The shop was located at 63 Thompson Street in New York’s Soho neighborhood where Elisa had operated a different vintage boutique called Chelsea Girl for twenty years. In 2012 she expanded that shop and moved around the corner. This allowed me to take the Laurel Canyon concept and move it from my mental queue to prime real estate directly across from the Thompson Hotel. In a fever of enthusiasm, I set about transforming a hundred-year-old storefront in what was once a part of New York’s Little Italy into a California Craftsman fantasy on Lookout Mountain Road circa 1972.
The residual trauma of my incarceration and its subsequent shame-based cover-up has, I believe, equipped me uniquely to advise my gay brothers on how to prepare for a visit to prison with a particular emphasis on what not to wear when one is, as the Mob Wives say, “going away.”