, sturdiest adventuring partners, and one of the people I miss the most now that I no longer live in Colorado. She and I have traveled the world together, so it’s fitting that she gets a travel prize. Random and completely iphone randomizer app chosen. But fitting nonetheless.

Miss Hanna, expect to be receiving a tiny bit of joy in the mail in the next week or so.

Thanks for playing everyone – and thank you for your comments! I love to hear what you have to say. Keep ’em coming!

NY to SF

Whew! I’m back in San Francisco and it feels wonderful to be home. New York was amazing: dark, yet bright; snowy, yet warm and cozy; raucous, yet peaceful. In other words, full of contradictions. As any truly great city should be.

While I loved our whole trip, major highlights were Daniel Radcliffe, dinner with my boyfriend at the very cozy Hane Sushi, pumpkin and pretzel frozen yogurt at Momofuku, the American wing of the Met, the Public Library’s 100 Years exhibit – Jack Kerouac’s harmonica, Sylvia Plath’s diary, and the original stuffed Winnie the Pooh! – and wandering down the Highline with coffee in hand, just to watch the city wake up.

I will say, however, that I totally missed San Francisco. While New York wins in some respects – better shopping, awesome public transit, and fewer hobos accosting you at every turn (it’s not PC, I totally know that, and I’m saying it anyway), there is a lot of be said for our infamous City by the Bay.

The black wrought iron, lack of nature and omnipresent skyscrapers make New York feel a bit grim. I missed the candy colored Haight, the over-the-top Castro, and the green, eucalyptus-infused Presidio. I missed knowing what neighborhood I was in the moment I opened my eyes, because they’re all so different and distinct. I missed “and a side of locally grown, organic mesclun greens” accompanying every single overpriced menu item. I missed seeing the bridge every morning from my window, my little corner of the world.

But most of all, I missed the people. I missed tie-dye, pink hair, and nude with a side of tube socks. I missed Marina girls bumping up against bohemians and bankers on the bus. I missed the bike couriers who look like Kurtz’s tribe in Heart of Darkness, but not because they’re crazy – they just dress like that.

We are a city of freaks and weirdos. Or, as we’re called in Tales, a “city of hippies and mass murders!” New York certainly isn’t lacking in the crazy department, but if I’m going to live in a city of crazy people, I think I’ll stick to my kind of crazy; the San Francisco kind.

So good on ya, New York. It was a nice try. And though I’ll never stay more than a few days, I’ll definitely be back. If not for the weather, then definitely for the bagels, the sushi, and to continue to explore your little corner of the world.

Do you have a favorite city? I’d love to know!

More NY/SF comparisons to come, and the winner of the birthday giveaway will be announced tomorrow, too!

How to Succeed

We’re going to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in New York this weekend. There is nothing better than a top of your lungs, go for broke, gangbuster of a musical.

My favorite ever, though, is Singing in the Rain. My eight year old self wanted to marry Gene Kelly when I grew up, and when I found out he was gone, I cried!

What’s your favorite musical? (Please don’t say Carousel or we may not be able to continue this friendship.) (I mean, what? That’s fine if you like Rogers & Hammerstein!) (But it’s totally not.)