Tarot cards reminded me of the difference between a challenge and a conflict. Battles always actually happen within yourself and you have to carefully choose your warriors. I went to New York in search for true love and “the proverbial Mr. Big”, like any Sex and the City fan would. My background in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis was carefully cast aside in the beginning. I found friendship instead. I fell in love with my friends in a remarkably different way from falling in love with your lovers. New York is the loneliest city in the world, in its metal and concrete splendor and grace. New York could have been my true love, but we both had trouble committing. I committed to my friends and they offered me something a simple trip to Times Square or a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge could have never given me. Endless nights in the infamous bar called Spain, where we would order Estrella beer just to wait for the tapas : spicy fried potatoes and meatballs. We would eat and drink, talk about everything there is or has been and possibly will be. Subway rides and parties in Bushwick, friendly meetings at The New School Library and endless cigarettes in front of the 92Y Residence on the Upper East Side.
These pictures capture a perfect moment with one of my best and kindest friends, Julian. He is a keeper. We finally found the time to go thrifting together in New York and he was determined to bring some glitter to his wardrobe. It started normally, me helping him find funny T-shirts, shorts or shirts, taking pictures with him in some obnoxious blue snakeskin shorts. They didn’t work, but we truly worked. We moved to the basement, were there were less people and he challenged me to try on clothes, as he knew how much I enjoyed it. He picked up random dresses which he knew I could pull off and I styled them in the spur of the moment. He took beautiful pictures of the whole process, which was long and thrilling. We danced around the thrift shop in ridiculous leather jackets and furry hats and by the end we decided our song would be The Rolling Stones’ You can’t always get what you want to which we danced frenetically. It was a perfect New York day, as he put it. Julian was the last friend I saw in New York. He bought me breakfast and a pack of fancy and colorful cigarettes called Fantasia. He cried when I left, both of us moving towards different and uncertain directions. I love him deeply and I still hope I’ll find him in New York in two years or so, being his fabulous self, and getting me a job at Alexander McQueen. I hope these words find you well, Julian. Also, I am forever thankful to another dear friend in New York, John, with whom my trips to thrift shops actually started. He will be featured soon with his amazing photographs on the blog.
To all my friends in New York : we fought some pretty big battles this year and we switched soldiers between each other, carrying burdens that were not always our own. New York was ours and he embraced us with his already full arms. The embrace was sometimes rough, other times sweet and light, but we managed to squeeze in and make him our own. Forever.
pictures taken by Julian Donahue at L Train Vintage in New York