Roger Manning, 1987, photo by Callie Hirsch
Get out of your comfort zone! Give up that which is cozy and warm. Take a chance on something you would love to do, but have been too afraid to try.
How can we learn new things if we do not put ourselves out there? I just finished reading Patti Smith’s book, titled “Just Kids”. It was about her starting out her life in NYC with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe by her side. I read this book as slow as I possibly could, loving it the whole way through. We all need to feel not so all alone, hearing her story made me realize that everyone has the same fears, and we all have the means for survival.
I went to the places she spoke of, but so many years later. I came to New York City to attend college in 1983; she came to get an education from living life in the city. My night life consisted of Danceateria, the Limelight, and the Palladium. In 1985 the Palladium was converted into a nightclub by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager of Studio 54 fame. My friend P. worked as a graphic designer for them, her office was in the basement. We used to go there at night, seeing Steve in the Michael Todd room in the back where Basquiat painted the wall behind the bar. Keith Haring painted the backdrop on the stage, and Kenny Scharf decorated the basement walkway to the bathrooms infur and neon. I was lucky enough to see Andy Warhol in person, judging some drag talent show there. They held the MTV awards there one year and I was standing on the balcony with Tina Turner while Grace Jones was on stage. It blew me away to be so close to so many people I respected and admired.
Today it is a residence hall for New York University, which is where I happen to work. Life can be funny that way, time certainly changes things. It makes you aware of the need to appreciate things in the moment.