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Caroline, Matisse and Matisse her cat
“This is my whole 20s,” Caroline Calloway tells the story wistfully while she strolls around her West Village apartment littered in wine bottles, flowers petals, and dirt. Her name is also on dozens of matchboxes. In an unusual gesture toward conventional orderliness she also has a color-coded closet. Caroline turned 30 in December, and, like many manically charismatic young people who schmooze and shitshow their way through New York right out of college, she has decided it’s time to pull back, take stock, and — at least for now — leave town. We say farewell to all the clout-chasing. As such, she was hosting a series of not-quite-dinner parties in her studio apartment, the seat of her reign of shamelessness for the past decade (for as long as she’s had an Instagram), and mostly inviting other members of the status-thirsty-monde, many of whom, like her, are young women without boundaries.
Maybe you know this apartment, which is in an unremarkable 55-unit 1960’s building, from her social media, or have been invited to one of these “salons” yourself. For years she has DM’d writers, artists, influencers and anyone with something to offer to come over so she could hold forth.
Because Calloway has become internet-famous, it is no surprise that Calloway is also internet-famous. (Her Wikipedia entry describes her this way: “Caroline Gotschall Calloway is an American internet celebrity known for posting Instagram photos with long captions.”) Then she became even more famous for being betrayed — or possibly just described — by her ex-best friend Natalie Beach, who wrote a A tell-all essay in 2019 about their relationship for the Cut, taking partial credit for her influencer success. At the time Beach’s piece came out, I was new to New York and didn’t understand why I was supposed to care about these two Instagram girls and their melodramatic friendship meltdown. My curiosity was quickly drawn to her messy life. Reddit was filled with trollish obsessive thoughts about her that seemed to suggest she was culturally important and thus worthy of my attention. That was what I believed. She was undoubtedly entertaining.
Caroline was the person that I first met. Last summer, I was able to follow her. for a story at a party at Russian Samovar. Unsurprisingly, she was an excellent person to party with — determined to have a good time, she brought genuine smiles to the faces of those around her. That party (and her being in New York again) was part of her post-Natalie game plan to stay relevant. She also started an OnlyFans, sold a $75 skin-care oil called Snake Oil — yeah, maybe too obvious, but she’s proud of her “scammer” reputation — and could be found around town trying to do the whole Dimes Square thing, systematically making friends with the influencers, writers, and artists who would accept her invitations to hang out, including me.
There will be ample food and drinks available on the ground, as usual.
The thing I discovered about Caroline after I met her is that you just can’t easily say no to her; she sucks you in. Caroline is an annoying screen presence that can make you feel like a complete failure. She will seduce you in real life with her huge eyes and lots of compliments. You will be tempted to accept her requests for validation, wine or attendance to the party. It’s hard to say no because you think that you might just be witnessing something important — what that is you’re not sure — even though, deep down, you suspect it’s probably inconsequential.
Still, the manic charm doesn’t work on everyone. Caroline was drunk after having been booed at the sceney lit readings in the summer. Enjoy the restThey allegedly fled then for the U.K. “celebrate and recalibrate”She began her role as an influencer by writing a blog post about her Cambridge University undergraduate experience. After returning to New York, she was at the event. show upat if you want to be a part of the elusive scene, such as the artist Annie Hamilton’s one-woman show at Jane Sean Thor Conroe’s book launch in Ridgewood. She disappeared however from social media during November. “Is Caroline Calloway alive?”This question was frequently asked of me.
She is, I am certain.
Februar Caroline reached out to inform me that she’d soon be leaving, for real this time, moving to Florida to take care of her 99-year-old grandmother and focus on “her masterpiece,” her memoir. It was her wish to invite me to one of many farewell dinner parties she had planned at home. All of it was organized in a notebook that included hand-drawn planners.
Caroline Calloway likes to make you do it. “dinner”The paper plates are placed on the ground floor and you can enjoy your meal at her place. You can choose from a range of cups or jars to serve your drinks. There are two options: takeout sushi or salads with Aperol cocktails. Two 20-something influencers were my hosts for the salad night. When I showed up, there were four plates already on the floor, her cat, Matisse (she says he’s from Ukraine), wandering among them. They tasted like Sweetgreen (arugula, apples, avocado, Za’atar bread crumbs, seemingly no dressing) and had clearly been purchased earlier that day, then left out. She was the one who served it. “altar”In the center of her potting soil-covered flooring is a tableau with art supplies, animal skulls, taper candles and flowers.
Do you want a tranquil bath?
One of the influencers brought shrooms, and suddenly the very polite dinner, mostly spent talking about Caroline’s New York run and the “iconic lines” she can’t wait to write down in her book, turned into a trip. Caroline was already doing the dirty work to remove my top nail layer in preparation to apply French tip acrylics.“I have no idea how she stuck these on there,” my nail lady told me a few days later during the three-hour appointment it took to remove them), while the other two took selfies around the studio, on her bed, and in front of her walls, lined with hundred of books — mostly classic novels, memoirs by women, a couple of collections with matching green-and-red slipcovers, and one clearly visible copy of Play It As It Lays. Caroline stated that it was the end of the night. “historic” era.
Then she asked everyone to give her their favorite qualities about her. She asked me to answer her question after I had shroomed through a few answers. “What do you mean?,”The second time was the charm. After talking about Caroline, we drank wine together for several hours. Despite the self-interest, she’s warm and maternal in a way that reminds you of your one friend’s crazy mom. She spent much of her monologue telling us about how special we are, giving away gift bags filled with Snake Oil and Caroline Calloway matchbooks, as well as purple-hyacinth bulb vase vases. She got her cat in a bag, and they started walking down Sixth Avenue shortly before two o’clock. Paul’s Baby Grand. You might think it’s abuse, but I have to admit I’ve never seen an animal so happy and docile, passed around the dance floor by kids who clearly couldn’t believe they’d run into Caroline Calloway, not to mention her cat. It was still there the next day. Twitter: “I walked into a bar in NYC looking for a lowkey night and saw Caroline Calloway holding a cat and I left.”)
Over the next two weeks, the going-away parties continued, attended by Vogue editors, fashion designers, Canal kids, Spike editor Dean Kissick, Fuccboi author Sean Thor Conroe, Meg Superstar Princess. Caroline talked also about inviting Kaitlin Phillips, Victoria Paris, Serena KerriganAlison Roman (or at least intending to invite) Emily RatajkowskiDue to different reasons, all of them were unable attend. Caroline said that Cat Marnell was coming to my home one night, but Marnell denied that.
Last Monday Night at 8 p.m., Caroline FaceTimes me again from the bathtub, boobs out, just like the first time We have already spoken. She tells me it is finally her very last night in New York and that a number of people she admires will be coming over, including Julia Fox, Serena Shahidi (a.k.a. @glamdemon2004Honor Levy (the poet) Rachel Rabbit whiteReal Housewife Leah McSweeney (by FaceTime).
When I arrive shortly after 9 p.m., I find her once again on the floor, with Honor, Serena, and a number of other young people, drinking Martha Stewart’s Chardonnay collab with Snoop Dogg and trying to piece together 3-D flower puzzles Caroline bought for them.
“Don’t I look like an alien empress? Alien empress is what it’s giving,”Caroline said: “When I walk through the doors, Caroline runs around the room wearing a powder-blue silk gown and flowers in her hair before sitting down crisscrossing applesauce and exposing my white panties. “HONEY.”It is mostly the same thing she talks about as the last time I was there, the Memoirs Catherine the Great. “the time I lost my cat at KGB Bar,” the books she’s working on, the movie supposedly being made about her by Lena Dunham, possibly starring Maude Apatow and Emma Corrin, and about all of the things she wanted to do before leaving the city, like eating at Via Carota, drinking at Bar Pisellino, and meeting up with a guy she likes to fuck.
@glamdemon2004 worked on a 3D Puzzle
“I know we’re about to see one of the most famous people in the world,”She tells them that she’s referring to Julia Fox, though the only people to arrive after me are Rachel Rabbit White, (British) Vogue’s resident astrologer, and a sexy, beefy man who, she tells me, is 59th in line to the British throne and brought Cheez-Its and four Ferrero Rochers to the party (believe it or not, from what I could tell from Googling later, he actually is the queen’s first cousin, twice removed; Caroline refers to him as a “former lover”). At some point, Caroline FaceTimes Leah but she doesn’t answer.
Caroline is Taylor Swift’s daughter, and she talks with Kurt Vonnegut. She also gives more flowers. “When I was creating my brand, Blair Waldorf was on my mood board,”She speaks before we get all the career talk talks.“You’re one of the great minds,”Honor listens to her story. Her bathroom is now a tranquil space. She filled it with water, and added real daisies. You can find every Glossier product, candles and a Coca Cola bottle on the ledge.
Caroline opened a port bottle that she claimed belonged to her dad just before Midnight. It was a special night, she says. I enjoyed the same meal at her last dinner as well. However, my glasses were stained. Rachel braves the detritus in the pond/tub for a photoshoot, still wearing her ripped tights and six-inch Giuseppe Zanottis, and Caroline shows me how she can contort Matisse’s face into a number of personalities: first a bunny rabbit, then a vampire, then President Martin Van Buren, then President Martin Van Bunny. It’s at that moment that she tells me she’s on acid. “Who needs to leave next?”She is asking the room to get alone because everyone else has gone.
Rachel Rabbit White, the new occupant of Caroline Calloway’s apartment.
“I can’t wait to be in open air, where I can’t catch on fire and none of my limbs fall asleep,”Serena tells us that after Serena finishes, the second puzzle box can be lit by one of the dozen candles placed on the ground. Caroline orders us to “pretend” this is her real going-away party, which is confusing because I thought that it actually was. “Isn’t Julia in Milan?” Rachel asks when it starts to become clear she won’t be joining us tonight.
As people start to head home, Caroline, now somehow with a green juice in hand, says that she’s going to the Waverly Inn for a martini and to “read her lover’s book,”She decides to leave at 8 pm the next morning and head for Art Bar. There she’ll be accompanied by Serena the distant Royal, a charming gay boy, and Serena the faraway Royal. “I came, I saw, I conquered,”Caroline calls Rachel as she leaves the house, and encourages Rachel to come back.
Take her bottle as an example “acid” to be just more snake oil — “I bet it’s some herbal shit,” says Rachel — we drop it on our tongues and wander the littered apartment, looking for clues as to how someone becomes Caroline Calloway, catching glimpses in bowls of unidentifiable pills on the counter and the books and art, including a painting of herself, on the walls. “This is like a horror movie,” Rachel says. Once we have determined that this acid is not CBD, we continue to take more.
The next 30 minutes are spent listening to Lana’s screeching. “I’ve been tearing up town in my fucking white gown like a goddamn near sociopath,” gliding around the room, now fully tripping, and searching for something, we’re not sure what — “talismans,”Rachel calls them “the women”This would account for both the behavior of the woman in the apartment and her ten-year history. It’s crazy, not to mention probably irresponsible, but both of us agree that the studio is intoxicating in itself, altering our behavior as much as the acid. We put on Caroline’s perfume because we can’t help it.
Caroline in front of her floor floral tableau.
Rachel is still in that same position so I am left with Rachel. Rachel and Caroline will meet again the following day at 5:45 p.m. Rachel receives the keys for the apartment from her. Rachel may then move in. Instagram). Caroline misses the flight so she finishes her evening at Jane Hotel. Meanwhile, Julia Fox posts a video: “I had full dinner plans last night and decided to take a power nap and woke up the full next day. Forgive me @carolinecalloway.”Rachel sends me texts “Look we were taken over by her spirit. Something happened there where she like brought us on on a psychic level to her vibrations.”
It is one of Caroline Calloway’s greatest wishes, among many other definitely grand and probably delusional things, that one day, when you arrive at her former apartment building in the West Village, there will be a metal plaque next to the front door commemorating her ten-year residence there. I was told by her that this plaque marked the decade she had become. “professionally, Caroline Calloway,” and it ended this week — or at least her time on West 13th Street did.
We will need to wait for the right moment to see what this hypothetical inscription might look like. It might say “Caroline Calloway, Notorious Scammer”Or “Caroline Calloway, Internet Celebrity.” If Caroline got her way, she’d be memorialized like Edith Wharton: “Caroline Calloway, Literary Sensation,” “Caroline Calloway, Best-Selling Author,” “Caroline Calloway, Downtown It-Girl.” Of course, most likely, there will only be a buzzer that the landlord still hasn’t fixed.
Rachel Rabbit White currently resides in the apartment. Caroline says she’s staying off social media “to make prose that explodes over you like your favorite confetti,”But she returned to TikTok briefly last week to mark the “the end of a fucking era.”In the last video, she signs off with Joan of Arc’s quote. “I was not afraid. I was born to do this.”
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