Inspired by this Vogue.com feature pairing popular street style photographs with snippets from established writers like Karen Russell - I thought I'd give it a try myself. Kind of like the inner dialogue I develop when people watching: conjuring-up the lives of complete strangers by extracting romance from observable details.
She manages at The Standard, a fancy hotel bar and restaurant sitting poolside in Miami, counteracting the city's synonymous sunshine, pink stucco, and Art-Deco architecture with a relaxed, yet elegant atmosphere that feeds off the balmy sea breeze with crisp, white linen, dark green palms, and the best mojito you've ever had.
Doing inventory before the night gets into full swing, before she changes into something tailored and black with lipstick to greet the regulars, the big-spenders. Basking in the prep, the calm before the storm.
Growing-up in a crowded and hot-tempered Cuban household forced her out of the house as soon as she could get a-going: hostessing and waitressing and bartending here until she could do it in her sleep, in bright yellow flip-flops.
People think power is a broker on Wall Street, but real power is having a fleet of skinny-tied waiters and bartenders at your command. Real power, the kind built on capability and savvy and guts and street smarts and charisma and work ethic and inexhaustible energy, exists in those who run restaurants. Those that can mix cocktails, stack plates, put aside pride to scrub bathroom tiles, greet patrons, stock the pantry, yell at late employees, discreetly call a taxi for a guest without making a scene, keep irregular hours: all in one fell swoop: a smooth operation, complete with impenetrable smile.
Photo from the best in street style: The Sartorialist.