In addition to being a full time student at the university, I served on the board of several on-campus organizations, worked three part-time jobs, and during the holiday season, I'd scour the student center website and craigslist for random gigs. During my freshman year, I found a dish-washing/serving opportunity at a wealthy family's home in a town near my campus on Thanksgiving. It offered $15-$20/hour just to help clear tables, wash dishes, and tidy the kitchen.
I remember that day clearly because I'd never experience anything of the sort. It was my first time ever setting foot in a wealthy American home. It was the kind of home I read about when I was just an awkward, skinny, dreamer-girl in Haiti. The kind of home I thought I'd move into when the US called for me, not the one-bedroom apartment in Newark my parents, little brother, and I found refuge to during my early teenage years. The place that collected most of my tears.
I got this grey hat from my local hats store in Harlem about a week before my 30th birthday. I find pleasure in going in a men's shop to try on various hats. I always tip each hat to the side and stare at my profile for a little Paola drama. There's just something about buying things made for men, from men, that I love. I get this strange feeling of freedom and power. Is that weird?
I scored this Chanel vintage blazer at JBBORN, a second hand shop founded and operated by television hit series Born To Style, in Harlem right before it closed. When I tried it on, I loved the fit so much, I didn't even realize it was a Chanel piece. Double win! I kept it in my closet for a while. Why do I do this? I find a blazer. I get thrilled! I buy it, and then it sits there for a while... Because I'm waiting on Michelle Obama to invite me out?
Block heeled ankle boots are a must have. They're comfortable, versatile, and accentuate legs with the right amount of height. I wear them with jeans, cropped trousers, mini or midi skirts. They're simply a necessary. I've compiled a list of nine eye-catching ankle boots starting at $129 that will compliment pretty much any outfit your heart desires.
This past weekend was a dream. I celebrated my bachelorette party with eight amazing friends from different stages of my life who all came together to plan a beautiful evening that led to a two day event. I couldn't help but feel full that night. Full of love. Full of light. Full of gratitude. Full of life.
I met a man outside of a garden on a small street in Harlem yesterday. Let's call him "D". He bent down, pulled out a bag of cat food and made a careful spread on two paper plates, then slid them underneath the fence. He patiently waited as multiple cats appeared from the flowers, rocks, and all kinds of little nooks to attend the feast. Earlier, I noticed when he walk past me from where I was standing, but I was focused on the bee buzzing all over the sunflower I was trying to photograph.
Last week, I met up with my old friend Alejandro to discuss the photography for my wedding. Yes friends, we're just a few weeks away from the big day! We started with coffee at Cafeine, then realizing we were actually starving, we continued the party next door at Row House. New York City has been going through a terrible (but wonderful for me) heatwave the past few weeks. It makes getting ready so easy because it forces me to keep it simple. Flowy dresses or tops, or easy rompers like this wonderful Jolie Coquette one are my go-to in my closet.
Curlfest, a festival hosted by Curly Girl Collective annually to celebrate natural hair, is about more than just curls. It's an exploration of beauty, creativity, positivity, and sisterhood. It's another event that reminds me why I'm so proud of my black heritage. It's an exhibit of power and grace...