A Different Take On Mainstream

THE BEST OF JANUARY*

This post was sponsored and inspired by *StyleWe.
        Guys—
I am uberly sorry that I didn’t have a post last week. Like really really really really. If you follow me on twitter you will have noticed that I took the SAT’s last Sunday. That means I got up at 6:30, went to a strange high school to take a 4 hour test, then went back home and literally did my college work until 4:00 AM in the morning. Like no joke. Which means that I didn’t really have time during the week to prepare this post.
 Thus, I hope thou shalt accept my most humble apologies. (Please read in a nasal British accent).
     ANYWAYS,
For this post, I wanted to attempt to recapture some of my best lived moments this month. I don’t know why I’ve never tried this type of post before, as I love reading these types of posts on other people’s blogs. Whatever, I’m trying it now. Even so, since this is an experimental post, please bear with me as I play around with this format. I’ve been playing around with different styles of posts recently, looking to see what works and what doesn’t. Honestly, your feedback is very helpful– what do you guys like to read about? Do you like my snapshots of New York? My Top Five series? Fashions posts? More short stories? It would be a great help to me if you left me your cheeky little opinion down in the comments below. Like Legit.
Right, I have nothing more to say except,
ONWARD:

CAFE OF THE MONTH
Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse

        Right, so I have been complaining for ages that Brooklyn, (which is where I live), really doesn’t know how to do quirky restaurants. I mean Manhattan is another story–Manhattan knows how to do those quirky restaurants. But when it comes to Brooklyn, I honestly give them a “T”. For troll. (Whoever knows that reference gets 10 Duchess points).
       But then my friend told me about Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse. Now let me tell you why I am sold on this Brooklyn piece of quirkiness: first of all, the place has such an urban feel to it, with naked bulbs dangling from the ceiling, cloth sacks of flour sitting urbanely on the shelves, and even a sink made from half of a wine barrel hanging out nonchalantly in the corner. The chairs are all mismatched, adding to the uniqueness of the place, and the food presentation is simply beautiful. I mean, I have been to places where they basically place your slop in front of you with a “here.” and then expect you to tip them handsomely later. Like right dude, because I can totally see how you enjoyed serving me sooooo much. Yet this place really pays attention to the beauty of the food.
I ordered the house salad, with a side of tuna, expecting the common fare of mixed vegetables I could easily make at home, when instead, I got this:

       This tuna was so gorgeously pink, so freshly raw and gently grilled, so lovingly herbed and spiced, that I felt like I was eating fruit. It was astounding how delicious that tuna was. Furthermore, there were a few veggies in there that I had never even seen before, and therefore can’t give you the name of–which made me so happy. Because I really can’t stand ripoff restaurants that give you a bowl of romaine lettuce and call it a salad. And then they expect you to tip them handsomely. Whilst they serve you, WITH THE MOST DISGUSTING EYE ROLL YOU HAVE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFE. LIKE GET A GIRLFRIEND DUDE. OR A REAL JOB. I’m sorry, am I digressing? Anyways, my whole experience here was beautiful– from the food, to the decor, to the service, and even the reasonable pricing. Good going Brooklyn. Also, I should mention that this is a pescatarian restaurant, meaning they serve fish and dairy products, but no meat. It is also kosher. Just sayin’.  
This is what my friend got, if you are curious. 
BOOK OF THE MONTH
The Art of Hearing Heart Beats– Jan-Philipp Sendker
       While I haven’t had the chance to read as much as I would have wanted to these past few months, I did read one book in January which truly turned out to be quite a unique reading experience for me. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is set in both New York, and Burma–narrated by a mysterious Burmese man to a young, contemporary Burmese-American girl named Julie. The story begins four years after Julie’s father’ disappearance. Long given up as a suicide case, Julie suddenly discovers a letter her father had written years ago to a girl named MiMi, in Burma. And suddenly, a wave of questions begin to envelop Julie, both about her father’s mysterious past, and his sudden disappearance. She decides to travel to Burma, hoping to connect to her father’s history and roots, and perhaps to uncover some of his many buried secrets. What she finds is a story about a man she never realized her father to be– a boy who grew up blind and learned to see through the rest of his senses, until he could recognize people’s heartbeats–and a love so great that it transcended sight, time and distance. 
       This book truly struck a cord with me, as it depicts a love that transcends the maudlin barriers of physicality. I feel as if so many of us berate ourselves for not being ‘good’ or ‘perfect’ enough to deserve love. We may scrutinize our bodies, and twist the extra fat around our middles, blaming ourselves for not being ‘pretty enough’ or ‘skinny enough’ for that great love. I’m sure so many of us look at our familial situations, and think that we would never measure up to that stable, prosperous person in our dreams. Or maybe we think to ourselves that we are simply too weird, too out there, too different for anyone to understand us. But it is stories like these that show us how wrong this line of thinking truly is. Love isn’t only about physicality. Love isn’t only about how you look, or how you dress, or where you come from. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is about a blind boy who falls in love with a girl who cannot walk–and together, they learn to be each others’ sight and legs. A book like this simply infused me with renewed strength and hope that some day, I will find that crazy person who understands me and my quirks– who appreciates my blog, and my love for different cultures, and Shakespeare, and the hidden secrets of life. Among other stuff. 
BRAND OF THE MONTH
StyleWe*
       Ok, now I am actually, absolutely, in love with this site. StyleWe brings together designers that you may not have heard of, such as YIYIQI, Bo Carter, KK2 and Poscilla–among others. Furthermore, the clothing designs are so unique, and so beautiful, that each piece looks like it has its own story to tell. If I could, I would literally buy my entire wardrobe for this site–and I am not kidding–their unique clothing is so up my alley. However, the one downside to StyleWe, is that it can be a bit expensive at times. However, they do have flash sales where you can get the site’s items at a $35-$75 range. I say, just save up a bit and treat yourself to something from StyleWe, just as a gift to yourself, because I am telling you– you will not find clothing like this any where else. 
I also find that StyleWe’s coats are extremely reasonably priced–going from $85 and up. I would actually prefer to get my coats from here as opposed to other places, because any good coat, in whatever store you look in, will cost somewhere between $100-$200 dollars, and StyleWe coats have that added advantage of their exceptional designs. Something that makes them not only coats, but works of art. 
Also, I should note that StyleWe has clothing for all seasons of the year on their site. Their “Fashion Kimono” line is exceptionally adorable, providing tons of various prints and designs for the upcoming spring weather. I don’t know. StyleWe’s items are really one of a kind. JUST CHECK OUT THE SITE. OKAY?   
Vell, zat iz all for today, little dumplings. I sincerely hope you enjoyed these tidbits of my month. Please do let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to see! Also, don’t forget to check out StyleWe’s INSTAGRAM <– right here, and YOUTUBE CHANNEL <– right there.     
What was the best of your January? 
Leave a comment below! 
’till next Sunday,
Love,
Cynical Duchess
PS– 15 Duchess Points go to Lindsey Ginge of lindseyginge.com for guessing last week’s literary quote. Lol. Just felt I had to add that in.