Pseudo-savvy: Blindfolded to brand-names.

The “brand-savvy” ¬†are very conscious of the image they exude – it’s in the job description I believe, to be hyper-aware of how you measure up against the people around you (and to let the people around you know that you’re measuring).

I travelled to New York City recently, and on the stereotypical city tour the guides took us down to Broadway and SoHo and pointed out glamour-hyped stores that we should supposedly be dying to shop in.

“And ladies, this store’s for you! Five floors of shoes – Chanel, Loubouttin, Prada – go crazy in there!” They said.

I’m pretty sure that they knew most of us (themselves included) couldn’t afford to loiter outside one of those establishments, let alone purchase from them – but, oh man, did they talk about those places as if they were regulars. As if they had the cash lying around to casually purchase a $200 scarf and still have leftovers for some Starbucks. As if.

I might not have gone into the actual stores, but I saw in through the windows and that was good enough to give me scope to draw judgement about how much we hype up brands and brand-names.The people in the $200-scarf store still were dragging around whining children, trying to squeeze into pants that were too small and instagramming pictures of cute blouses on mannequins. But, by the way the people outside the store were ogling them you’d think they each came out having purchased an extra year of life, instead of just a shirt.

What chafes my nerves more is the adoration that these over-priced, under-valued objects get. It’s not education or health you’re paying a small fortune for ladies and gents, it’s a handbag. Congratulations. If, for every time a brand-name was admired, an educated person got accolades as well, the world would be absurdly different. I’d go as far as to to say it would be unrecognizable. Perhaps even better.

Moral of the story:

Dress well, live large, eat luxuriously – but don’t be fooled into thinking that you can only do it if brands are attached to everything you own – or, that other people are doing it better than you are because of the brands they own. Call me “pseudo-savvy”, but at the end of the day, the cucumber sold in a $15 salad appetizer from Chez-whatever is the same as the cucumber in my bagel from Tim Hortons.

What impresses me most is resourcefulness and intelligence. I wonder if Nike makes them in my size.


Lyrical Cities

City names make for the best songs!

Wandering around in a city must give an almost mythological level of inspiration! Some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard take inspiration from the individualistic events, ambiance and haunting charm that belong to the city mentioned in the song’s name.

For years, my favorite song has unwaveringly remained “Vienna” by The Fray. Take one listen to the lyrics and you’ll have a bittersweet story running rampant in your head, propelled by the words of the song.

The day’s last one-way ticket train pulls in
We smile for the casual closure capturing
There goes the downpour
There goes my fare thee well

There’s really no way to reach me
There’s really no way to reach me
There’s really no way to reach me
‘Cause I’m already gone”

Those are just the first two verses of the song, but it was enough to hook me. I’ve never been to Vienna, but I know that when I do, I’ll stand on the corner of a street and blare it to myself in my headphones – it’s bucketlist-official.

The Fray are masters of creating beautiful songs revolving around the ambiance of cities. In their new album, Scars and Stories, the song Munich and Rainy Zurich are my two favorite tracks. How they manage to make me feel like I’m walking the streets of these places simply by relating to my emotions, I’ll never understand. It’s an art.

My penchant for city-named-songs is pretty obvious at this point. Here are a couple more to listen to, if you’re interested:

  • “Rainy Zurich” – The Fray
  • “Munich” – The Fray
  • “New York” – Blind Pilot
  • “Amsterdam” – Coldplay
  • “Chicago” – Frank Sinatra
  • “Berlin” – Snow Patrol
  • “Boston” – Augustana
  • “New York” – Snow Patrol
  • “Rochester” – Matt Kearney
  • “Paris”- Kate Nash
  • “Postcards from Paris” – The Band Perry
  • “Streets of Philadelphia”- The Fray
  • “Vienna” – Billy Joel
  • “Calgary” – Bon Iver
  • “Walking in Memphis” – Marc Cohn


There are so many more! All I know is that when I plan my epic vacation excursion, I’ll use these songs as a road map and itinerary!

Any recommendations?


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