Thursday

a thousand street scenes.

may 2nd, 2009

so here i am once again in a room with typewriter letters pinned to its walls, with another cold cup of tea, with another nicotine stung newyorkcity dream in my head. it always begins with a train ride; a whole hour, with my head still spinning. the rush of the morning, of what's to come. the only still moments i’ll have for the next twenty seven straight hours in which excitement, cigarettes & coffee are my only life supports. i can smell the dampening asphalt, the trash, the smoke from the subway steps. i’m home. easy alphabet pony. midtown has become mine. no maps needed. i file through the mass of people, under darkening clouds, cancer stick stuck between shaking fingers. a raven haired mosshart sings into my ears. i stand outside the door enjoying the last bit before putting it out, music on mute, into the lounge. its orchid plants & smell familiar. the pod. it’s already been a year. i hand over my plastic signature in return for a plastic key. into the elevator, three different languages spoken at once. floor six. open doors. laid down on a hotel bed. my bags a wet mass on the floor. my own a wet mass in the mirror. corrected, a lighter load & im back downstairs. directions asked. im heading toward seventh avenue. train station found, texts & calls, there he is. he isn't good at maps, i am. he follows me to my midtown. bags dropped, stomachs empty. the escalator rises as it falls. onto the train again. lowereastside. my favourite. teany. my favourite. bagels, chai, chicken salad & a lavender lemonade. onto the sun spotted sidewalks, the stylish crowd, slouchy black leather bags slung over fading floral prints. fox & fawn. my favourite. one hello for stevie. one vintage dress, one vintage skirt, one vintage top into the dressing room. secondhand acne jeans paid for & taken away. two hours left till doors open. the jmz uptown train is closed. wrongway to brooklyn. an hour lost, we rush. back to the pod, living in a suitcase. clothes changed, polaroid packed. floral romper, daddy’s denim jacket, bowler hat & docs. the fourteenth floor, a rooftop photoshoot.



six pm, we arrive in a flush. the kills wont be on til nine. time don’t give a shit. an hours left for wandering around. ice cream shops & vintage stores. lychee in a cup, overpriced nineties band tees. i get mistaken for a londoner.


eight pm, back at webster hall. tickets & ids. foreign boys who get stood up, merch girls who take the longest breaks ever. the wait is here. still standing for minutes more. alexa chung is over there too, a few bodies down, as impatient as we are. its over. hotel on the left, vv on the right. their chemistry turning me on from feet away. the way they move, the way they stare. the nicotine sting, the flashes, the screams. go home it’s over.

back to the merch table. we get the last two. the tee i’ve been living in ever since. back onto the street, we circle the block, light up & circle again. we decide cigarettes are better after shows than after sex. we wait. fans come & go. vague conversations. one comments on the fact that i look “quite like róisín murphy”. we wait. one roadie chatted up & we’re invited to the afterparty. he wears a single earring, has a british accent. “we’re all meeting up again at the annex. give me your names - i’ll put you on the list.” sore feet, never ending walks under those fluorescent lights & starry skies. iphone maps & drunk partiers’ surprisingly helpful directions & we’re there; the east village, the annex, finally. no smoking inside. the doors open; jessica stam, alison mosshart & the boyfriend. jessica turns to alison - “what?” alison -“oh my boyfriend was just admiring what a nice ass you have. he’s gone too far.” they giggle drunkenly over to us. the same stoop we’re enjoying our own marlboro menthols on. they sit. i try not to listen in on much more of their conversation. texts to twitter, i cant believe this. ashes fall, butts left on the ground. back inside. kate must be here somewhere. a little while later & there they are again. a tap on jamie's shoulder, a squeeze on mine. flash. compliments passed between alison & i, a kneel to my level, her raven hair in my face. we’ve perhaps had one too many vodkas & juices. flash. polaroids with the kills. its close to three am. i’ve been up twenty six hours. no money for cabs, we walk back, back down to the subway. i’m still dreaming, spinning on my feet. the city & the pity of it. hotel home. a shower. band tee makes for a grunge nightie. i’m sleeping, still spinning.

may 3nd, 2009

i wake to the sound of rain, the last day of magic, the smell of menthols still in my hair. tyler’s up, writing me a note on hotel stationary. he’s headed out for coffee, he’s getting me a chai. i stay in bed. i’m too excited to sleep again. a quick ipod shuffle, a chat & we’re ready. vintage levi cutoffs & an h&m necklace - additions to my new grunge nightie. umbrellas out, it’s pouring. a morning fag. broadway & broome. we’re headed to topshop. union jacks reflect from raindropped windows. kate was here somewhere. inside - row after row of frocks, vests, jumpers, trousers, & shoes like candy; the london girls get spoiled. i sneak a few snaps, it’s against the rules, i get yelled at. i make my rounds, up & down. floors one, two & three. five items tried on, four purchased; pink blazer, black bicycle shorts, monochrome crop tops, one free electric blue patent heartshaped change purse, tossed in one brown paper shopping bag.

back into the rain, under beautiful polluted skies. soho, sunday streetmarket; a new favourite ring, a new stock of pashminas. greenwich is next. we pass the mercer street, rain like daggers coming down on us. we pose by the streetsign, its become somewhat of a tradition now. blocks pass. still pouring. the brown paper bag, soaked, bleeds black ink, leaving topshop smudges on my highwaisted shorts & favourite canvas bag. a few record shops for shelter, the first knife album bought for later. goldfrapp found amongst sharpie written, fingerprint stained dividers of cds once loved more. lush green grows from damp brick. bleeker street.

marc’s on every corner. we visit each one. tricky tricky plays, a singalong, a phonecall home. with the asphalt finally drying, umbrellas are in. alexa’s harpers bought in another dodgy corner cigarette shop. the dodgier the better. we drop into the hummus place. lunch; moroccan mint tea, cucumber tomato salad, hummus smashed with egg, the traditional way. we never knew hummus could be so good. over a rose flan, we talk the last bit of sun away, clichéd snapshots of us taken by us.

only hours remain, one last nyc coffee run. a windowseat, more chats, more snaps. back to midtown, to the pod. luggage picked up & stuffed, bursting with purchases. the e train, one taken west, one taken east, farewell my black balloon. alone on the train again, each subway stop a reminder, the further i’m dragged away. manhattan a blur. jfk again, a weighted balenciaga on sore shoulders. i rush, no need, i’m early, i won’t be sleeping in baggage claim this time, i’ve no extra night. i collapse, a single hour left to go. a few notes in a notebook, outfits to remember. a postcard wrote with love. the city misses you. the florescent lights smaller from above, from that tiny airplane window. it left its sting, the nicotine, this is what new york used to be.

A.

photos by me & tyler's iphone

scanned polaroids of me with vv & hotel to come next

32 comments:

indie said...

Oh this makes me want to travel to NYC, your writing is really capturing! And I really want to see The Kills live before I die haha.

little miss s. said...

goodness abby, this recap was *really* good. even better than your previous I'd say. oh I wish I had went with you!

ps: photos beyond lovely, as always ;]

the maisies said...

what a whirlwind of a trip... i thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

Natasha said...

fuckin' love your posts!

i love i can see a hootie and the blowfish marker in the cd shop photo - class!

Anonymous said...

INSAAANE!!! cannot believe you were at the afterparty- how amazing! love the way u write etc etc, the pictures+the post were fabulous!!

alicia said...

ahhh so jealous. my dream is to visit ny and attend a afterparty with the likes of jessica stam!! brazil is my hometown but i want to be in america so bad. you write so nicely :)

Shannon said...

Awesome post. NYC is magical.

honeyortar said...

i love this stream of consciousness

http://www.honeyortarr.blogspot.com/

thimbles and gingham said...

this recap is amazing. it totally took me away. thankyou.

evie said...

this is best blog i've seen in a while. fantastic.

renatah said...

I loved reading this. It was almost like being there myself. Thank you for sharing!

Rania said...

Looks like you had alot of fun in NYC, i loved it when i went !

Jessus said...

u r a beautiful writer
=)
loved reading it - and would read it over and over again

chantelle said...

that was an amazing post.
you write astonishingly well, I wish I had your skill.

la bella addormentata said...

really good sweet.
you should indulge us more of your words and maybe a blow by blow best of your nyc?
for a planned honeymoon of mine.....

Glamour Stains said...

jeeze. you're basically amazing and I had the best time reading that whole post. love your words and way of writing.

I secretly want to have tea and a fag with you. :)

jayne said...

this is by far my favorite post you've ever done. your writing is brilliant, it has such a natural flow it with those perfectly intermixed kills lyrics. i feel like i am there and boy do I wish I really was, this trip sounds fantastic, in fact probably better than your last goldfrapp concert extravaganza, and that's saying something since that trip sounded amazing too! i cannot believe you literally met everyone, you're such a badass, and an incredibly well dressed one at that. the romper, denim jacket, and bowler- just perfect! i am in awe and oh so oh so jealous!

Anonymous said...

SO.JEALOUS.

littlemolly said...

I miss living in New York. AHHHHH boooooooooooooo.

http://daddydaddypony.blogspot.com

I need a guide said...

Great post!
love your photos!!

http://www.ineedaguide.blogspot.com

Anouk said...

Lovely hat.
&
wow that must've been amazing.
I've never seen any goldfrapp cd in a shop btw...^-^

Ilse said...

that was so enjoyable to read! New York sounds so perfect. I want to go to NYC right now :< lovely outfit!

Whitney Gray said...

i am enamored. http://enamored-alifeofindulgence.blogspot.com/

june said...

there is nothing else to say than: i looove ur blog!

xoxo kiss

Violet said...

omg you got talent... the vivid descriptions told in a non chalant way is wonderful... write a book

XX
Vi from Cali

rubie_xoxo said...

your trip to NYC looks freaking amazing.
incredibly jealous!
xx

rubiexoxo.blogspot.com

Flavor said...

i'm so jealous ! you've seen the kills !

grace said...

just reread this like three times. i love it! and how was miss misshart in person?

where are you living exactly? up to this point, i wrongfully thought you were a new yorker

Jules said...

ummmm can we say lucky! i adore the kills....this post was epic!

Meg and Komie said...

Ahhh to be able to visit NYC again...if only we could be so lucky. Love all the food and meal posting...sucker for starbucks and ice cream =)

nunya said...

Alison!!!!!!!!

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