Thursday, 7 October 2010

An English Girl In New York (and San Fran.. and L.A)


Good morning bloggettes and blog-men?!
I hope you are enjoying the turning leaves and crisp air of autumn (although you may well be in a sunny land and if so - lucky you!)

As some of you may know (or scroll down and find out) I went on a mini 'promo' tour of America a few weeks ago- this was mainly to play a few gigs and meet a few people that may want to help us on our way- and a nice little preview of the big tour that we are going to do there next March.
So we had some time to kill and explore and SHOP!
I feel the need to apologise to my drummer at this point as MY shopping ended up on HIS credit card and I am still paying him back...
It's not my fault... it's America's fault... the shops are just TOO good to say no too!
Especially in San Francisco where this mammoth blog begins...



My favourite shop EVER- Trunk in Lower Haight
  The shops were so ME- I had such a hard choice of getting just one thing in each place- If I had my way I would get one of EACH item! Victoriana lace collars, upcycled jackets made of old ties, (fake)fur arm warmers, amazing jewellrey EVERYWHERE and they were all decorated and displayed like my dream shop. I LOVE SAN FRANCISCO (NB- the areas that really excited me are Mission and Haight Ashbury). 3 shops that really struck a chord with me were 'Trunk' where I met Silver, the lovely shop keeper who had her designs in the store- turns out that everything in there is by independent designers and they all share the shop and take it in turns to look after it - I love their community spirit! I had to stop myself buying the whole shop and instead settled on an amazing neck piece of fur, tassles and lace!


Silver also pointed me towards my other new favourite shop round the corner- Swankety Swank
full of more lovely trinkets, upcycled garments and friendly people with much the same independent ethos... I walked away with a gorgeous dusty pink layered lace collar (sadly I didn't get any pictures of this shop!) Walking towards the main high street of Haight Ashbury (also full of gems) I spotted a little sign saying 'vintage and handmade items this way' and I found myself in the wonderful world of the adorable 'Aline's Closet' - I love the way she decorated her shop with beautiful furniture, candles and antique mirrors- not to mention the dolls house above her door... I could live there!



In the Haight I also fell into my new facourite place in the world- AMOEBA RECORDS... Holy wow this place is incredible. EVERY CD, Record, DVD etc you could possibily want in the style of 'Empire Records' complete with a stage in the corner where I just happened to catch my newest 'girl group crush' - Grass Widow playing.

I felt like I was actually in the 70s and it was a pretty powerful place to be- very inspiring and ALL about peace and love. Of course with every alternative town came the crazy people- in abundance... it's a drug fuelled place that I definitely wouldn't live in but makes for a very interesting place to visit and people watch!!

Oh and the gig, although on tiny stage in a laundrette went rather well...
I'm wearing some S.F purchases- the collar was from Trunk and the Headpiece from P-Kok
 Next we were treated all week to the amazing FOOD of L.A by our host- the extremely lovely,  generous and talented Al Stewart who is full of amazing stories and insights to the music scene of the 1970s and knew all the tales of the sunset strip in Hollywood and more importantly, to my stomach, THE best places to eat in town... of course it would be rude not to sample them all. I won't go on because when I start thinking about food I get hungry but it was gooood... especially the Sushi and Italian fish, oh and breakfasts- mama mia- I ate VERY well!

We did a great gig at Hotel Cafe - which is dark but a fantastic venue with amazing sound...


I did say dark... Headpiece by UglyLovely, Dress from Vintage Secret, Adam in Beyond Retro
Another place I loved in LA (because let's be honest it's not exactly my kind of place- orange tanned girls with nothing to say and BAD music don't tend to excite me that much!) was ANTHROPOLOGIE...



 Oh and L.A's very own bigger version on Ameoba Music (I'm slightly obsessed)
I actually managed to be allowed into the staff loos and was feeling mischievous...

hee hee!
In my defence there was A LOT of graffitti on those walls...

We also went vintage shopping and crazy people watching by Venice Beach...
The sun ain't so bad...

Then we spent a week in New York (no I wasn't deported from drawing on the toilet wall!) - where I purchased a good camera for once in my life - about time too! So I will leave you with some snaps from a great 7 days of sights, comedy, hip hop and new friends in the big city!
When I went to stay in Brooklyn- I was greeted with this sight...

 I joined MC Undakova doing some improv (singing not rapping!) at a Manhattan Hip Hop jam...


I was blown away by the art at the MOMA- including my favourite- Kandinsky
I sang/shouted a one note song as part of Yoko Ono's 'art' at the MOMA

I met the lovely and talented Katelan Foisy who showed me around the Village for a day- we laughed a lot!
Don't you love her sunglasses?! She oozes style and everything I love about New York!


 We had brunch (eggs benedict for me) at Yaffa- which you can see is pretty awesome!



 Then to Screaming Mimi's vintage shop - which is where Cyndi Lauper used to work and happens to look like her wardrobe. This was the only shop in NYC that let a London blogger take pictures in!

Katelan and I went a little crazy in Pearl River - a chinese shop full of lanterns, fans, birds, butterflies
and everything you could possibly want - I did and had a lot more to pack after our trip there!


 At the Italian festival we saw lots of great things and I found my dream coat at an up and coming designer pop up shop - I got this coat in black and white stripes from (my only blank... I have to go back to my flat to find the designer's name but all of his clothes were brilliant) and won't take it off- ever!


This was people paying $2 to watch snakes - as you do...


Patricia Field's shop is AWESOME!
After a long day of shopping it was high time for a nap on a bed of bread called "Comfort Eating"
which was one of the many pieces of Edible Art at the Last Supper Saloon in Brooklyn!
We got to make our own edible art out of junk food that Katelan and I named- "Bibically Political"
...which it was.





The lovely Katelan had an amazing soiree at her beautiful flat full of the loveliest, creative and
inspiring women I have met...complete with homemade cupcakes and pink rose tea! :)

 We did a secret gig at Hotel on Rivington which went down a storm even though I was worried how we would be received in this 'bump n grind' r&b nightclub!

I got this hat from my new mecca- Cheap Jacks in NYC - LOVE!
I couldn't help but try out my new camera in the amazing bathroom there!!

 We finished the trip with a lovely gig in a lovely venue with my wonderful friend, Kate Sikora who is super talented and beautiful, supporting us...
 I wore a great outfit from a NYC designer Julie Schworm who was so kind to lend it to me!
Kate Sikora and I in the dressing room of Joe's Pub

In other exciting news that I can't help but share-
I signed a contract for a licensing deal in Europe with World Connection!!!

My song was used in this GORGEOUS fashion film for Beautiful Soul's new stunning collection:


Beautiful Soul SS:11 Believe. from oliver Prout on Vimeo.
Eco-aware fashion label, Beautiful Soul, teamed up with photographer Oliver Prout, illustrator Zarina Liew and recording artist Gabby Young, to create a short film to celebrate their Spring/Summer 2011 Collection, ‘Believe’.

The poster competition was amazing- and will be a blog of it's own very soon. I am soooo excited about them!
I will leave you with some pictures of my family in MerriMaking animal hoods from Gabberdashery and the dogs! Just because...
Awwwwwwww






I started writing this with a good morning and now I can leave by say good afternoon!
Xox Gabhomey xoX

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