I’m totally addicted to “The Sims.” You know, that computer game where you build your own city and basically control the universe. I know what you’re thinking: “OMG!!! This guy has such control issues!” And I’m just not going to lie about it. Why else would I want to become a professor? (Insert diabolical laughter here.)
But let’s face it: Any city I designed would be totally fabulous, and people would sell their unborn children to live there. Why? Because I’m the poster child for urbanity — I was practically born on a subway in (skinny) designer Pampers and kooky glasses.
And then a soft, but perfectly placed light went off in my head: What would I do if I could redesign Yale and New Haven, Sims Style?
“The Sims: Madison Does Yale (2007 Edition).” There are three rules in MDY. Rule No. 1 Absolutely no flip-flops or fucking puffy coats. Rule No. 2: Don’t decide to take over the sidewalk and walk slowly. Rule No. 3: Disobey these rules and you die.
We all know that Yale is plenty prestigious. There is, however, one teensy thing I’d do to kick up Yale’s street cred. OK. So Yale is thinking about increasing the student body and adding two new colleges. Because soon enough, the admissions rate to Yale will be 1%.
The question sitting in front of me as a player in MDY is, “Who would these new colleges be named after?”
I would name the colleges after “Coco” Chanel and Christian Dior. You probably saw this coming.
But can you imagine it?
The Master of “Coco” would wear clever hats, boxy, old-school Chanel dresses and deep, dark sunglasses at all times of the day. Instead of a Buttery, “Coco” would have a Chanel boutique in the basement, and each student — male or female — in “Coco” would be able to sample as much Chanel as they saw fit. Or as they could fit.
Berkeley might have had organic food. But “Coco” would have Chanel.
In CD, John Galliano would serve as the Master, and all the students would be default runway models. Master Galliano would dress students up as pirates and spacemen. And in addition to Master’s Teas, CD would host a “Master’s Sample Sale.” Near the end of every term, there would be a huge fashion show, and “Project Runway” would be filmed not at Parsons, but at CD.
It would be totally glamorous, and everybody would love it.
The next thing I’d do in MDY is add hip fashion stores to the mix of Urban Outfitters, J.Crew and “gentleman’s” boutiques. A caveat: I don’t have anything against “gentlemen’s” boutiques. Nor do I have anything against people dressed in suits that get your biscuit hot. I love hot biscuits. But I gotta tell you: A pineapple-colored pant, a salmon jacket, an aqua tie and a kiwi dress shirt worn as an ensemble is a catastrophe. Think Tommy Bahama. Don’t ever do it.
Within walking distance of the central Yale campus, I’d build an Aldo because they have hot shoes for men and women; a Zara because they have cool clothes at great prices; hip sandwich places; a Safe Sex Store (S3) — because where do people go to get their, like, edible panties, butt plugs or Boy Butter? Certainly not at The Yale Bookstore. A Best Buy because there is no place nearby to get your computer fixed or, you know, to splurge on a giant flat screen for that sweet Saybrook suite; a Trader Joe’s because everybody knows you can’t walk to/past Shaw’s after dark, plus there should be a grocery downtown anyway. Finally, I’d build an American Apparel. What’s so great about AA is that you have to rely on your own creativity to piece together a hip look.
Who cares if the CEO likes to have his cock sucked? Cocks are sucked all the time, especially to get ahead.
Some of you are thinking: “OMG!!! This guy, like, wants to totally like commercialize and mall-ify New Haven!!!”
Take it easy. It’s just fashion, baby.
I’m excited that NH is reinventing itself. But I think the best way to do it is not just to bring other non-Yalies downtown. NH should continue to recruit fashionable businesses that will generate economic revenue, cool jobs and a killer reputation for itself. I imagine an NH that is so desirable that students and young people will want to move and stay here.
Because a more fashionable world is a better place to live.
Madison Moore is a cupcake.