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Interviewer & Photographer: Jenna Elizabeth

I don’t know why this is what came to mind but I remember meeting John Galliano at a big Dior event in midtown, and he had I think Natalie Portman in his clutches and kept sort of appearing and disappearing from behind these mirrored doors.

♡: Hi hello hi

AC: Hi!

♡:Where in the world is Codinha San Diego?

AC: At this exact moment: Sunset Park, on my way to JFK

(Belt Parkway)

♡: What a dream!

How’s the traffic

AC: Worse than I expected!!! But I’m hoping that the GPS is wrong.

That happens, right?

♡: I will say, it definitely over estimates my walking time

AC: You’re a fast walker

♡: You’re in shape just jog there

AC: My lyft driver could learn a thing or two

♡: Where are you off to

AC: Milan! For a story.

♡: Someplace exotic? To be said in my Chris Walken voice

AC: I don’t think Italy qualifies but maybe to Walken!

♡:That was a very niche Catch Me If You Can ref

AC: From you i expect nothing less!

♡: I sure as hell hope not!

I wanna talk about our origin story before we get into the questions because I find it telling on a number of levels. It’s interesting to me because we entered our friendship with such flippancy but there was a brutal honesty to it. I think you put it best in saying we initially never thought we’d see each other again. So you gave me your honest gut thoughts on a difficult situation which ended up in many respects, cementing our friendship.

I think this quality is what makes you such a gifted writer and also editor. One of your you-isms I find myself quoting on the reg is, “I don’t have time for people that don’t know what time it is.” I think you’re good at cutting the fat so to speak.

AC: It is funny that we met during a time in my life when I was working as a party and culture reporter for WWD; meeting a lot of people all the time and for very short stints

And then we turned out to be quite a long stint! A substantial stint!

And thank you- I hope I’m good at cutting the fat. That’s essentially what the job is of an editor

I: The WWD period I think was great place to get your footing. For one thing WWD is a fashion newspaper, which is rare in itself. But also, it thrust you into this whirlwind of NY personalities. Some of which I feel like you made into bigger icons, or who were emerging voices.

Can you share one of your favorite moments on the ground?

Emerging voices that you gave power to *

AC: It was really a terrific place to start out working. You really get thrown into the most interesting rooms and seated at tables that as a young 20 something you have no real reason to be at and it’s sort of a sink or swim scenario. Plus you’re filing stories all the time, which was great training for my later forays into the digital world.

I don’t know why this is what came to mind but I remember meeting John Galliano at a big Dior event in midtown, and he had I think Natalie Portman in his clutches and kept sort of appearing and disappearing from behind these mirrored doors.

It felt somehow symbolic, a mad hatter through the looking glass thing. He may also have been wearing an elaborate hat.

♡: Perfect

AC: But other than that it was really just a big swirl

People, places, parties, runway shows, restaurants.

♡: Didn't you also share a cigarette with Philip Seymour Hoffman or am I making that up?

AC: That sounds familiar but I may in my post smoking mind clearing have blocked it out.

Though geeze I wish I remembered

This is why one should have friends, so they can remind you of when you were glamorous *ILYSM hearts*

♡: I remember you telling me stories of people who were revered as America's sweethearts who were in effect terrible to people. I won't name names but it was telling, and then being forced to angle them in flattering ways publicly while still maintaining the truth to your questions. Very tricky but you always hit the balance well

I'm changing lanes a little but


AC: Thanks! I think it's probably always disappointing when people don't live up to your expectations. Especially when you're young. A "never meet your idols" thing. But i think it's also those expectations that can turn people into monsters: i wouldn't want to live under them, either. But i do think people have a responsibility to be civil to each other.

Change those lanes! So is my lyft.

♡: Something we had discussed that's weird to think about personally is the idea of writing someone's obituary in advance...


Now we're in my area of expertise...

Just kidding, but I was for a while a sort of one woman Obits department for

And yes, they still have a few in the hopper by me which I hope they will not need anytime soon

♡: "In the hopper" is a great expression

AC: I regret to inform you it has nothing to do with Dennis Hopper

♡: Writing and editing professionally, you're in effect, always on with a never ending media cycle? How do you maintain creative inspiration when it's being demanded of you routinely in a work enviornment?

AC: It's a lot easier for me now that I've switched lanes a bit, focusing more on travel and styel features than when I was constantly on the news/celebrity news/ fashion-adjacent news cycle at I have to write a lot fewer obituaries, for one thing.

But what you're talking about is definitely something I struggle with.

♡: How do you find time to write for yourself? It is another cap to put on - is it harder emotionally to tap into that space or do you find it liberating and easier?

AC: Honestly, I'm still working on it. Sometimes it's easy: you just have a creative urge and you follow it, and it feels good and natural and like an escape. And then Sometimes the last thing I want to see after spending a week on a story is another screen and keyboard. Which is hard, because as you know, the entire world is now screens and keyboards.

Do you ever feel like you make better work when you're unhappy?

Or under emotional strain or working through something?

Sometimes i think being happy and comfortable works against the artistic impulses. But I think that could also be a trick people use to make themselves feel better for either isolating themselves to do their art or excusing themselves for Not doing it.

What's the point in telling the story if you don't get to choose your own ending?

♡: Yes, when I'm writing from a personal place I'm able to release people, even those you love. And by doing so, I release myself. So sometimes you need to filter those heavier emotions or recenter yourself around those thoughts which can be emotionally exhausting

I remember awhile back I sent you a script I wrote and said I wrote myself the apology I never got and you said to me - is that not what writing is for, but to write the apologies we never got ourselves - or something along those line. But I often think about that a lot since then. There is tremendous power and healing from not only writing our own stories but resolving one's history with those that have hurt us.

AC: Oh absolutely

I believe that 100%

What's the point in telling the story if you don't get to choose your own ending? *ILYSM hearts*

(This is not a reflection on my reportage, by the way. We're talking fiction here!)

But I do think you and I find catharsis through this stuff. And that's lucky for us.

If I'm honest with myself, my main goal creatively is to get back to where I was probably at age, like 10

When all i cared about was reading and writing and there was no thought to who if anyone would read it.

I think that's the key. I have NO clue how to get there. Ayahuasca?

♡: As an editor, is there something you find yourself having to routinely remind people of when finalizing their work? Bc that's the tricky part is maintaining the author's moment of catharsis while still having that translate to an audience...

AC: The type of things I edit these days are more travle/lifestyle pieces, so what I'm focused the most on is carrying the authors voice and experience through while telling the best story we can.

That's the fun part. Helping shape something together.

I think where you get into trouble is when writers see editors as adversaries

Instead of like, neurosurgeon midwifes. Which is closer to the truth.

♡: You are my favorite neurosurgeon midwife, and now how I will introduce you at parties

AC: If you don't I will be VERY disappointed MZ

Ignore that MZ

♡: I'm reading Jia Tolentino's book Trick Mirror, and something I found interesting is this idea of writing to hold yourself accountable of your own hypocrisy

AC: Tell me more

I just got a text from the Bernie campaign addressing me as "Saint"

♡: Saint, Neurosurgeon, Midwife

AC: New business cards on the way

♡: Can you please?

AC: Maybe.

♡: Well I feel like the above is a much larger conversation but I feel like her opening does a better job that me texting it so I just took a picture

Pick up at the airport!

AC: I do writing as a type of self interrogation. *ILYSM hearts*

♡: But the book is made up of a series of essays exploring this theme

Is there an awareness that has shifted in your work from your 20s to your 30s?

AC: For sure! Please hold just got to the airport *ILYSM thumbs up*

Going through security and then I have THOUGHTS about this

Would it shock you to know that despite the sheer volume of trips I take I have yet to land on the perfect travel pants?

*For long haul flights

♡: Another calling for the Saint!

AC: Every time i get ready to go somewhere i am reminded all over again

♡: I want loose fitting cashmere pants

AC: I have a pair that i love (vintage Sonia rykiel) but they're navy and so don't always go with everything

Riveting, i know.

Anyways. On aging

♡: An appropriate seway


AC: I wish i had a Segway right now

Ok, back to awareness

I think there's a way that you can have too much awareness in your work, it makes it something sort of performative

Which goes back to the wanting to write for myself (age 10) rather than some anonymous public

And one unfortunate side effect of aging is that you become increasingly aware

Which is why I've decided to move to the woods


I mean, I think that the hard thing is to do what moves you without the weight of the expectations you put on it

You've always been great at navigating that. I get stymied by it.

♡: That's interesting and I find true of so many art forms. But also true on the consumer's end... People start looking for the cliche part of that person's work versus the originality.

I respect people like Paul Thomas Anderson who never makes the same film twice

But explores different modes of themselves in various genres

Even if it isn't my favorite I respect the risk of not becoming a parody of yourself

What's your favorite piece you've written?

AC: I really liked a story I just wrote about some recent travels out West. But that's not out until the Jan issue.

The Vogue essay I did about quitting smoking

♡: I'm still waiting fo you to write your own book of essays. Will be first in line

AC: The "love stories" I wrote for Vogue were always fun

♡: I'm biased to that piece

AC: Well you remember when I wrote it

I liked the story i did about Save the Elephants

It was a new type of story for me: big and ambitious and sort of sprawling.

Likely too big, but hey, it was about elephants

♡: "You should quit," said my current boyfriend, our dog at the end of the leash in his hand, and what he meant was "I love you" and "grow up" and maybe the latter more than the former, but they were both looking at me in this way they have, a tail-wagging behind the eyes that makes my happiness feel like something palbable, like a pulse, but makes me so afraid, too, afraid of swerving cars and other dogs, terrorist attacks and illness, of fate and chance, of hurt and harm, of the randomness of pain, how life can take everything from you all at once, how time is the house, and it will always win. "You're right," said I, and instead made the compromise of promising to never smoke inside his apartment, even after I moved in."

I love the weight of that sentence

(From Alessandra's Vogue piece My Chemical Romance)

AC: Hahahaha

♡: Brownie points for the title

Everything you write is layered with textures of emotions but also very specific sensations. More than a feeling, but actually.

Like you're drowning in memories

My last question! I know you're bouncing soon

I've rolled a few requests your way of people looking to write professionally for a media outlet. What's the best advice for emerging writers looking to have their voice published?

It's a hell of a time to come up in this industry and I'm curious given the landscape

AC: I think if it's for a particular publication, do your research. Read the kind of writers they publish. The type of stories they're interested in. Shape your stuff accordingly! And keep trying.

♡: Well, bon voyage ATC, it's been luffly.

I'm gonna have you edit your own interview later - jk

AC: I would love to edit my own interview! It's already giving me anxiety that i may not be able to *ILYSM hearts*

On my flight!!!! Xoxoxoxooxoox