Monday, June 22, 2009

My sister still brakes for butterflies.

This one's for K. Beale. She knows about butterflies and metamorphosis and spreading your wings and flying. She knows about sugar and how a warm bakery can cure what ails you. She knows about change.

Listening to: Rise up with fists, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins.

Image from Heaven on Main Bakery.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The view today.

It's raining. No - its pouring today. The kind of sideways rain (and wind) that makes mobility especially tricky. Adding an umbrella to my usual collection of carried items (phone, coffee, iPod, handbag, lunch bag) makes for a well-rehearsed juggling act. But I love the rain; I love its smell and the coziness it instantly brings.

Today the view from the second floor is cloudy - and not just because of the rain. This view that I've looked out and over on for three and half years might be changing. I might be leaving this office. (I use the word 'might' because it's still too difficult to proclaim 'am.') So today - through the rain - I want to remember this view.

There's the Wachovia "skyscraper" across the street and just behind my tiny Chrysler Building souvenir. (I used to think I needed New York to enjoy Raleigh. I know that's not true now.) Its ever-revolving door deposits people - businessmen and women, bank customers, wedding goers, even the occasional "character" - on Hargett Street in eye shot of my office. I've watched the window cleaners countless times, seen police rush to the scene, and even watched with awe as the new Wachovia sign was lifted to the top of the building.

If I lean towards the window, I can see the Historic Masonic Temple building on the corner and gaze up to its rooftop, which offers one of the best views in Raleigh. I've only been up there once, but will remember the fireworks in the distance as the Tres Chicas began to play forever.

If I look West I can see a pizza shop, law offices and a church in the distance.

I've watched cars come and go as I worked through writer's block. I've waved at friends walking down the street or called out to those driving past on a summer's day. I've stuck my hand out the window to touch snow and feel rain. I once saw a tent blow down Hargett Street, and have the picture to prove it. I've taken notice of many outfits - good and bad - of those passing down the corridor on the way to lunch or after-work drinks. I was here when Fayetteville Street was a mall and Hargett Street was one-way. I witnessed that change. I eagerly awaited for the Raleigh Times to open and I mourned its inevitable change.

Before I moved into my apartment, I spent more time in this office than necessary - I even referred to it as my "apartment in the city." It was my oasis, and I created the exact space I desired. If I was out for the night, I usually popped into the office for a split of champagne from the midge fridge and to reapply lip gloss. I checked email constantly.

It is the home of the "gpr Hot List." If I had to guess, I would say upwards of 200 playlists had been created in the gpr office, most shared with clients, friends, significant others, but many kept just for me.

I snuck two live Frasier Firs into this office for Christmas in 2006 and 2007, and showcased a brilliant red tree in 2008.

When I first took the space in 2005, the walls were white and the carpet was green. My intern, sjc, who would later become my first employee, and I painted one wall Cut Ruby from the floor to the ceiling including outlets, the chair rail and the trim. We painted that wall while listening to The Magic Numbers, Kanye West, Ashanti, Death Cab for Cutie and Interpol. The gpr red (as we've rebranded it) still brings me joy like no other colored wall does. The only thing on that brilliant wall is the george logo painted in white. It greets you upon entering the office.

I've seen 15 season changes from this seat. I love how the streets, buildings, people look in all of them. I moved here with one computer, am working from my second while awaiting the arrival of my third.

When my sister moved to Boston, the office was the only spot that didn't feel empty. I've rejoiced in good news and weathered through bad news while seated at this white laminate desk.

This has been a home to me. It helped craft my identity, give george public relations a "place" in the business world and prompted me to take part in Raleigh and its downtown reinvention. Which brings me to that word: Reinvention. Suite 200 did just that for me. Behind that solid wood door, was more than just pristine white carpet, a bold red wall, dozens of Paddywax candles, Daisy P cards, Designroom Group luxury ducks and Bella lip glosses. Behind that door was me. My words. My thoughts. My work. My successes. My defeats. My lessons. My contacts. My lists. My fears. My joys. My laughter. My goals. Me.

This view may change, but will always remain in me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A VOGUE moment, or sixty.

VOGUE is back. Back in my mailbox. Back in my life. Back on top, as far as I'm concerned.

After a brief hiatus from my monthly magazine stack - ahem, must have been an accounting oversight - VOGUE has made a re-entry and with it become an object of my affection. I've always been a fan, if only for its obvious industry influence, appeal and storied status and lore. I've been on the 12th floor at Conde Nast, seen the glass doors behind which a cadre of uber-fashionable tastemakers live, work, breathe and cower. Also behind which are covetable clothing, accessories and, well, lifestyles. I'm not one to discount VOGUE's reach or power, or their ability to put together an amazing lookbook of style. But, it no longer was the publication I lived for. It is now.

Could have been the missed months (three to be exact - Michelle Obama was my last cover). Could have been it was the model issue. Could have been Coco Rocha's fire and ice personified. Could have been Lyn Yaeger's testimony on the difficulty of reconciling a love for buying beautiful things during an economic downturn and newly restricted budget [On the market]. That alone touched a personal nerve. Could have been that every page - EVERY PAGE - brought a gasp of delight and inspiration. And it could just be, and probably is, that VOGUE is, well, VOGUE. Indomitable, ever-chic, interesting, and always on top. You never forget your first love.

Welcome back and thank you.