american made, art, black fashion designer, black women, blog, blogger, bloggers, brooklyn, clothes, clothing, coats, confidence, denim, designer, designers, diy, E commerce, eco friendly, ecofashion, ecommerce, entrepeneur, Entrepeneurs, entrepeneurship, Fashion, fashion designer, fashion photo, influencer, jeans, photo, photo shoot, Photography, pop culture, selling, streetstyle, Style, styling, stylist, wardrobe, woman boss

The PUNK Jacket

Photo by Shoottphotos (use this link for a 10% discount: https://shoott.com/?ref=LQAW9BC)

Handpainted PUNK denim jacket by SEB Market BK, $150

This adorable jacket went from worst to first with some handpainting, embroidered patches, safety pins and sweet punk rock stars. It's an extra small, and measures 20 inches from shoulder to hem, 17 inches from armpit to armpit. 14 inches across the back. Sleeves are 24.5 inches long. Jacket comes with a pouch of extra stars for you to play with. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$150.00

So while I was gone from blogging I started selling pre-loved and vintage clothes on platforms like ebay, depop and etsy. At first it was just straightforward selling, like I wasn’t altering the pieces, just posting them. Then one day I rescued a Coach bag that had worn patches on the front and a busted strap, but was perfect on the back and interior. I messed with it and it ended up selling on ebay. Then I played with a thrifted red leather vintage 80s crossbody that I had in my inventory for about 2 years. Then I sold a sweatshirt. So now I’m a fashion designer with my own label. Why fight fate?

The PUNK jacket started life as a mass produced item treated to look like an authentic punk rockers jacket. Soft, distressed lightwash denim with a screenprinted band poster on the back. Originally created by Bethany Mota, I saw it and knew that I could do better.

I decided to punch up the faded colors on the back panel with acrylic paint, and then adding a silver leather star I got at the fabric store. I used black paint to emphasize lines and to punk up the PUNK lettering. I used gold and black to create a frame, and then put a safety pin at each corner (because punk rock). I chose silver stars instead of pyramid studs for a girly touch. Recently I painted the arms and inside of the cuffs for more edge.

What I love about is that it reminds me of movies like She’s Gotta Have It and Desperately Seeking Susan, 80s films with cool downtown heroines that whipped up fashion frenzy in every scene. You can wear it with sparkles or dress it down with jorts. Layer it over a hoodie in the cooler months to keep that Nancy Spungeon look going.

Shop the look!

Jay x Jay Godfrey sequinned black dress, size 0

Halter style with spaghetti straps. Open back, side pockets in the skirt. Measures 34 inches from shoulder to hem, 16 from armpit to armpit, 14 across the waist. Brand new, never worn. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$120.00

Converse All Stars white low tops, women’s size 8

Classic low-tops, already broken in. Measures 10.75 inches from toe to heel, 3.5 inches across the widest part of the foot. Can fit men's size 6. Shipping included in price. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$27.00

HOB alligator embossed leather shoulder bag/clutch

Comes with detachable brass chain strap. Looks like vintage, some wear at top of flap. Measures 12.5 x 7, 19 in strap drop. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$47.00

Red tank top, size S

Ribbed cotton/poly. 24 inches from shoulder to hem, 13 inches from armpit to armpit. Brand new, never worn. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$10.00

SEB Market BK handpainted jorts, size 28″

Hand cut and handpainted denim shorts with one embroidered patch. They are folden in this photo to show the front and back paint colors (white, pastels). Super comfy premium cotton denim, perfect for summer days or wear with tights and combats in the cooler months. 28" waist, 12 inches ling from waist to hem in front, 13 in back. Waistband sits at waist. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$48.00

Manas Designs leather motorcycle boots, size 41

Soft Italian leather boots with zipper trim. Round toes, lug soles, chink heel and side zipper. The type of boot that looks incredible with a sundress. Fits women's US 9.5/10. Price includes shipping. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$109.00

See you soon!

Faith/SEB Market BK

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Accessories, bags, black women, blogger, body image, clothes, clothing, coats, Fashion, fashion photo, florals, handbag, handbags, photo shoot, Photography

The Floral Raincoat

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So, hi! Hello! Bonjour! Wie gehts dir! Konnichiwa!

I meant to get back here sooner, but …life. And Polyvore, the app that I was using to post fashion content morphed into an e-commerce platform and I deleted all of my posts and was too busy trying to earn money like a real grown-up to write my blog posts again.

But I thought about it! A lot. I started blogging backwards (like everything else I do in life) so I actually started on Lucky Community and Examiner.com, both deceased sites now, before starting my wordpress blog. When those sites bombed out, I had the blog but I had lost interest in selfies and talking about myself. I felt kind of disassociated from regular life because I had made an existence out of being fake famous and getting free stuff that I didn’t deserve. A lot of free stuff. An embarrassing amount of free stuff. Enough to feel rotten because there are people who have no money, no home and can’t buy anything… like I used to be.I was homeless when I stared blogging, so that free stuff came in handy, but eventually I just felt weird about the whole thing.

Also a feeling like, what kind of weirdos randomly send out free stuff to strangers with no real qualifications? I literally got a random email to go to a party and get a free watch. Then they didn’t like me so I got the free watch but I never heard from them again. So that was another reason not to go places; they liked whatever I was posting but they didn’t like me. I started feeling like I wasn’t worth anything, so I just used polyvore, built up my online business and worked towards living a regular, buy what you want with money, life. Which helped a LOT. I love my life now. So of course I gave myself a photoshoot for my birthday.

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Photo by Shoottphotos (use this link for a 10% discount: https://shoott.com/?ref=LQAW9BC)

I decided that for once I wanted my own photoshoot instead of shooting other people or products. I’m still not the prettiest, tallest or richest; but I like myself more. I go to the gym, eat healthy food and pay my bills mostly on time. I get my taxes done. And I pay actual money for things instead of getting them from pr firms. Which brings us to this glorious grey floral Guess raincoat. I picked it because I hate windbreakers and regular tan trenches bore me. I wanted a spring coat that satisfied my love for pretty girly things while keeping me from getting soaked in the rain. I wore it with a plain linen shirt/dress with eyelet lace detail and a funky floral Sondra Robertson  clutch with a wooden handle. Those glasses are from The Children’s Place and I found them at Goodwill.

It’s good to be home…

 

See you soon, Faith/SEB Market BK

 

blog, blogger, bloggers, blogging, Fashion, NY Fashion Blogger Project

A Blog Grows in Brooklyn (written for iblog mag) #blogging

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So out of the blue I got an email from someone at iblog magazine asking for a post about writing blog reviews for them. I wrote it, in my own words, basically talking about my experience over the course of my time as a blogger. They didn’t like the piece, but I hate to waste blog posts, so I’m just going to publish it here.

A Blog Grows In Brooklyn by Faith Bowman

When I started blogging in 2012, I wasn’t thinking about product reviews or getting paid for anything. I am going to cheerfully admit that the only thing that I concretely knew about blogging was that people stood around posing like fashion models and talked about their clothing as if the fate of millions depended on it. I was luckier than most in that I was a photographer and writer already, and I had experience in fashion journalism. I had already started and closed my own online magazine, and worked for print and online mags both in New York and Chicago. I started blogging as Sassy Ethnic Bohemian with an eye towards being humorous and taking the starch out of the proceedings, but because I was writing  for a huge website and had a profile on Lucky Community I had more traction than someone starting from scratch with nothing. It was extremely good luck and timing in addition to having fun content.

The first product I was asked to review came as a surprise. I was asked to try a skincare oil and the company was offering a free full sized sample. I was sort of confused, because I didn’t know that that was part of the deal. I learned, through networking with other New York bloggers that companies routinely held events where they gave you products, and that there were blogger ‘lounges’ where you could get free stuff.  I was floored. I began working with beauty brands and clothing companies and while I wasn’t making money, I wasn’t really losing anything either. I started interviewing bloggers in order to learn more about the business and used that information to build up my social media presence and that led to getting more stuff. I didn’t actually start getting money for my work until 2015, when a brand that I had casually promoted asked me to set up an online project for them. So now it was free stuff and money.  Success!

This year I was offered money to review a box of products and also made a deal with a feminine care company to write about the products that they had given me to review on a regular basis. I recently wrote blog posts for a haircare company, talking about their products and styling tools. I still work with products to review and write about products in exchange for samples, but more opportunities are on the horizon. My rate of pay has varied per client, but overall I’m happy with the progress that I’ve made, so money is secondary. I’m building up writing credits and gaining experience and insight, too. Not to mention getting to try tons of beauty products. Getting paid, for me, was a validation of my writing skill and relatability and that’s pretty much what I was after. It was also proof that numbers aren’t everything.

In the last few years, the emphasis went from unique content to how many UMV’s. People started asking more about my clicks and I started realizing that I was working hard to create resonant content and be informative, but a lot of brands were more interested in ‘It Girls’ and the stakes were changing. Bloggers were doing deals with major fashion and beauty brands and being called influencers, and I was never going to be that type of person. The blogging industry, if it can be called that, has taken ordinary women and turned them into actual brand spokeswomen. Hair ads featured bloggers, and companies are signing big money deals with them for consulting on products as well as advertising them. It’s empowering and inspiring, but it also begs the question as to how someone who doesn’t want that kind of fame can achieve any measure of success. It’s a bit like losing out twice, since blogging is open to amateurs but then you can only get rewarded if you’re pretty. I did not sign on for this.

Over the course of this year, as I got paying work I also reworked my blog so that it was less kooky, creative professional and more a vehicle for Polyvore generated styling posts (I can access more items and be stylistically daring without actually spending money or having to go to a pr person or brand) and my original content focuses more on product posts. I decided to focus more on beauty, and especially skincare, because clean clear skin is just as important as what shoe you’re wearing. I also use instagram as a sort of backup blog, where I can post images of products to an audience that probably doesn’t follow my blog and who is also looking up images that feature products or brands that they like already. I use twitter, a facebook page and tumblr, but I think instagram has the most impact because people consume visually.

My main goal, in addition to getting more blogging clients, is to create a sustainable business model with the blog as an umbrella to other endeavors like listing my photos with a stock agency, and designing tshirts. Blogging and doing product reviews is awesome, but I also want to make sure that I have a balanced, fulfilling, sustainable business as well.

blogger, fame, Fashion, influencer, personal style, press, promotion, swimwear

in which we land in the Energems Spotlight AND Links a la Mode (it was a good week…)

So sometimes you toil in obscurity, fretting over missed invitations and spurned overtures and then suddenly the light starts shining on you and like a plant you unfurl your blossoms.

What I mean is, it’s nice when people notice your work and like it.

Two things happened last week. The brand project that I’ve been working on secretly finally launched and I ended up on Links a la Mode in my bathing suit.

Energems:energems

In two years I’ve interviewed tons of other bloggers, but no one bothered to interview me. I mean, it’s cool, because I wasn’t looking for that to happen? But you would think… Anyway, that situation has now been adjusted. I have an interview (ok, I wrote it, lol!) and it’s on a major website.

Brooklyn based blogger, Sassy Ethnic Bohemian, sits down to tell Energems Buzz the real deal

bloggerBrooklyn based blogger, Sassy Ethnic Bohemian, sits down to tell Energems Buzz the real deal about blogging, writing, and staying motivated.

1. What inspired your blog?

I came to New York 5 years ago to pursue a career in fashion journalism and photography. I had my own online magazine project, theMagazine(ok) that ad started in Chicago and I felt that my chances of getting real creative opportunities would be better in New York. Once I got here, I found out everyone was buzzing about bloggers!

After stints at ModaCyle, The Fashion Spot, Examiner.com and Fashion Edits, I gave in and started taking blogging more seriously.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Links à la Mode, September 3:

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the Theme was “Badass Personified

Yes, the time I went to Coney Island in that retro bathing suit with my poochy belly hanging out is the blog post on Links a La Mode for September 3rd. Happy Labor Day!

Oh, wait… Labor Day was yesterday. Um. I better get to work, because we have some great stuff coming up! Especially that interview with hat designer Florent Bias of Le Grand Hat.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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Accessories, bags, blogger, clothing, Fashion, footwear, shoes

in which we go and look at Etienne Aigner’s aw2015 collection

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Oh, joy! One day last month, we were honored to receive an invitation to go and act like a famous person while viewing the new Etienne Aigner autumn/winter collection for 2015. As usual, it was the struggle of the ages to get myself together and get on the train. I think I had errands to run or something. By the time I finally made it to Manhattan I was already exhausted. These lovely flowers and colorful macarons were a delightful pick-me-up (but I ate no cookies! I was fasting that day) and put me in just the right mood to look at clothes, shoes and handbags.

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I had decided t lumberjack it that day, with an idea towards looking as if I just come into the city from my sprawling estate in Westchester.

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I wore my new custom-made hobo tote from REpurposing NOLA, as well as the nylon scarf that Traci gave me for Christmas. My brown chocolate brown velvet blazer was layered over a Mossimo flannel shirt and BDG burnout tee. Yes, those are the LL Bean True Shape denim jeans that I’ve been living in all winter, along with my beloved Corinne boots from Cat Footwear, $210. I also had my fave tech gadgets- my Samsung Galaxy S5 Active cameraphone and my UME Drive Millenium bracelet in hot orange.

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These are the latest iteration of the company’s famous Stag Bag (last seen on Gigi Hadid at Coachella in trippy bronze metallic). The fringe is embellished with tiny metal studs, just enough hardware to make it cute.

ea1Etienne Aigner is also offering the rabbit fur sweater both in black and this cream/beige color. A rabbit fur vest has maroon streaks embedded in the black, reminiscent of the latest trends in haircolor. Fur is also applied to winter white bags, somewhat superfluously, but it could be cute.

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I lusted after this olive canvas and rich russet brown leather lace-up boot. The shape of the foot was so elegant! The grommet embellished snakeskin flats were ok, but I really craved the ponyhair animal print penny loafers. Quelle chaude!

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I really liked this textured retro jacket. Something like this is an instant ‘come up’ because you can pair it with something as basic as a v-neck t and denim skirt and look like you’re about something.

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Great fashion images from the new collection.

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These Eva pouches were encrusted with grommets for a hard-edged look. very chick if you’re into clutches.

ea91 On the way out, everyone got a pack of cards with images and info from the collection as well as a lovely leather-bound diary.

Next up: the latest Lucky post, Animal Instincts!

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

beauty, blogger, christmas, Fashion, First Anniversary, gifts

in which i go drop off presents, run to the Carlton Hotel, and see Corporate Catwalk at the X by Trollbeads event

So last Thursday was another marathon day for this stay at home blogger. I had made some goodies for my former intern boss Janine Just, and then had to run to a last minute event invite where I was meeting ‘that guy‘ and then go on to the Trollbeads store for an X by Trollbeads celebration.

It’s nice to feel wanted.

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So first, I got a packed homemade candy, pecan turtle cookies, and one bowl of lemon pudding cake (so hard to part with that) in a Pinch Me box and got ready to drop it off at the Alley for my old internship crew. Why? Cuz they invite me places like CC Pop. Ya gotta show love to your pr people. Blogger’s best friends!

I dropped that off, and ran for the next event.

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Just to backtrack a little- before I ran out I did a 5 minute mani with my Probelle nail lacquer. Two quick coats of love me, then vivid night on my uh ‘accent finger’ with a quick brush or titchy overcoat from butter LONDON.  I wore my usual layers, it was cold, adding my Nikki Poulos dress from my 1st Anniversary fete at Caravan Stylist Studio– because I was headed over to the Carlton Hotel for their holiday party featuring a  holiday bazaar in the Carlton Hotel lobby.

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Got my photo taken while sampling some Volvic water, so that was fun.

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As a guest of Bullet Acne Aid, we enjoyed La Marca Prosecco, got our photo taken in the Tic Tac lounge, got bags full of goodies, and then we strolled through the lobby looking at what was on sale.

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i would like to take a moment to mention these pigs in a blanket with mustard sauce. I had 5 while that guy lingered by the cheese table. Then we had some So Delicious dairy free frozen treats.  Ten I had another pig in a blanket, because they rule.

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Then we walked through the gently falling New York snow as strangers bumped into us repeatedly. It was so amazingly romantic. We were grateful for the warmth, prosecco and cookies at the X by Trollbeads event. At their store, nestled on 6th Avenue near 38th, guests were met by Olivia Jeanette of Corporate Catwalk, who showed off the X by Trollbeads Collection.

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We hung out and looked at beads, mingling with guests like Nicky Dror of Four Eleven blog. I got to see the manager, Kim, who was super enthusiastic about the fact that Trollbeads might be adding another store soon.

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After all that excitement, I went home to poke through my haul. I had bottles of Elderflower presse from Belvoir Farms, Simple products for sensitive skin, Zoya nail polish, Cottonelle cleansing cloths, and lots of Tic Tacs. I ate all my NA fruit snacks on the train home, and my friend gave me a bottle of wine for Christmas, which was nice. We’ve only known each other since August, so it’s not like I deserve a ring or anything.

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Then I wiped off my ‘no makeup’ makeup look (which involves every product in the bathroom) and made myself a dinner of striped bass, spinach, and roasted breadfruit.

Next up: the time I went to the MacDella Cooper Foundation‘s Ebola Benefit

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

Accessories, art, beauty, blogger, event, Fashion, footwear, Glasses, haircare, party, perrier, Photography, Style

Dating Diary: #StreetArtbyPerrier, Central Park, and Scott Ian at The Strand Bookstore

Not to be all ‘SATC’ about it, because there will be no kissing and telling, but the dating thing…is going fairly well. It’s slow and steady. It’s more like Seinfeld than anything- nothing big happens. It’s awesome.

One week, he just came over, I made dinner, we talked a lot, and that was it. And it was enough.

1 perrier date

Ok, we did have one big spectacle date. We went to the #StreetArtbyPerrier event together, because it happened to coincide with his day off. You can see how that went here. also, I wanted to dazzle him with my ‘glamorous’ blogging career, so he doesn’t think I just sit home all day playing with makeup.

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The next time we hung out, I made falafel omelets. They were so good! And cornbread muffins with golden raisins, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, and the condiments were mango chutney and vietnamese chili garlic sauce. The salad is just iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. then I quickly toasted pita bread in the frying pan and ripped it into pieces as a garnish. So tasty. that sauce? Yogurt + sour cream, with dried dill. You just let it sit for an hour before you use it. Simple.

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Thus fortified, we set out for Central Park. I have noticed that I tend to co-ordinate my outfits to his. This time I went woodsy, with  my fave long cardigan belted with my LL Bean signature 3/4 leather belt in guide gold. Under this I wore that  blue and yellow Brooklyn tshirt that I got at rainbow, an enamel Desigual necklace, and my ugly plaid skirt that I found thrifting, and my Beautifeel oxfords- no laces. I know, It’s not sexy- but I’m not trying to be a sex symbol. I want to be liked for myself.

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We were supposed to go the the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but we’re both kind of lazy, so we ended up getting to Central Park at that golden hour when everything is beautiful- but it’s too late to go to the museum. So we just wandered around talking, and looking at how amazing Central Park can be in the fall. It’s that moment when you really get how New York can be the ‘extra character’ in movies. It was magical.

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Central Park was awash in tutus for some reason. We wandered from Belvedere Castle then over to Bethesda Fountain. As we walked, someone was singing opera and there was a real ballerina really dancing in actual toe shoes. Like, how? Does this happen? It was really truly like being in a rom-com. There was even a photo shoot going on- looked like bridal.

Needless to say, that date ended in a plan for another one.

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He works late, and I live near his job, so at this point- since we are both sleepaholics who don’t get up til afternoon, he just camps out at my place and we go out from there. This is me painting my nails with the awesome Probelle beauty Bundle #3. 3 gorgeous nail colors and a ‘wet look’ topcoat that seals the polish perfectly. and yeah, that’s my green oasis bracelet. And this is me, after moisturizing my natural hair with Ojon Rare Blend Conditioning Shampoo. It was late, so I just wore my fave mohair sweater and jeans. A tiny little bit of gold shimmer powder from Ulta on the eyelids and a tiny hit of Mary Kay lash Love mascara, and some Origins Drink Up lip balm.

As you can see- I need a nap. but whatever, it was worth it. stranddate2

I made a sort of Spanish late night dinner with black bean soup and a plate of manchego cheese stuffed medjool dates and roasted almonds with bacon bits. Why? because it’s fun to see his face when I serve up something unexpected. We’re both on the artistic people’s budget (he moved here to work in film) so being resourceful with food is a way to lessen the pressure of dating. stranddate3

After talking for 5 hours, we finally fell asleep, and the next day we had ramen soup for lunch. Which is surprising easy to do. Just check out www.japanesecooking101.com. Then we took off for Manhattan for our big adventure. stranddate4

As uaual, I picked up on his color scheme and ran with it. I did a blue 3/4 sleeve cableknit cardigan that I got at Marshall’s when I worked there, a white basic H&M $5 v neck tshirt, and my Life is good novella skirt. It was still hot so I wore my Cat Footwear Zosia sandals. The accessories were my Desigual paisley clutch with braided leather strap from MBFW, my Hechizo khamra clasp necklace (love),  green oasis bracelet, and of course- my nerdchic Kensington Road Collection frames from glasses.com. Ready, coordinated, and off to meet rockstars.

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In our usual leisurely fashion, we set out from the hinterlands of East Flatbush to go to the fabled Strand Bookstore for an in-store event. Scott Ian from Anthrax was going to be talking about his new book, I’m the Man, and there was going to be free Pork Slap pale ale. YES. This really happened. We showed up and there was just 20 minutes left, but it was an amazing 20 minutes.

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Actual rare books in the Rare Book Room at the Strand Bookstore. Isn’t it wild? We were in a room with a book written by Byron and published in 1819. And then I took a photo of it with my 2014 cameraphone. Check this inscribed flyleaf- now you know that the stuff you see on The Strand Tumblr is real.

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Then we spent the next hour or so rooting around for books. It took me awhile- I mean, The Barbie Doll Boom was calling my name- but I ended up getting a copy of The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot for .52. yeah, high end literature for half a buck. You have to love the Strand and New York.

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This is Scott Ian, the person who made on of my favorite tracks ever- the Anthrax/Public Enemy duet of Bring the Noise. If you have some money, go buy his book- they may even have some signed copies left at the Strand (but you prob won’t get any beer).

 

I love dating. We’re making these incredible memories together, you know? I hope this lasts forever.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

(I haven’t decided on the next post yet- so hang loose, ok?I’m still editing)