We can’t get enough of Chinae Alexander. Her Instagram moniker, @getfitbrooklyn, has quickly become synonymous with style inspiration, wellness motivation, and refreshing #badassery. When she’s not running her own event planning business, the Texas-native can be found advocating for realness, sharing her go-to eats and travels, fitness moments, and reminding everyone that it’s cool to strive to be the best version of themselves. We sat down with Chinae at Tartine in the West Village, the impetus to her NYC adventure, to talk about her spirit city, island essentials, and the one thing she makes time for to recalibrate from life each day.
What is your “urban island,” that oasis in the big city that helps you find balance?
In high school, I was on a school trip to NYC and we had a free afternoon to explore. Most kids went to the Top of the Rock or to the Statue of Liberty. I decided to walk around the West Village instead. In the middle of my exploring, a massive downpour started and I tucked into the closest building, which happened to be Tartine, a quaint New York classic coffee spot. Jazz played as I sat and ordered a coffee and croissant and watched the rain drench the city. I’d been carrying around a Moleskine and writing about all the places I’d visited in New York, so I could one day come back to my favorites. But there, in that very notebook, in that cafe, I penned that I would move to NYC after college (six years from that moment) because I couldn’t NOT live in this magical place. The rest is history. Still now, I visit at least one coffee shop to sit and enjoy every day — each new shop discovered is a new little “urban island” that I get to experience.
What is your favorite adventure?
I’ve had big adventures and small adventures, but I’d say the favorites are always spent with the ones I love. One notable favorite was waking up in the redwood forest in Northern California, peering out of the tent roof looking at towering trees….smelling camp coffee and wet earth. So good.
If you were an island, which one would you be?
I have an affection for the island I grew up near, South Padre Island. It’s not the most beautiful water, or sand, or the most luxurious, but the vibe is chill, friendly, and a little bit wild. I like things that are a bit unexpected.
If you were a city, which one would you be?
If I were a city, I’d be Austin. The mixture of down-home comfort, mixed with creative culture, blended with industry is right up my alley. Plus, the Mexican food is unstoppable.
What are your five island essentials?
Can a friend be one of them? A music source is certainly high on the list of essentials. Otherwise, a great pair of sunnies, some tacos, a batch of ice cold watermelon slices, and (now that I’m 30) SPF 4500 face sunscreen.
What wellness trend do you think is the most underrated?
I actually think people are so involved in group fitness and boutique classes that they miss the sheer joy and need for motivation that going to a gym provides. I think teaching yourself how to lift weights, create your own workouts, and learn equipment is HIGHLY underrated and is good for everyone to learn at some point.
What wellness trend do you think is the most overrated?
Are we still pretending that kale tastes good? Just kidding (SORT OF). I think the most overrated trend is juice cleansing. Having only liquids is a fool-proof way to increase the murder rate in this country due to hangry-ness. Plus, food is awesome.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“To be interesting, be interested.” A quote from my favorite book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
Live with open hands. Letting people, opportunities, and ideas flow in and out as they will. When we clench on to things too tightly and decide our own fate, life’s delightful surprises and wildness won’t have room to enter.
We believe all jewelry tells a story. What is the story behind your favorite piece of jewelry?
My favorite piece of jewelry is a simple silver band I was given in middle school that I still wear. It used to fit on my thumb and now I wear it stacked with all my other pieces. I love that something simple can last through the ages. I hope I’m still wearing it when I’m 60.
We want to see your urban island! Tag @kalakiriot on Instagram and use the hashtag #myurbanisland for a chance to be featured on our site.
Latest posts by Tracy Dungo (see all)
- Cooking Hobbyists Rejoice! These Easy Clean Eating Recipes Are What We All Need Right Now - February 27, 2017
- #MyUrbanIsland: MOLLY TESHUVA - August 15, 2016
- #MyUrbanIsland: Rozette Rago - August 8, 2016