Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sexism: Yes, It Still Exists

I am and always have been proud to consider myself a feminist: not a man-hating, bra-burning Valerie Solanas replica, as many seem to think the term refers to, but simply someone who seeks equality between the sexes and believes in equal rights and the eradication of sexist attitudes. Sometimes, though, I wonder if there even is a fight--it's not like a century ago, we can vote; it's not even like sixty years ago, we can exercise control over our professional and personal lives without obstacles or judgement.

Oh right. Maybe not.

Every time I begin to have these doubts, something reassures me that the fight is not won; equality does not yet exist and sexist attitudes still do. Now and then I'll hear a misogynistic comment that reflects "The Double Standard"--what happened to liberation? We're back to the 1950s now? And on top of that, I'm hearing this in New York, which is supposed to be one of the most progressive cities in the world. I can't even imagine what hateful things people believe in Bumhick, USA.

The worst part is that people (at least some people) truly believe this. These are real people saying that women should, invariably, keep their legs closed, and that women are ruled entirely by biology--not just the radical conservatives who are paid to spew sexism on broadcast media.

Although, those voices are worth addressing. Last night, I saw a presentation on the role of gender in the media and especially in the election, featuring Christine Cupaiuolo of Our Bodies, Ourselves, and Jamia Wilson of Women's Media Center. If my personal experiences weren't enough to convince me that sexism is still a major problem, this video was.

"Legitmate rape." "Binders full of women." Sandra Fluke. Julia Gillard. We have every reason to be angry right now. Not only angry, but baffled--how is it possible that after decades of fighting for our right to be considered full-fledged human beings, capable of making our own decisions, we are still being subjected to all of this? I'd bet that no one predicted that we'd still be having the same debates that were held forty years ago. I am a college student in 2012. Can anyone explain why I'm witnessing so much of this vintage sexism?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hello, October!

Being from New England, autumn is probably my favorite seasons because I've always associated it with things like apples and apple cider (and apple pie and apple cider doughnuts), pretty boots and coats, orange and red foliage, and pumpkin EVERYTHING. (I've already indulged in quite a few pumpkin coffees within the past few weeks.) I have no idea what to expect for my first autumn in the city, but I'm excited. If I manage to acquire a pumpkin and some art supplies, I might try this DIY project. I'm on the hunt for other projects to fall-ify my dorm room. (A tree mural made of paint chips, possibly?)

In the meantime, my sweaters will be happily making their seasonal debuts, I'll be on the hunt for new boots (preferably ones which allow me to walk around East Village in relative comfort), and I will most certainly continue to enjoy seasonal foods and beverages.

I feel silly sharing my own discoveries because I suspect the food places, museums, etc. that I've been checking out are old news to most people--I am a NY novice, after all--but I will gladly receive tips and suggestions for places and things to see and do in and around the Lower East Side from those of you who know the city better than I do. What are your favorite fall attractions around here? I would love to check them out and share my opinions/tips for other newbies!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spending Money on Various Things

I have a strange issue: I love shopping, but I hate spending money. So, naturally, I've had to find some clever ways to survive while simultaneously being my cheap self in college, in New York City.

I've been totally stalking this thrift store right near me. It always has really nice things, but sometimes they can be a little on the higher end, price-wise. Last week, however, I managed to find the most GORGEOUS chocolate brown coat, by Rampage. Behold:
The best part? It was brand-new, tag still attached, original price of $88. I got it for TWELVE. Believe me, I checked it for defects. None.
 
(I also got a nice, also brand-new satiny black skirt, orginally marked at $15, for $3.)
 
The point? I love thifting. It's SO much more rewarding here than back home.
 
My other shopping compulsion came in the form of a dire need to decorate my dorm. It was so bare in here, and honstly I could still afford a rug or some other nice, homey decor pieces. Still, I managed to add a few nice new touches. What I really wanted, above all else, was a The Great Gatsby book poster, which I thought would be fairly easy to find.
 
I thought wrong.
 
After scouring the poster sale fruitlessly, I took to the internet--nowhere, not even Amazon had one. The only place I could find was somewhere based in the UK, which would obviously lead to some serious shipping charges. Gag.
Eventually, by some miracle of God, one of the girls on my floor informed me that the school bookstore sells them. She was right--it was nearly $20, but I had to do it. To accompany, I got a square of chalkboard paper and lined it above and below with paint samples. I've had a string of cute postcards hanging across the wall for a while now, too. The final effect:
That picture, for whatever reason, makes the wall look sparser than it really is. Anyway, now I finally have some cheap decor going on here!
 
Have you any good suggestions for cheaply decorating a dorm room or other small space?
 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'm such a boring person.

Blogging on a Saturday night because I have nothing cool to do...sigh.

Okay, I suppose I'm actually not that boring. I visited the MoMA today and TOTALLY geeked out when I discovered that they have a couple Rothko pieces. Earlier this year, I got to help out my aunt, a scenic artist, working on the set for the show Red, about Mark Rothko's life and creative process. I'm not typically the type to ogle roughly rectangular blotches of color, but the show cast a lot of light onto the paintings and made me appreciate them in a way I wouldn't have before. If the show ever opens somewhere near you, go see it. It's enlightening. Also, did you know Rothko liked to experiment with the medium itself, like by adding weird things to the paint like eggs and cigarette ashes?

Anyway, after the museum I camped out in the laundry room for nearly two hours (because the nature of my high school has made me too paranoid to leave my clothing unattended in public spaces) and had some stimulating conversations with people and tried to get some reading done for one of my classes...this Senioritis thing is wearing off very slowly as I readjust to school. I suppose it's not bad, seeing as this particular required piece of reading is This Side of Paradise, and I'm a major Fitzgerald fan. It's one of the few cultured bones in my body...only recently have I realized how much trash literature and television I consume. I should really work on that....eventually.

Ooh, also! I was able to go to a Fashion Week presentation at Lincoln Center the other day. SO very cool, I even got a short interview with the designer. (I would name drop, but the article has yet to be published so I probably shouldn't.) It's pretty cool to think that I might be reporting on these shows as a career one day in the future.

Maybe. Who knows, really. I should sit down and do some solid creative writing soon. (I know those thoughts might not read as having any connection, but...they do, to me, anyway.) My creative process and my future always seem to be intertwined.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Huge Week!



Okay, I admit, I'm a bad blogger. I haven't posted in weeks. In my defense, however, I've just moved to college in New York City, so I have been a little bit busy. Scratch that--I've been very busy. There have been tons of events scheduled for incoming freshmen all week long, day and night. I now have more sunglasses, t-shirts, promotional food and candy, and informational brochures than I have ever wanted. Some of the highlights? Free food, for sure. Dancing a lot. Oh, and the Zombie Ball (if I had a picture, I would share it, but alas--I do not. Still, if anyone ever wants help with a zombie costume, I got you covered.) Though a hipster I am not (please, I still listen to bands I liked in middle school and the heaviest reading I've done in the past year was required for school), I'm beginning to feel like I have a place here. Heck, I was able to give some woman directions today. It's pretty incredible here: Not everyone can say that they have a view of the Manhattan skyline from their dorm room.

Welcome Week just ended, though, so I've found myself with more free time, and last night something wonderful happened: I turned off My Fair Wedding and actually got some writing done! I haven't done any decent writing in months, literally, so it felt great to just sit and write whatever coherent thoughts flowed out of my brain for a few hours, inked-up fingers and all. Of course, three hours of writing for me only translates to a few pages. Word count is not my strong suit...I suppose you could say I'm succinct, or to-the-point. Or just that I don't have much to say.

Above is the view from my window, complete with an Instagram filter. I need to try to get a nighttime picture at some point, it's really beautiful. Also, as a sidenote--when I emailed the picture to myself and then saved it in my Pictures folder just now, I saw a picture of Chuck Bass (er, Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass) in there. Not that I have any issue with Chuck hanging around on my hard drive, but I don't recall saving that picture. Weird.

Anyway, I'll do my best to actually update this thing more frequently than Hailey's Comet comes around, but no promises. I don't do promises. Bye!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Time to Start Shopping...

Well, I'll be leaving for school in a little over a week. I'm completely ready to start looking for fall clothes, but wouldn't you know it, for the first time ever, stores are actually hanging on to summer as long as they can. (I suppose that's essentially a good thing.) It's not quite back-to-school, since I'm starting college...more like...onward-to-school? Eh. It works.

I'm dying for tailored pieces--fitted cardigans, skirts, button-downs, as well as dainty oxfords, maybe some of those new detachable collars...

IF ONLY EVERYTHING WEREN'T SO FRICKIN' EXPENSIVE.

I'll get back to you if I find anything new, cute, and affordable. I've been stalking Etsy for weeks, but no real winners yet. Have you, people of the internet, any suggestions?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Watch Hill!

I finally went to Watch Hill today, and as promised, I'm here to tell you all about it. Well, not all about it, I imagine it would be excrutiatingly dull to read every last detail of someone else's shopping trip. I'll be brief. The first stop was The Candy Box, which happened to sell some awesome chocolates and saltwater taffy. (I tried the taffy in watermelon, strawberry cheesecake, and orange creamsicle--not only are they cute, they're delicious!)

There are actually a lot of interesting shops at Watch Hill, with clothing and accessories ranging from bohemian and multicultural to the very, very East Coast preppy. My taste leans toward the latter, but the brands (and thus, the prices) tend to lean toward the expensive. The neighborhood itself is very high-end, so I suppose the vendors fit right in. There was, however, one store that nearly made me squeal with delight: Liza J, an accessory store. I honestly could have spent an hour just examining all the headbands (a weakness of mine), but I ended up choosing two, plus one fabulous sun hat.
Okay, this picture does make me look a little arrogant.

I think my favorite part of visiting Watch Hill, however, is looking at all the beautiful houses and the gigantic old hotel, the Ocean House. If you've never seen it, it's a huge yellow building that looks as though it jumped out of the 1920s or 30s. In a way, it kind of did--it's an old building that's been relatively recently renovated and reopened. I imagine it costs a small fortune to stay there. Last time I was in the area, I actually saw people dressed in all white, playing croquet on the lawn. It felt like something out of a movie...a movie about very wealthy older people.

Here are just a couple more pictures of the lovely scenery...


And, as I am leaving Westerly tomorrow morning, here's the beach nearest Weekapaug Cove:


That's all. Bye!