Tracy's New York Life | A Blog About Life in New York City

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Color My World with Benjamin Moore

by Tracy Kaler
Benjamin Moore's Breath of Fresh Air'–– the color of the year–– gives life to the walls of this Brooklyn loft. {credit}

I was excited to learn that some of my top color picks from Benjamin Moore are included in the brand's 2014 Color Trends. (I promise this is purely coincidental!) Favorites like Van Alen Green (HC-120), Palladian Blue (HC-144), and Castleton Mist (HC-1) have long been on my personal color radar. And my go-to white –– White Dove (OC-17) –– made the cut too. In my opinion, this is the perfect white for trim and ceilings.

Other yummy colors featured this year include Caribbean Teal (2123-20), Fruit Shake (2088-60), and the color of the year: Breath of Fresh Air (806), which describes this color precisely.

I've used Benjamin Moore paints for as long as I can remember, actually long before my New York life. Here are a few examples.

 Castleton Mist on the walls

 Palladian Blue on the walls and White Dove on the beadboard.

Van Alen Green on the siding with Benjamin Moore accent colors on the trim.

Then, when I moved to New York, I used Benjamin Moore again. My husband Mike painted our first NYC apartment in the brand's colors. I took a chance and made darker choices because the apartment was incredibly bright and I imagined that well-lit walls would take color beautifully! Because I was still living in Atlanta at the time, I was unable to test the colors before he painted. (I always recommend painting a patch on the wall before committing to the entire room.) Thankfully, the paint colors I chose worked the first time around.

My current NYC apartment is painted in all Benjamin Moore colors too. Completed in 2009, the walls still look like they were done yesterday. You can see photos of my nest in the recent spring cleaning post.

Why I love Benjamin Moore colors...
I love the contrast of pastels like Peach Parfait (2175-70) with deeper tones like Sparrow (AF-720). If I had more rooms, (I can dream, can't I?) I could find a place for each and every one of these colors. Coral Essence (2007-40) would brighten up even the drabbest powder room; I'd use Super Nova 1414 on built-in shelves in a library with Lavender Mist 2070-60 inside the bookcases; and Mt. Rainier Gray (2129-60) would work nicely in a master bathroom. 

So many gorgeous colors and so few places to paint in an NYC apartment.

Pair Lavender Mist with Super Nova.

About the paint...
The durability is incredible, the coverage is fantastic, and the finish, flawless. 

For a basic paint, I love Regal Select because I can get a flat finish on my walls (often necessary in an old house or apartment because the walls are not perfectly smooth), and yet still wash the paint without breaking out the can for a touch-up.

Aura is a paint and primer in one, offering superior coverage and rich color. This paint is washable in any sheen with low VOC/odor for those who are sensitive to even latex paints. Personally, I happen to love the clean, fresh smell of fresh latex paint, but if you don't, Aura is a fantastic option. Natura has absolutely no VOC, an ideal solution for those even more sensitive to odors.

Recently, I visited the magnificent Benjamin Moore showroom in the D & D Building at 979 Third Ave, which opened October 2013. Natural light couldn't be better to select colors in the sprawling space, complete with paint chips, a large 2014 color board, conference tables and a spectacular view of Midtown East.

Benjamin Moore stores and showrooms are conveniently located throughout New York's five boroughs.  Visit the store locator to find a shop near you. Happy coloring!

Thanks to Scott McCulley for his assistance with photography for this post.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don't Piggyback Through Tolls; Horse Lives Good Life in Central Park; Surgery to Fit in Designer Shoes, and More

by Tracy Kaler

Sit in traffic and pay the $13 toll. {credit}

Don't piggyback through toll booths. Suck it up and pay because you will get caught, like this cabbie. (Yahoo News)

Temperatures run the gamut this time of year, so Sheri Silver offers a few helpful hints about how to dress until we officially warm up in New York. (Donuts, Dresses and Dirt)

New York's many murals are worth visiting.  (Hyperallergic) 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Violet on Broadway: More Than Meets the Eye

A Theatre Review 
by Rori Nogee

Violet opened at the American Airlines theater on April 20. {credit}

Amidst the glitter and glitz of Aladdin and the epic power ballads of Les Miserables, sits Violet, a quiet, intimate gem where acting and story take center stage over spectacle. Presented by Roundabout Theatre Company, this is the show's first turn on Broadway after an Off-Broadway run in 1997 and an Encores! Concert just last year.

The story occurs in 1964 and centers around Violet (Sutton Foster),  a young woman from North Carolina who bears a scar on her face, the result of an axe blade accident when she was 13.  Tired of the gasps and stares from strangers, she longs for “a pair of Gene Tierney eyes and Ava Gardner’s eyebrows…” 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pack Your Perfect New York City Picnic

by Melissa Kravitz

So many sunny days for picnics lie ahead {credit}

Picnic season has finally arrived! Set up your blanket in one of the city's many green spaces, from Central Park to Prospect Park, and pack your basket with some of New York's best picnic fare.  Visit these spots, or have your picnic group divide and conquer to assemble a fantastic outdoor meal with tasty food from NYC's best gourmet shops.  


Pick up a fresh baked loaf from Amy's Bread.  The Manhattan bakery makes over 20 different doughs daily with each formed into a different shape and size. Amy's signature bread, Semolina with Golden Raisins and Fennel –– both sweet and aromatic –– is one of the uniquely flavored and textured loaves. Other favorites include Black Olive Twists, French Baguettes, and Organic Miche. Amy's also offers prepared sandwiches, if you'd like an easier route.  

4th Annual Tasting Brooklyn: Eat, Drink, Be Merry

Straight from the outer boroughs
by Tracy Kaler

It's no secret that the Brooklyn food scene has exploded over the past few years. In fact, you'll find a diverse selection of eats in most every neighborhood in the borough of Kings. We've featured eateries in areas like Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights, Bay Ridge, and Greenpoint, right here on Tracy's New York Life. Likewise, with the array of scrumptious places to dine and imbibe in our great city, sometimes choosing our next meal out is one of our biggest challenges. (This is an excellent challenge to have!)

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Favorite Spring Blog Posts of All Time

by Tracy Kaler

Spring is in full swing!

Spring is my favorite season in New York. In mid-April, blooms begin to add accents of color to the dull, gray cityscape. By early May, the city is in full green with daytime temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s. Meanwhile, early morning and nighttime numbers linger in the 50s, ideal for sporting a spring coat.

With Easter, Passover, warmer weather, and the changing landscape around town, New Yorkers emerge from their apartment cocoons and fill the streets, parks, shops, and sidewalk cafes.

Spring also provides a host of topics to blog about. I looked back and selected some of my favorite posts to reshare in case you missed them the first time around. 

Happy holiday weekend!
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