Stylechasing in Chelsea

We have moved in.

Room with a view: me in our new pad

A room with a view

It’s alarming how many issues you inherit when buying an apartment that you don’t notice during open houses and private showings and even final walkthroughs. We will be busy and broke as we chisel our dream pad out of this raw material.

But let me dwell on the fun stuff, as is my wont…Fleamarkets!

Looking for a desk built to seat two writers whose elbows might grow pointy  when in the thick of a bad day’s writing, I thought I would check out the Annex Markets which are housed in an old split-level parking garage in Chelsea. I furnished my previous apartment quite successfully with some choice pieces picked up there and squeezed into a cab complete with frowning driver cursing me in foreign tongue.

I arrive to find the “Antiques Garage” doors shut. I am told it closed two months ago to make way for the construction of another hotel.

I turn away slack-jawed. A neighboring business owner calls to me. They’ve joined forces with another market just a block away and are over there “selling the same old garbage”.

Some people just aren’t flea market people, I think, and head on, relieved.

There is treasure buried in these here parts...

Excuse me, sir, but I hear there’s treasure buried in these here parts…

It was perfectly made

Appreciating great construction over new constructions

 

 

We haggle over the price of this kitchen foldaway table that I would provide with a little facelift before placing in a readymade nook at home. It has the humble appearance of an apprentice’s work station which appeals to both of us.

“But $75, I’m sorry, I wouldn’t pay––” I am distracted by a figure wafting by and dig my husband in the ribs. “Look!” I hiss. “It’s her.”

He looks confused. He missed her flit by.

“I’m going to follow her.” I call to the seller, “We’ll give you 60!” and dash off.

“Who was it?” I hear my husband ask the seller.

Winding between the stalls, I am only slightly distracted by some of the wares…

 

 

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You saw her too? Which way did she go?

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Standing to attention!IMG_3387 IMG_3386 IMG_3374She is someone that makes us all try a little harder in the glamour stakes.

Yes, arch that back, Marilyn. Weekend does not mean sloth.IMG_3367

I pop my sunglasses on and wish I wasn’t wearing jeans. Shimmying sequins, yes that would be much more appropriate.IMG_3375 IMG_3364 IMG_3356“Did she pass this way, sir..?”

“Slow down, lady.”

“Can’t! Love the pineapples!”IMG_3366 IMG_3363 IMG_3353I stumble slightly at the sight of this cute bench. It would work against our white painted brick corridor wall with one or two Liberty print cushions scattered on top.

Concentrate. Eyes peeled, I tell myself, and resume chase.
IMG_3389 IMG_3380 IMG_3379 IMG_3376Even cases filled with jewellery don’t halt my pursuit.

Even Madeline freshly arrived from her Parisian boarding school… IMG_3391 IMG_3382Oh, there she is!

I catch my breath, smooth my hair and approach..

Linda and her poodle Winky

Linda and her poodle Winky

It makes me laugh that people think I am so stylish. It’s not something I think about.––Linda Rodin

It’s New York style maven, model, beauty guru and stylist, Linda Rodin. We talk and she is as gracious as she is graceful. She’s dying to go to Dublin, she tells me.

Oh, but the NYC portaloos have photo bombed this unique moment! She happily offers to pose for another photo. “How about between these two fabulous urns, the both of us?” she asks. A stall holder jumps up to take the shot. They all love her, it seems. They say she comes through the market often and chats with everyone.

I became a fashion stylist and I didn’t even know that was a job, you know?

And a bike helmet too. Not the look I would have chosen for such an auspicious occasion.

And a bike helmet too. Not the look I would have chosen for such an auspicious occasion.

I’ve never fought my age. I’ve had grey hair since I was 35…Chasing youth is never going to happen.

We squeeze the table into the trunk of a yellow cab. The Turkish driver curses me out in the most vile terms, I’m sure of it. I smile back at him and he rolls down the window and spits onto the New York sidewalk.

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That night, we take a bottle of wine onto the roof deck and watch the sun go down.

I wonder how Linda has decorated her apartment, I’m filled with ideas of how I want ours to look–and how I want to look when I’m an “older lady”.

I confuse my husband for the second time today by humming The Beatles “When I’m sixty-four.” He has been trying since we met to convert me into a Fab Four fan, but to no avail.

“Cheers and home sweet home!”

Roof with a View: The Chrysler building

…of the Chrysler building

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Roof With a View…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My debut novel, set in the international fashion industry, is available. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.

27 comments

  1. Congratulations my dear! It will look fab. And you could do worse and listen to your husband and the possibilities to be found in any Beatles’ song. Drawing some inspiration from Linda for my golden years.

    • I seem to be missing the receptacle in the brain to appreciate The Beatles. It’s a failing, I do recognize. I’m seeing a specialist as soon as I can.
      Golden indeed they will be, my girl!

  2. wow, lovely things in the flea market and Linda is so elegant!

  3. Gorgeous, Jackie! In more ways than one. May we age so beautifully, XO.

  4. Sinéad

    Loved this story Jackie! Your apartment will be amazing I’m sure, the roof terrace & views are already fabulous. Well done for tracking down your lady, I’m not sure I would have had the nerve. Not sure what I’ll be like when I’m older, but it’s sure to involve books & gin. S x

  5. Fantastic post. Linda is so inspirational. And I’m sure your new place will look fab in no time! X

  6. Get me to that market NOW!!! What joys it holds. Stylish lady but I would have been chasing the pineapple shirt wearer probably. Enjoy your new pad…..and what a view! X

  7. winston moreton

    As a Campari&Sofa follower I dig this genre and I was distracted by the pointy elbow. Normally wouldn’t notice. Have you seen the latest review of “Silk For The Feed Dogs” on Amazon. It is a splendid read!

  8. You’re quite right. It reads like a gratuitous description when I meant to imply the territorialism of two writers working side by side. Modifications made and well noted, WInston.

    I was hoping you’d get in touch so I could thank you so much for your lovely review. You’re too kind. I really appreciate it.

  9. Congrats! Congrats you lucky lady!! Linda Rodin..a living Goddess! (And I hope you went back for that Chanel perfume poster….) and here’s a cold, bubbly one raised in honour of your new pad and fantastic view!! xxx

    • Thank you, sweetie. I might go back for the poster–by myself. Saw a few other little knick-knacks that needed a good home 😉
      Raising a cold one right back at you to welcome you back from your gorgeous Greek island trails.
      XO!

  10. So happy for you in your new home – well wear 🙂 I know you’ll enjoy kitting it out – that market looked like a real treasure trove, wish we had more like them in Ireland. I went to one in Claregalway at the weekend and let’s just say the hens & geese I passed on the way in should have been a red flag! A very large, screaming red flag!!

    • Thanks, Evie! A few goats and hens would have been just the ticket among the decaying finery.THey would have fit right in. I think. At home, it’s the Cancer Research shops, the Charis, St Vincent de Paul etc where, with a great bit of searching, some goodies can be found.
      Surprised there aren’t any markets in Dublin like this…

  11. Gah!! I would have ran too!! She is too cool….I would have been the awkward flailing girl telling get what a fan I am, lol. Way to keep your cool! Great story!!

    • Oh I don’t know if cool was kept. Felt like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards standing beside her. Her poodle was better groomed than I was! But she was lovely all the same :-)xo

  12. Sounds like a fruitful and fun day at the flea market!

  13. Totally delightful – loved the pics and glad you found her in the end 🙂

  14. Oh Jackie, I’m breathless! Stop! No, no… don’t stop! More please! Where do I start? Your gorgeous apartment… the rooftop VIEW… the knick knack…. LINDA…. the French schoolgirl?!? Just amazing… xxx

  15. Next time you’re in NYC, you have a new stop on your check list :-)xo

  16. Congratulationjs on the new apartment! I love flea markets 🙂 This one looks great. The table looks like a great find 🙂

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