Last night we convened for a late dinner and ordered in from New York Burger Co. The Shake Shack’s line was too long, but I’m sure we’ll go there soon. Sweet aspect to their website: The Shack Cam, that shows you a live feed of the line at their Madison Square Park location so you can plan accordingly (or prepare yourself for a Disneyland line for carnivores). The burger was quite tasty; the bun wasn’t my favorite ever, but overall it was an extremely satisfying meal.

This morning I woke up around 7 and a couple hours later, Thea and I were out and about. We ran to CVS, got a late breakfast at the cafe downstairs and made our way to a nearby nail salon. The prices were good for a mani-pedi, and I was in pretty bad need for a new color, with all the sandal wearing I’d been doing. I figured that New York City is not the place to look too down and out, so I chose a funky, bold blue that matched my sundress and went for it. Overall, the place was great—it was a cheap nail salon, but without the reekage of chemicals that one often finds in places like that. The woman helping me was very sweet; I asked her where she was from, and it turned out she was Mexican, so for the rest of the hour I tried my best to revitalize my Spanish. I have been mourning the loss of my Spanish since 2007 when Italy ruined me. These days, instead of the rather good Spanish spoke in the days of yore, I have to translate from English to Italian and then to shoddy Spanish. Es muy mal. But she was very patient, and we managed to chat about everything from Arizona’s recent immigration psychosis to whether I had ever dated a Mexican boy. I hope I can go back there once more before I leave, perhaps for a goodbye mani-pedi.

On to our cultural exploits (and imagine, it’s barely 2pm!): Thea and I walked just a couple blocks over to FIT—the Fashion Institute of Technology —a renowned fashion school, alma mater to alumni like Calvin Klein. We went to their museum. Its latest exhibit is called Eco-Fashion: Going Green (free! Runs until November! Check it out!)

Basically the exhibit displays current looks by designers who utilize eco-friendly resources, and then presents the chronological history of fashion’s eco-friendly designs, as well as its faux pas, in relationship to modern standards. They particularly focus on 6 elements of sustainability: recycling materials, material origins, textile dyeing and production, craftsmanship quality and labor practices. For example, we discover which designers were innovative in their treatment of workers: paid vacation and coffee breaks were absolutely NOT the norm until someone made it that way! Fur makes a lot of appearances, as well as some interesting uses of reptile skin (read: alligator purse. With the alligator head still attached.) But older clothes from the 19th century did have a lot of sustainable elements to them. It wasn’t until the 20th century that clothes were mass produced in the way they are now, and so in the 18th and 19th century we see the emphasis of building clothes to last. Now, a lot of designers are more concerned not only with fair labor practices but with using specific materials whose production isn’t harmful to the environment. Kudos!