Jenny Bahn Talks Love in New York
If you’ve been reading The Inside Source for the past year, you’ll recall one of our writers, Jenny Bahn, a young curious spirit with a voracious appetite to sift through eBay and document trends. This month, we’re proud to announce the release of Jenny’s first book, Brooklyn Love Stories. With such a compelling title, we decided to ask Jenny a few questions on love in the big apple today, and how she deals.
Jauretsi: Was there an a-ha moment when you realized you were ready to write your first book? Why this topic?
Jenny Bahn: Because the book is a collection of short stories, it was more of an accidental curatorial process. I started writing these vignettes in October 2010, after getting out of a long-term relationship in Los Angeles and dating in New York for the first time. Let’s just say it was interesting. I think these stories were how I coped with being incredibly (and charmingly) naive?
One review glowingly described your characters as “kids who belong to the generation that tries not to care.” How would you describe this motley cast of characters?
I think dating in New York is really a beast unto its own. People come here with extreme prerogatives — money, success, career. Love can often seem like the obstacle in the way of the rest of your life. As a result, people get thrown away really quickly and without much thought. It’s on to the bigger and better deal, whatever or whoever that may be. The characters in Brooklyn Love Stories are a reflection of this. Through them, you see the emotional consequences of living in a city that operates like this. They’re trying to be strong and callous, but at the end of the day, they’re just like any other person in any other city who just want to be loved. We’ve all got hearts.
Who do you relate to more? Sex in the City’s Carrie Bradshaw or GIRLS' Hanna Horvath? Why?
Oh, man. A little bit of both. GIRLS is on point with the current extreme self-absorption I’d like to say dominates our time. There’s a guarded callousness and neuroses that I find totally honest and unique. And for it’s part, Sex in the City really captured the freak show that is dating here. You just meet so many people… so many wrong, wrong people. You get into weird situations. For as tough as it is, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So many stories to tell. Good, bad, romantic, heart-wrenching — you have to live for those stories in your life.
As one of the curators for The Inside Source, tell us your own top 3 essentials you constantly search for on eBay?
I don’t think I realized it until recently but I am an eBay junkie. You can seriously get whatever you want. Like a grab-bag of awesome/weird — sort of like dating in New York!
1) Art books — Vintage or new, I buy a lot of these, especially when I’m doing research for a project. I recently scooped up a handful of books by Slim Aarons for this script I’m working on. Before that, it was vintage children’s books by people like Shell Silverstein.
2) Beauty products — Recently NARS discontinued my skin cream and I went on eBay and bought, like, two year’s worth. I use eBay like my persona </h3> </3) Home decor — My best purchase on eBay ever was a midcentury chandelier that hung in my LA dining room until I moved to NYC. I literally had a nightmare the night before the auction ended that I didn’t win it… which probably isn’t normal.
Jenny Bahn’s book, Brooklyn Love Stories is available here.
(Photo: Caitlin Mitchell Studio. Q&A by Jauretsi)