Monday, October 28, 2019

CPR Playlist, Secondhand Clothes & Nuit Blanche

Weekly Update 2019-41: Songs to do CPR to, how to successfully acquire the best secondhand wardrobe ever and the joys of cycling during Nuit Blanche this year.

Music: CPR Playlist
This playlist might just save your life.

New York Presbyterian Hospital regularly updates a Spotify Playlist with songs all at 100BPM, aka the exact speed you need to perform CPR at to save someone's life. That's obviously the best use case, but a playlist filled with very different genres of music, all at the same speed, is going to end up sounding eerily like it flows together really well (yes, even going from Lady Gaga to The Doors Kris King to Gloria Gaynor). I dare you to check and see if you already have any songs favourited from the list. I had three!

After a semester off, I taught my first class of the new semester at BrainStation this past week. Everything is kind of the same, yet also different. It's the same day and time, but one floor down. The curriculum is different (like, it needs a lot of work) but the classroom and activities feel familiar. I also have a new TA - David. Bring it on, something new and exciting with a familiar twist sounds like just the right challenge right now.

My family ran another estate sale for a family friend this past weekend. This one was interesting because the two residents of the house were downsizing and taking most of their stuff with them. The sale was contained to the basement of the house, and visitors came in through the garage. Lots of vintage Lego (shoutout to my dad for sorting through so much of it to weed out the non-Lego pieces!) and toy cars amongst the usual dinnerware and books.

Nuit Blanche was yet again a wondrous joy this year with Toronto Cruisers - we saw lots of cool art and, in many case we were the art. Light-up bikes and skeleton face-paint made for a spooky-looking crew roaming the streets of an unseasonably warm Fall evening. I especially enjoyed the numerous pieces around Fort York (including the shiny new Garrison Crossing Bridge) - the isolated area gave me similar vibes to my earlier years of attendance at the festival (circa 2008-09). Check it out in the inspiration section below.

I haven't really had a chance to clean my apartment since Adriana left last week, so I'm going to relish in the opportunity to reset my kitchen and bathroom. It'll be nice to start a new semester of BrainStation with a clean place since my time tends to get taken up by teaching and things like cleaning sometimes get put on hold.

Ah yes, it's federal election season. I'm voting in the advance polls and using a special ballot since I can't get up to Richmond Hill to vote in my assigned riding. I do feel younger voices and votes are more needed in Richmond Hill than where I live now, so I never bothered to change it.

Oktoberfest season is ALSO upon us, so I'm headed to Kitchener this weekend to visit Kaylin and drink some beer. Hopefully we will run into Uncle Hans, though I haven't been able to catch him yet.

Random Thought: Secondhand Clothes
After almost four years trading anything and everything on Bunz Trading Zone, a healthy majority of my wardrobe is secondhand. I love to trade instead of buying new for several reasons that I have mentioned before, but I hadn't really thought about the ecological impact until my friend Niki mentioned it.

Niki had been having trouble trying to find fashion brands that use green practices for sourcing their materials and manufacturing their garments. Many of the ones she'd come across were either prohibitively expensive or only produced small variations on linen sacks for clothing (or both). But then she realized that buying secondhand clothing is truly the best way to reduce clothing waste. Either through secondhand stores, garage and content sales, or through trading on Bunz and at clothing swaps.

Niki asked me to take her thrift shopping to refresh her wardrobe and also in the hopes of finding something with a 1920s look for her Murder Mystery birthday party coming up in a few weeks. So I thought I'd verbalize my process for her and you!

These processes definitely involve a little more effort than clicking around on Forever 21's website, but if you love the thrill of the hunt and know some basic things about what kinds of clothing flatter you, you can do it too!
  1. Know your flattering colour palette and season
    Your skin and hair colour will work better with specific colours and patterns. Identify these and start to shift your wardrobe toward these colours. An added benefit is that all your clothing will match each other as well as you!
  2. Know the cuts/fits for your body type
    Find styles that emphasize your best features and minimize anything that distracts. Many of these styles have keywords that will make it easier to find if you're using Bunz like "a line skirt" or "boat neck". While you're at it, take your measurements every once in a while to ensure you're searching for the right size. An added benefit here is that your clothes will feel more comfortable and suited to your body.
  3. Take a mental inventory of your closet
    This one can be challenging - but when you are searching through racks of clothing in a thrift store or scrolling down a feed of images on Bunz, you'll want to keep in mind how you might pair your newfound items with pieces you already own. In order for something to make it into my closet, it has to work in an outfit with at least three pieces I already own.
  4. Be patient
    Learn to enjoy the experience of searching. After four years on Bunz and even longer spent in the aisles of every Value Village in town, I love the way clothing can express the era it was created in. Graphics, fabric patterns, cuts and even stitching techniques all speak for the garment, and I've learned a lot about fashion on my hunt. And since thrift shopping and Bunz are so low-cost, you can afford to try things out. If they don't work, just trade them away to someone who's better suited to them.
There is a great strip of Bloor St. W between Lansdowne and Dufferin that includes a bunch of great thrift stores as well as a Value Village. If I can't find a specific item of clothing on Bunz, I know I can find it in one of those stores. Good luck!

Inspiration: Nuit Blanche
This past weekend marked the 14th annual Nuit Blanche festival in Toronto, and my second year cycling the festival with Toronto Cruisers. Last year was definitely an improvement over walking the festival, but it was cold and rainy, and I almost had my bike stolen by some drunk dude in Trinity Bellwoods while we were taking a group photo near the Dog Bowl rave. So I was ready for a glow up and perhaps even to break my record of 3:00am from last year.

Regrettably I had woken up too early that day and needed a nap while some of the group dressed up like spooky skeletons - but they certainly drew a crowd without my contribution.

I especially enjoyed all the art around Fort York - put on by one of my favourite collectives Art Spin. Art Spin curators Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta transformed several sites with temporary public art projects, from Fort York and The Bentway, to a decommissioned abattoir and a garbage incineration plant. Their nine curated projects were selected and created site-specifically to respond to each space and its unique relationship to the theme of Creation : Destruction.

Art Spin did a great job of bringing the "small-time mysteries of the night" vibe back to Nuit Blanche this year, one that I haven't felt in a long time.

Toronto Cruisers is my weekly weird bike-fueled art project, and in instances when we came across art that was not as inspired, we became the art. I imagine we made some people's night's more exciting with our lights and spooky faces. These guerilla art projects are as fun as the sanctioned art itself.

And as I biked home through Trinity Bellwoods, I noticed yet another rave in the Dog Bowl. Been there, done that.

No comments:

Post a Comment