Saturday, June 29, 2013

Shameless Saturday Camp Explosion: Color Me...

Camp taste nourishes itself on the love that has 
gone into certain objects and personal styles.
Susan Sontag, "Notes on Camp"

...exhausted.  Given the past week or so, this clip seemed appropriate.  Barbra, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a regrettable cocktail frock, and an energetic but really pretty terrible pop tune - the camp is in the contrasts, in how it's all thrown together.  And, of course, in the eye makeup.

Growing up in Philadelphia in the pre-VCR era (when something like YouTube would have seemed as miraculously futuristic, well, as those earrings), Streisand's Color Me Barbra special was a legend and not much more.  Just as well, or we would all have gone running around the contemporary art galleries, leaping up on the medieval fountains, and, inevitably, swanning down the grand staircase.  Which we did enough of without the provocation, now that I think about it.  Something in the architecture of the place, particularly in staid old Philadelphia, inspires flights of fancy.  At least we weren't attempting ambitious choreography in a hobble skirt.  Well, not often...

Ah, you say, but enough of pop-culture ramblings - what of life chez nous?  Well, of course the defining feature of that life is that we are for the moment sans chez, as it were, and we're expending a great deal of effort in remedying that.  There may be more dispiriting things than house hunting on a budget in an increasingly hot real-estate market, but I can think right now of few.  So far we've either seen things that are lovely and approximately twice our budget, laughably tiny, or simply horrifying (I'll spare you the details, but they involve powder-blue bathroom fixtures against avocado textured tile, missing window panes, and, possibly, crack addicts downstairs).

Our first, brief foray into the rental market was sufficiently lowering that yesterday we went and got ourselves pre-qualified for a mortgage, just in case we can find something less vile on a purchase basis.  The good news is that we're immediately eligible for a sum that sounds princely.  The bad news is that, were we to live anywhere near the neighborhoods we find of interest, we would be dooming ourselves to things like avocado tiles and, possibly, crack addicts.  It's one thing to be paying vast sums to live in midtown Manhattan - that I'd expect, and certainly have experienced.  To be doing so in order to live in a questionable quartier or a relatively distant suburb of Washington, DC, and possibly, but only possibly, within walking reach of a bus line seems like an insult, a joke, or a mistake of some sort.  Or possibly all three.

Even so, this morning we go to meet with a realtor and see what we shall see.  Based on what we've seen to date, though, I'm with Babs.


  1. Oh darling, chin up....and stay out of Prince Georges County.

    Say what you will about Barbra's fashion sense, it was consistent. (consistently ghastly)

  2. I have a dear friend who works in a property management office in Arlington if you find yourself in need of more resources. I know she handles the rental situations for several embassies, but also some blessedly moderate properties, like the delightful (though sadly not walk-to-metro) condo in the Four Mile Run area of Arlington where I stay each October. Cant vouch for all the properties, but I can vouch that she's completely above board.

  3. Best of luck with the living situation! I lived in DC years ago when it was rather rundown however reasonable to live in but now after it has definitely gotten itself fixed up prices are shockingly sky high. With all that it is losing a lot of its color at the same time, in some spots feeling absolutely suburban.

    Barbra's dress is a cacophony of color to be sure but now that she seems to shroud herself in perpetual black it's nice to know there was a time she was a bit more bold. The eye shadow is such a snapshot of 60's glamour!

  4. Sweetie - you moving down the road? Your housing dollar goes further in Baltimore. And we can have you over for dinner.

  5. Trust Barbra to get you in the mood for house-hunting - imagine if the bathroom decor was the colour(s) of her frock! Jx