Archives for posts with tag: shopping

I had an aha moment this week while sitting in the wardrobe trailer, in the middle of the night, shopping for expensive sneakers online… The more hours per week I work and the more money I make, the more I spend and look for distraction and satisfaction in things and stuff. 

Since October I have been working just enough to pay the bills and keep “it” all going, with plenty of time to cook at home, eat well, exercise, write, take classes, and create things, but without enough money to buy a lot of extras. And I feel absolutely no lack or scarcity, only abundance and the freedom to do as I wish with my time. Like when I was in college, I’ve returned to shopping at consignment shops, furninshing my house with treasures found at flea markets, and making stuff; things I always enjoy doing, but which fall by the wayside out of laziness when money is plentiful and time is scarce. 

For the past two weeks, I’ve been on location, working 70-80 hours a week, eating junky food because I’m tired, not sleeping enough, not exercising and, incidentally, shopping online. Why??!!  Because I am bored, uninspired, not feeling connected to my life, and looking for any kind of satisfaction. Chocolate and shoes fit the bill. 

I lived years of my life in this kind of circle until I finally realized what was happening. Time, Freedom, Health, Fun, Travel, Friends and Family, Community.. these are the only things I really care about anymore or that help me to truly feel satisfied. What else could I use that fancy sneaker money for? Don’t get me wrong, every once in a while there is a pair of sneakers capable of bringing joy! But, overall, when I find myself shopping online at two in the morning, eating chocolate, I am usually looking for distraction and satisfaction that should be coming from other sources. 

So, the past two weeks have been a good reminder of what my life used to be like versus what it’s like now. And, I’m grateful to fill the coffers a bit. But, how can that money serve me and help me get the things I truly value rather than a bunch of stuff? That’s the question to remember and to answer. 

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Looking around my house, it appears my trip has exploded all over everything. Two weeks of lived in clothing spill out of the hamper, a suitcase lies on the floor, unopened mail sits on the stairs, and my accumulated treasures and trinkets cover the kitchen table. Looking at the ticket stubs, receipts, and business cards collected, now sitting in a pile on the counter, I can’t help but think of the highlights; the best meals, funniest moments, and favorite sights.

Favorite Meals:
1. Pacci in Buti, Italy. Everything they make is amazing, but the black, squid ink pasta with cream, nuts and salmon is unbelievable.
2. Japanese fish and noodle soup, sitting at the counter of the Stedelijk Museum’s cafe in Amsterdam.
3. And everything at the Korean restaurant Yokiyo in Amsterdam’s red light district. Their miso poached pear with black sesame ice cream. Amazing.

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Favorite Activities:
1.Watching the Buti Warriors play a soccer game against main rivals.
2. A walk along the top of the wall in Lucca.
3. Canal tour through Amsterdam.
4. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
5. Wandering
6. Happy Hour cheese and wine, in NY, Amsterdam, and Italy.

Favorite Stores/Items:
1. White, leather side zip Turkish slippers from Nooosugar, in Amsterdam.
2. Soap from Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, in Florence.
3. Jewelry from ambrosiojewelry, on Bedford Street, in Brooklyn.

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Grrr, for some reason the following was omitted from my previous post and refuses to appear when I update, so here it is all alone.

…After leaving RP, I found myself along the East River where there was a food festival, then along Bedford Street where I had to buy a necklace of a tiny cast brass Singer sewing machine from a guy (ambrosiojewelry.com) selling brass and silver pieces, and finally at Brooklyn Industries they were giving away free mimosas (and it was 20% off), so I had to go in.

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Thank you, Brooklyn. Thank you for being the icing on my triple layer, cream cheese frosted, perfect for breakfast, or after dinner, cake of an adventure.

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After waking on my friend’s couch from a surprisingly good night of jet lagged sleep, I made my way to Civil Service Cafe for a truly hipster American breakfast of eggs, potatoes, steamed kale, and Earl Grey tea with my dear friend, RP. Over a shared almond croissant, we proceeded to come up with a plan for the next six months that had us both yelping with joy in the cafe. Let’s just say it involved bikes, flying boats, stories, and more shared croissants. All this and it wasn’t even 11 a.m yet.

Outside it was a beautiful, NY October day. Walking in the direction of Williamsburg, we stumbled upon an impeccably curated store, Joinery (263 South 1st St). It was full of beautiful clothing, shoes, objects, fragrances, and it was difficult to come away with wallet intact. I made it out for only $45, spent on a delicious rose/cedar scent by Olo. Not too bad considering the damage that could have been done.

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After leaving RP, I found myself along the East River where there was a food festival, then along Bedford Street where I had to buy a necklace of a tiny cast bronze Singer sewing machine from a guy (ambrosiojewelry.com) selling bronze and silver pieces, and finally at Brooklyn Industries they were giving away free mimosas (and it was 20% off), so I had to go in.

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Finally, after doing enough financial damage to bring my adventure from “under budget” to right “on budget”, it was time to make my way to JFK, with suitcase bulging.

Thank you, Brooklyn, for easing me back into the USA with such a delightful day.

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Oh, Amsterdam. I love your windows and I love your shops. I love the souvenir shops, full of clogs and windmills and marijuana leaves as much as the beautifully curated, small ones, full of treasures I never knew I wanted.

A highlight from yesterday was nooosugar at Oude Leliestraat 8 (www.nooosugar.nl) Full of unique, handmade items from Holland, Turkey, and Morocco, I came away with a pair of Turkish, side zip leather slippers, but had to refrain from a number of things that would never fit in my suitcase.

Not far from there, I stumbled upon The Otherist at Leliegracht 6 (www.otherist.com), a store with an apothecary vibe, full of strange bottles and things you can’t stop looking at.

Between the shops, street markets full of vintage clothing, records, flowers, and jewelry pop up, asking to be wandered through.

On Kloveniersburgwal 44A, I came across Anna and Nina (anna-nina.nl), and yet again had to refrain from filling my bag with notebooks and spoons.

Shops full of both modern, Dutch design and medieval nostalgia abound and, as they are two of my favorite aesthetics, I am in heaven. The guide book had many recommendations for interesting shops, but I find that seeing what I stumble upon is usually best.

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