Back in November, I wrote an update about my skin and what I’ve been doing to it. I mentioned that I’d had some some concerns about whether my much-beloved Clarisonic could possibly be harboring bacteria even though I’m super-diligent about keeping the brush head clean (and changing it regularly), but it turned out my skin issues were apparently more likely a result of needing a change in prescription medications.

The Swedish company Foreo contacted me shortly after I wrote that post, asking if I’d be interested in trying their facial-cleansing device, the Luna. I agreed to try it out and write a review, which meant setting aside my Clarisonic for about two weeks so I could fairly compare the two and decide which I prefer.

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A few basics about each device…

Clarisonic Mia
✚ Retail price $125 (usually 20% off at SkinStore)
✚ Single speed (other Clarisonic devices have variable speeds)
✚ 1-minute cleansing cycle
✚ Must change brush head every 2–3 months (~$20 each)
✚ Must disassemble device in order to clean thoroughly and prevent bacteria growth
✚ Must charge device 2–3 times monthly

Foreo Luna
✚ Retail price $200
✚ Variable speeds
✚ Anti-aging facial massage mode
✚ 1-minute cleansing cycle
✚ No brush head to change
✚ Easy to clean; silicone does not harbor bacteria
✚ Single charge lasts for up to 450 uses (!)

On the surface, the Luna sounds like it would be the obvious winner between the two, right? That’s what I thought, and I was really excited to try it out. Reviews for the Luna on other blogs seem to be universally positive. I felt pretty certain that I was going to LOVE the Luna and be a total convert, and I was looking forward to never having to buy another disposable brush head again.

Unfortunately, it didn’t really happen that way. The first thing I noticed is that the Luna is uncomfortable to hold. The Clarisonic is ergonomically-designed and its contours fit in my hand easily, but the Luna is more like a disc. I felt like I was going to drop it, and even after two weeks of use I couldn’t figure out how to grasp it comfortably for a full minute. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker for me, though. What is a real issue is that the lack of ergonomics extended to the way the “bristles” (silicone nubs, really) made with my face. I had a really hard time maneuvering the Luna over the less-cushy parts of my face, like across my forehead and around my nose. I’ve always really liked the feeling of cleaning my face with my Clarisonic, but I found myself dreading using the Luna.

I would have put up with the discomfort if using the Luna made a positive change in the appearance of my skin, but sadly that was also not to be. Even on the lowest speed, the Luna seemed to be much harder on my skin than the Clarisonic. I don’t know if that’s a result of the ergonomic problems, but my face always looked red and irritated after use. After about five days of use, my skin became terribly dry. By the end of the first week, I was breaking out around the sides of my nose, which is exactly the area I was having trouble cleaning the most — and that’s not a part of my face where I typically have breakouts.

But still, I continued. I know as well as anyone that skin condition is not static, and I wanted to make sure that the negative changes weren’t the result of cold air or hormones or stress or dry heat in my house or whatever. There was no improvement into the second week, and on day 13 I officially put down the Luna and went back to my Clarisonic.

My skin pretty much immediately improved after going back to the Clarisonic. I think the difference really does come down to ergonomics more than anything — because the Clarisonic is so easy to hold and because the bristles easily accommodate facial contours, I naturally have a much lighter touch when I use it. I don’t use it like a scrub brush, I just slowly let it lightly glide over my face. I use the delicate brush heads, and never have any problems with over-cleansing or redness. Yeah, it’s kind of a hassle to have to take it apart and clean it every night (I use hot water and Dr. Bronner’s, then let it dry completely overnight, disassembled), but it’s not the end of the world. I don’t mind having to charge it more often, either. I would love to be able to quit spending $80–120/year (OUCH!) on brush heads, but given the incredibly positive effect the Clarisonic has had on my skin over the past few years, I feel like it’s worth it. Oh well.

I still feel pretty disappointed in myself for not liking the Luna. It’s the same feeling I have about not liking the oil cleansing method or mineral makeup — how come these things that seem to be universally awesome for everyone else are such duds for me? I don’t know. Maybe the problem is me!

Have you tried the Luna? Do you like it?

p.s. The skin care routine I wrote about in November is still working out really well for me. The tip of my nose is perpetually flaky in the winter cold and I’m forever battling dark underye circles, but everything else is about as good as its ever been — and continues to improve.

p.p.s. Um, this is probably obvious, but I feel like I should include a disclaimer just in case: Foreo sent me a Luna free of charge in exchange for a review, but this post is completely my own opinion.

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Well, I didn’t get everything on my Sunday to-do list crossed off, but I made a decent dent. Daniel came down from Kingston for lunch (we went to Tito Santana Taqueria in Beacon — really good food and tons of vegan options!), and I decided it was probably more fun to hang out with my friend than to organize my pantry for the millionth time. It was.

I did manage to make some progress in the dining room, though! It had kind of become a dumping ground for a long time while we worked (and worked, and worked…) on the kitchen, and once we finished carting all of the tools, construction debris and other crap down to the basement, I could see the room really needed a freshening-up. Nothing major, just a little nip/tuck here and there.

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The first order of business was addressing the lighting. As cute as it was, I never felt like the pendent I had hanging over the table previously was substantial enough. I picked it out before we’d moved any of our furniture into the house, and before I had a good understanding of the scale of the rooms.

A while back, I ordered the Mobile chandelier from West Elm. (Yes, it’s on back order until April, but is April really that far away? It’s not like you’re going to get around to hanging it before then, anyway.) I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put it in the kitchen or the dining room, but they were having a sale and the pictures on the site looked nice, so I just went for it. And then it sat on the dining room table for a couple of months.

BUT! Behold! Look what Evan and I did…

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Ahhhhhhhh!!! I’m in love with this lamp. Love, love, love. It took me a day to get to full infatuation point, though. I initially positioned the arms at varying angles (like in the primary photo on West Elm’s site), which looked really clunky and jaunty and whimsical and Sputnik-ish and just not at all what I like or what looks good in my house. I was ready to take it down and either sell it or hang it in the bedroom.

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But then I straightened the arms out so they were all level and parallel with each other, and it was like a whole new lamp. Really! I’m so glad I didn’t take it down right away. It’s PERFECT. I decided to go with plain, white G40 bulbs (25W each), and I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope that energy-efficient lightbulbs are nicer by the time low-wattage incandescents are phased out. (For what it’s worth, there are current no plans to ban 25W bulbs in the US. The phase-out stops at 40W.)

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To give you an idea of the scale, the Mobile chandelier is about 30″ in diameter at its widest point (excluding bulbs), and my dining table is 95″x40″. The ceiling in the dining room is about 10.5′ high.

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I straightened up the still-incomplete bookshelves next to the fireplace. The three drawings are by Lisa Congdon, my dad, and Jen Ray. The faceted knobs are from Pigeon Toe (I’ve been holding onto them for a project for ages…) and the Kubus candle holder is by Lassen. Some of the best books ever written are by Kurt Vonnegut.

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I picked up a fresh ZZ plant to replace the withered, dying ZZ plant that formerly graced the dining room, and I put my Charles and Ray Eames poster in a frame that I actually hung on a nail that I hammered into the wall! Getting things done, folks.

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Did you notice that big black thing next to the fireplace? That’s the new OLOFSTORP wall cabinet from IKEA, and it is glorious. I had a hard time taking good photos since the light in my dining room is kind of difficult, but you can see it a little better in IKEA’s press photo.

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Click to enlarge! (Photo courtesy of IKEA.)

It’s very nice — definitely one of IKEA’s all-time top-ten products, which is a major accolade coming from me. The OLOFSTORP storage unit/cart is great, too. Both pieces are solid, stained pine with steel hinges. They look, feel and function like simple farmhouse furniture. Very Shaker-ish. Of course, since they’re great pieces that are built to last, IKEA will probably discontinue them within the year. That’s always the case, right? Consider yourself tipped-off and warned.

Anyway, the cabinet!! It’s just right. That space was kind of dead before because the window extends all the way to the corner of the room. The OLOFSTORP is less than 8″ deep, so it doesn’t obstruct the light flow or interfere with the view in any way. I’m a sucker for black-on-black, too.

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The best part is that it holds a TON of stuff. I’ve got all of our wine glasses, highballs and extra mugs in there, plus vases and various dishes I don’t use often but like to have on-hand. Moving all of these things into the cabinet freed up an entire shelf and a half in the pantry, which means I can finally sort out all of my baking dishes and get my spices in order since I’ll be able to spread out a little more.

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The last little dining room update I made was to add these two stools under the cabinet. I bought them at Target’s dorm room furniture line in July. I don’t remember how much they were, but definitely well under $20. At the time I thought I’d make them into a bench or coffee table, but I only got as far as spray-painting the bases matte black. They started out glossy charcoal gray, which didn’t look too terrible — but matte black is nicer.

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See how sunny and nice out it is in these photos? That’s how long ago I bought and spray-painted the bases. Sigh. Then they just sat and sat and sat, disassembled, in the dining room, for six months. I was sick of looking at them and feeling guilty about yet another project unrealized, so over the weekend I screwed the tops back on and called it a day.

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So cute! They fill out the space nicely, and I was able to get a couple of stacks of books off the floor. This makes me feel a little less guilty about not having finished the bookshelves yet. (Note that there’s still one corner of the dining room not shown in these photos. That’s the corner currently filled with stacks of books waiting to be shelved! Someday…)

Unfortunately, because Target’s product turnover is so rapid, these guys are long gone from their website. There’s a chance you could find them on clearance in a store, of course, but I haven’t seen one in my local Target for months. Hey, if you want mine, buy me a couple of Eames LTR tables and we can swap!! HAH. Heh.

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Fritz was pretty distressed about all of the changes in the dining room for some reason. Lots of dramatic crying and staring at the table. I can’t figure this dog out — he’s a Martian mystery. I love him.

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Oh boy. You know how sometimes work vacations wind up being worse than not taking a vacation at all? That’s how I’m feeling about this Monday. I took TWO WHOLE WEEKS off work, and now I’m in a panic about how in the world I’m going ever going to catch up on everything when I get back into the office. Ugh. I’ve been trying to get as much stuff as possible done at the house during my time off, but exhaustion has gotten the better of me and I’m feeling a bit guilty about not having done more. Ugh again.

Anyway, I do have ONE LAST DAY to check things off my to-do list before I have to switch back into work mode, so I’m making a sub-to-do list of what I (reasonably) think I can get done today.

Do these things:
✚ Take photos of stuff for eBay auctions
Take photos of dining room
Brush Bruno
Laundry
Clean bathrooms
✚ Organize pantry
Set up kitchen coffee area
Bring stuff down to basement
Frame and hang at least one more thing
One more trip to Goodwill? Nope.
✚ Sand, patch and prime benches
✚ Make hook for ceramic planter

Do not do these things:
✚ Drink too much coffee

I’m serious about that last thing there. I have been drinking SO MUCH COFFEE during my vacation. Way too much. It’s just so easy and so delicious and so addictive. I don’t want to eliminate coffee from my life, but I gotta get myself back down to a single cup a day. OK, maybe I’ll wait until Monday to cut back, because today is going to be hectic and I want to get a little coffee area all set up in the kitchen and it’ll be right there. But then tomorrow is going to be even more hectic…hmmm. Tuesday? Tuesday. Less coffee on Tuesday.

Happy New Year! To celebrate the arrival of 2014, I thought I’d put together a post about a brand that everyone else was talking about at the beginning of 2013, because that’s how far behind I am in picking up on things. I basically have my finger on the pulse of a hibernating bear, what can I say?

I heard about Kate Spade Saturday when the site launched last year, of course, but other than a few quick visits to the site to admire the graphic design, I kind of just put it out of my head. The Kate Spade main line isn’t a brand I pay attention to because the clothes really aren’t my style, so when Kate Spade Saturday came along, I wasn’t particularly interested. I get a lot of “saw this, thought of you” emails and tweets about Saturday stuff, though, so I finally took some time to check out the non-clothing items. Boy, have I been missing out! So much nice stuff…and pretty reasonable prices, too.

Wow, that was long-winded. Let’s get to it! Here are some of my favorite things from Kate Spade Saturday’s home line:

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1. Pyramid Picture Frame
Yes, that’s a triangular picture frame! It’s a glass sandwich held together by magnets, so you could really put anything in there, not just a piece of triangular art. So cool.
2. Wide-Rim Nesting Bowls
3. Tall Painted Vase
4. Graphic Pitcher
So very Bauhaus-ish! This pitcher is at the top of my wishlist. I like that it’s not MASSIVE, either. Just the right size.
5. Two-Color Napkins
OK wait, maybe I want these napkins more than the pitcher. They do look nice together…

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1. Carpet Pillowcase in Sunspot
You need to look at this pillow on the Saturday site and click to view it super-close. The texture is really, really nice. So wooly and chunky!
2. Saturday Morning Mug
This mug would look right at home in this room, yes?
3. Geometric Salt & Pepper Shakers
4. Desk Lamp
5. Circle Picture Frame
Same concept as the triangular frame above, but round. And pink. Just the right pink, too.
6. Positive-Negative Blanket
It’s reversible! The other side of the blanket is black with a white circle. Want.

Again, Happy New Year. I hope you’ve all had a little time to relax and decompress after the craziness of the last few months. I’ll be back on Monday with pictures of projects I’ve been working on at the house! Have a great weekend. xx

I was recently invited to become a member of Etsy Pages, which is sort of like Etsy favorites but specifically for bloggers and brands (or, to use a word which sounds to me like a type of breath mints, “tastemakers”). This past week I finally started getting the Door Sixteen Etsy Page in order, and man…it’s FUN.

There are lots of social shopping sites all over the place now, and I don’t use any of them (or Pinterest, for that matter), but for me this is a natural. I already post my Etsy wishlists here on the blog, so it makes sense. Anything I add to my Etsy Page links directly to that item in the seller’s shop, and no third party is taking away any of the profits. I like that.

You can follow Door Sixteen on Etsy here:

Door Sixteen on Etsy

When you follow Etsy Pages, the stuff I add to my lists will show up in your activity. I never used to follow people on Etsy because I didn’t really understand the point, but now I get it. MORE STUFF TO BUY!

I have a bunch of lists set up already, but my favorite one to look at is my black + white collection. I want all of these things…

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curated by Door Sixteen on Etsy

Door Sixteen on Etsy Pages

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I’m still on a mission to get the apartment bathroom looking as not-awful as possible, and my latest effort is the RÅSKOG wall cabinet from IKEA. It’s made of solid steel with a charcoal gray finish and glass doors. At $69 the RÅSKOG is a little spendier than most things this size from IKEA, but I think the honest materials and good construction make it worth the money. Installation was really easy. Just two holes, two anchors and two screws.

Plus, it fits perfectly into the nook above the toilet and it looks super cute! Of course I would have loved to find a vintage apothecary cabinet with just the right proportions for $5, but that’s not going to happen — especially not one that’s wall-mounted.

If you have the space, I think two or three of these cabinets would look really nice hanging next to each other in a long hallway or along a kitchen wall. You could even mount them lower and have them function as a shallow fauxdenza! It’s a pretty versatile piece that could really work in any room.

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The print above the cabinet is from the fine folks at Pop Chart Lab (looks like they don’t sell it anymore, but they have so much other great stuff), the perfumes are from Cold Spring Apothecary and OLO Fragrance (my standby is Dark Wave), and the movie is from Woody Allen.

But can we talk about that tooth?

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As I’ve mentioned before, I have a major thing for anthropomorphic teeth and tooth-related things in general. They make my skin crawl, but I can’t get enough! Evan bought me this sweet little corked ceramic tooth vessel for my birthday. It’s made by Brooklynite Alyssa Zygmunt of Brooklyn Rehab. Alyssa’s Etsy shop is sold out of the teeth at the moment, but Evan picked mine up at By Brooklyn on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens. TOOF.

If you want to see more of the apartment bathroom and its Band-Aid-colored tiles, here are a couple more posts:
The new apartment bathroom.
Dealing with nasty grout & caulk in the apartment bathroom.

OK, so maybe this is a little obsessive. Remember that perfect room in my post about the Jacobsen Mayor sofa? Well, I felt compelled to try to track down where every last thing in it comes from, from lamps to textiles to art. And I almost managed to do it! See, this is exactly why I have a blog.

This post is sponsored by the 20oz cup of coffee I had at 10PM last night.

Furnishings and décor first…

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1. Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair
2. Ferm Living Copper Cup
3. Kay Bojesen Dog
4. Le Klint 101C pendant lamp
5. Ferm Living Copper Tray (no longer available, alas)
6. Bestlite BL2 Table Lamp
7. Ferm Living Black Stripe Cushion
8. FujiFilm X100S Camera
9. &tradition Arne Jacobsen Mayor Sofa
10. UO Danish Modern Coffee Table (not exactly the same, but close…)
11. IKEA Söften Rug
12. Kähler Love Song Vases

So, it’s driving me CRAZY that I can’t figure out where that pillow with the moon and trees comes from. Does anyone know? Here’s a larger version of the photo. Same for the navy pillow with the tiny dots. And the candle holder. And if you want to get really crazy (I do…) the books on the table. I don’t want to tell you how long I spent trying to decipher what it says on the spine of the bottom book in the stack.

UPDATE: The mystery pillow is by Nord from Kaiku! Thank you, thank you, Camilla!! Yay.

And now on to the artwork…

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1. “Small Talk,” One Must Dash (also from Artsy Modern in the US)
2. “Elements of Birds I,” Mintstudio
3. “Punk,” Kristina Dam
4. “Lola,” Samantha Totty
5. “Wild Stripes,” RK Design
6. Various exhibition posters from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

Unfortunately, it looks like none of the Louisiana exhibition posters are available online, but it’s possible that they still have them for sale at the museum gift shop. I’d love to get my hands on that Walton Ford poster! His work is nuts. For the life of me, I cannot find that blue poster with the big black A on it. At first I thought it might’ve been cut off of the Artek logo, but the counter space is wrong. Any ideas?

UPDATE: The blue A poster is from Playtype. Thank you, Maaret!!

Even though I can’t have THE sofa, I am going to order a few of these prints! The Le Klint lamp is now also on my wishlist. (The only thing in the room I already own is that IKEA rug, which is sort of funny.)

The room of my desire was styled by Nicola Kragh Riis and photographed by Line Klein for ALT Interiør magazine. Nicola is obviously a genius! Here’s Line’s photo again in full, for reference:

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Photo by Line Klein (see more) for ALT Interiør // Styling by Nicola Kragh Riis

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Photo by Line Klein (see more) for ALT Interiør // Styling by Nicola Kragh Riis

OK, that’s just perfect. Yep, we’re all done here, no need to look at any more interiors, ever. Bye, everyone!!

(EDIT: The more I look at this room, the more I love it. I’m going to post a breakdown tomorrow of everything in it with links to the artists’ shops and the lamps and so on!)

You know when it’s 2AM and you can’t sleep so you’re watching videos of porcupines eating pumpkin and obsessively searching for vintage rugs on eBay and then you start looking at all of the nice Danish furniture you can’t afford and fantasizing about a wealthy benefactor giving you one just because…and also paying off your mortgage at the same time? Well, that’s how I cope with insomnia, and it was on a sleepless night a few weeks ago that I realized the Mayor sofa from &tradition is truly the stuff my dreams (well, the ones I’d have if I could fall asleep) are made of.

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In 1939, Danes Arne Jacobsen and Flemming Lassen designed Søllerød Town Hall (now Rudersdal Rådhus) and everything in it, including the Mayor sofa. As far as I can tell from pasting Danish text into Google translate, the sofa was never in full production as a consumer product. Danish furniture company &tradition changed that this year, and the Mayor sofa is now available in a bunch of colors, fabrics and wood options. In the US, it’s carried by A+R.

LOOK AT IT, LOOK AT IT. That’s the best sofa ever, right? The way the high back curves into the arms, the thin seat cushion, the subtle tufting, those sturdy wood legs and the exposed frame…yes, yes, yes. This is everything I’ve ever wanted from a sofa. Well, not everything, because it’s totally and completely forever out of my budget, but hey, this is a fantasy.

Arne Jacobsen did everything just right. Sigh.

More fantasizing: Maybe DWR will start carrying it and I’ll find one at the Annex for $500. And it’ll just have, like, a little coffee stain on it that I can cover with a pillow. I would accept the coffee stain, and maybe even love the sofa a little more because of its flaw. That’s how it would be. My sofa.

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Photo by Line Klein (see more) for ALT Interiør // Styling by Nicola Kragh Riis

Christmas in Sweden
This is a reposting of a guest blog post I did for Dos Family four years ago. I regularly receive emails asking for the link to download the Swedish Christmas record, so I will repost it here yearly!

In the United States, it’s not uncommon to hear Christmas music wafting from shop speakers as early as the beginning of November, but it’s not “Here Comes Santa Claus” or “Jingle Bell Rock” that puts me in the holiday spirit. For me, it’s not Christmastime until I put on the recording of Swedish Christmas music that I grew up listening to each and every year: Christmas in Sweden, recorded in 1962 by Åke Jelving and a chorus of parents and children.

This is jovial, happy music, sung with energy and enthusiasm…and with audible gasping and stomping!

Our mother may be Swedish, but my siblings and I haven’t got a clue what the lyrics mean. I suspect that they, like me, sing along phonetically (and badly) in the privacy of their own homes. On Christmas day, we put the record on and leave the singing to Mommy as we all hold hands and dance in a circle, usually around the spread of snacks and glögg on the kitchen island.

My gift to you is a download of Christmas in Sweden. Evan made the MP3s directly from the record, so you’ll hear all the same snaps and crackles that I do when I listen to the original. I think that just adds to the appeal! Unless you’re a Swede, this may not sound like Christmas music to you at first, but give it time. (And maybe enjoy it with a little glögg.)

To download the album, you’ll need to visit this link. No need to create an account, just click on “download.” Easy!

God Jul!

Christmas in Sweden

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If you’re going to be in New York City this weekend and you are a man, someone who knows a man, or a lady who (like me) wears men’s clothing, might I suggest you attend this year’s Pop Up Flea? Every December I somehow manage to miss it — either I’m upstate or I’m being lazy or I forget. Not this time! I am there.

Now in its 7th year, the Pop Up Flea is weekend-long indoor sale focused on new and vintage menswear. Some of my favorite handmakers and vendors from all over the country are going to be there this year, including my friend Matt from Wood & Faulk, Three Potato Four, Field Notes, Steven Alan, The Hill-Side and Ursa Major. It’s being held in SoHo at 82 Mercer, which is a pretty mind-bogglingly gorgeous space. I freely admit that half the reason I like going to events in NYC is getting to see the inside of fancy buildings.

Evan is a pretty snappy dresser (I’ve actually been encouraging him to start a men’s fashion blog — he should definitely do it, right??), and I’m sure he’s going to go nuts looking at all of the nicely-made button down shirts and heavyweight jeans. I don’t really like shopping for women’s clothing (that’s a major understatement…), but I love looking at men’s stuff and I love watching Evan shop. This is going to be a fun weekend!

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Photos via Pop Up Flea’s Instagram / Pigeon banner by Three Potato Four