Electric City: A Love Affair With New York (by
I have been obsessed with New York as long as I can remember. Growing up in suburban Pittsburgh, I felt enthralled by the city, as if I had always known it, even though I had never been. My first trip there was at 17—with my mom—to audition for Juilliard. We flew into Newark and took the bus to Port Authority. I will never forget the feeling of stepping out onto the sidewalk at the corner of Forty-second and Eighth…the magnitude, the limitlessness, the pulse of the streets. I felt at home at once. And I engaged the city in a way that would define my relationship with it to this day. Leaning forward. Openhearted. And yearning for whatever little urban miracles the universe would present through the filter of this epic landscape.
My personal style at the time was still gestating. I wore baggy chinos and blue Adidas Gazelles with a red roll-neck J.Crew sweater that was at least two sizes too big. I was also very likely wearing a braided belt from the Gap that I flipped up and looped inside of itself so that the end dangled down the front of my pants. I remember that with crystal clarity. But standing on the corner of Forty-second and Eighth that day, I felt more stylish than I ever had before, and I knew in my heart of hearts that it had nothing to do with the clothes draping off my lanky frame. Style was an electricity that shot through me and filled me up and drove me into the city with unwarranted certitude—armed only with a fierce (if somewhat vague) ambition and a belief that I was exactly where I belonged.
In the years that followed, I have settled into myself and my sense of style. So much so, apparently, that the good people at Style.com have invited me to be a contributor to the site. I have been given very few guidelines. Encouraged to employ photographs and anecdotes, and to use this platform as an opportunity to highlight things I find interesting and/or stylish. So here we are. I will figure out where to go from here in the coming weeks, but rest assured, no matter where I take you, the days of braided belts are far behind me…I think.