Monday, July 05, 2004

Another Set of Updates...part 3

Ok, after this set of updates, I will return to the two original threads, Summer of '94 and the tales of FUEL new york continuing on from January of 2002 -- that's a's just that days pass so quickly, perhaps due to my ripe old age...!

June 18th: Friday
After the long week it'd been, I was looking forward to a relatively quiet night, when Lee Zumdome called. He's been swinging by my apartment more frequently now that he's joined the Gym and is being represented by a new agency called Planit M -- they're both right down the street from my apartment. I must say, I am very happy for him -- I think he’s finally at an agency that will take him the distance that he can go. To give a quick account of his agency history: he’d stayed with my agency, FUEL new york, even though I had no experience as a booker -- primarily, he didn’t want to be associated with Jeremy Tick after the whole saga. Despite my lack of experience, I did get him a six-page GQ editorial, a Betsey Johnson show in September of last year, and a lead role in a feature film to be shot this year; but I'd encouraged him to look at other agencies, since I was sure he would go much farther as a model with another agency -- as mentioned, he was being booked for significant things, even with the limited contacts I’d had. I’d told him time and time again I wouldn’t rest well if I were holding his career back, and I was already unsure if I wanted to continue running the agency.

So, one day in September, I was talking with Jody Gordon at Fusion in regard to Daniellea Novak, and the topic of Lee had come up -- Jody Gordon had just booked a Christian Dior campaign for one of her models, Tell, and she had already worked with Lee in the past (I'll get to that in the chronological account) -- plus, she'd offered to give me 10% of Lee's commissions for the following year, which was generous of her. Lee and I talked about it and agreed to have Fusion represent him -- he traveled to South Africa and London through Fusion, but once he'd returned to New York, he wasn't booking much aside from showroom work. Then in April came the rumor that Richie Wheeler, one of the men's bookers at Elite and a really genuinely cool guy, had gone to SVM, the agency Jeremy Tick had gone to, so Lee and I got to talking. It was decided he would give SVM a try, despite the utter lack of desire to be in the proximity of Jeremy Tick -- we felt that Richie's credentials outweighed that stigma (coincidentally, Jeremy Tick was finally fired from SVM about a month ago, which instantly elevated the agency -- it was about time SVM realized that Jeremy Tick was a P.U.R.E., a Previously Unrecognized Recruiting Error, as we used to refer to his ilk at companies I used to work for).

Irregardless, although Lee was sent on some good castings through Richie, he was still so-so about the agency. Then, a little over a month ago, he was at my apartment again (I think we were talking to Inese over IM that day...?), he mentioned that he’d joined this new gym called the Gym, and he was scouted there by a new agency called Planit M, founded by an ex-IMG exec. After we’d talked about it for a bit, I’d strongly recommended he join them. I think his decision was pretty much already made, but I think I helped make it final -- he’s very happy with the decision, especially now that he’s got his first campaign (being shot by Steven Klein) through them! I beleive that Cindy Crawford is now with them as well...I definitely want to be there for their launch party!

Nevertheless, two Fridays ago, the 18th of June, he called just as I was looking forward to a quiet evening, and he mentioned the margaritas at Francisco’s Centro Vasco on 23rd Street. As I mentioned before, I’d stopped drinking in 1998 (I’ll explain the reason in some other post), and have not been taking in much alcohol since, but these margaritas have a very "unique" effect -- it gives you a natural high, almost like an endorphin high. After some persuasion, I decided to join him and a few of his friends from the Gym.

Although my initial intent was to have a margarita or two and head home, I ended up talking with Lee's friends for a while (the conversation I remember is one around lacrosse -- one of the women had played lacrosse for the first time in college, and we talked about the significant differences between men's and women's lacrosse), and ended up going to at least three different venues (Avalon, Ruby Falls, and Lotus), where, again, I pretty much felt foreign being in. Although, what was nice was I'd run into Jane, Anne, and Jillian, along with Morgan Miller, Ruben, and Ken, and by the time I headed home, it was already 3AM. I will definitely have to find out exactly what it is they put in those margaritas...!

June 19th: Saturday
Had cocktails at Bridgett Neeley’s apartment to celebrate her birthday -- Ethan Goldman, Clare Cromie, Mito Yamada, and Emily Goldberg were there, along with familiar faces (I am awful with names...) from SIPA (School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia). We headed to a Turkish restaurant for dinner -- I think I remember hearing politics and religion are topics to avoid over dinner (or maybe it was during a date?), but, given the group, we talked mostly on both. It's almost unavoidable to not talk about George W. Bush, and I'll express my opinion on that separately. As for the the conversation around religion, we talked about several religious groups, but the one group in particular was summarized by: "those 'Jews for Jesus' guys are pretty much saying 'atheists for God!'"

Since we were at a restaurant and the topic of diets did come up, I will say that the Atkins diet seems ridiculous to me -- when I used to mountain bike a lot, all we would do was carbo load -- lots of pastas and's fuel. In general, paying attention to what you eat is a good thing, of course, but the popular obsession with diets is ridiculous in my opinion, especially here in America. If people want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, JUST EAT LESS for chrissakes!

June 20th: Sunday/Father's Day
I went to my parents' apartment to wish my father a happy Father's Day. Not much more to say...

The week of June 21st - 27th
A busy week, but not socially. I received a call from Yasuko Soma, a friend of a family friend, who called on me to help her get a Lenny Kravitz shoot together for Brutus Magazine (a Japanese equivalent of GQ), so I'd concentrated on that in my spare time. In the past, I'd interviewed Jessica Miller (Calvin Klein model) on her behalf for Japanese Vogue, but this proved to be a little more difficult because Lenny is a lot more famed/protected. Things did move, and on that Friday, I finally talked with Cory Chicon after having gotten referred her way through Lenny's manager, Craig Fruin.

Friday the 25th was also when I'd gotten the call from Lee Zumdome, when he'd found out he'd gotten the campaign through Planit M. We were going to go out for celebratory drinks with Ian E., so Ian and I met up that night at Francisco's (again!). Ian, Eleanora, and I had some food and margaritas while waiting, and headed down to Pablo's workspace on West 12th Street, where the girls were trying on some of his leather wares. Lee was going to join us, but was too tired after his dinner with his agency (despite the fact he was the reason we all came out to play!), so we continued on to Ruby Falls, where I ran into Toni Busker, whom I hadn't seen in about a year. We chatted for bit and then headed out, but I called it a night at about 1AM since I was exhausted from the week.

June 28th: Monday
I received an e-mail from Shawna Wakefield in the morning, as she was trying to get a final headcount for the pre-wedding barbecue, which reminded me I hadn't made my arrangements yet. I spent most of Monday evening trying to get that sorted, since the wedding was in less than two weeks! I was also glad to hear that both Jake Sherman and Shawna are finally getting out of Afghanistan, where they've been thorugh the U.N., safely back on our shores...

June 29th: Tuesday
Andrew Farnsworth and I got together to go see the Yankees pummel the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. The crowd was rowdy as expected, and the game itself was simply awesome -- the Yanks scored at least a run in six of the eight innings played (why didn't they play the ninth? Because they had kicked the Red Sox' butts all over the stadium!!!). Andrew and I were on the hunt to find one of those hats that simply say "1918" on them, but we couldn't find one unfortunately -- I know I went on and on about this in an earlier post about how quaint it is that the Red Sox has to maintain an oratory tradition to recount their last great win, but I just want to mention that I just realized my grand parents weren't even born when they last won the World Series...I really think they ought to just go for the record century mark, which is only 14 more years without a World Series win -- I have absolute faith the Red Sox can do it.

July 1st: Thursday
I met up with my ex, Catie D'Ignazio (a.k.a. "kanarinka"), at the opening reception for the 1:100 exhibit she is part of at DCKT Contemporary. It's a great concept -- every foot of the gallery represents 100 feet in the outside world. There were some interesting work there, including work by Catie (obviously), which was her presentation of Analysis of Infinitely Small Things; and drawings by Christina Ray which reminded me of the animation work from the video game, Jet Set Radio Future. There was also a great interactive city-wide work wherein you use the various colors and numbers of newsboxes as a guide to wander the city.

Catie and I left the gallery briefly to go next door to Reeves Contemporary, where there was a reception for Michael Goesele and Evie Lovett's photography. I really enjoyed Goesele's work, although somewhat eerie.

On the way to Reeves, Catie showed me one of the artists' work, to be seen thorugh a "peephole" -- the artist, Swoon, had created a series of "peepholes" hidden in walls throughout the city, containing images and fictitious scenes. There are nine "peepholes" in all:
1. 24th between 10th & 11th Avenues -- in the no parking sign outside of DCKT;
2. 24th & 10th Avenue -- north east corner, in the chain link fence facing the brick wall;
3. 23rd & 10th Avenue -- north east corner, in the white free box;
4. 23rd between 10th & 11th Avenues -- wooden fence in the empty lot;
5. 22nd & 10th Avenue -- by Empire Diner, in white free box;
6. 22nd almost by 11th Avenue -- painted out "No Parking" sign;
7. 27th between 10th & 11th Avenues -- in the graffiti fence;
8. 28th & 8th Avenue -- no parking post in front of parking lot; and
9. 26th between 8th & 9th Avenues -- pedestrian crossing pole, across from the upright citizens brigade theater.


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