Author Archives: RaeWitte

Email: TheDiscountDiary@gmail.com Twitter: @RaeWitte Instagram: RaeWitte

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Effortless. Relevant. Broken-in.

As a lot of work presently is centered around the internet, for better or worse, between looking for news stories, trends and the most next topic, I spend a lot of time buried on my laptop or on my phone. So last week with about an hour and a half to kill between work and catching the Little Simz performance at Neuehouse, I stopped through a pop up sale of small brand I’ve been following on Instagram for some time, The Break Vintage.

Effortless. Relevant. Broken-in. Goals? Yes. Actually, it’s the bio for their Instagram account. Aside from having a fantastically curated account loaded with 90s brooding babygirls alongside some of NYC’s finest, Hannah, the owner, has an impressive selection of handpicked and AFFORDABLE vintage stuff, in addition to her custom, hand embroidered tees made specifically for girls who’s attitude is on a million. I picked up a VERY fitting t-shirt, the PERFECT pair of vintage Guess denim (with that classic triangle logo) and her signature choker because clearly I’m regressing and fully embracing the 90s.

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Best part? The tee was $25 and the jeans were $30, which is UNHEARD of unless you grab them from a thrift shop yourself. And lucky for you Hannah hooked me up with a 20% promo code for you, BREAKBABERAE (obviously). <3

You can also put in special requests for custom tees. Visit her site here and follow her on IG here.

xx

Rae

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Been Festive My Whole Life

During the spring, I went upstate to my parents and per usual, my mom let me know she had something special for me. She is the best.

She gave me a jacket of mine from when I was 10. Obviously, it’s not just any jacket and obviously, as I grew A LOT as a kid, so she bought everything oversized. Granted the jacket might be from the Limited Too, but I wore it during the evening of the Memorial Day rooftop cookout I hosted and I plan on packing it for my weekend upstate for Independence Day.

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Red denim and dare I call it… vintage. Without really dating myself, this jacket is 15+ years old and in incredible shape.

Free. From mom. Red, white and blue, for a road trip out of the city. Have a safe an amazing holiday. LET’S GET IT.

xo Rae

 

Bae Bae: Nick Nery

As he has become a permanent part of my daily rotation and who I recommend to absolutely everyone, it only seemed necessary I share him here.

Nick Nery is the 21 year old, very soulful voice with very little information on him on the internet. So, I reached out to Nick. He writes a lot of his songs and works a lot with two producers by the names of Niko (son of DJ Babu  of Dilated Peoplees) and Kyle . Between his vocals, lyrics and the fact that he plays the ukelele you should minimally see if he appeals to your taste. I also found out his biggest inspiration to sing is his father, who sings and Nick says is actually “pretty cool” although he attributes his influences to Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse, Kolohe Kai, Diana Krall, Coldplay, Gorillaz, John Legend and Bradley Nowell of Sublime.

The Cali boy has pipes and something to say. Below I’ve used restraint, listed just a few of my favorite lyrics and provided a playlist of my favorite songs of his. Get to know Nick Nery (and send him to all of your talented friends that are looking for features).

Am I love or do I just love myself? – Loving You

I guess it’s not you, its what you represent. – MissedCalls

xo Rae

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I had lots of bites at Gran Morsi

It is very, very, very easy to fall into constantly eating in the same neighborhood(s) and spots. For example, I live in Brooklyn, it takes me about 15-20 minutes to get to LES and NoLita. Further, maybe two people that I associate with on daily basis live above Canal Street. Two people. Everyone is in Brooklyn or downtown. Guess where I eat?  I keep it within walking distance of my place or downtown within walking distance of my everyday peoples’ homes and with so many options there alone, why would I really leave convenience?

Because Sam Chin told me to, that’s why. Sam is a very young, hard-working publicist/event producer/babe. We initially met when she invited me to #HashbrownsAndHashtags and it’s been all heart-emoji exchanges ever since. Having worked together on some things since then, I quickly accepted her invite to check out Gran Morsi, still conveniently located to my life on the Tribeca/Financial District border at 22 Warren Street. They would be introducing their new summer menu. DSC00553DSC00555

We started off with a round of drinks. A definite stand out was the Limoncello Margarita (not pictured) and the Cedar Smoked Old-Fashioned that involved a torch.DSC00557DSC00558 I sat between a friend that’s Gluten-free, a vegetarian that  doesn’t drink, across from another vegetarian and Sam, who I split an order of meatballs with, naturally. Both the calamari and the zucchini chips were fried to perfection and although I attempt avoid fried anything they were not only more than worth it but very carefully done, as I spoke to one of the servers about. We also tried both the Buffala Burrata (served with an incredible pesto) and Sheepsmilk Ricotta topped with hazelnuts and honey, both with garlic crostini on the side.

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Obviously the pizza was a must and I had a slice of the Artichoke one, no bleu cheese or hot sauce so you know it’s real. Everything was light and delicious enough to convince myself (after a few glasses of Rosè, of course) to go all in with the Black Linguini served with shrimp, njuda, arugula, san marzano tomatoes and calabrian chiles.

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It was between the overwhelming amount of cheese and ordering my entree that Emeka the GM came out and broke down Gran Morsi for us. Translating to english as ‘a lot of bites’, Gran Morsi encourages diners to do it their way having a solid selection of appetizers, pasta dishes, entrees, pizzas and sides. Emeka also explained that coming from a fine dining background made him desire to being to share with more people and not such elitist clientele. Thus, fully embracing an italian attitude he explained Gran Morsi was made to be everyones “third place.” By “third place” he means, their go-to, the number one option but being called third only after home and work. Essentially it’s in the running to be my second place because home and work collide as one. I should ask if they have wifi. Regardless, most importantly he said, “If we don’t love it, it’s not on the menu,” and I VERY much identify with that. If I don’t love it, I damn sure don’t need it in my life.DSC00571 DSC00575

Finally, surprisingly, we managed to try a selection of the desserts and my favorite by far was the lemon cheesecake – goat cheese, macerated berries and strawberry coulis. When you come out of your virtual food coma, after you peep the pics, peruse their IG and follow their Twitter, head into Gran Morsi one-time, convenient or not, it’s worth a stop.

xo Rae

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Do Something Special For Number One

Perhaps, I’m going about this all wrong. Having lived with a significant other at one point in life, unbelievable yes that a boyfriend once slept in the place of my dog who is passed out belly up right now, it seems I’ve had this all wrong.

I was the type of girlfriend that shaved her legs regularly and stayed more fit than when I was single. I grocery shopped and cooked too, consistently. I still went out with my friends and may or may not made it a point to dance on top of everything (this way, random boys couldn’t touch me, duh).

Further, I definitely had better underwear (sorry mom). I wholeheartedly stand by a dedicated refusal to ‘get comfortable’ or worse lose my sense of self in a relationship. In my former relationship, I wanted him to be proud to have me by his side so I kept up myself more than I do single. Ya know, that whole idea of being with someone, complimenting each other and being your parallel, best selves? That’s my wave. Now, as the single adult I am, I don’t want to say I’ve let myself go because I most certainly have not but, these potentials will not get the best from jump because I have news, my best, is really good so the upkeep is not what it used to be. I might not get my eyebrows done, because I just don’t feel like it. However, as I reminded myself this weekend, there sure isn’t anything wrong with doing the most for number one.

With that being said, I bought myself a silk, La Perla robe because I could. I work from home and if I want to wear a goddamn silk robe around my house alone, I will. DSC00500 DSC00497

Last Saturday, I went to the Gilt Warehouse Sale, as I do biannually almost every year. Upon finding out there were additional markdowns according to the color price tag, I took one final lap around the W 46th Street space. And it was in that final lap, that I came across my work uniform for the summer. I LOLed the entire way out of that sale because the final price was $28 from $290. I’ve shamefully paid more for a mediocre meal in Midtown.

Subsequently, I have reminded myself that just because you don’t  have a man, doesn’t mean you can’t look good naked alone besides, isn’t that what roommates are for?

xo Rae

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First of all, I wanna thank my connect

New York called, summer is cancelled this year.

Last week, as I was in the depths of trolling Instagram, I came across a beautiful coat on the account of my favorite vintage spot in Brooklyn. Installation Brooklyn’s owner, Margot, had the most perfect, ankle length, camel, wrap coat on. After leaving a cat with heart eyes emoji on her gram, she let me know that the coat was in the shop.

I’m very partial to Installation Brooklyn for my own selfish reasons. Margot, is just a little bit shorter than me and has a very similar build. Subsequently, anything in the store the looks good on her translates pretty well for me. This is where I picked up last year’s ankle length, double breasted, red wool coat also.

I stopped through my old hood where the store is located, on Nostrand Ave in Bedstuy, to try on the coat. As I assumed from seeing it on Margot on Instagram, it fit perfectly.

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The cashmere wool blend, belted, wrap coat from Les Copians was made in Italy and I LOVE IT. Further at $165 its about $400-800 less than what this season’s Les Copians coats are available for. I’ll prob sleep it in until May, because summer isn’t coming.

xo Rae

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My new favorite layer

Yesterday in New York, people were outside smiling. Whereas Friday evening, every person I know that wasn’t working had completely given up and was staying in with their roommates because for the love of everything good in this world, enough is enough. Although up until about the second week of January, we had a mild winter, the devastating cold that New York maintained had FINALLY caught up with ALL of us.

So, during my last trip to Miami, buying ANOTHER coat did not seem out of the question, because until yesterday I was convinced I would never be warm again. Granted it’s lightweight, but I’ve worn my new camo jacket accompanied with a second jacket every time I’ve stepped out with it on in New York, which is practically daily as you can see below.

DSC00411Here post interview with Appleby for The Future Beats Show, coming soon.

 

At Red Bull Studios.

 

At Tribeca Grand Hotel in SoHo.

This one right? I remind you of this jeep?

A photo posted by Rae Witte (@raewitte) on

And in these streets, clearly.

I’ve worn it over my leather and a sweater, under my wool coat and with everything from dresses to mom jeans. It’s been my only jacket (once in Miami) to one of four layers. At only $35 tucked among a vendor full of fur coats at Miami’s Lincoln Road Vintage Market, I couldn’t be more pleased and I plan on wearing until my friends start to question it.

xo Rae

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Just throw it in the bag

I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time at home over the last week and a half because flatly, it’s just too damn cold. As the rest of you New Yorkers may relate, I’ve been finding all different things within the four brick walls of my apartment to occupy my time. In going through my closet (for an upcoming project, just wait on it), I realized in my few weeks spent out of the city this winter, I always pack one shirt.

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I wish I bought it in both black and white at this point. At from a brand called Lucca Couture, at $29 from $62 on Gilt, it is absolutely my loss. It’s cotton and I’ve worn it for everything from a panel discussion on digital and streetwear, to out on a boat and around Wynwood in Miami, to the Dimepiece LA office (pictured).

It’s actually packed in my suitcase right now.

xo Rae

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LA HIGHLIGHT: LASA

I tend to try to make myself at home when I travel. As a former and current resident of tourist destinations, I quickly learned that sticking to the normal tourist trappy activities can leave me spending too much money on subpar experiences. I mean, NY residents, would you recommend a restaurant in Times Square? Unlikely.

Luckily, a very close friend of mine in Brooklyn, grew up in LA, so during my first (yea, took awhile) trip to La La Land, we were able to attend a very intimate pop-up dinner. A growing concept of her close friends, brothers, Chase and Chad Valencia, second generation Filipino-American, LASA, the pop-up restaurant, is inspired by Philippine Cuisine and influenced by Southern California’s seasonal farmers’ markets.

In Tagalog (Filipino), LASA means taste and flavor. Appropriately. Chad and Chase both come from impressive food and beverage backgrounds. Chase, co-owner and GM, developed a passion for food and memorable experiences working at a variety of places such as mom and pop shop, Owen’s Bakery, popular Silverlake spot, Sqirl, and taking care of huge events for the likes of SONY and Beats By Dre with Wolfgang Puck’s Catering in a variety of managerial roles. The other half, Chad has 12 years of restaurant experience. In the last five years he’s cooked under Chef Corine Weibel at Canele where he learned about seasonality in Southern CA. He then spent time creating seasonally driven, traditional Spanish dishes at Contigo in San Francisco before returning to LA and working at Sqirl with Chase and close friends, Chef Meadow Ramsey and Jessica Kosklow. It was then that LASA was born.

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Pictured, Chad and Chase Valencia. On inspiration for LASA, Chad says “In this time in America, where there is the highest concentration of second generation Filipino Americans, it only makes sense to represent my culture through what I do best, which is cook food. Otherwise aspects of our culture will be forgotten which is inevitable in a sense, but this is our effort and appreciation for our motherland. Also to learn more about my culture and its food history. There is more I don’t know than what I actually do know within Filipino food and to me this means this journey is life long and that I can be excited about learning throughout this journey.”

In 2013, before the LASA it has matured into, the brothers started with summer, backyard dinners, then moved to a bi-monthly pop-up dinner and now has become the quarterly, seasonal dinner that I attended last week. This winter, January’s edition sold out just under 100 available seats inside the event space Elysian, in less than two hours. Game killed.

Check the pics below (food from Jill Tuttle and others from their Facebook):

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Pictured, from top left, Pork Rilette, Soy-Vinegar Braised Octopus, Mung Bean Dip, Scallops Kinilaw, Red Grouper & Manila, Coconut Milk Champarrado. 

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So on top of an innovative, cohesive and delicious menu, everyone working at LASA was super welcoming and the music selection consisted of songs I need to know or have already written about (so I’m extra bias), creating a wonderfully warm  and comfortable atmosphere. When I asked Chase, “What is something I need to tell people about LASA?”, he offered a response perfectly in line with how I felt leaving that evening. He said “To us, LASA means food and community, eating and experiencing an honest meal with loved ones. We are thankful for the opportunities we have had to put ourselves out there and how receptive people have been with our concept.”

As for something, I believe you need to know about LASA. The next one is in March and a little birdie told me they are getting closer to the goal of opening their own brick and mortar in Los Angeles. Follow them on Facebook and keep track of them on their website so you do not miss the next one!

xo Rae

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It might be too late for you

Last year I bought my ankle length, double breasted, red coat. With this, I learned, QUICKLY, during my first winter back and while getting VERY familiar with Polar Vortexes, that a coat (or two or three or whatever) comparable to a blanket is a necessity, especially with this storm NY is expecting. So this year, as I was a little more prepared, I took my time to look for new winter coats.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my red coat but it seems that after seeing similar ones on Net-a-porter and Refinery29, I needed to find something to mix it up.

Over Thanksgiving, while my Brooklyn and Manhattan based, Utica raised friends and I were home, we decided to spend a day thrifting together in anticipation of one-upping everyone exhausting the BK thrift and vintage shops.

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Obviously, when thrifting, it is detrimental to be selective and although everything is practically free, you must, must, must look for quality and cut. This ankle length, double breasted wool coat, looked like it had barely been worn. It has nice lines and is super heavy. I removed to excessive shoulder pads and spent less on this coat than most people spend on their lunch.

And this is one of three coats I picked up. So, although I plan on not leaving my apartment from tomorrow until Wednesday, should I need to step out, I think I’ll be ready.

xo Rae