Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fashion democratization, Buenos Aires for expats and "Sunset Boulevard"

Here are a few links that caught my eye last week:
  • The New Yorker is a little late to the Polyvore game (um, about 3 years, to be exact), but they recently ran a fun, lengthy expose on the Silicon Valley-based fashion start-up. Apparently women obsessed with Polyvore -- the ones who spend hours at work putting together mock outfits or perusing the latest fashion collages rather than, well, work -- are known as "Polywhores" and there is an actual "Anna Wintour" of the Polyvore world. She's some chick from Calgary who creates collages under the screenname MyChanel. The more you know.
  • Ok, so this New York Magazine article is from 2006, but having just traveled to Buenos Aires I see it's still completely accurate: Buenos Aires is an expat haven like Paris was in the 1920s. Imagine a city with the conveniences of Manhattan, the old-world charm of Paris, the street-style of Milan, and you've got Buenos Aires. Everyone is chic, there's no dearth of great shopping, the restaurants are spectacular, the wine is amazing, and the cherry on top? You can totally afford it all. Americans are moving there to feel rich. Money just goes so much further there than in the U.S. or anywhere in Europe (I hear the word "Euro" and I cringe. Ten dollar gelatos, anyone?)
  • A recent NY Times Critics' Pick was "Sunset Boulevard" and they published an excellent 2-minute clip about the film. "Sunset Boulevard" is about a famous silent film star named Norma Desmond who's unable to come to grips with her descent into obscurity once films with sound become popular. Like a spider she creeps into each scene and is terrifying in her portrayal of a woman hell-bent on denial and preservation, trapping a young scriptwriter in her web of grandiose narcissism. (Famous Norma Desmond line: "I am big, it's the pictures that got small.") In the film noir genre, "Sunset Boulevard" is hands-down one of the best. Go netflix it. Now.
  • It looks like the "hot" baby names right now aren't as Twilight-centric as they were last year (thank GOD, there is nothing creepier than naming your baby Esme, people). The SF Chronicle blogs that according to a certain baby name expert (by the way, is that real job?) the new "it" names have a distinctly elite ring to them. After skimming this list (disclaimer: three names mentioned are what I plan to use for my kids), I don't find them "elite" as much as I do vintage. Names like Atticus and Phineas have a early 20th century feel; they're literary and dated in a good way. Not sure why this makes them seem high brow, but so be it.
  • In an Ayn Rand-esque effort to stave off the "totalitarianism" that he witnessed as a child in the Soviet Union, it turns out Google co-founder Sergey Brin was the major proponent in abandoning Google's operations in China due to the strict censorship guidelines the country demanded and the cyber-attack that followed. Brin told the WSJ that memories of that time—having his home visited by Russian police, witnessing anti-Semitic discrimination against his father—bolstered his view that it was time to abandon Google's policy.
  • Just in case you're curious as to how many calories that burger with fries has but don't want to have to dig to find out, you no longer have an excuse. (Damn it.) In signing the health-care legislation last week, Obama will be requiring all restaurant chains to include calorie counts on their menus. It's time to gear up for bikini season, boys and girls.
  • Last but not least: I loved this Quentin Tarantino reference page. You know, just in case you need a tear-out sheet to remember the basics by. I think I'm putting this one on my fridge. (And if you're wondering, Kill Bill 1 and 2 are my Tarantino favorites. Revenge really is a dish best served cold.)


The Dirty Scottish Bastard said...

I would not consider myself a Polywhore but I LOVE the site and found it recently.

A good friend of mine names her son Atticus (he's almost 2 now).

Buneos Aires, may have to check that out as a destination for our anniversary next year!

Chloe (Naturally Frugal) said...

I don't understand Polyvore, but I think that could be because I'm fashion-inept.

Um, the "elite" list of baby names? Yeah...I want to name my girls at least 10 of those names. Hopefully that means they'll marry up ;) And Finn is definitely the new trendy name for boys, but I still like it.

Crystal said...

Finn is one of my favorite boy names! It's one of the three names I'm saving to use for my kids.

It seems like I'm running into more babies named Atticus these days, too. It's a great moniker that has a lot of substance. :)

ctreit said...

This is a great list of links. I usually don't click on as many links as I did on your post. Thanks!

I have been to Buenos Aires many times and I have always liked it. However, my wife does not like the feel of the city. So, it is a no-go for us; not even for vacation! We do like Argentinian wines though.

The twitter/facebook post was funny.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

OK, Polywhore is the funniest thing I have heard all month! It's like "Prostitots" - little girls dressing like skanks...hilarious!
Angela, Parisienne Farmgirl

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