July 29, 2009 § 3 Comments
Behold! Alice and Cathy Wolfe in the mid-seventies.
Reasons why I love this photo:
July 16, 2009 § Leave a comment
The art gallery I was volunteering at went out of business last week. At first, I was pretty disappointed, even though I’d only been there just over a month. The fragility of their financial state was no secret; the curator would repeatedly tell us how bad it was. I was mostly saddened by the news because I felt I had just begun to develop a new routine and now I had to start over again. How frustrating!
Goodbye, art – hello again, music!
I managed to land a gig volunteering at a pretty popular indie music online retailer, whose offices are located a 10 minute walk away, in a fascinatingly decrepit old building that constantly smells of a paint/glue mixture I can’t quite put my finger on and has scary industrial-type bathrooms with little rocks sitting in the sink. Either this building was turned into offices by Brooklyn historians who wanted to preserve the working class mid-19th century feel or a bunch of men who just didn’t care.
Since I had been at my last job for 6 years, I hadn’t had a first day of work in a long time (besides the short-lived gallery experience, which was so laid-back, I’m not sure it should count) and I would always observe the new people with attentiveness on their first days, wondering what they thought of their new co-workers, the office space, the job, the general feel of their new daily routine. I kind of lived vicariously through them, maybe even envied them? No, I wouldn’t go that far, but it was a fun game to play. My first day was Tuesday. My first impressions were that the office space was this huge, open, square room in which nearly everyone worked with headphones on and no one really seemed to interact with each other. (Oh no!) I am presently working in “The Annex” which is where all the stock is kept for collection for orders. I am surrounded by records, CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, books, headphones, and other treasures. I am also surrounded by about 8 other interns, all younger than me, who seem to be in the teenage angst stage of life, despite no longer being teenagers. (Oh no squared!)
To make the high school feel even more obvious, it just so happened that I was wearing the same top as another girl, the self-appointed queen bee of sorts, who reminds me so much of a former co-worker in the way that she bosses around these young boys and they don’t know any better but to absolutely love it. Luckily, I am 27 and handled the shirt twin situation with humor. Phew!
Today was my second day. It was better as I volunteered to work out of The Annex and actually in the office on some track listings for the website. When I returned to Internland, a pimply, greasy-haired, bespectacled boy (in an way that was neither ironic nor hip) was trying to engage these grumbly kids into Philosophic conversations that only a few of them could reply to. I began to see even more humor in my situation.
After work, I accepted the invitation to hang out of the roof with a couple of the other interns. I decided that if I’m going to make the best of this, I’m going to need to be able to hang with these kids. I drank a plastic cup of cranberry cocktail and vodka with them and talked about records. The view was amazing.
The strangest thing about all this is that I feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions as far as maturity and lifestyle go. I’m playing housewife at home, but I’m hanging out with these kids 3 times a week. This will be interesting.
July 9, 2009 § 2 Comments
I’ve been taking notice of the major differences between Americans and Canadians for the past couple years now, but let’s get more specific. Now that I’ve been in New York for just over a month, I think I’m ready to share my personal Top 5 observations of why Brooklynites specifically are such fascinating creatures.
5. Erratic sidewalk behavior. As an aggressive, by-the-book walker, I get quite annoyed when people I share the sidewalk with don’t follow the simple rules of walking. Mainly, the walking on the right side and don’t walk 3+ people in a tandem style rules. They aren’t hard and they make everything so much easier. I thought they invented these rules with their massive population, but apparently New Yorkers have no idea. In Brooklyn, they’re everywhere, scattered across the sidewalks, stopping to wave to their 89 year old BFF across the street or wandering in a diagonal path. The worst is when it’s raining and we’re all carrying umbrellas. Someone’s going to lose an eye on Manhattan Ave. and it ain’t gonna be me.
4. Cat-calls. If I’m going for a walk alone (which is 90% of the time), it doesn’t matter what I look like, some kind of remark is waiting for me. My favorite ones so far are “SHE would make a good cheerleader”, “Oooh – you look like Christina Aguilera!”, and of course the classic “How YOU doin’?”
3. The accent! Whether they’re talking about baseball, pizza, or laundry detergent, I could listen to two true Brooklynites have a conversation for an hour.
2. Excessive loitering. Since very few Brooklynites have an outdoor space to call their own, they use public space as a makeshift backyard. Whether it’s bringing lawnchairs from home to sit in front of a laundromat on a major street or hauling a BBQ to a park to grill up a Sunday dinner, they have no qualms, as tax-paying citizens, about temporarily claiming their portion of the city.
1. A remarkable lack of shyness. New Yorkers are the most honest and uninhibited people I’ve ever encountered. Imagine combining Canada’s notorious friendliness and hospitality with New York’s out-goingness? We’d create a race of superhumans.