I remember quite vividly one of the first dates that I had gone on with an old boyfriend.
He had stood outside my glass apartment building, waiting for me to come down and saunter through my block-long lobby from my thirty-seven floors. When he saw me, he did not utter a word. He instead, greeted me with a gaze, opened my door and offered his right hand, in which I placed mine, as he helped me into the passengers seat of his car. We drove approximately forty blocks downtown to dinner in the West Village, during which time, he focused on driving only when it required his attention, as any free seconds that he could spare, had his focus solely directed at me. He was looking at my hands, my eyes, and finally my lips- but calmly and with such precise attention, with such self-assurance, I felt myself being elevated into a new type of fascination, one that I had not experienced prior, and it was though compelled by his glaze and, so to speak, in spite of myself, that I glanced up at him and smiled in approval. He was fascinated; I was a man-eater.
We dined at Peasant, but downstairs in the wine cellar, where they have candles for lighting, dungeon interior and played Kings of Leon on full blast; the space was cool and dark, there were in fact only a few tables- long, rustic, farm-like tables, one of which was occupied by a group of men who were finishing their meal and wine. One man in particular called across the room to ask if I was really planning on marrying this man. I, for a long while, used to wear my mothers diamond rings on my left ring finger, to give off the illusion, as if I were engaged. I had found New York to be a trove of men that saw and took as they pleased, and I, being a girl that has particular notions of whom I see, didn't enjoy the perplexing attention I received. My date, eager to respond to the drunken man, instead responds to me, "Are we to be married already? I fell in love with you the moment we met." Not knowing if he was joking and not caring about the answer, I smiled. A few too many bottles of wine and banter later, my date ends up almost in a bar fight of sorts with these inebriated men, to the point where he leaves his American Express lying on the table and we scurry out of the restaurant, hand-in-hand, in a way that seemed as if we were escaping a dungeon that held us captive against our will.
Our night consisted of us eating, drinking, and conversing, and our galavanting lasted until the odd hours of the night. Sooner or later, it was so late that we closed down New York and it was time for me to be driven home and given proper beauty sleep. The next morning, my phone rang and it was my doorman downstairs. My date had stopped by and dropped off a hand-written note for me. The note, that is now framed as it's one of my favorite notes that any guy has ever written me, expressed how lovely it was to have my company for the evening, how that he thinks I'm a bit of trouble, in a good way, and that it would be such a pleasure if I could accompany him for dinner that again that evening.
One of my favorite things about New York is the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it. These nights, dates, and experiences are the type of memories that you have written down in your head that you never seem to forget. I chose this outfit and this story, because capes always make me seem like I'm wrapped up in some sort of Neverland. I acquired it freshman year in high school in two colors- one in grey, one in brown, and gifted the brown one to my dear friend Karla a few years back. I'm really digging these new acquisitions from Forever 21 lately. I have to admit, they are doing quite well with their selection and never in a million years would I have uttered those words if you had asked me a year ago, but I'm really liking this new me.
Photography: Bethany Halbreich