Friday, June 07, 2013

The Tess Collection: NYC Flat Iron Green

Out of all of the NYC polishes my grandmother could have had I think it's funny that she had this one.  For a couple reasons.  First, it's vamp-tastic; second, it looks a lot like NARS Zulu (in the bottle/on the nail in low light); and third, because I will tell everyone who will listen that my absolute favorite part of New York is the Flatiron District. 

It looks the best in the above picture.  I took a few in the sunlight and it just made the polish look jacked up because clearly my polishing skills are stupidly lacking.  Observe:

oh HEY Seche scuffs

I had to chop of my nails recently because I just couldn't handle the length of them anymore.  I do a lot of typing in my daily life, and one of my biggest pet peeves is when my nails start to hit the keys before the pads of my fingers.  ANYWAY.  Flat Iron Green is a deep, murky, moss color.  The formula was a little watery, and it took three coats to make it opaque.  Also it's not wearing so well on me.  But, polishes rarely do wear well on me anyway.  I think it's a very pretty color.  And as so many of you know so well, I love dark colors on short nails.  So this is perfect.  

Also, this is probably my favorite photograph ever taken.  I never get tired of looking at it.

Edward Steichen
The Flatiron

I just love that building.  I love approaching it from uptown on 5th and seeing it sort of loom in the distance.  It's just so...old New York.  

Sadly I've run out of vintage photos of my grandma in digital form.  I have roughly a million more at my parents' house, but I have to scan them sometime.  I was going through photos from last year right around this time, and I ran across this one.

This was at the very end of last May after my graduation party.  I look like a damn giant next to her, both because she was so tiny and because I'm a bit in front of her, picture plane-wise.  I thought the illusion was kind of funny.  But also I like how smiley she is.  She normally didn't smile much in pictures, but sometimes you caught that rare, genuine grin.  We had a really nice day at the little party my mom threw for us.  My grandma got to meet Ben for the first time, and (correct me if I'm wrong, mom) she ate tacos for the first time.  Which was pretty funny.  We got those like, Ortega taco kits or whatever, the ones where the hard shells invariably fall apart no matter how carefully you eat them, and she was trying her hardest to get that taco in her mouth.  Eventually I think she just gave up and went to fork-town, but it's the effort that counts.  She was just so cute.

Last month Ben bought her car.  She drove it so little that it is practically new, and he's really excited to have it.  I was glad that he bought it because now it can be ours and not some random stranger's.  When I went home for Memorial Day he surprised me with some pictures he had gotten developed.  I guess he had found a disposable camera in the car when he was cleaning it out.  It was really sweet of him.  He gave me the little pile of pictures after my flight had gotten in, which, if you remember, was super late at night because of airline-shenanigans.  I didn't even have the energy, physically, to get emotional about the photos, but I'm so glad he gave them to me.  They're really nothing special, but there are a few pictures in there that my grandpa took of my grandma on that little disposable camera that are just so sweet.  Like one of her smiling in the passenger seat of the same car that Ben bought, while my grandpa played photographer from the driver's seat.  That photograph in particular is a bit overexposed, but I thought it was so cute that I framed it and put it on my bookshelf.

I've been thinking a lot about what my grandma would say to me about leaving NYC.  Honestly, I think she'd be all for it.  She was pretty upset that I'm here by myself, and she would always say to me, "But aren't you lonely?  Don't you miss us?"  The answers to these questions were invariably yes, but I wanted to push myself to do a year here.  Now I have.  I think she'd be proud that I tried it, but prouder and happier that I'm following my heart and taking a step back.  Which sounds corny but...there it is.

I still think about her and miss her every single day.  Having her gone hasn't gotten any easier, and really, the ache of loss hasn't even started to dissipate.  But sometimes little things like a vampy green nail polish or an overexposed picture can make me feel better.  If only for a little while.


  1. The Flatiron Building is my favourite building in the city, hands down (well, the Public Library is a close second).

    Your grandma was a special lady, these posts reflect that in every way possible.


    1. You know what's weird about the library? No books there. They moved all of them off-site. So I'm mad at it.


  2. Apparently, my comment didnt make it through(stupid technology) but *hugs* That green is fabulous and I am really tempted to go out in the rain and get it. I love your posts about Grandma Tess. -L.

  3. Usually I come here and read 2-3 posts at a time, so imagine my surprise to read you are leaving NYC. A decision which I applaud, it takes courage to move away but even more so to move back. As I've told you before I moved here, mostly being dragged while I kicked and scream, but in my situation Maryland/DC where NOT good for us. We need it a change and life throw us a HUGE curve ball and here we landed. It was difficult to get use to it but now, now I sort of like it. I left my Interior Design schooling and my home after falling in love and relocating. IT WAS SO WORTH IT! :) Go out there and be Happy, enjoy your Fiance, NY will always be here anyways. Hug.

    1. Thanks for this comment. That's very sweet. I'm glad NYC has worked out for you.

  4. I love the Tess Collection posts - your grandma sounds like the greatest. And a girl after my own heart owning a vampy moss green! It's terrific that you have such wonderful memories of her - and I'm so sorry she's not here to make more.

  5. don't really have a huge comment butttttttt you seem so much happier now that you've decided to leave NY :)

    1. I actually made the decision on Easter Sunday, and I really did feel like a weight had been lifted.

  6. I love that photograph. I'm eternally obsessed with all things old from big cities - to be able to live in an early 1900s NYC or Chicago would be absolutely everything. Need someone to invent time travel ASAP.

    Also that polish is beautiful and I want to buy it for the name alone.


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