Field Notes: Joshua Tree, California

12/11/2015 § Leave a comment

Quite Continental: Joshua Tree

Currently, New York is turning to fall, complete with fiery foliage, dipping temperatures and rain showers.  If I’m completely honest, it’s my third favorite season here — firmly ranked only slightly above winter (and spring only gets the slightest of advantages because it means summer is next).  You can definitely blame my formative years, spent in the terminal sunshine of Los Angeles.  So while I am coping with this seasonal shift, my mind has been traveling back in time to a trip I recently took to the High Desert of California, and Joshua Tree in particular.

Less than a three hour drive from LA, Joshua Tree and its Low Desert sibling, Palm Springs, have become something of a destination with the popularity of concerts like Coachella and interest in what I’m going to loosely call as “desert vibes.”  While Palm Springs has always been the more built up of the two destinations, and is now home to some really great resorts, I’d recommend passing on all that for a quieter experience a bit to the north.

I wanted heat, quiet, stars and colors.  I got all that AND dinosaurs.  AND a ghost town.  Who could ask for more?

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You’re going to need sustenance.

Fun fact: I’ve never actually had an In-N-Out burger.  What you see above is my grilled cheese on the right.  I suppose I’m some sort of bad Californian, but I’ll definitely still defend it against all challengers to the “best burger in the universe” crown.

Quite Continental: Joshua Tree

This is the “cracked iPhone screen” filter.
Kinda like those glamour shots at the mall, no?

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Recognize these two?  No?  Are you sure?
(Skip to 4:50…or watch the whole thing like I just did. Again. TEQUILA!)

The Cabazon Dinosaurs are a famous roadside attraction on your way into the desert on Interstate 10, and worth a brief stop.  Dinny, the Brontosaurus, was built over a period of eleven years, beginning in 1964; and Mr. Rex followed in 1981.  Funnily enough, since the passing of the original owner and sculptor Claude K. Bell, the property has fallen into the hands of a bunch of creationist supporters, so inside Dinny — a larger-than-life dinosaur containing original Bell frescoes of the Cro-Magnon Man  — you can find a museum and gift shop dedicated to the idea that dinosaurs appeared the same day Adam and Eve did.  Hilars.

Sidenote: I was going to link you to the dinosaurs’ site until I noticed the current feature article is on Ben Carson, the “The Pediatric Neurosurgeon with Gifted Hands.”  So, yeah.  No.  I’d still recommend checking them out for kitsch value, though!  Just avoid the nonsense museum and take pictures sitting on the huge dino feet.

Cabazon Dinosaurs
50800 Seminole Drive
(immediately north of Interstate 10)
Cabazon, CA 92230

Quite Continental: Joshua Tree

Your best bet for lodgings in Joshua Tree is Airbnb.  I found this darling cabin for a song.  With cozy spaces to relax and a remarkable outdoor soaking tub, it’s heaven on deserty-earth.

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Soaking. Tub.

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Ok, so you’re all settled in to your cozy desert home.  What next?

Go to the Joshua Tree Saloon for beers, burgers and live music.

Take a sound bath at the Integratron in nearby Landers.

Go to Pioneertown in Yucca Valley, an Old West set that was created in the 1940s as a place for actors and crew to live while filming television shows like The Cisco Kid.  It’s still somewhat lived in and super weird – a ghost town with living ghosts.  While you’re there, hit up Pappy + Harriet’s for…okay, also for beers, burgers and live music, but the live music here is a ticketed sort of thing.

Hike, camp or drive through Joshua Tree National Park, a unique ecosystem where the Mojave and the Colorado deserts meet.  It looks a little like space to me…like if Dr. Seuss designed space.

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On the way home, bask in the chill desert vibes and listen to a lot of Fleetwood Mac.

At least, that’s what I did.

Tell me, did I miss anything??

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Denim, the Latest Fad

15/09/2015 § Leave a comment

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“Wellesley freshmen students gathered outside the Hathaway House Bookshop (note girls wearing denim, the latest fad).”

Photo by Lisa Larsen, for Life Magazine, 1953.

Dude, serious girlcrush on the girl in front.
I want those mom jeans and her hat, like right. now.

Start ’em Young

22/06/2015 § 2 Comments

Quite Continental: Start 'em Young Quite Continental: Start 'em Young c0b065d3b665bf4f_large Quite Continental: Start 'em Young Quite Continental: Start 'em Young Quite Continental: Start 'em YoungI hope everyone had a lovely Father’s Day!  I spent it a bit far from my dear old Dad, since he lives out west and I’m in New York, but at least we had the chance to talk on the phone.  I’ve been sitting on these photos, of Arizona rancher James A. Shugart and his children, for some time — but perhaps I was actually waiting for Father’s Day.  Taken in 1954 by Allan Grant for Life Magazine, my favorite image is probably the one of James Jr., pouring his morning coffee.

These photos are similar to an older post of mine, The Youngest Cowgirl, also featuring Allan Grant’s work for Life.

A Liquid Lunch at the 21 Club

28/03/2015 § 1 Comment

21 Club. 21 Club. 21 Club. 21 Club. In honor of the upcoming final (!) season of AMC’s Mad Men, a select group of New York restaurants — the sort of joints that Madison Avenue ad men probably would have favored — featured special lunch menus last week.  Priced at $19.69 — the year of the final season — patrons could treat themselves to the hallowed “liquid lunch” or opt for a prix fixe menu.  It wasn’t something I was prepared to miss, so I corralled a compatriot and made my way directly to the 21 Club.

The 21 Club, formerly a prohibition-era speakeasy, has been in operation since the 1920s and has occupied its current, jockey-decorated location since 1929.  Since its inception 21 has been a favored spot of presidents, celebrities, socialites, politicians, and titans of industry.  A four-story townhouse with multiple private rooms, its famed secret wine cellar has housed the private collections of folks like Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy, and Frank Sinatra.  Today, 21 retains a sense of old-fashioned formality that has become somewhat unique – gentlemen are required to wear jackets to gain entrance to the dining room, servers are dressed in tuxedos.  The Bar Room, where we lunched, sports a ceiling decorated with antique toys, suspended in air.

If you know me at all, you already know I went for the cocktails: Manhattans made with Canadian Club, while my dining partner opted for gin martinis.  Feeling very Roger Sterling and Don Draper, we also ordered for a dozen oysters, and a fabulous, mid-century time was had by all.

21 Club
21 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Charming Spaces || Coastal Vibes

10/08/2014 § 3 Comments

Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes

Lovely bit of inspiration by way of Robert McKinley’s apartment in Chelsea, as captured by Nicole Franzen for T Magazine/NY Times.  Unfamiliar with McKinley?  He’s the interior designer and creative director behind places such as the Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk and the downtown outposts of Sant Ambroeus.  I’m feeling inspired by the relaxed, well-worn and faintly beachy style of his space, especially the palm frond curtains and that amazing rocking chair.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be stepping out shortly to track down one of those hurricane plants  Please hold my calls.

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The Natural: Jess Gold for Marie Claire Australia, July 2014

03/07/2014 § 3 Comments

 The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire Australia The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire Australia The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire Australia The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire Australia The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire Australia The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire Australia The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire Australia The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire Australia The Natural || Her Story - Marie Claire AustraliaModel: Jess Gold
Photographer: Nicole Bentley
Stylist: Jana Pokorny
Hair: Koh
Makeup: Victoria Baron

Quiet, tailored and natural, photographer Nicole Bentley has captured exactly what I want my summer to feel like, look like, wear like…down to the wild hair and the amazing eyebrows.  Have we ever discussed my lackluster brows?  While my mother and sister have had to wage a lifelong battle with theirs, mine just decided to never show up.  Fact: I’ve never ever had them done, ever.  Rather, since I was old enough to care, I’ve filled them in using a variety techniques and have always harbored intense jealousy at those lucky to be born with “strong brows” like Jess here.  I suppose the grass truly is always greener…even when it comes to eyebrows.

Tchau Winter!

01/04/2014 § Leave a comment

Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 1

So it’s officially April and I’m feeling optimistic.  Like warm weather and sunshine are just around the corner waiting for me.  With the worst winter in a record 40 years, New York has felt like a purgatory since…forever.  So to treat my slight case of seasonal depression I’ve prescribed myself a regular visit with these photographs by Matthew Williams for Elle Decoration UK of a gorgeous beach home in Brazil.  White walls, polished floors, weathered wood, all offset by the lushness of green fronds and lazy vines.

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I want, I want, I want.  The only question left: who’s coming with me?

Harvey Faircloth Fall Winter 2014 Look Book || Bright Lights, Big City

27/03/2014 § 1 Comment

Harvey Faircloth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah KunkelSomehow, I find myself on the other side of a really jam-packed NYFW and FW14 market, with no blogging to show for it.  I supposed that if I had something really amazing to share, you might let me get off with a light punishment…perhaps?

I am pleased to present the Harvey Faircloth FW 2014 look book, which I had the honor of shooting myself on Impossible Project polaroid film with a Polaroid Spectra ProCam.  Different from our past look books which are much more straightforward, our aim was to capture the essence of season’s inspiration: our Creative Director Christopher Rivers’ memories and favorite places of late night New York City during the late 1980s and early 1990s (“Bright Lights, Big City”).  Intimate and ephemeral, it has a undeniably voyeuristic quality — it almost feels like we’re following this girl on a nighttime prowl all over the city.

Working in Polaroid was challenging in a really great way.  Because the photographs take time to develop, I had to shoot and move on in the interest of time.  In an era of digital cameras and Photoshop, truly only having one chance was initially daunting but eventually liberating.  I first figured out how to focus and then shortly thereafter I found a way to trust myself.

I hope you enjoy it!

Photographer: Mariah Kunkel
Hair: Walton Nunez
Make up: James Vincent
Model: Kuyan Elliot (Re:Direct)

In Memoriam, Inspired: November

01/12/2013 § Leave a comment

Nov17 Nov2 Nov3 Nov4 Nov21 Nov5 Nov25 Nov24 Nov6 Nov12 Nov16 Nov27 Nov7 Nov8 Nov1 Nov11 Nov13 Nov20 Nov18 Nov14 Nov19 Nov10 117237799.jpg Nov22 Nov26 Nov28Some of my favorite images from my Tumblr during the month of November.

It’s All In The Details || Altuzarra Spring Summer 2014

02/11/2013 § 1 Comment

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Altuzarra SS14.  Sublime.  SUBLIME.

Yearning to just barely wrap myself in tailored metallics, jersey and silk.

All images via Style.com

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