I had barely gotten off the high from the previous shows before I was told to hop on a plane to New York. I was shooting a look book for DKNY. I wasn’t too interested in this though – I was going to New York City for free, that was all I cared about. My agent back in Copenhagen gave me detailed instructions on stitching together an alibi for the immigration officers: I was in town for two days for a “friend’s wedding”. Before I had my US visa I had to craft an intricate story about what I was doing in the country – I was really good at getting real into it by providing characters and a whole backstory to my alibi. It was clandestine method acting and I was a blonde Daniel Day-Lewis. Mind you every time I crossed border security my rectum still tensed up like it was filled with crystal meth.
Do you know that unexplainable feeling when you go to a place you’ve seen numerous times in film and media? It’s an intangible kind of “Oh so this is what’s like” kind of feeling. Even though you hadn’t really played out an exact scenario in your mind of what that place would be like, you still get surprised about the smell and the feel of the place. New York was very much like this for me. Everywhere I walked I saw places I had visited in video games and seen in movies.
The client had put me in a huge room with a view of the Empire State Building, in a nice hotel on 37th and 5th. I knew I only had a couple of days in the city so I was going to make the most of what time I had. Travelling and experiencing new things is my drug, so as soon as I had put my stuff down I went for a long walk. It was midnight and I had to work in the morning, but I didn’t know if I was going back to this place anytime soon – hell, I didn’t even know if this modeling thing would be over two weeks from now.
So I walked out on 5th Avenue and started exploring. The first thing I remember taking notice of was the lack of any kind of social filter people seemed to have in this city: they didn’t seem to have an inner dialogue like other Westerners – it seemed a lot of them would just think out loud or start singing whatever song they had on their mind. They didn’t give a fuck what people thought and I liked that. It reminded me of the Grand Theft Auto games taking place in the mock-up of NYC, Liberty City, where people around you on the street would just shout out random shit. Grand Theft Auto evidently was a lot more like real life than I thought. Of course eventually I found out that not all New Yorkers sang or talked to themselves on the street, this applied more to the hobos and hustlers – but it left a big imprint in my mind nevertheless.
After wandering around Manhattan for a few hours and replacing my iPhone at 3am at the Apple store (some cunt had pickpocketed me outside the Louis Vuitton after party in Paris a few days prior) I went back to my hotel to catch a bit of shuteye. But first I had to sample the NYC hot dog stands. Now I am not picky with food and I usually finish it if I’ve paid for it but this was beyond comparison. I was so taken aback by how rank this food item was – and this wasn’t even one of the 1$ dollar street dogs. I think it was 2,50$ but I digress. I’d had Mickey D’s more than once but this bun was some next level excuse for sustenance. It was like whipped paper maché with a soy log in the middle. I wouldn’t feed this to my worst enemy.
Much to my elation I found the client had paid for breakfast at the hotel. I reckoned I deserved a treat upon last night’s culinary spit in the face. Plus it was a fancy place so I figured not going full hog would be a sin. I am a master of rationalization. I opted for the caramelized banana and pecan pancake stack with enough syrup to send John Goodman to the ER. Because of dieting down 15kg that winter I hadn’t really had pure sugar like this in quite a while so my blood sugar levels were off the charts afterwards. I could feel my pulse racing to convert this sugar nuke into energy. Perfect fueling before a photo shoot…