Well, it's I and Love and You actually. It's one of my favorite Avett Brothers songs (click here to listen). And listening to it now as I type, it makes me feel sad. This morning I was sitting in my sister's kitchen in Brooklyn, packing up, sipping some coffee quickly before heading out to the airport. Now I sit here in my in-laws' kitchen back in small town Illinois, thinking about how far away my sisters feel. I won't likely be seeing them for a year, and the reality of that fact is sinking in and it really stinks.
Living internationally affords me the great fortune of having these opportunities to travel. I feel hugely privileged to be traveling around doing this travelogue with Louella Odie, to share my adventures and these gorgeous bags and accessories with you. But there is one significant downside which most of my friends in Hong Kong can understand (as well as those of you who live overseas like me). That is not seeing family regularly; that's a sacrifice.
Still, I won't dwell on it. Not here. I want to share with you one of my last days in NYC, in Brooklyn to be precise. Each of New York City's five boroughs is unique from the other. Having only been in Manhattan (one sister is in the West Village) and in Brooklyn (the other sister is in Williamsburg), I can only share my sentiments about those two.
Spending time between these two neighborhoods has given me a balanced view of NYC. Many of the spots in the West Village are well recognized places used often in film and TV shows, magazine shoots and blog posts, etc. At any moment, you can expect to see a celebrity walk around the corner (and I have). Liv Tyler lives two doors down from my sister. I try to keep my eyes peeled while at the same time practicing the New Yorker I don't give a hoot who you are attitude. It's a designer, boutique, manicured feel of NYC. Very charming.
Then there's Williamsburg. The vibe is entirely different. It's more chill. There seem to be outdoor markets or stalls all over (I found a good little vintage stall in an alleyway!), with artisans selling their wares and people setting up booths with really good food (Smorgasburg, Brooklyn Flea, Artists and Fleas, to name a few). Vintage clothing and thrift shopping opportunities abound. There is amazing food to be tasted. Everyone's more tattooed and pierced. It's a little less refined and slightly more grungy. Alright, fine. It's more hipster.
I love it.
Street art is around every corner. And not just juvenile tagging of names or defacing of property. I'm talking about serious street art. Graffiti done by artists whose names (and art) is well known and whose Instagram accounts are well followed. I find the creativity of the artisans, the artistic vibe on the streets, the small businesses and delicious food all so amazingly inspiring. So much to see and do.
These pictures were taken on a short walk from my sister's house. We popped into a neat Antiques and Oddities furniture shop called Re Pop (where I sat on the chairs outside). We wandered Bedford Street and stopped to use this street art as a backdrop. The artist, Nick Kuszyk or RRobots, is a studio mate of my sister's boyfriend. Buddy met him the other day and was so excited to then go around seeing all his art on the streets.
Being around all this art (in Brooklyn and also at the galleries in Chelsea) makes me super excited about Louella Odie's second collection launch. I can't wait to see what art and adventure they have in store for us. Don't forget to pop over to their website and browse their current collection. Use the code traveltribe at check out for a 20% discount exclusively for my followers. And if you haven't, you really must pop over to the Travel Tribe page to see the gorgeous artwork that Karen has been working on to accompany my travels.