There’s Dignity in This Undignified Behavior

Our Art Director was too busy to bring our shameful behavior to life, so we took it into our own hands.

Drawings Painstakingly Crafted by Frida Oskarsdottir and Sara Afzal

No matter how good of a person you may think you are — how dignified, smart, or sophisticated — we all have a few secret behaviors we’d rather no one else knew about. For this issue, we pulled from personal other people’s experience to bring you our illustrated journey through some of our other people’s not-so-good habits. Our Queen Art Director has been swamped at her Real Art Job these past few weeks, so we asked ourselves, how hard can it be to art? We’ll let you decide.

1. Putting your bag down on the subway platform

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2. Posting a shitty picture of your friend (because you look great)

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3. Ignoring the “tip” option on the screen at the coffee shop. 
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4. Popping zits at age 30


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5. Taking selfies on the train

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6. Stealing milk for your coffee from the communal fridge. 

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Urban Beaching

Our photographer hit the streets for some classic summer in the New York City shots.

Photographs by Sara Afzal
Introduction by the Editors

As we make our way into the fall, we’re looking back at what summer—that fickle minx who lures you in with thoughts of the beach and pushes you away with walls of hot garbage smell— means to us. To honor the few months out of the year that turn us back into kids on vacation, encouraging us to take to the streets and enjoy life outside of our apartments or offices. The summer heat is a great equalizer, no one is immune to the suffocating subway platform or regaining your core temperature in an air-conditioned bathroom at work—as the city heats up, people come outside. And so, our photographer Sara Afzal hit the streets for some classic summer in the city shots.

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11 Moms in NYC Share Their Advice on Motherhood

We hit the streets of New York City and asked eleven women to share their best advice about being a mom.

Photographs by Sara Afzal, Introduction by Gabrielle Sierra

As six women who have yet to embark on the incredible journey that is motherhood, we wanted to capture some of the extraordinary moms we see around the city every day. Whether they are taking their kids to the park, consoling them after a tumble or dragging them along to get groceries at Trader Joe’s, these mothers impress and amaze us with their ability to guide, love, teach and protect another human being.

We hit the streets and asked eleven women to offer the best advice they could about being a mom.


Marsha McGogney 44 | Occupational Therapist | West Village, Manhattan, NY| Josephine, 2 

“You need a ‘village’ because ‘it takes a village.’ Giving our daughter as much time as possible around other kids every day, I think, is working for her. My husband’s native culture of staying connected to community is the driving force behind keeping her connected to other kids. I think…that accessing her village of kids makes her happy.”


Rahna Jalashgar | 33 | Administrative assistant | Tribeca, Manhattan, NY | Leo, 2.5 months

“I kind of had a difficult pregnancy and had a lot of anxiety. My mom told me this is your first test as a mother. Every time you are upset and anxious it affects the baby and your first test is how to take care of that and smooth it over. Being a parent isn’t just feeding a child, you have to be mentally healthy as well. You don’t know what kind of parent you’re going to be until the baby comes.”


Gem Stone | 32 | Construction project manager | East Village, Manhattan, NY | Sofie, 7 weeks

“The advice I got from my mom was ‘don’t look at the baby’s diapers (as in don’t focus too much on the poop or number of pees), look at the baby’s face.’ If the baby seems happy, she’s healthy.”

“I would say to pregnant women, birthing is a very human experience, learn as much as you can about what your body will go through beforehand so you can be present during the labor and birth. Also keep your core tight- pushing a baby out is like doing the most intense sit ups EVER.”


Alisha Bhagat (8.5 months pregnant) | 34 | Brooklyn, NY | Senior sustainability advisor and futurist | Shirin, 2 

“With kids everything is a phase that will eventually pass. This is a reminder to enjoy the good times as morning snuggles and unfiltered toddler joy won’t last forever. It also means that tantrums, sleepless nights, and potty training will also someday pass.”

“Sometimes women feel that they need to spend every second of their free time with their kids. There is no need to sacrifice your own hobbies, interests, and identity for your children – you will be miserable. The happiest mothers I know are those who are able to make time for their own personal lives outside of parenting. Children are such a blessing, but they should integrate into your life, not take it over.”


Pakiza Rassoul | 36 | Community outreach liaison for a nonprofit | Nolita, Manhattan, NY | Frankie, 9 months

“Not every child is the same. I tell everyone to have patience. When you are pregnant you get a hell of a lot of advice more than you know what to do with.”

“We live in New York City so you got to use your surroundings. Nolita is our oyster. Take in what the city has to offer and don’t feel like because you’re a mom you have to stay home and be held captive. “


Titi Michelich (6 months pregnant) | 40 | Head of operations for a creative agency | Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY | Rita, 3, Dante, 5 

“I’ve been a working mom the whole time. As an entrepreneur, I’ve been able to manage my job while having kids since I have more flexibility to work part time if I need to. An aunt of mine told me when you’re at home it’s good to put your work to rest and more important to focus on your children –not to try to do both things at the same time.”

“Even if we live in a city and urban environment, we can spend lots of time outside. Whether going to parks and playgrounds, or walking around the city. We also go to museums and theaters. There is so much to do with kids and you can still enjoy the cultural movement here.”


Chrissy Shrider | 37 | Artist | Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY | Nora and Ruby, 2-year old twins (not pictured: Lucia, 5) 

“I’d say, pay attention to how you spend your time and really be present. I think it’s important to make time in between all the things that need to get done everyday and just really focus on being with your kids and bonding. It’s those little moments in the day to day routine that you may not think much of at the time but they turn out to be cherished memories that stick.”

“Enjoy your surroundings and stop to soak in the little things. This city is filled with amazing adventures for kids to explore. There’s always something to do but I find it really special when we move slowly and enjoy our journey of the day, whatever it may be. Sometimes just stopping to look at a worm on the sidewalk turns into a silly moment that we’ll never forget.”


Kathy Fusco | 41 | Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY | Creative Director| Lila, 1.5

“The first few months are hard. People don’t always talk about that. You might have some shower cries and question whether you can do this. YOU CAN. The beginning is all about survival. It gets easier and way more fun!”

“In New York City, Buy your neighbors bottles of wine when sleep training!”


Amanda Banks | 3Former preschool teacher Manhattan, NY | Jack 2.5, Alexander, 6 months

“My aunt told me the days are long and the years are short. You want to really enjoy every moment with your kids and get through the day by being present in the moment and not being too busy.”

“I am trying to be a ‘minimalist mom.’ It can be tough bc here in NYC we are constantly exposed to so much, stores full of baby gear and toys, ‘the best’ schools and classes for our children.’ It can feel like too much at times. I try to keep things simple, keeping a small amount of toys in our apartment and utilizing the city (with its museums and parks) as much as possible for learning opportunities and playtime.”


Shadean Runyen 44 | Risk Management Director and CPA | Santa Barbara, CA (visiting NYC) | Sasha, 14 (not pictured: Gabe, 11, Noah, 9, Zachary, 8) 

“I think the best advice has been to remind your kids that they need to always love each other and support each other. Siblings need to take care of each other and always have each other’s back. It’s easy for sibling relationships to drift apart and disconnect. For my husband and I, one of the most important things we want for our kids is to know that they will always have each other.”


Nina Costantino | 40 | Vintage Reseller | Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York | Nicholas, 9 months

“Don’t be afraid to be silly; laugh at yourself and clown around with your baby, just go all out and be willing to make a fool out of yourself. I think a lot of people might feel self-conscious or embarrassed. Maybe it’s done behind closed doors so we don’t always see it. Don’t take yourself or the situation too seriously. Take a deep breath and laugh. It’s not the end of the world.”

“The best advice I’ve ever received was from a friend my age and mother of a 3 and 4 year old her name is Loury. As a mother you come first even if the baby is crying hysterically take care of your needs first. You can’t take care of them unless you care for yourself. Before you step away, make sure your baby is in a safe and secure area.”

15 People on What Makes Them Feel Powerful

We asked these people to strike a pose and tell us what makes them feel powerful.

By Sara Afzal

We all know that power comes from within. But sometimes it is the armor we wear on the outside that gives us the boost we need to feel ready to face the world. Whatever the item or style, what you wear (or don’t wear) is a way to convey how you feel about yourself, to bring your inner power to the outside.

We asked 15 people in New York City to strike a pose and take a moment to tell us what makes them feel powerful.

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Katherine Castañeda, 31 | Project Architect | Brooklyn, New York

“I don’t derive power from what I put on in the morning. I think it comes from confidence – how you feel about yourself, your state of mind, your attitude. Clothes in a sense carry that with you. You make yourself powerful and then whatever you put on reflects that.”

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Olivia Perez, 25 | Portrait Photographer | Brooklyn, New York

“My attitude and confidence speak a lot more to power than what I am wearing. I find a lot of fashion actually brings me down. I’ve worn lipstick for years. I’m inspired by the minimal look –just some lipstick and eyeshadow.”

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Cleopatra Joseph, 32 | Senior Finance Business Analyst | New York, New York

“When I am happy with who I am, I always feel powerful.  Having the freedom to travel often and experience what the world has to offer makes me feel empowered. Being the only female among my peers at work makes me feel powerful as a woman. The way my outfit moves with the wind lets me embrace the power of mother nature.”

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Katie Hakala, 29 | Writer and Editor | Brooklyn, New York

“I feel most powerful when I’m fully embracing my individuality. Women are raised to appear as either non-entities or sexual entities when they go out in public. Women are told that a diminutive presence is the most likable, and that conformity is the safest mode for navigating life. I don’t buy into any of that. My power thrives when I’m fully articulating my funky, crass, wise, irreverent me-ness without apology or hesitance.”

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Ardavan Arfaei, 29 | Architectural Designer | Brooklyn, New York

“I feel powerful when I learn. It can be learning a scientific principle, feeling how another being feels, or something about myself. I feel powerful when I teach. It can be explaining a fact I learnt or making it possible for someone to feel a new feeling.”

“The elements I use in my outfit are both a means of making myself feel good and also a tool to connect with other people. I wear different scarves to different occasions, It’s an easy yet very expressive accessory. I like expressing myself free of gender norms.”

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Mary Bustamonte, 28 | Stylist | Brooklyn, New York

“I never feel more powerful than when I’m present to taking up space as a woman. When I’m having a good day I remember to put my shoulders back, I feel in line with who I actually am. So much of our lives as women is catering to others and power is really prioritizing what is best for your own well being and then factoring in compassion and what needs to get done. I feel most powerful when I’m around women who resonate on the same frequency.”

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William McGuinness, 28 | Social & Digital Media Strategist/ Masters Student at Columbia University | New York, New York

“I know people who dress to look powerful or fashionable; but in my world, I need people to open up and feel comfortable in a professional setting. Then, they can share their knowledge and think more creatively. This space tie works well with astrophysicists and astronomers on the faculty and with my NASA capstone team. It’s a friendly wink that leads into the conversation.”


Nicolet Schenck, 25 | Freelance Graphic Designer | Crown Heights, Brooklyn

“I always feel powerful when I’m driving on an on-ramp to the highway and I manage to take the curve at the perfect speed. I break, then accelerate with precision and feel the wheels glide with ease underneath me. When someone else is in the car, I hope they notice the way I’m cradling them with the turn’s fluidity. This smooth, elegant, in control feeling paired with a slight edge of adrenaline and a steady leap in the pit of my stomach is my ideal sense of power in anything I do.”

“The jumpsuit is the fabric equivalent of that moment for me. It’s elegant, it’s smooth, it’s a little daring and gives me a bit of an adrenaline rush from the feeling of wearing something out of the norm. It’s elongating, classic, and attention seeking, yet offers a caring, feminine presence that makes me want to guide and cradle others. I am powerful with a touch of breezy femininity.”

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Alena Le Blanc, 27 | Fashion Designer | San Francisco, California

“The reason I became a fashion designer is I wanted women to feel confident and happy in the clothes they are wearing. If you look good, you feel good. I feel confident and happy in this jacket.”


Jan Philipp Sendker, 57 | Writer, Novelist | Berlin, Germany

“Knowledge makes me feel powerful. It gives you the power to make decisions to move forward and act.”


Cece Chan, 19 | Film and TV Student at NYU | New York, New York

“I feel powerful when I can relate to other people. One one hand, it’s great when someone’s telling me something deeply personal, but on the flip side, I let things affect me more than I’d like to. But I always remember that when someone tries to hurt me, it’s usually not about me – it’s more often coming from a place of hurt. And I don’t feel the need to hurt people. That makes me feel powerful.”


Robert Krakower, 26 | TV Producer | Brooklyn, New York

“I think it’s fun to wear something a bit out of the ordinary. I feel powerful wearing something I wouldn’t normally wear and pushing myself out of my comfort zone – plus they are super comfortable to wear!”


Nadia Carrillo, 19 | Student at Columbia University | New York, New York

“I think above all else I feel empowered when I pay attention to detail on any aspect of my life, whether it be my clothes or my schoolwork or even just hanging out with friends. Keeping the little things in mind helps me to feel complete and thus like the best version of myself I can be.”


Marlon Daniels, 24 | Prep Cook | Boston, MA

“Being in the right state of mind makes me feel powerful. It’s so difficult to be in a good place mentally.”


Shirin Mazdeyasna, 24 | Student in Fine Art | Brooklyn, New York

“I find power in new environments and connections.”

Scenes from the Women’s March in New York City

On Friday, January 20th, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. On Saturday, January 21st, a record-breaking amount of people took to the streets on every continent to participate in peaceful protests in solidarity with women’s rights. We joined the hundreds of thousands of women marching through the avenues of our city and felt the hope and momentum to keep fighting, learning, and organizing. Even if you’ve already leafed through plenty of photo galleries over the last few days, what harm is there in taking a look at a few more bad bitches shutting it down? Here are our favorite sights from this historic day, shot by the High-Strung team.