Everything is orange. From the lights to the whiskeys glowing softly behind the bar, to the orange flowers arranged on the bar corner. Orange and warm. Or perhaps it’s simply the heat off the radiator beside which I sit, sipping rosemary gimlets with Art Director Suvi Haering. Outside, Berlin bites furiously at the ankles of pedestrians hurrying to their bars and pubs and flats with upturned collars. Everything is blanketed in an intrusive white…
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I check into the F09 gate a Schipol and the only language being spoken within hearing range is American English. Inadvertently, I cringe. I feel the overwhelmingly desperate need to put my earphones on but seeing as I’m returning to Planet America, I force myself to listen. I’m utterly filled with relief when a Russian accented English asks me for the wifi password…
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I hail a cab from JFK to “Williamsburg.” Apparently the definition of that word has drastically changed since the cabbie driver asks about the Kosciuszko exit. I redirect him to Bedford and South 4th. Eventually New York swings into view and it’s still recognisably the skyline. But immensely changed. There’s lights from skyscrapers that are utterly foreign to my memory…
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The cold seeps up through the wood floors of the apartment and my toes gradually freeze…I do nothing to hinder its creep. The morning Times lie on the table along with Darjeeling tea and a quick flip through the Styles section reveals a Cunningham piece highlighting hats. Taking a hint, I pull my own over my head, fix my tie, and head into the city for a brunch with old friends. Afterwards, the cold calls for a coffee at DEAN & DELUCA. I wander down Spring and then back up Prince. The memories and moment come flooding back, right down to the Book of Salt, my “last burger” sitting on the stairs of an empty store, and a tense walk to the Bowery stop.

I veer back up to the L train and head back to Williamsburg. I used to belong and yet I now feel…displaced. Like a ghost, I comb the streets of my old Brooklyn life and THESE old haunts.