Monday Mode Link Up is Back – March 27

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Happy Monday! Rachel, Jewel and I are back with Monday Mode Link Up! I hope you are as excited as we are đŸ™‚

From New York to Minneapolis, to finally coming back to Milwaukee, I can’t wait to get back to my routine. I never thought I would say that, but I am really excited to go to my regular gym classes, dive into work and start cooking healthy meals again! What are you excited for this week?

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Fear Not

My biggest fear was I was going to hate it! Having lived on the east coast for 2 years, one year within a 30 minute train ride from Manhattan, one on the Upper West Side, New York had it’s spell over me! But I had the fear of being delusional. The night before I left I couldn’t sleep. Whether it was stress, or my sinuses infection, I kept waking up on the hour every hour. Less than 2 hours on the plane and it’s like I never left. The flipping each other off cab drivers, the view of Manhattan, it was all there and it was the same. I changed. New York didn’t. It stayed true to itself. And for this, I am grateful.

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9/11

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I often looked at the clock

And time was never at standstill

Sometimes it was there to mock

Sometimes it was there to kill

But the numbers 9 11

They always stood out to me

I caught myself looking

Unconscious….

Today they buried my grandpa

And I wondered if that’s why

If numbers were playing a trick on me

Or if it’s just life?

Today I want you to go and give your family a call, give them a hug, tell them you love them, tell them you miss them… Don’t fight, don’t argue, because at the end of the day it’s not worth it. You all have a purpose and a reason to be here, and it’s to create beauty and love and find that glow!

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I love you all, and I want to say a great big THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have been sending prayers and loving kind thoughts my way. You mean so much to me. I have been crying on and off again today, over 9/11, over my grandfather, and not being able to be in Russia. But I have also been crying happy tears, that I have a loving husband, and a family here, who take care of me. And I know that the Universe is watching over me. I have been seeing signs everywhere, from a hand wave of a small child, to watching a ladybug make it’s way around my chair while listening to the wind chimes at the Sculpture Garden.

Love,

Zhenya

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Sunday Post: Stories from My Closet: Bitten Coat

When I first moved to Jersey in 2008, I was obsessed with Bitten, that brand by Sarah Jessica Parker, which only existed for a couple years, and was sold at Steve and Barry’s, which went under when the crisis hit.

I have a couple of Bitten items left, but the one I love the most is this houndstooth pattern coat:

 

This was my very first piece of outerwear that I accessorized, and it also got me hooked on Art Deco, and the whole 20’s theme, here is how…

It was one of those weekends when I took the train from Jersey to Penn Station, and after meeting up with one of my Russian girlfriends and taking about 20 pictures of the Flat Iron Building, which is my favorite one of all times:

 

we decided it was too cold to hang outside, and ended up on the corner of 5th Avenue and 42nd street:

 

So after going through the metal detector and the security bag check, we ended up in library/architecture/culture heaven:

 

 

 

But the best part of the whole experience was the Art Deco Exhibition,

that talked about the rich history, legacy and influences behind that movement. As we all know, a lot of good things come from France, so did all this!

Don’t you wish you could just put that same dress on and go walk around Central Park? I certainly do! I always get complimented on that coat, even when people say I look very Mary Tyler Moore, I just hope they refer to her younger years!

To be honest I don’t remember much from that whole day, just the feeling of excitement that I could go and be inside NYPL for the very first time in my life. I would go back there several more times, to see the original Winnie-the-Pooh toys and first edition of the book, to take kids I was babysitting to story time, to simply get some books, or to just take a break from walking around Manhattan all day…

I can’t wait for fall now, so that I can wear my Bitten coat again…

Z

Stories from my Closet: Bris Dress

Everyone, meet

Okay, it’s a London Times size 6 dress that I got at Housing Works Thrift Store on the Upper West Side at a huge sale. I can’t even remember how much it cost. All I remember are the changing rooms at that location, that reminded me of western saloons from old movies, and the fact that there was always more furniture, books and records, than clothes. I will always have fond memories of that place. And in all honesty, I think Housing Works is one of the most legit thrift stores in NYC.

This is also a dress I wore when I first went to a synagogue. To a bris ceremony.

I remember that day well. Having lived on the UWS for almost a year at that point, there were certain routine things I had to do. For example – sit in the car. Parking your vehicle in the streets of NYC is a form of art. And kudos to everyone who’s figured it out.I swear to G-d I still remember the street cleaning schedule, and when and where you could park your car on any day of the week. I remember that hump day, holidays and weekends were free passes, those were my favorites. Also any natural cataclysm, aka snow, freed you from having to move your car.

That’s what I did that morning, I sat in the car, reading a book, to two kids, who wanted nothing more, but to get out of that car. Then we got dressed, took a cab all the way to the East Side, and went to the bris.

The synagogue was surprisingly not that different from a catholic or an episcopal church. I don’t really know what I expected to see, but stained glass windows and menorahs, along with stars of David everywhere had a calming effect on me.

Unfortunately the ceremony was mostly in Hebrew, and I don’t speak that language, with an exception of a few well-known words and a Sabbath prayer.

Now it’s a well known fact that best cheese cake and dessert in general in NYC is at the synagogue. I don’t know where they get it, whether they raid Zabar’s on Monday morning before everyone else gets to it, or order from some secret dessert take out, it’s to die for. Here is a fun fact about me, I don’t necessarily like American desserts, French – yes, but that thick creamy icing rubs me the wrong way. But I will sell my soul for Jewish pastries, including challah bread.

And then there were bagels, mountains of them, and small mountains of cream cheese. Plus pizza, kosher pizza.

And then there was I in my thrifted dress, born again Christian at a synagogue, with just a chap stick and a flip phone in my pocket, wanting nothing more, but to be a part of the mystery, the religion, the act.

And now all I can hope for is for that boy to have a good Bar Mitzvah!

Shortly after we took a cab back to the Upper West Side, and I went back to my Upper West Side routine, never going back to the synagogue again.

Xo,

Z

PS. Stories from my Closet will be coming out every Friday on BeingZhenya now.

 

 

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