I relayed this to one of my editors after recalling an old colleague we used to work with. He was kind enough to put me up once, pre-9-11, when I was on the US east coast. I was meant to stay with him for a few days and work on some stories together. I envisaged us as Woodward and Bernstein.
I won’t name him as I’ve no wish to embarrass him. But for anyone who thinks fashion publishing is glamorous, think again. This was back in the days when we were really in start-up mode and none of us were rolling in it. Guess that’s the difference when you’re doing a dot com from New Zealand, and the Fairfax-owned local papers are still running stories well into the 2000s with “the internet is scary” topics. There was a king-sized opportunity for those papers to have become global sources, and to this day I am deeply surprised that the entire group missed it.
He let me stay with him but his flat in Connecticut was scary.
At 3 a.m. I was awakened by loud pounding on his door. ‘[****], there’s someone at the door.’
Half an hour later. ‘There’s someone knocking again, what’s going on?’
‘Ignore it. A drug dealer used to live in this apartment and they want their fix. They’ll go soon.’
This was the summer of 2001. I thanked him for his hospitality and left the next day, and asked my friend Julia if I could head to her place on Staten Island a week earlier.
In the car park at [****’s] was a shell of a Dodge Coronet (remember those?). It was … like the grimy credits of Chico and the Man or Welcome Back, Kotter. And here I was thinking that Connecticut was Who’s the Boss?.
If I ever write an autobiography, this tale should be in there. But after ghost-writing one in 2021, it might be enough for some time.