I love going solo, too. All dressed up (for what I haven't decided), having a glass of wine, meeting the artists, looking at the art - I feel deeply satisfied.
Well, one night early last year I went to the Tarryn Teresa Gallery in the Arts District. Standing in front of me in the sea of people with a BIG camera around her neck - was this woman. Dressed in a great colorful outfit, hat to match, and a BIG smile.
I don't know why, but I felt compelled to meet her. "Hi, my name is Nancy Mills, I live in a loft in downtown, I love it here, and isn't the art just great!" I said so quickly, that even I couldn't understand myself. "What's your name?" I asked just as quickly.
"My name is Cielo Pessione, and my English isn't so good, I recently moved here from Italy." "Your English sounds perfect to me. And why did you move here? And where do you live?"
Oh-my-god. How romantic. "You moved here for love?" "Yes I did. I married the downtown artist John O'Brien. And I came with my daughter Gaia."
That was it for me. This was a remarkable woman. A brave woman. She moved from the gorgeous Italian hillside village of Umbria to the downtown industrial-looking Brewery. For love.
As a writer I was in heaven. In my mind - this had the potential of a romance novel. A movie. A play. The love story of the century!
Back to reality and long story short, I gave her my card, she gave me hers, and in time, we have become good friends.
Turns out - Cielo is a talented fiber arts artist who makes sensational wearable art. She comes from a famous Italian family, has appeared in her own one woman play in Italy, has written three books and is the spokeswoman and curator for her grandfather - the renowned Italian actor Aldo Fabrizi.
I admire her greatly. She is also a kind, humble woman.
But the point of this post is that Cielo followed her dream - even if it was "for love." At age 48, she let nothing stop her from coming to a place she'd never been (except for a week here, a month there). Not her family, friends, fame, or culture.
And like so many downtowners (brimming with their own stories) - she was willing to start a new chapter in her life. Take a chance. And just do it!
And I shout, "Bravissimo!" "Mazel Tov!" "Salut!" You get the picture.
Thank you Cielo for being my second guest in my current "Downtown Conversation Series With Co-Creators and Visionaries." You are the best! Nancy