Jet Set Stripes

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go…


Today, I’m heading down to Hilton Head Island for a long weekend with a few blogger babes (Jess, Grace and Caitlin).

We’re going on behalf of the visitor’s bureau for a weekend at the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament, which has my parents insanely jealous. (Shoulda gotten into fashion blogging, Daddy-o.)

I haven’t done much shopping (as explained in my post about freelancing), so I’ll be packing a few of my go-to spring favorites — including that Trina Turk dress and a stand-by pair of J.Crew sandals that I can walk for miles in. I’ll get a lot of mileage out of my stripes down south, too. Bring on the sunshine!


Now, before I jet — I’ve gotta get real with you guys for a minute.


No doubt, New York and I have a love/hate relationship. That’s no secret. And that’s normal, right?

We’ve discussed it before — from our honeymoon phase to lots of reflections on 9/11 and even musing over the city’s many sounds. (Those are all great posts, by the way, if you haven’t read them.)

Then again, I think New York is a love/hate relationship for most people.

Not so recently, New York and I celebrated our two-year anniversary. But lately, it’s felt different. So much so, in fact, that I’ve stopped to wonder:

Do you think it’s possible to fall out of love with New York City?


New York is both invigorating and demoralizing — to the extreme. And some days, I hate it.

I hate my teeny, tiny apartment and my lack of kitchen counter space. I’m annoyed by the tourists slowly making their way down Madison Avenue. I resent my cab driver for eating his dinner while I’m in the back seat, nauseous from the smell of smoked meats. I can pretty much hear the Universe laughing as the subway whizzes on by, six seconds after I dash down the concrete stairwell to no avail.

And of course — some days, I love it. I love it SO HARD. The outline of the Chrysler building. The East River running path. Fruit stands, loud noises, the panhandling personalities that crowd each inch of concrete — and, of course, bagels and bodegas on every corner.

It’s like, New York is the most popular guy in school. He’s got this really mesmerizing allure, but you know you’re probably going to get hurt if you decide to fall in love him.


It seems odd to admit it, but recently, I’ve actually felt really restless — and in one of the craziest, greatest, most exhilarating cities in the world. What gives?

I can’t point to anything in particular that may have triggered this unexpected evolution. Or to be honest, maybe it’s just a phase. It was a very long winter, after all.

In my two years of living here, my enthusiasm for New York seemed to know no bounds. I have always been eternally devoted to the exhilarating, exhausting and ever-shifting beast that is New York.

But what if one day, I’m just… Not?


Sometimes, leaving New York is like learning to breathe again.

At the moment (this very moment, actually), I’m on my way to the airport. I’ll loyally wave goodbye to the Statue of Liberty and watch wistfully as the skyline diminishes in the rear-view mirror of a cab that Jess and I are paying way too much money for.

New York City is weird.

It’s like, the moment you leave, you realize that no other city makes you feel the same way — for better or for worse. She may chew you up and spit you out, but she toughens you up every time you come in contact with her, like a punching bag.


Now, please don’t mistake my inquisitive sentiment for unhappiness: As many of you have noticed in my photos (and thank you for saying as such), I am indeed the happiest I have ever been. I am lucky to live in New York. Life is SO good! And a little chaos certainly does make things more interesting.

All I’m saying is: A weekend away is always a good idea.

Sometimes, being honest with yourself (and your readers) is the hardest thing to do:

… Is it possible to fall out of love with New York City?


*In this post:

Striped t-shirt: Trina Turk (here in tank top form)
Mid-rise jeans: Express (more styles here)
Canvas flats: Soludos via Zappos (more colors here)
Striped weekender bag: c/o Talbots (under $70)
Bracelet: c/o Monica Vinader

*Click to shop: striped shirts | express denim
soludo shoes | this post (below):


One final note: Today’s look was originally posted in my guest feature over at Wandeleur, a lifestyle website recently started by two lovely Chicago-based bloggers.

It’s been fun to see their vision come to life, and the site looks amazing. See for yourself: Click here to check out the feature and read more about my creative process, my muse and more.


Lydia Hudgens Photography


  1. I 100% understand what you mean- NYC IS the popular guy from high school we all wanted to be with. My time living there was fantastic but living in NYC is something that’s hard to put in to words for people that just see it on TV or visit. It’s an entirely different world that can be a bit hectic- but wouldn’t life be boring without a little chaotic craziness? Anyways you do look great in your recent photos and I love keeping up with you!

    Keep doing you!


  2. You sound like Carrie!
    And Hilton Head? insanely jealous. That place is amazing. You should eat at Hudson’s, best seafood in the south!

  3. I think it is possible to fall out of love of anything! Living in NYC is the extreme case of that because of ALL the pros and cons that we have to live with living here. I guess you just have to weigh the differences vs. somewhere else. Such a hard line of questioning ha. Good luck. <3

    Also…I do really love the color of those soludos!

    skyscrapers & palm trees

  4. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve actually been feeling a little tired of NYC recently. When that happens, I remind myself how many people would love to live here…but it’s an overwhelming place, and it’s not all as perfect as the movies make it seem. When Rob and I were out in the Bay Area in February, there was a part of me that didn’t want to come back here. But, part of me did, and as long as that’s the case, I’ll keep focusing on the positives and making sure I get regular time away from the hustle and bustle. Enjoy Hilton Head with the ladies!


  5. I think it is 100% possible to fall out of love with New York. Admittedly though I’m not the best one to give advice since I absolutely never fell in love with New York in the first place. I’m originally from Philly so I visited NYC a number of times growing up with friends, family, on school trips, etc. 2 of my very best friends now work in the city. Every time I visit, I kinda just go “wow this place is crazy overwhelming, I can do this for a weekend, but to live here? No thanks.” I’ve settled in DC now and it is the perfect city for me. So much to do and see. So many places to explore. But I don’t feel overwhelmed. I don’t feel claustrophobic (because honestly I do feel claustrophobic in New York; too many people, too much noise, too much trash). I need a more manageable city and DC is perfect for that. New York, you either love it or hate it (and as you say, some days you do both!). But I think it is entirely possible to realize New York has served its purpose in your life and it is now time to move on to the next adventure!

    – Kelsey

  6. I hear ya! I’ve lived in NYC for 8 years now and absolutely feel that love/hate emotion on a daily basis. Most of my friends are here and the city has so much to offer, most of which I take for granted. I definitely don’t see myself living here forever (how do people afford to raise kids here?!) so I’m trying to see the positive in NYC and enjoy it while I’m here. I’m sure whenever it is that I decide to leave I’ll miss it like crazy.

  7. It’s refreshing to hear this, since I quite often feel this for the place I am in, wherever that may be. My problem is, when I feel this, I move. I assume my time there is over and it’s time to find somewhere else to fall in love with. But I intend to stay where I am now for quite awhile, maybe as a test, hopefully ’cause I’m still in love with it after a few years. We can’t love everything all the time. That would be boring, and it would not build character.

  8. Hallie, this looks like the perfect outfit to explore the city in. As for my relationship with NYC, I think I’d have to be 10 years younger and 10 times richer in order to live there. I still love to visit though, there’s no place else like it!

  9. I hear ya sister!

    I was a born and bred NYC girl up until 3 years ago when I quit my finance job, packed up my life (and family) and joined my husband (albeit reluctantly, at first…) to CLEVELAND. While I still miss NY, I was ready for the change. As much as the city gives you- action, excitement, wonder, culture, diversity, opportunity, fun, etc. it’s like a temporary high that eventually leaves you tired, drained and craving something “more,” whatever that may be.

    Have you ever read the Joan Didion essay, “Goodbye to All That?” It’s about how easy it is to see the beginning of things, yet so much harder to clearly see the end. Essentially, it was an ode to her love/hate relationship with New York. More recently, there was a book released based on her essay, “Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving & Leaving NY” ( which I can’t recommend enough. It was a really interesting read and so in-synch with my feelings about my beloved city. Think you might enjoy it, too.

    XO, Stella

  10. I completely know what you mean by this post. Living in NYC is THE dream, but also once you’re there you’re like welp now that I actually live here I can’t afford to do anything here. It’s a struggle between wanting to experience the amazing place you live and wanting to be able to actually live (aka eat haha). I do stand by it that everyone should live here at once in their life though, even if it’s just to say you did it 🙂

    Great and honest post!


  11. I’ve been toying with the idea of moving to New York, so I really appreciate your honesty. 🙂 Lots of stars would have to align for the move to become a reality, but I love these genuine reflections!

    Enjoy HHI!!

  12. To be honest, I don’t know how people live in Manhattan (that rent for that space – no thanks). Tried it once to appease my non-native boyfriend and it was the worse year of my life. There is no sense of community in the always-changing island which is something I think everyone should have. If you’re up for a move I’d recommend Queens for the same city-conveniences (with bigger apartments), people, and the food, holy shit the food.

    Sometimes I tinker with the possibility of moving and have twice – but always come back. There’s really no place like home :).

  13. Hi there! I SO relate to this post. I lived in NYC from the ages of 22-25. The first year was one of the most exciting years of my life. The second year I fell out of love with the city, and realized that while I am beyond grateful to have had the experience of living there, that it wasn’t where I ultimately wanted my entire life to be. So I left, which felt just fine.

    I’m not saying you should leave, but just wanted to confirm with you that, yes – it’s ok to fall out of love with the city. (Despite what many of the people who have their entire egos and self worth wrapped around the fact that they live there will have you believe. Falling out of love with it does not mean that you “couldn’t hack it”, or any of that other BS that many of those unhappy people will try to put on you.)

  14. OMG girl I feel you! As much as I love & miss NYC when I am not there, when I am, there are times when it just wears me out. And when I lived there touristy places like Times Square were the bane of my existence. I used to just walk in the streets & dare the cars to hit me (I mean it is NY after all, I had to bring my ‘tude)

  15. I left after six years in NYC because the day to day was just so hard. I absolutely LOVED that city, and I miss it all day, every day, but everything you described about the little annoyances, they get to you after a while, I totally see where you’re coming from!

  16. As a born and raised New Yorker, I had the same struggle last year. One day on the subway I decided I was going to leave and one month later I moved to California. I wrote about it on my blog as well. Its just a crazy/scary/exciting realization when it hits you. If you have the urge; go for it! New York will ALWAYS be there 🙂

  17. Girlllll, preach.
    Even as it’s getting warmer, and everyone has that spring pep in their step in the city, I’ve been feeling a little, disillusioned with it all.
    I mean it’s the best place in the world…but at what price? Are all of the compromises we make really that worth it?
    I loved this post so much, I feel ya.
    Excited to see if it leads to a potential next step for you! 🙂

  18. It’s been a long winter, hallie 🙂 One quote I heard from a cab driver was along the lines of “If you’re bored of New York, you’re bored of life” (I actually googled it and I think it is about london hah!) In your case, it sounds like something a bit more than boredom. Maybe a new city ahead??
    Meg of An Affair of Character

  19. Honestly, I think that everyone needs a ‘weekend away’ from their everyday locale. Sometimes, the change in scenery makes you more appreciative of your city. Or, like Meg suggests, sometimes a getaway provides the necessary signs that it’s time to relocate. Although, I hear you Hallie…New York is not losing you anytime soon and I’m sure the city is glad about that 🙂

    Enjoy your trip!

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  22. I think it’s possible to fall out of love with any city, not just New York. I live in adorable college town/small city, one that is routinely on assorted best places to live lists and I no longer feel it’s the best place for me to live and that’s okay.

  23. As a born and bred New Yorker, I get it. It can be overwhelming sometimes for all of us.

    When it happens to me, I go away for a few days and sure enough, no matter how nice the place is, no matter how peaceful….after say four days, I need to get back. All of a sudden the “new” beautiful, peaceful place feels boring as shit and nothing like I imagined it would be.

    Imagine complaining that you can’t sleep because there’s no noise. Yep, that’s me. Then the birds start annoying me, the smiles from strangers feel odd and don’t get me started on how people outside of New York move at a 2 mile an hour pace. Jesus, kill me! How can they move so damn s l o w l y!!!!! Don’t they know I’m in a rush to….relax.

    Then I come back, see the skyline and I’m home. I guess it’s different for everyone but as crazy as this over crowded, too expensive and insanely fast city is, I could not picture myself being anywhere else. Well, for longer than a week anyway.

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