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Heels to Die For

Oh, yes honey – the high heel, the stiletto, the pump! The shit dreams are made of. We’re subconsciously trained since the days of Cinderella stories that they unlock doors to fairytales and fate, even love. It isn’t a surprise that a new pair of glamour could instantaneously brighten an ensemble, a mood or even a day. They are petite works (or in my size 9.5 case, canoelike works) of art that we slip into, but as we gently ease our soles into new heights, we also enhance our self confidence – transforming into a newer, stronger, better, sexier versions of ourselves. They elongate your legs, coerce you to work that booty during your sidewalk strut and, even sitting, command your attention. The pinching, ball-of-foot pain, truck driver walk on cobblestone streets and blisters are minor prices to pay for such beauty. In fact, there are some shoes that are SO special, you would bow down and thank the shoe gods for bestowing such a unique gift upon our outfits and eyesight. If shoes were a religion, there would have to be a church. Enter, Brooklyn Museum.

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Nestled on the first floor is the Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe exhibition, showcasing the history and evolution of these mini-stilts over hundreds of years. The exhibition is divided into six sections, inviting you to explore through rooms and corridors. I was entranced not only by the sculptural shoes, but by the stunning videos that are dedicated, and somewhat psychedelic, odes to fancy footwork.

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I unintentionally overheard two elderly women going through the exhibit loudly commenting on what they saw, “Who on Earth would wear those?”  pointing to a pair of Lady Gaga-esque Iris van Herpens and “These will break your neck!” at a pair of towering Louboutins. I wanted to raise my hand and vow that I would wear them everywhere, even to the supermarket! And, if I were to break my neck, what an extraordinary way to go!

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Without showing too much to leave some for you to discover on your own, take my fashionista word for it, this show is certainly worth seeing. It was the greatest way to spend a lazy Sunday with friends. Make sure to check out the section of the museum with REAL mummies and walk on over to Ogliastro afterwards, which is a nearby rustic bar that makes heavenly pizza.

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(I’m rocking a Rachel by Rachel Roy Dress, Steve Madden lace slip-on sneaks, Vintage sweater, Marc Jacobs Pan-Am bag, Gap men’s hat)

Ironically, I kept it real and wore flats for my day at Killer Heels. Let’s face it, they’re essential like dreaded Ugg boots to the modern girl’s city survival of countless steps in subway stations and throughout wobbly city streets. My heels were tucked away in my bag, as if they were hibernating for the perfect moment to make their illustrious debut. Likewise, inside a shiny display case, the infamous glass slippers stood waiting, even posing. But, where was Prince Charming, you ask? Where was that spiffy coach? Alas, those trivial details were missing in this rendition of story, but the shoes…they were oh-so-real. So, she and her stilettos lived happily and sexily ever after.

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Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn and the exhibition is until February 15, 2015.

Posted by Olga Turka at 2014/10/28 7:47 AM No Comments
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Were You Invited?

Exploration and conversation lead to great discoveries, even in your own backyard. I’ve lived in various parts of New Jersey, and traveled to many others as well, yet am still to this very day finding new treasures. One of my more recent favorites is Grounds for Sculpture, a 42-acre (!!!) artistic DREAM world that I wish I could live in, created by Seward Johnson in the 1990s located in Trenton, NJ.

It BOGGLES my mind how I didn’t know this existed until recent years. I frequented the Princeton area to visit family, which is nearby, and went to Rutgers for my undergrad degree. Maybe I was too busy attending basement house parties and drinking crappy beer out of red Solo cups when I wanted to unwind. Little did I know, this very place that epitomizes the very reason why I love New Jersey so was a mere drive away!

My best friend of nearly 18 years, Cara, was flying into Philadelphia for a whirlwind week of reunions, debauchery and wedding preparations. I found this to be the most opportune time to introduce her to this whimsical sculpture garden that would make New Jersey seem anew. So, as soon as I scooped the bride-to-be up from the airport, we made a run for it to our first of many adventures.

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This isn’t a real person lounging…it’s a sculpture! Check out the gorgeous foliage!

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The grounds are absolutely stunning. As you walk along, you are greeted, if not surprised, by many unbelievable works of art (over 250 pieces!), many of which replicate famous pieces like “American Gothic”(a MUST-SEE at the Grounds) in gargantuan and/or lifelike scale. The landscape architecture is a masterpiece in and of itself, and you will absolutely feel like Alice running around and deciding which paths to take (TIP: lose the map and wander for the best experience).

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Get a room, you crazy kids!

Many of the artworks are by Seward Johnson himself, some bringing to life many famous works of art. Some are shockingly grandiose and life-like, while some are more intricate and very thought-provoking. Every piece lends itself to the creation of this outdoor park. As you go about, you will begin to become confused which people are real and which are sculptures, lending to the fun and this temporary mélange of reality and fantasy.

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(Scarf turned into a turban, H&M; Printed dress, BCBG; Converse sneakers; Gap Sunglasses)

One of my most favorite parts of the place is the restaurant, Rat’s, nestled in the corner. You don’t need to go through the outdoor museum to go there, but it makes for a fabulous resting place if you do. We treated ourselves to cocktails toasting to our reunion and delicious snacks before continuing our exploration. The best part of this impressionistic bistro is the back patio, which overlooks a literal interpretation Monet’s “Water Lilies.” The delectable feast is not only for your palette, but for your eyes as well.

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One of the tips I learned from friends was to ask the staff at Rat’s about the two rather hidden, but vital to the experience, pieces located behind the restaurant. Ask for directions to the “Shower Scene” and the “Were you invited?”

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Apparently dude-in-the-tophat’s joke was a real knee slapper!

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Were we invited?!? Hell yes, we were the life of the party!

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Just two gals dosey doe-ing!

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What’s a little strip poker picnic among friends? (Obviously, my homegirl is losing!)dsc03337

The hottest hottie ever, “Forever Marilyn.” I just look like I’m holding my pee.

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You make me want to Scream! – great Michael Jackson song AND painting by Edvard Munchdsc03366

Apparently, even the men’s room has a line at times!

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I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock

Make sure to add Grounds for Sculpture to your list of things you MUST do – the Seward Johnson retrospective is going on through September! Such a FUN experience to dance with inanimate objects, meander aimlessly with peacocks (they’re real!) and share in much needed quality time with your best gal pal!

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Best Friends Forever! <3

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Adieu!

Photography by Cara Zarrillo.

Check out her incredible travels at @spontaneoussuitcase on Instagram!

Posted by Olga Turka at 2014/07/25 8:11 PM No Comments
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