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  • Writer's pictureVariant Magazine

NYC Check-In with Anna: #1

By: Anna Birk, Copy Chief

Whatever they tell you about New York … it’s all true; the good, the bad, the crazy, the cost. I suppose out of everything, I’ll start with a bit of a highlight reel:

When I first got to my apartment, I was greeted like a true New Yorker by paying entirely too much, for an entirely too-small apartment. The dead cockroach who greeted me upon entering the apartment really was the icing on the cake, and continuing with the apartment adventures, the radiator in my room didn’t work until half-way through the night. I was left huddled over it like Mike Wazowski in Monsters Inc. I hope you all understand that reference.

I’ve gotten lost in the Times Square station several times; one time it was bad enough that a police officer who had witnessed me walk in a circle for five minutes finally laughed and offered me guidance. Embarrassing to say the least.

Continuing on with my tale of mishaps, of all the times I’ve taken the 1 train, you’d think I would’ve seen a rat. Alas, no rats to be found. I did see one scamper in front of me outside of my apartment, but that is the extent of those New York residents. What I have seen on the subway though, falls nothing short of strange. Who knew you’d see so many Mariachi bands on the train cars.

Moving on from the chaos of the city, I want to briefly jump into the fashion trends there.

I like to think the concept of a black puffer jacket was born in the city. As fun as it is to joke about, as someone from the midwest, the stereotype is entirely true. I myself have even bought a black puffer. Thankfully though, mine cost less than $100 from Urban Outfitters. The true puffer jacket is a Moncler ankle length black puffer, complete with fur on the hood and zippers on the side. Those retail for nearly $3,000.

My favorite outfit that I’ve seen so far was when I was sitting in a café in Greenwich Village. I was doing remote work when a person walked in wearing a floral coat so shiny it looked like it was made of silk. Their outfit, from head to toe, was the definition of chaos as fashion, and referencing VARIANT’s most recent issue, was a perfect display of clashing patterns.

Removal of the coat revealed a beautiful snake print skirt, falling mid-calf, with tall black platform boots below. The top part of the outfit was a longer sweater, with the Versace logo lining the sleeves. Their hair was pulled up into a bun, with half of it spilling down the side. Cow print earrings and cat eye sunglasses completed the entire look, along with a multicolored handbag.

Now as much as I would love to recreate this outfit, I don’t think I could for a slew of reasons, the first being that it probably cost five times the amount of my rent.

Outfits like this are common in New York and probably one of my favorite things about being in the city. The freedom of expression. Living in Ohio can be fun, but the true freedom to be whoever you want simply comes alive in the city.

This begs the question: is freedom of expression actually allowed, or is it just because New Yorkers are so focused on where they are going that they simply don’t care? I think both are probably true and it’s not worth it to dwell over.

Chaos within outfits is so fun and I’ve started to learn some different things about fashion trends in the city. If you want to see chic and trendy, you go to SoHo. If you want fancy and free, Greenwich and West Village are your areas. Are business suits your thing? Make a trek down to the financial district and Wall Street. The city is always bustling with different ideas, looks, trends and vibes.

No two experiences in the city are the same, between what you see and hear. I think this is reflected perfectly within the fashion trends there as well. Who knows, maybe soon I’ll be wearing a Moncler puffer as well. Well, if I won the lottery.

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