September 19th, 2011:
I am sitting on the Via Rodeo, a picturesque mimicry of one of those quaint European streets. They even added a gently sloping hill to increase the charm. To one side is PORSCHE DESIGN, they really shouldn’t have. Just behind me, VERSACE. The bill of brands and stores goes on beyond my line of sight.
Sitting here, on a uninviting bench with people passing by, barely noticing me. I admit to attempting to appear disinterested, claiming a fundamental lack of materialistic drive. Walking around Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, in the heard of the Golden Triangle I know that isn’t the case.
My solo stroll through the most high end of all ends, the most exclusive of exclusive, was more terrifying than some days in high school. Equal to an anticipated confrontation between two friends. I don’t even have a credit card the right color to be used here.
It is so strange, downright illogical, to be so intimidated by an image. The mere idea of wealth and brands hovers, overshadowing the norm. But not all is as secure as it seems. Rodeo Drive shows signs of the times like any florescent lit mall. Increased vacancies, for lease signs covering windows, all like blank stares. Sales are probably lackluster in the remaining stores, it doesn’t seem polite to ask though.
The “pretty people” are so not pretty. The tourist bring sincere beauty and appreciation. I like to think that to man of them, as is true with me, Rodeo Drive is like an art gallery. Not always in our taste but beautiful and the result of someone’s personal efforts. Compare to sordid city streets this bubble filled with well-tended pavers, plants, and perfect exteriors. It is calming. If only it were empty of people.
Dressed in my own style- however one may choose to define it, steez? With a shoulder bag from a street fair and comfy Toms on I probably don’t fit in. But I have convinced myself to no be discouraged on two accounts. One, holding my head high and appearing comfortable will undoubtedly improve my posture.
Two, even if I had a card of the right platinum, black or solid gold, I probably wouldn’t use it much here. For a dress at BCBG? Maybe. To spoil my mother? Definitely. For a pair of Chanel ballet flats I have dreamt of since my first issue of Teen Vogue? In a heartbeat. But then I run out of things (I’m not a big jewelry person). Maybe that would be different if I indeed did have the funds but for now I’m happy to think my taste is relatively cheap.