Author’s Note: In honor of the birthday of the lady in question, I had to find some way to honor her. So what better way then by taking one of her best features on her blog (which you all should be reading tout fucking suite) and turn the tables, so to speak, and change her from author to subject! And with that, here we go…
Where do I begin to talk about Ms. Joan Erakit?
Let’s start at the beginning…
Meeting #1 – The Time: Some years ago. The Place: The Day Job. It was dear Nicholas Patnode who introduced me to a smart and stylish young woman, who talked about her blog and her writing. At the time I filed it away, because in the lovely city of Minneapolis, people have a way of coming back again and again in one’s life.
Meeting #2 – The first Snow Grade, the winter version of Northern Grade. We ended up sashaying around Architectural Antiques taking in all the gorgeous merchandise (the clothing, the men, and so forth), having a lovely conversation about this, that, and the other.
From there it was more meetings, many dinner parties, a lot of dancing, a metric ton of couture, and a friendship was born; one of the fastest that I’ve made in a very long time…
Joan Erakit is many things: Smart, talented, stylish, witty, wise, loyal, and a whole lot more. Having followed her writing dreams where they take her, she has followed her muse to New York City, slowly bending it to her will (while “suffering” at her day job at the United Nations Press Corps). With an eclectic spirit that is in inspiring, she is making her dreams true and is not taking no for an answer!
But that’s just one of the reasons I j’adore her. Here are 10 more:
10. Have you seen how stylish she is?!? I mean, COME ON! Also, her accessory game is on point; from her killer shoes to her trademark red glasses (and you have to ask her to tell you the story of how she got them, because it has to be heard to be believed).
9. She can easily switch gears talking about fashion to the intricacies of politics in Africa to hip hop in less time it takes for me to write this sentence. (Don’t believe me? Read her blog and her articles!)
8. She is utterly devoted to all of her family. She has talked many times of their history (including leaving Kenya for America), and each member of the family has grown into a staunch (and damn impressive) person with a strongly independent streak but they are all devoted to each other. It’s awe-inspiring.
7. She is also utterly devoted to her friends, which comprise of a glorious cross-section of amazing people; artists, creators, dreamers, schemers, and more are all welcome at her table. Speaking of which….
6. She plans a mean dinner party! Her Supper Club parties are a gathering of the clan of friends and family and fabulous people which always involve invading some fabulous restaurant (in glorious clothing, because anything less would be disrespectful), a cornucopia of fabulous food and beverages, and a requisite amount of chair hopping and conversations. And pictures. LOTS of pictures.
5. She can do the social “Hi/Low” thing with ease and thinks of nothing better after said fabulous meal of dragging everyone in their finery to the glory that is Jamaica Night. Related: Girlfriend can get down!
4. Her graciousness is admirable and infectious. Everyone seems to become their best when they’re around her. (But for the love of God do not get it twisted; Miss Lady has no qualms about breaking out her library card and reading if necessary.)
3. She loves firing off e-mails and Facebook messages keeping us all abreast. But best of all, she is still an ardent practitioner of letter-writing. Receiving a hand-written communiqué from Ms. Erakit is always a treat.
2. She has become a proud New Yorker and not lost her Minnesotan spirit. More than that, she has not been afraid to be open about whatever curve balls the City has thrown her, but she has remained resilient through it all
1. Joan is on a quest to know and live her truth and expects and encourages everyone around her to do the same. And that, gentle readers, is damn admirable.