Although in principle I am vehemently against the slobbification of America, I must concede; there are times when only sweatpants will do.
At those particular moments in time, I know I'm as comfortable as can be.. but I cannot help but wonder.. what message am I sending out? What on earth would people think of my fashion ethic? Do the people of Anything-Goes-San-Francisco even care??? What constitutes San Francisco Fashion anyway?
Meaning... when I think of New York Fashion, I think American Sportswear.. and lots of Black. And of course, Paris fashion is all about Haute Couture sophistication:
And then there are the English Eccentrics:And even Los Angeles; I think there's LA fashion. It may not be high fashion, but its a look: But what about my Beloved City? What is the look that cohesively ties together the city's identity?
Its not khaki's and white poplin, god forbid; although the GAP tried really hard to make that happen. Is it hippie chic?? *barf* Is this the image people all over the world have of San Francisco when it comes to fashion?? *double barf* And truly, shit like this just makes me mad... WTF????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I call this the Smug Hipster look. Ladies, just throwing more shit on your body does not make it fashion! I know we dress in layers here, but give it up already! Is it any wonder then that San Francisco Fashion Week seems so uninspired? As a follower of fashion, I am always aware of New York and Paris fashion weeks. But does anyone really know what goes on during SF Fashion week? I thought I would check in with the local fashionistas on the SF Fashion Week website and see what insights they might have.
“San Francisco style is an expression of individualism mixed with a sense of city chic.”
“San Francisco's fashion is as diverse as it's inhabitants, it's neighborhoods and it's ever changing weather patterns!”
Just as I thought! They don't know either! .. This City is so hellbent on diversity and individuality, we use it as a crutch for not having a true fashion identity. Don't get me wrong , I love this City for all that it offers, the crazy melange of characters I come across every day. But what I come across on the Muni J-line does not constitute high fashion.
Where am I going with all this?? *sigh* I see and meet fashionable folks all the time. How and why is none of that being tranlsated into a strong cohesive identity to present to the world? Are we spiting ourselves for the sake of expressing a state of mind? A shame that for all those who love fashion, it seems as though we all end up looking elsewhere for inspiration.
I was unsure what three days on a schooner would bring my way. It was definitely an adventure; both of the expected and the unexpected.
I was immediately hit by the visceral sensations of being out on the water. The weather, the wind, the swells, the smells! And as if all that weren't enough to take in, my crewmates and I had to learn all the schooner parts and what they did. It was an entirely new world with a language all its own.
Halyards, cleets, main stays'l, luffing and tacking. What planet were we on??!?
I can't say I came back from this sailing challenge a changed woman per se.. but it most certainly has given me a whole another view of the world, of my own home. I saw parts of the bay I have never seen in my entire life living here in the Bay Area. I got a taste of what I think a part of maritime history that we don't really talk about anymore. Schooners having been more widely used in the United States than in any other country, popular in "trades" that required speed and windward ability, such as slaving, privateering, blockade running and offshore fishing. There is a whole subculture still of people who live on boats year round; they couldn't imagine living life at a 9-to-5 like most of us. I understand now the appeal of an everchanging environment, taking nothing for granted. Unlike the almost robotic way I sometimes go about with my workday. Wakeup, get coffee, ride the train, go to office, sit in my chair, and stare at my monitor.
My building stays in place. My cubicle always looks the same.
But getting just a small taste of what this Tallship program has to offer, I can only imagine what a new perspective this must give to a 16-year-old, for 6 weeks! It is humbling and yet empowering. Frightening to be so far out of one's element; yet comforting knowing there are your crewmates with also the same fears.
I worked alongside 14 other women who were committed to teamwork and learning. And believe me, when we were hit with a horrendous storm on our first full day out, morale was low. But we all focused on why we were there and what we came to do. Truly a lovely experience.
I cannot, however, say the same for the Head. blech. While I slept in my rack, I could smell the intoxicating scent of a port-a-potty waft through the salon. I'm not sure if the smell is completely out of my system but all I can say is yuck. I'll never get used to that.
I recommend anyone out there interested to step up to the challenge next year. You won't regret it. Know this is a wonderful educational opportunity for young girls who would never have the chance otherwise.And thanks to ALL OF YOU who supported me on yet another adventure. You can see all the pics here.
Only 2 more days until I set sail on the San Francisco Bay. As I prepare and pack, the nervousness is beginning to set in. Do I have enough pairs of wool socks? (I don't.) Will I be warm enough? (Probably not.) Will the candied ginger suffice in case I get seasick? (I'm hoping so.)
I can't believe I'll be out to sea for 3 days; what was I thinking?? To top it off, we'll be returning on the day of the Womens Skipper Regatta, participating in a race back into the Bay. No pressure.
If you have been thinking of sending a donation but just put it off? Well now's a great time! Whether it be $5 or $10 or any other amount; IT WILL make a difference in furthering a young woman's education. http://www.active.com/donate/rowena_tallship
I thank you in advance for your support, and truly appreciate your generosity!!
To learn more about the Tall Ship Education Academy, Girls Semester at Sea, and the Women's Challenge(and watch a video!), go to: http://www.tallshipacademy.org
I had been warned to brace myself against the wiles of a puppy dog. .. They are sneaky little things that worm their way into your heart. ... My next volunteer day was spent at Animal Rescue New Orleans, ARNO; a grassroots volunteer organization involved in hands-on Katrina rescue in the greater New Orleans area. These little sticks of butter are 2 weeks old. Their mother, Rocka, was found pregnant in a boat canal and was brought in for an emergency c-section. I should've put one in my pocket....
And here's Chloe once again, giving her best Sexyback. I believe she found a a loving family while I was there. Or else, she's be sitting on my lap right now.
In case any of you are wondering, yes... I did start to cry when I saw her.
There are so many other pictures I took, but I guess at this point, you must be tired of reading about NOLA. But I guess, thats exactly the point isn't it? The country overall I think is suffering Katrina burnout and we just don't want to hear anymore about the hardship there, the crazy stories that come out of there. But its happening, its frustrating, its sad, its a mess. I hope my time here helps to keep NOLA in your mind; to think about how lucky we are.. and how others still need help. If you have any questions please let me know. I am happy to tell you more. And you can find more pics here.