Man oh man, I’m exhausted. Dehydrated probably. Lotta free drinks flowing in and out of my hands these days. Even better that I don’t have to pay for them. I guess in a certain sense I do. My liver, and time is money whatever whatever sort of thing. However, I have had a fun, and interesting- if only to me- week, and since pretty much my social life, personal life, business life, etc are all basically the same ball of wax why not lend a little wrap up, reporter style, on our scrolling list of news.
Starting the day after Labor Day, 9 Undisclosed came to Fair Folks & a Goat – NYC. You can read more about the event here. We had a terrific time, and it introduced many new friendly and fashionable faces to our space- so terrific in fact that we extended it through the week, and were very thankful to have Lindsay Burka’s company as she brought a great deal of sunshine into our afternoons. Also, a pleasant surprise, my mom came by with my Aunt Mary Francis and Aunt Denise on a whim (she pulled them away from “the shore”), and I was very grateful to have the chance to see everybody. If I remember correctly, my mom swooped up a Burberry trench that she needs to get shortened because she is a small lady and the reason my basketball career didn’t pan out. It’s for the better. I love basketball but I also love po boys and I think it is a one or the other sort of thing. I think.
So on Thursday night, after Lindsay left us, and out went racks of clothes, and out went empty cases of prosecco, in came Nina Egli, the fashion designer. and brains and beauty behind Toujours Toi and Family Affairs, and in came new racks of clothes, and in came new bottles of prosecco. We talked about how we would pull off the show the next day, which kept us all laughing as we new it was going to be a madhouse. Nina is delightful, more than delightful, and to talk to her one can easily forget the time. But I couldn’t, I had somewhere to be.
I had to be at Brother Jimmy’s over on 93rdish (on this night because it is the closest joint) to drink one or two tall boy Natty Lights, eat barbecue chicken, barbecue ribs, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, candied yams, coleslaw, cornbread, and maybe one or two more tall boys, and watch the Saints beat the Vikings. Who dat? Who dat? Who dat? All up in yo face, yo!
Now here is where things get interesting. I climbed the hill back up from 3rd avenue, and when I got to the top on Madison, the entire block had been roped off by police. I have never seen anything like this before in Carnegie Hill. Very quickly a police officer, maybe my age, maybe a little older, certainly more mature and intelligent, stopped me as I was hopping the “Do Not Cross” tape.
He said, “I can’t let you do that.”
I said, “I gotta get home, man. It is almost midnight. I have to be at work at 7am to-morrow.”
He asked me which building I lived in and when I told him, he said, “Sorry, no can do. Keeping people away from the park.”
I asked why, and he explained that a suspicious package had been found nearby on Fifth Avenue, and they had called in the bomb squad to investigate. I was like you gotta be kidding me, and maybe the tall boys talked a little out of line, but then the officer lent some sense, and he was like dude it is a bomb scare, do you really want to chance it?
I said, “I guess you are right.”
Then these two ladies, maybe about ten or thirty years older then me walked up, and they also lived on the block, two doors up the street closer to Madison, and the police officer said they could pass. They also had a very beautiful dog. It was sort of ridiculous big white poodle thing you would see in a New Yorker cartoon, but I have to admit it was very well groomed and all and attended to.
Anyway, I was thinking aloud, and thinking loud enough to dissuade my neighbors from crossing the tape. I said, “I live two doors down and they aren’t letting me cross, so I am just saying I wouldn’t cross if I were you.” And then I asked the police officer, what about my neighbors (whom I knew were out of town, the one’s in our house) and why weren’t they being evacuated? He told me this was his first bomb scare, and then I sort of let it all go, because truth be told he was an easy going and easy to get along with guy, and the Saints just won and I’m not really good at or interested in giving people a hard time. Plenty of people out there to play critic other than me.
So then my neighbors started suggesting bars, which later I thought was a little strange, but now looking back on it, I think it is great. People have the wrong idea about folks in Carnegie Hill. The more people I meet, the more I like it. That being said, I wasn’t going to any bars and luckily enough soon after a couple awkward excuses the police officer received word on his walkie talkie and cleared the tape to let us pass.
The next thing I knew Fresh Direct was buzzing the front buzzer around 7:30 am. It was Friday morning and another Big Friday. Nina ordered quite the spread. I shoved the fridge full, and figured I might catch a little more shut-eye, or at the least coffee, or at the very least a shower, but I had swiffering and trash and needed to turn the gym, which is in the basement, into a hair, make-up, and styling station. She has great pics on her site. Then the buzzer was buzzing again, and the models and stylists and everyone else from pr to you name it began pouring in. It was an inopportune time to look and smell and be dressed the way I was.
Nina is Swiss, and I enjoyed all of the languages, and the hello’s (Swiss people do both cheeks) and just the madness of it all. When I was growing up, I was taught to play basketball in a state of non-stop controlled chaos. It is far and away the most enjoyable way to play, and to watch, and preparing for the fashion show was very much the type of controlled chaos I find exciting. Quick decisions, full court press, push the ball, go go go.
(this is the greatest team ever assembled for such a style)
Soon enough, a sense of order took over the varying rooms of the house. I don’t know how far into detail I can go about how it all worked, and that is probably because I am still a little blown away that it did work as well as it did, and I think Nina’s cool calm made it such a success. And of course, the fact that Aurora was there to play ringmaster of the circus.
I do have a video clip. Or two of them. But I have to warn everyone that I am not anywhere near the video editor that Peter or David or anyone else around here is. That being said, enjoy!
Wasn’t that incredible? I’m not used to seeing that many beautiful women all in the same day. Maybe in a magazine, but I mean in real life. This space in Manhattan really lends itself to interesting events that we never really, really thought possible when we began. We have a handful of exciting stuff in the works, including the Kite Class and picnic in Central Park this Saturday with Haptic Labs. If you have never been up here, or haven’t been in awhile it will be a great day, and perhaps the city’s most eco-responsible small business, Organicoa (owned by my old buddy, old pal Matt Pek from “school”) will be supplying the food, and the hot cocoa.
Back to Friday early evening when the fashion show ended. The first thing, and pretty much the only thing I could concentrate on was getting a cheeseburger and cheese fries and a beer as quickly as possible. The show had started officially at 1:00 pm, and we had everything cleaned and cleared by around 4:40, maybe 5 ish it was off and away in a taxi cab to Brooklyn. Then I dominated Shake Shack, and rushed home to get ready for Subports party at Partners & Spade which we thought we were supposed to be at early in order to drop off a Joon & Jung mug for their Fashion Night out Party for Non-Fashion people.
(here is the Joon and Jung Mug, we sell for 47 dollars)
Aurora and I ended up showing up late and it was all my fault. I kept going back and forth trying to decide which costume I would wear on Halloween. I mean what outfit I would wear on Fashion’s Night out. I ended up wearing the only suit that still fits me, and very much barely after the sh-t-show at Shake Shack. I never curse, but the alliteration of that last sentence was too good to pass up.
I felt a little out of place with all the riff-raff. It should be well known by now that I consider myself very much “in” the Fashion world, and easily one of Carnegie Hill’s foremost legging designers. I was convinced that this year was going to be the year I was to be “discovered.” There is always next year. I am just messing around. Sort of.
A few of the highlights of the party were familiar faces from the design world, and it felt a bit like ICFF all over again. Which is a good things, as I for one really enjoy ICFF. Also, my cousin, Alyssa, who is now a sophomore at NYU showed up with her friends, and I commented on how amazing it was that she still had the same friends from last year. But thinking it over, a lot of my friends now over ten years later are the same kids I met as freshmen way back when down in Atlanta.
From there, we went to some outrageous art shows. One was put together by fellow New Orleans resident Delaney Martin. And that was absolutely incredible. It was in Chinatown, in the middle of the street, and included the wrestling team from Baruch High School, and a fellow playing the drums, and a whole host of other characters but there is no possible way I am going to give it justice in description. I hope she does it again down in New Orleans. It was called “Things Fall Apart” and based upon the book of that very same name, which was once assigned to me in college, but I didn’t read, because it was one of those semesters where I didn’t really read much of anything.
At this point in the night it was late. But Amy, our art curator here in New York had yet another art show in store for Aurora and I, and off we went to Ludlow street and a rooftop, where I was most certainly the only person wearing a suit, and that scene was a little too nuts to explain here on this scrolling list of news. Perhaps Amy will give a rundown of the events, as I didn’t last as long as perhaps I should have, and fled for a cab.
Saturday, the 11th, I woke up really early, maybe around 7ish, with the sun, probably out of paranoia, and then got all depressed about September 11th, and watched old youtube clips, and listened to really sentimentalized country songs and on and on, until I decided it would be good to get outside and see the sunny day. My parents lived in Battery Park, and still do, and during that September so long ago- just like everyone else- it was very horrifying and I count my blessings, as luckily neither of them happened to be in town. I had left for Italy a month before, and because I was so removed, have a certain amount of detachment to the day, and the event, that for whatever reasons stirs up a notion of guilt for “not being there.” It is strange, but honest.
After I escaped the house, I drank a gigantic bloody Mary at Sarabeth’s up the street on Madison, and had French Toast, and then walked a loop up and down past the museums, and checked out the antique stores, and the Gagosian Store down near the Whitney. The day, or the time of idleness at least, flew by, and soon enough Warby Parker, a company very much positioned and prepared to take over and forever change the eye-wear market in America and beyond, was knocking on our door to drop off their glasses (and a ton of vodka) for Sunday’s brunch and display that followed the cancer walk in the park. If you go to their site, and learn about their business it will knock you out of your chair. To make ultra-hip glasses, and give back at an inspiring rate.
After we set everything up, and said our goodbyes, I had to rush to my friend Max’s 30th Birthday party. I warned him I couldn’t stay long because of the early wake-up on Sunday, but he said no worries, and after a little tequila and a few trips back and forth to his balcony on 46th street, I was back down in a cab and in bed fairly early, maybe a little after midnight.They all went out to a place called Juliet- which I have not been to, but I do like that name, but not as much as I like the name Julia. Let’s be honest, Julia is a much better name.
And then the buzzer buzzed again, somewhere in 7:45am range. It was Garden of Eve, or Garden of Eden catering, and Neil Blumenthal (a co-founder and “fearless leader” of Warby Parker) ordered a crazy spread of stuff. Usually, I help the delivery guys, partly out of urgency, and partly because I desperately need exercise, but on this early Sunday morning, my eyes weren’t really opening, and I forgot to put on my shoes, so I just ended up holding the door, and then the door to the elevator. I think after I stuffed the fridge of everything, I may have taken a nap, but maybe not, because very soon after that the walk for a cure had ended and a sea of pink flooded into our space. I ate way too much of the quiche, and probably way too many cinnamon swirls, but they had plenty of food, and plenty of pink lemonade vodka’s- which was sort of funny as going back a couple days, Nina’s theme was Ocean Lemonade for her SS2011 show. Here is a picture of Aurora and Neil after the Warby Parker party ended, which Andy Warhol also took.
Andy Warhol didn’t really take that picture. And I don’t have some cool app on my phone or anything like that. What I have is a broken phone.
That pretty much wraps up my past week, except for a quick visit to Taco Taco over on 2nd avenue for their Carne Tampiquena.
Lastly, Autumn in New York is on its way. I am very excited for the leaves to change color in Central Park. And as I mentioned above, we are having a picnic to welcome the change of seasons.