Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grading Girls

The boy loves Franco. The girl (c'est moi) loves HBO's "Girls". And obviously boy loves girl and vice versa. And girl has made boy watch "Girls" with her, not totally reluctantly I might add.

So when boy's love collided with girl's love and Franco wrote about "Girls" in "A Dude's Take on Girls" in Huffington Post, I had to debate his grade. I suggest you pause and read his article now so the rest of my post makes sense. And if you haven't seen "Girls", I suggest you get on it ASAP or at least, if you are a girl, recall what it felt like to be 24 and it will make more sense.

You're back? Good! are my "Girls" and here are my thoughts.

Some of my "Girls" - pre-digital photo era. Excuse the scan quality.

Firstly, when we graduated from college, which is the age of these girls, my friend base (my close girlfriends) were all a LOT like me. I mean, of my roommates, 6 of us were blonde and 6 were brunette, and we all had pretty similar backgrounds. The cultural diversity of my friendships didn't evolve until my late 20's. And even then, it wasn't necessarily my tight circle, which this show represents. So, as far as cultural diversity goes, the relationship with Adam who seems somewhat disenfranchised, seems "outside the box" for these girls at that age...or at least it seems that way to my once 20-something self. Lena also coined a response to this very criticism.

Secondly, I don't think Aidan or Big were 'dorks' on SATC. Quite the was a power house business man and one was a romantic man's man...Steve is another story. Big dork. But perfect for Miranda. I'm still smarting from the time in my 20's that an ex boyfriend's best friend said I reminded him of her...

Thirdly, I think it will always be hard for adults to retain perspective of being 20. I think the way the guys are portrayed on the show is also part of Lena's perspective of what 'guys' are to girls at that age and the lack of communication and the assumptions made and the total compromise of your integrity (i.e. when he sent her a pic of his wanker and then a follow-up text "that wasn't for you" and she tried to explain it away.) It resonates so loudly with me. But I was also a girl in my 20's living in LA where stuff like what these girls on "Girls" are facing, thinking, and experiencing happened to us. We had some weird experiences and did some dumb stuff, but that's what you did then! We thought we were so old and mature and knew so much, but we didn't. And we probably still don't, but hindsight is always 20/20. Someone as A) male and B) experienced in SO many ways and C) intellectual to the nth degree like Franco might be over-thinking it...and that's partly because he didn't experience being a girl in her 20's.

I agree on getting a job, whatever it may be, for Hannah. Some homeless guy on the L train last night was stumbling through asking for money. He was legitimately obese. If you can be obese in this city, you don't need my money. I mean....ridiculous.

What do you think? 

Monday, May 14, 2012

'a Gatsby Affair''s Spring Party Time!

As many of you know, I'm the President of the junior board for a non-profit organization here in New York City, The Children's Aid Society. We are hosting our second annual spring fundraiser, 'a Gatsby Affair', on May 23rd from 6-9 PM at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. 

This year's party will feature an open bar, fantastic food from Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft catering, an excellent tiered raffle, and amazing music and entertainment. 

Our beneficiary is The Hope Leadership Academy. Every year, over 300 families in Manhattan and the Bronx benefit from the Hope Leadership Academy. 95% of the families served are below the Federal Poverty Line, 4% are low-income and 1% have a modest income. Established to help low-income teens age 14-24, Hope trains youth to be community educators, advocates and leaders, and gives them the skills and self-confidence they need to make changes in their own lives, their neighborhoods, and beyond.

On Friday, I had the chance to hang out at Hope and see the participants celebrating "Women's Day" at the center. They had invited women that were important in their lives to Hope to enjoy an evening of great food (served by all the boys/men) and have their nails painted, play karaoke, make friendship bracelets, and be regaled by the talented young people at Hope. One of those special young women will be performing at 'a Gatsby Affair.' I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I've now seen her perform twice and it gives me chills every time! 

Come join us, see the special surprise, and celebrate this wonderful cause! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Early To Bed, Early to Rise...

Standing there waiting for the chair to collect me, an experience I've had thousands times over the past thirty years, it was almost like the first time. My feet felt unsure, my eyes unadjusted, something was missing. And then, before I could reassess my outing, I was swooped up and carried off. Into the dark. Up and up I was carried. My feet hanging below me, almost weightless in comparison with my past experiences. The cool air breezed all around me and I hunkered into my hood listening to the persistent humming of the chair and the relative silence below.

The day before I had been contemplating what I would do to celebrate Easter Sunday. We were skiing in Beaver Creek for the weekend and the mass schedules I had looked at were few and far between. But my very dear friend gave me the perfect solution...and what turned out to be the pinnacle of my trip.

Sunrise over the mountains
Sunday morning rolled around and the alarm sounded at 5:15AM. I quietly slipped out of bed, so as to not disturb the boy, layered myself with warm gear and departed for the base of the mountain. It was so early and so dark on Easter morning that part of me really felt like I could happen upon the Easter Bunny out hiding eggs and delivering yummy chocolate covered marshmallows and the like. Could have been the delirium of the early hour or my inner three year-old really holding out hope it could be true. As I crested the steps of the village, the silence was broken by the hum of the chairlift and a minor spotlight to help guide riders to the boarding spot. A handful of people boarded the chair for the top swiftly slipping into the dark night as they were whisked upwards. A sensation I experienced seconds later as I was lifted sans board or skis onto the chair and into the chill night breeze.

Sunrise Service Attendees
Atop the mountain, we all congregated in the mid chalet where coffee and hot cocoa (and jet puffed 'mallows!) awaited our arrival. A band played music while people listened peacefully, talked with neighbors, or peered out the window at the horizon in anticipation. Shortly thereafter, it began. The non-denominational sunrise service was wonderfully inspirational and full of hope and thoughtfulness for the day and months to come. Once the service concluded, we all gathered outside to see the highly anticipated sunrise while the most darling Austrian gentleman clad in lederhosen played "Saving Grace" on his alpenhorn. Truly sublime.

"Saving Grace"
Later (7 AM), people headed back to the chairlift to descend the mountain. I noticed two women head off in the direction we had skied down so many times in the previous days. Curious, I approached a ski patrol and inquired whether it was kosher to walk down. He said, "Sure, but it's quite a hike - about 4 miles - and somewhat tough in patches." No problem, I thought...this will be fun. And so I descended on foot and even caught up to the ladies where they were sliding down on their butts. It was late season and relatively icy and bumpy so I did have some battle wounds at the end (and on my end), but the sheer thrill of zooming down the mountain in the still twilight hours of the morning was exhilarating. I finished my adventure with a latte at the mountain base watching the ski patrol catch first tracks of the morning.
Alternative way down the mountain
Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. A rebirth or re-awakening. My awakening that morning was one of the most refreshing I've had in a long time. And one I'll try to remember on other mornings when the day doesn't look quite so promising.