“In New York with Patti Smith”, a book and a journey between music and freedom

GQ Italia

After years of living with his family in New Jersey, Smith, wickedness aside, is his dream come true.
“On that July 3, 1967, he was wearing canvas pants, a black turtleneck, and an old raincoat-talisman. Just a few hours from Philadelphia he would arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, which is still the busiest in the world. Located at 8th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, writes journalist Laura Pazino With Patti Smith in New York (Giulio Perón publisher), a book that, in addition to describing that “beginning journey”, brings to light a large apple that no longer exists.

“When I started thinking of this book, the word geography came to mind”, explains the author, “it is very difficult to write a biography of such an important and multifaceted character. However, I had the opportunity to place him in his chosen environment. : New York, so I went looking for Patti Smith, who is a lighthouse for me, but also for me, in relation to her and a city that has been a fundamental role in her and my life”.

With Patti Smith in New York was born in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a historic moment when its author cannot physically return to New York. To travel with Smith, Laura Pazino can only rely on books, documentaries, old interviews, and of course, her own memories. Thanks to its page-by-page map, we can highlight some of the key spots in a story made of aspirations, music, and freedom.

Arrival at Port Authority Bus Terminal

“I got on the bus when I was twenty. I was wearing canvas pants, a black turtleneck, and an old gray raincoat I bought from Camden. My drawing inside a small Scottish suitcase in yellow and red pencil, a pad, illuminations (Arthur Rimbaud, ed.), Some clothes and a picture of my brother and my sisters. I was superstitious. That day was Monday; I was born on Monday. It was a perfect day to arrive in New York. No one was waiting for me. But everything was waiting for me. I immediately took the subway from the Port Authority to J Street and Borough Hall, then to Hoyt-Schmerhorn and DeKalb Avenue. It was a sunny afternoon.” (just kids, Patti Smith, 2010)


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