Bill Hayes, Insomniac City
“Looking back, every life-altering decision I’ve ever made has seemed, at first blush, misguided, misjudged, or plain foolish—and ultimately turned out to be the opposite: every seemingly wrong person I’ve fallen for, every big trip I’ve splurged on, every great apartment taken that I could not realistically afford.”
Bill Hayes, Insomniac City
"At Night, New York wears all its jewelry."
Harold Acton, More Memoirs of an Aesthete
Image Credit: Le Bon Ton, 1910-1950, Mode, Theater, und Gesellschaft
“Shadow conceals—light reveals. To know what to reveal and what to conceal, and in what degrees to do this, is all there is to art.”
Josef von Sternberg, Von Sternberg
See also: Fun in a Chinese Laundry
Image Credit: The Luminous Years, Portraits at Mid-Century
“It bothers me when people disparage Los Angeles. They say that they miss the culture of New York and that New York is so stimulating. Well, I say if you're not dull yourself, you'll find it just as stimulating here.”
George Cukor, Architectural Digest
“The beauty of London lies hidden in lonely squares, in unexpected corners of the City…. But New York is seen at its best in the distance.”
Cecil Beaton, Cecil Beaton’s New York
“That’s the problem with being born in New York. You’ve got no New York to run away to.”
Amor Towles, The Rules of Civility
Image Credit: The Romantic Egoists, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
“I live in Brooklyn, but not Williamsburg. I auditioned to live in Williamsburg, but I didn’t get a callback.”
In Wednesday's New York Times, Ian Schrager noted that it was his Studio 54 partner Steve Rubell who coined the phrase “bridge and tunnel.” Rubell used it to describe the wannabes on the wrong side of the Studio 54 velvet rope: those whose heavy gold chains jangled against their overly exposed hairy chests and whose suits were one hundred percent polyester. Said Rubell, “We can’t let the bridge-and-tunnel people come in. That’ll kill the night.”
Of course, it is rather bridge and tunnel to call out others for being “bridge and tunnel.” The more posh response would be to pretend that no such distinction exists, or in the alternative, to invent a less snobbish euphemism for it.
And, now that Brooklyn is red-hot, what does it mean to be bridge and tunnel, anyway? Like the word “Hollywood,” it has shed its geographic limitations and become a state of mind. According to the Urban Dictionary, its use and application now extend far beyond the Hudson and East Rivers.
Schrager told the Times, “The ultimate irony is that [Steve Rubell and I] were bridge-and-tunnel people.” Yet Ian Shrager is a prime example of how this pejorative no longer denotes place of birth. He has become its antithesis. A trait of the bridge-and-tunnel personality is to confuse lavish expenditures of cash with good taste. That does not describe Schrager, America's leading boutique hotelier, whose post-Studio 54 ventures are as stylish as they are reasonably priced (dare we use the word chic?).
Image Credit: Andy Warhol's Exposures
“Do not expect to be welcomed to New York. It will simply envelop you and will shed no tears when you leave.”
--Jean Shepherd, The Night People's Guide to New York
Image Credit: Album, The Portraits of Duane Michals, 1958-1988
“In New York, the best part of any evening is often the day after, when it can be dissected from a distance."
--Jane Stanton Hitchcock, One Dangerous Lady
“New York is an exciting town where something is happening all the time--most, unsolved.”
--Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show
Image Credit: David O. Selznick's Hollywood