Move Over Street Style Photographers, Street STYLISTS Are Now All the Rage (AKA- The Latest Tactics in Catcalling)

There was a time when I really wanted to be a street style photographer. There were only two problems, 1) I had no skills with photography nor did I own a high-quality camera and 2) I had no style.  Beyond those two things, there was really nothing between me and that dream.  For those unfamiliar, street style photography is where photographers go out onto the street and take pictures of stylish people. So. Much. Style.

It was almost as if clothing were made not for agoraphobic heiresses munching decades old wedding cake but  for people that might do things like buy groceries, make  a pharmacy run, go to a friend's house , or other activities that require one to go out on the street.   Well my friends,  the time for street style is BLEAK according to Fashionista and I believe it. Here's why.

A new and exciting trend has emerged on the streets of New York where men give free (ie- unsolicited) fashion and beauty tips to lucky ladies that pass their way!   For example, the other day I was walking home from a trip to the beach in a pair of shorts and a tank top.  The shorts look approximate like this from American Apparel.   Linked if you want em and you're a copycat.

redshorts

A kindly street stylist yelled, "Girl, you look good but those shorts are too short."

Bless the dear man's heart for alerting me to my fashion faux pas!  After all, when walking down Ocean Parkway toward my home covered in sand and carrying a food co-op tote bag, I am trying my best to impress and to please, and if God wills it so, to find a suitable bridegroom with whom I can have many strong sons with Old Testament names.

Meghan has chanced upon two street stylists recently, one giving beauty tips and the other affirming fashion choices.  Their expertise is eclectic, you see. I am paraphrasing but the one regarding beauty tips went something like this:

Beauty Boy: "Damn girl, you're beautiful."  (Or some variation of the same idea.)

Meghan  *Stoic silence*

Beauty Boy: Oh except one thing, you should really fix that eyebrow scar.

Now everyone knows that nothing makes a lady feel great quite like having a flaw pointed out to her.  It's just a little penny from Heaven on an otherwise lackluster day to be reminded, not only are you not perfectly symmetrical, but there's even more wrong with you!  Now, get thee to a laser specialist before your street stylist throws more sass your way!

Another street stylist who was super stealthy inched up behind her (the way good friends do) and whispered, "Hey I like you in them peach pants" straight into her ear.  Because besties do that for each other, they share compliments and secrets in EXTREMELY CLOSE PROXIMITIES.  The peach pants look like this:

He wasn't wrong.

Now it's true that Meghan looks good in those peach pants and it's important that the critical be mixed with the positive if you're going to be an exceptional street stylist.  Which is why I was deeply thankful for an encounter with a man who mixed a little of both in his reaction to a particular shade of lipstick I had chosen.

He said, "Those red lips looks nice."

I replied, "Thank you."

He paused a moment and said, "But you know, they're a little smudged."

Seeing as it was 2am and we had been out dancing in a sweaty place playing bad 90s pop (just kidding, no such thing), I HAD NO IDEA that my make-up might not be up to his standards.  I looked about like this with slightly more smudging cause it was an hour or so later:

Obviously trying really hard to impress.

I replied that I knew, that it was late, and that happens to make-up to which he replied "Will you kiss my shirt?" You see, the best street stylists will sometimes play role reversal where you get to give them a signature item or look that makes them street-style worthy.  Because I am a killjoy, I did not oblige because I hate to steal thunder AND because this is actually a piece of satire on how gross it is that men on the street are insulting women to bring them down a notch as a means of flirtation and gross objectification.  Feminist killjoy, at your service!

And apropos of nothing but the fact that I think we look fucking awesome in it, here are me and Meghan looking like mafia widows at a wedding a few weeks ago with absolutely nothing fucking wrong with us that needs to be pointed out.  Except maybe my favorite street stylist suggestion, "SMILE!"  Just kidding, that makes me want to chew broken glass.

If you tell us to fucking smile, there's no telling what will happen.

Once a Deranged Fan Girl, ALWAYS a Deranged Fan Girl: A Gift from the Archives

A lot of people ask trendsetters and tastemakers like me, "Alana, what were you like growing up?" In four words: FUCKING FABULOUS, THAT'S WHAT. Some people have trouble believing me but I have been sent a gift from the past that reveals my true nature, my essence, my raison d'etre. (I know there is an accent over the "e" there but I'm too lazy to try it in WordPress. I'm not some peasant that can't speak French, okay?) My true nature and essence is that of a deranged fan girl from Hell.  And that, to me, is the greatest thing you can be.

My BFF OMG 4 LYFE, Chrissie, recently dug up the following treasures designed and delivered by Yours Truly in 1997/98. The headline "Wanted: The Following Women are wanted for stealing boyfriends from Alana and Chrissie." Truer words, baby Alana. TRUER WORDS.

Wanted1

Wanted2

As you'll see from the title, these hot female celebrities were identified as CRIMINALS, wanted for the crime of STEALING BOYFRIENDS. And Since Hell hath no fury like a seventh grader scorned, I decided to get my Mean Girl on and take those sluts down.   For reference, me and Chrissie are the HOT BLONDES on either end of this adorable foursome of seventh graders (Hey, Mairead & Ashlee! Looking good!) so as you can see, we REALLY deserved celebritiy boyfriends.

Shorties, how'd you get so fly?

Now a lot of amazing things are happening here,  most notably the fact that we considered Hans Matheson (who played Marius in the Liam Neeson, non-musical version of Les Miserables...again with the French, I KNOW) on par with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Mark Wahlberg. Other amazing moments are listed below if your glasses aren't working.

On Neve Campbell:

"Warning: Dangerously ugly when mad or sad."

GIRL, YOU DIDN'T. Oh, I did.  My 12 year old ass just went ahead and WENT THERE. No holds barred, this was WAR.

On Sarah Michelle Gellar:

"Crime: Getting love scenes with hotties like Ryan Philippe and Angel from Buffy."

First, it's hard to believe that there was a time before Angel was a show all it's own and that there was a time when I didn't know that David Boreanz had a name. Also:

"Warning: Easy to get you off track because you can't help but stare at her dark roots. Danger Buffy With Bleach Beware."

One does not call a girl out on her bleach game unless she wants to start a FIGHT.  And I was ready for a fight.  PS- I love that she ended up with Freddie Prinze, Jr.  It means the late 90s will be alive forever.

On Winona Ryder:

"AN EXTREME THREAT TO US."

To be fair to my former self, this is still completely true. Home girls looks GOOD. I know cause I seen her.

Damn, girl.

On Claire Danes:

"Crime: Former girlfriend of Matt Damon, starred as GF of Jared Leto, Leo DiCaprio, Jude Law, and Hans Matheson."

If I had been a gossip columnist in the 90s, I would have written an angry article called "CLAIRE! SHARE!" cause she was hogging all the hot pieces back then. She still does. Girl has game,  I can respect that. However:

"Warning: If caught, she might use her awful cry to scare you away. RESIST!"

I only saw a few episodes of Homeland, is the crying still the same as it was back then?  Inquiring minds need answers.

On Gwyneth Paltrow:

Now I am really proud of myself for having the good sense to put her on the list FIRST. Even though she ended up married to someone in whom I have little to zero interest, I still recognize that Gwyneth Paltrow is a MENACE.

"Warning: Changes physical appearance often to avoid arrest by us."

Gwyneth, still up to your old tricks. Why look, here you changing your appearance into that of a sophisticated and likeable AUTHOR in the Hamptons just this weekend:

MINX ALERT.

One of my favorite comments ever written on the Internet was on a Jezebel post about her newsletter GOOP. It said something to the effect of "I just like to think of Winona Ryder sitting at home, smoking cigarettes, reading GOOP, and laughing and laughing." ME TOO, CURT COLE FROM JEZEBEL COMMENTS. ME TOO.

This has been 700+ words answering the age old question, do people ever really change? I'm just gonna leave this here:

Leomania is 4 eva.

If You Find A Dead Swan, the Right Thing To Do Is Instagram It

Anyone with a lick of sense who has ever been to the ballet (which isn't most people since a large portion of the world lives in crushing poverty and another large portion is just barely getting by and can't be bothered with that shit) knows what to do when they encounter a live swan. You have two options 1) be super nice to it cause swans are big and mean creatures that do not take kindly to human bullshit and will eat your face if you cross it 2) be super nice to it cause it is Odette from Swan Lake, the princess that some asshole sorcerer turned into a swan and is totally about to DIE. Sorry, I don't give spoiler alerts for 19th century anything. Educate yourselves. But what, pray tell, does one do when they find a dead swan? My friends and I were struck dumb by this conundrum Thursday. This is our tale.

It started innocently enough at the lake by Wellesley College. The scenery! The fresh air! The rich history of women doing well in quantitative fields cause boys weren't around to make them self-conscious about their science game!

20130707-155755.jpg

We swam and splashed like the Wormer brothers in Now and Then (clothed, but with the same joie de vivre). We celebrated independence from British tyranny(take that, lobsterbacks *cannonball*). I forced Phoebe to take a picture of me pretending to be on the cover of the Kubrick Lolita (then I made her put it on Facebook cause my arm looks skinny in it). But something near the swampy lake edge was amiss.

Was it a booey of some kind? A large white nautical garment perhaps?   When I was eight, I  spent seven days on an aircraft carrier going from Hawaii to San Diego and learned to tie ropes and send flares and all sorts of badass Navy shit but I forgot it all.  During that time, my sister and I also played a prank on my Dad and said I fell overboard in the night. Boy was he upset. We were assholes. Anyway, for the daughter of a man who spent 27 years putting food on the table by sailing the high seas, I really should be able to recognize this shit better.  But whatever, aircraft carriers don't go in lakes.

Throwing caution to the wind, I swam closer.  And suddenly, the coming-of-age tale we were part of went from the innocence of Now and Then to the darkness of the corpse-finding mission of Stand By Me. When I was a kid, I fantasized about being the lone girl on that mission and tongue-kissing River Phoenix by the campfire when the rest of that ragtag gang had gone to sleep. But  I digress.  Here is a dead bird:

What are you? Where did you come from?

 

An argument over what kind of creature this was quickly ensued:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrtXHUbyJCw

 

A brave soul used a stick to pry the hidden head from the underbrush.  Conclusion: swan.

Awww man.

 

Now I have never done an autopsy (YET, but I am dreaming big. Dana Scully is my spirit animal, after all) but we came to the conclusion that this swan looked mad healthy and didn't die of natural causes.  Julia mentioned that sometimes swans kill their own.  Mere moments later, we spotted these sketchy fuckers:

All day, they think of murder.

 

The picture was taken from far away and I zoomed in on them so it looks really Loch Ness Monster-esque, which is fitting cause this family of swans is a bunch of MONSTERS.  Look at them, swimming along without a care in the world, probably heading to a barbecue  where they'll jam to the Boston Pops and oooh and ahhh at the fireworks while their dead friend rots near the shore.

But what were we supposed to do for this poor devil? You aren't technically supposed to be swimming at that part of the lake so alerting security wasn't a good idea.  We mulled it over and decided that none of us wanted to risk the flesh-eating virus we might get if we retrieved it for a proper burial.   How were we to tell the story of a swan that once lived in a lake in peace, but met an untimely end in the Summer of 2013?

I did what any decent person would do, I put that swan corpse on Instagram with a dark filter that best reflected the pointlessness and cruelty of life on this itty bitty blue planet.

Good night, sweet prince.  May flights of angels bring thee to thy rest.

 

We concluded our day at the lake and are hoping that corpse-swimming will not result in any sudden illness or death.  Regardless, we can all agree on one thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4zdpDRaWHM

 

Why Can't I Skip the Next Fifty Years and Just Live Like A Golden Girl Now?

To be clear,  I love my job.  I do important work for an organization where people are truly committed to making this city a better place.  I work reasonable hours for good pay and my boss is one of the smartest, kindest, and most appreciative people I have met in close to a decade in New York City. With that behind us,  wouldn't it be really great if we could just skip the next fifty years of working, raising ungrateful children, struggling to keep our marriages alive and instead just move in with our best friends like the Golden Girls? We could make sex jokes and go on dates with old men who own boats and never have pregnancy scares (but the occasional STD scare, as Rose learned in one memorable 'sode).

Living the dream.

I did some scary math today.  Retirement ages are creeping up and if our generation is lucky, we will retire by 73 or something like that. I am going to be ungenerous to myself since I'm bad about adding to my 401K and assume I can do so at 77, 50 years from now.  There are 260 weekdays per year and about 10 federal holidays.  250 days x 50 years is 12,500 more days of work.  If you are as lucky as I am to work only an eight hour day, those 12,500 days x 8hours is ONE MILLION more hours of work in your life.  Are you really ready for that? My answer is, "Holy shit, no no no no no no!" And don't even pretend that vacation days mean anything anymore. The smartphone has sealed our fates in that department.

Golden Girls don't work! They play! Bingo and other card games! I could learn em all!

Is this really what you want to do for a (literally) a million more hours?

And then there is finding a suitable partner.  It's a terrible, exhausting pain, amirite? Dating involves pretending not to be batshit for MONTHS at a time and SHOWERING, sometimes twice a day.  Who has the energy?

Moving in with my best friend and gabbing while one of us makes a casserole instead of blowing my hair dry every evening and then spending hours pretending not to be crippled by neuroses and self-esteem issues for at least five dates sounds like just like a dream!   I'll even learn to make casserole!  Dating would be a sometimes-and-just-for-fun activity (unless you're Blanche, and I'm not much of a Blanche) not the exhausting and defeating affair it is for the modern gal in New York.

Worst fears.

Then there are children.  Some people are afraid or put off by screaming babies and whiny toddlers.  My aversion to children is much more to do with them becoming hopelessly sullen and less-cool-than-they-think teenagers. Hand me a screaming baby any day.  But a kid that thinks it's rock n roll cause it can name a Joy Division song, COUNT ME OUT. Avril Lavigne circa 2002 being the ultimate nightmare.  Those gloves! That smirk! I simply won't be able to handle it.

In Golden Girl life, your children are long-gone or they are awesome grown-ups like Dorothy who look out for your health and wear fabulous brooches.  Give me that grown-ass Dorothy as a daughter any day.  The ungrateful other ones can just keep the Hell out of Florida or have an uncomfortable (but single-episode) visit from time to time.

We already take bus vacations.

My friend Meghan and I have decided to not participate in the next fifty years and simply move in together as old ladies. We're not sure how we'll pull it off yet but your input is most welcome if you decide to join us!   I consider myself a Sophia personally.  Unsure who Meghan wants to be, but we have two spots open.  I have some great curtains picked out.

Take us out, Andrew Gold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN3E9Yyd1HA