Thing I Did Not Buy On The Internet Today: A Leather Party Hat

“Party Hat” available on Need Supply Co., $80 plus shipping (standard domestic flat rate of $7.95).

A metallic cone party hat from Otaat in premium leather. Crafted from a single piece of cowhide leather and features an interior headband and grosgrain ribbon ties.

• Metallic cone party hat • Interior headband • Grosgrain ribbon ties • 100% cowhide leather • Made in USA

We all live in the shadows of our aspirational selves. Usually my aspirational self resembles the platonic ideal of an Eileen Fisher customer: linen-clad, breezy but mysterious, the host of dinner parties with handmade ceramic plates and nary an elastic chin-string in sight. Today, however, my aspirational self desperately wants to wear this gold, beribboned leather party hat while listening to house music, drinking Coronitas, and reading Wallace Stegner on the couch. All that’s standing in the way of my best life are 80 cold American dollars, which I will, in all likelihood, spend on books and stomach medication instead.

The Cost of a False Sense of Security: One $95 Earthquake Kit

When a small earthquake passed through New York on a hot afternoon in August 2011, I was home from work, reading a novel in bed. The bookshelf above my feet rattled, and for a few seconds the building went liquid. The rattle I immediately attributed to my roommate’s sex life, but when the walls seemed to slide my annoyance turned to fear. Our landlord was a former building inspector, which we understood to mean our apartment had never been officially evaluated. “Is the building collapsing?” my roommate called out from the living room. “I think so!” I replied. We ran out into the street and stood on the sidewalk barefoot; I looked down to find myself clutching, of all things, an uncharged laptop.

Places I’ve Lived: A Black Tub, Missed Sunsets, And The Original Airbnb

Where have you lived, Anna Wiener?

2009-2013, Eckford Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, $1000/mo.

This apartment! It felt like a stage set. I loved it desperately and didn’t deserve it at all; how my friend Maya found it is still a mystery to me. It was on the top floor of a small, three-story building; everything, including the stairwell, slanted at about fifteen degrees. When Maya and I moved in, we were told that the place used to be an illegal nightclub, with an underground tunnel to the laundromat next door. The landlords had broken down the wall between two studio apartments; we slept in walk-in closets and had two bathrooms, two living rooms, and no privacy. The ceiling was popcorn plaster and the fixtures in one bathroom were black. As far as I know, nobody ever snorted cocaine off the rim of the tub, but everyone mentioned the possibility.

The Eckford Street apartment was beautiful, and constantly surprised us with new ways an apartment can be broken.