Notes for a song

Category: Culture

Singing in the Train

I was riding the subway home today, listening to the new Nas album (it’s pretty good btw, much better than that Street’s Disciple mess he served up a while back. Bachelordom agrees with him) and the track “Loco-Motive” came on at the same time I reached Grand Central. The start of the song goes “Oooh oooh oooh Forty-second street terminal”. It was such perfect timing.

Then I had a thought. Why doesn’t the MTA hire back up singers to sing you into the station? Everyone would feel so much cooler rolling into a station with back up singers crooning in their ear. Plus it could be another source of income for subway musicians.



Kids, c. 8 years old, yelling at a group of cyclists on Avenue C:

“What are you doing on a bike you pussy?”
“Can’t you ride a skateboard?”
“Why are you going so slow?”
“Are you afraid? Is that why you got a helmet?”
“You are all a bunch of pussies man. You all need to get on skateboards.”

The cyclists had slowed for the lights, and were cracking up at the kids’ taunts.

Neither of the kids had skateboards.

Art class

I caught the L train home tonight, got off at 1st Ave.
There was a man and a woman sitting on a bench, down in the subway station.
They were surrounded by open suitcases, paints & paintbrushes, canvases & palettes spilling out.
The two of them were painting, the man was painting the woman & the woman was painting the man.
Between them sat a finished canvas, which featured them both. I’m not sure who painted it.
Above them was a sign, which read, “Art Class”.

Festival fashion

Everyone looked real cool at the Afropunk festival yesterday.
There were lots of dudes dressed like Tupac.
There were lots of chicks in very short shorts.
There were winged sneakers, creepers and even beepers.
I saw a girl in blue suede platform shoes – I didn’t step on them.
There was a huge spikey green mohawk
that musta taken a dozen eggs to hold in place.

Trying to be discreet

I decided to start my career as a street style photographer.
There are several problems with this career move.
First of all, to be a street style photographer you kind of need some hi-tech equipment. Or you need one of those little point-and-shoots you can clutch whilst clutching your clutch.
I only have my crappy phone camera.
Second, you need to be able to be recognised so you don’t seem like a creep. Like Bill Cunningham. No one would be like, “Hey creep, quit taking photos of me” if Bill was taking photos of them.
Third, you need to be real social and friendly. You need to be able to go up to people and be like, “You look amazing. Can I please photograph you for my blog?” And then maybe have a business card or something.
I’m quite shy. And I don’t have a business card.

So I decided to just be a discreet creep. I saw this beautiful girl wearing a multi-coloured stripey 1930s hat perched on top of her glorious curly up-do. It was kind of like a pillbox or stiff beret. I held up my phone like I was going to make a call and pressed the button. The indiscreet click caught her attention. She turned to me. Not knowing what to do I just flashed her this big goofy smile. Luckily she smiled back.
“I love your hat!” I said.
“Thank you.” She mouthed over the street musicians.

I’m not sure if I will stick to my new career, but I’ll let you know.

Sucked into a hole

“I’m not always there when you call
but I’m always online
I’d give you my all
but I’m wasting my time”

I had a bit of a youtube party this weekend, it involved a lot of Ashanti, Mariah, Kelly, Ciara and all the other babes who sing the hooks on hip hop tracks.
What else did I do over the long weekend?
(Aside from raise my cup of tea in celebratory salute to the Queen)
(I didn’t actually do that, apart from her natty ability to match her umbrella to her outfit, the Queen is not a big part of my life).
I managed to get sucked into the deep dark hole that is Game of Thrones and the deep dark holes that are Khal Drogo’s eyes. I know he’s a bit gruff and monosyllabic, but you can’t tell me you haven’t imagined jumping on the back of his war horse and whispering, “Take me back to your tent, Sun and Stars, and I’ll dress those battle wounds for you”.
There’s other reasons to watch GOT of course, like female sword-fighters, dragons, white walkers (vampire thingees that scare the daylights out of me), Tyrion and medieval fashions for men (men in skirts, men with half up half down ponies, MC Hammer pants made of hessian, Fur collars)
I’ve only just finished season 1 – so please, spare me the spoilers.

Tram footsie

Oh the great game of tram footsie, played by many a gentleman and rogue alike. Sitting opposite a MOTOS* on those cramped tram seats, with that casual way you slouch, your legs stretched out in the hope that you might sleep at a right angle, you glance up at the MOTOS across as you suddenly realize your feet are touching!

There are several possible explanations for this:

a) It’s a complete accident – MOTOS across was a little overenthusiastic in his foot-tapping or position-rearranging, misjudged the distance between and is now embarrassed by the contact. Evidenced by a sharp pulling away of feet, inability to meet your stare, potential faked “this is my stop” exit.

b) It’s intentional – MOTOS across is into you. MOTOS also happens to be a major babe. Evidenced by an eyebrow lift, an unnecessarily long lingering of the feet, potential cool movie move like a phone number on the back of a tram ticket.  (This has not happened to me yet, but I’m sure it could happen to someone, somewhere.)

c) MOTOS is an alcoholic – foot rub neither accidental nor intentional. Foot rub is repeated, and becomes more and more blatant as you remain frozen trying to think of a solution. Evidenced by a smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes fixed on you, a slurred proposition. Potential sexual harassment. Probably best to change seats.

*Tram footsie can of course occur between MOTSS as well. Tram footsie does not discriminate.

The best email I ever got…

I opened up my inbox today to find this little delight:

hi dear
how much per hr

I don’t know anything about the sender but there’s a definite poetry in the brevity and absence of punctuation.

I have yet to formulate a worthy response.

How to survive fashion week

I won this competition to go to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week last week (you may have noticed my entry on this blog). Big thank you to Vogue and Ausmode for organizing the comp! Having never been to a fashion week, or day, or hour, before, this was all very exciting. A glimpse at the world that goes on outside the thrift stores I usually get my fashion fix from. A world where you can wear 10cm high heels everywhere and no one will think you’re overdressed. A world where a man in towering stilettos and a bright red feather fascinator is a revered figure.

It being my first, and probably last, fashion week I wanted to soak it all in. I learnt a lot. I thought I’d share some of my new knowledge with you, in case you ever have the chance to experience this amazing cultural tradition first hand.

1. Always bring a pair of flats in your handbag. Or just wear your sneakers to the show. True fashionistas suffer through the pain of platforms all day, but luckily for us mortals sneakers are perfectly acceptable fashion week footwear. As long as they have big plastic flowers on them or something.

2. Wear wack stuff. I mean, if you can’t afford some amazing designer trenchcoat with a straw collar, just wear heaps of wack stuff. No one cares if everything you wear comes from op shops as long as you look like a rainbow threw cowboy and soldier costumes all over you.

3. Strong legs do strut down many of the runways. Not everyone is super skinny. Don’t feel bad about shoving down a burger or some sushi just before a show. I’m sure you still look amazing. And if you sneak around the backstage, you’ll see all the models doing it too.

4. If you are a designer and you don’t want your models taking off their too-big heels and spraying cotton wool over the runway, put them in Docs like LF Markey.

5. By the end of the week, most people stop going to the show and you’ll probs maybs get bumped up to the front row.

Reader Request #1

I hate taking the 96 on Sunday evenings. After 7.30, the trams run a lot less frequently. Not to mention the stop nearest my house is the worst tram stop in Melbourne, no seat, no protection from the elements, traffic speeding by on both sides. And for some reason I always get there late. Partly because Tram Tracker lies. Partly because I am convinced I can walk the two long blocks from Smith to Nicholson in less than 8 minutes. I can’t. But also that Tram Tracker thing.

This particular evening in question I felt I was making good time, despite Tram Tracker’s lies. It felt like it had been about 7 minutes plus I had only listened to two tracks on my ipod. I sped up as I felt the rumble of tram on track in the distance. I rounded the corner into Nicholson and saw the tram pulling up to the stop. I was still quite a few steps away so I picked up my pace. Luckily, two young gents had spotted me through the back of the tram and one placed himself against the door of the tram, preventing the driver from pulling out.

I started to run as the boys motioned for me to hurry. What fine young fellows holding the door for me! I finally reached the tram and headed for the back door where they were. Just as I neared, the rascal holding the door blew me a kiss and stepped out of the way as the doors shut with me on the wrong side of them. Leaving me to spend the next 22 minutes at the least user-friendly tram stop in Melbourne.