On Saturday night, I went to the Libertine fashion show in midtown Manhattan at Exit Art. It was a gorgeous, warm night, the kind we NEVER get in San Francisco. The show was walking distance from my hotel, and an evening stroll WITHOUT SLEEVES was miraculous and lovely. The show was totally fun and quirky, and they served great drinks — another awesome bonus about off-site shows! As I was walking back towards my hotel, I spotted a thin, white-haired man wearing an electric blue windbreaker pedaling by me on a bike. I recognized him right away: Bill Cunningham.
“Bill, I love you!” I yelled. What is wrong with me? It’s just what came out of my mouth. And it kind of gets worse. I saw him de-biking in front of Exit Art, so I backtracked and started following him. You might call it stalking—god I hope he didn’t notice. He parked at the end of the block. I tried to look casual standing a few feet away, though intensely staring probably isn’t casual behavior in any part of the world. He locked up his wheels with a majorly enormous metal lock, the same kind he used in the documentary Bill Cunningham New York. When he walked towards me I began gushing about how much the documentary inspired me and what a big dorky fan I was. And guess what, I totally got verklempt. MAN I am seriously unable to be a cool person. He didn’t seem super comfortable with all the flattery so he started chatting about how he was just at some great shows at Milk Studios (“There were five lines at once so it was really great!”) and was heading for Libertine. I said some words too though I don’t remember what they were. But I was chatting with Bill Cunningham! And he didn’t seem scared of me, the stalker. Just as he was entering the show I asked if I could snap a picture. He told me to hurry up because he didn’t want to miss anything inside. He’d probably shake his head at the quality of the results, but what can I say, I was freaking out. Then people started asking me who he was — I couldn’t believe they didn’t know. And I couldn’t believe my luck in crossing paths with him! Until I saw him again the next day on the steps of Lincoln Center (photo below). I guess the chances are actually pretty good that you might run into a fashion photographer for The New York Times during fashion week in New York.