I’m always amazed by how some cities feel like home and others just don’t. New York feels like home to me. I’ve never stayed in the same place when I’m here, sometimes hotels, sometimes at friends’ homes. But after a few hours to re-gain my bearings, everything feels familiar again. I do love the subway system here. I’ve pretty much nailed the express trains, when to jump on and off the locals. I love that the trains are several blocks long. If you’re on the platform, a train will stop in front of you unlike Chicago where the platforms are longer than the trains.
I rarely get lost, although on this trip, probably due to lack of sleep, I did mess up my internal east/west compass last Saturday night as I was on my way to a dinner party in Harlem. I was on 120th and for some reason started heading toward the Hudson and reached the river before it dawned on me that I had been walking in the wrong direction. So I trudged back to the center of Manhattan having walked nearly the width of the island. I showed up a bit embarrassed for delaying the start of a dinner party I had been invited to, but I guess that happens.
The dinner was hosted by some friends of friends, two makeup artists who were recent transplants from San Francisco. We sat down to a beautiful and tasty vegetarian dinner and before long the topic turned to politics and our mutual dismay over American foreign policy. I was the Chicago representative, but besides the afore mentioned ex San Francisco-ans, the other dinner guests included the boyfriend of one of the makeup artists from northern Italy via London (he had the most amazing Italian/British accent), another film editor friend of mine who bounces back and forth between the coasts but has recently put down roots in NY, and of course my friends Mark and Cheree. Admittedly a liberal bunch, but it was interesting to talk about our collective travels and world politics and the foot prints that America and Americans seem to leave pretty much everywhere on the planet.
It was nice to find myself at such a like minded dinner table in a beautiful NY brownstone in the middle of such a great city. I think those of us who lean to the left have been pretty beaten up the last few years and sometimes it just feels good to circle the wagons, pass the vegetarian lasagna and vent a little. It felt good. And I met some great people who once again welcomed me into their home. I love the people here.
Speaking of American politics, earlier on the day on that Saturday, Lois and I decided that it was important enough to take a couple of hours off from editing and head to Times Square for a protest march of the 3rd anniversary of the Iraq War. As we got closer I was surprised there were not more people there. So when NY1 asked to interview me, I said yes. They asked me what I thought and I told them I was disappointed that while most people in this country think the war is going badly, the outrage over the mounting loss of life on both sides seems to be missing. Americans seem to be numb or asleep to the numbers of those killed every day. It’s like a clock ticking. Eventually you just don’t hear it anymore. So I was happy to state my views on NY television and Lois and I were happy to add two to the number of the crowd of protesters.
So often in life we don’t get things exactly the way we want them.
I was making some tea at a post house I was editing the Hot Feet commercial at, when the statuesque blond sales rep that works there, looked up at me, a bit embarrassed that she had been adding sugar packet after sugar packet into a cup of coffee nearly as tall as she was. She told me she knew it was a little weird, how much sugar she put in her coffee. I told her I never judged people by their coffee. In fact, I said, I think coffee was the one thing in life that you could get exactly the way you wanted it every time. She seemed pleased that not only had I not judged her sugar to coffee ratio, but that I had given her a reason to take a certain amount of satisfaction in that no matter how her day was going, her coffee was always going to be just the way she wanted it. She seemed to give me a knowing smile every time I saw her after our little coffee interlude.
One morning while we were waiting to hear back from the Hot Feet client whether they liked the spots we were cutting, I had a couple of hours to kill and headed down to SOHO to window shop and walk around one of my favorite neighborhoods. I remembered that one of my favorite high-end lingerie stores, Agent Provocateur of the UK, had one of their three US locations there and I rang the buzzer to be let in. Some guys might be a little uncomfortable walking around in such a place, but I’ve always found since the first time I walked into a Victoria’s Secret years ago, that if you aren’t shy about asking for a little assistance, you get treated very well once they realize you’re serious about buying some beautiful things.
I had arrived just after Agent Provocateur had opened at 11am that morning and the woman who greeted me, dressed in the standard AP pink smock with a generous eyeful of cleavage showing, apologized for her delay in answering the door as she ushered me inside. I was on a mission to pick up some new lingerie for a photo shoot I was planning and it took me a few minutes of a casual sweep of everything on display before I settled in on a few favorites. I was shopping for my muse and Kim and I worked to find some specific things that would fit her size. Is she tall, Kim asked? Oh yes, I said. All legs. And we headed over to find some stockings to go with what I had picked out. I was doing enough selecting that soon, a second pink-smocked woman came over to help with some of the decisions. It was great fun talking about sizes and colors and styles and I walked out with enough to ensure a fabulous photo shoot.
More from New York next time….