Who's That Girl

August 16th, 2014, 8pm

This is my friend Chris giving vintage 80’s Madonna before going on stage at last night’s Madonnathon at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn. It was a hectic afternoon/night with costume alterations and dance rehearsal in the hotel room. I think she looks EXACTLY like Madonna.

In the room Gabe was playing 80’s vintage music all afternoon- I guess to get in the mood. He wasn’t even born when that music played the first time but for me it threw me into a nostalgic mode. The view from the room at Wythe Hotel in the heart of Williamsburg was floor-to-ceiling Manhattan over the East River. It wasn’t far from Pratt where I went to school and the view brought back memories. First, I thought how different is today, all hooked into iPhones 24-7. Back then it was just headphones hooked into the FM Walkman flooding my brain with the intoxicatingly-velvet sounds of WBLS. Now the view is of the Freedom Tower but then it was the World Trade. Needing a break from school projects I’d often leave the art behind and take a walk to the waterfront. Bed-Stuy was truly a slum back then but at 4 in the morning, not much is around to bother you. A stray dog or two, a bus, maybe (gypsy) cabs, delivery trucks for the Daily News. And me. In a Pea Coat. What I remember most was the sky slowly brightening, going from the darkest blue to purple and then azure. I always thought the Trade Center were ugly and brutal buildings, with the nearby Woolworth building so spectacular. Anyway, at the moment the sun would break, the Trade Centers would- from top to bottom- start to glow from pink to orange to the most brilliant and magnificent gold. I would sit mesmerized and think this was an amazing gift of a moment. Because soon, the sun would rise higher and the gold glow would disappear and the towers were just their normal selves, nothing more than office buildings. I’d walk back to studio and the city was becoming alive and people rushing to and fro. I’d go to sleep with the glow of those buildings still in my mind and wake up in the afternoon to finish up whatever piece I was working on for class.

For those in the room at the Wythe, it was just an incredible view of an amazing city. For me, it was pure nostalgia. From the skyline, I remembered and could reimagine every walk, from SoHo to the Upper West Side. The club in the Village with the reggae, every used record store my boyfriend would make us visit (I’d stay outside and wait for him to come out so excited with his latest European find), the Harvard Club where my Uncle rushed me to Brooks Brothers for respectable shoes and attire (‘I can’t believe Pratt doesn’t have a dress code…’), Times Square where we always hit up Virgin for CDs- and then DVDs.

I sent my ex a text with a shot of the view at dusk, the Empire State in all white. ‘Here Comes The Rain Again’ by Annie Lennox was playing and I teared up and wrote ‘Thought of you.” Which I do. Every day.

Sanna said thanks.

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Kinley Borden

Artist, writer. Currently a Pet Shop Boys playlist is the soundtrack to my life. I'm getting more into branding/logos and you can check that all out on my site: www.kinleyborden.com

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