“Awesome.” A word I rarely use, if ever. In fact I try to avoid it. Living in New York City I have learnt that “awesome” is a word so frequent in the everyday American vocabulary, and in my opinion, it is over used to the point where just about anything can be described with that one word.
My new hair color is awesome. A new hair salon, new stylist, and I am introduced to Sabrina. Challenged to control my fast growing hair, and I have a feeling that I am in good hands. Sabrina walks over and has the exact fierce hair style that I want.
“I work in the image driven prestigious fashion industry,” I explain to her. If you can make my hair look half as good as yours, I will be your happiest client ever,” I think were my exact words. Looking
through the mirror at me, she smiles. Someone switched on the cold this week, and the sharp icy New York Winter has officially arrived. The door slams shut behind me as I enter the cozy restaurant on the Upper East Side to meet my good friend Augie. We sit at the far corner table, away from the cold. So excited, Augie presents to me his brand new photo book. A project that he’s been working on for some time now, and it’s finally completed. It’s a beautiful coffee table book containing all of his photography taken all over the city. A tribute to his very impressive Instagram account of breath taking photographs, and each one filled with so much emotion, so many stories. The book is awesome. I want a copy I tell him.
Come to think of it, this actually reminds me of a book that I just picked up and started reading a couple of weeks ago. “Just Kids.” A biography of the American musician Patti Smith, she tells the story of coming to New York at 17 years old, where she met the artist Robert Mapplethorpe. It beautifully describes the creation of their Bohemian lifestyle in the heart of Brooklyn, living off next to nothing, and the struggle to make art in this romantically written hazy New York setting. Well written, and I am falling in love with Robert Mapplethorpe’s beautiful and quiet character of aspiring to become an artist, and the first of his kind.
I’m in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn today, wondering. Feeling a slight creative block this week, and I need the air. The cold has taken a break, just for today, and the pace of New York has been turned down a notch on this particular Sunday, with the lead up to the holidays just around the corner. I am exploring new places on Bedford Avenue, and every street I discover is a new Instagram picture in my head, no filter needed. That Brooklyn rawness is very noticeable to me today, people selling their clothes in little boutiques, artists wrapped up in the cold, whilst making pieces on the streets, musicians playing on platforms, even aspiring dancers swinging on poles in the train carriages on my subway ride here. People are creating. Everywhere.
How about Sabrina giving me an incredible new hair makeover yesterday morning, or Augie with his completed photo book. New York is full of artists, each with their own unique talent, passion, and all striving to be noticed and making money with the skills they have to offer.
Then it hits me. Just like that New York air as I step out into the cold and quickly clasp my new black beret before it blows away down Bedford Avenue. I realise that the possibilities are endless in this place. Just create.
And now I know what I’ve got to do. And it’s going to be awesome.