Oct 29, 2012

Waiting for Sandy

The scene a few doors down, a little while ago.

Quiet. Cars, buses, trains, and butts are parked. Stores are shuttered. Cabinets filled. So eerie that there are no trains rumbling underground, triggering a call for a "speech, speech!" from the glasses in my cabinet. No cars honking at "sunday drivers" at the corner. Just wind calling for quiet. 

Out my window, trees grip the small patches of ground they are allotted in this urban landscape, their limbs flailing as if on tightwire. The roaring winds rise and fall like the tides we have been hearing about for the last few days. 

Reminded that tides, full moons, and nature -- and quiet -- are still there in the background. Even if we're not paying attention.

The city that prides itself on never sleeping is still awake, but waiting. Agitated, as though forced to a slow pace behind ambling tourists on a narrow sidewalk. Waiting for an opening to pick up speed again. 

A frantic sawing sound a few houses up suggests a forced amputation. Bloody and wet. The other trees on the block grip tighter. Then quiet again. Every so often I see faces at the windows of the houses that abut my backyard. We are all watching the wind. 

My Irish self is only delighted that for once other people are as obsessed with weather as I am.  

Oct 21, 2012

Bonzie Folkster Collaboration

I'm going to be finishing up my full-time gig in a few weeks ... just when I've finally figured out how to dress for the office. Getting dressed to leave the house every day might have been my favorite part of this job (that, and reading time on the train), although it definitely took me a while to find my new basics. Office fashion has changed a lot in the seven years I've been working from home, and knowing I was on a temporary contract meant I never wanted to spend much to build out a new work wardrobe. I did eventually find a formula that works -- nothing trailblazing, just simple basics with interesting accessories. Classic blazers, shirts, pants, and pencil skirts with statement shoes or jewelry, and the occasional crazy blouse, dress, or shirt. 

Exhibit A: sequined tiger sweatshirt.
(Yes, I'm still sending my niece outfit-photos from the bathroom ;-)

While I've been excited about returning to a more flexible freelance schedule, I will miss making an effort every day. Especially now that I've come across the final piece of the dressing-up-basics puzzle: Bonzie's collection of statement neck collars for Folkster.

Brainchild of Irish Stylist, Blanaid Hennessey and Sister store to Shutterbug Vintage Boutique in Kilkenny, Folkster is a one stop shop for everything trendy/vintagey/you should be wearing. Irish design brand Bonzie is best known for its quirky and romantic vintage-inspired wraps, bridal shrugs, and tiered skirts, but I am loving this collection of handmade Tribal/Aztec/Masai inspired collars. These dramatic pieces are exactly the thing to tie on over a simple white shirt (even a white t-shirt); they're like an instant outfit. Seriously, five of these and you would be dressed in a jiffy (and top style) Monday to Friday. Not a bother. But also not boring. I am already looking for another job so I can justify a Bonzie-Folskter purchase (or five).


Oct 15, 2012

Soundtrek: Heritage Centre and Villagers

Even when I’m running late, I pause before I exit the subway every morning to select music for my short walk to the office. I used to listen to the news, but lately I need music to tune out the noise in my head. I deliberate at the bottom of the subway steps, especially long on a Wednesday (when my heart is wishing it was Friday and my workload is wishing it was Monday), and I belabor the choice of the right tune for my five-minute trek.

This past week's selections have included "Little Black Submarine" from the Black Keys ("Stolen friends and disease, operator please, patch me back to my mind"), "Walk" from Foo Fighters ("I don’t want to die, I’m on my knees I never want to die") U2’s "One," "We’re one, but we’re not the same." Analyze that.

I'll be finishing up this contract I've been working at the end of the month and I think I might need some new music to get me to the finish line. I kind of wish this gig could have worked out and turned into my next thing, but ... well, it didn't. 
In that elipsis is the need for music. 

Here are a few tunes I'm adding to my soundtrek for the week:

Heritage Centre

I have mentioned Dublin band Heritage Centre here before and a little while ago got a heads up from the band about their shiny new album Alright, Check It Out. It's taken me ages to get to listen to it, but I gave it a spin on Soundcloud today, and I am kind of digging this band. I can so see myself singing along to "The Boss" ("Oh mon cherie, I'm born again, I'm born again") on my walk through Times Square in the morning, and "Don't You Ever Give Up On Yourself" ("Don't you saa-ay that I know better than you!") when the elevator spits me back onto 8th Avenue after dark.I'm a big fan of Conor O'Brien and Villagers and have Becoming a Jackal on constant rotation. I saw Conor O'Brien at a small venue in Brooklyn last year and would love to catch his upcoming UK tour with Grizzly Bear (a Brooklyn band I love) -- but will make do with this first song and video, "The Waves," from Villagers' new album, out January 2013. 



Mmoths' langurous and haunting remix of "The Waves"is exactly what I need for the train ride home late at night. I can see myself whizzing over the Manhattan Bridge, too tired to read, too needy to listen to anything needing attention, staring out at the busy skyline, feeling like I was riding in a scene of an Indie movie. Wondering how the director would feel about me improvising and taking off my shoes to relieve my pinched toes.