On a small island in the Aegean Sea, sits a paradise of whitewashed buildings and bright blue roofs, so blue they blend in with the sky. The island, officially called Thira, is Santorini – essentially the remains of a volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements that were once one large single island. The volcano left behind a caldera – a massive lagoon with steep cliffs surrounding it. It was one of the largest eruptions in history, and some believe it may have contributed to the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. An air of mythology settles over the buildings and cliffs, and I can imagine wandering through winding, narrow cobblestone walkways and imagining the stories they hold. Today the island’s economy relies largely on tourism, and it’s easy to see why. The sloping cliffs allow for stunning views at almost any point on the island and the stark white of the architecture creates a clean, cool setting that would be hard not to find relaxing. Just looking at photos of Santorini can make you feel refreshed – it has quickly moved up to the top of my list of places I want to go.
This weekend I was in New York City for our crafting event at Free People Upper East. I love New York this time of year – the weather was still mild enough to walk around outside all day comfortably, but a cheerful holiday spirit fills the air. I spent Saturday wandering around in Brooklyn and stayed the night at the Bowery House in downtown Manhattan before heading to the Upper East Side on Sunday.
My first stop was Brooklyn Flea – a thrifter and vintage lover’s heaven!
I loved the vintage holiday decorations and ornaments :)
I was drooling over the turquoise jewelry!!!
After spending a little too much time sifting through all the treasures, I walked down to Prospect Park where there was a little farmer’s market – and hot apple cider!
I would so love to live in a Brooklyn brownstone one day…
I stopped for a quick cider at a pub in Brooklyn – I loved the little jar they served it in! Then I hopped on the subway back to Manhattan to head to the Bowery House, where I was staying. This place is perfect for anyone traveling to NYC on a budget, if you’re literally just looking for a place to crash. It has a cool history – in the 1940s it was a temporary home to soldiers returning from World War II. The location is convenient and the price is great, plus it has a cool rooftop garden – but if you’re a light sleeper, bring ear plugs :)
Spotted this post-it note in Prospect Park :) Stay tuned for part two, with photos from our event on Sunday at Free People Upper East!
I am 100% without a doubt a summer person – I love the heat, I love the sun and the feeling of freedom that hangs in the humid air, even though you still have work. But I will admit, there is no better time of year for a good weekend hike than the fall. The crisp air is much more comfortable to work up a slight sweat, and the scenery is breathtaking. Not to mention, I love the sound of leaves shuffling under foot. Here are some photos from a fall hike in Fairmount Park – a place that lets you forget you’re in a city and reconnect with nature.
We opened a new store in Aspen, CO on Friday and it is beautiful! The store is decorated with our new holiday displays, so it fits right in with its wintery setting! It’s like a snow globe on the inside and out :) Here are some photos of the magical new store…
Our beautiful new store front! And check this out, here it is back in the day:
Before and after :)
“Sequining” the display bike! And how cute are the sweater pedals?!?
Stay tuned for a tutorial on the awesome wrapping paper!
Beautiful accessory display! One of our FP girls made the little tags for higher price-point bags and accessories using Aspen postcards! I love this idea for holiday gifts – check out a tutorial here ;)
“I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering…”
Sometimes I feel like the thoughts in my head fly around at a frenzied pace and the only way to sort them out is to get away for a bit. Even if it’s not far away, just to get out of the city, and surround myself with new sights, smells and sounds can do the trick. This weekend I did actually travel though – I went to California for a quick vacation with my sister to catch up with some family and old friends.
California is one of my favorite places in the world – and while I prefer San Francisco, I do love LA. We stayed at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood – located on Sunset Blvd, it has a really cool modern vibe and great location. We spent our days doing some vintage shopping on Melrose (where I found a pair of perfectly beat-up boots in just my size for a mere $20!), hanging out in Santa Monica – where we even went to the pier for the first time in years, and just lounging by the pool at the hotel, relaxing before a night out.
It was just what I needed before flying back to a cold, snowy (!) Northeast on Saturday.
The Standard Hotel
I loved this store Slow – especially its little off-shoot full of vintage treasures called As Is.
Another great store – Wasteland – where I got my boots.
We’re already missing summer and longing for a trip down under! But since we can’t travel to the other side of the world for free, we can at least ship there for free :) Starting today Free People is offering free shipping and 10% off on all orders over $100 to Australia and New Zealand through November 1st!
I first became familiar with Christopher’s work through his girlfriend’s blog, and I’m hooked! I love the candidness of his photos and how they serve as a visual diary of his life.
Shoots with:Over the years I have used a few different camera’s. I use a Canon SLR for most of my photographs, however I love shooting in 35mm more recently. I also have some vintage cameras that are over 30 years old. My secret weapon is disposable cameras.
Favorite Subject: My girlfriend. She is also a great photographer, so when we go away or spend the weekend together, we like to take photos. It’s great to be able to look back at experiences you shared together and have some cool snaps.
Inspired by: My father used to be a semi-professional photographer in the 70’s, and he has taught me much of what I know. I would say he has been a big influence. Aside from that, I am easily inspired by the blogs I revisit, as well as my friends and family.
Sometimes I love going through our Free People stores’ Facebook pages. I like to see what they’re posting about in different parts of the country, and I always find so much inspiration! Here are some of the photos they’ve posted that caught my eye…
I love this video by Ben Wu and David Usui of Lost & Found Films about the idea of home. John Coffer’s home is beautifully imperfect. I’d love to escape to his oasis for a bit and participate in one of his wet plate workshops.
It’s so interesting how the space we inhabit really becomes an extension of us. As we change our homes change with ourselves – reflecting pastimes, values, tastes…everything. It’s “like [your] own little kingdom that [your] the boss over,” in Coffer’s words.
The video is part of a miniseries titled “This Must Be the Place.” Check out the other video on their website here.
Do you ever have that feeling that you’re stuck in a rut? You find yourself following a routine and it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re hung up on monotonous little details. Sometimes removing yourself from normality is all it takes to clear your head and gain a new perspective. I dealt with this a few years ago and in order to snap myself out of it I packed up my car and set out on a road trip with my good friend. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done – the freedom of the open road and not knowing where our next stop would be, the excitement of discovering a new place and the utter sense of joy that came with just driving with the windows rolled down and music turned up.
While a road trip across the country may not be entirely practical, you can still take a road trip to someplace nearby. Pack your bags and take off, without a known destination. When you can’t drive any further, stop and camp out for the night or find a hotel room and see what you discover about whatever place you’re in…you’ll probably discover something new about yourself while you’re at it.
Here are some of the photos from my trip…the camera I took them with may have been disposable, but the memories definitely are not.
Road trippin’ with my two favorite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
It’s time to leave this town
It’s time to steal away
Let’s go get lost
Anywhere in the USA