May 2016

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Moving to New York City in Three Weeks or Less.

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[I’ve partnered with Corcoran to tell the story of what inspires me about the process of creating a New York City based home.  For further creative goodies, be sure to visit their brand new blog at -xx, B]

Dear NoteBrooke,

When I was a child, I spent a considerable amount of time architecting what my ensuing move to the Big Apple would look like.

Clad in dark leather pants, a fitted blazer, and a red/blue/forest green plaid scarf (Yes, my meticulous attention to detail was presumably the first indication of the chronic bout of all-consuming OCD that was still yet to surface), I’d swoop into town with a repertoire of only the most coveted essentialsthe kinds of things that organically fell within the purview of the entirely attainable and the universally fundamental…for a seven year old with her head in the clouds, or like, Ken Vanderpump.

In addition to a newly acquired editorial position at Conde Nast and a well organized haute couture wardrobe, surely I’d manage to scoop up a killer pad with a view of the Park and a walk in closet that starkly resembled Carrie Bradshaw’s sprawling oasis amidst the clouds – you know, the one with the customized white cabinetry that was gifted to her from Big in an apparent effort to underscore his understanding of her passion for electric blue Manolos as a fundamental component of intellectualized personal expression.

But what I actually encountered when I arrived to New York were the remnants of a bad breakup and an egregiously constructed attempt at adulthood. Fresh off the heels of a cancelled engagement, I found myself unemployed and homeless in the literal center of a pile of bulging white trash bags that had come to comprise my “life” (or whatever remained of it) as a bonafide Manhattanite.

Um…somebody call Corcoran?

Without a plan, a job, or an apartment, I launched headfirst into the process of creating some semblance of a reasonably operative day-to-day existence. But despite landing a pseudo well-paying gig as a celebrity personal assistant, finding my soulmate (!) and slipping into a bustling downtown social scene, I found myself aching (Literally. Think wholly incapacitating stress induced tummy pains) — for a place to call home.

In a city that never sleeps, it feels all the more imperative to find a peaceful little box in the sky (or even just a few stories up!) where one can retreat beneath her comforter and shut the literal/proverbial door upon the surrounding labyrinth of madness that’s sure to be ensuing atop the crowded, noisy, and air polluted city sidewalks below.

A longtime fan of the Corcoran Group, I quickly came to appreciate the fact that despite my childhood predilection for parquet floored penthouses and limestone constructed skyscrapers, my broker was equally enthusiastic about the prospect of helping me to find an apartment that fit both my budget and my individual list of must haves. A good view?  Check.  Hard wood floors?  Yep.  Closet space?  Praise Jesus!

Within less than a month, a brand new mattress was laid down on my bedroom floor – which, by the way, is  the first step to any successful move. Slowly, I breathed in the fresh scent of my newly acquired home (If I could somehow bottle that fragrance and sell it as a Dyptique Candle, I would)  in the same way that a particularly devout yogi might inhale during the pinnacle moment of her morning transcendental meditation.

In my quest to find a perfectly personalized Brooke nook (potential URL name for an interior design blog?!) somewhere amongst the endless barrage of sirens, I discovered all of the requisite touches that made my urban apartment feel like a South Floridian beachfront oasis to me.

And although I ultimately moved in with my fiancé upon getting engaged last September – two years post my initial arrival to New York — I still maintain that all I really to need to feel comfortable in my living space is a couple of personalized touches and a view of the city that surrounds me.  Everything else is extra.

My fiancé and I have now managed to create our very own home together, one that houses (hehe) tons of special memories and all of the creature comforts that we both covet, respectively. That said, my initial move to the city is decidedly the one that prompted me to reflect upon the importance of turning a house or an apartment into something significantly more than just that alone.

Head to to check out the launch of their new blog. It contains some pretty spectacular imagery and inspo 😉




The Mass Marginalization of the Young Woman: Becoming a Caricature of Myself.

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Dear NoteBrooke,

Deliberate avoidance of a visit to the ATM out of fear that one’s bank balance has become so irreparably attenuated via overdraft fees – those pesky, dirty little dings that are inflicted upon us each time that we swipe our thin plastic life lines through the requisite Bergdorf/Starbucks/Duane Reade (I’m just naming the essentials here) credit card machines long after they’ve been sufficiently maxed out –- is a tactic that’s as effective in amassing some semblance of a savings account as is my ability to avoid bum rushing all of the kitchen cabinetry the moment that my fiancé cavalierly asserts that he ordered up a jumbo jar of Nutella from Fresh Direct earlier that afternoon.

I’ve learned, more aggressively than most, perhaps, that denial only begets a slew of egregiously misguided life choices — those that eventually, invariably, render one physically and emotionally displaced upon a coarsely carpeted, sickly colored hotel room floor while commencing a manic search for a place to call home and clutching a newly ascertained rendition of the King James Bible. This is, of course, a brief allusion to the disastrous conclusion of my previous relationship and to the abrupt/urgent move to New York City that ensued immediately thereafter.

In more extreme instances, it can also catalyze undercover jaunts to markedly unsavory destinations across the globe, those that are generally presupposed to house a slew of sticky, heat saturated Central American brothels in their tropical custodies — the types of establishments that smell of thick, low hanging cigarette smoke and that cater to a predominantly pale-skinned, fair-haired customer base of gringo pedophiliacs looking to fulfill their criminal perversions behind the semi opaque veil of extreme third world poverty.

If you’re immersed in a culture that propagates a consistent barrage of stringent generalizations regarding the female identity, then you’ll soon realize that most of us are allotted just enough room to be catalogued as either a Kim Kardashian or a Kate Middleton, an ideology that subliminally disseminates polarizing extremes and virgin/whore complexes aplenty.

So if it means disproving widespread, preordained notions that draw staunch parallels between fashion savvy, fresh faced young females and vapid, vacuous superficiality – you know, the especially icky kind that lends itself to labels like spoiled rich girl, airhead, gold digger, frivolous, self-absorbed, pathetic, disposable – (Because, I’m quite certain that I’ve been assigned all of those titles at one time or another), then you, too, might engage in your own game of Russian Roulette, disappearing into the previously mentioned Central American Red Light District with nothing more than a poorly concealed Go Pro camera and bits of badly broken Spanglish under your belt.

You’d be on a no holds barred mission, after all – not only to unearth the complexities of the story at hand, but maybe, in some way, to produce (pun intended) your personal truth, as well.

Which is all to say, that I’ve spent the greater portion of my twenties making a lot of wildly erroneous life choices in an internal quest to seek some measure of external public credence. I’ve pursued more than one misguided career trajectory, including, as much as I hate to say it – journalism. Here’s the thing: although I l-i-v-e-d for the actual act of producing worthwhile, worthy content — the kind of stuff that I’d be willing to sleep in grimy, bug ridden motels sequestered between hidden hills in desolate and dangerous foreign lands for — I didn’t want to be Lisa Ling if it meant that I couldn’t be Miroslava Duma, as well.

Because, why should a penchant for contoured cheekbones and swoon worthy street style outweigh my requisite intent to hop on a plane and to risk my right to things like – well, habeas corpus, for instance, in the name of storytelling?

Tell me: in 2016, why do static characters and predilections regarding the female gender continue to penetrate and permeate our society? What if you could see who I really am?

I wonder what you’d think; I wonder how differently I’d feel in my own skin.





The Indelible Value of a Spring Statement Shoe.


Dear NoteBrooke,

If presented with the opportunity to fast forward through my youth by a few decades and to slip right into a South Floridian retirement community instead, I would take that deal in about seven seconds or less.

Born and raised in the Tristate Area, I’ve become all too accustomed to elongated spasms of snow/hail/sleet/frostbite/tears/et. al. And so, despite my penchant for eighty-two degree days and the occasional beach wave, I’ve compiled a wardrobe that’s decidedly more conducive to ensuring that my limbs remain in tact than to begging the [rhetorical] question:

Don’t I just look so summertime chic right now?!

It stands to reason, then, that whenever springtime (finally) does roll around, I consistently experience a recurring bout of fashion panic, racking my brain for stylistic options that seem as fresh and unique as the balmy spring days that have eclipsed my six month stint in semi-reclusive hibernation.

When I first found M.Gemi, the shoe line that birthed these bad girls (!), I was uber surprised and pleasantly taken aback. Because, come May, I often find that I’m wholly disenchanted by the cookie cutter-esque options that are strewn across the shelves of every major department store in New York City. Do I really want to opt for another pair of Jesus style lace up sandals and/or ballet flats that aren’t actually flattering on anyone other than Olivia Palermo?

M.Gemi is the first line that I’ve found that offers absurdly cute and cost effective sandals, pumps, flats, booties and sneakers. In styling an outfit, or building a wardrobe that one loves, I always suggest starting with the right pair of shoes and building upward from there to create a silhouette, color scheme, and vibe that lends itself to the themes of chic and unique. Upon scouring the M.Gemi website, I quickly found that they essentially do the work for you insofar as creating options that are instant outfit completers, especially in the way of street style.

Everyone loves a colorful espadrille, a seasonlesss pointed toe flat, and a tastefully done lace up bootie that instantly elevates a wardrobe by way of texture, fit and individuality. And thus, it’s safe to say that I’ll be rocking A LOT of M.Gemi when it decides to stop freezing rain and being grey here in New York City.

Check them out and thank me later. 😉