My Two Years in New York

Dear NoteBrooke,

The thing about moving back to New York City in June of 2013 was that it felt like relief, like breathing after drowning or experiencing the healing effects of amoxicillin within a few days of being diagnosed with a particularly aggressive bout of strep throat.
The circumstances in which I arrived to the city were less than idyllic, but despite my impromptu, unglamorous entrance — which included hotel room hopping, Hefty bags, and a pseudo homeless/unemployed existence — I felt like I was exactly, if unexpectedly, where I was supposed to be for the first time in several years.

My mother fell in love with New York when she was twenty-two. It was the early eighties, and she lived downtown and ran with a crowd of mostly brokerage firm friends.  Her Carrie Bradshaw story includes everything: youth, ambition, newness, crushing (sorry Dad), a low budget walk up in what has today evolved into one of the most coveted neighborhoods on the island of Manhattan, subways, margaritas, mistakes, friendships ended, and designer dresses where responsible people generally insist that a savings account – or perhaps, at least, a cushion – should exist (Insert proverbial eye roll here – God, what fun is that?)

In many ways, I’ve come to realize that my mother’s New York experience is not entirely different than my own. Although our dreams and goals are arguably vastly distinct, and most people agree that everything from our personality traits to our physical appearances are relatively disimalar,  just like hers, my Carrie Bradshaw story has also evolved into one of the most beautiful and exciting tiers of my life. It includes: youth, ambition, anxiety, fashion, love, dinners, drinks, challenges, friendships ended, mistakes, achievements, travel, and designer dresses in exchange for – you guessed it — the pragmatism of say, something like a savings account – or perhaps, at least, a cushion.

But I’m having so much fun.

And I get to document it all here.  What could be better than that?

In thinking about what my upcoming two-year anniversary as an official resident of New York City represents to me, I wanted to do a shoot that was emblematic of another era, one that spoke to all of stories of the twenty, thirty, forty and even fifty somethings who have passed through this city in a kind of quick, hazy, unforgettable romance. And since all of my shoulder padded Tibi tops happen to be at the dry cleaner right now, and I don’t ever want to encounter anything resembling a scrunchy again in my life (i.e. today just wasn’t the day for an eighties party), I opted for a slightly slouchy seventies silhouette that I knew I wanted to shoot downtown — not far from where my mother’s two story walk-up was once located.


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