I had a quick hit on NYmag’s The Cut blog today about the creation of a Fashion Caucus in Washington, yes, Washington. I don’t need to be the one to say that there are a number of fashionable folk down here (they do stand out, mind you, but they are here). But it was refreshing to see people get excited about having more creative industries around, and Congresswoman Diane Watson’s assessment of how the state of the economy is reflected in the length of a woman’s skirts was a hoot (it has been a season of short skirts…). I also got the chance to chat with the lovely Nanette Lepore (huge fan) and learn more about her plans to hold a rally in NYC to “Save the Fashion District.” She was passionate, articulate, and generous with her time. I hope Donna and Ralph start returning her calls.
Archive for September, 2009
I have another story out in the latest issue of D.C. Magazine about an elite travel group for mavericks in the business world, the aptly-named, Maverick Business Adventures. Totally dig the photo they used. Check it out in fancy PDF after the jump.
The day I got a flu shot. The day I got positive feedback from a negative person. The day I found this amazing video of “All the Single Babies.”
I used to watch Annie over and over when I was a kid, and according to some sources, I used to act out the “It’s a Hard Knock Life” song by destroying the play kitchen at my nursery school. But this is so much better. I can’t imagine what my childhood would have been like if YouTube existed when I was little.
The day that I started my storytelling class.
I’m just home from my first session of Speakeasy D.C. storytelling class, and to be honest, even though I technically tell stories for a living, I was a bit nervous about going tonight. I don’t typically spend seven minutes on stage exposing myself to an audience (no, not like that).
Mind you, I have performed before: my illustrious ballet career began with me crawling out of a laundry basket at age two as a “Cabbage Patch Kitten,” and capped off with a turn as a “child at the party” in a production of the Nutcracker. But those were hardly speaking parts. Then there was baton twirling, another topic altogether (believe me), but part of the reason why I still wonder about being on stage.
You see, I, like everyone else in the sixth grade, signed up for the sixth grade play in Middle School. But at the time, I was a National Champion Baton Twirler (see, I told you it was a longer story) and while I probably didn’t brag about it on my “play resume” the play director noticed. So before I could audition, I was pulled out of line and told I was going to be in the Talent Show instead. I wasn’t interested in being in the Talent Show, but the play director/Talent scout wasn’t having it, and handed me a broom stick so I could demonstrate my skills. Let it be noted that whatever skills you may have acquired don’t apply when you’re twirling a broomstick, particularly one with a splintered end that I’m fairly sure could have impaled someone. So in short, I sucked, and he didn’t seem to care that I sucked, which made me think that his interest in Talent wasn’t all that authentic, not to mention the fact that I didn’t feel like choreographing a routine, and the last thing I felt like doing at age 12 was putting on a leotard and throwing my baton around on stage, alone, where everyone could watch me if I dropped it (there a constant terror of dropping when you’re a baton champion, I was still novice enough not to have overcome it). So began and ended my chance of being the next …. [insert your favorite actresses name here].
My brother Darren found this photo this week, and I realized it’s one of the only ones I have of myself in front of the Twin Towers. I remember visiting them with my family when we had friends come to town, my Dad entertaining me while we waited in line to take the elevator up to the top by having me stand on his knees and do somersaults through his arms (I’m still not sure how he did this, but I remember it being fun). When we got to roof I was amazed to find the signature of Philippe Petit, who tightrope-walked between the towers, putting my own gymnastic efforts in perspective. But the roof of the towers put everything in perspective. The whole city was sprawled out below us, the harbor beyond, and it seemed like something big, adult, never something I could ever be big enough to handle.
When the towers fell eight years ago, I wasn’t in New York. I was in Boston, and collapsed on my couch as I watched them turn to dust, crying as I waited for the reverberations of loss to eventually hit me. Thankfully, no one I knew personally was killed.
But of all the feelings I had that day, as terrible as it was, the one that stands out most is the feeling of waiting. Waiting to hear someone explain things, to tell me what to make of this. Waiting to let the dust settle, literally, and learn how the city would ever recover. I sat alongside my roommates for hours, waiting for something to click so I could make sense of it all.
Amazing speech by Obama tonight, and I don’t care who heckles him (and I know the news is going to lead with that, which frustrates me). And despite the groans throughout the speech, you could hear a pin drop when Ted Kennedy’s name was mentioned, and I admit I got more choked up hearing Obama read his letter than I did at any point in the memorial process. Full text is here, but here’s an excerpt.
…[H]ealth care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.
And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family’s health will never again depend on the amount of a family’s wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will – yes, we will – fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.
I remember feeling absolutely helpless watching the flooding after hurricane Katrina four years ago. And now that I’ve spent a bit of time in New Orleans, and spent the better part of the last few months (ok, the last week and a half) writing a piece about the city, I’m so impressed by the people who have come back and are working to help with the revitalization. The New York Times had a great piece about just that out this weekend, which outlines the precarious place where the city now stands: poised to reinvent the way the city will be run, yet stymied by the fear that the waters can rise again.
Bookending that story is a far longer, much more harrowing piece that ran in the Times magazine this weekend as well. One of the best stories I’ve read in a long time, it was a huge investment on the part of the Times (Mother Jones co-EIC Clara Jeffrey — and my old boss when I interned there — reported it cost them $400,000 to produce). But just try and tell me after reading it that paying for great journalism isn’t worth every dime.