• Sincerely Yours

Autumn in New York

I had a perfect autumn afternoon in Central Park with my photographer and good friend Scott Stanger. By the time we met up near the Museum of National History, the rain had almost stopped but stopped completely, thankfully by the time we started to shoot. Not only did it give us the park nearly to ourselves, but it only added to the atmosphere. The soft, dreary overcast might have made a spring or summer shoot look drab, but it worked perfectly for us on this lovely autumn day.

I grew up a naval officer's daughter, which had us stationed many in warm climates. I never really got to experience the fall or winter growing up. One of the first major decisions I made for myself as an adult was that I wanted to move to New York. I wanted the four seasons, and the metropolitan lifestyle. I couldn't think of anywhere more perfect and equally challenging than New York City. No matter what is going on in my life, I always feel happy for just making it here. That has been over 10 years now. For someone who never felt they were "from anywhere," New York feels like home.

After living my uptown girl fantasy, we warmed up with some pizza and then cigars. being in costume was fun, but was modern enough to still pull off. Still, it brings me great joy when I see people brighten up on the street. fall is the most wonderful time of the year, we should live it up!

Autumn in New York

Why does it seem so inviting?

Autumn in New York

It spells the thrill of first-knighting

Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds

In canyons of steel They're making me feel, I'm home

It's autumn in New York

That brings the promise of new love

Autumn in New York

Is often mingled with pain

Dreamers with empty hands

They sigh for exotic lands

It's autumn in New York

It's good to live it again

Autumn in New York is mingled with pain. Sometimes is more than just rain puddles and overcast days. When I made this "Autumn Leaves" costume and burlesque act last year, I debuted it at the Cat's Eye Cabaret October show. I posted a little video of it, and my friend Alex gave it a heart reaction. It was my last correspondence with him.

Alex Von Nihil commited suicide later that evening. It was hard to know it was coming because he was such a lovely gothic melancholy soul. He was such a funny, odd kind of character; I was fortunate to know him for around six years. Not only was he one of my closest friends and confidante, we were also business partners. With future plans even, making suicide so very confusing, even when you understand it is a disease, mental illness.

I have spent the entire year grieving, and ultimately accepting what's done is done. Without planning it, my friend Paul and I actually went out to Queens for chocolate, the exact same weekend as the year before. Most oddly, when we went to Schmidt's Candies the first year, last year, one of the owners handed me a leftover bouquet of flowers. From a memorial service they attended earlier. It was almost as if, she knew I would be needing them. So although it wasn't planned, I found it comforting.

I miss him, dearly still. I wish people would understand that ending one's life is never the answer, with exception to medical euthansia. But you should never let sorrow get you to such a dark place, and while I do not mean to criticize those who benefit from anti-depressants, the medicine he was taking made his depression worse. While I don't claim to know the answers to such life dilemmas, please know that you are never alone. Even if you feel there is no friend or peer to turn to, there are public health resources available. Know that your life is valuable and with purpose, please don't ever be afraid to reach out for help. So while autumn is often mingled with pain, it is also mixed with love. Life seems to be bitter-sweet like that.


Sincerely Yours



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