I Heart New York

Several weeks back, I posted a list of things that drive me crazy about New York City. There are a couple things that I didn't tell you about that list. First of all, I didn't write it in a fit of anger or irritation on one particularly bad day. It was a long time coming. A long time. And while the items on the list played a role in our decision to move to Portland, the decision that Barry and I have made to leave New York goes so much deeper than that silly little list. But more important than understanding that, you should know that list came from a page in the notebook that I carry everywhere with me, and in that notebook there is another list, a list that can be found one page before the one that I've already shared with you. That list is, of course, my list of the things that make New York so wonderful to me. And it's the items on that list that will have me all teary-eyed Monday morning when the moving truck comes to pack up all of the earthly possessions that Barry and I have to show for the approximately thirteen years that we've lived in this amazing city. While it drives me to the brink of insanity on many occasions, I do love New York. I love it for:

The Museum of Modern Art

the fashion district,
especially its wholesale bead supply stores

top-notch architecture and design

the ability to walk to get anything I need and to many things I want
thanks, in part, due to the ever-popular Granny Cart

characters, characters, characters -
Frank and Estelle Costanza are not caricatures -
they are half of my neighbors in Queens

the glorious borough of Brooklyn and all of its neighborhoods:
from Greenpoint to Carroll Gardens, from Red Hook to Williamsburg, from Park Slope to Coney Island, and all of the neighborhoods in between

diversity that I can't even begin to describe

people who cut to the chase and tell it to you straight

the bagels - oh, the bagels

street style

24 hour everything

the empire of Mario Batali

the inspiring young women who run the shops that carry sulu-designs,
and all of the other entrepreneurs who are making it here

two eggs, toast, potatoes, coffee and juice for $2.95,
weekdays before 11 o'clock

the restaurants of Elizabeth Street

Balthazar granola

Fordham University, The Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo

Public School 50, and the beautiful children whom I taught there

pre-war apartment buildings (like our beloved Elm Towers)
that have picture molding, hardwood floors, and glass doorknobs

awesome public parks

the subway

inspiration wherever your turn

the best ethnic food - of any ethnicity - anywhere

unlimited potential

As I read over this list that I've scrawled in my notebook over the past few weeks, I'm struck by what a poor job it does of touching on the passion that I have for this city (although my passion for eating sure comes through). I'm without the words to say how much I will miss this place - this place where I met my husband, where I got an invaluable education (academic and real-world), where I developed lasting friendships with coworkers, where I've been limitlessly inspired, where I started making jewelry, where I became real friends (not just siblings) with my big brother and his wife. So much of who I am, I am because of my experiences in New York City. It will always be with me. It's time to pack up the computer now, friends. I'll return again, soon, as a former New Yorker.


I Lied

The last sulu-design etsy shop update until I move?!? Ha! I just can't stay away. In the shop, you can now find two necklaces that I designed and pictured here last summer. It took me a year to get up the strength to finally part with them. I adore their vintage components, and I loved to occasionally take them out of their storage box just to admire the little charms they're made of. I think it's finally time to let go. The images below are direct links to their etsy listings.

A few of the popular Super Simple Circle Earrings (seen at the top, here) and Chiclet on Brass designs (remember my obsession with those white squares?) are now back in stock, too. All etsy orders placed during my move will still be mailed within 24 hours. And now, I must tear myself away. It's time to pack up the beads. Sniff, sniff.


The Crying Has Officially Begun

My awesome brother and sister-in-law, Peter and Jennifer, hosted a surprise farewell party for me and Barry tonight. My first surprise party ever. We were both shocked and deeply touched. We've got amazing friends here who will be seriously missed. I was able to hold it together during the festivities (okay, I was laughing my butt off during most of the festivities), but the waterworks came on once we returned home. Thank you, friends. I miss you already.

Farewells Part Two (With a Couple Hellos Mixed In)

Countless goodbyes have been filling my last few days. There was a last supper at Tournesol, one of my favorite restaurants in Queens. Then, breakfast the next morning was my chance to say goodbye to Tyra. Why did I not meet this girl earlier? Between our jobs and hobbies we've got so much in common, and she's one of the easiest people to talk to - so thoughtful, so funny. I wish we'd met years ago so I could have gotten to know her better before the move. She's been making some killer earrings recently, like the pair (pictured below) that she wore to breakfast yesterday, and she's got these and these (my current favorites) in her etsy shop.

After breakfast, I had to say another goodbye - this time to Mimi of Mimi's Closet. Mimi is one of the bubbliest, most positive people the I've met here, and I'm disappointed to be taking my earrings out of her cozy little boutique.

I then dashed downtown to pick up my new eyeglasses (gotta use those benefits while I still got 'em). Goodbye to my old vintage pair with the coke bottle lenses. They served me well, but man, were they thick - like goggles, I tell ya! (EDIT: After reading a few comments to his post, I had to clarify. The frames below are in fact my old pair, with the insanely heavy lenses. Had I known what glasses lovers some of you are, I would have posted the new ones, too!)

As if to give some balance to my sad little day of goodbyes, I was also met with some pretty fabulous hellos. First, I went on my much anticipated bead shopping trip. Hello! I made major - I mean major - bead acquisitions, and I am dying to work with all the new shapes and colors that I picked up. But I'm doing my best to save them until Portland, and I'm keeping them top secret until then (I know, the suspense is killing you, right?). And look at what loveliness greeted me when I got home from my day of farewells:

Letterpress cards from Shona at LALA dex press! I follow Shona's work and her blog religiously. Her sense of humor, her references to great old music, her thrifty vintage finds, her hiking trips and travel around the U.S. - they all tell me we'd just have to be best friends if we should ever meet. One of the many upsides to blog friends is that you almost never have to say goodbye to them. Thanks, Shona, for thinking of me. What a nice pick-me-up in the middle of the craziness that is my life right now.
More goodbyes to come...


First Farewells

The many goodbyes that have to happen this week started off yesterday evening with a stop at Subdivision to pick up the last few pairs of sulu-design earrings that remained there. I plan to keep my designs at several shops in NYC after our move, but the pattern that I'd developed with Subdivision - popping in, showing tons of earring designs to the manager, leaving the selection that she chose, picking up a check - was too casual to carry off successfully all the way from the west coast. So I figured it was best to close things up there. A shame, really, as the shop seems to be coming into its own now, and Long Island City is bustling more than ever.

From there I strolled down to Communitea for one last session with my knitting group. I've met such a supportive and interesting bunch of people there, and I'll greatly miss the regularity of our meet-ups. They were the ones who taught me how to knit (even when I insisted I was a fake-o and would never learn), and have been a consistent source of encouragement and laughter in that area for a couple years now. And if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have my blog or my etsy shop - they held my hand as I tiptoed into technology, for which I am immensely grateful. While I usually shy away from photos that show any parts of me at all (Lesley was sharp enough to note that a photo of my toes had crept it's way into a post recently), I'll make an exception to show off the awesome shrug that my friend, Dana, knit just for me, as a goodbye gift.

Beautiful, no? She even updated her blog (and that's no small feat, right, Dana?) when I told her that I'd link this post to hers. See what sweetness I'm leaving behind here? I'll miss you, friends. Knit on.


Debated and Updated

Pack or apartment hunt? Post office or gym? Dry cleaner or eye glass shop? There are so many things on my to-do list now that we're back in NYC that I didn't even know where to start this morning. So I decided to scrap the whole thing and update my etsy shop. Click images below for their direct listings:

if you like the colors in this necklace, you might also like:
if you like this style, you might like these

if you like faceted beads in this drop style, you make like these and these

if you like round beads in this drop style, you might like these, these, and these

if you like this stone, you may be into these, these, these, or these

if this style strikes you, you might also like these

if blues are your thing, try these and these or maybe even these

This will probably be the last shop update for a couple weeks now. Once I've finished my much-anticipated bead shopping spree that will occur later this week, I've got to get my tools and beads all packed up and ready to head west. Aside from the couple that are already in progress, I won't be taking custom orders until further notice, either. (Did you know that I do custom orders?) Now I'm off to get a few things checked off of that list...

For Those About to Rock We Salute You

Thanks to Jessica at Funky Finds, I am now officially a... (drumroll, please)...


Check out some other ladies whom I consider rockin' at:
crazy mom quilts
heavenly days
(into) the fray
julie ree
lala dex press
life love chocolate
soto softies

I read the blogs of over a hundred women (my bloglines account almost needs it's own postal code at this point) who all rock in my eyes. So to keep my nomination list down to five (oops, was I supposed to keep it to five? I've got eight here) I've included links to the blogs of ladies who rock not only because they create smart designs in their own various craft fields, but also because each of them has recently gone through the overwhelming process of moving. Some moved within this year, some just moved within this week. Since moving is in the forefront of my thoughts these days, and since each of their blogs has provided me with laughs, encouragement, and inspiration during their moves and mine, I think their blogs are particularly rock-worthy right now. While you're clicking along, you may want to stop on over at Roberta's blog (she's the one who started these nominations), too. May the rock be with you.


Nothing A Good Breakfast Can't Fix

Looking at other people's apartments while you're hunting around for one yourself is fun... to a point. Then, when you realize that you're getting down to the wire and need an address to give a moving company so your life's possessions can be delivered to it in a couple weeks, things move from fun to a wee bit hectic. Barry and I are taking off for New York tomorrow for a final week of farewells (and some serious bead shopping, of course) and we still don't have a place to live in when we return to Portland on the 31st. This, coupled with our lack of jobs, had my stomach in knots this morning when I woke. Or maybe I was just hungry. So Barry and I headed out to a great little spot that we found in eat.shop.portland, an awesome city guide that my friend Holly picked up for me. The Busy Corner answered my prayers by hooking me up with one of my breakfast standards: poached eggs and greens.

The Busy Corner's tasty food, neighborhood atmosphere, and lovely decor, along with Portland's morning sunlight that just begs you to take pictures in it, got me feeling that everything is gonna be alright. Somehow. I'll be posting again soon from New York. Until then, the sulu-design etsy shop is still open for business, and we're still looking for a home and jobs...


Oh, Give Me A Home...

where the buffalo roam.

Sorry, I couldn't resist the gratuitous bison photo. How often will I have a shot like this on my camera? Thanks, Yellowstone.

The housing search continues. While it's a bit nerve-wracking trying to find the perfect place in less than a week's time (yes, I said perfect - packing up all of our crap once this month has sealed the deal that we're not moving again for quite a while), it has allowed me to indulge in one of my secret pleasures - scoping out other people's places. Back in New York, I love to take walks in our neighborhood at night, when interiors are illuminated and I'm hidden in the dark. I sound like quite the peeping tom, I'm sure, but really I just love to check out how other people hang their artwork, how they place their sofas, what architectural details they've got in their apartment buildings... all quite harmless. The ways in which different people choose to nest are very curious to me. So it has been fun to get into a bunch of apartments without feeling like a snoop. And we're staying at the home - the lovely Craftsman-style home - of good friends, Holly and Mike (thanks, guys!), so it's while it has been nerve-wracking, it's also been really enjoyable. I'm hoping that in a few days I'll have photos of a new apartment to share with you. Until then, I've got a few photos of our "homes" over the course of our trip last week. I just love old motels...

home sweet home, Wisconsin

there's no place like home, South Dakota

home is where you hang your heart, Montana


Postcards from the Edge

We're in Portland, safe and sound. Thanks for all of your well-wishes while we traveled. The trip from New York to Oregon was fabulous. Fabulous. I got to see my family in Cleveland. My dad is looking great, being the tough cookie that he is. When I travel in the U.S., I'm always astounded at how gorgeous and varied America's landscape is. Barry and I are now card-carrying members of the National Parks system (have you been to Badlands and Yellowstone? Sheesh!) Of course, I'm now stocked with tons - tons - of Original Intent photos, and I'm dying to get my hands on my beads. But for now, I gotta get me a job and a place to live. There will be scattered postings until then. Thanks for checking in on me. I'll be catching up with you all soon.


Sunday: Pink

click earring image for etsy listing

Thanks to Andrea (from the lovely city of Portland, Oregon!) for organizing this week of color.


Saturday: Red

click earring image for etsy listing