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Dear Reader Welcome to the fourth issue of Honeysuckle, a New York City-based magazine of contemporary musings and outcry. The theme of this issue is HOME. Recently, we spoke about what “Home” means to us: a space of privacy, trust, free choice, where we can be our most natural and unfettered selves. It can be a room, an apartment, a tract of land, a tent, a mansion. It can be a tribe or community, a city, a nation. Home is where we are welcome, just as we are. Of course, that definition is ideal. In many lives, home is a prison—literally or figuratively. Home can be a place of private torture and abuse. Home can be lonely; home can be chaos. The ideal of freedom, support, and comfort is so precious that when it falls short, home is the last place many people want to be. “How was your home when you were a kid?” I asked Ronit. “For a while,” she said, “thriving. But one night, everything changed. It still feels fractured at times. How about for you?” “Home was mixed,” I said. “In my childhood, a magical, loving place. But when I was in high school, my parents had troubles and it felt sad and uncertain.” Home changes as we change. We create it, and it creates us. Or destroys us. In this issue we explore different meanings and experiences of Home. We offer it to our readers at no cost, and hope that you will find beauty and value in these reflections.

Ronit Pinto, Founder and Publisher Naomi Rosenblatt, Editor-in-Chief and Art Director Honeysucklemag.com

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ISSUE IV •HOME

SPRING 2017

Publisher and Founder Ronit Pinto

Kirsten Chen

9, 34

Ronit Pinto

10

Alex Harsley: Bring It On Home

HONEY FEATURE

16

At Home with Jay Neugeboren

Mark Jason Williams

23

A Spot in Hell: Sexuality as Home

HONEY FEATURE

25

Justin Bullock: HOME FREE

Sharisse Tracey

32

A Military Wife: Where Is Home?

Bruce Giffin

36

The Face of Detroit

Art Director Naomi Rosenblatt

Leah Wells

43

Poem

Lori Lipten

45

SPIRIT

Cover Design David Soto

Bryan Collin

52

Tech: Home Security

Ronit Pinto

53

Just Protect: The Story of Vikas

Naomi Soms

56

Friend of the Undocumented

Social Media Anje Studios

Samuel Clemens Long 58

Ask an Exotically White Guy

Matt Saber

FILM: Homeward Bound

PR/Emerging Brands Adrie Mendonez

Ryan Hugh McWilliams 62

Editors–in-chief Naomi Rosenblatt Adamma Ince Managing editor Ryan Hugh McWilliams Editorial Kirsten Chen

Illustrator Eli Neugeboren

Ads Norman Cole Promotions Chris Sanders @eyehunee Publicist Jordana Guimaraes Creative Agency Blck Neon sam@blckneon.com 6 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE

59

Poems

ARTIST FEATURE: Kalista Tazlin

HONEY FEATURE

65

Defending Home: U.S. Vets Speak

HONEY FEATURE

69

Ready to Roll: Books in Progress

HONEY FEATURE

80

EMERGING BRANDS: Art of Plants

HONEY FEATURE

82

FRINGE: The Rialto Report

The Tarot Lady

87

TAROT

“Dear Rebel”

88

ASTROLOGY

Paige McGreevy

90

Poem

honey@honeysucklemag.com • NYC, NY • 646-632-7711


Contributors Kirsten Chen is a New York-based poet. She leads a creative writing workshop at the Ali Forney Center and received her MFA from the New School. Her poetry can be found in Anamesa, Artist Catalogue, Best American Poetry Blog, Seventh Wave, PANK, Public Pool, VIATOR and more. Bryan Colin is a professional in investments, gaming, hardware, and real estate. As one of the early innovators of modern VR/AR, he and his team have 18 patents pending, as well as 14 unique algorithms in the VR/AR space. He is the founder of VirtualApt.com Angelique Gerritsen is a Dutch born, New York-based freelance fashion stylist and consultant. Her background in Film Science and modeling has given her an understanding of how fashion can transform an individual. In her free time, when not traveling, Angelique can be found roaming around art galleries, concept stores and discovering new restaurants in NYC. Bruce Giffin has been a painfully self-taught freelancer for 30 years. In 2011 he received a Kresge Artist Fellowship for a project called “The Face Of Detroit.” Sascha Hosey is the creator of Kova by Sascha, a line of 3D printed headpieces for festivals and other shenanigans. We inspire greatness through creativity, self-discovery and radical self-expression. @kovabysascha; kovabysascha.com Dara Lebrun is the author of five interconnected novels called Children Who Aren’t Ours. The third in the series, Half Crazy (Summer, 2017) is about sex, music, and insanity. Twitter: @daralebrun Lori Lipten is an international best-selling author, world-renowned medium, contemporary shaman, and empowering retreat leader and teacher. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical and Humanistic Psychology and has devoted her life to normalizing intuition. She is founder of Sacred Balance Academy; the Intuitive Practitioners Certification Program™; Inspired Heart™ Programs and a variety of healing methods and workshops all designed to assist others in awakening to their highest potential. Lori serves clients around the globe and practices out of the Sacred Balance Academy & Healing Center in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Visit llipten.com for more information about Lori.

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Contributors Janet Lombardi has written for salon.com, newsweek.com, Newsday, the Daily News, Newsday’s Parents & Children, and many other publications. She has been featured as a “money matters” speaker on radio, and been interviewed for money blogs and print articles. Janet lives in Rockville Center, New York and is the mother of two grown sons. Bankruptcy: A Love Story is her debut memoir. Twitter: @LombardiJanet Samuel Clemens Long is not Mark Twain, in this incarnation. He is a photographer, filmmaker, writer, director, and mischief lover. SamCLong.com , BlckNeon.com Paige McGreevy is the co-founder of Les Bleus Literary Salon. She lives and writes in Brooklyn Heights. Eli Neugeboren is an illustrator and professor who lives and works in Brooklyn. www.elineugeboren.com Tyler Nevitt writes, in honor of his mother: 11-23-62 Clem Paulsen is the author of five unpublishable novels. He lives alone and has no pets. Azra Red is a multifaceted, talented, freelance makeup artist who has worked for Vogue Italia, Elle Mexico, Harpers Bazaar, Saks Fifth Ave, Urban Outfitters, among many others others. She’s also the current founder of Terra & Co., Everyday used products without chemicals in a sleek contemporary look and feel. For every tube purchased on terraandco.com we donate one to DWC (Downtown Women’s Center in L.A) http://www.downtownwomenscenter.org/ Matt Saber lives a quiet life in suburban Michigan and dreams of one day developing a passion for something other than sarcasm.

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Richard Snodgrass’s short stories and essays have appeared in the New England Review/Bread Loaf Quarterly, South Dakota Review, California Review, the Pittsburgh Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is also a master photographer who has been artist-in-residence at LightWorks (University of Syracuse) and at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In 1989, Viking published Snodgrass’s novel There’s Something in the Back Yard to critical acclaim. Snodgrass is also the author of An Uncommon Field: The Flight 93 Temporary Memorial, published in September of 2011 by Carnegie Mellon University Press, and Kitchen Things: An Album of Vintage Utensils and Farm Kitchen Recipes, published in 2013 by Skyhorse and named one of the year’s “best books to get you thinking about food” by the Associated Press. He is represented by the Barbara Clark Agency. Naomi Soms is a New York based aspiring lifestyle-and-culture writer with a background in TV and radio broadcasting. David Soto is a New York City-based designer and illustrator who provided our cover art. Instagram: @aka.dope Sharisse Tracey’s work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review and online at the New York Times, Ebony, Babble, Yahoo, Salon, Essence, DAME Magazine, ELLE, the Washington Post, The Men’s Journal and elsewhere. She’s an army wife, mother of four, educator and writer. Leah Wells is a songwriter, composer, author, and music educator. Her series of children’s books that teach music literacy—“How Do You Do Music?”—won a 2015 Family Choice Award. Her essays on early childhood education have appeared in Big Apple Parent, Canadian Education Association Journal and Pittsburgh Parent. She plays stringed instruments in the tri-state area, including in an all-female bluegrass band. Mark Jason Williams is an award-winning playwright and essayist. In addition to Honeysuckle, his work is published by the Washington Post, Salon, the Denver Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Out, the Daily Dot, Stuff, and Good Housekeeping. For more about Mark, please visit markjasonwilliams.com.

Illustration by Eli Neugeboren

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HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS It confuses the senses. I see a once-friend’s house, taste sweet red wine Smell frozen driftwood and feel my stomach drop Hear a snippet—if the fates allow and drive. I find my mom wrapped up in a mauve-colored heated blanket plugged into an outlet in the kitchen. On the T.V. a woman is sharing tips for how to deal with family. This segment called A Four-Alarm Holiday. I get to work on a new tradition for fresh mulled cider peel the stickers rinse the small green apples and place them in a wooden bowl run my thumb over the fruit and its thick coat its creviced top reminds me of the scar tissue from my mother’s bedsore. How to explain certain associations. I continue—debride the skin from each apple softly press the batch stir in cloves and cinnamon. A whole cup of sugar.

—Kirsten Chen

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Ronit Pinto

Alex Harsley: Bring it on Home “Ronit, I have a treat for you,” said Editor-in-Chief Naomi Rosenblatt when she took me to meet Alex Harsley for the first time. I thought she was talking about a doughnut or a latte. Instead, she brought me to The 4th Street Photo Gallery, a neighborhood hub for artists since the ’70s. Epic, iconic, a New York staple, photographer Harsley has been on the scene since the ’50s, known for his striking, unafraid glimpses into the street life, nightlife and daily lives of residents of NYC and beyond—including legendaries such as John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughn and Muhammad Ali. The walls are covered with vintage photographs, mostly of New York City. In defining the narrative for this particular edition of Honeysuckle, Harsley’s photos really hit ‘home,’ and brought the issue home for me. Harsley’s work has not only ‘captured’ New York as home to so many, but also, as a man, he has created a home for so many through his non-profit, his artistry and his work. Harsley formed the Minority Photographers Inc. in 1971, now an internationally recognized non-profit, in his own home on Essex Street— which is pictured on these pages—and then opened the 4th Street Photo Gallery two years later. He has since exhibited generations of artists, young and old, and kept up a welcoming, mentoring salon, with hours as charming and irregular as its founder.

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I had the honor of meeting Alex in his own space where he was full of laughter and dressed in his daily “uniform”—a black vest and stocking cap. Unique and engaging, he reminisced about his days as a trouble-maker and lady’s man. If you have the chance to visit 4th street or any of Alex’s shows, take it. You won’t soon forget. 67 E. 4th Street in the heart of the East Village http://www.the4thstreetphotogallery.com


Houston and Bowery, 1981 household fire on a cold night, NYC photo by Alex Harsley

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photo by Alex Harsley


HOME: Outside Alex Harsley’s house on Essex Street on a snowy night decades ago

HOME: Inside Beginnings of the Minority Photographers, Inc., 1971 at the artist’s own home.

Sammy Follies at home on Houston Street, in front of the last ‘Joe’s,’ Lower East Side, and today’s Whole Foods. 16 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE


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At Home with Jay Neugeboren There’s so much to say about Jay. The author and teacher has written 22 books, including five prize-winning novels (The Stolen Jew, Before My Life Began, 1940,Poli: A Mexican Boy in Early Texas, and The American Sun & Wind Moving Picture Company), two prize-winning books of nonfiction (Imagining Robert, Transforming Madness), and four collections of award-winning stories. His stories and essays have appeared in many publications, including The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, Psychiatric Services, Black Clock, Ploughshares, Sport, The American Scholar, GQ, Hadassah, and the New York Times. They’ve been reprinted in more than 50 anthologies, including Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. 18 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE

Jay suggested that we explore the different relics, furniture, and symbols that each have their own story in his home. Jay’s childhood and adult life have been wracked with passion, genius, and madness (that condition we call mental illness) running through some close family members and friends. It all lives on, in some way, in the inanimate objects around him. Each photo captured by Sam C. Long occupies a space and a time both in the writer’s life and home. Jay now lives and writes in New York City, where he teaches in the Graduate Writing Program of the Columbia University School of the Arts.


“I believe I am the last resident in my building who has not converted the dumbwaiter into something

else—shelves, storage cabinet, stacked washer-dryer space. The door still opens, and the dumbwaiter is still the original that ran to the basement (I’m on 6th floor), a crank, a bell (next to the door). When I first moved in, in 2000, I could put my head into the empty space and look to a skylight above the top of the eighth floor’s dumbwaiter space, but the apt above mine converted their dumbwaiter space a half dozen or so years ago. Again, as with the old Underwood, I like having pieces of the past—of a non-electric, mechanical world—around me. The photos on the door, top to bottom: me, Summer of 1942 or ’43, in Parksville. NY—upstate, about one and a half hours away, where my mother and her four sisters went for summers in what was called a cuchelain (Yiddish for ‘cook alone’). Each family had a small apartment, one or two rooms, and there was a communal kitchen. The husbands—my uncles—worked in the city (NY), and would come up for weekends. “Middle photo: my three children standing in front of our three-story gentleman-farmer’s barn in North Hadley, Massachusetts, summer of 1980. Left to right: Aaron, Miriam, Eli. “Bottom photo: Miriam, Eli, and me at the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, first week of 1999, and four weeks before I had an emergency quintuple bypass. I was able to walk all the way to the top of the Cathedral—528 steps—without a problem. Never had a heart attack even though only two percent of my three major coronary arteries were working at the time. Lucky me!

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My oak rolltop desk. I was teaching at Columbia in 1964, and saw some desks like this in the hallways. I inquired and was told that all the desks were being replaced by new banker-style desks. I called Buildings and Grounds and asked what they were doing with the old desks. The man in charge said that if I wanted one, I should send him a note, and I could take one away but that I had to provide the movers. I sent him a note, and rented a U-Haul. “The desk comes completely apart, all mortise and tendon—the top, the two side file cabinets, the drawer between the file cabinets, the back, etc. No nails or screws. I stripped the parts, oiled them, put the desk back together. I found a student registration card, dated 1899, behind one of the drawers. “The stack of folders to the right and directly in front are for the book I’m at work on now. The stack of folders to the left are for a novel I completed this past fall. The folders on top of the desk have to do with projects old, new, incomplete, random, possible.

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“I’d once talked with a woman I knew about travelling the world and asking people the question: ‘Where do you feel at home?’ And not specifying: ‘Do you mean city, do you mean in my home?’”

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“This is my beloved Underwood typewriter, which, according to its serial number, was

made in 1926. I bought it about forty years ago, and wrote most of my books, articles, and screenplays on it before switching to a computer. I tried using an electric typewriter once, but I typed too fast for the little font-ball, which kept getting jammed. Also: I hum while I write, and its “key” (no pun) was not a key I could hum with, and distracted me. “I loved the clackety-clack, the mechanics of it—changing margins, tab sets, fixing it, finding other Underwoods I could use for spare parts (I had four or five other upright Underwoods I left behind in Massachusetts when I moved back to NYC in 1999)—and its durability. It still works, and my grandkids love rolling paper into it, and typing on it. “Above it is a rotary phone I brought down with me from Massachusetts when I moved back to NYC. It still works. I had another earlier rotary model—from the thirties—but it has wandered off, alas. “Lots of family photos to the sides. The folders are filled with correspondence and family memorabilia (letters, old photos, documents), and also material from the sixties and seventies (posters, letters, correspondence, newspaper clippings) when I was active in the civil rights (CORE) and anti-war movements (Fifth Ave. Vietnam Peace Parade Committee).

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A Spot in Hell Sexuality as Home By Mark Jason Williams “There’s something wrong with me,” I said, trembling before Father John. I was a 12-yearold boy scared to death of his attraction to other boys. “Yes, Mark?” he asked. “What would you like to tell God?” Father John was a kind man, always calm-spoken, always smiling. I felt like I could tell him anything, but I wasn’t quite sure how to have this conversation with the almighty. Surely, it would destroy my family and earn me a spot in hell. Yet, there was a boy at school who made it seem worth it. He wore ribbed tank tops and long jean shorts that fell just below his waist. He had an earring and talked back to our teachers, and his rebellious nature and free spirit were a huge turn-on. Knowing it was wrong just made me want him more. I ran away from Father John, fast as I could, and then tried to force my feelings away. Through my adolescence, I dated girls. We usually went to the movies so we didn’t have to talk or make eye contact. Once, my girlfriend asked me to put my hand under her shirt. I got as far as her stomach before pretending to be sick. Interactions with other guys were particularly challenging. Fathers lectured me about not having my way with their daughters and I’d fantasize about being in bed with them, instead. In gym class, I faked my way through locker-room talk with the guys, while fighting the urge to stare at their naked behinds. When classmates were called fags and thrown in dumpsters, I stood by and watched. I wasn’t proud of it; I just wanted to survive. I broke away and went to NYU for college, and I was relieved to see men openly kissing and holding hands. I wanted to scream, “I’m gay, too—help me!” Yet, I couldn’t. I stayed in Me at my desk, at severalI drawings I did when I was fourteen voice or fifteen old, the closet. Even when looking people assumed was gay, thanks to my soft-spoken and years bubble andI’d working butt. deny it.as a waiter at Camp Winsoki, in Renselaerville, N. Y. The drawing you can see is Tony, who wasa the assistant to theme head forout the of camp. Tony, the head cook, and Inof my junior year, professor helped takecook a step the closet. In his film class, wethe rest of the kitchen came Rico, and thewriting younger cooks, like Tony, watched Boys in the staff Band, andfrom I hadPuerto a revelation while about it. “I’ve been often livinghung as out with us (waiters and busboys). I had already given up my ambition to become an artist a heterosexual male, but I really want to be with another man,” I wrote. “But, like some of when I grew in up,Boys but still loved to draw, and liked to sketch portraits of Ifriends. the characters in the Band, I’m afraid to accept myself for what am.” It was filled with typos, but I didn’t care—I had to get it to my professor’s mailbox before I chickened out again. I got an A on the essay, along with a personal note urging me to come out to others, but I wasn’t ready. “Maybe I’m not really gay,” I told myself. “It could be just a phase or something.” A few weeks later, a friend lost his boyfriend to a drug overdose. “I really loved him,” he said. “I just want to hold him one more time.” I felt awful for him, yet wanted to smile. I now understood that being gay was more than just physical.

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Photo: Tyler Nevitt Wardrobe: Vintage Blouse Crown: Kova by Sascha


A Spot in Hell Sexuality as Home By Mark Jason Williams “There’s something wrong with me,” I said, trembling before Father John. I was a 12-yearold boy scared to death of his attraction to other boys. “Yes, Mark?” he asked. “What would you like to tell God?” Father John was a kind man, always calm-spoken, always smiling. I felt like I could tell him anything, but I wasn’t quite sure how to have this conversation with the almighty. Surely, it would destroy my family and earn me a spot in hell. Yet, there was a boy at school who made it seem worth it. He wore ribbed tank tops and long jean shorts that fell just below his waist. He had an earring and talked back to our teachers, and his rebellious nature and free spirit were a huge turn-on. Knowing it was wrong just made me want him more. I ran away from Father John, fast as I could, and then tried to force my feelings away. Through my adolescence, I dated girls. We usually went to the movies so we didn’t have to talk or make eye contact. Once, my girlfriend asked me to put my hand under her shirt. I got as far as her stomach before pretending to be sick. Interactions with other guys were particularly challenging. Fathers lectured me about not having my way with their daughters and I’d fantasize about being in bed with them, instead. In gym class, I faked my way through locker-room talk with the guys, while fighting the urge to stare at their naked behinds. When classmates were called fags and thrown in dumpsters, I stood by and watched. I wasn’t proud of it; I just wanted to survive. I broke away and went to NYU for college, and I was relieved to see men openly kissing and holding hands. I wanted to scream, “I’m gay, too—help me!” Yet, I couldn’t. I stayed in the closet. Even when people assumed I was gay, thanks to my soft-spoken voice and bubble butt. I’d deny it. In my junior year, a professor helped me take a step out of the closet. In his film class, we watched Boys in the Band, and I had a revelation while writing about it. “I’ve been living as a heterosexual male, but I really want to be with another man,” I wrote. “But, like some of the characters in Boys in the Band, I’m afraid to accept myself for what I am.” It was filled with typos, but I didn’t care—I had to get it to my professor’s mailbox before I chickened out again. I got an A on the essay, along with a personal note urging me to come out to others, but I wasn’t ready. “Maybe I’m not really gay,” I told myself. “It could be just a phase or something.” A few weeks later, a friend lost his boyfriend to a drug overdose. “I really loved him,” he said. “I just want to hold him one more time.” I felt awful for him, yet wanted to smile. I now understood that being gay was more than just physical. HOME • SPRING 2017 | 25


That summer, I traveled to Florence. It was my first time in Europe and traveling on my own. I felt free and instantly fell in love with the art, culture, and the men. With their tan, olive skin and carefree attitude, the Italian guys made me quiver to the point that I went to a cathedral, lit a candle, and told God that “I’d rather be living in sin than not living at all.” I’d later laugh at myself for how cheesy that sounded, but in the moment it was something I needed to do. With a burst of adrenaline, I went in search of a gay bar—unfortunately, I walked for miles to discover that the only one in the city was closed for the summer. However, I returned home with new a confidence. At a birthday party, I chatted with a cute guy and had my first kiss with him before the night was over. Most of my friends saw it, too, so I didn’t have to do the dramatic “I’m gay” speech. I could simply grin and accept the moment for what it was. Telling my parents remained the biggest hurdle, and that took another ten years. I tried to tell them in my last year of college by inviting them to see a play I’d written about two men in love. But, when I asked for my mother’s reaction she said, “You used too many curse words,” and I knew they weren’t ready. I tried again in my mid-twenties, but my dad got really sick and I was afraid coming out would kill him. Suddenly, I was in my thirties and the time never seemed right. I knew I was a coward, and it affected my relationships with others. Guys dumped me when I refused to let them meet my family; my sister threatened to stop speaking to me if I didn’t tell our parents I was gay. I started to wonder: is this a struggle for my parents to accept me, or for me to accept myself? Then, I met Michael, a public health professor in his forties, who was far more patient than other guys. His laid-back, yet caring demeanor helped me be more honest than I’d been in the past. “I don’t know why, but I’m just afraid to sit my parents down and say, ‘This is me.’” Michael took my hand and kissed my cheek. “Well, when you’re ready, you can say, ‘this is us.’ On an unusually warm spring day, just after my thirty-sixth birthday, I introduced Michael to my parents. Though I still felt like a nervous teenager, my mother hugged us both, then turned to me and asked, “What took you so long?” My father soon followed, patting Michael on the back. Finally, after over thirty-five years of being in my parent’s house, it felt like home. I’m not an emotional person, but I almost cried. I realized that my struggle was never about my parents coming to terms with my sexuality, it was about me accepting myself. Sometimes, when I see younger gay couples who are out, it makes me regret staying in the closet for so long. Yet, I’m happy that I no longer have to worry about gaining my parents’ approval. Instead, I envision my mother and I dancing at my wedding—and hope she approves of the song.

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We’re so used to seeing gorgeous models in exotic locations. So for this shoot, stylist Angelique Gerritsen challenged photographer Rinze Van Brug to work the issue’s theme of “home” into their shoot. All the photos were shot in Rinze’s home, giving them both a high fashion polish and a very personal feel.

JUSTIN BULLOCK: Home Free

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Photographer: Rinze Van Brug Stylist: Angelique Gerritsen Hair/Make-up: Christina Natale Models: Justin Bullock, Veronika Losyuk Brands: Eyehunee; Monki; Vans Rime; Out From Under; Tucker Ksenia Schnaider

Street. Culture. Underground. Each of these elements embodies model, actor, performer Justin Bullock. Bullock, on probation since age 16, will be released this May—just when you’ll be reading about him in these pages. Discovered at the age of 16 by photographer Ari Marcopoulos, he was approached in Subway’s “Eat Fresh” to do a collaboration of Adidas and Bathing Ape. At 16 he was also arrested for grand larceny, and six sequential arrests have kept him on probation until he turns 21—this month. As soon as he does, he’ll be on the beaches of Mexico. International agents of all kinds have been waiting for his release so he can travel internationally for work. Little did we know, when requesting him for our own “Home” issue, that the actor, rapper, and songwriter is now homeless. He could have had his own apartment by this point, he says, but was held up taking care of his family, who are homeless. Evicted from their apartment in the South Bronx, he and his mom had hopped around in shelters, while his dad made the rounds with his two older brothers. He reports: “We scattered ourselves into Air B&B’s and hotels and stuff, bounced around at friends houses. It was stressful; I’ve never been homeless.” 28 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE

Justin said the hardest part about being homeless is not being able to show emotion in public, something he wasn’t even aware that he was doing, having grown up in the hood. Being too emotional can draw attention and bring trouble on the streets. “My mom wanted to keep trying to stay in the system,” Bullock said, referring to the messed up system of homeless shelters, which he says “don’t really want to help you. Like they feel that you have somewhere else to go—when the whole point is, you don’t.” The shelter system is very regulated, set up with one hoop after another to jump through. “Like, for example, having to make it to places that are far away when you don’t have any transportation. And when you ‘fail’ the application process for permanent shelter status, it’s like starting back at ground zero.” His mother was beyond frustrated. “She was like: ‘let’s just try again;’ I was like: ‘like why?’ I’m out. Finally I said fuck it. I had to leave, and she was really upset.” At the time of this interview, Justin is staying with a friend in Connecticut, coming back to the city frequently. New York City is the place he absolutely calls home. In order to regain his footing and care for himself, he had to to detach from his family—though he makes an effort to keep up with them.


Supply in Demand lyrics by Justin Bullock

I got a cold fuckin heart Cause I go so fuckin hard Just to be comfy what I want And I come from the south Bronx Where u niggas can’t stunt If ya face not familiar U might be workin for the judge U might be workin with the judge And the system so fucked up U just Don’t know Who toTrust So bout anybody else U could just give like 2 fucks As a youngin i am trouble I am so mischievous & at homies we got products so just tell me what you want

Who got supply Who in demand Who in control Who make the plan Who make the rules Who is the man Who got supply Who in demand HOME • SPRING 2017 | 29


“They don’t make it easier for you, so don’t make it easier for them by fucking up.” —Justin Being African American in the hood and on the streets has schooled him in the harsh realities of social justice and race, and informed his artistry. “Everybody is different,” he said. “But, like I tell the kids in the juvenile hall, where I mentored: If you’re African American or from the Bronx you’re already born to lose. And they don’t make it easier for you, so don’t make it easier for them by fucking up. Your circumstances and upbringing dictate who you are to some. Like for me. For example, I was born into poverty. Like, I didn’t get certain things other people got, like presents for Christmas and things like that, but do what you do and try to make it out the hood.” He goes deep with talk of the ‘School-toPrison Pipeline,’ which criminalizes young students (mostly impoverished, African American or Hispanic) and puts them in prison instead of regular punishment at standardized schools or rehabilitation centers. These severe sentences install them in the system behind bars—or set them on a fucked up, inescapable trajectory of crime for decades. At the end of the day, he says if you want his advice or opinion, come and ask. “You gotta want it, otherwise I’m not wasting my time.” When he’s released from probation, he looks most forward to “not feeling like I always have to watch my back. The cops are just looking to arrest someone.”

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Justin plans to leave the country and travel, as he’s been offered jobs on large campaigns such as Nike in Hong Kong, as well as other shoots in Mexico. He’s eager to live as a free, creative person, taking advantage of the many contacts he’s made in entertainment. He hopes to grow as an artist and develop platforms for his many pursuits, which include filmmaking, rapping, and acting. If he can stay out of trouble through mid-May, he’ll be doing just that.

Fly high Justin. We’ll be waving up at you. http://justinbullock.com insta @justinjbullock/

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Website: http://www.pacepublicrelations.com/ Twitter Handle: @PACE_PR Pace Public Relations (PPR) is a full-service media relations and communications agency based in New York City. At PPR, we strategically customize & tailor each client’s publicity plan to meet their specific PR goals while maximizing their media exposure. Specializing in television, radio, print, and web placements, PPR is the direct conduit for clients with press that they want and need to attract. Our clients include Start-Ups, CEOs & entrepreneurs in tech, business, finance, politics, health, wellness.

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Sharisse Tracey

Military Wife: Where is home? After living in California for all of my life, or thirty years of it, I married an Army officer—which forced me to leave my beloved home state. The first duty station was in Arkansas, which, to a West Coast girl, felt like Mars. The second was a move to upstate New York. At the beginning of our initial three-year tour in New York, we were housed in a hotel, like many Army families are. But luckily a house became available, and the six of us were able to move out of a one-bedroom hotel room into a three-bedroom home with a bonus room. Army living was right away different for me, despite our being stationed on one of the smaller posts the United States Military offers. First, I was on the east coast. I had been severely anemic all my life, and was even teased back in sunny California about always being cold. So, as you can imagine, I was terrified of the East Coast winters I heard could be brutal. Add to that our post was located in the mountains upstate. Fortunately for me, I made friends quickly and we built alliances. 34 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE

I stocked up like bears do for the winter and hoped for the best, fearing the worst. There was some learning to do as a new military spouse, complete with growing pains, but for the most part I acclimated within a year. So much so that when my husband received deployment orders we asked for an exception that allowed our family to stay put—not the norm in the military. Due to the extended time on post, I became familiar with everyone from the local grocery checker to the friendly people at our post office. I knew everybody by name and they knew me, something I had longed for since my small town neighborhood back in California. We lived next door to neighbors that treated us like family and good friends. I met the lady who would become one of my best friends and other good friends that I’m still in touch with to this day. I built partnerships with my children’s daycare providers that bridged into their school days, and established relationships with housing and medical staff.


My family feels safe here. Our neighbors look out for one another. Now, don’t get me wrong a military post can be quite cliquish with some spouses being very pretentious. But my experience doesn’t speak too much of that. I tend to ignore rules and the norms that permeate most military spouse activity. I befriend who I want and treat everyone the same, regardless of rank. When it came time for us to leave five years later, it was difficult for my entire family as we had made friends and formed close bonds. I even thought to write a piece about How There Was No Place Like Home. Fortunately for us our family received another opportunity to live at the same place—again, not the norm with many military families. Our return was made smoother during a difficult transition because we were going to a place we considered home. But let’s be honest, moving sucks and despite whether you’re moving across the country, out of the country or around the corner, moving is hard. As we face another potential move my family feels a lot of anxiety. Yet, we were all able to find home in the most unlikely place. A place that truly feels like home.

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MIDDLE COUNTRY So then, you’re... ‘damaged’? My Chinese counterparts quizzed me fingers to skin, holding their gardenia white arms next to mine in the early sun. In America we just say “tan” but okay, I relented. Giggles echoed beneath paper parasols while they tugged their sunsleeves down—as if my darkness might dirty them, too. We were twenty years old in the countryside of Jiangxi province, taking bucket showers eating congee three times a day and they were worried about getting tan. It was all for “A Chinese-American Unity” And wasn’t I perfect for it having drawn blood from each? Hùnxie, I must have said a hundred times. Hùnxie. But they couldn’t get past my accent or over my color. The rest of the afternoon slid by through joint teaching lessons, tea fields and more congee. When it was night my host sister —same skin as I, arrived with a light and a tatami mat. Our silent nightly ritual, our class outside the class. We sat down and started the mosquito coils journaling. She held up her notebook: America, it read perfectly.

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So I thought about the word for China And wrote it in pinyin on the page: Zhongguó: English translation, Middle Country. And I, in between.

—Kirsten Chen

Mixed media assemblage by Naomi Rosenblatt

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Bruce Giffin

The Face of Detroit

Many words and pictures have been published about the state of the economy in Detroit. Photographers and writers are flocking here from all over the world on assignment or on “spec” adding fuel to this discussion. Every student of photography has a picture of the train station, the Packard Auto plant, and the grand piano in the lobby of Lee Plaza. Many student images are as good or better than the hired “guns” from out of town. These buildings and others are being used to show the world how the collapse of the local and national economy has affected our lives. The truth is that many of these buildings sat empty and abandoned years before our economy came crumbling down. The Packard has been mostly empty since the ‘50s and the train station was abandoned in 1988.

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KENNY

MICHAEL

Michael has movie-star good looks, but most people look away when engaging him, so they will never know. He is wheelchair-bound—he lost both feet from gangrene—and has become a fixture at his regular spot near the freeway. He has a huge following and many donate every time they see him. Sadly he was killed by a hit and run driver who has never been caught…

Kenny is permanently wheelchair-bound. He squats in an abandoned three-story building with an old wheelchair on each floor. When he has a purpose on a particular floor he crawls on his hands and knees between floors. He was a self-proclaimed thug as a younger man, but has mellowed with age.

1/2 of these images portray a homeless person… 1/2 of these images portray persons who are not homeless… It’s not important to know which.

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GERALD T. GREEN

The first time I saw him he was ranting “Take that wedding dress back to your Mother. Your money is no good here!� He did this over and over. Every time after that he ranted another saying over and over and over. Gerald was afflicted with schizophrenia, and cancer of the brain along with a few other types of cancer. He was a kind and gentle soul and I would meet him for breakfast occasionally. I rarely had a clue what he was saying but I felt a level of communication with him. He has passed away, probably from brain cancer.

BILLY BONES

I see him around the city. He travels with everything he owns. His fashion sense is interesting. Although dirty and torn a bit, he has this blue suit, and a red one, and a white one. There is always a vest, a pocket handkerchief, and some plastic jewelry, and a hat. Billy is always smiling and good natured. I get the sense that he was once a corporate guy who got fed up and walked away.

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I’ve been shooting pictures in the city for 25 years, when the train station wasn’t fenced in and you could freely walk in and out without bother. Lately, I’ve been studying the faces of the people of Detroit. This the real story of our city. In my corporate work I shoot portraits of CEOs, vice presidents, and all kinds of management people who are gainfully employed. There is a stark contrast between the people I’ve met on the street and the folks I meet in corporate America. The street people seem happier than the corporate types. They smile more easily and their eyes are bright. Maybe it’s like the song, “Me and Bobby McGee” says, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose!”

One may discover a random piano on a curb in Detroit and occasionally play it for a while. I saw this while driving by and immediately jumped out of my car with a camera. It has become one of my most requested images. No explanation necessary.

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CHUCK

I spent less than a minute with Chuck. He was passing out shopping fliers and I’ve never seen him again. He welcomed the few bucks I passed him.

KRIAKI

I spotted her walking on Michigan Avenue like she owned the place. I know little about her except that she is of Greek descent and about 80 years old. She appeared to be sober the two times I bumped into her, and she certainly had a flair for makeup and fashion.

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BRIANNA

A 7-year-old girl with beautiful, blue piercing eyes. Her family has fallen on hard times and she amuses herself by rolling a tire or playing with a stick. If her family was doing better they would just write a check and buy something. Under the circumstances, maybe she is more creative than if they had more money. She appears to be happy.

JAMAL

Where is your 18-year-old son at 9:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning? Asleep in bed is the correct answer. Yet, here is Jamal hustling for a job in the middle of Michigan Avenue.

TYRONE & VICKI

With a couple of exceptions, we’ve had brutal winters in Detroit for the past seven or eight years. In spite of that, Tyrone and Vicki have survived in a tent near the freeway somehow. They are cheerful and survivors and nice people.

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RODERICK AND POSSUM

Roderick and Possum squat in an abandoned church. Possum has a broken leg and Roderick drives him around on the handlebars of his bike. Roderick loves this dog and takes good care of him even with his limitations.

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A CHANGE OF ADDRESS It’s a slow death on the database. Your mailbox fills, And your voice mail still greets callers. We vanish slowly From the intercom board and the sucker lists. Your mother’s teacups go to my sister And I assume your houseplants In this bog of possessions. Appraisers visit, lawyers prepare documents And movers load their truck. We vanish slowly, But I have jokes for you, And from a framed photo On a table in my mother’s living room, You always laugh, Teeth shining in the photographer’s flash Eyes gleaming, In your own words, “Liberated by cancer.”

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Spirit Hell By Lori Lipten, Spirit Channeler

WHO IS BEING CHANNELED? “We are benevolent beings of light who serve and support human consciousness through their evolution of wholeness. All beings are unified in the light of one Source, a Creator often referred to as God by humans. We exist within this spectrum of light, as guardians of the holy truth and sacred energies streaming through the human experience at this time...”

HOW DOES SPIRIT VIEW OUR TREATMENT OF THE PLANET AND OF EACH OTHER NOW?

Photo: Tyler Nevitt

“We, as beings of the light, known as the Guardians of the Light, are radiant stars who love all humanity at all stages of development. We see human consciousness currently in its adolescence stage, with only few exceptions. Human consciousness is currently in a state that is highly tumultuous and often resentful, lost and confused. It still seeks meaning, purpose, and its own self in the material world, or through external forms. It will play through this drama until it becomes evident that no meaning, purpose or truth will be discovered through the temporary, external forms of Light. “The planet earth is a sentient being with a divine purpose. She is serving humanity’s evolution by allowing duality as a chord of energy that promotes the evolution of consciousness. Humans entered a contract with her upon their arrival at this particular dimensional station in the universe. The contract includes an understanding of living in harmony with earth as a sacred, sentient being who provides safety and harmony when she is honored. “This contract has been broken when humans have chosen to allow her and her offerings to be exploited without reverence and willingness to return to harmony... “This planet is now yearning for human consciousness to evolve beyond its youthful stage, trapped in an addiction to its limitations of the ego. Relinquishing this addiction will return harmony to life. As humans are awakened they realize that they are part of a whole ecosystem that exists within the earth realms and beyond. Their role expands and connects to all-that-is grows. This requires a release of identification and paradigms confined to the persona. Earth is not a planet of resources to be exploited. This narrow view of earth and life keeps humans and all life trapped in a limited version of prosperity and imbalance, and perpetuates incarnations of suffering.” HOME • SPRING 2017 | 47


HOW DOES SPIRIT FEEL ABOUT IMPOSED BOUNDARIES, SUCH AS MUNICIPAL, STATE, NATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL, AND OTHERS? “All your creations are imaginary reflections of the need for social order and belonging. These boundaries may serve functions for the phase of evolution in which you find yourself, when they are simply viewed as containers that allow populations to be cared for well. When these boundaries shift from that role into one of over-identification, they hold the potential to slip into divisive trajectories through which greater suffering may manifest. Boundaries that hold energy into a space for conscious empowerment of all, serve evolution.”

ARE THERE SUCH THINGS AS HEALTHY BOUNDARIES? IF SO, WHAT? “Healthy boundaries are the function of Spirit’s awareness of itself in form ... A healthy boundary allows a Spirit within a human expression to love, honor and know self as individualized, being worthy of reverence and as an expression of that reverence to all that is... “From a human perspective, boundaries allow for a Spirit to fully emerge into him or herself as a being with an identity. This identity can serve evolution. A healthy boundary means one understands that he is an impermanent being in a temporary form, living a temporary existence for a purpose. That healthy boundary will then serve healthy self-care, thriving, evolution and service. It provides a solid awareness of one’s human experience as a sacred expression of Spirit discovering itself through the human process. This awareness will breed a deep reverence and connection to a community that serves and promotes thriving in all life; a connection to Source and a connection to meaningful service as a purpose for individualized expression of Light into life.” “At the human, personal level, physical boundaries are a necessity for healthy evolution of mind, body and spirit.”

WHAT DOES SPIRIT SAY WE CAN DO AS A SPECIES TO IMPROVE OUR SPACE AS HOME? “There are many ways to answer this question but no answer can be offered and understood until one awakens to the realization of being Spirit in human form and the awareness that everything is alive. All that exists on the earth plane, reflects the life-force as an expression of the limits imposed upon the light OR the release of the light through consciousness. “When one views all life as sacred and a reflection of love, then each space can become home. As a human in physical form, you are ever-arriving into the ‘now.’ As your awareness flows, you will only allow greater and greater expressions of love to pour through you into form. Those expressions will manifest beauty, kindness, joy, peace, harmony, fulfillment and wisdom. Each place will reflect this expression. All spaces become home, when one is awake. There is no place where love is not. There is no place where Source is not. There is only one place and that is within your soul’s heart of awareness. And in awareness, all space becomes a sacred home for all that is.”

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I AM EMPOWERED CONFIDENT BEAUTIFUL EQUAL SEXY

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Wardrobe: Vintage Bra 52 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE

and Black Lace Veil Necklace: Opera Magna Photos: Tyler Nevitt


Free People Kimono Headpiece: Kova by Sascha in collaboration with Red Market NYC

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Bryan Colin

Tech: Home Security The Founder of VirtualApt offers all of us some tips for keeping home just a little more private: The large majority of people are not taking the extreme precautions to prevent access to their life. We have all accepted that if someone really wants to see/hear/read about what’s going on, they probably can. There are some easy fixes to get past the unskilled stalker/snooper and these are easy and quick fixes. 1. Keep a password on your smartphone. Change it regularly. Yes it’s a pain in the ass, but this is the quickest and easiest way to invade your privacy from people that you know. 2. Have a current version of reputable anti-virus software on your devices. 3. Place a piece of tape over the camera of your laptop while you aren’t using it. It is too easy to open an attachment and not realize that you downloaded something that someone can watch you. 4. Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds the second level of security to prevent simple social hacking (which is the large majority). 5. Different passwords for different sites. Yes, it’s difficult to remember them all. Yes, they need to be long and not simple to guess. Part of the motivation of starting VirtualAPT was the realization that the “Open House” experience would be terrifying to me. Knowing that there are 40 strangers roaming around with nothing more than a signup sheet would prevent me from engaging in this activity. Realizing I’m not the only one who would prefer privacy, we created a way to build robots to exactly recreate the walkthrough tour that you would get if you went to the physical home. It will work on any device, anywhere in the world while getting the same sales pitch from the broker, from the comfort of my home or office; at least until I’m serious about buying. This saves time and effort from a customer standpoint, and addresses privacy concerns that people (should) have.

virutalapt.com

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“Just Protect” There is no simple path for an immigrant in today’s America. All of the black-and-white rhetoric you hear in the mainstream media turns to different shades of grey in reality. We met up with Vikas Bhatia to discuss his story. Vikas, originally from East London, now in New York, is a Sikh Indian, new father, husband and business owner. Though he’s had high security, government-sponsored jobs, Vikas is not an American citizen…yet. Vikas is on his way, married, at the four-year requirement mark for citizenship with papers en route. All seems good, but his destiny still feels slightly uncertain. And his life embodies the conflicting messages and thoughts that immigrants, documented and undocumented, and U.S. citizens, face everyday.

“I do have a genuine concern,” says Vikas, founder and owner of JustProtect, an app that helps large and small companies transact business through snarls of red-tape and regulation.“Like papers or no papers. Citizenship or no citizenship. There have been cases of where my people, the Sikhs, have been misrepresented as terrorists, being singled out on trains or things like that, or shot. There are people who may have the same complexion as me, one tone lighter, one tone darker, they have been sitting in a sports bar—approached and killed—these are recent cases. “So, yes, New York is in America. But I think that an hour and a half, or two, outside of any major metropolis, I may not feel at home. And I think that comes down to comfort. And that feeling of being who you are and paying the sad consequences of being different.” Vikas comes from a long line of immigrants and that has informed his view of the world. “I’m a fourth generation immigrant. My parents are immigrants to the UK from India. My grandparents were immigrants from what is now Pakistan to India. My maternal side are actually refugees. When the split happened, the India-Pakistan split, they actually went over as part of the refugee movement, of non-Muslim Indians who didn’t want to be in Pakistan.” Vikas made his way to America as a cybersecurity expert. His company, JustProtect, is an app platform based on years of wrangling troublesome 1’s and 0’s. Once in New York, he lost the job that got him here and faced a moment of uncertainty. But yet again, his generations-long immigrant story colored his actions.

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“When all this shit was going down I was in a two-bedroom, two-bath over looking the East River. I was like: fuck me! “Its slightly different from people being yanked off trains and beheaded. My grandfather was responsible for moving the family from Pakistan to India. And he did that six times. He could speak six different languages. One way, you’re dressing (family members) up to be one religion and on the way back, you’re something else. You’re trying to bring out as many of your family’s assets without be robbed or killed or mugged.”

You’d think that being an immigrant would automatically put someone in a place of very pro-immigrant rights. But, while he may sound empathetic, and he is, he has a conservative/logical edge to the whole thing too. “We had one uncle who was picked up by police in the UK at a bus stop. I remember hearing about it thinking ‘that’s really out of order’ and then when you really peel back the layers and they know that they’ve overstayed their welcome that they shouldn’t working on a tourist visa and meanwhile they are working. I’m not a fan of blaming the government, but you’ve been here for 20 years, take a day off, go see an immigration lawyer, go see a non-profit and then if you’re still in that limbo and you know you may need your escape bag one day, that’s the environment you’re creating for yourself and your people. Don’t get settled into this false sense of security.”

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On the other hand, “you’ve got to to have a voice,” he points out, “It’s when you’re silent it sets people back when you just stay quiet. When judgment is passed without a level of empathy it’s an empty judgment. And you ask the questions. And the majority of the time they say ‘I’m just here so I can move my family forward’ and maybe it’s when you get comfortable that you turn a place into your home, but what you haven’t done is fortified your home, cause you need to.” “If you’re really the protector of your home, you need to look at those things that will get you in trouble and disrupt your environment and you do something about it.” “I have a duty and a responsibility to my clients and my wife and to provide continuity so I need to identify areas where there are risks to that continuity. So while it is wrong to just uproot something that’s been there for 20 years, there is the shared responsibility.” “If tomorrow, I wasn’t here, legally couldn’t be here, I have a backup plan.” So a mantra of taking responsibility for your life, watching your exposure to risk (he’s a cybersecurity expert for a reason people) is grabbing the bull by the horns no matter how orange the bull’s hair is. We left him with one final question. After he said “New York is my home,” we asked: Do you feel American? He repeated, “New York is my home.” “New York is in America.” “Nationally, I will be a citizen very soon, because my son is a citizen and my wife is a citizen, and so I will be on paper. I will be a dual citizen. Feeling like an America? I don’t think I’m there.”

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Naomi Soms

Friend of the Undocumented NYC-based writer and model retells the story of someone close to her We like America and its people. It’s not only a nice country, but our hard work is better compensated than in our nations. Even when making less than minimum wage here, this gives us the chance to provide a better future for ourselves and our families. There’s also lots to do, a lot of opportunities, and we don’t take them for granted. That’s why we work hard, because we appreciate it so much and we take pride in our contribution to society. We are afraid at times, and also sad because we don’t even feel safe to walk outside anymore. For most of us, if it comes to a point where we are threatened, we’ll have to go back to our countries or emigrate somewhere else. That’s the unfortunate reality in other cities already, they are raiding homes and deporting people, no matter how good or bad. We all know that if Immigration shows up at a work site, there will be repercussions for all of us, workers and employers. So we all know that in a situation like that our best bet is to try to run as far as we can, which is very degrading because because we are not delinquents, we are living honest lives and doing honest work. We just wake up every day and go to work with the hopes that we will be able to come back home at night and do it all over again the next day, for as long as God allows it.

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Samuel Clemens Long

ASK AN EXOTICALLY WHITE GUY IN NYC I’M ALMOST “SPECIAL EXHIBIT AT THE MET” WHITE. I was raised in a small Midwestern town; lotta corn and grey skies, not so much diversity. How has living in NYC informed my opinions on race? The New York attitude has kind of worn off on me. The “no one gives a fuck about you,” including your race or where you’re from, is pretty easy to understand in a place where you can see every shade of human in one day. I’m more interested in exactly who has to clean up the poop on the subway seat after the homeless guy uses the commode. I can’t say that which shade of brown or pink you are really seems pertinent in such a world. Oh yeah, and everyone is racist. White people don’t have a corner on the market (institutionally obviously white people have that version of racism on lock down). The first time I heard a Dominican talk about a Puerto Rican I was like, “Oh shit I recognize this.” And then I heard Puerto Ricans talk about Puerto Ricans! And I was like, “I don’t get the knife thing but I recognize your rich and vibrant culture.” More or less racist? I was more racist before I moved to New York. Outside of a truly metropolitan area it’s easy to see things in black and white (literally in the case of Detroit). Not that I saw one group as better, but they were different and separate in a lot of cases. It was easy to keep track of things in this binary world. It was easy to care about “my” culture versus “your” culture. But in New York after meeting the 100th half-Brazilian, quarter-Japanese, fourth-Indian, fourth-Alaskan born in Hong Kong/raised in London/ started life as a non-practicing Jew turned Buddhist (and who you suspect might actually be from another planet) who loves vegan food and cock-fights you meet, you stop caring. Your brain just says, “God I just don’t fucking care anymore.” And then it’s just that person’s a prick because they’re a prick, not because of the box they check when filling out a federal form. My thoughts on racists? The simple answer is there are two kinds of racism. There’s the black hearted intentional KKK hate mongering kind: fuck those people with all the wild organic free range fucks the world can muster. They are actively racist. Then there’s the pseudo-benign kind of racism that most of us fall into. I have some empathy for this kind of racism because I’ve been “that guy” enough times to know that it was never motivated by dislike, but by ignorance and a lack of life experiences.

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Matt Saber

FILM: Getting Drunk at Home with Homeward Bound Last night, I drank eight beers and cried at least twice while watching the 1993 treasure Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. This majestic work of cinema is a remake of 1963’s The Incredible Journey; with the addition of real life actors voicing the animals, and a second-marriage plotline that kick-started Disney’s subversive foray into propagating alternative lifestyles. They also changed the cat’s gender to female, which ignited such a rage in the young Milo Yiannopoulos, that it instructs every action he takes to this day. The premise is simple. The alternative family is constructed. The alternative family moves to the city. The alternative family leaves the animals on a farm for safe keeping, and the animals feel abandoned and try to find their way home. Damn it, stepdad. You’ve ruined everything. Of course, this is a Disney movie aimed at brainwashing young children into thinking that stepparents aren’t as drunk and incompetent as they clearly are. So, instead of dying in a ditch and rolling credits, the animals begin their incredible journey. There are some human actors in the film that were never heard from again, but the award-winning cast of animal voice artists is a concoction of timeless stars. Don Ameche channels old-timey Hollywood as the voice

of the aging golden retriever, Shadow. The smart-mouthed housecat, Sassy, is brought to you by the ever-professional Sally Field— here demonstrating an acting range more versatile than in Sybil. And in a prophetic performance, Michael J. Fox shakes things up as the spastic American Bulldog, Chance: a boisterous pup in dire need of a lesson on consensual touching. Chance has his first lesson on rape culture early on in the journey. Without asking, he dives into an unfamiliar hole and begins to sniff around. He is sprayed in the face by a skunk and promptly driven off, but it is clear from his laughing demeanor that he sees the resistance as part of the fun. Later—his masculinity already dented by his inability to catch a fish without assistance from Sassy— he attempts to reclaim his swagger by bullying some nearby bear cubs. In his fragility, he resorts to racial insults, “Go steal some porridge!” he shouts jeeringly. Although he is chased off by the mother bear, it is clear the lesson is still unlearned. Some time after, he encounters an exotic looking beast and again sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong. A slap in the face from the porcupine shuts him down immediately, the very real consequence Chance needed to facilitate his transition from “bad boy” to “good dog.”

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While Chance is busy redefining himself outside the confines of the patriarchy, our alternative family is beside themselves with worry for their furry companions. The young Peter is the most distressed—filled with contempt towards his stepfather for forcing the move, and an implied hatred of his real dad for not even appearing in the picture. But when his stepdad makes flyers in an attempt to locate the missing pets, Peter has a change of heart. Hopefully, this act of kindness will make up for a lifetime of future disappointments, which the Disney Company meticulously glosses over with a veil of propaganda. It all culminates into an ending so heartwarming, that I would have shed a real tear had I not been so dehydrated. Instead, I dry-sobbed as Peter calls his stepdad, “Dad,” after only two weeks—proving that fathers are more replaceable than pets, and cementing the miseducation. Of course, the pets make it home too. First, it’s the newly-matured Chance running up to his young owner, waiting for verbal consent, and then smothering him with kisses. Sassy saunters over the climactic hill next, showing more affection to her human than a real cat ever could. Then it all comes down to Shadow. Did the old dog make it through the wilderness? You know the answer. As Shadow limps towards his owners, the glint in Peter’s eyes makes it clear that this is the last moment of true happiness he will ever experience in his lifetime. That somber realization is enough to make me thankful that the extended ending was left on the cutting room floor. The final planned scene—in which Shadow’s injuries are too great and stepdad takes him out back with his shotgun—really would have broken my immersion.

Last of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s graffiti, next to the ATM, with his studio in the background Great Jones Street, New York, NY Photo by Alex Harsley

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HOME • SPRING 2017 | 63


Ryan Hugh McWilliams

artist feature HOME AWAY FROM HOME

How international actress Kalista Tazlin found “home where the art is” For actress Kalista Tazlin, home is not a place but a state of mind. Fresh off her triumphant run as New York’s first Indonesian Juliet in a Lady Gaga-inspired Shakespearean production, the dynamic performer has always considered herself “a citizen of the world.” Moving from country to country since her early teenage years, she found a permanent home in her profession—creating imaginary worlds onstage and in film is where she confesses to being most at ease. (And judging by her hot streak of zany, indomitable characters universally praised by industry luminaries, Tazlin makes everyone who watches her feel that way too.) Born in Jakarta, Kalista first began trying on new identities at her father’s knee. Her parents spoke Indonesian, but her multilinguist dad taught his eldest daughter French and English as well. Flitting from one language to another gave way to flights of fancy. “Sometimes you want to role play and be someone else for a while,” Kalista recalls, “and whenever I was feeling that way, I’d start speaking one of the other languages I knew. And I felt like someone else for a while and would find a lot of happiness in becoming like a chameleon.” She was also discovering her first attractions to performing for an audience. At the age of four, Tazlin began learning the cello and was soon winning prizes in competi-

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tions. “I was mad about the cello,” she says. “When people say ‘The King,’ my friends think of Elvis; for me, ‘The King’ is a cello made by luthier Andrea Amati. My best friend was my first cello, a ¾ Hofner. My relationship to this so-called non-living thing was stronger than my relationship with proper living human beings.” Already Kalista’s home had roots in her own power, a reality she could concoct with her brain, body, and soul. Civil warfare would do the rest. In 1997 and 1998, economic meltdown and government instability rocked the countries of Southeast Asia. Fearing for their children’s safety, Tazlin’s parents forced the entire family to move to Singapore, packing only what they could carry. “The only thing I wanted to bring with me was my cello,” Kalista remembers. “I had a screaming fit with my mother and wanted to stay if he couldn’t come with us. That cello was my life, my home. It was painful. He should’ve been more portable.” Adapting to new surroundings became a recurring theme in Tazlin’s life. Her academic prowess brought her from Singapore to one of the top schools in Cambridge, England, and tours throughout Europe. On a school trip to Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre, watching the opera Nabucco, she knew her destiny lay on the stage.


“I found my interest in theatre then, but my love for opera blossomed at University College London on the glorious stage of Bloomsbury Theatre while performing in front of 500 people,” she notes. “I was practically living in the theatre during opera season.” Now fluent in French, Tazlin moved to Paris upon graduation to pursue acting further; she was an instant devotee to the city’s film scene: “Everything I saw in the cinema was markedly different from what I saw everywhere else in the world. The films were more raw, visceral, more real, less gloss. I was intrigued with this ‘uncomfortableness’ —not a word, I know, but I wouldn’t quite use ‘discomfort’ to describe it.” Kalista had always found identity fluid and elusive, but as an actress she could finally center herself on that principle. Even if who you are and where you are constantly change, you can be home in your abilities. That’s what life on the go had been preparing her for, and that’s what she uses to advantage in her extraordinary performances time after time. In work, Tazlin is all about the individual’s journey. She’s drawn to characters who fight to overcome the most extreme odds. Taking on the principal role of a transgender girl in Date Night, a new work from award-winning playwright Jonathan Galvez, she not only brought audiences to tears but also found an unexpected kinship with that community’s struggles. And playing the pivotal role of the tragic Lark Ohta in the Discovery Channel series A Crime to Remember, Kalista confronted her greatest fears. Embodying the character of a boarding school student who returns home to find her whole family murdered (based on a true story), Kalista admits, “Playing Lark was one of the most emotionally challenging moments in my career. It was my biggest fear coming true. I was living alone in a foreign country; I see my parents four times a year, max. I always feared my family dying without me. When you’re away from home since youth, this fear remains and it informs my acting a lot.”

photo by Lisa Hancock

“The only thing I wanted to bring with me was my cello,” Kalista remembers. “I had a screaming fit with my mother and wanted to stay if he couldn’t come with us. That cello was my life, my home. It was painful. He should’ve been more portable.” HOME • SPRING 2017 | 65


Kalista harnesses that seize-the-day energy to brilliant effect in a variety of roles. From the fiery villains Petera Stuyvesant (Swordfight Christmas by award-winning playwright Michael Hagins) and Cat Yudain (the acclaimed audio drama Radio Room), to the fragile yet terrifying heroine in Agnes of God, to her magnificent reinterpretation of Juliet, she always steals the show with her zest for life. Her upcoming film Snap, from Tribeca award-winning director Yi Liu, gives Tazlin yet another opportunity to capture hearts. Kalista plays the lead character’s unattainable love interest, who emphatically snubs his advances. She describes the movie – a supernatural comedy with shades of Jerry Zucker’s 1990 classic Ghost—as “a film about taking advantage of a dire situation. This guy who just got friendzoned, well, his camera goes Doolally and starts to suck in the souls of those photographed by it. It’s probably one of the best scripts I’ve read. It’s intriguing and the underlying themes subtly tacked on really made me think about how gruesome humans can be under certain circumstances.” No stranger to the supernatural genre, Kalista’s ventured into directing with the film In the Cards, in which she also stars. A horror parody about a girl who visits a psychic and ends up unleashing an evil spirit that changes their lives forever, In the Cards “originally was to be a serious film, but I experimented with it instead. I took the worst takes,

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changed the music, added a subtitle—A Very Dramatic Film—et voila, it became a tragically funny little film.” Thanks to Tazlin’s brilliant ideas, the movie has been a great success, applauded by such figures as Oscar winner Estelle Parsons, Cannes Young Lions winner Conor Byrne, and iconic award-winning musician Alan Doyle. Currently on the festival circuit, In the Cards premiered at the inaugural Third Eye Film Festival (which celebrates female-driven works of fantasy and horror), and will screen at its second series in New Orleans on May 28th. How has Tazlin’s life of assuming new identities and ever-shifting sense of home influenced her performances? “I have been traveling since I was five. Every time I visit a new place, I watch the way people behave; I learn to assimilate their habits and their ways. This was something I did even as a child. It’s a chance to be someone else and I quickly learned how to take in these differences. This act of becoming is so familiar to me. Every time I get a script, a person to study, I travel into their world. I’m meticulously creating this character for me to live in—it has ultimately become my constantly changing, transient but eternal home.” And as Kalista Tazlin’s amazing nomadic journey makes clear, you’re never far from home if you carry it in every fiber of your being. Curiosity killed the cat—but it will always be the artist’s favorite refuge.

photo by Francis Lan


Defending home: U. S. Veterans Speak

John Horrall Pararescue medic. Active duty member of the 147th medical group (A National Guard unit) 1979-1983 What is your definition of home? Is it a feeling, a house, a place, or something else? Home was a place to get away from, I grew up in a small town on the edge of Houston. I had a difficult family situation, my friends were great, but not really interested in reading or discussing the issues of the world, large and small. I dropped out of high school. I didn’t seem to fit in very well with any of the groups. The military offered me a way out. My First Sergeant made me get my G.E.D. I will always be grateful for that. Did your sense of home and coming home change before and after combat? I was never in combat, thank the gods, I did search and rescue in the Arctic. It got hairy a couple of times, but no people were trying to kill me (and I am forever thankful I never had to try and kill anyone), nature was trying hard enough. Why do or did you feel you should defend home? I feel that what we have needs defending, unfortunately most of what the military is asked to do in these times is the projection of U.S. policy and power. Despite my disagreements with United States policy over the last several decades, I feel our Republic and its citizens need protection. I have been a paramedic for 30 plus years, I certainly didn’t do it to become rich. My grandfather and father instilled in me the words: “If not me, then who?” HOME • SPRING 2017 | 67


Do you still feel you should defend home? Yes. Part of it is simply pragmatic, everyone and everything I love is here. Part of it is service to a country that has given me so much. I’m an old white guy, so I realize I was born on third base. What was your experience of other people’s homes in other countries that you served in? My experience was overwhelmingly positive, even with various language barriers I was treated very kindly and respectfully. I was always conscious of being an outsider, but I found a warm smile and an honest attempt at understanding was usually very well received. Has the current political climate and/or administration changed your feeling of home? If so, would you say for better or for worse? The current administration is a betrayal of everything I have stood for my entire life. The raw, undiluted hatred of my fellow citizens by the administration comes close to making me despair. I will only add that I swore on oath to defend the constitution from ALL enemies foreign and domestic. I was never released from that vow.


Vietnam Veterans Day Parade, photos by Sam C. Long

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Geoff Hughes A retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer (serving from 1982-2003) What is your definition of home? Is it a feeling, a house, a place? Home is a sense of belonging and refuge. It is a place where you feel accepted, are accepting of others, and is a place to rest and recover from life’s physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. Did your sense of home and coming home change before and after combat? Not really. Having someone to come home to makes it worthwhile. That never changes. Why do or did you feel you should defend home? The idea of home is an abstraction. A house or other physical space in which we choose to live is just a space unless it is imbued with the emotions and memories that actually make it a home. When one defends home, they defend the idea of home, as well as the place. Do you still feel you should defend home? Absolutely. Even though I’ve been retired from the military for 14 years that sense of duty and commitment never goes away. If I were to be recalled to active duty (rare, but not unheard of) I would gladly put on my pack, grab my aid bag, shoulder my rifle, and step off. What was your experience of other people’s homes in the countries that you fought in? There seems to be a universal constant that this idea is worth defending and the loss of home can be one of the most traumatic experience a person or people can go through. Has the current political climate and/or administration changed your feeling of home? If so, would you say for better or for worse? Small-minded authoritarian demagogues don’t scare me; history is not on their side. The current administration cannot change my idea of home, only strengthen my resolve to defend the ideas that make it precious.

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Ready to Roll: Books in Progress x It’s typical enough to buy a book from Amazon or other online retailers these days. It’s still a pleasure to find a book in a store, or even left in the laundry room by a neighbor. But how many books do we get to peek into as they’re being written, and are still manuscripts in development, or being pitched by a literary agent—or freshly launched by a publisher? “Books in Progress” will deliver just that: excerpts from under-the-radar books that pertain to our issue’s theme. They may come from a mainstream or indie press, from a literary agent, or from the author him or herself. The following excerpts, from forthcoming and hopefully forthcoming books, express different aspects of HOME: moods, mess, memories, mortgages. Our first excerpt is from a memoir that is being agented. Our second two excerpts come from my own indie press, Heliotrope Books. Our fourth excerpt is still being written. In addition, HONEYSUCKLE is serializing parts of a crime novel that is set in New York City called Nemesis, and we include the first pages of it for your entertainment. If you’re particularly drawn to an author, watch for his or her book to be published, or acquired soon by a good press. —Naomi Rosenblatt

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from House with Round Windows a memoir by Richard Snodgrass

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with photos by Richard Snodgrass


My Rollei single-lens reflex is sitting on its tripod by the steps to the third floor, waiting for me. I wander up and down the hall, looking for images that I think relate to my brother’s poetry, the poems he wrote about the family, my mother, and the house. The hallway is certainly dark enough to suit my brother’s point of view. It has been that way since I was thirteen years old and was given the task of refinishing the oak woodwork and redwood wainscoting, which I chose to do with dark mahogany varnish. High-gloss varnish at that—I recall proudly picking it out at Davidson’s hardware store. The once beautiful woodwork came out almost black, shiny enough to reflect your face. I find it more than a little uncomfortable now, trying to blame the family, blame my mother, for living in such darkness, condemning them for ruining the beauty of the house, when I was responsible for part of it. Except for the little light that spills in from the side rooms, most of the illumination in the hall comes from the stained-glass window at the top of the second-floor stairs. When the sun hits it in the late afternoon, the window glows green and yellow and blue—a peaceful valley at sunset with stylized evergreens in the foreground and the towers of a distant castle across a winding river. But most of the day the window is dull and lifeless and the hallway as somber as a chapel. The two electric lights on either side of the window, knights holding spears topped with lamp shades, are almost always turned on. As I think about it, it seems that a good part of my life as a boy growing up in the house was centered around this upstairs hall. Whenever the family left the house, or I knew they were safely occupied downstairs, I prowled this corridor, wandering from room to room, opening dresser drawers and closets, lying on the various beds, trying to find some clue to the secrets that everyone seemed to be keeping from me. It isn’t all that different these days, I decide, except that now I prowl the hallway with a camera. I sit down on the steps to the third floor. It was in this hall, sitting on these steps, where I used to peek through the balusters for glimpses of my sisters naked. A few years later, I sat on these same steps listening to the dragging footsteps overhead, Vic Damone singing “Vagabond Shoes” as my sisters pushed each other around, practicing the steps they learned at the Arthur Murray dance studio. It was in this hallway that Jean Brown, my sister Barbara’s best friend, ran up and down in the middle of the night dressed only in her nightgown, shouting “The war is over! The war is over!” and scaring us all half to death. Later that same night, Barbara took me outside to see my first dawn; we sat together on the front steps watching the orange street sweeper do its crazy pirouettes along the curb. And this hallway was the province of the Baldy-Sturber. After Father was thwarted in his attempt to name me Quinton—Quinton Snodgrass, definitely a name to reckon with—he always had trouble calling me by my given name. His most popular variation was Ditty-Witty—I’m afraid to think why. He did not give up on it easily; his final words to me on the phone as he lay on his deathbed were “Good-bye, Ditty.” I am told that Baldy-Sturber derived from “Bald Disturber,” because when I was two or so I was blond enough to appear bald—that and I had a predilection for running around naked through the upstairs hallway after my bath. I grew up hearing of my exploits hiding bobby pins and hairbrushes, buttons and cufflinks, while Mother chased me around trying to capture me in a towel. I don’t remember any of that, of course, but I like to think it was true.

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I stand at the camera and try to frame a couple of images—a pile of laundry about to engulf a doorway, a closet full of useless clothes. On a small table is a lamp made from a model of a covered wagon along with several grimy water glasses, a bow from a little girl’s hair, and a ceramic ashtray shaped like the face of a beagle that holds several dozen thumbtacks. But the images don’t work, and the problems aren’t just graphic. The voice is my brother’s, not my own. There is craziness in the house, all right—this is definitely not your average house. But over the years I have spent photographing it, it is the other images I discovered on my proof sheets, images that aren’t of condemnation or blame, that disturb me the most. These are the ones that speak in my voice.

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from Bankruptcy: A Love Story a memoir by Janet Lombardi A few days later as I sat at my desk writing and gazing at the neighbor’s maple tree, Josh asked whether I had read the mortgage application. I shook my head. “You know, there’s not a lotta time to spare here,” he declared, circling the doorway. “We need to refinance, otherwise everything’s coming to a halt.” The “t” in the word “halt” panged me. I was confused and afraid to say no to his request. “Why only my name on it?” “I told you. You got the better credit score and Hector says we’ll get a better rate.” “What about you. Why are you off the hook?” “I’m not. I told you.” He said, “I told you” each time with increasing irritation, like we were struggling, rung after rung, up a ladder and my questions slowed our ascent. I wanted to give him what he was asking for. After all, I could never repay him for his indulgence of my indiscretions. “I’m responsible too,” he said, like it was common knowledge. “Gonna put my initials everywhere you sign. I told you.” “And what about the amount? How much are we taking out?” “We need four forty.” “Four-hundred and forty thousand dollars?” I was wide-eyed. We had a $140,000 mortgage and our house has been appraised for $650,000. We did well, having bought our home for $200,000 ten years before. It had tripled in value. He looked at me, unapologetic. “We have no choice.” “Oh, but we always have a choice. Isn’t that what you’ve been telling me?” “I got these creditors on my back. And I don’t think you wanna declare bankruptcy, right?” “That’s an awful lot of money,” I answered. “Let’s just do this and get it over with.” The next night, I read on the Internet about these new mortgages: subprime mortgage products they were called. Seemed like banks were making lots of these loans in 2005. Banks would let you pay “interest only” or a reduced payment for a certain number of years before the payments increased. I read about flexible payment choices and how banks were no longer only offering rigid standard mortgages like they did in my parents’ day. A lot more on the carousel than the thirty-year fixed. The banks and mortgage companies understand us! They get us; they understand we need to be flexible with our payments.

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In the articles, I gleaned how anyone thinking about signing on to these mortgage “products” needed to exercise caution, but I didn’t believe their warnings were directed to me because Josh and I were educated. Josh was a lawyer who knew about contracts and real estate and would never let something bad happen. Even if he was angry about Claire and me, he loved me terribly and would protect me, no matter what. “I’d cut off my arm for you,” he had said. I’d come to rely on his trust, one that had been cemented early in our relationship… The next day I called our Employee Assistance hotline at work to get a free consultation with a lawyer about the mortgage. “I wouldn’t sign it if I were you,” he told me, his thick New York accent diminishing his credibility. But I knew I was going to sign the mortgage. In fact it was never in question. This was something Josh and I were approaching together, in a barrel towards a waterfall.

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from Half Crazy a novel by Dara Lebrun “Why,” she then asked,

in that maternal tone Jordan remembered from their days together, “do you have all that junk on your terrace?” Glancing east with her, Jordan noticed the file cabinets had rusted over the months they had been out there, and the cartons of books looked soggy and jaundiced. “You’ve got a great view,” Molly continued. “Southeastern light. This could be a really nice place.” Turning back to the room, she appraised the throng of amps, mikes and dollies, instrument cases, the mountains of newspapers that Summer intended to read one day, the dirty plates, crumpled take-out tins streaked with sauce, stray and muddy socks. “You never were one for housekeeping,” she concluded, “but you’ve hit a new low.” “You know me. Every time I try to get organized, monkeys fly out of my butt.” Molly smirked and he felt wistful and relaxed, just looking at her in an apple-green blouse that echoed her hazel eyes. By appealing contrast, her cheeks were flushed pink from days in the sun, her little nose peeling. “Truth is, we’re both really stressed,” he explained, his eyes still enjoying the palette of Molly’s presence. “Summer’s a waitress four days a week, she sings a little, I run around gigging, giving lessons—when I’m home I want to chill, not put myself to work.” Molly strolled through the living room. “Maybe,” she remarked, “you could build a wall unit.” She pointed to the wall across from the long window over the sofa. “Store all the amps and equipment at floor level, and install your speakers in the shelves. You’d still have room for books. And think of the floor space…” “Jesus, I don’t need your Feng Shui,” he barked. “I was just fucking beaten up.” Molly looked at him and bit her lip. “I know, Jordan. But we’re beyond Feng Shui. Your apartment is a health hazard.”

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You’re away at work or on vacation. You locked the door. Do you really think your place stays empty?

from Empty Houses a novel-in-progress by Clem Paulsen

The back door sticks. At last it swings open. The house extends beyond. In its rooms and halls and closets, the house and its contents lie silent and heavy, its inventory of furnishings a distillation of time. Coats hang motionless on hangers. Pictures balance, perilous on frames. Trip-hazards lurk under rugs and runners. Light switches: off ones on, the on ones off. And under its foundations, firm on its lot, all things lucky and blessed. I have entered the kitchen. If houses are machines for living, kitchens are the engines. Rooms of marvels. Drawers: spinning drawers, drawers of tools, drawers of drawers. Mirrored lemon squeezers. Potent garlic presses. Task lighting. Mood lighting.Lights hidden in the chambers of ovens: conventional, convection, microwave, toaster. Clocks and dials, fireflies in the dusk. Breakfast table. Lazy Susan. Condiments: relics in vessels. Auspicious humming. Operation cleared for launch. Magnets on the refrigerator door, that modern version of church records. Christmas cards, announcements, weddings, births. Vacations of posed cousins and their action shots. Sink, the ground zero. Don’t mess with its silver handles. Dishrags ironed into pleats. Sponges: soapy blue, rinsing pink. Glowing grain in its stainless well. Never wet. Nor even moist. Granite counters, placid as lakes. Ranks of crockery in glass garages. Pots and pans hover from the ceiling like enormous bats. Blackened knives, mathematical and cruel, bear down on their points.

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I go to wash my hands. Powder room. Though the whole house is empty, out of long of habit I flip the massive bolt behind me. They’re prissy little stalls, powder rooms. Gauzy as love scenes. Huge mirrors study our offhand nudity. Pants down and dresses up. The last square of the toilet paper creased into diagonasl at its last perforation. Everything in careful pairs. Towels, one set for decoration (lavender), a second for hygiene (paper). Soap, one unused, French, in a scalloped dish (for guests), plastic pump-top (for washing actual hands). Sandalwood miscellany of fragrant shavings and jasmine petals (on a shelf); Febreze aerosol (under the washstand). On the walls, mezzotints of Paris and meadow flowers set the mood. I flush. What a contrived piece of theater is a toilet commode. It roars. What fanfare heard all through the house, a bell in the square. I touch up triangle fold on the roll and open the door. I unlatch. Which is the appropriate towel? I’m neither guest nor household. So I wipe my hands on my pants. Finally, my destination. The sofa. Where all difficulty ends. Forgiveness. Accommodation. I lay my length among its pillows. A figure on a tomb. Hands crossed across my heart. Pulse races at speed. You’re never alone on a sofa. A residual haunting of all the thighs and dress pants. I pause. I reflect. I allow the miracle to overcome me.

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1.

NEMESIS

Chapter One

“Police station?” “You must come immediately,” Elliot Barrett II implored his lawyer and best friend. “What in the hell are you doing in a police station?” Ted Lapoltsky asked loudly. “Can’t talk out here.” “Just tell me if you are in some kind of trouble.” “I think it’s some kind of mix up.” “Elliot, listen to me. Do not say anything to the police without me being present. It’s very important.” “Just hurry up!” Elliot urged impatiently. “I’ll be there in thirty minutes, you know how Manhattan traffic is. And remember, not a word to anyone.” After getting off the phone, Elliot found himself handcuffed again by a police officer and led through long, iron-gated corridors to a small cell with a bunk bed in the corner. There were no windows and bright fluorescent lights revealed walls full of scratches and scribbles etched onto the dirty gray surface by its previous inhabitants. Elliot’s throat was dry and he felt a twisting pain in his stomach. He looked frequently at his watch, as if that would bring Ted faster. His mind raced as he tried to figure out what to tell him. He must sound convincing, he knew, to himself and to everyone else. He could not afford to ruin his life and reputation as a senior doctor on staff at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He would not be able to face Ruth, his wife, and his two children. He didn’t want to compromise his father and mother’s status in the high society of Boston. He decided he was going to deny any involvement with Suyin Li, the woman he was accused of murdering, beyond his doctor-patient relationship. Ted looked at the clock. It was 5:22 P.M. He left his desk in a hurry, told Melissa, his 80 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE

secretary, to cancel all his commitments for the next day and headed down the elevator, not paying any attention to her request for more clarification. “What a coincidence,” he thought. “The mouse is in the cage. Who can believe what is happening? I must stay cool and take advantage of the situation. I can’t afford to make any mistakes.” Waiting to catch a taxi, Ted looked at the sky and worried about the threatening dark clouds that might flood the city with rain at any moment and snag traffic even more miserably in the crowded Manhattan streets. He hailed a cab and offered the driver an extra ten dollars to get him downtown as fast as possible. He had found out long ago that money was always an easy way to get what he wanted. Ted rushed through the imposing entry to the police station, through the loud and crowded hallway and headed straight to the station desk. It took a few seconds for the officer in charge to bring up Elliot’s record on the computer screen and tell him to wait in a small, private room. When Elliot entered he seemed agonized, his eyes lowered. The officer who had escorted him removed his handcuffs. Elliot shook Ted’s hand, seeming a little relieved by his presence and fast arrival. He waited until the policeman sat down in the far corner. “I don’t quite understand what is happening,” he said. Did you say anything to the police?” Ted asked urgently. “No, you said not to talk—but I have nothing to hide,” he said as he nervously rubbed his right eye. “So what in the hell do they want from you? Is it something to do with taxes? No, that can’t be.”


David Pinto “They said I murdered a woman.” “Murder?” Ted shouted, then lowered his voice when he remembered the cop seated in the corner. “What in the hell are you talking about? A mistake with one of your patient’s in the operating room?” Ted tried to create surprise in his voice. “No, not a patient. They said I killed a woman named Suyin Li. She was the daughter of one of my patients.” “Killed a woman? Had you been seeing her?” Ted asked, hearing himself think that he should control his emotions. He wasn’t supposed to know anything yet. “No, no. I told you Suyin Li was the daughter of my patient. I only knew her because of her mother, Wen Li. ‘You son of a gun,’ Ted was thinking. ‘I knew you had being seeing her romantically.’ He hesitated, taking time to think of what to say next. “You mean no…” “The police say they have strong evidence that I murdered her,” Elliot said desperately. “They think we were lovers. We weren’t.” Ted lowered his voice, looking on both sides of him. “You know, Elliot, I have been a criminal defense attorney for a long time. I always tell my clients not to tell me the truth and I manage to get most of them off. But with you I want to hear the truth so I can construct any scenario possible to get you out of this mess. I will never let them...” “What do you mean?” Elliot asked. “I don’t want you to do anything that isn’t ethical. I don’t want you to get in trouble.” Elliot realized he actually liked the idea that Ted was willing to risk everything for him. “Never mind that. All that’s important now is to get you out of here.”

“I am telling you the truth, Ted. You must believe me; I had nothing to do with any of this.” “OK. OK, of course I believe you. In a little while I’ll see what the police have got on you. First tell me about the woman.” “I don’t know…” Elliot had to think fast to construct an innocent story that would not imply any romantic connection. He knew that soon the evidence would be revealed to Ted and he needed to think quickly, but at this point he decided to say the least possible. “This Suyin Li … a beautiful woman… a few months ago, she came to my clinic with her mother. I successfully removed a cancerous tumor from her mother’s stomach. Of all people… I can’t believe I got myself into this mess,” Elliot said as if getting angry at himself. “Anyway, at first she started coming to my office more frequently, only talking about her mother’s prognosis but slowly it developed on a more personal level. To tell you the truth, I found myself growing attracted to her and enjoyed knowing her, but that’s all there was. Oh, yes…,” he added, as if he just remembered, moving uncomfortably in his seat. “I did go to her home a few times to visit her mother.” Ted tried hard not to show his emotions and did not say anything. He felt anger mix with satisfaction seeing Elliot struggling to cover his lies. ‘You mother fucker,’ he thought. ‘Do not feed me lies. I know you have been seeing her romantically. All this time you have being preaching to me about my promiscuous life style. And now look at your pathetic lies, your pretentious innocent face. If I didn’t know better I would be tempted to believe you.’

N E M E S I S will be serialized in the next issues of Honeysuckle, and online.

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On The Lookout: Emerging Brands

HOME ISSUE Spotlight: Jenny Wong-Stanley, Art of Plants

Emerging brands and indie designers are rising to the top with the industrial revolution of fashion and home design. Consumers, formerly the industry puppets, have now become the puppeteers—now dictating trends instead of following them. And the consumers and newly appointed puppeteers say: Dance, puppets…dance! We are slaves no more to celebrity style and homogenous branding. Now is a groundbreaking time when the true artists of home design and independent fashion brands are coalescing in a community-like fashion (excuse the pun)…extricating consumers from bondage after decades of being told what to buy and wear and put in their homes. For Jenny Wong-Stanley—who earned an array of degrees in fields like ecology and biology—It started with a lobster pot and a lot of wooden rulers. A lot. When an article about wood bending piqued her curiosity at a young age, Wong-Stanley thought to herself, “I wanna try!” Heaving a lobster pot onto the stove, she held wooden ruler after wooden ruler over the steam. Defeated and surrounded by broken rulers, she decided she needed more information to succeed. But the seed had been planted (literally). Since then, using her knowledge of science to calculate the temperature at which each type of wood can bend without breaking—and incorporating her passion for horticulture—Art of Plants was born: Air plant sculptures in which wood is bent into knots that serve as a home for greenery. And while she continues to produce the air plant sculptures, her true love lies in sculpting fixtures and customized sculptures for homes, restaurants, offices, parks, and other larger scale projects that allow her the freedom to create grander compositions. Most notably, she’s completed projects such as a 65-foot white oak, hand-painted, and pyrographed fixture created for 16 Handles in Williamsburg and was a chosen designer to create a router sleeve for Google Hub. Purchase her airplane sculptures at artofplants.com, or if you wish to inquire about wholesale inquiries or a custom fixture, contact Adrie Mendonez at adrie@froufrouly.com. 82 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE


Two married men. One murdered woman.

COMING 2018

H

Heliotrope HOME •Books SPRING 2017 | 83


Feature

Has The Rialto Report become a home for those in the Adult industry, its memories, its past and to some of those still active in it? The early pioneers of the adult film industry have been neglected or, worse, misunderstood by history. They have had no natural home. Their personal stories have been co-opted by self-important academics (whose principal talent has been to suck all life out of them), or the mainstream media (who seek narratives of tragedy and abuse), or the sex media (whose sole mission is to sell more product by titillation), or well-meaning fans (who believe that every film is an undiscovered classic). We started The Rialto Report to give a voice back to the original pioneers, the cowboys of the industry back when it was the Wild West. We were interested in the people behind the pouting porno profiles. We just wanted to ask the obvious questions: Why did you do it? What was it like? And what effect has it had on the rest of your life? The reaction we got was surprising. Not only were we welcomed by the porn performers who have remained in the limelight over the years, but many of those who had hidden away for decades start to come forward. They all wanted the same outcome: for their stories to be told in their own words. The fact that most of the people we speak to are now in the autumn of their lives adds a huge amount of poignancy, pathos and value to their perspectives. Many of them are parents, grandparents even, present day pillars of the community (and one nameless person who is the local chairman of Republican Party). This hindsight has not been captured in this manner before. The Rialto Report has become a virtual home for many people who were formerly in the adult film industry to visit, get in touch with old friends, and relive their memories from when they were responsible for kick-starting an entire industry. 84 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE


Is there an actual home base to those in the adult industry where most of them do feel at home, or a sense of home... The adult film industry has rarely had a very centralized home area. It would run counter to its self-interest. It would attract too much attention from law enforcement, local residents, or curious onlookers, so it’s always thrived on being a secret and dispersed business. In the U.S. the main hub for pornographic films originated in San Francisco in the late 1960s, before moving to New York in the early 1970s. In the 1980s, the industry started to consolidate in Los Angeles even though it was illegal to shoot there until the late 80s. As soon as the laws changed, the nation’s porn home became San Fernando Valley, just 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The attraction to the area was simple: a combination of good weather, low rents, and access to a pipeline of talent from Hollywood (which included directors, crew, and actors when they needed a little side income). With its countless warehouses and private homes, the area raked in $4 billion in annual sales in its 1990s heyday. Performers moved to the Valley and, for a while, many called it home. A good number lived with each other in a hermetically-sealed environment, sharing experiences (good, bad, and shocking), and protecting themselves from the judgmental eyes of the outside world. For a time it was more of a home than the industry had ever had. But nothing lasts forever, and in 2012, Los Angeles County approved a ballot measure that required adult actors to wear condoms on-camera - causing a mass exodus from San Fernando Valley. The number of adult video permits filed in the county sunk 90% that year, and many employees fled to Las Vegas, Nevada, where a restriction was yet to be passed. But in truth, the concept of home for the adult industry had already become almost non-existent in recent years. Many performers fly in to film a scene, before departing back to the mid-West on a return plane the following day. In an increasingly globalized world, ‘home’ for adult film workers is increasingly online.

photos by James Hamilton

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What kind of community within the adult industry provides a home to its participants. Are there mentors, friends who become like family...I imagine they feel like outsiders to any within the mainstream of society, so do they actually feel at home with other industry insiders? Today the adult film community is largely a virtual, social media-driven space, and this has democratized the nature of interaction. This is true for all eras of sex film workers, from the older, retired performers to the young, fresh talent breaking into the industry. No longer does a fan know nothing about their favorite fuck film star (as was the case in the 1970s). Now they follow their day-to-day activities on Twitter, admire their cat photos on Instagram, see their political preferences on Facebook, and, if they’re lucky, pay for a private cam session with their phone. With this degree of instant accessibility (not to mention historically unprecedented amounts of free porn content), it’s no wonder that many conventions featuring ‘special personal appearances’ from stars are suffering from greatly reduced attendance numbers. Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free? So if the modern day community lacks old-school, real human contact, how and where are the performers supposed to feel at home? In recent years, many industry veterans who had acted as mentors to the younger generations have passed on—from Bill Margold (founder of the PAW Foundation, a charity for the welfare of pornography industry performers) to Candida Royalle (one of the first female director/distributors), and the industry is distinctly poorer as a result. Margold worked tirelessly to create a home for new performers by connecting them to established veterans so that lessons could be learned: as he often said, “There is no future, if in the present, we fail to pay homage to the past.”

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How has New York acted as home to the Adult industry during the Golden years of Porn and does it still act as home? In the early days, the industry was split between the West Coast and the East Coast—and they produced very different pornographic films. Only a handful of actors appeared on both sides of the country—guys like Eric Edwards, John Leslie and Jamie Gillis, who all started their careers in New York before moving to California. The Rialto Report once asked Jamie Gillis whether he preferred to work in New York or Los Angeles. He said that in New York you normally have a sex scene shot in a basement, on a dirty mattress, with a skuzzy, tough-looking girl. Whereas in LA, you’re probably in a Jacuzzi, outdoors, with the sun shining, and a girl who looks like a supermodel. So, he said, it was a no-brainer: New York was much more fun. In the 1970s, gritty mainstream films like Taxi Driver and The French Connection were set in New York—and they were seedy and nasty and sleazy. The New York porn of that era was similar. It was much more interesting than anything being produced elsewhere. The watershed moment was the release of ‘Deep Throat’ in June 1972. It was a huge success and created the ‘porno chic’ phenomenon—which meant that for the first time ever, it was socially acceptable to actually go see a porn film. And take your girlfriend or wife too. It wasn’t a great film—but it had an imaginative gimmick in that its star, Linda Lovelace, discovers her clitoris is in the back of her throat. At this time no one really knew what was legal. There were all kinds of obscenity rulings, but no one could actually decide what obscenity actually meant. There was a real chance you could be arrested and face jail time for just acting in a film. In the end it came down to ‘local community standards’ – which meant that you could show a movie in big coastal cities, but you couldn’t show the same film in Alabama. It was the filmmakers in New York that just kept pushing the envelope – one pubic hair at a time. The adult industry moved West long ago, and now there is hardly a trace of the golden age of porn in the Big Apple. www.therialtoreport.com HOME • SPRING 2017 | 87


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The Tarot Lady June 2017 tarot card for Honeysuckle Seven of Cups • June may find you with your head in the clouds, dreaming of faraway spaces and magical places. While it’s lovely to dream of the possibilities, it’s important to remain with both feet planted on the earth. Your dreams can become your reality now but first you must ground + center. When you are operating from a firmly rooted place, you will find the way to manifest all of your bigger vision goals. There may be times this month where the options feel overwhelming. Don’t let that deter you or scatter you. Instead, take a deep breath and trust that you’ll see which path is best. One thing to keep in mind: this is NOT the month to be impulsive. No matter how glittery something or someone may be, do not rush to make a decision. Take your time to look at what is underneath the hood before saying yes. Gather information so that you can be move from an informed mindset. The more you know, the more likely you’ll be satisfied with your choice.

Theresa Reed (aka “The Tarot Lady”) has been a full-time Tarot card reader for close to 30 years. She is the author of The Tarot Coloring Book, an illustrated tour through the world of Tarot with coloring sheets for every card in the deck. Learn more about her at: thetarotlady.com

Crown: Kova by Sascha, Photo: Tyler Nevitt

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Ask Our ASTROLOGER

“Dear Rebel” Photographer: Tyler Nevitt Producer: Ryan Morris Model: Hazel Gray Stylist: Nicha Jones Makeup: Azra Red using Chanel Beauty Hair: Shane Thomas Headpieces: Kova by Sascha

Dear Rebel, I seem to get into the same situation about every six months: I start looking for other job opportunities in Colorado, where I live, or even in other states. This time I’ve got possible offers from companies in Kansas City, Missouri and St. Petersburg, Florida. Last June I turned down a job offer from a company in Colorado, and I turned down a second offer from them in September. Instead, I opted for a raise from my current employer. But I sold my house back in Decem90 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE ber of 2015 with the idea of getting out of

Colorado after the oneyear waiting period required by law. So I’ve been free to leave since December 2016. Part of why I bailed on those job offers last year was this voice inside of me that said, “I want to get away. Escape.” But a downside of leaving Colorado is that I’m in a rock band (though not professionally), and if I leave, I have to start over in the music scene wherever I go next. Playing music is my passion; the day job would be the same as the one I have now. So I’m wondering if I should leave Colorado, or ignore this little voice and stay here to “conquer where placed.” Or are there really greener pastures on the beaches of Florida or in the nightlife of Kansas City? Also, Florida offers a possible rekindling of a love interest from my past. Kansas City would be closer to my father, whose health is faltering (although he does have his wife to take care of him.) Please help me decide what I should do. -ZenFury


Dear ZenFury, It sounded to me, before I even looked at your chart, like you were itching to leave Colorado. And now that I’ve seen your transits and progressions, it’s very clear that you’re looking for a change. You’re full of initiative, you’re ready for new scenery, and as an added bonus other people are very aware of your accomplishments in your career. Your stock is up, so it’s a great time to cash in. I can see that you’ve taken a long time to make this decision, so you’re wary of being impulsive. Some caution is advisable. But you do need to satisfy your desire for a new adventure somehow. So let’s pull some relocation charts and see what a move might bring you. Places have personalities too. We all become slightly different people when we’re interacting with different cities. Kansas City is your birthplace, so your chart there is the same as your natal chart. Going home after being away, depending on how you feel about home, can be like slipping into a comfortable old pair of jeans or like trying to fit into an old suit that’s too tight. You will be yourself at home, or at least you will meet the self that people remember from when you were younger and reconcile that memory with your life experiences. What Colorado has offered you is a little more emphasis on the Pisces portion of your chart. Colorado is where you became known as a musician, and you may have even done some songwriting there. You also opened yourself up to spiritual experiences, and developed your identity through your relationships with others. Life in this state offered you a lot of space for seeking knowledge. In Kansas City, you are likely to be more asser-

tive, driven, and work-oriented. There would be some attention to health, perhaps your own and/or your father’s. A focus on your talents could bring you more money there. In St. Petersburg, Florida, there will certainly be more of a focus on relationships. Whether you will rekindle a relationship with your past love I can’t say, but you will pour a lot of attention into your significant relationships if you go to Florida. You also have the potential to find an audience for your creative work there. You will approach things more assertively than you might have in Colorado, and again, your talents could increase your income. You will be interested in health and/or spirituality in this state, too. Ultimately, this is a decision that has to come from the heart. Your Libra sun and moon would like to weigh your decisions forever, considering all possible outcomes before making the most rational possible choice. If you continue to consult the Libra scales in this way, you’ll still be in Colorado a year from now, asking yourself the same questions. There will always be a choice you could have made, a parallel universe where you’re living a different life in Denver or Kansas City or St. Petersburg. That’s just the nature of creating a life path for yourself. Right now you need to pay attention to your gut impulses. That little voice inside of you that is asking for an escape is piping up for a reason. Where would you live if you could be certain that you would thrive there? I wish you the best of luck with your choice.

~Rebel

Brittany Goss is a Brooklyn-based writer and astrologer. Her mission with Rebel Astrology is to show people what is unique about them, to inspire them to be even more themselves, and to provide them with timing that aids them in their endeavors. Learn more about her at rebelastrology.net. HOME • SPRING 2017 | 91


The Most Magical Moments Between Us Occurred When You Were On Tour We faced months of time differences, letters scrawled on cocktail napkins affixed with foreign stamps, and debaucherous Skype sex. I learned to yearn for every part of your body. I wanted to have a party with your elbows, stare into the creases of your neck, and count every centimeter of your tattooed skin, particularly the skyline of the Venezuelan mountains that wrapped your biceps inching towards your shoulder.

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In March 2011, during a long haul with Mazzy Star. Every night with “Fade Into You” on repeat, I would sit awaiting the desired beep radiating from my computer, notifying me of your web call. You would tell me what country you were in and how much you missed me that very day. Then you would tell me to stand and take off all my clothes.

The camera trained only on my fingers awaiting your orders, binding every direction to my skin. Feeling that release as if you were there right with me. —Paige McGreevy HOME • SPRING 2017 | 93


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Photos by Ronit Pinto Model: Apryl Mueller Makeup: ChristaMara Monczka Hair: Erin Williams Location: Nate Czarling


We are Coyote Ugly NYC, and if I can describe us in one word: Unpredictable My first thought, meeting Lilliana Lovell, the founder of Coyote Ugly, tiny woman that she is, was: “What a powerhouse!” I knew that being General Manager of this “dive bar” would be a challenge. But I am extremely lucky to work with an amazing group of women that empower other women. In our ranks we have a communications major, a writer, a Ford agency model, a marketing consultant, a chef, an entertainer, a competitive fitness instructor, and those are just some of the trades of our Coyotes. As major players in the hospitality industry, we have a very talented corporate team behind us. Until you have visited this bar, you can’t get it. In a generation that size, gender, and race don’t matter—that to me is sexy. Our looks make us unique, and inside beauty makes us who we are. Women come in because they know they can let their hair down and enjoy themselves without being criticized. Each one leaves with her Coyote Ugly story. Yes, dancing on the bar is a big part of us, and we encourage our guests to do the same, without hesitation. At Coyote Ugly, it’s full expression without any taboos, every day of the week. 153 First Avenue, between East 9th and 10th Streets l 212-477-4431

Bring this card in and get BOGO HOME • SPRING 2017 | 95


The Original NYC Honky Tonk Open 7 days Noon ‘til 4am.

Doc Holliday’s 141 Ave. A @ 9th St. NYC 96 | HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE

Honeysuckle HOME Issue #4  

An issue dedication to the exploration of HOME in all of it varied aspects. From veterans to homelessness to candid photos, we invite you an...

Honeysuckle HOME Issue #4  

An issue dedication to the exploration of HOME in all of it varied aspects. From veterans to homelessness to candid photos, we invite you an...

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