Saturday, January 14, 2012

Claire Colburn: Why every girl should have a red hat.

Drew: You're kind of great, Claire. You do know that. Sort of amazing, even.
Claire: Oh, come on! I don't need an ice cream cone.
Drew: It's not an ice cream cone...What's an ice cream cone?
Claire: You know, "Here's a little something to make you happy. Something sweet that melts in five minutes." I'm completely cool with anything you want to say or not say. I don't need it.

A film that will always be in my list of Top 5 Favorite Movies is Elizabethtown. It's directed by Cameron Crowe, so obviously the choice of songs are genius and every scene has purpose. But the real winner in the movie is Kirsten Dunst, who plays my favorite fictional character/girl crush: Claire Colburn, who won my heart after saying, "I'm impossible to forget, but hard to remember."
And when Drew (Orlando Bloom) says, "I'm not used to girls like you," Claire replies, "That's because I'm one-of-a-kind!" Every word that this Claire says makes you feel something. I credit it not just to Kirsten's acting (which is definitely part of it... thank God it wasn't Scarlett Johansson, who also auditioned for the role), but to Claire's red hat. Throughout the movie, to me at least, it's a symbol of independence, freedom, and originality - which shows why Drew is so drawn to her. She has a spunky spirit and an optimistic, big heart - "I don't know a lot about everything, but I do know a lot about the part of everything that I know, which is people."...but also secretly has trouble opening up completely, and figuring out who she is underneath the mask of happy, go-lucky girl: "I think I've been asleep most of my life." The red hat helps personify it all. So obviously, when I walked into Urban Outfitters the first summer I lived in New York and laid eyes on the most incredible red knit hat for sale, I had to buy it. And to this day, whenever I put it on, I feel a sense of comfort and happiness. I think a big part of Claire is also a big part of me.

Back to the movie though. As the film wraps up, Claire sends Drew on an incredible road trip, which ends with Drew going to the 2nd Largest Farmer's Market in the World to find a girl in a red hat. He walks past a signpost with arrows pointing to "Success" and "Failure." Which way does he go to continue his search? "Failure." Which brings me to another favorite quote from the earlier parts of the flick, courtesy of Claire Colburn: "You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you're still smiling." And so, I'll continue wearing that red knit hat and replay the scenes of this fabulous movie in my head whenever I feel a little down, or whenever I feel perfectly wonderful.
Life may throw curve balls your way and stress may keep building and building until you feel like you're going to burst... but when that happens, listen to the instructions of my fictional girl BFF, Claire: "You have five minutes to wallow in the delicious misery: enjoy it, embrace it, discard it… and proceed."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Checking the time, and other trends.

Now that I finally feel like I don't need to say, "Happy New Year!" in every email I send or in those rare moment when I see one of my roommates... I realize that 2011 really did pass extremely quickly. And I know every year people get all optimistic (no? just me?) about the future, but I really DO think 2012 is going to be my favorite year... Okay, okay, I'll admit it: I only started talking about time and how it passes by so that I could bring up the fact that I love my watch. My Liz Claiborne Clear and Rose Gold Resin Watch. My Liz Claiborne Clear and Rose Gold Resin Watch that I bought myself for Christmas and will never regret. Finally, I have a "Power Watch" (yeah capitalization!) that makes me feel happy and important at the same time...which are my two favorite feelings.
But anyway, it is kind of crazy to think of how quickly time passes. And how a certain length of time can feel like so much more. I moved to New York at the end of June in 2009, and so this year I'll be "celebrating" my third year in the city. However, looking back on all my memories, all my experiences, all my accomplishments here? It feels like at least six or seven years that have happened in the blink of an eye. So here's to enjoying 2012 - we're eleven days in and before we know it, we'll be celebrating the start of 2013.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What Grace Kelly forgot - heated streets, please.

"I preferred to live in New York, where it rained sometimes, and where you could take a walk down the street without being stopped by the police or being thought dangerous or crazy not to be in a car." - Grace Kelly

I've always been a fan of biographies, but I've discovered an even deeper passion for reading them lately. That means I've read multiple Audrey Hepburn bios (uh...wasn't kidding when I said she's my favorite non-family, non-boyfriend person in my last post!) and I'm halfway through, you guessed it, one on Grace Kelly.
I think Grace was just the type of person I'd love to be friends with. She'd be all, "Oh, let's have tea!" And I'd be all, "Yes, and afterwards, let's go shopping!" And we'd laugh. Or something like that. She seemed to be incredibly smart, which leads me to believe that she made the above statement about New York in any season besides winter. Now, I'm as big of a fan of walking to all destinations as the next loyal New Yorker, but mornings like today where you're quite convinced the relentless wind has torn a layer of your face off? Heated car, please. Because yes, people don't look at you like you're crazy when you're simply walking along the streets (go New York!), but I believe they DO look at you like you're nuts when you are stuck between a run-walk-shuffle with your coat's furry hood covering your entire head...only, the wind keeps knocking your hood back right after you put it up, so you have to use both of your gloved hands to hold the hood close to your two cheeks. Do I say this from experience? Maybe. Yes.
Now, my space heater is on and I'm curled up in bed, trying not to focus on the cool air that seems to be seeping through my window. New York, I love you...but please, warm up a little?

Monday, January 2, 2012

My New Yorker holiday.

Happy 2012!!

I just spent the holidays in Michigan, and that's when I decided I'd like to start blogging frequently again. And like my usual "out with the old, in with the new" motivation, I figured I'd create a whole new blog. Great timing for a new year's resolution too, eh?

Anyone who knows me is well informed that my favorite non-family, non-boyfriend person is Audrey Hepburn. Does that seem like a random statement? Well, think about Audrey's wonderful flick Roman Holiday. Now... look at my blog title... Bam! Inspiration! Not familiar with the movie? Audrey plays Ann, a princess who is desperate to have some fun for once in her life, so she escapes the castle by jumping in a truck and then hops out of the truck and falls asleep on a bench. That part probably isn't what you're interested in at all. She ends up meeting the delightful Gregory Peck (playing character Joe Bradley) and they go all around the city having adventures. Ann gets her hair chopped off, sees the sites, rides a Vespa, goes dancing, etc... and then returns back to her responsibilities as a princess later on. That freedom the flick focuses on is what we all need while we're going from duty to duty and work week to work week. For me, I don't feel the urge to go to Rome - I'm lucky enough to live in the most amazing location in the world: New York City. So, when I need to give myself a break and take in a breath of fresh air, all I have to do is hop on the subway and walk the streets to discover a new adventure.
Whether it's staring at Manhattan from a bench in Brooklyn Bridge Park, taking the ferry from Williamsburg to Governor's Island, getting lost in the four streets of Union Square (even though it's my favorite place and I've been there 23432 times), sitting inside Central Park and forgetting the crazy city life surrounding you, walking along the runners in Battery Park and feeling like you should start exercising, too, seeing an event at Madison Square Garden, going to a show at Terminal 5 (Florence + The Machine and Vanessa Carlton were two of my favorites so far), eating the best greasy burgers at Shake Shack, browsing through Arists + Fleas on the weekends, visiting Times Square with your tourist friends (because why else would you want to deal with those crowds?), there's always so much going on that you can never be bored.
So even though my usual day only includes commuting on the subway for about 3-4 hours total, re-reading Glamour mags, listening to She & Him, and working non-stop at the job in New Jersey before doing it all over again when I wake up, there's no excuse for feeling drained or unmotivated. I live in a city where dreams come true, so I'll keep staring at the buildings like it's the first time I'm looking at them, I'll keep writing in my 6+ notebooks/journals with the belief that my words will continue getting me somewhere, and I'll keep a smile on my face because this really is the life I've always wanted - a long holiday in New York City.