Five Hundred Degrees

[White Tank] Theory [Blue Shorts] A.L.C. [Bag] Valentino Va Va Voom [Sunnies] Dior [Onesie] Vix [Bracelets] Cartier [Flats] Nicholas Kirkwood [Skirt] Tibi [Heels] Louboutin Growing up on the South Shore of Long Island is basically synonymous with being raised on a beach somewhere – in my case, it happened to be on the sands of Robert Moses State Park — Field 5. My Grandfather, with his penchant for all things free, used to stop by my house and ask with the utmost enthusiasm (as if it were completely novel and unchartered territory)… …”HEY!! ANYBODY WANT TO GO TO THE BEACH?!!” When I was little, I’d take the seven minute drive across the bridge with him, bright blue plastic buckets stuffed in the trunk, build a couple of sand castles (which looked more like dilapidated affordable housing units than grandiose buildings of any variety, but I digress) and…dip a toe or two into the ice cold New York Atlantic. Occasionally, a wave would come along and engulf my entire body, rendering me tousled, topless, frost bitten and publically humiliated, but nevertheless I generally enjoyed the beach; it’s just that I preferred to collect shells on the sand rather to enter the water – what with fear of impending full body frost bite and all. As I got older and realized how much I loved to swim (preferably in private, heated pools), I’d take the plunge and enter the ocean increasingly frequently, forcing my body to go numb (a skill which has served me well in the past few weeks while shooting skirts/Stuart Weitzman Highland boots/flared dresses in negative two degree temps here in NYC) and catch as many waves as possible. Other than the seaweed that would wrap itself around my ankles, threatening to cut off blood flow to the remainder of my virtually lifeless/blue body, a rocky ocean floor that posed the threat of butchering my lower legs to bits – or at least enough to attract a GREAT WHITE SHARK — jelly fish aplenty (I mean, they say the burn isn’t so bad if you pee on it immediately therafter – classy, I know) and the occasional news report of a drowning death, the ocean on Long Island was just …great. A couple of years ago, while on a trip to Miami, I opted to bypass the swanky hotel pool and to walk down to the beach alone. It had been years since I swam in an open ocean, and I was immediately eager to dive back in, although I was anticipating the same experience that I had endured basked in when I was younger and still living at my parent’s house on Long Island. Listen. I can only equate that moment to a day at Bergdorf with my mother’s credit card in my possession heaven. The water wasn’t just bathtub warm, but it was also so vibrantly colored that I felt as if all of my immediate surrounding were burning sapphire. In disbelief, I let myself pass through the gentle waves over and over again until minutes evolved into hours and daylight was supplanted by a pinky yellow sunset. Truth be told, I’ve always loved Miami. I’m obsessed with Latin culture, hot weather, a good view, sunny skies, and the occasional stripper looking Loub that – wait, don’t judge me– IF DONE CORRECTLY – (this means NOT with a bandage dress and an overly padded push up, ladies – remember, we are all about everything that is refined and understated here) adds an eye-catching pop to one’s look. But once I realized that the ocean was available to me seven months out of the calendar year, as well, my fondness grew from infatuation to that once in a lifetime kind of love. Nowadays, I’m blessed to say that I’m able to escape to Miami quite often, and of late, I’ve been trying to act like less of a tourist and more of a native, exploring the different neighborhoods, making friends who live in the city, eating delish Latin food at arrepa bars (shout out to Dougie’s, which has the best tequennos that I’ve ever tasted), and observing the fusion of cultures. That is to say, I’ve found my top five restaurants and a local glam squad, so it’s come to feel like a second home to me. This winter in New York City has been especially brutal, so I spent the passed seven days being ultra indulgent, stealing as much sun as I could and putting together new summer looks that are rich in color and warmth, which as you know, is a departure from the norm for me. Whenever I pack for a trip, I always try to put together outfits that reflect the climate and culture of the particular destination. You’ll notice that I’m wearing a lot of white in these photographs because I love to feel light and airy in warm weather — you know, the one thing that isn’t melting in hot, humid weather. In fact, I could literally have a wardrobe that consists of billowy white onesies for summer, but alas, in coordination with the vibrancy/heat of Miami, I also opted for a number of loose fitting, colorful separates. Generally speaking, I don’t wear things that are skin tight because I prefer an accidentally sexy look, which means that I purchase my dress shorts one size too large and gravitate towards loose fitting tops. I hope you guys enjoy the pics! I’m back in NYC for about a week to recalibrate, go to the dry cleaner (Blindly pretending that the bill won’t disallow me from eating for the next few days), and to shoot some things for the blog – and then I’m off to a surprise destination, which I can’t wait to share with you guys! It’s going to be a good one! As always, wishing you every blessing – feel free to leave questions and comments below. X, Brooke
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