I spent last week in New York. The initial purpose of the trip was to spend some quality time with a few close friends who live in Brooklyn and to film the next episode of my series (WTOS). The week before leaving I got some terrible news. My friends ex-husband was ridding his bike home in Brooklyn after a late night at his studio and was hit by a truck and killed. My trip coincided with his funeral and I was lucky enough to be there for my friend in a time of great need for every one close to Matt. As far as funerals go on the terrible scale, this one was down right sad. To be sitting in a room full of 30 year old’s grieving their loss of a dear friend is something I hope most of you never have to do. That being said, it was one of the most spectacular days I spent in Brooklyn. The energy that Matt left behind could be felt all day long as we guzzled his favorite beer and retold stories about his life.
Mid week my sister Meg and Sebastian arrived and all I wanted was for Meg to see what I love about New York since she has not been back since we were 16. Meg is applying for school in the city and this trip was the deal breaker to see where her future could lie. Needless to say her meeting with the school and re-acquaintance with the city went off swimmingly (except for the part where we all got sick) and it looks like my sister may be living abroad next year.
The fourth subject of the WTOS series is Paul Bright, my former boss and expat Canadian living and working in Boerem Hill, Bk. One of his larger projects is a store that sells a melange of used modern furniture, design finds and contemporary art. As a boss he is very much a jokester and I never knew where a day of work would take me. During the sit down portion of the interview Paul showed me his serious side and I think there will be some great footage to work with. We went out for some “Canadian” lunch together and Paul shared with me one of his signature meals, the “Thunderbolt.” This meal original consisted of a McD’s Fillet-O-Fish, poutine, and a blue. We had an up scale of version in a Montreal owned restaurant aptly named Mile End.
The end of my week there I spent most of my time with my good friend Leigh. Leigh is an artist working mostly with photography and installation. She has always been the person I go to for advice with my work because I know she will be brutally honest, making me look at a project from a different angle. It had been over three years since we last got to spend time together in her home town so it was a big pleasure to see her studio and hangout in her hood. Leigh, being a good host, let me be a guest critic for the class she teaches at Parsons, took me out for Halloween, brought me to one of the best panel discussions I’ve been to in ages and even got me guest status at her elite food co-op for the day!
That last week felt like a month. I was happy to be home and see Walter. Toronto will always be home to me, but for the first time in along time I felt akin to a city so much so that the thought of making it home away from home, does not leave my mind.