china ... all the way to new york*

*Any other Tori Amos fans out there? 

So. China. I live in New York. While this means getting a front row seat to the Gay Pride Parade, living two blocks from Otto and in the same building as Parker Posey, The Big Apple does preclude me from having the kitchen of my dreams. I have a better chance of owning a real island than ever having a center one in my apartment.

As a corollary to that, does anyone in New York have a real dining room? A table big enough for more than 4? Actually Parker Posey probably does and that's why we shall soon be best friends.

But anyway, space is an issue. Whether it's for prep work, eating or storage, no New Yorker is pleased with the square footage of their apartment, let alone their kitchen. This was the original reason that we decided to forgo registering for china. If we stay in New York and never move out to the suburbs (This is the plan. Open spaces make me nervous now), it's a safe bet to say that we'll NEVER have room to store a full set of china, let along ever throw a dinner party for 12.

When I casually announced this to my mother, it was as if I'd decided to cancel the wedding completely, get married at the courthouse and not even wear white. Mike's mother had a similar reaction. Without delving too much into history, it seems that getting your wedding china used to be -- without question -- the number one item on your registry. It was one of the major rites of passage into adulthood. Nowadays, especially with urban living, it's fallen by the wayside, regrettably or not.

But, more traditional readers (read: my mom) will be pleased to learn that we did end up picking a china pattern and have already received a few pieces as engagement presents. Why? We invited a lot of people to our nuptials and I can really only ask for so many wedding frames before seeming narcissistic. In short: we were running out of gift ideas.

Now while that may have been the original reason for adding it onto the list, I'm now really, really happy we decided to get china. I chose a very simple Kate Spade pattern that has just enough detail to keep it interesting and I think it suits us very well. It may be decades before we actually can throw a dinner party for more than four people, but I'll certainly be ready. I already have a menu planned.


Color  What color is your dining room area? Your table? You might love that uber-hip DVF print, but does it go with what you currently own? And will it seem dated in 10 years? In my opinion, the simpler, the better.

Price I had originally picked out a super cool coral print on my first scanning spree at Bloomie's. It wasn't until I got home and looked at my registry that I noticed each place setting was well over $700. That's not a very nice thing to do to your guests.

Availability If you break a plate or need to complete your set, will you be able to find your pattern at Bloomie's or Saks? Obviously discontinued patterns will be that much more difficult to track down, so I recommend picking out one that's current (do you throw china pieces like you throw pots? Bake?).

how we celebrated: engagement edition

of course i need a popsicle maker or: how to choose registry items