fall, and my 20th year in NYC: some random musings

Just a few things on my mind, hodge-podged here for you to nosh on. First, its my 20th anniversary in NYC, and I’m mulling over how to mark it, because its a milestone. I feel like a real New Yorker now, like I earned my stripes. And I’m living more or less how I once fantasized (be careful what you wish for), which means doing what matters to me regardless of how poor the compensation. An endangered lifestyle in NYC…. Of course there are those who might reasonably deem this stubborn refusal to ascribe greater value to material gain a form of immature denial, but remember I’m the one who once declared myself “President of the Reluctant Adult Club”.

Funny, I vaguely remember being more enchanted by Tinker Bell than Peter Pan, whatever that means…just a second…a quick Google search and I find this weird critique of TB by a writer whose kid kid finds her frightening: “You know what, son? Six-inch-tall bioluminescent faeries with unexplained powers and vengeful attitudes scare me too.”. Maybe I was a simpleton as a child, but who doesn’t like a sassy sparkly fairie?

Anyway, my latest theory is that one can only be who they are and explore that more deeply as focusing on who you aren’t is never productive. I prefer time over money: “They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.” (Kahlil Gibran)

Now, for a good price, you could have some of my days, I’ll be honest:) I need to make more money, and who am I to judge someone who does what they love and gets handsomely rewarded for it? Of course, how often does that happen, and for how many? The higher up the ladder, the more compulsory it is to rationalize excess (and not just monetary), I’d venture. Its the nature of power when not in balance (if thats even possible). Maybe the ladder analogy is the problem…Who knows? Lets leave it there (especially as I’m no exemplary model)!

Here’s what I intended to share:))

Chelsea Manning for telling the truth about our government at whatever cost! AND – if that wasn’t enough! – for doing it again! Coming out as a woman, and saying she wanted surgery to become herself, telling the military essentially, PAY FOR IT BITCHES! Causing a media frenzy over what pronoun to use for her (clearly you see where I stand) . So for sticking it to the man (pun intended!), not once but twice, before going heroically off to jail – and she’s only 25!! – Chelsea Manning is my inspiration for bravery (we all need at least one).

Speaking of the spread of transgender awareness, which I find exciting and uplifting because all attempts to override repressive normative binaries excite me, and because tolerance and compassion come from a sense of openness that is heartening, I love these two photographers I just came across: Jill Peters, and Christer Strömholm! Both documentarians, the latter having worked and lived with transwomen (what would’ve been deemed drag queens even just a few years ago) in 1950s-era Paris, the former shooting the last remnants of Albanian “burneshas,” women sanctioned to live as men for her book/project, “Sworn Virgins of Albania”. A lot of commentary in the link to Peters’ work, FYI).

SHOULD I GET A SMART PHONE (which means an iPhone for me)?:
My relationship to technology is like many things, based on the examples I had growing up. In my house less was more when it came to the latest gadjets, and if something still worked it didn’t matter if it was the latest model. Technology was meant to serve a function not a status (along with this it was understood that one paid for quality). That was probably my mother’s postwar German point of view, although my dad was often easily confounded and angered by technology, never good at fixing things or learning how they worked. At 86, may the god(dess) bless him, he can barely work a computer (his MS doesn’t exactly help as his body is very stiff), so it these attitudes remain. He called the fridge the ice-box, the couch the davenport, the TV the idiot box, etc. speaking in an 1940s-50s idiom when Frank Sinatra was the man.

Naturally, we had a black and white TV because neither were big TV fans. All the way through high school when everyone else i knew of course had color ones, I had to endure this embarrassment. I remember having sleep-overs and being so nervous that someone would suggest watching TV. I had no idea that the Wizard of Oz, my favorite story/movie/book (I still have my pop-up) as a child, went from black-and-white to color, this pivotal narrative symbol, until i was in my early teens! Oddly, i loved it no more for this astonishingly magical colored world of Oz, whatever that says about me. Ultimately, my brother was the only tech-smart and tech-obsessed person in our family. He used to garbage pick electronic stuff to rework and fix like portable tvs, radios, etc. and once got me a easybake oven (if my memory serves me, which it often doesn’t)that worked but had none of the tiny cakeware to bake in it. Sigh. He did a lot of sweet things for me, my brother Billy.

Anyway, people pressure me to get a smart phone (my brother in his reaction against the luddite nature of our upbringing continues to have the latest, fastest), and at times I really get the vibe that I am ridiculous for not having one. When does technology become essential to being considered adept and capable as a together/professional being? Am i losing out or positioning myself at a disadvantage for not having one?

When I consider the continued rise in crime in NYC, which I suspect will steepen when Bloomberg relinquishes his stolen term, I begin to think its to my advantage as no one wants my MetroPCS piece of crap, which I hardly use in public (I don’t listen to music on street/subways either). I guess it just seems like it disservices others more than it does me and this is exactly how I felt when I didn’t have a cell phone long after most friends did. Eventually I got one to survive a trip and have texting access to friends while away. So maybe I just have to wait for the unplanned/random to decide for me again.

I don’t have time to do another fashion want list though I’d wear EVERYTHING on that list again this Fall, and the few photos I’m attaching here certainly attest to a consistency in taste. I didn’t go far afield here, but you can’t go wrong with Marni (the first 2 images), and I loved this look by Jill Stewart (I scored a second-hand sweater by her recently as a b-gift, and looked up what she was up to (the last image). All couture.