I went down to the lobby to meet Julia for our farewell. As I waited, I stood next to a person I recognized from photos but couldn’t place. Then I realized: the photographer Annie Liebovitz! I did not think quickly enough, but I should have pretended to have no idea who she was and asked her to take my photo since I was alone on vacation in New York. When Julia arrived and I told her my idea, she rightly noted that Annie probably would have found an excuse to decline. But for a while I had hopes of receiving the cheapest Liebovitz portrait session ever.
Julia had proved as charming and New York brassy in person as in her e-mails. And her practical understanding of how Liebovitz would have dealt with me was something only a New Yorker would think so quickly about. In fact, seeing Annie was part of the charm of New York: celebrity seeking. But I was seeking Hopper. And normal people's thoughts about him. Enough attention has been paid to celebrities and their opinions.