Thursday, October 22, 2009

Man with the Golden Companion


For someone riding a mobility scooter, he was far from the usual stereotype of a rider. He wasn’t overweight. Not particularly old. No real visible signs of disability. If one didn’t know better this would another George Costanza-like situation. Not pretty.

He was dressed like an old high school teacher. Attempting to dress up and convey some gravitas, but ending up looking rumpled and a caricature of what academics think is fashionable yet comfortable. In his case, it was a dark navy blue blazer that though the standard two button, the cut and the design betrayed the truth that it was probably bought a good decade or more ago. The lapels were slightly larger and the blazer itself was about a size too large for his frame.

Adding to that lost fashion sense was a navy blue crewneck worn under that blazer. A curious choice to pair with a blazer for him, but it went perfectly with the faded black denim jeans he was wearing. Both were equally generous with the fading of color, and in keeping with his now obvious near monotone taste in color.

The black chunky boots were a real surprise though. For a person on a scooter to have these hybrid hiking and walking boots was an oxymoron right? If one isn’t doing much walking, why wear those meant for others who are to do much of it?

His glasses on a black tortoiseshell frame completed his look.

At his feet was a dark grey messenger bag. A cell phone sticking out of the side pocket, looking like it was supposed to be in more comfortable quarters.

He spent the majority of his train ride reading the New York Times. The boardsheet in all of its splendor on what is normally a train too crowded for spreading out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Golden Companion

Man 10/8/09

Golden Companion. Rather, Golden Companion II. That was the name on the prominent label affixed to the front and rear. The Golden Companion II is an electric mobility scooter. Now a scooter in a NYC subway is a rare sight and one simply cannot let this pass without a closer look.

It was a metallic navy blue scooter. A large sticker on the steering column to indicate the name, Golden Companion II, and an even larger sticker on the rear of the scooter on the casing where the battery is located to do the same.

It was a man sitting on this scooter. The seat was similar to a seat one would find on an electric wheelchair. Large back and seat, though curiously no seat belt on this one. Perhaps it was removed? The grey chair was made from a PVC material and the foam sticking out from the worn corners suggested a lot of mileage. It was also slightly discolored and darkened adding to the patina of age and abuse.

At the very top of the steering column was a small circle headlight flanked on both sides by black foam padded handlebars. There were no brake levers on that handlebar, but directly underneath each grip was a small lever obviously meant for the thumbs – the left was marked R, and the right was marked F. On the dash board was a battery meter in the middle of that rectangle console. To the left and right were two little buttons – one for the headlight and the other remained a mystery. At the bottom of the steering column was a rubberized accordion sleeve that was most probably there to protect a suspension or some sort of hinge.

The rather thick chassis sat on three wheels. One in front, and two in the rear. All grey in color and about 10 inches in diameter. There were also two other smaller wheels right next to the rear wheels. Those two smaller wheels were roller wheels that sat off the ground, and probably there to aid transportation of the vehicle.

On the front panel of the battery casing was a large faux wood sticker. Not sure why it was there since it didn’t obviously serve a function nor was it aesthetically appropriate.

His feet rested on a large footbed that essentially dominated the chassis of the scooter. On the front edging of the footbed was a protective metallic gold strip that ran the length of that edge. In keeping with the theme, there were portions that were held down by masking tape and a small portion that was missing completely.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Original

Woman 9/24/09

It was a simple tee with a rather striking black and white image. At first, the initial reaction was one of irony – Oh, how cute that she’s wearing a t-shirt with the face of Pam Anderson, who is clearly the antithesis of everything this woman stands for. Focusing more on the face on that tee, it began to be obvious that it wasn’t the infamous Pamela Anderson who was being subtly mocked, it was the great Brigitte Bardot who was being celebrated.

Brigitte Bardot the icon. Brigitte Bardot the woman who epitomized French sensuality in Fifties and whose influence is still felt today even though the height of her fame was in the Sixties. Unlike those who needed to die young to remain so, she is still remembered as an effervescent beauty who conjures fantasies at the mere mention of her name. What’s probably more striking is that instead of being just remembered for her sexuality, she’s long been a favorite of fashionistas as well.

This fashionista wasn’t channeling Bardot but perhaps celebrating her French style. The tee aside, she was in dark skinny jeans tucked into tall leather boots. The boots just like the jeans were unadorned and offered clean simple lines for the eye. The heels were just about 3 inches and the tan rich enough to impart the craftsmanship and the probable high price.

On her lap was a large handbag. It was an ivory leather with just two handles. All other details though were obscured by the large cotton anorak that she had on which partially cloaked the handbag. The anorak was meant to sit loosely on her shoulders. A thin canvas jacket for cooler summer or warmer spring days had found itself in demand on this cool late early Fall day in NYC. It was a sand color with a hood that had drawstrings of the same color. One could make out the zipper which indicated that the hood was removable. The zipper of the anorak was brass, but the buttons on the side hand pockets were both brown. The relative simplicity of this long jacket was essentially in keeping with her signature taste.

She had a long pixie cut. The hair was dyed in what looked to be two different layers – brown on the outside and black on the inside. The roots were brown, so this just wasn’t a simple case of her black hair growing out. It was a deliberate dye pattern.

Her make-up was equally deliberate. Light on the blush. Heavy on the mascara to highlight her eyes. And a pale powder around her cheeks to offset the pink of the blush. The eyebrows were painted brown. There were a light sprinkling of freckles across her face.

She looked like she stepped out of a fashionista Manga comic.