Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In My Hipster Dreams, I'm Maggie Gyllenhaal

I love living in Kansas City. But now and then I have visions, dreams, fevered desires to live somewhere hipper, different, a little strange, a little more liberal, and a little less Midwestern. It's quite possible that I could sell my cute 1960's ranch house with the fenced in backyard, (brand new water heater, god, home ownership sucks sometimes) and two car garage out in the suburbs and move somewhere cooler here in my own town, but why must you try and make my brief fever dreams all practical and shit?

No, this a dream. This is a fictionalization. Here in my hipster playground, lawns don't need to be mowed and laundry is magically folded, someone always puts you on the list for that up and coming band's gig and you actually like their music and comfortably use the word gig, every cupcake has the perfect amount of buttercream frosting and is most probably vegan, Nickelback has never existed, and vintage stores carry plus sizes, and size 11 kitten heels and all the best brooches and scarves are waiting just for me to buy them. This is a fantasy land. I am not myself here.

But because I like my life 98% of the time, and my close proximity to my important beloved people and my general style and my day to day existence, I don't make fantasy land a reality. I don't move away. I don't begin as someone else, somewhere else. Now and then though, I go there. 

I picture myself with my pale arms and feet decorated in beautiful colorful tattoos, my hair dolled up into dark curls with a 1940's puffed bang, and I'm donning the most perfectly tailored retro full skirted dress you've ever seen, mixed with modern shoes and accessories, or skinny jeans and layers of striped t-shirts and necklaces and a vest. Sure, a vest, this is a dream, right? I can rock a vest. Stop looking at me like that.

In this fantasy, I'm dressed like some combination of Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story, Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary, Ione Skye in that strange little movie Dream for an Insomniac and Zoe Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer. And of course, I live in Portland or San Francisco. My office job ditched, I write and cook and read and chat with artists and go to coffee shops and bars and brand new restaurants all day, every day. I precociously carry this around and color in it when I have time to kill, as I wait for my friends to arrive at the bar. Like I said, fantasy land. And what feeds these fantasies? What media mingles and jostles around in my brain to create these dreams? I blame these three blogs for making me want to run off and live in their beautiful photos, soaking up my own dose of unreality.

This blog makes me want to live in Portland and stop buying clothes at Marshall's and instead find them at the Salvation Army just so I can say "Oh, this delicate embroidered cardigan? Oh, it's thrifted." I love these regular, super stylish people, just caught on the street, dressed creatively, purposefully and with humor and verve. It inspires me to toss around my own wardrobe and combine things I wouldn't have dreamed up on my own. Plus, these people look like they'd be so much fun to eat vegan cupcakes with.


Alisa Burke is a talented graphic artist, generally gorgeous person, who photographs her life, shares her ideas, projects and vision through her blog. I kind of love her. I wish I had her drawing and art skills, but instead I'll just look at her site and dream of living in Oregon or California. And getting paid to take nature walks and then paint them. Rocks, seashells, feathers, she makes them look prettier than they look even in real life.


And finally, this blog pisses me off as often as it inspires me to want to run off to Italy and change my name to Francesca. Beautiful people. Beautiful strange clothes. Exotic locations. And very, very few regular looking folks. Unlike Urban Weeds, which is filled with people who look like you might have gone to college together, The Sartorialist is populated with the glamorous, the perfect, the coast dwellers. But it's lovely to look at. And no woman who weighs more than 130 pounds seems to ever appear on these pages. But eh, it's like Vogue on the street.

So these blogs are the daydream makers, they spawn the flights of fancy, the happy distractions from the messy kitchen, the plants that need to be watered, the old Blues Brothers t-shirt and jeans I'm wearing as I sit here on the couch, drinking a glass of Crystal Light, perfectly happy, as I write this for you. Knowing I'll never tattoo my feet. Because damn, people, that would hurt.

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