When I moved to New York in Oct. 1996, I knew basically nobody. I had one friend with whom I had worked in LA a few years earlier. We weren't that close at the time, but I could legitimately call her friend. Then I knew this couple who were friends of another friend: the woman I had met twice, the guy once. They were very generous to me, though, offering me their couch until I found a place to stay, etc. But I lucked into a teeny-tiny studio sublet on 3rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. It didn't matter so much how small it was: I was working my ass off in my first job at HBO, often not getting home until 10 or 11 PM.
So I didn't know many people, and I didn't have so much time to socialize anyway, but I did have my hole of solitude on E. 3rd Street. Back then, the big online dating sites like match.com or nerve or whatever, weren't really around now, and people were still winging it in chat rooms. I never really got into the chat room thing, but sometimes late at night I would troll the profiles on AOL of people who were online and occasionally I would IM someone.
One night I came across a woman about six months younger than me who had written something or another that really struck me. She and I started chatting and discovered we had a lot in common, particularly our backgrounds in and love for theater. We decided to meet. I don't think it took either of us very long to decide we weren't going to be dating anytime soon -- besides, I'm pretty sure she was already also sort of seeing her eventual husband! -- but we became fast friends. And although we often go months without talking to or even around a year without seeing each other, our own particular friendship has always been really strong and wonderful.
Now in case you're really slow (which is OK; I often am), you're probably putting two-and-two together and realizing that this friend of mine is today's Gothamist Interview. And you'd be right, because not only is Robin Shane a good friend of mine, but she's also a very talented costume designer and one of the hardest working people I've ever met. Most recently, and again in the coming months, she's been working with Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner on a couple of operas that premiered in Chicago and are about to play Berkeley, New York and Boston over the course of the next year. Meanwhile, she's also planning to start her own business designing, manufacturing and selling practical and useful baby items that don't currently exist in the marketplace. Robin is one of the best people you could ever meet, and if you go read her interview, you'll only get the smallest glimpse of why. But do it anyway.