Monday, January 31, 2011

Scandal! Intrigue! Birthday!

I celebrated my 23rd birthday on Saturday with a film noir-themed evening called The Diamond Ace, presented by Dances of Vice at the beautiful Ace Hotel. It was a perfect venue, too, with the damask wall paper and retro wall sconces. The cocktails were fabulous (I should know; I had a few too many) and the entertainment was perfect. Gato Loco Musica, a Latin fusion band, played some really interesting music. Good for listening but also pretty good to dance to. I forgot how much I enjoy dancing cha-cha with my boyfriend.

But enough about the event--on to the clothes! I wanted a bombshell dress and I ended up channeling Rita Hayworth in "Gilda".

Gilda is my favorite femme fatale so I'm glad I got to pay homage to her with my outfit. I'd wanted elbow-length gloves, but the vintage ones I found were a bit out of my budget. And you can't see it, but the stockings have a backseam. The earrings are vintage but everything else was new. The dress was a birthday present to myself.

What I loved about The Diamond Ace is that everyone went all-out with their outfits, like this woman:

We saw a great tango performance and two burlesque performers and the lovely Medianoche left with a piece of my heart in her g-string. She was an incredible performer and so, so nice.

All in all, the evening was a smashing success and I can't wait for the next Dances of Vice event.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Photo Friday: Puerto Rican Day Parade

Every Friday, I'm going to post a photo I find interesting. Because pictures are what made most of us fall in love with decades past, right?
Puerto Rican Day Parade, 1963

This was in last week's issue of New York magazine as part of a series of essays about what year was New York's best. It's so charming to me. I don't know if it's the adorable white heels (white pumps will always have a place in my heart) or if it's because they're the antithesis of your stereotypical Latin spitfire, but this photo made me smile. Certainly, they're sexy but they're still demure.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

For the Cheap Seats in the Back

(This post doesn't have any pictures or videos or links, it just has the magic of seeing Prince in concert. For the second time.) Five years ago, my mom got tickets for us to see him in Boston. We were no more than 15 rows from the stage, and if I squinted, I could see Prince's sweat glisten under the lights. I lost my voice from screaming.

Last week, my boyfriend and I climbed all the way to the very top of Madison Square Garden. On Christmas, when I opened the box that had the envelope holding the tickets, my mom waited for me to stop gasping and jumping before she said, "they're nosebleeds, so don't get too excited." I couldn't care less. "I'll just bring my binoculars." The best thing about a Prince concert, though, is that the energy is so electric, actually seeing the show can become secondary. I spent parts of the concert with my eyes closed and my face titlted upwards, belting lyrics.

The thing is, I didn't rush to buy concert tickets when I heard he was going on tour again because I didn't want to remember how much of his show is cleaned up. I live with the image of Purple Rain Prince, raunchy and arrogant in tight purple pants, Graffiti Bridge Prince, with long hair and wildly colorful outfits, or Dirty Mind Prince, an oversexed, nearly naked powerhouse. Five years ago I hoped against all hope he might ask Jehovah's forgiveness and sing "Darling Nikki" anyway. Because while Prince is and will always be an incredible performer, the Musicology tour was squeaky clean. I regretted not geting tickets when I read in the New York Times that this time around, Prince got off his moral high horse and performed wicked slowburners like "Insatiable" (full disclosure: "Insatiable" is on my boo-lovin playlist). But then my mom came to the rescue and I lost my voice again. I teared up during "Adore". It was so good, so physically satisfying that the next day I forgot he didn't perform "When Doves Cry".

I told my boyfriend I would spend the rest of my life chasing that high. I meant to be funny but I was partly serious. Prince shows you exactly how a concert in an enormous stadium should be. But the thing is, I can't say without a doubt that I'll rush to Ticketmaster for the next tour, if there is a next tour. On the JumboTron and through my binoculars, I could see his makeup looked a bit thick and chalky, that his cheeks were sinking in and he was developing a tiny bit of a turkey neck. In your 50s, these things happen, of course, and his ass is still tiny and perfectly round. But Prince's music, for me, at least, has always been about the beautiful exuberance of youth; Prince makes me feel like I can do anything, can put on and take off personae as easily as a studded leather jacket. The energy is still there when he performs, trust me. He still has moves even if he doesn't do splits. And while I'll never stop looking for his records at stoop sales, I can't watch him get old.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

All The Foxy Chicks Are Reading It

Oh, what a month it has been! But here I am, trying to pick up the slack. I have an enormous mental backlog of things to post about (including an incredible concert I went to) but first things first. A friend passed this on and it was so hilariously bad, I had to share.

Oh, the 70s. What were people thinking? Exhibit A: Star Magazine. In 1973, a new teen magazine launched but only last 5 issues. If I had to guess, it was folded because it was full of bad grammar and groupies. Can you imagine? A magainze that lays out step by step how to be a groupie? My favorite piece so far is the hard-hitting investigative piece that takes us inside groupiedom on the Sunset Strip (or, as the author put it, "a long, detailed rap about the groupie scene"). Our guides: two young women who call themselves Queenie and Sable. Sable is obviously the brains behind the operation. When asked how one becomes a groupie, she answers, "You have to be very flashy, sometimes even sleazy-looking. In a way, sort of cheap-looking." I am not making this up. Have a look for yourself.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm having a busy week full of computer troubles but I wanted to post this great photo I found. I imagine this is a black corps of WACs.

The gloves are a nice touch, don't you think?
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

R.I.P. Teena Marie

I got back to the U.S. a few days ago, only to find out some troubling news: Teena Marie passed away at age 54 on December 26 in her Pasadena home. They're not quite sure how she died. Teena Marie had one of those voices that completely filled a space, even if you listened to her on your stereo. She was so underrated, one of the voices of the 80s. And she wasn't like other legends; you didn't buy her later albums just because you remembered the good old days. Her last several albums had all the spark of her work in the 80s, with an updated sound. Even more impressive, she wrote, produced and played keyboards and guitar on a lot of her songs. I'm truly kicking myself for not seeing her in concert last year.