Growing up across the Hudson in New Jersey, I was lucky enough to have NYC just a train ride away. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was cutting school more than I was going and it was primarily to spend the day in "The City". I would take my measly few dollars, hit Unique Boutique and Antique Boutique, and then stroll down towards Keith Haring's Pop Shop in Soho before heading over to Washington Square Park to sit on the bench and keep an eye out for black squirrels who'd knife me for my McDonald's fries if I didn't keep my wits about me. (They're vicious, I tell ya.)
Occasionally, I'd wander to the other side of the tracks and stroll down West Broadway. It was pure window-shopping heaven. The most memorable for me was Rizzoli Bookstore. Whenever I had time, I always made it a point to go and check out the latest art books. It was a beautiful bookstore and carried even more beautiful books inside. Rizzoli's eventually closed their West Broadway location, a sign of the times for the neighborhood. But, I never stopped thinking about how that store opened up a world to me. Flipping through the books of art, artists, fashion and designers, I was temporarily transported out of my small suburban life into the glamorous life of creation.
A friend of mine had sent a clueless me a congratulatory e-mail on making it into the Vogue Knitting book. I had no idea what she was talking about. When I realized it was a Rizzoli book... one of those coffee table "arty" books, I nearly fell off my chair with shock.
I ordered one and did a little whoopwhoop when I found my design, the Cabled Swing Poncho.
It's been 22 years since I starting cutting school and sneaking into The City. Time really flies when you're having fun.