August 25th, 2011
Or maybe a drowned cat.
This picture shows exactly how we felt this afternoon, after we got caught in a sudden rain shower. I’m sure lots of people in New York got caught in the same deluge. But how many of them were dressed in frock coats and top hats, or hoop skirts and bonnets? And how many were carrying a coffin down Broadway?
We’d just finished part two of a massive photo shoot with artist Hal Hirshorn — this time at New York’s beautiful and prestigious Grace Church, consecrated in 1846. So we had all sorts of paraphernalia, equipment, costumes, props, etc. The pall-bearers (4 of the gamest gents I’ve ever met) had already started back with the coffin when the heavens opened. I, carrying the only key to their destination, was a few blocks behind. so I picked up my hoop and raced after them, through puddles that must have been at least 4 or 5 inches deep.
Despite a huge skirt, cage crinoline, corset, and umbrella, I managed to catch up before they got where they were going. As soon as I unlocked the door for the coffin to go in, I realized that the street was closed to traffic — which meant the cab carrying all the photographic equipment would not be able to get close enough to the door, and they had but a single umbrella. I ripped off my sopping dress, and dashed back onto the street in my chemise and corset, to wait on the street corner with another umbrella.
So when all was said and done, I felt — and looked — just like a drowned rat. In a corset.