New York and I have been enjoying a love/hate relationship ever since I first set foot in this town at the tender age of 18, equipped with a homemade ID stating that I was 22 and a grand appetite to discover all things Americana.
Before moving there in summer 2006, ending my world trip that had just taken me through 25 countries and 5 continents, I had only been to New York for a week here and there and had not much of an opinion about it other than that it was big and fun and tough.
So, in 2006 there I was, a little lost but anxious to find my place in the wild mess that is this city. To this day I find it hard to pinpoint what it is that makes New York such a rough town for me to live in. I like to feel like I own the city I inhabit. I like to feel that it’s mine and I’m hers and we’re buddies. New York owned me and everyone in it, but I definitely could not claim any bit of ownership over it.
Wolfgang Joop once said: If you don’t know who you are in this city, the city will tell you who you are not.
I found this to be very truthful. In 2006 I was nobody, in New York terms. I had no career, I wasn’t an artist and, having just finished a trip around the world, I most certainly did not have the wardrobe or the money to impress anyone with my worldly posessions.
Going back in May this year, I knew things would be different this time. Now that I had a well-going career as a photographer, I lived in Berlin, was blonde and had lost 20 pounds. Now that I could afford cab rides, fancy cocktails and designer shoes nothing would be the same. Or would it?
No. It wouldn’t. This time, I was shipped from one party to the next. Befriended influential people, got asked out on dates and talked to artists about collaborations. Photographed strangers in the street for internationally known magazines, jumped the queue and partied VIP. Went out for every meal, stayed in the Lower East Side and spent every morning in pricy Coffeshops working on my laptop.
Very different to the lifestyle I had 4 years ago. And yet, NYC made a difference in who I am today. There, I bought my first digital camera and there I decided to start the blog which enabled me to choose the career I now persue. New York made me feel so small that it made me all the more determined to work harder and be the person I knew I could be.
And now, 10 years after first setting foot on big apple grounds, some of it is mine. Just a tiny bit.
LCD Sound System made a song that does a good job reflecting these thoughts. So I used that song to make a video around it.Tweet