Steve Johnson was the only person I knew when I moved to NYC in 1985. He was attending law school when I started at Parsons and his support was instrumental. He hooked me up with my first apartment, a studio with the shower in the kitchen and a shared bathroom in the hall. It was 3 blocks south of the World Trade Center, at that time, no mans land. The rent was $400.00 a month. I remember wondering why he had never had a girlfriend, then he came out and it all made sense. Steve and Walt have been a wonderful source of stability in my life for the last 30 years. They are the definition of steady. And their art collection is unbelievable. I remember years ago, Steve showed me a set of Cindy Sherman B&W film still photographs that they owned. I'm sure it was worth a lot then and I can't imagine what its worth now, but seeing his excitement opening the box, priceless.
I pulled up to the house right as Danielle and Paul were unloading their car. They had just made the 2-½ hour drive that they do every weekend. After a hard week in the city it’s vital to get some fresh air and decompress. Danielle made some truly amazing guacamole as Paul and Giancarlo built a fire down by the river. I drank spicy ginger beer and took some photographs. It was good to catch up, our busy lives keeping us from getting together but a couple of times a year. Years ago, they visited us at our house when our kids were little. Danielle started as my intern and worked for me as my first assistant for 6 years back in the 90’s. It was a long and bumpy road but it’s wonderful to see her and Paul so happy, finally arriving at their country paradise.
The thought of leaving the city is every New Yorkers fantasy, one that I think about every day. When Michael told me that he and Miranda were moving upstate to Hudson NY, I was simultaneously jealous and terrified. It’s a radical thing to do. Over a year into a major gut renovation, their new home is stunningly beautiful. When I arrived Michael was nursing a cold and drinking lots of tea. We jammed on his Theremin (an early electronic musical instrument) and played some pinball in the basement. Claiming there weren’t any good Chinese restaurants in Hudson so he had to learn how to cook Chinese food, Michael made us a delicious meal of Kung Pao chicken. Kes wouldn’t eat anything but that didn’t stop him from growing an inch while I was visiting. The next morning they took him for his first day of school and he was very excited to meet his new friends.