At first I didn’t know if I could keep up with the project at all. I didn’t know if I’d just be too busy, if I’d be able to find people, if I’d be skipping weeks out of sheer sleepiness. And yet here we are, six months since I started Miss Manhattan Hangs Out.
Maybe in the grand scheme of things that’s not a lot, but in a life where we pick up so many projects only to put them down a few weeks later, I consider it an achievement of sorts. I wish I could say something at this juncture like “This project changed my life!” but it didn’t so much change it as add to it, giving a name and a title to what I’ve always loved doing: spending time with fascinating people and having experiences.
Sometimes people don’t know what to do—“Do I just…look at you? Do you want me to pose? I’m worried I’m not very interesting.”
“But that’s the thing,” I say. “You’re already interesting. And just pretend the camera’s my face.”
Sometimes a person has a long day and it’s easy. Other times, we’re in a room for a short amount of time and I worry, how do I make a narrative here? But both ways it’s a positive challenge, one I’ve come to look forward to. There are stories everywhere, and part of the fun is discovering how to tell them.
Since beginning this project, I’ve gone to drag bingo nights, rehearsals, dance classes, podcast workshops, pottery studios, museums, people’s kitchens, and more. I get to be a fly on the wall of someone’s existence for a day, and it’s such a gift. There are countless times when I’ve left inspired, unable to believe that for a single day I got to be a part of it.
In honor of the people who have so graciously given me their time, I’ve decided to put together some images this week from a few past shoots. These are never-before-seen images, ones I wanted to use but didn’t for a variety of reasons: maybe the image just didn’t further the narrative; maybe I had another image just like it and I chose a smirk over a smile, a concentrating pout over a more relaxed one; maybe I just had too many pictures and some had to go. I’m grateful for all the moments, big and small, and I’m happy to share a few with you below. I like the idea of doing this every six-months to reflect, so we’ll try this again at one year and see how it goes.
As ever, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to Miss Manhattan Hangs Out, and if you have, tell a friend to! And by all means, if you’re interested in being a subject for Miss Manhattan Hangs Out or know someone who might be a good fit, please give a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. I already can’t wait until we hang out.