It was during those special years in glorious Manhattan, when life was a blur of determined career-building and happily unending socialising. She and I first met through a friend. It was a roof-top party of the “Swedish set” just off Union Square, the space was vast and oh-so-fabulously rare. An abundance of leafy potted plants and trees created a secret little world high above the noise of New York’s streets. Notoriously, our hostess had imported an astoundingly cute, yellow summer cottage from Sweden to this very rooftop—a sharp contrast to the swank loft apartments which filled the building below. A decadent luxury yet utterly charming and a sight for sore eyes. Champagne flowed fast that evening and we all stayed late, a memorable night under the stars.
Jump ahead to September 12, 2001. We had all just experienced the earth-shattering day before and the city was reeling. I was safe but shaken and extremely homeless, my Tribeca apartment inaccessible in the sealed-off zone just north of the Trade Center. She was my savior. She took me (and the lovely Helena, whose Chinatown apartment was also off limits) into her tiny shared apartment in Columbus Circle. Those surreal days, when time seemed to stand still, is when our friendship really began.
We laughed ‘til we cried in restaurants and bars across Manhattan. We shopped the hidden designer sample sales and bought knock-off bags on Canal Street together. We swapped work tales and giggled about the boys in our lives. We were silly as schoolgirls and thick as thieves in those waning years of our 20s. She perfected my hair and applied my makeup on my wedding day, then sailed down the Nile with us and our merry band of honeymoon revelers. I have nothing but huge happy memories of those magical days — with her so often by my side.
She is not just any friend, she is amazing. Kind and warm, funny and clever, loyal and reliable. Pure gold. Living in different countries (and motherhood) has since curtailed our frolicking ways. But that’s ok. As with most strong bonds, you just pick up where you left off.