Follow-up to my piece on art in Boston, with lots of pictures

Benjamin Reynolds contact juggling at Figment 2013.

First off, thank you to everyone who read, shared, and commented on my post earlier today! I am so grateful for the creative communities I have here in, as Jojo calls it, “Bostosomedfordville,” and I’m glad that my piece resonated with many of my fellow Bostonians.

Second, throughout this post I’ll be using a few pictures that I dug up while working on the original post, but didn’t have enough space to use. Enjoy!

Morris dancers at NEFFA 2009.

This morning, I tweeted the link to my post to Sarah Kendzior, and she responded, “Thanks! I’m not sure we disagree that much. Boston has great things to offer, I only wish daily life were more affordable.”

I appreciate that she clarified her position, and I think we do agree more than we disagree when it comes to art, money, and cities. I still wish her original essay hadn’t made such sweeping generalizations, but I’m glad it started so many conversations and inspired me to write about why I love my Boston so damn much.

Sometimes I get sick of living here–not because of anything wrong with the area itself, but because I have cravings for adventure and new places to explore, and Boston can get pretty small after a few years. So it was great to have a reminder of all the things I love about living here: how amazingly creative my friends and communities are,  how there’s always something unusual and fun (and often geeky) going on, what a wonderful big little city this is. Or is it a little big city?

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Friday links, 6/21/13

An awesomely geeky car I saw recently.

Happy Friday! As usual, feel free to link to anything interesting you’ve read or written this week in the comments.

Fa(t)shion
-Lesley rounds up some cute floral print stuff.
Elegance for all: can ModCloth change plus size fashion for good?
-Advanced Style’s photoshoot in Vogue Australia is gorgeous.
We’re here, we’re queer, and we look real cute: indie designers challenging gender norms.
-There’s now a blog for fatshionable apples!
This dress. Oh, this dress! It’s like a giant cupcake and I want one just like it.

Fat Activism
A great interview with Virgie Tovar in both English and German.
This protest outside of a Victoria’s Secret in California, including both Virgie Tovar and Marilyn Wann, is awesome! You can see more pictures here on About-Face’s Facebook page.
-Melissa at Shakesville has yet another addition to the Fatstronauts 101 series, this time taking down the myth that fat people are stupid.
-Are you looking for a part-time internship doing fat activism? Check out the Militant Baker’s call for interns.
Public health does not make me public property.
Death is always a shock: on James Gandolfini and the rush to explain an unexpected loss.
-Two more good analyses of the AMA’s decision, from the Fat Nutritionist and Feed Me, I’m Cranky.

A great takedown of the idea that fat women shouldn’t cosplay thinner characters:

Climate and Sustainability
-The Climate Justice Hub here in Somerville is now open, and it’s an awesome space for community-building and action. If you live in the area, check out their calendar of events.
-Through an event at the CJ Hub, I met Bethany, an amazing writer who blogs about making the world a better place at Granite Bunny. I highly recommend everything she writes, but here are a few places to start: Bicknell’s thrush, Yoga and Montana’s Tongue River Valley, and We’re gonna win.
Local, self-sufficient, optimistic: are transition towns the way forward?

Everything Else
-I recently came across anthropologist Sarah Kendzior‘s writing, and I love all of it. I wish more people were deconstructing our economic system the way she does. A few of my favorite recent pieces: In defense of complaining, The moral bankruptcy of the internship economy, and The unaffordable Baby Boomer dream.
On being a “good” black man, from the perspective of a transgender man who started to face a different kind of racism once he transitioned.
-I love these answers from students about why they need feminism.
On invisible health issues, and the complex space between “healthy” and “disabled.”
Enforcing poverty to access health care.
Why cops don’t believe rape victims, and how brain science can help solve the problem.

Watch City Steampunk Festival

Last weekend, I finally made it to the annual steampunk festival in Waltham. And I’m so glad I did. It was an alt-fatshionista’s dream.

Art, music, bellydancing, amazing costumes, tiny hats galore…and I even met the Doctor, who must have been taking a break from saving the world to attend the festival.

Here are a few pictures from the day, including some fa(t)shion highlights. For more, check out my Facebook photo album (which is public, so you can view it even if you’re not on FB).

I met this fabulous lady dressed in steampunk Lolita, and exchanged blog info with her. She has a Tumblr,  which you should check out if you enjoy the fusion of Lolita and other styles.

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Guest post: Alternative fashion philosophy

This is a guest post by my friend Valtinen, who has badass Goth style. Enjoy!

Alternative Fashion Philosophy: Representation and Availability

For me, running out of black lipstick in April is a desperate situation. The last time I did, I ran around to every cosmetic booth within a forty mile radius of my home looking for a replacement. The assistants kept telling me to wait until October when they had their Halloween supplies stocked… which is the problem. I dress like it’s Halloween every day.

It takes work — and a lot of black lipstick — to be this awesome all the time.
(Me, Lakeview Cemetery, Seattle, WA, April 2011)

I wish I could say that I have always been brave enough to wear what I wanted but I haven’t been. Even my teen phase of gothic gear was unhappily brief. I felt judged for my macabre tastes which had begun in earliest childhood. I could never find what I wanted to wear. Given the classification of Freak throughout my formative years for the few things I did manage to scrounge up did nothing to further my hopes of being taken seriously. I started hiding my alternativeness beneath windbreakers, baseball caps, and khakis, a phase of “normal” that makes me now cringe with greater regret than any other garment choice ever has.

Yes, that’s a golf cart on the left. Let’s not talk about that…
(Me, Torrington Country Club, Goshen, CT, June 1995)

I have since been able to shed the constraints of mainstream fashion which govern the masses. I know that sounds like a judgment, but judgment only enters clothing and style when you depart from fads. It’s the spoon-fed marketing, “if you’re not wearing what’s fashionable, then you have a problem,” etc. The very fact that what I wanted to wear was not just condemned by the people of my environment but by every company that sold clothing made me think that something was wrong with me, “Why don’t I like the spring colours of puce and mauve?  Why don’t I want to wear pink and green plaid pants?? If I don’t wear distressed blue jeans, will I never get laid again?!?! Oh no!!!” Eventually, I called bullshit.

 

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Wednesday Fa(t)shion Inspirations, 11/28/12

These jeans. LOVE. I remember when huge flares were a thing in the late ’90s, and I really hope they come back so that plus size stores will start making them. I want a pair so badly.

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