Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Series of People Coming Together

Part I

From a story in the New York Times' Style section today by David Colman, on Hamish Bowles, Vogue editor. Bowles moved to New York in 1992. Here is a fascinating tale from it, along with a fantastic kicker:

"While [Bowles] was hunting for an apartment, he bought a very flattering charcoal drawing of Truman Capote by the midcentury illustrator René Robert Bouché at a Sotheby’s auction. When he finally found an apartment in a brownstone on a leafy Greenwich Village street, he moved in with a bed, two chairs and the drawing.

“ 'I didn’t have a hammer or a nail,' Mr. Bowles said. 'So I hung it on one of the two nails that were already there next to the fireplace.' ”

"A few days later, when his landlady dropped in to say hello, she stopped short and stared at the wall. 'She almost leapt out of her skin,' Mr. Bowles said. When he asked what was the matter, she said, 'Well, you know this was Jack Dunphy’s apartment' — Mr. Dunphy was Capote’s longtime boyfriend — 'and that was Jack’s picture, and that was where that picture was always hung.'

"Mr. Bowles may have an encyclopedic mind for beau monde details, but this he did not know. 'It was the most breathtaking coincidence,' he said. 'It really seemed to confirm that I was meant to be in this environment. He was like a guardian angel for my new life.

'It was very much that idea of having your fantasy and realizing it.'

"But while Mr. Bowles, who now lives Uptown, loves the idea of the charmed and swell-elegant life the drawing suggests (it adorned the first-edition book jacket of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”), the kiss it bestowed on him was not just one of luck or longing. His heroes may have been society swells, but they were also people, like Capote or Cecil Beaton or even Holly Golightly, who came from modest circumstances and made something fantastic of themselves. Beaton, he said, always exaggerated his humble beginnings.

“ 'He had the drive that people who he admired didn’t, because they didn’t need it,' Mr. Bowles said. 'He made it happen.'

"It is a good thing to remember about the world of grown-up magic. It’s not something you have; it’s something you make."


Part II

We sped through Lower Manhattan to get to Brooklyn. It was post an evening of burlesque, so therefore in the cab we were happily soaked with images of naked women and a large man dressed in a blue bunny costume. A phone rang. And kept ringing. We checked with the driver: "Mate, is that your phone?" my companion might have said. It was not. We found it wedged in the back seat by the door. I opened it and saw the caller was "Home." Someone was attempting to locate her phone.

"Hello?" I said.

"Oh, god," a young woman said. "I've been trying to find my phone all night!"

"Well, it's right here," I told her, "in the back seat of a cab. We're heading toward Brooklyn. Where are you?"

She named the neighborhood to which we were heading to have a final drink at my local bar.

"I live two blocks from that bar," she told me.

"Fifteen minutes," I told her.

We pulled up in the downpour and a woman in a green jacket enthusiastically tried to hand me a $20 bill as I returned her telephone. Needless to say, the karma of handing her the phone was more than enough reward that night. The coincidence of it all felt just about right. My bourbon tasted fantastic after that.

("It is a good thing to remember about the world of grown-up magic. It’s not something you have; it’s something you make.")


Part III

Do you know what it feels like to share a kiss in the Medieval Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Do you know that it can feel the way it looks in movies when a camera swirls around the couple in a way that is dizzying but makes you understand that the world is ever-expanding and sometimes incredibly beautiful?

("It is a good thing to remember about the world of grown-up magic. It’s not something you have; it’s something you make.")


At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a magical weekend....

Anonydan x

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Mitsu said...


At 1:19 PM, Blogger mcbickle said...

i'm beginning to feel a bit horribly disney about all this.

can anyone tell me why my google ads are showing ads for "molestation" and "sex abuse attorneys"? i don't expect to make any money with these things, but i'm beginning to love trying to understand the fine algorithm of what pops up when.

and "woo!" is an excellent comment, mits.

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Understanding the Google algorithm is the holy grail of Internet Marketing - even world famous podcasters dont know - on the plus side I'm seeing tours of New York - must be magic at work....


Anonydan x

At 5:09 PM, Blogger mcbickle said...

stop woo! thief!


i promise never to use the word "magic" again. i officially regret it. although i am trying quite hard to stay in touch with my romantic side, my cheesemeter is flying off the charts.


At 5:12 PM, Blogger mcbickle said...

hey a.d. i'm suddenly seeing google ads for nyc apt. rentals. i think it sensed your interest. aparently the google algorithm is MAGICAL.


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