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As much as I try to deny it, I’m a romantic at heart. Not the ripped bodice, passionate type of romantic, but the I get caught up in novels, I imagine how things could’ve been or should’ve been type of person. I dream about alternate endings, like, what if I had chosen to accept the full scholarship to this university instead of the partial to that one? How would my life be different if I’d spoken out and clearly expressed what I wanted, what I needed, rather than shrinking and accepting what was given? I know these are all vague examples and hardly romantic, but they fit the mood I’ve been in lately. Scattered thoughts.

Anyway, back to romance… I’ve always romanticized the twenties to the thirties. I know that was a tough time for my people {honestly, though, when haven’t we had some tough times?}, but this was also a time of great creativity, social change, and fabulous style. Especially in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood.


Welcome to the monthly edition of Where Bloggers Live. It’s kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…Bloggers! Who doesn’t like to peek behind the scenes and see inside people’s homes? Over the next few months, we’ll share about our work spaces, home towns, and more!

I should note – because this is super important – the creative brain behind this project is Bettye at Fashion Schlub! Love her!

The Celebrity Bloggers

Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Iris at Iris’s Original Ramblings
Leslie at Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After
Sally at Within a World of My Own

Make sure you visit everyone to see where the magic happens!

THE THEME: If I Could Travel Back in Time

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The Harlem Renaissance was a period in American history from the 1920s to the 1930s. During this time, many Black people migrated from the South to the North, seeking better economic, social, and cultural opportunities. Between 1910 and 1970, approximately 6 million Black people relocated out of the rural Southern United States to cities and urban areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and West. This period became known as the Great Migration and many of those people landed in Harlem.

Harlem was originally meant to be an upper-class white neighborhood, but that changed due to overdevelopment and cash strapped landlords needing tenants. In the early 1900s, a few middle-class Black families moved from a neighborhood known as Black Bohemia to Harlem. As the neighborhood started to develop, those first families were followed by more Black families. Initially, white residents fought the influx of Black families, but they were unsuccessful and moved on. And Harlem became a thriving Black community.


One of my favorite authors of the decade is Nella Larsen. I first heard about her in an English Lit class while attending Misericordia University. My professor, Dr. Cathy Turner, assigned Passing {which you can read more about here and you can purchase here} and I was hooked. I’ve since read her other novel, Quicksand. I like that her novels deal with such taboo topics as, well, passing, women’s roles in society, racism, sexism, identity, and so much more. But there’s also a haunting quality to her novels. “Something” is always bubbling just beneath the surface and you feel it in your chest like the steady pulse of your heartbeat. Her words are just that palpable.


I love music. My bio dad was a musician. When he wasn’t blowing his trumpet or strumming his guitar, he was playing records. His musical taste floated between Motown and heavy funk, all of which were influenced by the music of jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and more. When I think of him, I think of music and laughter. I think of Kool cigarettes and Bull beer cans. Our favorite song is Troubles of This World by Mahalia Jackson {not from the decade, but she started singing gospel during that time period}. You can listen to a curated playlist of jazz songs here.


I know most people who follow me on Instagram think of me as very boho, and I don’t deny that I’m influenced by the eclectic sense of the sixties and seventies, but if you look deep enough you’ll see an underlying current of flapper chic in just about everything I wear. I love layers and texture, which you can see in this outfit. And embroidery. Oh the embroidery on the fabrics just makes my heart pitter patter. I love to pin ideas for modern bohemian chic, which you can see here.


My family has always said that they just know that had I been of age in the seventies, I would’ve lived in some hippie commune in Haight-Ashbury or something. True. But I also think I would’ve found my way to Harlem had I been around then. And, knowing me, I would’ve dreamed of being a dancer at the Savoy or the Cotton Club, but I really would’ve been a teacher or a librarian. But I still would’ve been in Harlem. Saving my money to buy the fanciest clothes and shoes I could afford.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go? Would you make changes that would alter your present? Would you want to witness an historic event? Leave a comment below and let me know when and where you’d visit.


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Come back soon,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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