5 Unexpected Sources of Streetstyle Inspiration

TERROR

1. Pigeons.

Gray is the best neutral ever, and who wears gray better than a pigeon? Nobody—except possibly one of those rude, moody seals I’m always seeing on Project Runway: Sea World. Not only do pigeons rock the new neutral like it’s 1492 and everyone is dying of scurvy and their skin has gone gray from malnutrition, but they’ve got the attitude to match. Ever tried to shoo a pigeon out of your way? Important lesson from our avian friends: swagger is half the battle. 


2. Old pieces of gum.

What’s more common than a Brooklynite waif in high-waisted jean shorts? A piece of gum stuck to the sidewalk. Next time you’re in a color-coordinating rut, draw inspiration from the speckled concrete. A Bubblicious pink pairs perfectly with a cool Doublemint green. Add a flawless Orbit-white manicure and you’re the queen of too-cool-for-school, except for the gross bottoms of your shoes that are now covered in chewed-up Brooklyn spitballs, but who’s looking at them except the mole people, because the street is secretly a one-way mirror through which they observe us all?????????



3. A trash can.

Some say metallics are in again. I say they never left. While languid hipsters opt for those weird rings that go above your first knuckle–oh yeah, that’s a great idea, the only thing keeping it on is folds of finger skin, and is that the grossest phrase you’ve heard today or what?–we should all aspire to be as cool as the nearest trash can by wearing head-to-toe silver. Kidnap Liberacci for your date and call it a night at the Oscars (silver duct tape not included). 


4. Harried moms.



Who does bedhead and a I-just-slept-in-my-eyeliner smokey eye better than a stressed-out mom dashing to the grocery store? If you’re feeling really authentic, change your ringtone to the sound of a wailing baby and bathe in sour milk, like Cleopatra gone preggo.

5. Websites.



Ever walked through a particularly powerful wireless signal and felt the glory and artistry of the internet waft right through your pores? Next time you’re feeling uninspired, load up your favorite website–you know, the one that’s designed to make you feel good about wasting your life away on the internet without offering you a single meaningful or original sentence. Ah, the glitz of pop-up ads! The glitter of clickable headlines! The sophisticated way every single article starts with “Ten Ways to…”! Cover yourself from head to toe with stickers and twinkly lights, light your hair on fire, and jump off the nearest clip cliff. What cutting-edge social commentary about the future of the internet you’ve just performed! 

The Internet Makes Me Feel Sad, Part 2

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Some writer-type people are very vocal about their depression. Some are vocal about their sexual orientation, their childhood traumas, their totally misunderstood penchant for offering small children a lift in their nice, clean, white van. This is all part of this thing writers attempt to do called “connecting,” which, yawn, whatever, but there is one issue of mine that I want to be perfectly honest about because I don’t see many people talking about it: my reactions to the internet.

I wrote about this same issue a year ago, and not much has changed–except I like checking my email now, because every now and then someone says, “I would like to send you my Rwandan inheritance via money order!” and I’m like “Okay, here’s all the info you’ll need!” In this way I have become very, very rich.

Speaking of wealth, I have wanted to be a freelance writer for a long time, and things are finally happening. I got a paid writing job. A PAID WRITING JOB: rarer than a unicorn, rarer than a female director in Hollywood, rarer than finding quality saffron at the dollar store. As a hippie archetype in a lazy film full of one-dimensional background characters might say, “Cool, dude! I’m wearing a tie-dye shirt…Woodstock!”

My once-dark summer has turned into a pretty good time. I write articles in the morning, I write fiction in the afternoon (TOTALLY JOKING, I NAP), I waitress at night. I had a near-brush with a serial killer that I need to tell you all about, and I got to hang out with my little sister for like a week. “Far out, man,” says the hippie in the corner. “Why is everything you say so exhaustingly cliche?” we respond, but the hippie is silent inside his cloud of pot.

Unfortunately, doing online-type things has caused me to morph into a human-shaped mass of buzzing anxiety covered in a thin, easily-bruisable layer of skin.

The internet makes me sad. I can’t deal with the mediocrity of the internet, I can’t deal with the disposability of writing on the internet, I can’t deal with the thought that I might be adding to the worthless noise, but I need to be online to do the type of writing I want to do (quasi-journalistic, quasi-creative shortform writing that was designed for people like me: narcissists who can’t maintain an argument. OMG THAT WAS THE MEANEST THING I’VE EVER SAID ABOUT MYSELF, I’M LIKE EMINEM IN 8 MILE).

Let me be simultaneously more specific and more melodramatic. For the past few days, I have had intense physiological reactions to the thought of going online. My stomach has literally been in knots. YES, LITERALLY. IT’S A RARE DISEASE THAT ONLY I HAVE. I started crying in front of my sweet boyfriend yesterday evening as I attempted to do anxiety-relieving accupressure on my own arm. If that’s not the saddest thing you’ve ever heard, you must read the news.

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I think that flowers are the opposite of the internet. The feeling I get when I’m filching black-eyed Susans from a community garden, ransacking my neighbor’s lilacs after midnight, or snipping mint leaves from my grandmother’s herb patch to make the best chimichurri this side of the Panama Canal is an incredibly centered, grounded, relaxed, inspired peace. It’s the feeling of participating in a physical world as present, tangible organism.

…#biologymajor

The internet is none of those things. It’s not physical, it’s not dependent on time or place, it appeals to three senses at most (sight, sound, and touch, and that’s stretching it). Sure, it’s possible to be genuine–even genius–on the internet, but it’s all technically intangible, and to me, intangibility is a close cousin to the unreal, and though I’ll always be the kind of girl who flirts with spirits, I like my unreality in very specific forms: fiction, nighttime walks, and the best parties. Online, phrases and intentions are stripped of their weight and subtlety because of how easy they are to create and how devoid they are of dimension. Everyone is engaging through a screen, both literally and figuratively, and the whole thing has a frantic but non-vital hum. I find it hard to sustain a concentrated thought on the internet but very easy to contribute meaningless content. And now that I get paid for writing content, the temptation to be throwaway, quick, and depthlessly catchy is greater than ever. I try to hold myself to some sort of standard with the following formula: say something interesting, analyze it beyond the superficial, and conclude something new. But then…Buzzfeed exists. And I know this sounds dramatic, but I feel the effect of the whole thing in my body. My spine knots. My heart speeds up.

This afternoon, I went on a walk with my boyfriend and picked a huge tangle of wildflowers and after a minute of silence, I told him I understood why so many older writers have gardens. Believe me, I know the internet isn’t going anywhere and I wouldn’t want it to–I don’t think. I like being able to stay in touch with my childhood best friends on Facebook. I love some of the writing freedoms it provides and I like being able to work at my own open window (and not someone else’s) because I have a computer and an internet connection. But I am trying to figure out how to live without being hateful and anxious and scattered. And I know that I’m going to need a garden.

Advice From a Younger Sister #2: Things I Loathe

Got boy problems? Need career advice? Wondering what the square root of pi is? Like a Euripidean deus ex machina, Younger Sister is here to help.

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  1. Judgmental people. To all you haters out there, YOU DON’T KNOW ME. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’VE BEEN THROUGH. No but seriously calm down with the jumping to conclusions and the judging and the “I’m better than you” looks. Everyone does it, but that doesn’t mean it’s cool. Ugh. Like, who nominated you to be better than that lady with mom-jeans? MAYBE SHE’S A MOM.
  2. Kids that grow up too fast. Dear middle schoolers, I was once like you and I couldn’t wait to drive and be cool, but just wait. Anyone who’s cute or un-awkward in middle school is breaking the rules of nature and science and should not be trusted. It’s okay to be awkward. Embrace the awkward. And stop with the iPhones and selfies. Like come on, it’s okay to break a nail and climb a tree. I promise. And your life won’t end if you don’t immediately text back your boyfriend of two minutes whom you swear you’ll marry one day. He won’t stop liking you because of it. And if he does, you’re finally free from bondage.
  3. School. Need I say more? I used to love school but junior year hit and I decided I’d rather work at McDonald’s after high school anyways.
  4. Job-hunting.
  5. Uptight people. Like, seriously calm your freaking titties. It’s okay if your plans weren’t exactly followed, everything will be okay. Relaaaaaax.
  6. When people call me Anna T. I have a last name, people, and it sure ain’t T.
  7. Clingy people. I WILL STILL BE HERE IN TWO MINUTES YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW ME AROUND.
  8. Abbreviations over text. LOL? Really? I can guarantee that my previous text was not funny enough for you to have audibly laughed. LMAO? Pretty sure the booty is still attached.
  9. Bugs. I kid you not, one time I saw a purple ant-looking thing with ORANGE WINGS. It was huge, ugly, and intimidating beyond measure. Props to all of you insect-lovers out there, but I could live my whole life without them critters and I would be perfectly happy. Except roly-polies maybe…those things are pretty cute.