Pink and Yellow // Early NYC Nostalgia.

dress // bag // heels // earrings

(Nordstrom really failed me here… I bought this dress and immediately after, they put it on sale! So it’s only available in a few sizes but you can get it here too! I looove gingham + I love yellow, so I put a bunch of fun yellow gingham things in the widget at the end of the post too. It runs true to size and I’d say the yellow is a bit brighter in person.) 

Last week I got to see an advanced screening of Always At The Carlyle (which was amazing and should 100% be your weekend plan if it’s playing near you – watch the trailer here) and it got me thinking about my early years in New York.

For whatever reason, the documentary had me feeling a bit nostalgic and brought back some old memories from twelve years ago when I first moved here! I think that a lot of you, especially my younger readers, think I have everything figured out (I don’t). And in some ways, yes, I have figured some things out, but keep in mind I’m now in my mid-thirties. I’ve had a long(ish) career and live in a very nice apartment now and am lucky to be able to afford to do a lot of fun and fancy things in the city but that was definitely not always the case! I moved here when I was 24 years old. I had worked for a little over three years in Boston and was offered what was at the time, my dream job – as an Assistant Brand Manager for P&G’s prestige fragrance division. The plan was to stay for two years, get that P&G experience on the resume, and move back to Boston. Things don’t always go as planned… I got sucked in!

Being young in this city is really, really hard. It’s amazing and fun too, but it’s also really hard! I wouldn’t trade those years for anything though – they were some of my favorite memories.

Outfit Details: Maggie London Dress (also here) // Staud Bag // Loeffler Randal Coco Heels // Tuckernuck Earrings (love this red white + blue version too!) // Polaroid Sunglasses

(I wanted to show you how this bag usually looks. I’m always toting around a magazine or a book… and it fits perfectly!)

I arrived here in January 2006. My aunt in New Jersey let me live with her for three months while I saved up the money to pay for first, last, and security deposit. There was no signing bonus, my parents didn’t have the extra funds laying around to help me, and I had what was a verrrrry much entry level salary. I had credit card debt and very little savings. Moving to New York is insanely expensive and I definitely would not have been able to take the job were it not for her… I’ll always be so grateful to her for that! Every morning I was up around 5am and on a 7am train… I’d transfer at Secaucus and brave the Penn Station craziness before taking the subway over to 909 Third Ave, where our offices were. It made for a long day and sometimes I would fall asleep on the train ride home and have to be picked up at a different station. Luckily my aunt and uncle were so patient with me! They’d tease me but always come and find me. #hotmess. I was also training for a marathon so I’d go out and run a casual 6-8 miles every night when I got home around 7 or 8pm. (Oh to be 24!)

I decided to live with an acquaintance, who ultimately became my best friend. It was a friend set up. Our other friend was like, “you two are like really happy sunshine-y people and you’ll get along great!” She seemed normal, I guess I seemed normal, so we decided to live together. This could have gone very badly but it worked out incredibly well. We were great roommates and she’s still one of my best friends today. We rented a one bedroom apartment in Stuyvesant Town. I think someone’s parents suggested it as it was a really safe place to live and there wasn’t a broker’s fee. We got creative with the layout, splitting up the living room with bookshelves and a curtain “door.” We found a Pottery Barn couch at a thrift store and everything else came from IKEA and Craig’s List. The apartment itself was actually pretty nice. It’s probably the most modern/updated apartment I’ve lived in… but we were also sharing a one bedroom. We had an elevator and a trash shoot and I think even a dishwasher. (I don’t even have a dishwasher in my current apartment… they’re rare!)

In hindsight, the Stuy Town apartment was the perfect first New York apartment as it was really safe, in a convenient area, and everything was pretty new. (I will add that we only lived there a year as the next year they increased our rent by SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS, but that’s another story.)

We were almost always broke. During my first two years in New York I probably overdrew my bank account at least every other month. My new salary was about 20% higher than my Boston salary which wasn’t saying much. My rent, on the other hand, had more than doubled. We both really really struggled to make ends meet. Every last dollar was extremely carefully (and sometimes creatively) budgeted…  an extra beer at happy hour meant dinner was noodle ramen or two $1 hotdogs from Gray’s Papaya (although that was a lesson too – we were once sick for a week from hot dogs so that was eventually ruled out!)

We drank exclusively two buck chuck from Trader Joe’s and cooked every meal at home. Our favorite treat was St. Andres cheese from Trader Joe’s (still my favorite indulgence). Some of my best memories are when Nicolette (roommate!) would convince me to skip my long run after work and sit on the couch and drink wine and eat cheese. We thought we were the most clever with our bunny ears antenna – it got most channels without us paying a dime. We didn’t have WiFi but WiFi was a lot less important back then and I don’t think I even had a laptop. We were masters of public transportation (I still take the subway everywhere, but we knew the bus routes too back then).

We both had jobs that had fun perks like fashion weeks and the occasional swanky rooftop party, and we almost exclusively shopped at Forever21 for those events. (I still have a soft spot for F21 – you can find some really great stuff there!) We had the best time, though. We always had fun plans, and if we didn’t we found fun (free) things to do around the city. Gradually, we both climbed the ranks in our respective careers. Something happens around age 28-30 where you get a few promotions and suddenly you can afford your life here. I mean you’re still not totally comfortable, but you’re no longer overdrawing your bank account and eating ramen or bagels for dinner.

Back to The Carlyle (specifically Bemelman’s Bar), which was the initial place that sparked that post. Today, it’s is one of my favorite spots in the city. Anytime I have friends in from out of town we will go museum hopping on the UES and then The Carlyle for at least a glass of bubbles. I’ve had many a romantic evening there (it’s the best place to end a date), and a few sloppier nights when I was younger(ish).

But my very FIRST memory of The Carlyle is a funny one… depending on how you look at it. Nicolette really, really wanted to go. I had never heard of it but she explained how it was one of New York’s most iconic spots and the perfect place to go for a classic cocktail. We would go for just one drink, and then we would go and meet our friends a few blocks East at a dive-y UES bar (probably Brother Jimmy’s if I had to guess). We walked in and I was instantly mesmerized. It was like stepping back into time… I had never seen anything like it. We sat down and it was all white linens, an attentive, impeccably dressed server (he brought us snacks!), and candlelit ambiance. We each ordered our one drink (which was probably around $20) but what we didn’t account for was the cover charge! As there was live music that night, there was also a $35 cover. Oops. That was our budget for the whole night. And so we ended up back home on the couch (with more two buck chuck!) laughing about our mistake.

I’m rambling a little bit now but you should go see the movie this weekend if you live in New York. And if you’re a fellow New Yorker with a story like this I would love to hear it. Sometimes I think it would be fun to publish a book full of short stories written by people my age – everyone has an interesting story or two!

photography by Trent Bailey.

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Comments

  1. Loving the soft, pastel outfit! The yellow shade is lovely. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Elle says 5.10.18

    I loved this post, Grace. I love hearing everyones journey and you have a great story to tell..oh how far you’ve come! Thanks for sharing. xo elle

  3. Allie says 5.10.18

    What wonderful memories! I can’t wait to see that movie, and get cocktails at the Carlyle if we NY in a few weeks. Congratulations for sticking it out in NY and making such fun memories,
    xAllie
    http://Www.theallthatglittersblog.com

    • grace at the stripe says 5.10.18

      Thanks Allie! And hope you go to The Carlyle + see the movie – both are so special!

  4. I love, love, love early NYC stories and since you asked I’ll share a bit of mine! I’d never been to NY when I decided to move here from TX, so I stayed in a hostel in Times Square for a week, found a headhunter and secured a shared apartment in Hoboken through Craigslist. I went to an open house to secure this itty-bitty room; the rent was $500, and there were 24 other women competing for it! It was like The Bachelor for crappy apartments.

    I moved here three weeks later with two duffel bags of clothes and that’s it! My first apartment had a bidet, and I didn’t know what it was for, so I used it as a foot spa and a place to wash my bras. Our next door neighbors were from Italy and spoke no English, and used to pass us huge bowls of homemade pasta over the fence! My first jobs in publishing paid peanuts, and I can fully relate to your nights of ramen and hot dogs. Things got better…my husband and I lived in an illegal basement in Astoria for 10 years before buying our house (ah! New York real estate). It’s a two-family house, so we rent the apartment upstairs to two new college graduates, who are living FAR more comfortably than I did at their age (and for the next ten years). I wouldn’t trade my experience for theirs in a heartbeat. The early struggles make everything so much sweeter.

    • grace at the stripe says 5.10.18

      Oh my goodness I literally LOL’d at how you used the bidet, so thank you for that!! But I agree with you in that the early struggles really do make everything so much sweeter!

  5. Kelly says 5.10.18

    Really enjoyed reading your reflection on starting out in NYC! It’s so interesting how our lives end up changing so much over the years, and how much we learn and grow. Great post, thank you for sharing!

  6. Melissa says 5.10.18

    I love this post! It made me so homesick for New York. I lived there for 3 years in my 20s and I loved it so much and still have a ton of best friends there (including the girls I moved in with in Astoria – friends of friends that are now my best friends!) I was so broke. I probably took a cab 5 times in the years I lived there. I’ll never forget going to a party at a bar somewhere on like 23rd and 3rd and was so drunk and tired I sprung for a cab back to Astoria. When we got to my apartment I realized I’d left my one and only credit card back at the bar. So we had to turn around and get it. And THEN I had to the subway back to Astoria because I could NOT afford yet another cab ride. This was like asking me for 50,000 bucks at the time. It was awful! I have a million broke girl stories like that. But the good times were so good. There’s nothing like living in New York as a broke twenty something.

    • grace at the stripe says 5.10.18

      So much yes to all of this!!! I had similar things happen… Cabs were a HUGE HUGE indulgence.

  7. Bridget says 5.10.18

    Oh my goodness I loved this post. As someone who also moved to NYC as a young post grad, I can totally relate to the struggles! I agree that they are some of the best memories. When I left the city a few years later, I read a compilation of short stories called Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. I highly recommend it! Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. leah says 5.10.18

    This was so fun to read! Please share more stories like this! : )

  9. Sydney says 5.10.18

    This dress is darling, I love how you paired it with pink accents!!
    xo, Syd
    anchoredinthesouth.com

  10. Cory says 5.10.18

    Love this little peek into your history! You and your NY girlfriends should definitely collaborate on a short story collection about your early adventures (and misadventures) in the big city.

  11. Aww–my first apartment in NYC was right next door at Peter Cooper Village! 🙂

  12. LW says 5.10.18

    Nordstrom will typically price adjust if the item you purchased goes on sale within a couple of days (or maybe even a week). Worth a shot at least 🙂

    Love your blog and podcast!

  13. Sarah says 5.10.18

    This was a great story! My parents had their wedding reception at the Carlyle and I actually grew up in Stuy Town, so it was nice to see some familiar places mentioned in a post! 🙂

    Sarah | all in the details
    http://www.allindetailsblog.com

    • grace at the stripe says 5.11.18

      Love that! The Carlyle is so magical, would be a dream to have a wedding there! xo

  14. Katie says 5.10.18

    This made me laugh so hard. My first apartment was a converted sunroom with no door in a fifth floor walk up in Boston. We had no AC and we were too poor to use our window units so we would go to the college library and watch Netflix in the cold air . Those memories are still some of the best though. Also I live in Boston but my company’s nyc office is at 909 third. So close to ess-a-bagel!

  15. Liza says 5.10.18

    I left NYC three years ago after being there for a decade, and I definitely miss the early days! I moved to Carroll Gardens in 2005, when I was 23, after staying with friends in Prospect Heights for a few weeks while I looked for a place. At the time, their apartment on St. Marks and Flatbush was a crazy loft with a mouse infestation and no heat or hot water (why!!!). I looked it up a few years ago and it had been remodeled and was renting for $3,500 a month.

    While I was looking, I checked out this very weird communal living loft that’s right by the Smith-9th station (now I think it’s some kind of fancy condos or a two story bar or something) that had swings hanging from the living room ceiling and a little ceiling mini-loft (literally like 4×7) with a skylight that was someone’s bedroom—you had to climb a ladder to get in it and the ceiling was like three feet high. The person showing me the apt told me which room it was and said that the current renter was in there but no big deal, just go check it out. I walked in and the tenant, a young Irish woman with dreadlocks, said, “Don’t I know you?!” I literally gasped out loud, realizing that I’d hung out with her and her best friend for a week at a hostel in Rome a few years before; at the time we met, neither of us had any connection to NYC.

    I moved into my apt during a horrible August heatwave (like 105 every day), and after we started schlepping all my stuff up to my third floor apartment, my best friend was like, “Wait… there’s no air conditioning here?!” I had no idea! Everywhere in the south, where I grew up, had central air. We slept with frozen washcloths on our faces that night and the next day drove my empty U-Haul (lol) to PC Richard & Son to buy a window unit.

    The next week I rode the subway alone to Brighton Beach with $8,100 in cash in my purse(!!!!!) to deliver our first, last and security to the Russian landlord, and ended up going on a date with a guy who hit on me on the train ride then tracked me down on MySpace. We went on a date to the Gowanus Yacht Club and a rat RAN ACROSS MY FOOT.

    Lessons learned that summer: you cannot wear jeans in the summer in NYC, you must wash your feet MULTIPLE TIMES per day, you should not scream WHAT THE FUCK when you see a rat on the subway platform, you will live in bars to keep your electricity bill low, Zaytouns’ goat cheese and beef bacon pizza with a bottle of rosé is a perfect dinner, and everywhere you go in New York you will run into the most random people that you know from all parts of your life and wonder how the hell you found each other in such a huge city.

    • Liza says 5.10.18

      Also have to add: a year in, my friend and I started an anonymous sex blog (yeah I know) about all the people we dated, inspired by being randomly asked to be guests on Candice Bushnell’s radio show on a segment about sex in your 20s in NYC. Needless to say it did not succeed.

    • Deirdre Vollmer says 5.10.18

      I don’t EVER comments on blogs I read, but sweet jesus this NY story is amazing.

    • grace at the stripe says 5.11.18

      oh my gosh Liza, thank you for sharing this. You made me literally LOL a few times!!! xx

  16. Meg says 5.10.18

    I relate to this post so much! I moved here 8 years ago from CA and was only supposed to stay here for training for 3 months…when my company asked me to stay, my brother took a red eye flight that landed on NYE and we jetted to ikea where we bought a whole studio worth of furniture. We took 2 taxi vans back to the apt and then had to carry all those boxes up to my 6th floor walkup! None of it mattered because we went out with my friends for NYE and we all slept on the floor that night. Now my husband and I just bought a place in Brooklyn and are here to stay! Thanks for always keeping it honest Grace-love you and your fur baby!

  17. Dana Mannarino says 5.10.18

    I really loved this post, Grace! It was so fun to hear about your early days in New York City and seeing how much you’ve grown!

    The Champagne Edit

  18. Ellen says 5.10.18

    I experienced a wonderful snowy night at the Carylyle this winter. Inhibitions decreased and friendliness increased as the inches of snow increased apace of the bar tab.

    My first years in NY I was working two jobs – one in magazine editorial and another as a waitress to pay the bills. Those were fun, albeit lean times. I never spent money on “fancy” food and remember one tragic evening when I accidentally knocked over a full plate of home cooked shrimp scampi I had splurged on as a treat to myself. It had been a long week and I spent my last pre-payday dollars to buy the ingredients. It broke my heart to throw it away, along with the broken plate. The times when money was really tight make me appreciate the. easier days.

    • grace at the stripe says 5.11.18

      I love this Ellen, thank you for sharing. I had memories like that too – crying over spilled pasta, ha ha. And there is nothing better than a snowy night at The Carlyle. Think you’d really love the film!!!

  19. Allie E says 5.10.18

    Thanks so much for sharing this Grace! I relate to this a lot – I moved to the city from Indiana right after college with an entry level graphic design job in fashion and lived with my Grandpa for a few months to save up the first, last & deposit to move in to an apartment with 2 acquaintances. Those days were a whirlwind of fun, newness, lots of money stress & getting lost (pre smart phones lol). It was really hard sometimes but I have some wonderful memories as well of being a young and wide eyed 20 something in such an exciting city. I lasted 4 years, eventually moving to Maryland where my husband is from after dating long distance for awhile. Luckily I still freelance remotely for a company I worked for in NY and get to go back often to visit my Grandpa (he’s 91 and still loving his life living on the UWS!) and the many friends I made when living there.

  20. Julia Schamay says 5.10.18

    Hi Grace! Loved loved this post! Wanted to shared because I’m currently one of the post grads riding the struggle bus/subway in the city. While I love my job, I work in fashion, it’s been more than difficult to figure out how to live and thrive here. Case in point: tonight it’s raining and I met some friends for a beer (lol the cheapest thing on the menu) at this dive bar in Murray Hill, and when it was time to leave I so desperately wanted to take a cab. Fortunately though we were right by the subway and I was able to take it back to near my apartment in the East Village, but then had to walk 6 blocks back to my tiny tiny place (that I share with two other girls that I met on Craigslist). It’s so good to hear that things get easier, but I’m having the time of my life and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now! Love your blog and loved this post!

    XX – Julia

  21. Megan says 5.10.18

    Grace, such a great post and it triggers so many memories. I live in Cleveland now and love my career but your story is so similar to mine 15+ years ago. I moved to NYC from Ohio when I graduated and had a great job in the city in retail buying. My Aunt and Uncle helped me as they lived in NJ and I got a studio in South Orange and I took the train every day, and I was Struggling! It seemed like everyone around me had a limitless credit card from their parents , which I didn’t, but I made the best of it! The worst time I remember is when a buch of work friends and I went to dinner at Houston’s, and I literally had $10 left in my bank account and I was getting paid the next day….. I ordered a side of coleslaw!! and the cheapest beer they had and talked my way out of dinner saying I wasn’t hungry, ha!! I’m sitting it my lovely home now, back in Cleveland, with a great job ( getting ready to talk at my high school for career day next week) and I can not imagine my life without my days in NYC!

    • grace at the stripe says 5.11.18

      Oh my gosh I definitely had nights like that… ordering a side of brussels sprouts was totally a normal thing to do! Thanks for sharing, Megan – hope you have a great weekend! xx

  22. Lauren says 5.10.18

    Ahhh I love this post so, so much!

    I was actually out tonight for happy hour and went to Rudys (Hells Kitchen, by my office) after with a few members of my team. It’s a TOTAL dive bar and beers are so cheap (like…$8 for a PITCHER!!) However the best part of all is that you get a free hotdog with your beer! I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been in NYC for 11 years now and can “finally afford my lifestyle” – love that phrase btw – but couldn’t help feel nostalgic about the early days of living in NYC at 22 and being so happy for a “free” hot dog and calling it dinner!

    Anyways, tonight and this post left me reminiscing. Keep up the posts like this! I love these types of insight to your life, and I’m sure others do too 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

    • grace at the stripe says 5.11.18

      OMG yessss $8 for a pitcher, I remember those days!!! I think I’ve been to that bar and LOVED the hot dogs. It was years ago though! xx

  23. Elissa says 5.11.18

    Grace, love hearing about your early days in NYC! Makes me nostalgic about my own. I moved to Manhattan ~6 years ago and I like to think of it as my ‘return to Saturn’. I was 26, fresh out of a 7 year relationship with my college bf, living with my parents post Master’s and trying to secure a full time teaching job at the height of what seemed to be the worst time to do so. I was working on a per diem sub salary and pulling in pennies but I was terribly lonely and miserable in my hometown and desperately wanted to be living in the city near my friends whose lives seemed so ‘adult’ and exciting. After pleading my case to live well beyond my means in exchange for ‘happiness’ my parents agreed to supplement a small amount to my rent and utilities until I found a full time position with a decent benefit package (which didn’t come as easily as I’d thought). I quickly found a roommate through a distant connection’s friend’s daughter (talk about scraping the barrel) who was 3 years my junior and we moved into what was then the stereotypical post-grade building (Rivergate on 34th & 1st) where I somehow got wrangled into forking up a cool $1700/ month for taking the actual one BR’s bedroom which was massive with incredible closets and certainly didn’t reflect my meager income. For the first three months, I woke up at 4am and took the crosstown bus to the LIRR to catch the empty 5:30am train and did the reverse commute to my per diem gig. Looking back – and this is only 6 years ago – I had some nerve (and some wildly sympathetic parents) to be paying a little under 2 grand in rent on a job that wasn’t even promised from one day to the next! I remember willing the phone to ring every night for a sub assignment the next day so I wouldn’t have to sacrifice my new ridiculously expensive lifestyle and move home. By summer, I had decided to throw in the towel on finding a teaching position and started pursuing other industries with the hope that I wouldn’t need to return to unGodly early wake up calls come September. I was certain I’d be a shoe in at any company, but I was sorely mistaken. My first taste of corporate America was bitter. I was hit with rejection upon rejection from even the most entry level positions. I joked that my degrees were the two most expensive pieces of toilet paper I owned. My dad, a 40 year vet in the healthcare industry, helped to pull some strings and get me an interview at a small start up where I was finally given an offer to work as a customer service representative. I was thrilled to finally have financial stability and a ‘big girl’ job near Wall Street (ooh, aah, lol). But after a year of daily verbal abuse from the general public, I was ready to move on. I expressed interest in wanting to use my education background to train new employees and I received my first internal promotion. I felt like a million bucks even if my savings account was slowly dwindling from all of the regular Seamless orders, overpriced brunches, $50 mani/pedis (‘scuse me?) and undeserving shopping excursions downtown. In the midst of all this, I was actually ENJOY dating (now that’s a concept!) Dating apps were relatively new and there wasn’t yet a stigma attached to Tinder. Fresh off my first long term relationship, I was stoked to meet new guys. I had the stamina to schedule and actually commit to dates nearly every night of the week. I spent my weekends at the likes of Sidebar, 230 Fifth, Public House, all of the skeezy NYU bars near Washington Sq. Park and dare I say, Bar None ‍♀️ The majority of my friends were still single and we stayed out til the wee hours of the morning, ultimately ending the nights with $1 pizza or grilled cheese at Big Daddy’s. My roommate’s HS BF became our honorary third roommate. And while he was a nice and seemingly respectful guy, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of footing his rent as he soon became a staple in the apartment. As did their friends who spent weekends crashing in our tiny makeshift living area after a day of inebriation at the Pride Parade, SantaCon, St Paddy’s and every other holiday that warranted getting smashed. The 3 year age difference became blindingly obvious and my dating MO soon shifted from casual fun to wanting to secure a serious relationship of my own. That fall I met my (now) ex-BF who lived nearby in Windsor Court (another infamous post grad building). My own rent skyrocketed astronomically and we were forced to quickly find a new home elsewhere. It was a ‘lateral’ move, literally. Same rent and only an avenue up on 34th and 3rd. I was in that apt. for less than a year before moving to the UES with my then bf. We lived together for a year and a half. At 29, I had my first real heartache when he dumped me via text message, saying it was best if we go our separate ways. Which we couldn’t since we were locked into a 2 year lease that wasn’t up for another 6 months. My parents served as guarantors. He refused to move out or find someone to take his place. I ordered a bed and moved into the living room for three months while desperately searching for someone to assign the lease to. Those three months were gut-wrenching. Staring at the person who broke your heart everyday for 90 straight days was living hell. Worse was moving back home with my parents at almost 30 years old until I found my footing and a studio apartment within my budget (NO roommates this time around).
    It truly is incredible how much can change in one year, let alone 6 or more! I moved to NY with a very hundred dollars in my savings account, no permanent job, no real direction and NO idea what was down the road. And like you, even years later, I still don’t have it all figured out. Maybe I never will! As much as I love this city, there have been days, weeks, even years where it’s taken way more than it’s given. Where I question why I still buck up over 2 grand a month to endure the crowded trains, the unforgiving grind, the brutally cold winters and the humid AF summers, the $15 manicures (an expense I’ve since learned to accept and build in to cope with the aforementioned realities)… but then I look back at the person I was then and who I am now and I smile because I’m grateful for the experiences it’s given me. For the spine it helped me grow. For the drive and courage it gave me to venture outside of my comfort zone. To discover new things. To meet different kinds of people. To draw inspiration from other seasoned city dwellers who have ‘been there, done that’. For the strength it’s given me to forge ahead under some pretty shitty circumstances. Truth be told, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll take up space in this urban jungle. But I think Steinbeck put it best when he said, “Once you have lived in New York and made it your home, no place else is good enough.” For me, there’s New York and then there’s everywhere else.

    • grace at the stripe says 5.11.18

      Love the Steinbeck quote and woah, thank you for the comment! There’s really no place like New York!

      The funny thing is, I always say a mani pedi is actually the only thing that’s cheaper in New York than elsewhere. A lot of salons do a $25 special for both! You gotta find a new place!!!

  24. Carolyn says 5.11.18

    Wonderful story!! And of course, I visited Bemelman’s on my first trip to NYC. Had a d’lish Cosmo! I can’t wait to return!!

  25. Jenna says 5.11.18

    I love this post, and it makes me extra nostalgic because I’m celebrating my 9th anniversary in NY this month. I too moved into a Stuytown apartment with a fake wall after college, and lived on Easy Mac and two buck chuck. I only ate out when it was BYOB restaurants (they’re still a total guilty pleasure). I walked literally everywhere because I couldn’t afford a cab. I actually still live in my Stuytown apartment, but would like to think it’s gone through major updates. My first roommate and I had too many $2 Blockheads margaritas and decided to paint our living room bright orange! I wouldn’t trade those years or my NY stories for anything.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story and making me reflect on mine!

    • grace at the stripe says 5.11.18

      ahhhh happy new york anniversary! In a year you’ll be a “real” new yorker!!! 😉
      and omg blockheads. Now THAT brings back memories!!!

  26. Love this outfit and love this post, Grace! Can totally relate to this and love like you said that you are showing readers that we all start somewhere 🙂 My younger sis is 25 and lives in NYC so I have to send this post to her!
    xoxo, Jenna
    Bostonchicparty.com