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Self love, divine love, romantic and platonic love, queer and straight love, body love, hood love. This issue of Quoted is a tribute to universal love: the kind of love that makes a place like New York possible. New York is the greatest experiment in coexistence and tolerance. The entire world is represented in 302.6 square miles, over 800 languages, a variety of religions, hundreds of ethnicities, innumerable subcultures, and an infinity of dreams. Somehow, some way, we have reached an understanding: as long as we approach each other with good intentions and respect, we belong here. I personally think it’s a blessing to live in a city where love can take so many forms. In this issue, you will meet 10 wonderful New Yorkers who have generously opened their doors and their hearts to us. A Stonewall bartender who was there during the riots that started the gay rights movement. A Hasidic Jew deeply in love. A bodyconfident influencer. A newly independent trans person. An optimistic love therapist. A spirited preteen navigating adolescence. A deeply loving transformational teacher. A burlesque dancer who refuses to let anyone cage her spirit. An award-winning chef who found personal and professional freedom in the city. A hippie bank teller who is unapologetically himself. In New York, there is a tolerance for all kinds of love, a tolerance that you can’t find in many other parts of the world. That acceptance is a beautiful, integral part of the city’s soul. Be whomever you want to be, whenever you want. Love the way you want, how you want, whom you want. Every story, Quoted. Rolf Arne Leer Founder & Editor-in-Chief


Ebon 8

Anita 84

Yehuda 22

Sah 96

Chinae 36

Sweta 108

JeanCarlos Perle 50 118 Nylah 64

Quoted, New York

Tree 130


“Most of us are in New York alone, but what’s beautiful is that in New York, we are all alone together. You’ll find no other place in this world where people are more inclusive and accepting of each others’ uniqueness - and exactly that is love to me.” A New York Love Letter by @kjbrathen


Quoted, New York


He/She/They Youthfully Bubbly Transparent


Photographed by Felipe Duque / @pipeduquee Interviewed by Carly Quellman



“I grew up in North Carolina and never had anyone in my life who I looked up to and thought you’re exactly what I want to be when I grow up. Then I come to New York and it’s like I don’t stand out at all. In a good way! Whenever I see someone express themselves fully here, whether they be gay, trans, or something else, I think that’s amazing.”

“ I’ve had close friends be like, what do you mean, you’re trans? I’m trans-male-passing, which means I don’t want to transition. I know that there will be questions about my identity. At the same time, I try to make people aware that it’s not just about physical appearance. I want people to realize that they shouldn’t assume that because I don’t look a certain way that I’m not trans. People are gonna say so many things and treat you like shit, but at the same time I would rather battle it head-on than confine myself because I’m too scared to go outside.” “First, I came out to my parents that I was gay. I wouldn’t even say I came out, really. They saw me texting someone. ‘Who are you texting?’ they asked. I was 13, so they took my phone. And what a surprise, it was someone older than me, and a man. My mom and dad sat me down and basically said, you are black and you are gay, people are going to bully you, and you can’t just go around talking to older men, you have to be aware of little things like that.” “Around the age of 15 I wanted to start painting my nails; I wanted to start wearing dresses. I liked having a feminine energy. And then over time, it was just like, ‘I’m not going to say what gender I am.’ I was happy to do literally whatever I wanted and to show the world, this is who I am.” 10

“Growing up, I used to come to New York all the time. My mom was born and raised here, so when I moved out here to Brooklyn, I thought I’d know where I was going. But I was definitely not prepared. I came out here on a bus with $200 and I was like, ‘I’m gonna make this work!’ And I made it work, but New York, what I’d like to say to you is, ‘Bitch, you caught me off guard!’” “At first I lived with my family here in New York. I would dress like a male and rush out of the house, then change into women’s clothing, then change back before I got home. It became so annoying. I needed my own spot with friends. My house now is 100% trans and it’s been a party ever since.” “It really hit me when I was on the train in New York. It was fashion week, and it was the first time I wore a dress in public. Everyone was saying, ‘You look so cute!’ And people were taking pictures and this and that. After feeling so insecure for so long, to finally come out in a dress and realize, wow, that really wasn’t so hard, it almost brought me to tears.” “New York would identify as They if it was a person. Look around! There are so many different people, so many individual styles, and I love that so much! If there was another gender outside of They, New York would be that. It would be a lot.”

Quoted, New York



What neighborhood do you live in? Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn. Best thing about living there? How kind and respectful people are to each other. Favorite neighborhood? Favorite neighborhood would probably have to be Stuyvesant Heights in Brooklyn, because I spend the majority of my time there. Favorite street to stroll? Anywhere near Washington Square Park because I’m always running into people that I know. Favorite restaurant? My favorite restaurant right now is Tina’s Place located on Flushing Ave. My boyfriend and I only eat at diners and this is the most memorable.

Favorite bar? I’m not 21 yet so a bar isn’t an option. But, I will say you can catch me at Vivi Bubble Tea for the best drinks. Hidden gem? A hidden gem would be oo35mm located in Chinatown! One of my favorite skin care spots hands down. How to be(come) a New Yorker? To become a New Yorker you have to acknowledge the diversity, and let it be known that you’re open to learning from everyone. You have to be able to expand just as easily as you close yourself off, because at every corner of every avenue and boulevard, you’ll need to know what’s coming your way. Your New York soundtrack? Manicure by Lady Gaga. Visit Ebon at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/ebon


“ I really want to reiterate that I have not transitioned. I don’t have boobs, and my voice doesn’t fit my look. When people look at me, they don’t necessarily think I’m trans. I’m still learning, still experiencing. In a few years I might be a whole different bitch! Who knows. But I don’t want people to read this and think, I can’t relate, this isn’t me. You have to be aware of where you’re at in your own journey. I want people to know that there are different versions of trans. Trans is not just what you see on TV. It’s a hard journey, but I know things will fall into place. You just have to be yourself, and hopefully yourself is enough for you.”

Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York


“My mom helps me and supports me through anything. This gender identity transition, even if she doesn’t understand it, she supports it. The picture reminds me why I came to New York and keeps me motivated to move forward.”


Clockwise from Pink Pick



“Once I shave my face I’m a whole fucking woman! You don’t know how much it affects someone until you’re talking about it and going through it.”


“This is about me being black, me having an afro. I have friends who don’t know what it is, what to do with it. Like, some people have their makeup in their bag, I have my pick. Some people call it a comb, but it’s a pick. It’s cultural.”


DADDY’S GIRL T-SHIRT “There’s so much behind this shirt. It’s my way of telling you who I am, without a billion questions. I like turning heads, it’s cute! But I’m not calling anyone I know ‘Daddy’. Y’all can do that.”

“When I first moved into this household I was commissioned to take pictures of myself with that camera. I felt very vulnerable, especially about getting dressed. It definitely ties into prep of being trans. I have photos from that camera of me tucking, or putting little stickers on my body.” OLYMPUS 120


Quoted, New York


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Former Rebel Welcoming Host Romantic


Photographed by Christian Larsen / @beforemyeye



“The way dating usually works in our culture is different. Each family pays about $1,000 to a matchmaker. They have lists of single boys and girls, and they interview each one and make their profile. I got mine done, and went on a lot of dates. None of them worked out. Eventually, the way I met my wife was through family, not through those matchmaking dates.” “I was obviously a part of the Jewish community when I was a kid, but I also played with the black kids in our building. We would play ball and play in the snow together. They asked me a lot of questions, about my kippot on my head, about what we do on Shabbat, and why we dress this way. I asked these same questions to my teachers, and that was when I first understood that I got judged a lot based on the way I dress and look. Sometimes it’s in a respectful way–people are just curious–and sometimes it’s in a disgraceful way.” “When I was a kid, I would climb on the buildings that were under construction. My father taught me a lot about building and using tools, and I wanted to see these buildings inside. Now I understand how dangerous it is. I was also a very hyperactive kid. I remember one day when someone provoked me at school, and we got into a fistfight. I won, of course, and then the school kicked me out. I wasn’t a well-behaved boy back then.” “The first time I spoke to my wife was through a phone conversation. I was in New York, she was in Israel. We had a total of six phone conversations and eight face-to-face dates before we got engaged. I would say it’s not ordinary in the Hasidic community. Mostly it’s three dates and then a yes or no. We got married on July 2, 2017, and nine months later, we had a baby. The first time I proposed to her, she actually said no. We didn’t speak for two weeks, and I missed her. I knew I was in love. Finally, she called.” Quoted, New York

“I’ve asked a lot of people at what moment they knew it was love. Each one had a different answer. What I learned is that it’s not easy to express with words. You just feel something strange.” “If I want to do something romantic for my wife, I buy her ice cream, or even make it myself. I bought these nice glass cups for our anniversary. I think they’re meant for beer but they’re beautiful. I put the ice cream in those, and surprise her. Now that we have the baby, there is not really time for anything else.” “The way the Hasidic community sees drinking is that it removes your clothing. Not physically, but peeling off layers so that we can speak freely and honestly. When you drink, you reveal your essence.” “I belong to the Hasidic community called Chabad in Crown Heights. We are a closed community, but on the other hand, we are very open-minded, even radical, compared to other Hasidic communities. I have a smartphone, my wife has a smartphone. I use the Internet. But I do have Internet blockages, because it is very easy to access inappropriate searches. Besides that, the Internet is very helpful.” “Love happens in two ways: one way is marriage, and personal relationships; another way is simply to love and embrace others in an open-minded way. I don’t care if people are gay or not, as long as you don’t tell me what you do in your bedroom. Being gay is seen as inappropriate in my community, but I will not judge you. I speak to people as human beings.” 25

Q&A What neighborhood do you live in? Crown Heights. Best thing about living there? It’s the heart of the Chabad community. It’s very busy with a lot of different guests coming in every day. Favorite neighborhood? Crown Heights. Favorite street to stroll? Eastern Parkway. Why? It’s one of the best places in New York to walk up and down with wide sidewalks, the trees and the wind. It is also within walking distance to the Botanical Garden and Prospect Park which are nice additional recreation spots. Favorite restaurant? Boeuf & Bun in Crown Heights. They have the best burgers. Favorite bar? Chocolatte. It’s an espresso bar. Hidden gem? Chabad Lubavitch HQ on 770 Eastern Parkway. It is open to everyone and you can ask the local people to give you a tour of the place. How to be(come) a New Yorker? Be ready to get to know a lot of people, and to respect different lifestyles. It’s really important to have an open-minded approach with each person you meet. Visit Yehuda at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/yehuda


“ You’ve got to be tolerant of everyone if you want to live in New York. New York has taught me to have an open house. Me and my wife want to arrange a Friday night meal in our house that can be reserved by anyone. We want to see all different types of people—Jews and non-Jews—come to the Friday night meal. I want people to meet and talk.”


Clockwise from Candles


“In order to truly love and help others you need to love yourself and your second half. My wife means everything to me!”


“This contains black leather boxes and leather straps that I wear on my head and my arm during weekday morning prayer. From the day I turned 13 years old, I did not miss a single day of putting these on.”



“Once a week, my wife and kid get together on Friday night to light the candles and start a weekly holiday. We have one candlestick representing each member of the family, so for now there are three.”


TORAH “I go through this book cover to cover every year, to keep up on my knowledge. Me and my wife often study together.”

“In order to remember who I am and what I am, we keep a picture of the rebbe, our leader, in the house.” PICTURE OF THE REBBE

Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York


The Tearoom Series Designer Nick Ross on his approach to MENU’s new line of furniture

“ The Tearoom Series is imbued with “ The inspiration for the design came elegant yet strict femininity, and balances the fascinating, curving silhouette with a construction and materials selected for comfort. Pairing the luxurious feel of full upholstery with a clean silhouette rooted in geometric forms, the Tearoom Series is as appealing to the touch as it is easy on the eyes.”


from Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Willow Chair, created for the Willow Tearooms in Glasgow in 1904. A personal favourite of mine and national icon in Scotland. Even so, I still felt there was scope for taking Mackintosh’s original vision and transforming it into something new, and better suited to the time we live in.“

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“ I think the sculptural aspects of this sofa make it very appealing. It sits somewhere in the middle between pure a sculptural expression and a function utilitarian object which is very universal in its form and function.”

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Since 1978, MENU has harnessed the skills of top designers and craftspeople to create contemporary design that is clean, clever and natural. Today, the MENU collection of furniture, lighting, and accessories features work by contemporary talents, as well as Scandinavian masters. Powered by this creative force, MENU has evolved into a globally recognized leader in the design and lifestyle space. 35

Body Confident Entrepreneurial Influencer Aspiring Millennial Oprah


Photographed by Paula Andrea / @soft_when_ripe


“I wanted to move to New York since I was eight years old. I saw Home Alone 2, and it turns out that the only thing that was truly accurate was the pigeon lady. She exists. Moving here, I was real scrappy. I lived with a 65-year-old man for two and a half years. I look back at that now, and I’m like, what the hell was I doing? I would eat a six-inch Subway sandwich every night in my bed, and still think, New York’s great!” @chinaealexander

“ If you ask me how do I live in New York, I create structures and routines, and find places to go, so that I become a local. You need these touch points in your day that feel familiar and consistent. I remember when I forgot my wallet at the deli years back, and the deli guy said, ‘Oh, pay me tomorrow.’ I was so excited! Like, I’m finally a New Yorker, I have a deli guy now! I got goosebumps. Silly, but true.” “One of the most comforting things about New York is that it is a city where you can be alone, and it’s not a mark of shame. For many years, I wanted to be single, I wanted to be on my own, I wanted to work on my own, I wanted to do all these things for myself, and it’s the only city that doesn’t tell you that there’s something wrong with that. So thank you, New York, for making my aloneness not feel like shame.” “I never set out to build an Instagram following. I just started sharing what I believed in about bodies, fitness, body confidence, and what that means to me. We have such high expectations of ourselves, especially in New York. We want to outperform others. We want to outperform ourselves. That influences how you feel about your body. I think it’s an unrealistic expectation to get up and feel positively about the body every day. You can still have flaws that you recognize, and things that you like or dislike. That’s human. But ultimately, it’s about acceptance of all those Quoted, New York

things. Now, I have an amazing community of people who deeply engage with me. There are people who tell me their most personal secrets, problems, and joys. And that’s such a gift to me.” “It’s funny, sometimes I see people recognize me here in New York, like they’ve seen a friend, and then they realize, oh wait, no, I don’t know you! People see me as a friend, like someone they know. If they say, ‘Oh, my God, I wish I was like you,’ or, ‘I wish I had your life,’ I’m like, no, I want you to be more of you! I think the best compliment I’ve gotten recently is a simple message from a dad. He said, ‘I’m a dad of daughters. Thank you.’” “When I turned 30, I had this moment where I decided that things needed to change. I call it ‘reverse hustle’. I had gotten so caught up in the cult of being busy, and then I realized, I don’t want to be one of those people who always responds to ‘How are you?’ with ‘Oh, it’s so crazy. I’m so busy.’ When did that become cool? I don’t like it.” “I want to be millennial Oprah essentially. I mean, dare I even compare myself even a little bit to Oprah, because she is an absolute queen. But if I could model myself on anyone who has impacted the world in a unique, cool way that doesn’t feel preachy or prescriptive, it would be her.”


“ New York has this undercurrent of sameness with people. That’s what I like about New York. We’re all walking the same streets, we’re all taking the same subway. The investment banker is sitting next to the guy pooping his pants. There is this beauty in how New York treats you like shit and loves you, equally.”


Q&A What neighborhood do you live in? Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Best thing about living there? I love that this neighborhood still feels like old New York. I love walking around on Sunday afternoons, and folks are walking home from church, BBQing in the street, and hanging out on stoops. People gather here. Favorite neighborhood? I love Ditmas Park to visit. I love seeing the huge historic mansions, and ducking in to small shops, bars, and restaurants there. Favorite street to stroll? The Barrow/Commerce block near Hudson. It’s this magical little block that feels like a storybook. It’s idyllic New York. Favorite restaurant? Raoul’s for steaks. Momofuku for the chilled spicy noodles. Favorite bar? Angel’s Share. Hidden gem? I love 32nd street, because I’m Korean, and it’s this one block full of my culture. Not only are the restaurants great, but I love dropping in to the Korean grocery to pick up some staples. How to be(come) a New Yorker? Learn to feel comfortable in the specific loneliness that you experience in a sea of strangers, whilst also finding vitality within a community. Your New York soundtrack? So Into You by Tamia. Visit Chinae at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/chinae Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York


Clockwise from Here is New York 5 THINGS THAT TELL A STORY ABOUT CHINAE

“There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.” E.B. White, Here is New York.

“I work with Adidas, and we had this run in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, where they commissioned an artist to make a piece that was inspired by us and our ethos. The artist made this piece for me. It’s a diverse group of women seeking a goal together. The fact that someone from the outside that didn’t know me, that didn’t know what I really do, could glean that this is an embodiment of what I’m like, and what I find important, is powerful!”



“I think it was the first time that I’ve ever heard it said that it’s good to be someone who comes and settles here. That usually has a negative connotation. But the people who choose to be somewhere, and to settle in a place that’s difficult, like New York, I think it’s a magical thing to celebrate that.” HERE’S NEW YORK BY E.B. WHITE

PAINTING OF CHINAE “A woman reached out and wanted to paint me. ‘I’m painting pictures of women I find empowering,’ she said. She picked up on the confidence I felt that day, and reiterated it in such a beautiful piece of art. And it’s got nothing to do with Instagram followers; it’s about people that care about me, and I care about them. So I love this painting.”

“These are mounted above my TV. I found them on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. I grew up with this western stuff all around in Texas. My home doesn’t feel particularly western. But this was New York-meets-Texas in a very literal way. I carried it in an Uber with my intern. The Uber driver thought we were nuts.” LONGHORNS:

Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York



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You brand name Twentyeight - what does it mean? Twentyeight is a reference to the average length of menstrual cycles for women. However, each body is unique, and longer or shorter cycles than average can be normal and healthy! So you are a female and male co-founder duo working in femtech. Tell me more about that dynamic. Less than 5% of VC funding goes to femaleled startups and, even in femtech, there are numerous all-male founding teams dictating products for women. We want to bring female voices to the table, garner support from allies, and reflect the diversity of the women we serve through our founding team, advisors and investors.

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Quoted, New York



Flowerpowerloverboy Self-possessed Bank Teller


Photographed by DeSean McClinton-Holland / @dsmch


“I’ve done many, many jobs, like babysitter, dog walker, and florist. And now I am working as a banker. I love it. I really do. I love talking to people and helping them with things that matter to them.”

“ I grew up in a pre-war building where my dad was the super. My mom and dad slept in one room, and then me and my three brothers were in one room. I didn’t realize I was poor until my teens. Then I started noticing other people growing up around me and their home situations. I’ve always been very motivated and kind of stubborn with wanting better for myself. I thought I deserved a lot better than what I had.” “My dad was not a good person. He wouldn’t really acknowledge me. When he came home from work he would just stay on the bed and watch TV. He was abusive toward my mom, and to us, too. If we did something bad, it would be an excuse for him to lash out. But if we did something good, no encouragement or acknowledgement at all. I forgive him for everything that he’s done, but I still don’t fully respect him as a father. My mom was the complete opposite, though: super loving, always hugging us, and helping us out.” “I was seven years old when I decided I didn’t want to be in that household anymore. I wanted out. I turned 19, and I did my thing. I packed up my garbage bag in secret, full of clothes, and moved out. There’s a push to figure out your character, who you are, and what you want out of your life here. It first comes with loving who you are and embracing where you come from.” Quoted, New York

“I didn’t do so well in my freshman year. I only went to my math, English, and science classes, and I kind of just left school and hung out at Taco Bell or goofed around in the park with friends. That’s why my parents sent me away to Puerto Rico for a year. That year helped me appreciate a lot more of my culture and my heritage. I’m a Puerto Rican from New York, and I’m proud of it.” “I’m narcissistic. I don’t hate that. I have my own goals that I want to achieve. I’m not going to let someone stand in my way, you know? New York is a narcissistic place. But realizing it’s not necessarily a bad thing, when it’s about reaching your goals, you can appreciate this city more. Just don’t be a pushover, because New Yorkers could easily take advantage of people’s kindness. You start to learn when to shut down the kindness if you live here. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. You learn how to read other New Yorkers’ motivations and their intent—sometimes selfish intent—which is a blessing of growing up here.” “Love is a beautiful thing to have for yourself, and to share. You can also have bad, harsh love, like my dad, who was rude, neglectful, and abusive. But I still love that part of my life because it developed who I am and helped me realize what I don’t want to be. Love fluctuates, but it’s beautiful no matter what.” 53


What neighborhood do you live in? I live in Forest Hills, a neighborhood in Queens. Best thing about living there? It’s the neighborhood I grew up in. It’s a pretty spot that has some unique architecture, like in Forest Hills Gardens, taking inspiration from English Tudor-style homes. It’s family-oriented and there is a bit of peace living here. Favorite neighborhood? Forest Hills is my favorite. It’s lovely living here and hanging around the neighborhood. It’s conveniently located to the other boroughs. I have friends here, and most of my family is here. Forest Park is a nice walk away, and Flushing Meadows is close by. The best part is the gardens. Walking through this serene and scenic section of Forest Hills is truly meditative and peaceful. And Peter Parker is from Forest Hills. Favorite street to stroll? Greenway South is my favorite.

“ Accepting people for who they are is the only way to adapt to New York. I believe in care and love for your fellow neighbor without discrimination. I think it’s beautiful that we can express that love universally here in New York, and appreciate that we are all one.”

Why? It’s located in the Forest Hills Gardens, and it’s gorgeous. You can take any side street, and keep enjoying the beauty of the neighborhood. It’s also a few minutes walking away for me. Favorite restaurant? Jajaja Plantas Mexicanas, Samurai Papa and Peacefood Cafe. Favorite bar? Sycamore Bar. It’s a flower shop and a bar. Hidden gem? Besides the Gardens, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. How to be(come) a New Yorker? I think the only way to truly be a New Yorker is having been born and raised here. Growing up in this unique city, you figure out your ‘true’ self early on and develop your personal character. Your New York soundtrack? Can I kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest. Visit JeanCarlos at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/jeancarlos




Quoted, New York


Clockwise from Sweater


“My uncle was a better father figure than my father. I loved hanging out with him. He was a building super, but he had lung issues, so I helped him out a lot. I helped one of the residents living there to move out, and found this in his closet. He gave it to me, and it got me into photography, which is a passion for me now.”




is my mom’s. She is a big jewelry collector. I asked if I could have a ring—I like to flaunt a little bit. She gave me this because it has my birth stone on it, amethyst. My mother has always been vocal, communicative, loving, and also very encouraging. So this reminds me of her.”

“This is from my uncle. He had a lot of cool things from the 60s. This is the one thing that I would always sneak in and take out of his closet, and just wear it around his apartment. And then one day, finally, he said I could have it.” SWEATER

CROSS “In Puerto Rican tradition, you always get a little piece of jewelry when you’re born. To me, it symbolizes longevity, and reminds me of the journey that I’ve been through. I usually wear it every day.”

“I passed by a crystal shop when I was a dog walker, decided to walk in to find something that would represent me. This is supposed to ward off evil energies and just bad juju. I always carry this on me in my pocket.” BLACK OBSIDIAN

Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York



Ballsy Founder Adam Hendle and Co-Founder Brock Cady

“For your nuts, butt and body” “Keep the funk off your junk” “We’ve got your sack” - Bold and playful slogans. What is it that you do? Ballsy is an active lifestyle brand producing high-quality men’s personal care products that inspire and motivate thrill seekers, athletes, and everyday guys to live balls out. When we created Ballsy, we wanted to create something that was bold and, most importantly, engaging, and humor was a great way to do that! That said, while the brand is fun, we take our product formulations seriously, and produce everything in the USA using only the best ingredients, such as plant extracts and essential oils. Do you need to have balls to buy your product? Hah, not at all! In fact, over 60% of our buyers are female. What we’ve found is that female buyers love purchasing our products for their guys -- for conversation-starting humor, the fact that our products are high quality, 62

and that they feel great giving them to their guys. Our favorite customer reviews are from women who’ve purchased Ballsy products for their significant others and admitted to using the products, too! We also believe if our products are good enough for “down there,” they’re good enough for everywhere! Ballwash, for example, is a natural wash that features activated charcoal known to trap toxins and chemicals and draw out bacteria, dirt, and other microparticles from the skin not just below the belt but everywhere on a guy’s body. How ballsy do you have to be to live in New York? New York is relentless at times. It can beat you up pretty badly but it’ll keep you coming back as it tempts you with endless opportunity and potential. To knowingly put yourself in a painful situation, where you sacrifice comfort for greater opportunity and

Instagram @ballwash ballsybrand.com Get 15% off with code BIGAPPLES

growth, is a very Ballsy thing. New York City lives balls out for sure.mod quodipsam. If New York had balls, what would they look like? Two big apples ; ) At first glance, these products and playful slogans look a little gimmicky. What is your response to that? Great question! When we first started out we knew that humor would be a double-edged sword. On one side, it’s a great conversation starter and helps cuts through the noise; however, it could also make the brand seem gimmicky. With that in mind, it was extremely important to us that we followed the humor with high-quality products that would be taken seriously. What we love is that we see many customers who were using cheap-value brand washes now upgrading to a better-quality product because the humor got them in the door. Quoted, New Sponsored byYork Ballsy

As a newbie wanting to try your product for the first time, what should I get? Hands down you need to go for “The Sack Pack”! The Sack Pack is the ultimate trifecta of products including Ballwash, Nut Rub solid cologne, and our deodorizing Sack Spray. Some would say it’s Incrediball. Why do you guys love New York? We’re always up for a challenge, and New York is the kind of place that likes to play hard to get. There’s a certain level of effort and time you have to put in before you feel you deserve to call yourself a New Yorker. Where can I buy your products? You can buy our products at ballsybrand.com, and check us out on Instagram @ballwash.


Thick-skinned Softy Life of the Party Mother’s Mini Me


Photographed by Kristine Boel / @kristineboel



“When I grow up I want to be an anesthesiologist. My teacher always said that if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. And I’m scared, because that will mean keeping somebody’s life in my hands, and if I kill somebody, that’s a lawsuit. I go to the top school in Brownsville, which I know is not the best area, with fighting and sometimes shootings, but I am still happy to be at my school.” “ I wanna braid hair. I wanna do nails. I wanna bake. I wanna dance. Those are the things I wanna do. I actually taught myself how to dance. When I started out, it was a nightmare, but now it’s like a dream. Practice makes perfect!” “When I’m home, I’m playful. When I’m out, I have to be mature. Today, I was walking to the store, and this boy yelled, ‘I got balls in my sack,’ to me. I’m 12! As long as you don’t put your hands on me, I don’t care, but yeah –I can’t be playful when I’m outside. If somebody push me, you’re gonna get a punch in your face.” “I was allowed to walk to the store across the street for the first time when I was nine to get tissues. My grandma was so hyped. She was watching me on FaceTime as I walked over to the store. She kept saying, ‘Oh my gosh, my Nylah is growing up.’ I was like, okay, grandma.” “I went with Grandma to Times Square. I remember asking why people were taking pictures. She explained that they were tourists. I was like, well, there ain’t nothing to take a picture of. She laughed and said, ‘That’s because you live in New York.’ Everybody goes to Times Square, because every time you watch a YouTuber, and they say, ‘We’re coming to New York’ the first place they go is Times Square. I’ll never understand why.” Quoted, New York

“Wanna hear a story? This made me so mad! The other night, I was sleeping in my bed. It was 2:00am. My mom woke me up and told me that it was time to get up for school. I mumbled and was like mm, okay, I’ll get up soon. But I wasn’t gonna get up until she literally dragged me out of there. I was still asleep! Then she laughed and said, ‘I’m just playing with you. Come in to my bed.’ I rubbed my eyes and looked at the clock. It was 2:32 in the morning. ‘Why are you waking me up?’ I yelled. I jumped in her bed, and she was trying to cuddle me and tickle me. I got so mad! But I get on my mom’s nerves sometimes as well. We’re best friends. We live here by ourselves. We play and we have our little inside jokes that nobody else knows. She’s strict if she needs to be, but she’s fun if I behave well.” “We have slang that we use at school. We don’t say ‘come through’ anymore. That’s some old lady slang. People say, ‘we lit,’ or, ‘we valid’. I like to say, ‘you know the vibes,’ like we have the same thought or agree on something. It’s a feeling. When you know the vibes, you just know it. For example, If my friend asks if we’re hanging out, I’d be like, ‘yeah, you know the vibes’.” “What do I like to do in New York? I like to get ice cream, and I like to bowl. I just found out the other day that I was really good at bowling. I also wanna go sky diving at this place called iFLY. They put you in this tube, and then the air comes, and you flow out into the air.” 67


Q&A “ If it’s 2am, 3am, 4am, no matter what time it is, you’re gonna hear a honk in New York. You’re gonna hear people yelling. You’re gonna hear screaming. You’re gonna hear banging from upstairs. It’s true what they say about New York, like, nobody sleeps.” What neighborhood do you live in? Brownsville, Brooklyn. Favorite neighborhood? Brownsville. It is where I grew up and lived my whole life. Favorite street to stroll? 34th street. Most of my favorite stores are there, I get to shop. Favorite restaurant? I love the sticky shrimp and wing combo at Dallas BBQ. The one in Downtown Brooklyn, on Livingston St, is my favorite. One place in the city all kids your age should visit? Sky Zone, it’s really fun. How to be(come) a New Yorker? You have faith in yourself, be alert, able to move fast, and be valid so no one will punk you. Your New York soundtrack? Milly Rock by Bobby Shmurda. That song makes everyone want to do the dance. Also Computers by Bobby Shmurda. That’s the Brooklyn anthem. When it comes on we all dance and go crazy. Visit Nylah at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/nylah Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York


Clockwise from Christmas Book


“It’s pictures of me in both of these. One my mom made, and one I made myself. There are photos of me growing up, with my parents, my family. I love my life, and these show me memories of what I used to do when I was little.”


“Life. I got my first phone when I was seven. Everything you need. I use it for games, to call my friends, text my friends, watch YouTube, dance, do videos of me dancing.” PHONE


“When you open this book, my grandma will be reading it to you. She recorded it, so it will play by itself. My grandma means a lot to me. We just have a bond. If I tell her something and ask her not to tell Mom, she will keep the secret.”


PINK PRODUCTS “Since I was 11, I have loved all of this. My mom started wearing their clothes, and I really liked it. Then I started using these things that make me smell good. It’s a girl thing. And there is lotion to match it.”

“Everybody I care for bought me a charm to put on this bracelet. Every charm means something. One is a heart and says ‘Daughter’. My mom has the other side of it which says ‘Mother’. So if you put them together, it makes a whole heart.” PANDORA BRACELET

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Quoted, New York


Do This Alphabet City MANHATTAN

Astoria QUEENS




Exquisite cocktails: The Garret East Music + poetry: Nuyorican Poets Cafe Fancy rum cocktails: Cienfuegos Quaint little restaurant: Virginia’s Jazz: Nublu 24-hour hookah: Rotana Hookah Place Greek food: Taverna Kyclades Adult playground: Break Bar & Billiards Neighborhood cocktail bar: The Ditty Gastropub: Gastroteca Southern food: Peaches Hot House Live music: C’mon Everybody Music & Bohemian vibes: Lunatico Cozy neighborhood joint: Fancy Nancy Cuban spot: Pilar Cuban Eatery Breakfast lovers: Tina’s Place Chill venue: Bossa Nova Civic Club Tiki-themed gay bar: Happyfun Hideaway Themed parties: House of Yes Dine & drink movie theater: Syndicated

Carroll Gardens New comfort food: Buttermilk Channel BROOKLYN Vintage vinyls/mags: Yesterday’s News Daring brews: Other Half Brewing Classic plays: Smith Street Stage Middle eastern food: Zaytoons Chelsea MANHATTAN


Cobble Hill BROOKLYN

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Tibetan/Bhutanese art: Rubin Museum Locavore’s delight: Westville Garden rooftop: Gallow Green Thursday Night Gallery Hop: Google it Fresh fish dishes: Seamore’s Dim sum institution: Nom Wah Tui Na massage: Zu Yuan Spa Secret karaoke dive: Up Stairs Wacky mini museum: Mmuseumm Know thine aura: Magic Jewelry Falconry-themed bar: Fawkner Eclectic films: Cobble Hill Cinemas Art: The Invisible Dog Art Center Dive bar: Angry Wade’s American cuisine: Battersby 77

And That Crown Heights BROOKLYN

East Village MANHATTAN

Greenpoint BROOKLYN



Awesome burgers: Boeuf & Bun Upscale Israeli cuisine: ALENBI Cave Music: Crown Finish Caves Cocktails: Two Saints Art museum: Brooklyn Museum BOGO happy hour: Keybar Exotic cocktails: Angel’s Share Booze-free bar: Listen Bar at VON Vegan food: Peacefood Cafe Spicy noodles: Momofuku Noodle Bar Traditional Polish food: Karczma Chill Colombian cafe: Pueblo Querido Heavy metal bar: Saint Vitus Flea market & music: Brooklyn Bazaar Corner tavern with food: Achilles Heel Eclectic line-ups: Shrine World Music Bachata night: Harlem Nights Senegalese food: Pikine Landmark soul food: Sylvia’s Sports bar: At the Wallace

Hell’s Kitchen MANHATTAN

Hunts Point BRONX

Brazilian churrascaria: Plataforma Classy af French: Chez Josephine Historic cabaret: Don’t Tell Mama Mexican restaurant: El Centro Low-key gay bar: The Ritz Under-the-radar tamales: City Tamale Latin record store: Casa Amadeo Kayaking & river views: Concrete Plant Fresh treats : Hunts Point Juice Bar Craft beers: Bronx Brewery

Jackson Heights LGBTQAI+: Queens Pride House QUEENS Street food: Roosevelt Ave. Poetry slams & world music: Terraza 7 Indian & Hindu products: Butala Tibetan fast food: Lhasa Long Island City Art w. a view: Socrates Sculpture Park QUEENS Obie-winning theater: Chocolate Factory Warm Up party: MoMA PS1 Artists’ collective: Flux Factory Italian food: Bella Via Quoted, New York


And This Lower East Side Vegan Mex: Jajaja Plantas Mexicanas MANHATTAN Punk rock club: Clockwork Bar Movies, drinks, food: Metrograph Secret art gallery bar: Fig. 19 Chicken & waffles: Sweet Chick Morris Park BRONX


Prospect Park BROOKLYN


Solid sit-down Italian: Patricia’s Salumi & sfogliatelle: Scaglione Bros. True espresso bar: La Casa del Caffè Bronx dive: Williamsbridge Tavern Bangin’ Cuban food: Havana Cafe Real Neapolitan pizza: Kesté Champagne & caviar: Air’s Thai rotisserie & grill: Uncle Boon’s Tapas & nightclub: Vandal South American vibes: Oficina Latina Rare books: Unnameable Books Vintage wares: Marché Rue Dix Brew your own beer: Bitter & Esters Korean restaurant: White Tiger Diner pancakes: Tom’s Restaurant


South Williamsburg BROOKLYN

Sunnyside QUEENS


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Fabulous French steaks: Raoul’s 250 cubic yards of dirt: The Earth Room Early Pop Art: Peter Freeman Gallery Influential mixology bar: Pegu Club Tiny karaoke bar: Baby Grand Bukkake ramen: Samurai Papa Tropical drinks & live music: Donna Coffee & pastries: Butler Farm-fresh restaurant: Marlow & Sons Eclectic music venue: Baby’s All Right Classic Irish pub: Donovan’s Pub Mexican-fusion luncheonette: La Flor Vintage finds: Sunnyside Thrift Shop No-frills Turkish food: Mangal Kabob Performances: Thalia Hispanic Theatre Immersive experience: Dream House Meat lovers: American Cut Steakhouse Upscale bathhouse: Aire Ancient Baths Townhouse restaurant: Tiny’s Laid-back pub: Puffy’s Tavern 81

Aaaaand This Upper East MANHATTAN


West Village MANHATTAN

Williamsburg BROOKLYN


Ready, set, art!: Museum Mile Pastrami heaven: PJ Bernstein Ice cream speakeasy: UES. Japanese cuisine: Kappo Masa Art Deco cocktails: Bemelmans Happy hour oysters: Mermaid Inn Dive bar with games: E’s Bar Literary Irish pub: The Dead Poet Great happy hour: The Milling Room Speakeasy: Manhattan Cricket Club Cheap, delicious burgers: Corner Bistro Chic tea house: Té Company Brussels sprouts taco: Empellon Taqueria Happy hour German: Lederhosen Upscale omakase sushi: Kosaka Membership nightclub: Black Flamingo Family-owned Peruvian joint: Chimu Cocktail & cigar bar: Velvet Food & wine: The Four Horsemen Speakeasy dining: St. Mazie

t he good life

Quoted, New York


Iron Chef Winner Unapologetic Culinary Pioneer


Photographed by M. Cooper / @mcoopercreative Interviewed by Carly Quellman


“New York City attracts the best and the brightest from all walks of life. Having constant access to so many different cultures and cuisines, plus many of the best restaurants in the world, has undoubtedly made me a better chef. And because diversity and otherness are the norm here, New York has given me selfconfidence—undoubtedly a key ingredient to success.” @anitalonyc

“ I came here from the Midwest and it was a little oppressive in a way where everyone has to be the same. Then I came to New York where there’s so much diversity, and I could be who I am, fully.” “Speaking to younger generations: Don’t let anything stand in your way. Don’t let the culture you’re surrounded by, or the expectations that you grew up with for your gender, ever stop you. You need to question myths at all times, because they’re everywhere. It can be insidious, it gets into your head. It becomes part of your background, and that isn’t okay.” “I opened a restaurant, Annisa, in the West Village in 2000. It was a small, upscale contemporary American restaurant. I used my French training, and brought influences from all over the world. It was adventurous. After 17 years, I had to close down. It can be hard to keep up in New York when everything changes so fast, especially with social media; everyone is looking for the next new thing.” “There have been times when I’ve felt successful—cooking at the White House, winning awards—but the most meaningful thing that happened to me in my career was

Quoted, New York

a fire at my restaurant, Annisa. It closed the restaurant for nine months. There were moments when I didn’t think we were going to be able to reopen. I didn’t have enough money, I needed to re-sign the lease. It was horrible. When I reopened, every single employee but one came back with me. That felt like a victory. They’re like my family, it was amazing.” “Sometimes—more like often—the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach! Food is kind of the first language you learn as a baby. I think it extends into adulthood. Feeding someone is giving to them, nourishing them, and hopefully making them happy. I would never date someone who didn’t love food. My current girlfriend is a chef. At the beginning of our relationship I was trying to impress her, of course, by cooking delicious things. And it worked!” “Has it been hard to find mates in the past? Absolutely. I do remember feeling isolated in the culinary world at one point, which is kind of odd, but back in the day, I felt like I wasn’t meeting any gay women. That doesn’t have anything to do with New York, though. As a queer-identifying person, New York has always welcomed me.”


Q&A “ You can get any cuisine in New York that you want. If New York were a piece of food it would be a really over-complicated dish. Flawed, but exciting. It would be muddled, and very multicultural. Probably a little dirty.”

What neighborhood do you live in? The West Village. Best thing about living there? It’s quaint, quiet, and convenient. Favorite neighborhood? The West Village, of course! Favorite street to stroll? West 4th, west of 7th Avenue. Why? It feels hidden almost, and it’s residential, but there are a few small shops and cozy restaurants. Favorite restaurant? Kosaka on West 13th. Sushi at its finest.


Favorite bar? I don’t really frequent bars often, but I do love a Corner Bistro burger every once in a while. Hidden gem? Té Company on West 10th is a tiny cafe specializing in tea, but with fantastic pastries and food. How to be(come) a New Yorker? Move here and just be yourself. Lady Liberty says it best... Your New York soundtrack? I Try by Macy Gray. Visit Anita at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/anita

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Quoted, New York


“This is me and my current partner. This was taken by one of my staff members at my restaurant, Annisa, which I had for 17 years. My partner was my chef de cuisine. I had a crush on her throughout the whole year and I didn’t do anything about it because she worked for me. But we’re together for six and a half years now.”





“Any chance I get I go fishing. It’s about the peace that comes from being on the water, and having that view. There’s something primal about it, where you’re harvesting what you’re eating, and it makes you feel closer to the earth somehow.”

“It’s not so much the sauce itself. It was sent to me from someone from one of my culinary tours. She was really fun to hang out with. It represents how food brings people together. I helped lead this tour that she loved. It makes me feel good.” HOT SAUCE

PHOTO OF DOGS “I got my ex-partner a dog for Christmas. The second one we got the year after. But then we broke up, and my ex didn’t want to separate them, so I ended up with both of them. They were 17 when they died, two months apart. It was companionship. They were always excited to see me. I never had kids. I don’t think I ever really wanted kids. But this was better than kids, for me.”

“Both of my parents worked all the time, and we had nannies taking care of us–one of them a Catholic nun. She was so loving and crucial to my well-being as an adult. She was the anchor. And when she passed away, I was given that cross.”


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Quoted, New York


Sassy Spiritual Transformational Teacher Former Party Animal


Photographed by JosĂŠ A. Alvarado Jr. / @josealvarado



“You know, one in five New Yorkers are experiencing mental health disorders in any given year. One in five. My work in New York is to help people to really take care of their mental health. The whole foundation of my work is rooted in energizing the body, clearing the mind, and opening the heart.” @sahdsimone

“I started Bullett Magazine with two friends when I was 23, in my one-bedroom apartment in East Village. We grew really quickly, and suddenly we were part of the celebrity culture, and going to all these events in New York. You know the world I mean? I was living this lifestyle like something out of a movie, something that I had dreamed of.” “I found out that my business partners wanted to buy me out. It felt like betrayal. I left New York immediately and went to Europe. And it was only when I left the constant high of this city that I started to see things a little differently. I went to Zurich and saw a friend of mine. She was walking barefoot, eating tofu, talking about being vegan, playing music, hiking. And I thought, wow, there is something about this that I like. She made me feel at ease. I was like, I don’t know what the fuck you’ve got going on, but I feel good around you. I didn’t have the perspective, or even the vocabulary, to know what that feeling was.” “I got rid of New York and moved to Florida. I was starting to see how much internal chaos I had going on in New York. I was living this life, smoking pot, doing coke pretty regularly, drinking every night. No one ever said, hey, maybe you have a problem. The fast-paced lifestyle and all the stimuli here in New York made me ignore my suffering. I went into anxiety and depression. 2013 and 2014 were really dark. It was a constant state of anxiety thinking about the future, and depression thinking about the past. I renounced mainstream society for two and a half years to go on my pilgrimage. I spent time in India Quoted, New York

and Nepal going on retreats, living with, and learning from, teachers and masters.” “When I first lived here, I had a comparing and competing mindset, walking down the street, I would compare myself with everybody, unconsciously. It was constant. ‘Oh, I don’t like him. I don’t like her. I want this. I don’t want that.’ But now I am able to see so much beauty in everything and everyone. There is a real sense of awe; a dream-like quality and constant state of gratitude. And I now I have something to offer those people who are feeling how I used to feel. I see them on the subway, they’re in a state of stress and anxiety. That used to be me.” “I decided to come back to New York because I see myself in everyone here. People of every skin color, every culture, making their own choices, and just living out the fullest expression of themselves. And to me that’s the highest form of spirituality, to fully express your true self. Few other cities in the world really give you the space and freedom to do that.” “I want people to apply the same discipline they have to achieve external success, to achieve internal freedom. For New Yorkers especially, as soon as they understand the discipline aspect, they’re like, ‘Oh, shit, yeah I can do that.’ New York requires a certain caliber, a lot of effort, and discipline.” “I think one thing every human being can do is just have a daily practice to cleanse their mind. A concentrated mind is a happy mind.” 99

Q&A What neighborhood do you live in? The East Village. Best thing about living there? I love the combination of all the different worlds coming together; different socioeconomic statuses, sexual preferences, gender identities, ethnicities. I see all parts of myself in the neighborhood. Favorite neighborhood? The East Village. Favorite street to stroll? East 7th Street. Why? The first thing I see when I walk outside are the beautiful trees and townhouses; a rarity in a big city like New York! Favorite restaurant? JaJaJa. Favorite bar? Listen Bar (it’s a sober bar!). Hidden gem? Orchard Grocer. How to be(come) a New Yorker? Being a New Yorker takes discipline! It’s all about self-expression. New Yorkers are fierce, funny, creative, and driven. Your New York soundtrack? Wig In A Box by Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Visit Sah at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/sah


“ People I work with from New York are so anxious. They are afraid of not having money, of not keeping up with a certain lifestyle. There’s anxiety around wanting to fit in, and also about relationships and family. So many people who’ve come to New York have come here to be like, fuck my family. I’m going to New York City to start my new life. This was true for me, too, when I first came here. People come to redesign who, or what, they are. And it can be a struggle.”



Quoted, New York


“I have traveled a lot. In the past it was all about staying at a five-star hotel, shopping, and so on. Then I realized that traveling has the potential to be part of your healing path. So when I look at my passport I can tell you that every single place I’ve been to has a special significance to whatever I was working on within myself at that time.”


Clockwise from Running Shoes



“This is the text about compassion. Compassion for yourself, compassion for others. Compassion has been a huge part of my personal journey. It requires an action that no one taught me but myself.”


“I realized that running was such a huge part of my personal healing path, and I would go on these really long runs. The sweat is medicine for me.” RUNNING SHOES

HEADPHONES “I forgot that music was a huge part of my life before I went seriously down the spiritual path. When I found music again, there was a part of me that hadn’t been explored in so long. Music is massively healing to me.”

“I have been meditating on this for the last six years, and it’s changed my life. Every single day for an hour in the morning and for 10-30 minutes at night.” MEDITATION PILLOW

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Quoted, New York


Love Therapist Diehard Cowboys Fan K-9 Partner In Crime


Photographed by Lauren Oliver / @lauren_noelle_oliver Interviewed by Carly Quellman



“In New York you can be whomever you want, and there’s no judgement. You will find a community that understands you and accepts you for just who you are. When Lin-Manuel Miranda gave his ‘love is love’ speech, I saw that on literally ten sidewalk signs. I’ve lived in Texas, I’ve lived in the Midwest, and you just don’t see that kind of acceptance from people in those places.” “ I came here when I was still young. I didn’t really know who I was, and I feel like I’ve become the person that I am not just because of my life experiences, but because of New York. I appreciate that.” “Love is not as simple as people want it to be. I think it’s challenging; I think it’s something worth fighting for. I’ve seen people going through some pretty rough spots, who come to me and talk about wanting to break up, wanting to end the relationship. But in my head I’m thinking, and yet here you are in therapy. There’s a reason you’re not letting go. So part of my work is about trying to integrate two things: that your mind may be saying one thing, but your heart is saying another. Love is from the heart; you can’t change what you’re feeling.” “When there are so many options, people tend to be a lot pickier, right? In a city with 8 million people it gets hard to find your one favorite. I think we feel that it should be easy to pick a favorite, but really we’re just so overloaded with choices that it becomes too hard. So instead of increasing happiness, there’s actually disappointment and self-blame. When it comes to dating, I’ve found that a lot of people become frustrated with the whole process. As a result, they want to give up. My job as a therapist is to help make it a little easier for people to make these decisions.”

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“New York brings out the impulsivity in all of us. You want coffee at 4am? You can go to a diner and get that. You want to do karaoke at 2 in the afternoon? You can do that, too. New Yorkers should slow down their thought processes a little, take a step back and evaluate, because we’re so quick to make snap judgements and decisions. Sometimes you just need to slow down.” “My dog comes with me to work. He’s trained as an emotional support animal, so as soon as my clients sit on the couch, he wants to sit next to them and offer support. We went through a training process, and then we both had to take an exam, which was physical for him, like hearing someone crying and observing his reaction. He knows when someone really needs him in that way. It’s fascinating: he can tell the difference between me crying over a movie, versus me crying from emotions. He’s just as good at picking up on cues as some humans are.” “I am a huge Dallas Cowboys Fan. It’s fun— and also challenging—being a Cowboys fan in New York when you’re divisional rivals. I go to the same spot, J.G. Melon, every week to watch the game. I see the same people, and we talk trash. It’s really fun. I made some of my closest friends by watching football together on Sundays. It was like, wait, football season ends in February and I don’t see you guys until September? This is weird, we should be hanging out!” 111

Q&A “ The most annoying thing about New Yorkers is that they know it all. We all feel like we’re experts, even with something as simple as the fastest way to get somewhere. I have a hard time admitting I’m wrong. I think all my friends do that. 99% of New Yorkers do that.” What neighborhood do you live in? I live on the Upper East Side. I’ve been in this neighborhood for about ten years now. I started on 95th Street and slowly moved down every few years. I think it’s safe to say this is home. Best thing about living there? It has a little bit of everything! Second Ave has so many bars, but then there are also parks, family-friendly restaurants, and museums for some culture. In theory, I wouldn’t even have to leave the neighborhood to do many of the cultural things the city has to offer. Favorite neighborhood? Definitely mine. The Upper East Side is special to me, not just because I live here but also because my friends do. Anything I need is either a phone call, or a delivery, away. Favorite street to stroll? In the summer I love strolling down Lexington - there are always street fairs! Favorite restaurant? Surprisingly, this is not in my neighborhood. My brother lives in the West Village and is a regular at Empellon Taqueria. They make the best Brussels sprouts taco. And margaritas, too!


Favorite bar? The Harrow in Hell’s Kitchen. Not only is the staff so friendly and inviting, their cocktails are great! And I never say no to their lobster pierogis. Hidden gem? The North Woods in Central Park. They’ve literally transplanted part of the Adirondacks into the middle of the city. It’s a hidden oasis to get away from the city, while still being in the heart of the city. How to be(come) a New Yorker? In my books, you’re a true New Yorker if you’re okay with crying on the subway an not caring what anyone else thinks. To me, it’s not really about a certain activity, but a state of mind. You can be yourself without fear of judgement. Your New York soundtrack? Juicy by Notorious B.I.G.–quintessential NY attitude. You know very well who you are, don’t let ‘em hold you down! Visit Sweta at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/sweta

Quoted, New York


Clockwise from Skull


“I love football. It is something that also brings a lot of people together, especially in bars here in New York. You can form a family in that way. I watch football with the same 15-20 people every Sunday, and it’s a really nice experience.”


“My grandmother gave it to me. It was one of the first pieces of jewelry that I ever got. It was a pair of earrings, and I lost one. I felt really bad about it, and wanted to convert it into something. Now I wear it every day, and it reminds me of my family in India. I don’t see them that often.” RING



I turned 30, my friends and I went to Mexico. Since then, we’ve been traveling somewhere every year. I used to have a lot of anxiety about being in my thirties and what being older means, but it’s not that scary. So this is also a reminder of that.” VASE “This is something that was used at my parents’ wedding, so it’s 45 years old. It was an arranged marriage and they’re still together. It is not my way of wanting to settle down, but I’ve seen how it can work. What they have together is what I hope to have one day, too.”

“I learned how to crochet at one of my jobs. It was a bonding experience, and we learned how to do it together. It helps me deal with things. It’s something you really have to pay attention to.” CROCHET HOOK

Quoted, New York


Printed by

Femme Energy Healer Expressive Diva Burlesque Dancer


Photographed by Geremy Campos / @itsgeremy


“This city is a diva like me! She’s moody, boisterous, animated. She’s colorful, and she likes to dress. I mean, look at the buildings! She’s over-the-top, she definitely has a cold shoulder. She will only accept brilliance, excellence, confidence.” @theperlenoire

“ When I discovered burlesque, I was inspired by all these beautiful black women with the courage to celebrate their bodies, and to celebrate their skin tone, at a time when this wasn’t really celebrated. I remember doing a tribute to the iconic Josephine Baker, and I received a standing ovation. It felt amazing! I experienced a lot of physical and emotional abuse when I was younger, and I knew from that moment that burlesque was going to be my outlet for personal healing. For the first time in my life, I had full control over my body.” “I was living and performing in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit, which left me homeless. I saw my house in the middle of the road and decided, it’s time to go to New York now. The bus arrived right in the heart of Times Square. I remember I was so enamored by the lights, and I couldn’t believe I was here. I was tripping and falling down in the middle of the street. I didn’t have much money in the beginning, so I lived off of hotdogs.” “A few years back, I was in a committed relationship, and I learned that my boyfriend was some kind of Indonesian royalty. I was told that if I wanted to marry him, I could not perform burlesque anymore. I stopped touring. I turned down a contract at the Sydney Opera House. My boyfriend felt that because he was rich, I didn’t need to work. But I wanted to work, people needed me. So he called off the wedding on Valentines Day. That moment in my life really changed who I was as a person, a performer, and a mentor.” 120

“Dear New York. I want to thank you for being faithful to me always. Even when I have abandoned myself, you were always loyal, you always honored me, and you always showed me love. I decided to retire from performing for traditional love. I was on my way to Indonesia to have my family, to be the princess, to be married into royalty, and you intervened. You showed me I have everything I need right here. I love you, New York.” “For my healing sessions, I ask people to dress in something that makes them feel elegant, sensual, or powerful. I take them through a guided meditation, and then we do movements. Burlesque can be a powerful tool for healing, because it allows you to reconnect to your body. We’re told almost every day that something’s wrong with us: you need to buy this cream, and wear these clothes, and weigh this much, and hey, why not get butt injections. You’re never really told that you should celebrate yourself as you are. When I ask women to say, ‘I love you,’ to a mirror, it’s very uncomfortable for them.” “If you’re not ready to expose your true self in New York, you won’t survive here. Love your beautiful imperfections. Be confident and accept others for who they are. Do that, and you belong to New York forever.”

Quoted, New York


“ The diva in me is everywhere. The diva in me is when I won’t accept a producer telling me that he’ll pay me $500, when I know they’re paying my white counterparts $1500. The diva in me shows up when I make a conscious decision about what I wear when I go out because, in my mind, I’m thinking, well, my ancestors didn’t have a choice. It’s what I owe them. The diva is about the voice—so many women before me didn’t get to have one, and I know, because I used to be one of them.”



What neighborhood do you live in? Bed-Stuy. Best thing about living there? Brooklyn has its own heartbeat and soul. I love that it reminds of the South. The homes are more spacious, and I believe there’s more community in Brooklyn than Manhattan. Favorite neighborhood? Bed-Stuy, of course! Favorite street to stroll? Why? I don’t stroll, but I do love to gaze upon Times Square. I know it’s cliché, but I am still inspired by the lights and billboards. Favorite restaurant? Chez Josephine. Favorite bar? C’mon Everybody. Hidden gem? Peaches Hot House. How to be(come) a New Yorker? Prepare yourself to embrace the art of sacrifice and solitude in order to experience evolution. Your New York soundtrack? Baby I’m a Star by Prince. Visit Perle at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/perle

Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York


Clockwise from Ebony Magazine


“I sold almost all of my costumes when I was entering this Indonesian royalty marriage, because I was not allowed to perform anymore. And this was the first item that I bought for myself after the breakup to get my life back.”




Madonna, before Marilyn Monroe, she was this wonderful icon that women were inspired by. I really felt that Josephine called me to keep the torch burning. She was a living testimony to the idea that your childhood and your scars do not define you. You can write your own story.”

“I was living in New Orleans, everything was gone after Katrina, and this was one of the first items that I bought to restart my life.” EBONY MAGAZINE

PHOTO OF GIRLS “These are my darlings from The House of Noire, my burlesque company. This picture was taken right after the wedding fiasco with my Indonesian ex, when I realized that I really had everything I wanted right here.”

“This is a painting of my beautiful friend. She died of cancer in her early 30s. She’s always looking at me, just like the Mona Lisa. It’s like she is saying, ‘I’m watching, so you better not take life for granted.’” PAINTING OF FRIEND

Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York


Gay Rights Advocate Stonewall Bartender Wild Child


Photographed by Paula Andrea / @soft_when_ripe


“Over the years, I’ve gone to jail 10, 12, 14 times, for being in gay bars. When the police raided a bar, they simply took us to jail. No fingerprints. No pictures. Then we went before a judge, and a judge would either say, ‘You’re wasting my time, get out of here,’ and we’d go home, or they would call us perverts and fine us $20.” “ I was born in 1939 in Brooklyn. I don’t eat anything healthy. I don’t eat vegetables. I don’t eat fish. I love shrimp. I eat fruit once in a while. I party sometimes. When I go out bar hopping, I come back to Stonewall at three in the morning all by myself. No one else can keep up. I walk past a gym twice a day, which is exhausting… (laughs)… My doctor says it’s my Russian genes. He’s shocked that I eat butter like it’s candy, and my cholesterol is perfect.” “In the 50s I belonged to a gang. In Brooklyn in the 50s, if you didn’t belong to a gang in high school you got beat up by everybody. I would rather go up and rub against a guy than fight with him, though. My friends couldn’t figure that out. We didn’t even use the word ‘gay’ back when I was young.” “I used to go to the movies, and I knew every men’s room in every theater I ever went to. Sometimes, there were 20 people in the theater, and 30 people in the men’s room. And everybody’s having orgies. The train stations were wild, too, in the 50s and 60s. It was a nickel to go to the men’s room, and everybody was fooling around. Some of the cops were nice. They would come and bang the door with their keys before they opened it. They threw us out, but as soon as the cops left, everybody ran back into the bathroom. I had a friend who would buy a roll of nickels on his way to work, and wouldn’t come home until he spent all of them in different men’s rooms. He would tell me what bathroom I should go to, and I loved him to death.” 132

“One day, I came into The Village with a friend. We saw a couple of people, who we knew were gay, and we followed them. In those days, if you didn’t know where there was a gay bar, you couldn’t find them. Remember, it was against the law to serve known homosexuals alcohol in New York City. All the windows and doors were painted black, so you couldn’t look in to see what was going on, because two men dancing was considered disgusting. The guys we were following went into a restaurant called Mamas Chic N Ribs, and what do you know, it was a gay bar.” “We only came to Stonewall to dance. Today, you can dance by yourself. Fifty years ago, you had to have a partner. Cha-cha, mambo, all this stuff. At Stonewall back in the days, everybody knew each other. The Stonewall riots took place in the early hours of June 28, 1969. I had no idea that this was going to be the event that triggered the gay rights movement. I just figured it was another raid. The day of the riot, the police came in full of aggression. They threw drugs on the floor, they pushed people. It was chaotic. We got out, my friends and I, but the police held inside the lesbians, who were dressed like men, and the drag queens. They were seen as the most distasteful of us back then.” “We started the pushback. Some say a high heel smashed the windows at Stonewall, but it was definitely a rock. I even saw two people pull a parking meter out of the ground and use it to smash windows and knock the doors in. People lit garbage cans and threw them

through the open, broken windows. Not me, I’m lazy. I don’t like lifting. But I did break the lock on the back of a paddy wagon, and the door opened. Everybody that the police had arrested got out.” “One year after the riots, when I saw all the people lining up outside of Stonewall to march from Seventh Avenue to Central Park to fight for our rights, I thought they were crazy! But eventually I did decide to march with them, staying on the sidewalk in case somebody took my picture. I passed plenty of people shouting ‘fag,’ ‘queer,’ ‘dyke,’ ‘homo’—all kinds of names. Now I look back on that day knowing that I was part of a huge moment in history. That parade was the first step to where we are today.”

Quoted, New York

“The officer who led the raid in 1969 apologized to the gay community before he died. In those days, it was seen as a disease, but then he came to understand that it’s just life for some people. Little by little, we gained rights. We could actually feel safe to be gay at work, or in public. And the next thing I know, we have gay marriage! We have almost everything that we want now. Dear brothers and sisters, forget the past because it’s a prologue. The future is us. Love, hug, kiss.” “I have been working at Stonewall since they reopened 13 years ago. I’m meeting people from all around the world. If we get along, I take them barhopping. I have people come here once or twice a year because they’ve heard about me, and they think I’m crazy. They say it’s the way I talk to people. I have fun.” 133

Q&A “ The fact is that some of the younger generation have no idea about Stonewall. That’s why I lecture in high schools and colleges. That’s why underage kids come with their teachers to Stonewall—before we open of course—and I explain the history of Stonewall before, during, and after the riots. I tell them the history of the bar, but I also tell them, please, no drugs, safe sex.” What neighborhood do you live in? I live in Chelsea. I’ve been here for 51 years now. Best thing about living there? My apartment is rent-stabilized, so I enjoy that! Chelsea is also one of the gay neighborhoods in New York, so the diversity here is awesome. Favorite neighborhood? The Village. Favorite restaurant? Sevilla Restaurant in The Village is great–a classic that opened in 1941. Churrascaria Plataforma on 49th Street is a Brazilian steakhouse I love as well. Favorite bar? Three of them. All gay, and very inclusive. Stonewall, Julius’, and Lederhosen. Visit Tree at home in a 3-minute video: quotedmagazine.com/tree


Quoted, New York



Quoted, New York


Clockwise from Painting


“I like laughing because it helps your heart. I mean that’s my philosophy in life. It keeps me young.”


KEYS “These

are the keys to my home where I’ve lived for 51 years. Some call my home a museum, and some call it a gift shop. My friends make fun of it. I’ve gotten so many gifts throughout my long life, and it’s all here–up on the wall, hanging from the ceiling, the shelves. When I die, I just want my friends to come over and go crazy taking this place apart, and I’ll be in heaven or hell laughing my balls off.” 138

“I was talked into investing in this I’d say 30 years ago. I paid $5,000 for that back then. A dealer I know recently said to be careful, because it’s worth a lot more now. Money don’t count that much in my life, but it’s to show you that I do have something of actual value in here.” PAINTING

AWARD “This is a community award I got for my contribution to the gay rights movement. On September 10, 2016, I was invited to come to Washington and was given this. It makes me proud.”

“I have three crowns. I travel all around the world with a gay rights community and have been honored the title as an emperor. It’s so much fun. I sometimes wear these crowns for events that we throw.”


Quoted, New York


Quoted, New York


Love Letters Follow @quoted_magazine

“As a New Yorker, I have experienced love in growing up to be a fierce woman. I believe living in NYC for the last 10 years built my character. All of the challenges I faced mold me into who I’m now.” @wildsamfierce

“NYC brings out in you a steadfast kind of love. You see the best and the worst and if your soul doesn’t become tainted and bitter but strengthened with radical love, then in my book, you’re a real New Yorker.” @jeh.z


“Finding love in New York takes time, patience, and exploration. It must be grown and nourished like a blossom in a concrete jungle.” @theremustbemorelight

“Love is an essential tool if you’re looking to survive in New York. This city can drag you through the dirt, but having someone you love waiting for you on the other end, whether it’s a partner, friend or even a pet, helps to soften the blow to even the roughest days.” @ginminsky

...to New York “To exist here successfully and work among workers, finding self-love is both essential and inevitable. @sagesnakechalmer

“From the hungry child with a trembling hand out asking for food, to the lonely lady on the subway in need of no more than one encouraging smile, to the old man struggling to carry his life’s suitcase up the crowded rush-hour stairs – the city has moved me to stop. New York, you’ve taught me life’s most valuable lesson in unconditional love: extending myself for others.” @lukedegrossi

“In a city like NYC, it’s relatively easy to find love because the city is bursting with it. You see it in the little interactions between strangers, the fast friendships, the surprising meetcutes, the late-night hook-ups, and it feels great!” @travelsofadam

“Experiencing love as a New Yorker is experiencing love with others. Other cultures, other stories, other loves... It’s all so palpable.” @ohhthatsjustflash

“A New Yorker’s relationship with New York can be compared to a passionate and tumultuous love affair. For the times it gets too hard, the times I’ve thought of leaving her, I realized I’d miss her hustle, her convenience, her surprises, her ingenuity, her tempo. She may just be my greatest affair.” @themonoclemuse Quoted, New York



New Yorkers will let you know that this is New York. Whether it’s through compassion, acceptance of our diversity, or an aggressive honk in a busy intersection, New Yorkers WILL let you know. As head of photography, my part within this massive whole is to bring you visuals that humbly attempt to represent the people who live here. After four issues, it dawned on me that sharing only my opinion via photography was antithetical to the very essence of Quoted, which is for New Yorkers to share what New York is to them. That is why we, in this issue, invited a mix of photographers to each shoot a New Yorker, showcasing different approaches and interactions –in a sense, a metaphor of what happens daily in the synchronized chaos we call New York City. I hope that each profile lets you know that this is New York. Paula Andrea Head of Photography


Founder & Editor-in-Chief Rolf Arne Leer rolf@quotedmagazine.com Creative Director Mads Jakob Poulsen mads@quotedmagazine.com Head of Photography Paula Andrea paula@quotedmagazine.com Associate Publisher Louis A. Sarmiento Director of Partnerships Julia Mignone julia@quotedmagazine.com


Brand Manager Megan Davenport

Copywriter Bonnie Birmingham Contributor Carly Quellman Videographers Thomas Lau Photographers Felipe Duque Christian Larsen DeSean McClinton-Holland Kristine Boel M. Cooper José A. Alvarado Jr. Lauren Oliver Geremy Campos

Founder, Rolf Arne Leer

Quoted, New York

Want more Quoted Magazine? Buy it at quotedmagazine.com $20 and it’s yours for life.

Quoted, New York



Profile for Quoted Magazine

Quoted Magazine, New York, Volume 005