The Fashion Magpie New York at Dusk


Placing an enormous asterisk alongside yesterday’s post extolling the virtues of New York by night:

After writing that post, Mr. Magpie and I enjoyed an evening of free opera in Central Park as a part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Recital Series.  It was absurdly romantic, the sun setting and the sky a rosy-peach color not dissimilar from the photo above (the exact vignette I walk by en route to the zoo with mini!) as we listened to a selection of pieces from iconic operas including Puccini’s “La Boheme” and “Gianni Schicchi” and sipped barely palatable wine (we call it “airplane wine” — the kind of wine they serve in those plastic bottles on airplanes that tastes overly sweet and bears no traces of earthiness, but get the job done).  Aside from an uptight viewer who angrily shushed a group of friends whispering to one another in hushed tones (it was outside, and we were on picnic blankets, after all — speaking of, I ended up with this picnic blanket and I use it CONSTANTLY.  I love that you can easily toss it in the wash, but the downside is that it’s not water-repellent on the bottom.  More picnic blankets here), it was a blissful, peaceable evening.  We walked home hand in hand, marveling over this magical city in which we have improbably found ourselves.  (Mini is — most definitely — an urban baby; at the park, when her bare feet touch the grass after padding off the picnic blanket, she stalls in confusion: what is this stuff?  I wonder whether she’ll presume it normal to Subway or cab everywhere, whether the enchantment of learning to ride her bike in Central Park will be lost on her, whether she’ll find it odd when we don’t have doormen or porters to facilitate our day to day lives.  But those worries are as good a prompt as any to insist on her groundedness in all other matters, and I am steadfast in my determination to impress upon her — above all else — a down-to-earthness, a humility, above all else.  But I digress…)

When we shut the door to our apartment, I wrapped my arms around Mr. Magpie for a minute before he peeled off to change.  When he turned, I noticed a large black splotch on the back of his shirt — was it a trompe l’oeil, a trick of the lighting?  I stepped closer, and the splotch moved.

“There’s a…there’s a…”  AN ENORMOUS BLACK COCKROACH THE SIZE OF A SMALL ANIMAL ON YOUR BACK.  “There’s a bug on your back–” my voice rising in panic.  Mr. Magpie froze.

“Please get it off,” he said calmly, having no idea of the scale of the roach or how perilously close it was to his neck.  I saw it inching towards the collar of his oxford and — I blacked out at this point — swiped it (karate chopped it?) off his back.

Now — Mr. Magpie is not the squeamish type, but he let out a weird noise somewhere between a gasp and a snort when he saw it on the ground and then smashed it with his shoe, a reaction that should give you some indication of its horrific enormity.

Noted, New York.  Asterisked.  Don’t get too Pollyanna on the city, or it’ll bite you in the ass — a sort of tough love realness to keep us fawning New York novitiates in check.


+Speaking of New York: the best gear for small apartments.  I’m especially fond of these, which enable me to make the absolute most of our cabinets and are exceptionally sturdy for the price.

+Also speaking of New York: I’ve had a lot of moms ask whether the Yoyo (we have the taupe color) is worth the price as a second stroller.  I feel that in New York — or any situation in which you lead a predominantly pedestrian lifestyle — it is a completely justified purchase because I use both my Bugaboo and my Yoyo constantly.  I could simply not get around with the Bugaboo stroller on the subway or in tiny New York restaurants — and I did a TON of research on umbrella strollers before deciding to spring for the Yoyo, and I’m glad I did.  It’s extremely lightweight, folds up super tiny, reclines (!!!) for when mini falls asleep, has a convenient shoulder strap, and can be folded* and unfolded with one hand.  (*Learning to fold it with one hand takes a little practice, but you’ll get it.  Just make sure to collapse the handlebar/sunshade with your child in it, then remove the baby and you can do the rest single-handedly.)  If I were in even more cramped living conditions, I’d probably sell the Bugaboo and just get by with the Yoyo (there is even a bassinet attachment for newborns!)  That said, I much prefer the bells and whistles of the Bugaboo for everyday use — walks through the park, errands, etc.  It’s a smooth ride and has every amenity you can imagine to make your life as a mom easy, including with my tricked-out accessories: bag hooks, cup holders (I love that these clip onto the side — I always worry when I see hot beverages up by the pushbar; what if you go over a bump and some spills on your child?! — and can be easily removed and stowed beneath), a snack tray.  But I digress there.  I guess my point is that I have been impressed with the Yoyo and, given how frequently I use it, I feel it was a justified purchase and would recommend it — but only if you’ll use it quite a bit!  Otherwise, people rave about this under-$100 Summer Infant model.

+I moderated a panel at Eataly earlier this week as a part of the launch of a new pizza concept in their Flatiron store, Alla Pala Pizza, and was fortunate to interview my friend Erin (head baker at Eataly!) and Alessia Antinori of Antinori Wines in Tuscany (!!!)  Alessia runs the over-600-year-old vineyard with her two sisters, which is just about the most badass and amazing thing I’ve ever heard.  Also, the wines were outrageously delicious — keep your eyes peeled for them next time you’re in a wine store!  I got a lot of compliments on the floral dress I was wearing, which I paired with my pearl mules (I own them in a colorway from last season, and they are on sale in a taupe color here!) and floral studs (the spitting image of these, on sale!).

+Have I told you how much I use this card case?  Pretty much daily.  I love not having to carry around my whole wallet.  After having a baby, any excuse to travel light…

+I’ve already exhaustively covered the sales raging right now (and also here), but a few newly discounted things have found their way into my cart — this pajama set, which I’ve been eyeing for months; this asymmetrical dress; and these splashy mules.

+This Kayu tote is also discounted and would make such a fun gift — so big and statement-making, but on super sale!

+This book looks juicy.  I’m now reading this before diving into our book club pick for July.

+These (pssst, they are super flattering!) have been in heavy rotation given our unseasonably cool June weather.  I like to layer blouses with blouson/dramatic sleeves underneath — like this!

+I love the ease of this dress in the stripes.  I’d wear it with my Supergas or Golden Goose sneaks (select colors on sale) and enorma-shades and head out for the day!



  1. OMG, I once found a cockroach IN THE BATHROOM of one of my New York apartments and I’m not sure I’ve ever been the same. It was summer, but I put on a full head-to-toe-covered (like, socks and gloves and everything) outfit (hahaha) to catch it. I felt crazy, especially since bugs don’t typically bother me, but they’re something else!

    On a similar note … rats are so disgusting and I nearly tripped over one on Leroy Street in the West Village one night, just after leaving the gym. So gross!

    Still love that floral Zara dress and am sad I missed out on it! That Three J nightdress is BEAUTIFUL, and I actually ended up buying the re:named dress and it’s cute, except the ruffle part is BARELY attached to the top (it’s only attached for about an inch on one side), which is slightly odd & I can’t tell if it will drive me crazy while wearing it. But at $50, I’m not too bothered by it.

    1. OMG, I would do the exact same thing re: hazmat suiting to handle a roach. DISGUSTING. I can’t tell which is worse, a rat or a roach, though. Probably a rat. EW. SICK. xo

  2. Gahhhh – after living in New York for 11 years now, I’ve realized cockroaches, extremely disgusting and unpleasant, are something that you’ll inevitably have to deal with from time to time. However (please don’t kill the messenger…) in the future never squash cockroaches! Cockroaches have eggs inside of them and if you squish them, the eggs can spill out and hatch and end up in your apartment, or wherever you happened to stomp on the bug. Always try to spray them with bug killer and then flush them down the toilet.

    Also- wanted to add that I’m 99.99% sure my facts above are correct (it’s what EVERYONE in New York has ever told me) but alas I am way too squeamish to look it up and fact check it.

    Sorry for writing such a gross comment on an otherwise beautiful blog 🙂

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