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Close Encounters of the Criminal Kind

Zuzu Tadeushuk

(I seem to have a knack for running into the police)

I went to Chinatown the other day. I often go there when in New York, for many castings take place beside and around Sara Roosevelt Park, but Saturday of last week was the first time I went there for confirmed work. And oh, what work! I spent the first few hours of this shoot for Bon magazine literally in bed, lounging listlessly in various embellished wool dresses. Yeah, I could live with this. I could live with this any day…

But it wasn’t all tea and cake, so to speak (surprise!). In fact it turned out to be another day in my model life that I could file under my running “strange things I do for my job” tab, as the rest of the shoot involved standing barefoot in a puddle on drizzly Canal street (ankle deep in warm gutter water afloat with cigarette butts and trash that left my feet brownish colored) and climbing/being pushed from beneath by two men up a wall to get at an inaccessible rooftop for a pic with some illegally-purchased fireworks (the little backyard fountainy kind). 

I caught a cold from the sylist (poor woman was sick and had to stand out in the rain with us all evening) and then got stuck on the New Jersey turnpike for three hours on my way home: my Rockland Coach bus was maybe a hundred feet behind what was possibly an active “crime scene:” a fellow passenger who stepped out to investigate told us some cops had shot a suspected criminal after a heated car chase. But all we saw was a sea of flashing lights. Right in the middle of what is likely the most-commuted stretch of highway in the country— the Jersey entrance to the Lincoln tunnel. Our bus driver killed the engine and we sat in the dark until a passageway was cleared, hours later. I didn’t get home till midnight, but at least I did befriend a chatty CNN assistant producer who was sitting next to me…

And so that is how an initially lazy afternoon became a puddle-sloshing, building-scaling, firework-lighting, and finally crime-witnessing adventure. All while wearing wool dresses and trying not to look like a hot sweating farm animal. We don’t know if that last endeavor succeeded or not— the spread was entirely shot on film. So we’ll have to wait till September when it’s published to find out just what a ninety-degree day in raining Chinatown looks like, I suppose. At least I can’t say work’s boring!

Chad and Firecracker

Between shots