Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another brick in the wall

What Barack Obama is to statesmanship ... What Paris Hilton is to beauty ...

Peaches Geldof is to letters:
The sun glows a burned orange as it sinks behind a skyscraper, a car horn screeches irritably, the wind whistles through the acres of willows in Central Park: New York, the most offbeat and eccentric city in America, is my new home.


My days here are spent working on interviews for NYLON TV, writing articles, and listening to Cory regale me with tales of her life in L.A., which are always ludicrous and funny, her high-pitched hyena laugh filling the office as Marvin strums his guitar and dreams up ideas for the next issue. I feel like I’m part of a movement—a magazine that encapsulates everything cool and strange and interesting.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved London, it’s a city where being unusual is accepted-the norm, even. The music scene is so strong that you can’t walk through certain areas without being compelled to duck into some dive bar to see a band playing music unlike anything you’ve heard before. I grew up there, walked its cobbled streets a thousand times, and frequented its infamous haunts. The skies are always gray and the weather is freezing, but the place is alive, an epicentre of art, and vibrant with culture. The decision to leave my homeland was difficult, but I’m happy I made it.

I traveled across America in a cramped, packed U-Haul and experienced parts of the U.S. not many people see unless they go off the beaten path. The days passed by in a haze of truck stops, fast food restaurants, and palm trees. Highlights included buying a sequined flannel shirt in Colorado for a dollar off an old Mexican woman, who told me it was a family heirloom; Max purchasing a James Dean printed metal lunchbox and using it as a makeshift handbag; being chased by a homeless man wearing a Slipknot T-shirt in Iowa; and going vintage shopping in a Pittsburg store where a 10-year-old kid in a 1970s flared pantsuit and fedora sold us the entire stock of clothes for fifty bucks. (Max loved this store and later changed into an ‘80s red silk evening dress to present the American Eagle music festival in Pittsburgh, to my amusement and his Chester French bandmate’s confusion.) In Indiana I joined some locals in a chewing tobacco competition. My Jack Kerouac adventure led me to New York, where I fell in love with the place all over again.


My best friend here is a boy named Bunny. We spend our days traipsing around Manhattan—him in skin-tight plaid trousers, huge geek glasses, and a mass of red hair sticking out haphazardly from beneath an Amish-style hat. We buy pizza from street vendors, run through Times Square marvelling at its energy, and source new vintage boutiques. Nights involve dancing at Beatrice Inn or Lit, watching the Misshapes spin some tunes, or catching one of the amazing bands Brooklyn has to offer.
The end is nigh.