She was walking to the bank, and he was there. She sees him there often. She is dressed casually, as if the world is perfectly balanced. She is able to finesse the bustling street knowing her day will be predictable and even. She knows how lucky she is.
It is his perch there on the sidewalk, lined with a discarded cardboard box. Alas, it appears it his home. He is loudly articulate, yet he speaks to his own audience. She does what she always does, hands him peanut M&Ms, meets his eyes for a fleeting second, glimpsing and giving witness to his humanity.
She puts two crumpled bills in his crumbled Styrofoam cup, and walks away. A prayer gets squished in her throat and cannot be uttered, so she feels useless. She feels like this.
Gosh, it is nice to retreat to the mundane when things around you are difficult. So now is a good time to tell you what I am wearing. It is a formula every fashionista knows and wears. Distressed denim, white platforms, a tee with stripes, a vest for layering interest, and a scarf for pattern mixing. You can build this outfit (and many others) on any budget. Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, eBay will suffice.
Henry Lehr, Barney’s, and Petit-Bateau can also accommodate this look with a bigger budget. The Gucci tote is key though, the racing stripe gives this look its panache. Mine is vintage, yours can be too.
A few more shots from the photo shoot. (For the sake of privacy, we did not get a shot of the man on the sidewalk.)
Here is a Polyvore set I made to give you some links for the look and some inspiration.
Here are the links:
So ladies and gents, do you also wear a version of this outfit? Let me know how yours is done. Do you also see homeless people regularly? How do you cope, day to day, with the heartbreak that is just before your eyes, or in your newspaper, day in and day out. So many worldly ills.
I cope by witnessing the kindness of others and practicing random acts of kindness. Actually, I am fastidious about this. It i is a habit of mine. Not because I am an extraordinarily good person. It is to help me cope with my relative good fortune, and because I feel better when I can be of service.
I am the one who holds doors for people with strollers, walkers, and boxes. I am the one people ask for directions. They know me, I must have a radar. I pick up after people on the subway, chasing them if they drop a receipt that looks important, or leave an umbrella. I physically hold people back when they are crossing the street when traffic is oncoming. There is the weird mix of WTF!! and OH Thank YOU!! in their reactions, starting with the former, and seamlessly becoming the latter.
Life in the city, it is certainly a special place to be.
Thank you to Geraldo Vitale for photos.