Bride of the City
Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City Presents Bride of the City/La Novia de la Ciudad
Starring Kat Bride of Travel Edge
“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Small-town girls with big dreams move to New York hoping to find that mystery and beauty. They toil in daylight and explore their artistic aspirations at night in dark theatres, music halls and jazz clubs. This tale follows a girl who discovered herself as twilight dimmed into that special New York darkness that animates every evening with music, drama and magic.
Upon entering this room at The Evelyn on West 27th Street, Kat recalled its namesake, another small-town girl, Evelyn Nesbit. As the most famous chorus girl to ever stalk a stage, she was first known to audiences as “The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing” and then the world over as the inspiration for the “Gibson Girl.”
Peering down at the pavement, Kat listens to the rattle of the city and disappears into the memory of this neighborhood when melodies flowed like gin and the adjacent street was called Tin Pan Alley, the cradle of the American Songbook.
If you haven’t yet noticed, the theme is noir. Telltale techniques are high-contrast lighting, flashbacks, an existentialist mood and the kind of sirens heard from a firetruck or seen in a long black dress. Let the shadows tell the story.
All dressed up, Kat contemplates her next haunt. You don’t wear a gown like that just anywhere. Eyes closed, she imagines the possibilities. Could she use a laugh? Couldn’t we all? Meet cherished friends for long-overdue cocktails and conversation? Find a band and seek release in their song? Pursue a new flame? Does my mask go with that?
What luck! It’s November 1st! The perfect marriage of autumn rituals in the cultures closest to her heart. Irish roots sound the echoes of Samhain, the Celtic New Year. A longtime love of Mexico, fluency en español and the art of las calaveras led her to embrace Día de Muertos.
She’ll step into this soirée with style. It’s no surprise the Irish &Mexicans are simpático. Both celebrate our ancestors’ lives with fun, food, songs, dances, music and poetry.
During the day she’s bright, resourceful and loves making others laugh. Dig a little deeper though, and you may discover, as those close to her know, she’s always been a night owl. Good thing, for dawn is still a long way off.
Something gives her pause before she reaches the lobby door. She contemplates the meaning of Día de Muertos. The colors, the flowers, the remembrances, and the belief that on this night, the veil between the living and the dead, between this world and the Otherworld – is paper-thin.
She catches the light on her face one last time. Halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Amidst consciousness and sleep. Mexican passion and Irish sangre.
She strolls through the exit, ready to accept what’s on the other side. The door becomes a passage. Instead of New York asphalt, she’s crossing the Paseo de la Reforma. She hears music and laughter and searches for it, following the sound down calles and avenidas. Finally, at the first sliver of sunrise, she arrives at the source of this joyful noise. She is welcomed into the fragrant garden of the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City. Unafraid of daybreak, she joins the party for eternity. Gentle reader, this has been a ghost story.
Photographs by Favela, Text by Kat Bride