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Pants: Vanilla Star Jeans (c/o) / Shirt: J.Crew Factory (Old), similar here (30 percent off with code “30LOVE”), here (steal!) and here (25 percent off with code “HEYSPRING”) / Pumps: C.Wonder (30 percent off with code “30LOVE”) / Bag: Tory Burch / Bangle: C.Wonder (50 percent off all jewelry with code “30LOVE”) / WatchMichael Kors, but currently loving this MK watch in hot pinkthis one in turquoise, and this one in tortoise shell / EarringsJ.Crew / LipstickClinique (In “Pudgy Peony”)

I’m boycotting everything and anything dressy until things warm up in New York City. TODAY’S WIND?! Goodness gracious. I know it doesn’t look like it’s that windy in these photos, but I swear I found the only two New York buildings between which were no gusts. (#awful) I’m inside now (obviously), and the wind is howling. Needless to say, I can’t wait for next week. Fifty-degree weather sounds like a dream!

Anyway, we snapped these shots in Stuyvesant Town, where Mitch and I lived together for a few years. “Stuy Town” is this giant residential development in the East Village (made up of nearly 9,000 apartments) that was built after World War II for vets. Whenever I’m back there (which is regularly, because Mitch’s best friend still lives there), I’m flooded with happy memories.

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I should preface this story with the fact that the housing situation in New York is crazy. Think about how much your rent is, quadruple it, and then cut 70 percent of your apartment’s square footage–and there you have it! Your super expensive shoebox that you now call home. I’m exaggerating (kind of), but you get the point. It’s frustrating.

When Mitch and I decided to move in together, we knew that we couldn’t handle living in a place the size of this. (Though I do enjoy its design!) I’d done it; he’d done it… and we were over it. Mitch, however, was living in Stuyvesant Town in a really big place. (For Manhattan standards. For the rest of America, it was just a regular apartment, haha.) These days, Stuy Town apartments are back to being pretty expensive… but a few years ago, it was possible to get a good deal there. Especially if you put up a fake wall to create an extra bedroom. (Which Mitch and his friends did. They snuck in the materials into the apartment in the middle of the night, since it was technically an illegal fake wall.)

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So I moved in with Mitch… and his two buddies from college. Three guys, a girl, and a fake wall. (Our old bedroom is pictured to the right. And we considered that to be big!) Not sure if you’ve ever lived with guys before, but it’s intense! Lots of parties and not very much cleaning. But at the same time, so much fun. (Don’t worry. I stayed sane. I escaped to a Erica’s for a girls’ night whenever I needed it.) Anyway, when Mitch and I got engaged, we moved a couple of buildings over to an illegal sublet. It looked just like this one, except way more navy blue and pink. We lived there for a year until we were discovered and got the boot.

I’m absolutely loving my current life stage. I love that things are a bit calmer, and Mitch and I are (slightly) more settled and established. But I do miss my Stuy Town days, when I was a complete mess and totally taking advantage of spending my 20s in this crazy city. It’s funny–during that time, I know I questioned everything, and focused way too much on the future. But now that I’m actually in the future, I can’t help but think about how freaking amazing the past was. Isn’t that how it always works, though? ;)

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