Happy Throwback Thursday! Though a late post, you’ll be happy to read about some things that have been rambling around in my mind lately. For starters, in approximately one month I’ll be on a plane headed East to the Big Apple. I’ve always been rather apprehensive towards NYC, admittedly because it’s too overrated, it’s not San Francisco. Yes, I am shamelessly biased against my own City by the Bay, flaws and all. But still, THIS IS NYC! The Mecca for writers and journalists and diversity and all writer-centric hullabaloo. Something is waiting to happen with each and every person who comes to New York. I admit that because it’s just a Big City for Big things to happen in anyone’s mindset, I just have to go and see if anything will be done for me. I can’t hate New York, I’m quite nostalgic about it. All the stories I’ve ever really liked began or were set in Manhattan or Brooklyn, one of those books being my soul mate, my life long bff if a book could ever be such a thing, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. There’s just such a range of human emotion and reality in that book that really stabs at my heart. The first book I was ever compelled to read not once, not twice, but countless times that I finally bought it for myself two years later so I wouldn’t have to steal it from the school library. I grew up over weeks alongside the struggles that the impoverished heroine Francie Nolan had to face. In a time where coming of age novels were everything to me (I didn’t forget you Anne Shirley), this was the definitive bible. And now, I have a chance to go out and see this “world that was hers for the reading,” the world that Tree writer Betty Smith lived and wrote about.
To prep for this trip I’ve been reading F. Scott Fitzgerald and rereading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Pinteresting places I want to visit. I won’t list what I plan on going to visit since I’m saving that for after I’ve been. I shouldn’t even be looking places up, only just to know where I should start. But I won’t really define my own trip itinerary because in that way there’s just something exciting no matter what I do, where I end up. I’m just going to be there, in New York. And more importantly, somewhere much farther away from the West Coast than I ever have been.
I even think about the music I’ll be listening to when in New York. I’m reaching back into bands from my old playlist of the late 2000s, à la The Strokes, The Walkmen and The Bravery, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs bring me to my next throwback treasure. I fucking LOVE Karen O’s weirdness; she set standards for how accepting of myself I should be. Especially in style. She was undoubtedly an outrageous trendsetter before Lady Gaga. And there’s just so much isolated power within the songs of Yeah Yeah Yeahs that seem likes echoes. Great stuff for walking around the city any time of the day.
Also, a nod to back in the day when flowers spoke for you. I was thumbing through a little pocket book of mine detailing everyday life of Victorian society, and this was a prominent practice. Writers strategically picked flowers in scenes based on the meaning that each bloom signified in the Victorian to Edwardian era. Then it might have gone into the fruits. Godfather oranges, anyone?
It would be a cool writing metaphor to carry through stories, actually. Especially now, when no one really thinks about flowers.
Lastly, Ending Scene of Sixteen Candles, (1984)
A few months ago I wrote a post on my favorite scenes from both film and music videos. This is another little beauty of nostalgia, and it’s perfectly cheesy 80s feels right here. Seriously! The girl got the guy, the girl who might have had one of the shittiest birthdays ever, and in the end she got him in the sweetest campy finale possible. Gosh that scene is art, the timing and the Thompson Twins playing right at we all see Jake Ryan appear.
And in place of all the ceremonial ideals Molly Ringwald’s Sam Baker had about a Sweet Sixteen, all she ended up with was a birthday cake in a dimly-lit room sitting across from the one wish that came true. You rock, John Hughes.