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Friday, April 17, 2009

Get A Life

We have all heard the taunt or admonition, get a life. But what about those less fortunate who, because they have not been dealt a good set of cards or who are at a point in life where they are down on their luck, may not have a life to get? And if one does not have the good fortune of an extended family or available friends, the world can be a lonely place.
I can tell you from having lived alone at various times, that I believe being in New York City provides a lot more entertainment and distraction at those needed times. Like it or not, gossip in one form or another occupies a large part of people's social interactions, particularly those without a life. New York City offers enormous fodder for the lonely yenta.
Two friends and I sat in a vehicle in a parking spot on Fifth Avenue, waiting for the appointed time indicated on the parking sign to set us free. We became very intrigued by the vehicle in front of us, shown in the photo, so for the duration of our captivity, we began to speculate, becoming amateur detectives. One companion was a former New York City resident, Brooklyn born and street smart. We observed a few things. The vehicle was a car for hire, indicated by the T&LC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) at the bottom of the license plate. The man hovering was obviously the driver waiting for his client. This was not an ordinary client for several reasons. The vehicle was a Mercedes, it was parked outside an extremely fancy doorman building on fifth avenue in one of the most prime locations in the city. Lastly, and most interesting to us, was an odd sequence of letters, FHAAHHMS, that certainly must be a vanity license plate.
Now I suppose that our indulgence in the minutiae of life is not unique to the city - the occasional interloper in a small town is often subjected to the same scrutiny and speculation by idle gossipers. However, for those without a life, what better place to be than New York City. Walk out of your door anytime of day or night and you enter a world that is a veritable circus, with the broadest range of humans on exhibit that you are ever likely to meet. Here you can see a posting, Spike, of a man that I did .... and who I recently met at Astor Hair. Where else could he dress like this and strut with pride and confidence and be treated like a celebrity? André, who I featured in Out There on 8/22/07 and Fashion Forward, is someone I now frequently meet and greet on the streets of NYC. I have since learned a little more about fashionista André Johnson and that he has graced the cover of French Vogue in 2007.
Any thoughts about the letters on that license plate, FHAAHHMS?

Note: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first use of "Get a Life" was from a 1983 article in the Washington Post: "Gross me out, I mean, Valley Girls was, like, ohmigod, it was last year, fer sure! I mean, get a life! Say what?"


Hannah said...

I thought you were talking about André Leon Talley, the editor of American Vogue. If you met him everyday on the street, I would be jealous. Luckily I don't have to be. :)

jjermano said...

Oh, to be as fhaahhms as that Spike or the other charming denizens you have so carefully documented. After all, being fhaahhms is what it's all about... for 15 minutes at least.

Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

You might be interested to know that Andre J got another cover

apparently he ran into a famous stylist when he was wearing the ensemble you photographed him in (the white turban, ect). Just thought it was really interesting!