Nerd is the New Cool in NYC!

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New York City, shot from Empire State Building

I just got home from a 5 day trip to New York City with my Husband, Gregory Chomichuk.  We were there to promote and sell his work as a writer/illustrator of graphic novels and all-ages books at the New York Comic Con. It was 4 really intense days with 150 000 fans dedicated to all things sci-fi, fantasy, and super-heros!  Some were there to buy comics, art prints and toys, some were there to test out the newest video game designs and some were there to meet the celebrities who work on their favourite T.V. shows and movies like Milla Jovovich, Carrie Fisher, Ethan Hawke, Kate Beckinsale, Keanu Reeves, and the cast of The Walking Dead and Stranger Things, to name a few.

The juxtaposition of being immersed in the heart of nerd culture for 12 hours a day in one of the coolest and most admired cities in the world was a mad mind trip to say the least. There were people of all ages, demographics and walks of life all there to celebrate a common love that seems to speak to every type of person. One second I would be talking super-heros with a teenage cosplayer decked out in a costume that must have taken weeks to create, and the next, with a t.v. crew member who’s currently working on several Netflix shows, and then an Emmy nominated creative director/producer who’s worked on several HBO t.v. shows, produced concerts by Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones and worked with Disney. Each of them bought art and books from my Husband. Say whaaat?! Never have I been in a situation where perceived opposite sub-cultures interacted and blissed out together so seamlessly.  It was inspiring and humbling to be a part of!

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Gregory and I at his Comic Con booth

“In New York, you’ve got Donald Trump, Woody Allen, a crack addict and a regular Joe, and they’re all on the same subway car.” – Ethan Hawke

“I love nerds. Comic-Con junkies are the tastemakers of tomorrow. Isn’t that funny? The tables have turned.”  – Kristen Bell

“What was previously perceived as nerdy is now viewed as original. What I like about nerdiness, geekiness, is it doesn’t really matter what you’re into – it just means you’re not a follower.”  – Kristen Bell

New York City is a sexy beast, there’s no doubt about that!  I have never been happier to be in a city that truly doesn’t sleep so that I got an opportunity to see some sights, eat some amazing food and flow with the pulse of the city into the wee hours every night after the convention.  Some cities shut down after 11:00 p.m. on a weekday, so there’s no chance to see anything other than the inside of your hotel room. New York is definitely not that kind of city.  We ate dinner at 9 p.m., strolled through Times Square shoulder to shoulder with hoards of people at midnight, hung out on the rooftop of the Empire State Building at 12:30 and then had a dance party…I mean shopped, at H&M at 1:00 in the morning.  Followed by a quick stop at a busy grocery store for healthy snacks for the next days convention, and back to the comfort of our hotel The Staybridge Suites to finally put up our aching feet and crash from blissed-out exhaustion.

My entire New York experience can be summed up in one word.  Diversity.  I saw and met every kind of person in a chaotic fast-passed haze.  I talked fan-art politics, super heroes and fashion in the same conversation. I had dinner one night with a filmmaker, and a 5th generation New Yorker who introduced us to the best pizza in the world, and then was invited to a loft apartment to smoke weed (which I didn’t)  with a Harry Potter star (who shall remain unnamed).  We walked passed beautiful people in designer clothes, homeless drug addicts, regular folks who were more than willing to recommend great places to eat, and every once in a while, a storm trooper.

All in all, it was an experience steeped in humanity.  It was all about people.  Lots and lots of people, all living life and being their unapologetic selves in a city where anything goes, and you are free to be yourself. We are all in this together after all.

NEW YORK CITY

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THE HOTEL

THE NEW YORK COMIC CON

THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

PHOTOGRAPHY and VIDEO BY: Gregory Chomichuk and yours truly. All on my iPhone 6, raw and un-edited.

THRIFTED: Hats, jackets, palazzo pants and yellow skirt.

FEATURED FASHION: Lennard Taylor Brenda swing shirt, Tony Chestnut pink jumpsuit, American Apparel body suit, and my Dr Marten boots that went the distance on this trip and saved my feet!

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SUMMER 1978

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It was the height of the Disco era and the birth of Rap music growing on top of a solid foundation of psychedelic rock n roll and earthy folk melodies. Rollerskating, skateboarding, and arcades were all the rage. Women were burning bras, getting educated and fighting for equality. The top movies were Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Close Encounters of The Third Kind.  Sony introduced the portable Walkman (first portable stereo), and Maya Angelou released her book And Still I Rise. The shorts couldn’t get any shorter, pants couldn’t get any wider, and the sunglasses and cars couldn’t get any bigger. It was 1978!  The year I was born and the world had been shaken up and forever changed by the Hippie movement from the previous decade. The people had been given a glimpse into another way to live. It was a significant time of adjustment and transformation.  The Hippies had grown up and the reality that the world they live in was not entirely ready for their ideas yet had driven many to disfunction, and resulted in truckloads of cocaine coming across the border into North America.   The older generations were staunchly tightening their grip on solid family values, religion, and hard work. Racism and sexism were still firmly in place, but the youth were resisting hard and breaking down those walls one brick at a time, while trying to have a little fun along the way.

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As a new born baby, oblivious to the woes of the world, I could not have known that the youth of that era were setting the stage for a new kind of world, and that one day, I would pick up their torch and continue to fight the good fight for their cause.  The fight for a better world with broader perspectives and more freedom of choice. The fight that is fought through the choices we make each and every day.  Imagine a world without judgement, where a woman could choose to stay home to raise her children or go to work, a Man could love and marry another Man, schools filled with many mixed races of children would be unaffected by their differences.  Sadly this world still does not exist without much push back and judgement.  But we are getting there.  One generation at a time.  So I say THANK YOU!  To all the generations before mine who set the stage.  Oceans of gratitude to all the older folks we butt heads with now, who in their youth, were the agents of change.  Always remember that there is a time for everything, and everything in it’s time.  Your Parents and Grandparents had their own fights to fight and resistance to the status quo of the era they were born into. There were few that just accepted it as it was and that is why our world is different than it was in the past.  We are evolving and it takes time and patience and perseverance. In time, your children, and the youth in your life will challenge you and resist the world that you have created.  Smile when this happens, because it is the way of the world and necessary for our growth.  Help that next generation any way you can instead of standing in their way.  See yourself in them and all the young idealists that came before.  They are a pain in the ass, but it’s a very necessary pain. Growth is painful. They will better the world with our without your help.  Just remember that they are not fighting a different fight, they are picking up the torch from your youth and carrying on your work within a world that has changed. The packaging is different, but the fight is still the same.  The fight is for something better.  The fight is for growth and evolution of humanity and a better world.  What could be more important than that?

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Michael Sanders, Electric Monk Media

MODELS, HAIR & MAKEUP: Leanne Sanders and Tara Cole-McCaffrey

STYLING: Tara Cole-McCaffrey, Patron of Dreams

FASHION: 

Leanne’s lst look: shorts and knee-high socks-American Apparel; t shirt- Junk 98, sneakers-Puma, belt and sunglasses – vintage.

Leanne’s 2nd look: jeans-H&M, blouse-vintage

Tara’s 1st look: tube top and sunglasses-vintage; culotte pants-vintage Jones New York; sneakers-vintage Adidas.

2nd look:jeans – H&M, blouse-vintage

Special thanks: to Leanne for always being willing to play dress up with me! To my Brothers for lending me treasures from their vintage record collections.  To my Father in Law for the use of the vintage treasures found in his garage and his rad 8-track still in use in the Gazebo. And to my ever supportive Husband Gregory, for wrangling the kids while I played set-up and dress-up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urban Mermaid

Cool town, evening in the city
Dressing so fine and looking so pretty
Cool cat, looking for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
Till I’m wheezing like a bus stop
Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop

 Lovin Spoonful – Summer In The City

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Summer has arrived! If you are like me, you will undoubtedly endeavour to carve out as many opportunities for fun in the sun. I will spend as much time as possible at the beach, with family at the cabin and camping at music festivals. I will commune with nature, feel its rhythms, watch the clouds during the day and the stars at night. But…
I will feel the pull of summer in the city. The sultry nights at street festivals and carnivals, picnics in the park and the thrum of downtown energy.  And of course, let’s not forget about creating fabulous outfits to strut your summer stuff around town!

I am an urban mermaid. A city slicker with messy hair and bare feet.  I want the best of what both nature and the city have to offer! What nature offers is boundless and requires no explanation, but the city, the city is full of hidden gems and discoveries to be made by anyone adventurous enough to explore it. For instance, did you know that the Delta Winnipeg Hotel in the heart of downtown has a rooftop pool?  An urban oasis with turquoise waters tucked in the middle of the concrete jungle.

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

 

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders

Many thanks to the Odyssey Health Club at The Delta Winnipeg Hotel for your gracious hospitality. What a pleasure!

PHOTOS BY: Michael Sanders, Electric Monk Media

STYLING, HAIR & MAKEUP BY: Tara Cole-McCaffrey, Patron of Dreams

Sequin skirt, H&M; t-shirt and hair extensions, Ardene; booties, Pyramidis by GVD from Winners; vegan leather moto jacket, American Eagle Outfitters; sunglasses, Urban Waves Winnipeg; lapis earrings, created by Tara Cole-McCaffrey

VINTAGE: turquoise and lapis lazuli rings

THRIFT: shell and freshwater pearl necklace and bracelet

I would love to hear about the magical places and hidden treasures you’ve discovered in your own city! Please share! Maybe I will visit them some day…

Photo by Michael Sanders

Photo by Michael Sanders