Do you ever pause, realize you’ve been sitting at the computer for over two hours and think, ‘what am I doing with my life?’ This might be one of those times. Alas, alack.
I was going to write a post reflecting on pregnancy and motherhood, now that I’m just two weeks out from my due date. Instead, I bring you the next instalment of ‘style icons’ in which we look at wardrobe through the lens of Adventures in Babysitting, aka the best movie of 1987.
Elisabeth Shue plays Chris Parker, the reluctant babysitter, and still to this day I think she’s one of the most beautiful women around. Back then, I wanted to be her. Now, I want to update her outfit of casual basics with versions in luxe fabrics and cooler cuts. Because frankly Chris, you deserve better.
Don’t f*ck with the babysitter.
1. Colorblock Streetcar Coat, Madewell. The oversized camel coat gets a modern makeover in this menswear-inspired two-tone number. Want.
I’ve found myself starting to compile a list of fictional characters whose style I’m pretty into, but am trying to veer away from the more predictable choices. Nobody needs another Annie Hall-inspired wardrobe post. Now Annie, on the other hand…
First up in this series: Miss Hannigan from 1982’s classic kid’s flick, Annie. God I loved this movie. At the time of course I had no true sense of the hilarity and brilliance that was Carol Burnett in the role as the queen of mean orphanage head, swanning around in her 1930s boudoir-esque outfits.
Now if only they would create an updated version of Miss Hannigan… oh wait, they did. Gah. I’m sorry but Cameron Diaz is just chewing scenery here. This is how I’d play it today:
1.Storm Vision dress by Samantha Pleet, via Bona Drag. Purple and flowy is the key… click the link so you can really see this baby in all its glory. It’s my new dream dress! Thanks in advance, Santa.
2. Miss H. was never without a long necklace; this updated version would bring a little more delicacy to the proceedings. Braid Lariat Necklace by Heather Hawkins, via Shopbop.
3. For when those orphans are working your last nerve: stainless steel purse flask, via Red Envelope. It’s probably too hard to read in the collage above but this one says, “may you never go to hell but always be on your way.” Works for me.
4.Braided Sky High sandals in antique gold, Swedish Hasbeens. I actually can’t recall what type of shoes ol’ H. wore but these seem appropriate – deco-inspired and fabulous, but still with the slightest hint of tacky.
Now repeat after me: “WE LOVE YOU, MISS HANNIGAN.”
ps. Thanks to everybody for your kind words re: my last post. We’ve received so many nice messages via the blog and Facebook and even on that last-century thing known as voicemail. It’s been much appreciated.
Praise be to the late-summer harvest and behold the bounty that we have reaped.
More homemade pickles than any one household really needs! (In the interest of full disclosure, our cucumbers didn’t do too well this year so Chris bought a bushel from our favourite farm market up the road, Currie’s, to use as raw material)
I’m aware that anybody who knows me is going to think I’ve gone nuts.
I’ve put up a couple posts recently wherein I’ve jokingly drawn attention to this old paint-splattered puffy vest of my husband’s, and people are coming out of the woodwork in support of the utilitarian wardrobe item whose very existence is my bane. All the popular sporty girls in my high school wore Mountain Equipment Co-op puffy vests every day and I pretty much vowed one would never slip over my shoulders.
It actually gets pretty chilly at night here in the summer, so if we’re sitting around the bonfire or what have you, dressing warm is still key. So I guess it made me wonder if, hypothetically of course, it were even possible to pull off a puffer vestand look relatively cool. Well it kind of turns out you can?
Sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago, but I spent four years during my mid-twenties in New York City – attending art school, working odd jobs, eating way too many bagels and korean noodles, walking everywhere, crying over boys, and cementing some pretty incredible friendships. I even hung out at the Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint before it became a chain and went all Girls.
It was one of those formative experiences that will always be a part of me, and lately I’ve really found myself missing the city and its unique energy. Good thing I’m heading to NYC, oh, ah… TODAY.
In honour of my visit, I’ve compiled a personal top 6 list of evocative films set in the Big Apple. Major caveats: it’s in no real order, and doesn’t adhere to any particular aesthetic criteria or even represent my opinion of the ‘best’ movies to take place in NYC. Let’s just say that these picks all conjure some kind of specific sense of the city for me, whether accurate or imagined.
Taxi Driver. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Manhattan. If you’re expecting these, you’ve come to the wrong list, my friends.
Image above: “I’m so embarrassed, I’m not a real person yet.”
1.Frances Ha (2012) Present-day NYC through the eyes of the struggling 20-something creative, shot in beautiful black and white. At the film’s most exhilarating, the “undate-able” Frances runs through the streets to the soundtrack of David Bowie’s “Modern Love” (in homage to a scene from Leos Carax’s Mauvais Sang, in case that sort of thing matters to you). At its mostmundane, she lounges on her fire escape and chats with her best friend. It’s pretty much perfect, really.
“Can you dig it?”
2. The Warriors (1979) I’m fairly sure I never in a million years would have watched this movie, if not for my dad insisting when I was in junior high. A cult classic about fictional NY gangs, the Warriors are framed for murder and over the course of a night they must traverse the city, make it past the many other hostile gangs and the police, and return to their home base of Coney Island. It depicts NYC at its most campily inhospitable and, from a kid’s perspective, I assumed the city was just one giant mess of graffiti, dangerous subway platforms, and creepy men in leather vests. Image from Pyxurz.
“I’m staying! You hear that, New York? THE FROG IS STAYING!”
3.The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) Broadway dreams, showbiz clichés, low-paying luncheonette gigs, purse snatching in Central Park, lunch at Sardi’s with Liza Minnelli, Mad Men as enacted by frog puppets… it is all here, and it is hilarious.
“We didn’t miss it. This IS it.”
4.Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008). A long night spent traipsing around NYC, accompanied by a great soundtrack (Chris Bell, Band of Horses, Bishop Allen), culminating in a kiss at sunrise in Penn Station, is a night well-spent. The sense of possibility, excitement, sweetness, and (mostly) innocent adventure just feels quintessentially New York, to me, in the way that I once experienced it.
“Don’t you know tricks are for kids?”
5.Kids (1995) Ick. To this day I’ve not seen this movie in its entirety, but if ever you needed a skin-crawling cautionary tale involving unsupervised, amoral urban teenagers, this is it (basically the polar opposite of #4). It may very well be the reason I never did drugs, didn’t lose my virginity til I was 19, and was kind of afraid of New York City til I actually moved there. Feels like it deserves a spot on the list, though, for its ability to elicit all these strong responses, even now.
“You see, that’s the funny thing – I can’t have a baby because I have a 12:30 lunch meeting.”
6.Baby Boom (1987) Shout-out to Sarah Stringer — girl, you know what I’m talking about. Diane Keaton might justifiably be mortified were she to realize that children of the ’80s view this as her iconic NYC film character moment. Sorry, Annie Hall, but we have an eternal soft spot for J.C. Wiatt.
Work-aholic female business exec is faced with caring for an unexpected child, loses her job and leaves Manhattan for small-town Vermont, then launches her own empire making organic baby food. So, it’s basically the story of my life. Just kidding. All the “Big City” tropes of the late 1980s are here – power-lunches, city apartments full of black leather and chrome, big shoulder-pads, and tiger moms with even bigger hair, hanging at the playground while discussing their toddler’s resumé submission to the coveted Upper East Side pre-schools. But will J.C. give it all up for a slower pace? Lean in, ladies – this one’s practically a classic.
Is there any other city on earth that’s been the source of such a wealth of cinematic inspiration? What NYC films have resonated with you? (and don’t let my avoidance of the high-brow stop you from going there)