1990’s Knitted Beanies are BACK…

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Farmer’s Market fashion. San Rafael, California. Summer 2016.

This knitted beanie is so 1990’s! They were huge and expensive, my grandmother knitted one for me and I still have it. I am predicting that very soon, all the big fashion houses will design these skull caps again and they won’t be cheap…

When I think of my Grandmother Sylvia knitting me the skull caps, it makes me so happy. So much went into this cap, because it was made with love – and a granddaughter who had very specific design ideas and opinions. It wasn’t created in a day, it took time and effort – and I appreciated it so much more.

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Mara’s “Funny” Grateful Dead Observations.

I’m  so glad I got to experience the Grateful Dead once again. No, I’m not an official “dead head”, but watching the fans and experiencing such a peaceful crowd dancing completely  OFF BEAT & literally to the beat of their own drummer was quite a vision.  I’ve been meaning to write down my observations, and was reminded to follow through, here you go:

I share a nickname with “Mountain Girl”: I just found out that the house we are renting was formally occupied (Dead heads please take a seat) by Mr. Jerry Garcia and his Love, Mountain Girl..I feel weird referring to her as a girl, but I was corrected when I kept calling her “Mountain Woman”. I can’t help but wonder how Mountain Girl earned that moniker.  I had a nickname similar, only it was created by middle school boys after the mountains that developed on my chest.

So this entrance into Grateful Dead culture, reminded me to post my photos and observations regarding my experience attending a Grateful Dead Show in Santa Clara. I wrote something to be published soon, but here’s a little preview.

Unintentional high: It was hard to photograph people as I unintentionally became intoxicated – it was  a combination of what I’m pretty sure was a toxic level of Patchouli oil I was forced to inhale, in collaboration with a contact high due to the smoke cloud hovering over Levi’s stadium.  

Fashion Rules: Ya know the rule, that you can’t wear a t-shirt with the band your seeing to their concert? Well, that rule does not exist with Grateful Dead fans – you can even buy a t-shirt at the merchandise table and wear it over your old “vintage” Grateful Dead concert t-shirt.

Handbag Rules and Fashion Crimes against Women:  Levi’s stadium did everything they could, to make all fans unstylish. Can you imagine that you could only bring in a clutch (men, it’s a small bag without handles)? And no offense, but I imagine many female fans of the Dead don’t own clutches.  These rules were created by someone who has never attempted the feat of holding a clutch all night – while it is the most stylish handbag, it’s also the most useless.  What about a Fanny Pack people? Isn’t the Fanny Pack the “official” bag of The Grateful Dead and its fans? The “bag” they did allow..Clear plastic bags.. lower end then the ones you get at CVS.

On Wearing Shorts on Stage: At first, I was a little perplexed as to why Bob “Bobby” Weir wore shorts on stage. I meant this is a huge deal – 70,000 people filling Levi’s stadium, and he’s wearing cargo shorts. But I get it, it’s kind of charming. I find the “hippie” fashion preparation for all these musical festivals to be fun, but extremely contrived – I mean who the hell wears flower crowns in every day life paired with the perfect yoga body? I loved that not many fans thought about their looks, they just were having fun and enjoying the nostalgia.  As a fashion lover, I actually appreciated this piece of authenticity and didn’t even make snarky comments about the inordinate amount of tie dye.

Dead Heads Still Spin in Gypsy Skirts: I keep name dropping, here I go again.  My friend the multi-talented Neal Casal, who gathered an impressive ensemble (including Mark Levy (the Congress) on Drums & Adam MacDougall (Chris Robinson Brotherhood) on keyboard) of musicians to create the break music at the Dead shows.  Neal’s music was so good, the stadium remained filled during “intermission” (I know, it’s not the theater), and I got to witness first hand Dead Head spinning action. I tried to be a participant, but let’s face it –  I failed due to poor fashion planning (my leggings were so tight, I should’ve worn a cool hippie skirt). The crowd took in every moment, and you could see the joy in their faces, re-living such a huge part of their past.  Read more about Neal and the break music here:

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/grateful-dead/6612951/grateful-dead-fare-thee-well-intermission-music

Children at the Shows: I was surprised to see children at the shows, selfishly it would seem hard to have fun with all that responsibility.  But now I get it – think about the backstory? Years from now these kids will be able to add to any story, “when I was at The Dead Shows in Santa Clara at 3, I decided music was my life” – Perfect quote for a Rolling Stone interview, right? I guess taking my kids to a Neil Diamond cover band as their first official concert doesn’t have the same cache.

Dreads: At Dead Shows you see a lot of dreads, usually they are so long, indicating a lifetime of commitment.

Members of the Tribe:  Did the Messiah finally come? At first, I was confused, did I enter some sort of hippie, Rosh Hashanah service? Because, I’m confident (with my 100% JEWDAR) that 90% of the crowd went to my sleep-a-way camp, teen tour or my semester in Israel – you all looked familiar. Let’s just say, I’ve never spotted so many Jews in Northern California.

Fashion Award: My favorite man look at the shows in Santa Clara was another member of Neal Casal’s music ensemble.  His gorgeous long dreads combined with low waisted, simple and slight bellbottoms, a cool hat and solid t-shirt worked.  Unfortunately for me, I stalked him from behind and shot his photo, not knowing my friend Angela would forward him the photo, and my stalking ways would be revealed. (he takes good care of those dreads, I can tell)

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Cute mom in a little music festival look.

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Neal Casal & the Talented Musicians behind the break music

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Tie Dye. Maxi dresses. Hair flowers. Vintage Dead Concert T-shirts. This was the “look”.

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Blurry photo, but check out the length of those dreads.

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Haute Drop-Off right here in Santa Clara.

 

Broadway Star in Philly. The Lion King’s Stylin’ Dad.

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Philadelphia. June 2015.

It’s so cool when I meet people and learn about their interesting lives. This young kid, Tre’ Jones, http://bit.ly/1GKFNjE is starring as young Simba in the traveling Broadway production of The Lion King. To see a show in your city, http://www.lionking.com

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This dad works on the road in computer tech while supporting the dreams of his Broadway star son.

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Funny that this dad is wearing sneakers and his son is dressed in perfectly polished dress shoes.

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Haute Mamas Live your Dreams. Urban Bohemian Kadia.

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Kadia. New York City. May 2015.

We have a lot of dreams, even as moms and Kadia is living them..we should all remember that even having the huge responsibility of kids, shouldn’t stop us from reaching for our desires and passions..it’s obviously a great excuse, but in the long run, it may lead to regret.

Tell Me More Kadia: I was born in Bern, Switzerland to father Bosar, a Jazz musician of Yemeni-Israeli decent and Swiss mother Verena, a peace activist. I graduated from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York. I am currently working with Mary Boyer of MTB Studio on a weekly basis and at The Cinematic Fight Studio perfecting my skills in Combat, Full Contact Martial Arts, Kick Boxing, Swords, Fire Arms and Archery. I am also a yoga instructor, Medic and fluently speak English, Hebrew, German and Swiss German.

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Kadia, seen here with her three kids, hanging on a Sunday in NYC. Kadia is signed on to a major acting agent, and is working so hard to live her creative dream. Check her acting out here, www.kadiasaraf.com

Kadia is a mom who inspires me – she left a tough situation after getting sick, and went back to her lifelong dream of acting. IT’s not easy, but Kadia is living the life she wants, and it takes a lot of courage to leave the comforts of a certain life, and dive head first into a life less predictable.  Like raising three kids alone, while pursuing an acting career and teaching yoga.

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Kadia dresses like a free spirit, and most of her clothing is from Free People, www.freepeople.com

Kadia makes her own dreamcatcher necklaces and dreamcatchers, which she sells at Rain Shop on Etsy. Kadia is like me, she wears gold hoops and accessories while doing yoga..I so appreciate that.

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Floral sneakers are by Etnies.

Kadia is always on the run, so she needs comfortable shoes living in an urban jungle…

How do you make time for yourself? I make sure to leave time for me so I get up at 5:55 a.m.  and meditate, write my gratitude and affirmations. After, I do the drop off I run for an hour, only then I start addressing the world.

I have to say, I wish I was consistent about waking up early to write or workout.  It gives you time to yourself, and you are ready to deal with the day—because you already accomplished so much.  Kadia has created structure, and it obviously works.

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YOGA AND THE CITY

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Kadia’s external strength is due to her internal strength. Learning more about Kadia makes me realize that nothing should stop ME from pursuing my dreams – determination and persistence are key, and excuses don’t work.  Sometimes we say we’re too old, We’re too young, we have kids, we need to go back to school, we’re overweight..whatever the case may be, I feel bad that I’ve let certain things stop me…and I hope I will think of a mom like Kadia, who is working hard, facing rejection, getting up at the crack of dawn..all to be who she wants to be… oh and she’s raising three kids alone.