Summer in NYC / 1993-2016 / “…and I myself am not a dream.” ~ helen keller

NEW YORK, NEW YORK BIG CITY OF DREAMS (everything in NY ain’t always what it seems…)

from summer of 1993 / to summer of 2016 / the passage of time 

“…it would be beautiful and illusory to talk of what might be ~ seeing each other again at some point in the hazy abstract dimly lit future,
which is heavily collaged with fragmentary snapshot moments: that bright smile that turns from running a half a Manhattan block ahead…”
~ in a letter to me in Venice, from david greenberg, 1994


“I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York,
that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month. ~ Joan Didion

…as you enter a city, immerse yourself into it, you become it ~ its past and your past merging into that former self you were, if only for a moment, transformed in an instant to a new self that becomes present, as you walk forward into your future ~ where you’re going, where you need to be, who’s waiting for you, and why…


“…the people who move through the streets
are all strangers.
At each encounter,
they imagine a thousand things
about one another;
meetings which could take place between them,
conversations, surprises, caresses, bites.
But no one greets anyone;
eyes lock for a second,
then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping…
something runs among them,
an exchange of glances
like lines that connect one figure with another
and draw arrows, stars, triangles,
until all combinations
are used up in a moment,
and other characters come on to the scene… ”
~ italo calvino


…that’s nyc. and why i heart nyc. why it is as home as home can be to me. in my new york, the new york that i go into solo, alone, by myself, i return to that sweet spot of 21 when everything was new, aglow, beautiful…possible. and it still is ~maybe precisely because i don’t live there, and so throw myself into there ~ a there from a distance that becomes a here, a very real now, as i arrive in a taxi, speaking my limited turkish to the man who gets me there safely, in awe, safely… to one of those tribeca streets that are narrow and cobbly and quiet and still, and almost, quaint. the people haven’t infiltrated these streets below houston as much as they have elsewhere, up there, on our west 14th that we ruled, where we ran through its darkness down towards a seeming nothingness, jackie 60 on the left, always knowing there was the refuge of the all-night bagel-making if we were hollered at, followed, chased. those were the days when our youth prevailed, wearing hand-penned cut off levi’s with leather wedges or high black boots that made heavy forceful sounds in the silence of the night, and sometimes those fishnet stockings that felt so naughty at 5am when we would leave and wonder if we should continue on or go home; continue on, or go home? had to be at Stux at 11am or the Guggenheim at 10…continue on, or go home?…



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DAY 1 / FRIDAY / JUNE 24th 2016


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…those were the days that i remember, the nights of walking the blocks and blocks that ended into a somewhere with music, pounding harder than our hearts. this was my ny. and almost still is. or at least i treat it as such since it’s still possibility to me, to come in once a year to immerse, and feel and be, and also to remember, and conjure the me that i was and to find i still am. and to do that through all the people who come together in those 5 days of roaming like a flaneur engulfed in the delight of a moment that passes in a blink to be summoned when i get to the other coast. i see buildings and spaces, and the shadows that we inhabited, where faces and lips and touches are evoked in the sweet smells and soft sounds ~ what i saw, what i did, what i wore. the changing landscape is like the selves that we become in those 23 years since roller blading past the twin towers into battery park city, wandering along the river pushing newborn alva, reading her rilke & shakespeare & ee cummings. working that first summer at the guggenheim, then MOMA, the Stux…



“to be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world,
to be at the center of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the
world—impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito.” ~ charles baudelaire


…we are the city we live in and for those days that i inhabit it i am a nyc that is filtered through a past that i hold onto like the wind, flows through me and becomes something else. we are the people we know / from our travels, our work, our childhood, and those serendipitous encounters that can begin at any moment, and do ~ an idea of a someone who walks behind you and becomes a reality at the top of the stairs and then, in another time and place, even more tangible at the bottom of an escalator; a baby who grows into womanhood and then on a sunday points out the beauty of a paint stroke; the father you never had, who even in the briefest of moments gives you a hint of that warmth, that tenderness imagined, over and over again; the high schooler whose parents you meet in a plane to somewhere and then becomes your confidant, your colleague, your memory, your mirror. the boy crush whose laugh still sounds the same and brings you back to then ~ a far away then, almost unimaginable; the girl in uni in the UK / then venice / then nyc who gives you leather in different forms, who was with you when harry took us out to sea in venetian lagoons. the keyboardist you see from a far, who comes nearer and nearer til you meet, and then see every time he’s in town, and then decades later, again; the eyes you meet on a rooftop in a jacuzzi in the mountains and under the stars and laugh at the likelihood that this could be the beginning of something, of a friendship, of a collaboration some day… someday… and then all at once, at one table, in one space / your pasts collide in the present,  gathered for that moment ~


DAY 2 / SATURDAY JUNE 25th 2016 / Salon Dinner #93

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above / a snapshot of moments from salon #93, co-hosted with susan sakin+ ronnie peters (our 2nd dinner in tribeca), with guests
kirsten + craig nevill-manning, lindsay + alexander more nisbet, ethan cornell, joshua marston + gaye taylor upchurch
cady sherman + vineeth sukrithan, chris walsh, panteha razavi, justin bolois, sam godin
sorrel ahlfeld, helen during, colin stanfield, stefan stux + andrea schnabl, alva stux

recipes / aperol spritz, Polpo’s chickpea and anchovy crostini, Jamie Oliver’s butter lettuces w/ pancetta and pine nuts (and jar dressing/french),
april broomfield’s caesar salad, and her radishes salad; risotto with asparagus, prosciutto and lemon zest.



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“i go out every day. when i get depressed at the office, i go out,
and as soon as i’m on the street and see people, i feel better.
but i never go out with a preconceived idea. i let the street speak to me.”
~ bill cunningham

“What’s the use of a great city having temptations
if fellows don’t yield to them?”
~ p. g. wodehouse


…we are the things we do /
and in nyc one does everything.
you see dresses so pretty and beautiful,
to touch, to wear, to inhabit, there ~ that you bring them back to here ~
to remember that there is a place where you walk confidently, freely, forcefully ~
self-possessed, tireless, undaunted…


“Fashion is the armor to survive everyday life.”
~ bill cunningham 

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DAY 4 / MONDAY JUNE 27th 2016

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… in life and in living everything is context as in the latin “contextus” which equals con/together + texere/to weave. NYC is the purest state of my context where the me that I am and have become is woven together in and through the streets I walk, the people I meet, the things I do ~ feeling, seeing, engaging, and the knowing that everyone shares that same sacred space / the glimmering eye, the sweet smile, the brief flirtation, the subtle encounter that says “what if,” what if… and ultimately the acknowledgment that i exist and you exist and in that moment, that second of passing, anything can happen… and sometimes does. anything can happen and (many times) does…



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“Quite simply, I was in love with New York…
I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you
and you never love anyone quite that way again.”
~ joan didion

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New York City   

EAT / Miss Lily’s, Arcade, Birdbath, Cookshop, Marseilles, Westville Hudson, June, Standard Grille, Bien Cuit, Sadelle’s
DRINK / Joe Coffee @ Cadillac Headquarters, The Ten Bells, La Columbe, Radiance, Joe Coffee @ Waverly Place
DO / Century 21, INA, MOMA, JeffreyCristin Tierney Gallery, Stux Gallery, Criterion Collection, The Meadow, 360 Design



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“Cut off as I am, it is inevitable that I should sometimes feel like a shadow walking in a shadowy world.
When this happens I ask to be taken to New York City.
Always I return home weary but I have the comforting certainty that mankind is real flesh and I myself am not a dream.”
— helen keller




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