Hurry up, the Strand is closing in an hour

Welcome to another edition of the Art Anthropology of Style! Yes, I did skip last week’s column. I was Kerouac-ing around the Northeast and curating a traveling art gallery/literary reading with a bunch of writers and colleagues. It was awesome.

When did it become November? Between work and travel and that goddamn hurricane it feels like I’ve just emerged, blinking and a little discombobulated, from a wormhole connecting mid-September to now. Today I’d like to direct your attention to another species of urban dweller, one who usually emerges from summer-enduced hermitude around the time I was sucked into that wormhole and sticks around until it starts getting warm again. She is the Bookish, Bespectacled, and Black-Sweatered. I saw two nearly identical ones in the wild the other day–one directly ahead of me and the other a few yards ahead, both apparently unaware of the other’s presence.

Physical Appearance:    Oversized black sweater. It can be cable-knit, cashmere, or anything in between. It’s warm. If she likes skirts, she’ll wear them with black tights and probably some tough-looking boots. Many members of the species have long hair pulled up in a messy bun, but on occasion you might spot one with a bob or an Audrey Hepburn-esque pageboy. She wears glasses. They can be of any shape as long as they have thick black frames. Prescription not necessary, but chances are pretty high she actually needs them.

Habitat:   Bookshops. Any bookshop. Is it a bookshop with a cafe? Even better.

Social Characteristics:   Generally seen wandering the stacks, looking doe-eyed behind the glasses and clutching a stack of secondhand books. Has friends but often prefers to devote herself to solitary pursuits. Hobbies likely include knitting, complaining about her landlord not allowing cats, Tumblr, and reading celebrity gossip but being embarrassed about it.

Favorite Band:   The Smiths.

Favorite Writer: This is tricky, as she won’t want to think that her taste in literature is easily categorizable. Salinger is a good guess, though. If that’s wrong, try Anaïs Nin.

Related Subspecies:  the Strand Employee (similar, but has stranger taste in books), and the Art Gallery Intern (similar, but has stranger taste in music).

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