The M Dash

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Where Is Your Personal Oasis?

October 12, 2018 | Filed in: Your Brain

This fall, we’ve designed curated spaces in four of our showrooms (Bryant Park in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago) for MM customers to work, make connections, or just take a break in the middle of the day (more details to come this month!). To celebrate, we asked team members in each of those cities to tell us about their favorite places to hunker down, let loose, or take a breather.

New York

“My happy place is the Hall of Mammals in the American Museum of Natural History. It brings together my two favorite things: art and naturalism. The dioramas were last painted in the 1950s, and the hall is so old and dark it’s impossible to not feel transported in time when you’re there. I like to go just before closing time, when all the tour groups have left, and visit the family of elephants. I sit at their massive feet, get out my notebook, and sketch them or other people in the museum.”

—Genevieve, Stylist

“There’s a garden next to a church in the West Village, and I go there when it’s nice out and I’m in the mood to tuck myself away with a book. The last time I went, I lost track of time and spent six hours sitting on a bench—the gardener was very impressed. I love this spot because I feel like I’m in the middle of the city, with families bustling around and cars whizzing by, but I’m also in a quiet little bubble where I can vanish for a few hours. The garden is close to a Chinese restaurant with good Dan Dan noodles, so my ideal ‘not talking to anyone today’ Sunday routine is starting a new book there in the afternoon and then grabbing some food once I lose the light. I’m looking for a similar nook to get me through the winter (suggestions appreciated).”

—Sofia, Creative Project Manager

“Since getting my puppy about a month ago, I’ve been bringing him to Brooklyn’s Domino Park every morning before work. Aside from the obvious benefit of puppy exercise, I also love the beautiful view (it’s right on the water, next to the Williamsburg Bridge), and the social atmosphere. New York is not usually a city where you can launch into full a conversation with a stranger, but in the dog park it’s totally normal to just start chatting with the person sitting next to you.”

—Maddie, Stylist

quiet places to recharge

The Sjoerdina top and the Zhou culotte (plus pups).

“My favorite place in the city is Uva, an amazing little Italian spot on the Upper East Side. My best friend and I first went on a whim when her parents were in town, and it’s become my NYC happy place. I associate it with cozy chats and big glasses of Chianti—two of my very favorite things—and I’ve dined there countless times (when my parents visited, on dates, and out with friends). I always order the gnocchi di ricotta, I always have a good time, and I have the menu bookmarked on my laptop for easy reference. Enough said.”

—Ashley, Stylist

San Francisco

“In the southern end of San Francisco, there’s a long set of steps (163, to be exact) that lead up to the top of a hill with spectacular views of the city. There are tiles along each step that create a beautiful mosaic. At the bottom of the stairs you can see the whole mosaic, and as you climb you get an up-close look at each individual design. I like to walk up the steps when I’m in the mood to reflect on the goings-on in my life (and take in the view, of course).”

—Alana, Showroom Manager

“My favorite place in the city is the Legion of Honor museum. It’s nestled on top of a very high hill that overlooks the ocean. When the fog rolls in, it feels like you’re a character in Wuthering Heights. My favorite piece there is ‘The Thinker’ by Bouguereau.”

—Huy, Stylist

“After a long day at work, our team heads to Cafe de la Presse. It’s an adorable French spot right down the street from our showroom, and we always order wine and frites with aioli (so much aioli). We unwind, laugh, and just enjoy each other’s company.”

—Beibhinn, Stylist

Philadelphia

“The Ritz Theatres are a group of small theatres across Philly that play classic movies as well as new independent films. At the concession stands you can order tea, coffee, muffins, and scones (and, of course, popcorn). There’s something magical about getting tea and a muffin to watch When Harry Met Sally on the big screen in the fall. I also love going to their midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show around Halloween.”

—Annie, Stylist

“As a coffee enthusiast (read: addict), La Colombe is my refuge in any city—and their flagship location in Philly is one of my go-to spots. The space is beautiful and much bigger than most of their other locations, and in addition to typical café fare, they have delicious brunch and lunch options. In my opinion, it’s the best coffee ever, and the fact that I can reliably get it in so many cities is so exciting.”

—Alison, Stylist

quiet places to recharge

The Zora top and the Morton skirt.

Chicago

“When I’m stressed, I go to the magnificent Claude Monet room at the Art Institute of Chicago. I always end up in front of my favorite painting, from Monet’s ‘Morning on the Seine’ series. The painting is like looking at a dream, and visiting it helps me reset.”

—Tricia, Stylist

“I go for runs alongside a pond in Lincoln Park, and there’s a gorgeous tree there that has grown out over the water. I love to climb it sit above the water—there’s even a nook in the trunk that works perfectly as a backrest. It’s so calming to look down on the water and be removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

—Marguerite, Stylist

“My favorite place in Chicago is the Lakefront Trail on Lake Michigan. It’s a paved, 18-mile path along the water where you can walk, run, bike, or just hang out on the beach when it’s nice out. The trail is also dotted with cool works of art, which adds a little culture to my casual stroll.”

—Jessie, Stylist


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Alexandra Johnson is an editorial associate at MM.LaFleur, where she started out as a summer intern. Her happy place is the room housing Monet's Water Lilies at MoMA. Read more of Alexandra's posts.


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