Sixteen Years Later.... <3

We understand one another here. 

An unspoken bond becomes crystal clear. 

You favor the F line, I’m loyal to the C. 

I sleep in Crown Heights, while you rise in Gramercy. 

You’re textured and colorful. I’m prickly and slight. 

We’re both internalizing a personal, perpetual fight. 

Boundaries don’t define us so easily here. 

Your fear has been my fear. We’re all a little queer. 

New York City is a club with an unbiased membership. 

It’s yours to survive, or give up—quit. 

We’re in this together, if we must tough it out. 

Only the strong will go on—this, I have no doubt. 

The people here, we’ve lived it. We get what it takes. 

We’re sympathetic to our neighbors, for we all need a break.

From Queens to Brooklyn, we began on the same plane. 

We are strangers, but we share more than this train. 

We’ve fought some and lost, believing we’d won. 

The burdens we face daily, they can weigh a ton. 

But we’re still here fighting, like masochists on the run. 

I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough, when I’m so very done. 

You and me, we’re the same, you see. 

Chasing a dream that may never, ever be. 

We’ll pass one another on the street.

But we may never formally meet. 

We don’t need to, for it’s already understood. 

Respect is solidified I’d tell you. Trust me, I would. 

Look for a moment and you’ll see it in my eyes. 

We share a bond here, a knowingness of such a glorious demise. 

But without hesitation, we continue to rise. 

We shall, and we will—continue to thrive. 

New York Pity

New York Pity  ~  one sample of a collection of poems I'm currently working on ~ all by moi 

I’m tired. 

Nearly expired. 

In the thick, heavy trenches I’m stuck. Mired. 

It shows on my face—brows heavily perspired. 

Like an overstuffed cannon begging to be fired. 

Like a job I never accepted, yet somehow hired. 

My life a perpetual quagmire. 

A taste for disdain is so easily acquired. 

The Gods are against me; they’ve all conspired. 

There’s nothing here for the weak—strength is required. 

I’ve only just begun, but already semi-retired.

Oh to live like those I’ve long admired. 

A glitzier, cushier path could have easily transpired. 

The art of the hustle is a gift. It must be within; hardwired.  

New York can’t simply be retrofired. 

She must be worshipped, adored, incessantly inspired. 

How, then, does one make it here, you’ve inquired?

Stick it out or get out. Just don’t forget to suspire. 

 

Presidential Candidates + Fashion Week

For Autumn/Winter debuts, Fashion Week's Ready-To-Wear collections kick-off in New York just as the month of February settles in and from there it immediately moves to London, followed by Milan, and ends with a bang in Paris one month later. It's nonstop action for top editors, tastemakers, buyers, designers, photographers, stylists and basically anyone A-D list that's worthy of an invite. Esteemed well-known brands come together with the newer, stranger little guys in the hopes of amassing as much praise and press necessary to land on the hottest bodies and in the very best stores. For anyone that follows the industry, social and news feeds are laden with beautiful, weird, controversial, or silly runway styles put forth by one designer after another endlessly, until it's all over. Much like a shorter, better dressed version of the Presidential Campaign Trail. Now that the glitter has settled on the runways in Paris and A/W Fashion Week 2016 has come to a close, I thought I'd have some much needed fun with our current Presidential Candidates and pair them with the latest collections based on their similarities. 

This is all hypothetical of course, so please try not to get your knickers in a twist over the fact that these are primarily women's collections in a male dominated platform. This is all purely in good fun. Ladies and gentlemen take your seats, you're all invited to the front row. No extreme biases here. I give you the Presidential Fashion Week 2016: 

Kate Spade New York (NYFW16)

Kate Spade New York (NYFW16)

 

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton:  Kate Spade (NYC) ~ Because the female frontrunner loves herself a good ole cushy corporation and a big brand name from which she shares a platform with her equally successful husband, Jack Spade. Like the brand, The Secretary has remade herself countless times to appease the status quo and the latest trends. She's not super exciting, but has maintained a steady following and solid demand for her strong ladylike aesthetic and classic lines. Lots of pink, plenty of red, and bits of plaid tweed this season perfect for busting balls in the boardroom to schmoozing with billionaires and hosting Junior League brunches.   

 

 

 

The Elder Statesman (NYFW16)

The Elder Statesman (NYFW16)

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Bernie Sanders:  The Elder Statesman (NYC) ~ Despite the name, this more elusive brand evokes a youthful style built around old world methods. TES is all about quality over quantity; producing a smaller collection made from hand-spun pashmina, knits and pure cotton. For the guy or gal that lives off the land but enjoys a little folk, some old rock n' roll, and even a dash of punk. At first glance the line appears a little messy, a little disheveled, and quite certainly a bit hippie, but try them on and they're surprisingly comfortable. Although you're still not convinced the style is for you, or if you could even pull it off. However, you're supremely impressed with the designer's abilities to create super affordable pieces out of luxe goods while his competition boasts heftier price tags.   

 

 

Iceberg (MFW16)

Iceberg (MFW16)

 

 

 

 

Senator Marco Rubio:  Iceberg (Milan) ~ Because the Senator is not convinced it's America's problem the icecaps are dramatically melting. But also for the younger brand's energetic and playful approach to "get me noticed" styles copied from more experienced design houses that precede him. Iceberg repeats a lot of the same prints throughout the collection, reminiscent of youthful Tetris blocks fighting for space. It's approachable yet not fully relatable. Like, fur pants might seem like a good idea but you'll probably immediately regret wearing them. Perhaps the brand just needs to age a bit more. 

 

 

 

 

Dolce & Gabbana (MFW16)

Dolce & Gabbana (MFW16)

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Ted Cruz:  Dolce & Gabbana (Milan) ~ Much like designers Stefano and Domenico's latest collection inspired by Disney Princesses, the Senator claims his wife, Heidi, and their two daughters, inspire him daily and are his own "real life princesses". But also because Cruz is highly opinionated with very old school ideals that regularly tend to cause modern day controversy, much like the high priced designers'. From the "Slave Sandal" to tax evasion and denouncing same sex parenting despite their own homosexuality, Dolce & Gabbana finds it difficult to stay out of hot water. However, these guys haven't lost any popularity despite the occasional ickiness endured, and are still in pretty high demand. 

Carven (PFW16)

Carven (PFW16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retired Neurosurgeon Ben Carson:  Carven (Paris) ~ Because the guy enjoys carving things and was pretty successful (or not?) in doing it. Carson has since suspended his campaign but he earned a space here. Carven put out a trippy, oftentimes odd collection built around sci-fi, adventure, and "good girls", if that makes any sense at all. Then again we're talking politics and fashion, so forget about sensibility for a minute. While some pieces were stranger than others, overall it was a rather quiet and subdued debut with more than one ensemble appropriate for Sunday worship.  

Les Copain (MFW16)

Les Copain (MFW16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor John Kasich:  Les Copains (Milan) ~ Because despite his shortcomings he's seemingly more calm; the "friendlier" guy in the GOP group that mostly stays away from endless attacks. Also, Les Copains is primarily a knitwear collection; loads of sweaters, turtlenecks and outerwear perfect for the chilly Ohio air. Only catch is I'm not 100% convinced the Governor would approve of the underlying progressive sexiness to a multitude of otherwise feminine frocks. 

Yeezy (NYFW16)

Yeezy (NYFW16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Businessman Donald Trump:  Yeezy (NYC) ~ Because it's the perfect storm of overinflated egos, self-obsession and self-promotion. For those of you unaware, Yeezy is Kanye West's attempt at fashion. Need I say more? Absolutely. This collection is more about the artist's affection for baggy hoodies and designing "clothes" for himself and his equally infamous wife than for actual consumers, which are beneath him. West won't stop "creating" until the world deems him the "GREATEST ARTIST THAT EVER LIVED"; a lot like the businessman's entire campaign. Regardless of the [offensive] designer "rags" being sold for thousands of dollars; people can't get enough. Makes zero sense at all. But don't tell them that, or you're likely to be subjected to an ongoing Twitter rant. 

 

Ah, fashion. It's so political.       

A Lot Of Art - A Lack Of Appreciation

What I learned, from working at The Met. 

I was so excited. Beside myself with sincere giddiness and disbelief. I'd just landed a part-time gig at one of the world's greatest art museums, temping for one of the greatest fashion exhibitions in history. How on earth did I do that. I had no idea. Nor did I give a single hoot about the embarrassingly low pay. I was going to be a much needed facilitator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2011 Savage Beauty: Alexander McQueen exhibition; the Costume Institute's annual fashion event, and I felt like the most spoiled kid on Christmas morning. That year I was deep in the throes of my second term at The New School studying fashion and fine art journalism. This, combined with a love and admiration for the late designer granted the obvious desperation I harbored for such a position. Aside from my artsy alma mater and a couple of fashion/photography internships I'd completed, this would be my first real experience working in the fine art world, and boy-oh-boy did I walk away with an entirely new set of conflicting ideals after. Both beautiful and damned; much like the Hopper's I cherished. After the prolonged, tremendously popular exhibit finally came to a close I was offered another part-time but permanent position with The Museum, as a Groups Services Associate. Four, sometimes five days a week I sat at the Groups Desk in the Great Hall or Education Center, granting access to private docents, lecturing professors, lost students, and foreigners toting City Passes. I initially walked into The Met happy; utterly grateful. I walked out two-and-a-half years later miserable, bitchy, and utterly hateful. Here's what I learned in that time, and why I believe it all matters. 

Stop Complaining About Entry Fees.  So you think art should be free, huh? Sure, we should all--every one of us--have access to as much art as possible on a regular basis. Art has been proven to be therapeutic, beneficial for developing young minds, and it's culturally, historically rich. But if you aren't willing to contribute even a dollar to the industry then who is exactly? The Arts Orgs are mostly entirely non-profit sectors. Which means, they rely heavily on government funding and donors. If you so adamantly refuse to pay to play but still insist upon having access, just imagine a world where art museums no longer exist. Can you picture it? It could very well happen. And that thought, to me, is far more traumatizing than a Donald Trump Presidency--which is ungodly terrifying. It costs The Met upwards of $40+ dollars for every person present in the museum, from heating and cooling to insurance and liability coverages. So, pay a penny or the recommended value and shut up already. Just be happy it's still that cheap and accessible to be in the company of such magnificent Greats.

If you're in school, learn something for the love of ____.  I can't begin to fathom the amount of college students who literally have no clue. About anything. More oftentimes than not, university students would approach the desk with zero personality, mumbling incoherent "speak" about having to meet their professor for a private lecture, but having zero clue as to what they were studying nor their professor's name. And these were midterm classes, people. Meaning, school had been in session for at least a couple of months. Can you at least tell me where you're currently in school? Wonderful. I literally can't with young adults these days. Are social skills just no longer relevant? Because they sure as hell were practically beaten into me. Thankfully

Have some respect.  Mind your manners like a civilized person while perusing works of art worth far more than your life. When you worship in your personal God's House on Sundays; during Mass or Shabbat would you ever be disrespectful? A museum or gallery is a church to so many people; housing a substantial number of otherworldly "Gods", none of which deserve to be abused. The acts of violence I've witnessed to so many works of art is astounding. From using a Rodin as a resting place to text to spitting sunflower seeds beneath Monet to fondling Pierre Auguste Cot's ancient oils and excessively capturing Modigliani with a blinding flash. All of which is just scraping the surface of happenings. The crimes I've seen such ungrateful assholes commit to irreplaceable works of art is disturbing. Have some respect for art, or simply don't engage. 

Open your mind.  A museum makes for a great Instagram pic, no doubt. It says to your followers that you're getting your culture on and what's not cool about that? But if you're actually taking the time to enter and walk the halls of these wondrous galleries put the phone down and open the mind. Pick at least one artist to discover, admire, and backlog into the memory. Your personality, creativity, and mood just won the lottery of healthy influence. Cheers to that. 

Turn your phone off entirely.  Because as much as you love them there's just no comparison to your bestie's selfies vs Renoir's. 

Be kind.  Large museums are filled with volunteers and part-time employees barely making enough money to survive mostly because they too, are artists, or defiantly passionate about the industry. These workers deal with the most diverse crowd on a daily basis. People from all over the world with differing habits, beliefs, languages, manners, and needs. Most of us were force-smiling through the tears at all times. Need something? Don't want to pay the recommended access fee or wait in line? Kindness, as with any event, will get you farthest.

Go with a granny.  While at The New School I shared many classes with a young, very wealthy and proper Brit. He'd been formally trained in worldly cultures and the arts during his upbringing in London, as his parents were collectors. At first I didn't care for him as he seemed a bit arrogant and silly. But we soon became great friends and I learned a lot from his formalities. Benjamin's favorite museum outing was with a "granny"; his own grandmother or that of a friend. The older the better, he'd recommend, as their opinions, views and intellect greatly influenced his own in ways no peer or parent even, ever had. I miss that kid.  

Make it a habit.  Because as I mentioned previously, the world remains a wondrous, gorgeous place to dwell with art around us. In modern times today, children are growing further away from becoming culturally and creatively influenced with the steady rise of technology and social media. Supporting the arts is an easy act of just showing up; seeking it out while its gifts are so readily available to us. The Opera and Ballet industries have suffered a significant decline over the years, with primary audience members majorly or even exclusively being the elderly; those beloved grannies. To lose interest in fine art all-together would be one of the greatest--if not the greatest--travesty to humankind. Can you imagine a world without Starry Night? I can't and I certainly don't want to. There's a reason graffiti and street art rose to exquisite lengths to bring us Basquiat and Banksy. Artists will continue to breed and for those that want a greater, wider audience, loathe "establishments" or simply seek exposure turn to the streets and public spaces to tag and/or showcase their works. Thankfully, demand has only grown for more. But don't be so quick to ignore the museums, galleries and theaters that demand a profit. The greater the variety of art available to us the greater new artists will only become.

I hate what I learned at The Met, but I deeply love what The Met taught me.