Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Am The Anonymous Model:

And then there were the models. I knew, when I walked into my new agency, Elite Paris, in September of 2007, that I had found my tribe. They were the sweetest, dirtiest talking, weirdest, comic-book-loving, Internet nerding, most breathtakingly cynical, tallest, hard-drinkingest, Proust-readingest, silliest, one-day-I'm-going-to-fuck-all-this-and-be-a-lawyerest, funniest, toughest crowd I'd ever run with. They were all 16 and 20 and 23, and most were amenable to staying up late and talking about Lech Walesa and the problems of teaching post-WWII history in a country where 15 years ago neighbors turned each other in to the secret police for having an extra chicken. Or they would trash talk creepy clients while drinking white wine out of 7UP bottles in the street because none of us had the money for a bar tab and the apartment was too hot. That was good, too.

New York was the place I kept returning to, at first excitedly, then grudgingly, then with relief, because at least I speak the language and the subway runs all night. (And I did try that goat taco place, and it is good.) Although I traveled widely as a child -- I had lived in four countries before I turned 18, and visited numerous cities in Western Europe and Asia, sometimes for work and sometimes for fun -- I didn't see New York until I was 22. And for that I will be forever grateful: this odd conglomeration of mostly working infrastructure and unimpeachable cultural security, this city where you never have to wonder if the movie will open or the band will play or the author will read, is a place I shall never take for granted.