Having a Gay Old Time in the Castro

San Francisco has some of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the world, one of which is most definitely its famous gay 'hood, the CASTRO!  Yesterday (nursing a bit of a hangover from a wild karaoke party the night before), I went to pick up my little boo, Freeman, and we headed out to lunch in the most colorful neighborhood in the city.

rainbow flags on every light post

And I really did have the most handsome little lunch date:

always a hit with the gays

Walking around the Castro, one is likely to stumble upon men walking tiny dogs in sweaters, shirtless bears in the windows of bars, and a plethora of sex toys in shop windows (yesterday even I came across something I didn't know existed . . . and that's sayin' a lot).  I'm always amused by the hilarious store names in the Castro:

on the left, my personal fave: Does Your Mother Know
and on the right, Hand Job Nails & Spa

A few months ago, I was driving home from babysitting Freeman, and was at a stop sign at 18th and Castro, when a totally naked man crossed the street (along with several other pedestrians who were clothed).  Now, this would not be weird at all had it been the Folsom St. Fair or Gay Pride weekend . . . but it was an average Wednesday evening around 8:30 pm.  

I love this city.

Looks of the Day

Kenza for Sports Illustrated

We almost couldn’t believe our eyes when these scorching images of Kenza hit our inboxes, brightening our day in the dreary London rain.

The shoot, for the prestigious US publication Sports Illustrated, got us in the mood for summer and already contemplating our bikini diets. To see Kenza’s full story with the Sports Illustrated team, as well as some exclusive behind the scenes images check out:

USA: Debts - Dettes (1900 - 2020)


Elite: Who is your favourite photographer you have worked with?
Shauna: Christian Bragg
E: What was your first modelling job?
S: Hair & make-up test
E: What is your favourite film?
S: The Incredibles or The Lion King
E: What is your nickname?
S: Shaw
E: Guilty pleasure?
S: Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough ice-cream…and brownies
E: What is the best thing about the agency?
S: The Welsh invasion!
E: Best thing about London/Paris/Milan?
S: London - Definitely the sunny weather HA.
E: What did you want to be when you were younger?
S: A secret agent of course.
E: Marmite: Love/Hate
E: Who is your celebrity crush?
S: Johnny Depp
E: If we took you to Starbucks right now what would you order?
S: Caramel cream Frappachino
E: What song is most played on your ipod?
S: Knockin' on Heavens Door - Guns n Roses
E: What did you have for breakfast today?
S: Cheerios
E: How would you describe your style?
S: Kind of messy
E: What's the best freebie you've ever got?
S: T-shirts with funny slogans on 
E: What's your Facebook status at the moment?
S: My roommate is trying to teach me French…key word being 'trying'
E: How much is a pint of milk?
S: 50p
E: What is your fashion week survival strategy?
S: Get lots of sleep
E: Describe yourself in 3 words…
S: Fun, sarcastic happy
E: If you had a million pounds what would you spend it on?
S: I'd get an Audi R8

Tell me about your music!

So I just read my friend Jessie's post (if you don't follow her blog, you should--we've become good friends & I can't wait to meet her in June!) in which she gives us a taste of her iTunes.

Remember that facebook survey that went around for a while with prompts, and you were supposed to answer with random songs from iTunes shuffle?  That was the only facebook survey I enjoyed.  Cause I love hearing all about what people are listening to!

It's very rare to find someone who listens to one genre of music.  Most of us are more dynamic than that, and therefore have fascinating iTunes libraries!

Here are my first 25 songs from iTunes shuffle:

Case of You--k.d. lang
Shaky Town--Jackson Browne
Carefree--The Perishers
The Great Escape--Patrick Watson (swoon-worthy song, btw)
Miss Independent--Kelly Clarkson
The Moon is a Magnet--Jon Foreman
Gone Till November--Wyclef Jean
Doesn't Mean Anything--Alicia Keys
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot--She & Him
A Matter of Minutes--Shawn Colvin (remember that song?)
Just a Memory--Notorious B.I.G. feat. The Clipse
Miss Misery--Elliott Smith
Best for Last--Adele
Nos Da Cariad--David Gray
For What It's Worth--Buffalo Springfield (the anti-war song?)
Goodnight L.A.--Counting Crows
Southern Man--Neil Young
Swallowed in the Sea--Coldplay (without a doubt my favorite Coldplay song)
Black Poppies--CocoRosie
As Long as You Follow--Fleetwood Mac
Building a Mystery--Sarah Maclachlan (I ran into her in a shoe store once)
In This Temple, As in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth--Sufjan Stevens
The Pretender--Jackson Browne
Heard it in a Love Song--Marshall Tucker Band


Looks of the Day

The Model Sanctuary

 Our boys and girls escaped the madness of London Fashion to kick back at the Model Sanctuary in Convent Garden. They were treated to massages, facials and manicures, as well as complementary food and smoothies. So we'd like to say a massive thank-you to the Model sanctuary for keeping the Elite lovelies in tip-top condition for fashion week! 

When Your To Do List Makes You Want to Hibernate

Ever have that feeling?  After an incredibly restful (& fun!) weekend with my friend Elena, it was back to the grind this week.  My To Do list looks like this:

[ ] finish grading (all the student work from the past 6 weeks that I've ignored)
[ ] send out deficiency notices
[ ] finish planning the quarter's classes for San Quentin
[ ] write feedback on poems from this week's San Quentin class
[ ] call about dental insurance
[ ] email my doctor about my f'ed up back
[ ] finish writing & editing the narrative for Voice of Witness (a 10 hour project, minimum)
[ ] take bags upon bags of clothes I don't wear to the Goodwill
[ ] get oil changed since it was due about 3 months ago
[ ] call the parents of several students
[ ] pay multiple parking tickets (including the $360 bus zone violation)
[ ] write poem for next Cobras meeting
[ ] clean & organize my office
[ ] . . .  not to mention my house
[ ] mail several letters & packages
[ ] finish reading Snooki's book

As you might guess, there is only one thing on that list that interests me.  But given that I'm babysitting tonight (after I leave school) and quarter grades are due tomorrow at 3 pm, looks like I better get crackin.  So I'm off to attend to this:

while listening to this:

Hope your day is less work-heavy!

Looks of the Day


Elite: If we were to take you to Starbucks right now what would you order? 
Jonny: A Frapamochacapuchinolattedecaffcoffee
E: What do you miss most about home when you're travelling?
J: Playing in my band and the boys.
E: As an experienced traveller what gets you through a long haul flight?
J: An aeroplane
E: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
J: Sausage and egg sandwich and a cup of tea
E: What song is the most played on your ipod?
J: At the moment Harmonix - Surfer Blood
E: Who's your celebrity crush?
J: Alison Mosshart
E: How were you scouted?
J: At Glastonbury
E: Apart from your portfolio what do you carry in your bag during a casting day?
J: Paracetamol 
E: How would you describe your style? 
J: James Dean if he was in an indie band
E: Whats the oldest thing in your wardrobe?
J: Vintage leather jacket
E: Have you ever been in a school play?
J: I played the wind in Jack and the Beanstalk
E: What's your earliest memory?
J: First Everton game.
E: If you could be on any magazine cover which one would you choose?
J: Rolling Stone
E: What's the best freebie you've ever got? 
J: Glastonbury ticket
E: Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
J: Mr Blobby 
E: What's your Facebook status at the moment?
J: Summer please!
E: How much is a pint of milk?
J: 50p
E:What's your fashion week survival strategy?
J: iPod and Google maps
E: Tell us a joke.
J: How do you make a sausage roll? Push it down a hill.
E: What's on your Sky+ this week?
J: Take me out
E: If you had a million pounds what would you spend it on?
J: I would buy my parents a house (E: Awww!)

Paul ist wunderbar!

Elite boy Paul Boche appears in the March issue of German Vogue. He looks amazing in the retro Elvis Presley inspired shoot, that see's androgyny at it's best with a mix of girls and boys all paying homage to 'the King'. 

Me Facing Life

Would you believe that it was only in 2005 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled out the death penalty for juveniles?  Until then, kids could be sentenced to death for crimes they committed.

However, no such law has been established when it comes to life sentences.  There are thousands of kids in the U.S. who have been given the infamous LWOP sentence: life without parole.  Kids as young as 14 have been sentenced to prison until their natural deaths, without any chance for parole.

This evening, I went to the San Francisco Main Public Library to see a screening of a new documentary called Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story.


It was an incredibly compelling account of Cyntoia Brown, a Tennessee girl who, frankly, was never dealt a fair hand.  Her mother gave birth to her at age 16, and confesses that she drank heavily every day while she was pregnant.  After Cyntoia was born, her mother began using crack cocaine and prostituting, resulting in danger & instability for Cyntoia.  According to psychologists, ages 0-3 are crucial when it comes to forming attachment, trust, decision-making, etc.  

Cyntoia was eventually adopted by a friend of the family, but was sexually abused, repeatedly, starting at age 7.  It comes as no surprise that by her early teens, she was doing drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd.

One night, having escaped her violent pimp, Cyntoia walked to a local gas station, where she was picked up by a 43 year old man looking for sex.  He took her back to his place and showed her several of his guns, and after he grabbed her forcefully, she shot and killed him.

Cyntoia, at the hearing to determine whether she would be tried as an adult

In the end, she was tried in adult court, found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison.  Producer/Director Daniel Birman explores issues of biology, abuse, and social factors as they pertain to crime and sentencing.  

I urge you to watch the trailer here, and try to catch the documentary when it airs on PBS!

Looks of the Day

Looks of the Day

Partying with the Elite

We took a break from the madness of fashion week last night, to celebrate the success of our girls and boys this London Fashion Week. We partied at Mortons Club in Mayfair and a great time was had by all, for more pictures check out our Facebook page.

Valentine's Sleepover in Pictures

Our 6th Annual All Girls Valentine's Sleepover could not have been more fun (okay it could have, but only if my far away peeps could have attended, and/or if Tim Riggins had been our personal exotic dancer).  There were 14 or 15 of us total (some on the early side, some on the late), and we did not disappoint in terms of girliness; we talked about boys, friendship, bras, and birth control.  Ha!

Anna, Myisha, and me drinking Valentinis and eating cupcakes

fake flower says wassup to real flower.  holla!

in my right hand: The Slammer wine
in my left hand: Poet's Row wine
pretty much sums up my life

triptych with Diana :)

at my house, everyone is offered a snuggie
Ellie and Anna were my only takers

Erica, on the left, is my next door neighbor
Yael, on the right, is the life of the party

And did I mention we had gift bags with red eye masks (thanks Faiza!), candy heart bracelets, heart notepads, and love lotto tickets??  I already can't wait till next year!


Elite: If we were to take you to Starbucks right now what would you order? 
Rory: A cookie
E: What do you miss most about home when you're travelling?
R: The excellent transport service
E: What item of clothing is on your S/S wishlist?
R: 1971 Arsenal Shirt
E: As an experienced traveller what gets you through a long haul flight?
R: Lots of free red wine and air stewardesses 
E: What song is the most played on your ipod?
R: Gimme the loot - Notorious B.I.G
E: Who's your celebrity crush?
R: Carla Bruni
E: What do you do on your days off?
R: Watch Dragon Ball-Z and play FIFA
E: How were you scouted?
R: In Brent Cross
E: Which established model do you most admire?
R: Derek Zoolander
E: What is your life philosophy?
R: Party on Wayne!
E: Mac or PC?
R: MAC! 
E: Apart from your portfolio what do you carry in your bag during a casting day?
R: Frank Miller graphic novels.
E: How would you describe your style? 
R: Dereliqte
E: Whats the oldest thing in your wardrobe?
R: Original burgundy Harrington Jacket
E: Have you ever been in a school play?
R: Yes, I put in a stellar performance in Macbeth
E: What's your earliest memory?
R: Getting the Thundercats sword I always wanted.
E: What's your karaoke song?
R: Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty (the sax is immense)
E: What's the best freebie you've ever got? 
R: Louis Galloway
E: Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
R: [Fellow Elite boys] Andrew Jones & Jonny Alderton...with ducktape around their traps
E: What's your Facebook status at the moment?
R: Arsenal 2 - Barcelona 1
E: How much is a pint of milk?
R: Milk creeps me out, I wouldn't know...70p?
E: Tell us a joke.
R: Tottenham Hotspur
E: What would your last meal be and where?
R: Steak and chips in Buckingham Palace?
E: What's on your Sky+ this week?
R: Boardwalk Empire
E: Vogue or Heat?
R: Vogue on heat

Gold: Stocks owners - Propriétaires des stocks

Trend of the Week

We recently caught up with Elite beauty Ming Xi and got the low-down on her off-catwalk style. We're loving her take on traditional monochrome stripes with a splash of scarlet. The shirt and boxy jacket give this classic look, an on trend twist. What can we say she is a girl after our own heart with a wardrobe to envy.

Jacket: Givenchy
Shirt: Alexander Wang
Trousers: Vintage
Bag: Louis Vuitton

Looks of the Day

Hannah Noble for JW Anderson