Bailey Powell

Fashion. Lifestyle. Vignettes From My Dark Comedy Life.

Category: New York City

A Year and a Half In Summation

 

Lionel

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One of my favorite pastimes is having juvenile life realizations and, with my self-righteous stock of words, attempting to convey the seemingly profound to any readership I may have. My mind reels, my fingers fly across the keyboard, and I think, “I want this excitement to be infectious, this enlightenment to be liberating!”. Meanwhile my trite discovery already sits stale in the back of every other well-adjusted adult’s mind and I’m over here betting and banking on the hope that you all find this process endearing, if not mildly entertaining. With that being said, welcome back! It’s been a while. (For my next act of self-deprecation I’ll rip into how pretentious I sound in the written word!)

While I’m making a laundry list, another one of my favorite pastimes is referring a facing party to an inappropriate rap or R&B song as musical reinforcement to topics both minor and major, mostly sometimes without being asked. Upon further  reflection I suppose this makes me an unsolicited, tailor-made hype man. For those who I frequently come in contact with, I’m sorry.

Aside from the fact that my music taste has been developmentally stagnant for the past year and a half since I posted in this blog I’d like to believe I’ve had a slew of earthmoving epiphanies that have set me well on my way to becoming the woman I want to be, von Furstenburg style. Posting back up in the writing game has been on my mind for a couple months now, but you know how these things go: life interrupts, inspiration lacks, work overwhelms, and family issues forge ahead. Translation: I don’t have any real problems and just allocate my time poorly, mostly by watching bootleg episodes of Nashville. Unintended personal improvement as a result of months submerged in the depths of self-analyzation all propelled by crappy, unforeseen life circumstances sounds a lot more romantic though, so if you’d like to think that’s where I’ve been that’s okay with me.

Anyway, I’m here now so let’s press on, shall we?

CP

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When I came to New York I was immediately gripped by the scramble to The Top. If I’m being honest, I was in it’s clutches before I even boarded that ghetto Spirit Airlines plane to JFK. A flamboyant flight attendant listened with wide-eyed interest as I Regina-George-smiled and chatted about my one way ticket to New York and my securing an internship at Oscar de la Renta from the jump. What he didn’t know is that 1) my internship was a mere week and a half and 2) my mom’s a flight attendant and I had a return flight pass within arm’s reach in the likely case I crashed and burned in NYC. It didn’t matter to me, as far as he knew I was cool. I was cool to someone and that was a high that marked the genesis of what was to be a steep social and professional climb.

In the past couple years I’ve bounded and woven my way through the professional thicket, rubbing elbows and picking up knowledge, oft in the unlikeliest places. An equal-opportunity information sponge, I adopted social mannerisms I deemed necessary after careful observation and meticulous rehearsal. I joined the right club, moved to the right neighborhood, dated the right man, and took the right meetings. I wore the right shoes, went to the right bars, worked at the right fashion label, and radiated the right nonchalance. It bums me out about myself that it took me this long to realize that while none of these “right” people, places, or things are inherently wrong, the perception of them as de rigueur can be crippling. No matter my progression, there was always something I still lacked rendering me unqualified. Wait, unqualified for what? Here’s the part where I’m going to say something trite that you all already know and patiently waited for me to piece together: The thirst is unquenchable because The Top is a nonexistent pinnacle. (My truth bombs are mind blowing, I know.) The rat race we self-employ is exhausting and would be comical if it weren’t, well, such a bummer. I feel grateful that I lost my footing on that analogous steep climb as it caused me to free fall right into a big ole humble pie, equipping me with a new perspective.

It’s easy to find yourself in the throes of chasing unrealistic ideals and unaware that the process and mindset are actually afflictions, just like that brand Affliction that also sucks. From what I can tell life is both long and short at the same time and I genuinely think most people are just out here trying to do their best, which is why it’s so important to be kind and patient with others and yourself. (That sounds offensively obvious but I know I surprise myself with how often I’m in violation of that concept.) In doing one’s best sometimes what’s “right” is mistaken for what’s actually right for an individual. Making a conscious effort to stick to the latter is a challenge well worth the effort because the simple notion that your best is good enough is a surprisingly massive wave of relief. It’s like lifting a weight that no one really needed you to carry to begin with. Put it down, try it out, treat yoself.

Loyally,

 

Things I Love Thursday

Hark! The hiatus is over and I want to give a massive thanks to readers who checked my blog regularly despite the post drought- I see you. Those of you who know me personally are probably aware of the unforeseen and traumatic circumstance that rained over my family the past six weeks, creating a backburner blog among other things. I went home to Texas for a month and about three weeks ago things began to settle, allowing me to return to NYC and resume life as usual, or at least to the best of my ability. This evening I was going to throw up a post about holiday sweaters but decided to bump it after Gala Darling‘s Things I Love Thursday post dinged in my email inbox. Although sweaters are obviously fashionable, functional, and therefore post-worthy Gala’s post got me thinking. What better time than when you’re successfully surfacing from a garbage situation to put together a list of gratitude?

mimos at the Macy’s Day Parade with one of my nearest and dearest

an urban chicken in Brooklyn on Thanksgiving

precious niece after a dance performance

Manhattan and Queens from the air

a brush with Grace Coddington

a BFF and a baby bump – someone new to love

My high school best friend spending five hilarious days in New York, including Thanksgiving. A fresh Moleskine. Getting surprise cards in the mail. Game of Thrones marathons and the worst best/worst movie ever Lizard Baby. Gettin’ live at my alma mater for the University of North Texas homecoming. Seeing the Macy’s Day Parade in person. Pumpkin spice coffee and a splash of Frangelico. Late night grilled cheese. Icing completely unsuspecting people. End of the world party planning. “LYLAS”. Amy interviewing me for The New Lady Times (!!!). Sequined dresses that make me look like a Christmas tree in drag. Chocolate cake shots for the birthday girl and neverending mimos. Belstaff being all over Breaking Dawn Part 2. This Too Short song. Spending invaluable time with my two and four year old nephew and niece. An affordable, bottomless brunch that doubles as a club, DJ and all (win, win, win). Booking a flight home for Christmas. Having the opportunity to meet Grace Coddington, the creative director of American Vogue. Conor Oberst concluding with Waste of Paint at Carnegie Hall. Amazing grace and generosity pouring out of friends, family, and coworkers during a trying time. Thirty-five years of marriage for my inspiring, devoted parents. And finally… divine intervention and the fact that the number of brothers I have has not changed.

<3

Loyally,

The Particular Challenge of Kindness

Preface: Last week one of my favorite bloggers got ripped into by an online community she writes for. Her readers were calling her unrealistic, disingenuous, and essentially a liar, saying that she presented a brand opposed to an actual portrayal of who she is. While I have complete faith that she is sincere, it made me reflect on my own blog and presentation, ultimately reconfirming my commitment to always present my truest self. Behold, a topic that is not all rainbows and butterflies:

I’m going to level with you. I am plagued by the personal flaw that is the inability to give people the benefit of the doubt. I preach the importance of kindness and then raise an eyebrow at the person who’s asked to sit at my table in a jam-packed cafe. Later I try to justify my steeliness by reasoning that “this isn’t Europe” and “personal space is different here”, but if I was being honest with myself I’d recognize I just felt embarrassed that my knee jerk reaction was so unfriendly. Shameful.

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Although a degree of self-centeredness is innate and expected in all human beings New York seems to be the capitol of looking out for number one. Perhaps because of this I overcompensate and take the mission of not being taken advantage of to an unhealthy level opposed to just polishing up the basic street smarts I should possess. Every cab driver is trying to reroute me for money, every methadone clinic patron is eyeballing my great grandmother’s engagement ring, and every obnoxious person is knowingly neglecting to consider people around them.

Moment of truth: I feel as if someone must earn my kindness by providing me with a reason why they deserve it, and as superior as it sounds I can only guess this sense of entitlement stems from a life rooted in integrity and feeling morally mismatched with people in general. I make unfair assumptions about people because I am tired of being disappointed. I also account my bitterness to the overcorrection, in every sense of the word, occuring in the United States and the constant feeling I’m being smite by those who are undeserving.

It’s an exhausting way to think.

Ideally I would meet every person I encountered with no preconceived notions despite how stereotypical they might appear. The cab driver is new and doesn’t know the best routes and back roads yet. He misses tucking his children in at night becaues he’s out making an honest living on the 5pm-5am cabbie shift. He deserves the benefit of the doubt. The drug addict is giving sobriety his best shot but doesn’t get much support from his worn out friends and family. The only reason his gaze lingers on me is because he’s surprised by my alabaster, sans-ironic-tattoo appearance in our hipster infested Puerto Rican neighborhood. He deserves the benefit of the doubt. The obnoxious person is genuinely oblivious and has imperfect moments like any other flawed human. Perhaps an element of her life is on the rapid decline and her behavior is a temporary reflection of her circumstance. People who reciprocate her snarky demeanor are rendered ineffective, but someone’s relentless kindness will open her up to realizations, possibly assisting in turning the tide down the road. She deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Helping hand.

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Just like any self-bettering task it’s easier to choose another option, something less beneficial for you in the long run and instantly gratifying. Training myself to think positively about people is truly an every day challenge- something I pray about, meditate on, and make a conscious effort to change. I don’t want to think poorly of a person or situation from the jump off. The effort all makes sense whenever you encounter someone who indeed deserved the benefit of the doubt, and is even better when someone just needed a dose of respect and understanding from a stranger as motivation to make a positive change. Be that stranger.

Unapologetically give the benefit of the doubt. Exude an inexhaustible kindness. I’ll try my best to do the same.

Loyally,

Photos: An Afternoon in the East Village

Seeing as ye olde blog isn’t getting any younger I thought it was well overdue for me to get some for real photographs taken in order to legitimize and further solidify my internet presence. This is also good because those of you who don’t know me personally can now positively assert that the photos of “me” I present aren’t just creepily racked from some stranger’s Facebook (because I know that uncertainty keeps you up at night). Enter: Lydia Hudgens, the fabulous photographer of famed bloggers such as Gala Darling and Blair of Atlantic-Pacific. She swooped in, worked her magic, and undid my in-front-of-the-camera awkwardness. The results are as follows:

Zoom in.

Zoom out.

Stoop sittin’.

Intensity in ten cities!

So, there you have it! Thank you Lydia.

In other news, I’ve reupped the rights to baileypowell.com for another year. A giant thanks to everyone for the support you’ve so graciously given thus far. Good things are afoot and I’m looking forward to what the future will bring.

Loyally,

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Playlist: I Want to Be a Part of It, New York, New York

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Whether you love it or hate it, it is inarguable that New York City strikes a definite emotion with everyone who comes in contact with it. The city itself poses as a muse and has inspired thousands of songs created in its honor. The following are, in my opinion, some of the best. No downloading, waiting, or confusing stuff. Simply click this link and press play.

For some visuals to accompany the playlist, find my Nowhere Like New York Pinterest board here.

Loyally,

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More Playlist posts:

Playlist: Goodnight

Playlist: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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