April 29, 2009

Artist Tommy Mintz Brings "Disposable" Beauty to Vacant Restaurant

I found a great treasure while exploring the West Village recently--A guerrilla exhibit of artist Tommy Mintz's work in the windows of the former Mama Buddha Chinese restaurant on Hudson Street in the Village.

We all know I've been a little obsessed with the recession and store closures lately and therefore a total Debbie Downer, so you can imagine how excited I was to discover this exhibit: I can continue to examine how the recession is impacting New York on my blog but with a positive spin because public art is always a good thing.

Mintz's note on the window is dated August 30, 2008 and pays homage to the restaurant: "Thank you Chuck and Mama Buddha for providing countless years of hospitality! You made more than food here. Here is a final show of artwork in the windows of Mama Buddha. 'Disposable'."

Well, this exhibit has proved not to be very "disposable" since it's lasted through fall, winter, and a month of spring without new tenants tearing it down. I hope this inspires more artists to seek out these types of opportunities. It makes walking the empty streets a lot more enjoyable.

This is happening right now in London. The Guardian reported on April 23rd that artists are capitalizing on vacant retail spaces to expose their work to a wider audience. The hope is that by giving artists space on the "high street," the process of creating art will be demystified and public rather than hidden behind studio walls.

I'm excited to see how more of this in New York can bring a new vibrancy to the city's streets. Anyone know of any other impromptu galleries I should check out?

(Tommy, if you're reading this, how much for that cute photo of the old ladies?)

April 23, 2009

Sign of the Times

Sorry for the poor image quality, but you get the gist...

April 21, 2009

Trends at Topshop NYC

Could it be true? Could Topshop, my long lusted-after fashion oasis be too trendy for me?

My first time checking out the Soho Topshop, I was underwhelmed by the selection - cheap fabrics, unappealing prints, too-expensive prices for the quality - so I got my fix by buying a cute scarf instead of the hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise I fantasized about getting. I gave the store another shot today. Again, nothing cute jumped out at me. I was feeling old and lame while in the changing room trying on some Moto Denim skinny jeans that didn’t fit right.

Then it was all put in perspective. I overheard two employees talking about how they’re supposed to organize the racks of go-backs for the runners.

“The manager said that now we’re supposed to organize by trend, not floor, but I don’t what the trends are,” says Girl A.

“Oh, that makes it easier.”

Girl B starts organizing the clothes—two hangers click on the rack: “Miami, Miami.” One more hanger clicks: “Pirates.”

Okay, with trends named “Miami” and “Pirates”, I am glad my 27 year old self isn’t as hip and with-it as my 20 year old “studying in London” self.

April 14, 2009

Extreme Career Makeovers

While resume makeovers are still a 100% necessity in this job market, some are taking a more extreme approach to career makeovers by using plastic surgery and other “touch-ups” as part of their job search strategy.

Botox procedures were up 5% in 2008 despite economic declines. I’m not arguing that there’s a “Botox Index” like there may be a Lipstick Index, but some pink slipped Baby Boomers are investing in a more youthful look.

A recent Reuters article spotlighted one 56 year old man who opted for a facelift preemptively because he knew his business was declining and that he would soon need to interview, possibly outside an industry he’s been in for 35 years. The article also highlights a New York plastic surgeon who hopes to capitalize on the needs of job seekers by marketing a bundle of his services as the “Job Fighter Package”.

The idea of using plastic surgery to advance your career is not a new strategy, but few speak up about the topic. Exactly one year before the Reuters article, outspoken career blogger Penelope Trunk hypothesized, “Plastic surgery will be for the go-getters and career-minded. Just you wait and see.” Has her prediction come true?

Will Boomers and the over-40 Gen X set strive to look and feel 35 again? Do you think this is a viable career strategy?

To me, 35 is the magic career number. It’s the age when you’ve probably achieved the “over 10 years of relevant experience” status that makes you qualified for jobs with interesting job descriptions and decision-making ability. It’s the age when most of your superiors are no longer old enough to be your parents, so you can finally stop feeling like a kid. It’s the age when you can still “hang” with your younger co-workers at happy hour while being taken seriously in the boardroom.

Do you think looking 35 will make you more hire-able?

April 7, 2009

Subway Schmutz - Hazard for Lipstick Recessionistas

sugar lips DAY 18
Originally uploaded by Rachel Watford
As you may recall, there's something about the NYC Subway that gets me thinking about my own mortality.

I always get quite grossed out by the cloudy wind that blows all around when you're standing on a local platform and the express train rolls on by, creating a wind tunnel that stirs up years of dirt and grime. I start thinking about all the gray micro-particles that are adhering to my contact lenses and take shallow breaths. And if the breeze is a warm breeze - eewww - seems way worse!

Aside from squinting during these zephyrs, I never really got officially grossed out until I recently got hit in the face with an extra-strong subway wind, then for some reason licked my lips, noticing my thick layer of gloss. Gag! Then I started thinking about all the MTA dust that had adhered to my lips that was probably now on my tongue. Yum...

I always wear some sort of lip gloss while on mass transit, so not sure why it took me years to develop this new germ phobia but I imagine it has something to do with the recession and the theory that lipstick sales increases align with economic declines. Just the press alone that this concept gets is great marketing and I'm totally guilty of succumbing to the advertising -- I've purchased 4 new lipsticks in the past two weeks! You're welcome, Revlon. I've got lipstick on the brain!

Perhaps I will switch to my new Revlon Matte lipstick shade during my commute rather than my extra-gooey stand-by Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush gloss. Oh how I will miss my tasty Mango Madness VS gloss. I will save it for special above-ground occasions.

2009 Macy's Petacular - I'd Rather be Unemployed

Next time you hate your job...

Next time you wish you didn't get laid off...

Find solace in the fact that you don't get paid to do this:

Guess what this is a photo of... It was taken at the 2009 Macy's Petacular... Still no guesses?

It's a photo of the winner of the Westminster dog show sitting on it's handler's lap, in the shade thanks to the woman holding the umbrella over the dog.

Providing shade to a dog with an umbrella whilst standing in the middle of Broadway has to be the worst job ever.

Let's all take a deep breath and be thankful for what we have.

April 1, 2009

Soho Topshop Opens TOMORROW

Originally uploaded by Racked NY
The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!
When I'm stuck with a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And grin,
And say,
The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
Tïll tomorrow
Come what may
I love ya
You're always
A day
A way!

Smart trousers, knickers and Moto denim are only a day awayyyyy :)
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