We start here at this very small coffee shop tucked away in between two towering brick apartment buildings. It's entrance is half-covered by some plants growing confused and slanted in the middle of a sea of concrete. Its door is of a very dark, burnt-shaded black as if it's not there. And yet, this place has its locals sprawled its tables with their half-written term papers glowing in computer screens and talks of how crazy New York weather is in all languages. French, Spanish, English, then Spanish again. Sylvie is telling me the story of her fancied Jazz singer who in turn told her a story of hearing his own song on the radio and seeing something else in its sound so far and new from its creation that he played it that night at a performance. It was one of many, many storied and rich encounters Sylvie has had in her travels. After living in cities like London, Los Angeles, Rio, and now Rome, I could have skipped the music part of this short film and just recorded all of her hyper-interesting travels.
We had been walking down the Lower East Side, somewhat aimlessly, after deciding that we wanted to play her song with both nature and city. So, we had camped at a random shred of park with a few benches and trees that acts as a fork splitting two main streets. There was a woman that walked past us before we got there. She had black hair, carried a text book on her side and was fiddling with her cellphone as she zigzagged through the streetwalkers without ever looking up. Sylvie had nudged me and whispered, "Look, she's a work of art." Setting up the microphone in the park right before we started filming, Sylvie had spritely began conversation with the couple eating lunch next to us with their dog, Agnes. "Agnes. Wow. You own that name," Sylvie had happily declared to their pet. This happened several times over the course of the day. It's a blast having her smile and randomly start a conversation with you. Especially since it's an experience of Sylvie admiring every instance of your being and you admiring her back. My favorite thing about Sylvie Lewis is that she loves you and you can't help but love her back. She'll instantly hone in on something that will make you seem so special that you can't help but do the same to strangers after spending the day with her.
So, this little film is for the girl on the phone, for Agnes, for the bearded barista at the coffeeshop that now fancies her after we had come in, the old flower owner that had befriended her after seeing her during a smoke break, and for everyone else in New York City. Here's Sylvie Lewis. She's a work of art.
"Give Me The Roses Now" (a live film with Sylvie Lewis)
Wanderer Session #79: Sylvie Lewis
Music by Sylvie Lewis
Images, Sound, Edit by Kevin de Wilde
Filmed in the Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York