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Caroline and Matisse are her cats
“This is my whole 20s,” Caroline Calloway tells the story wistfully while she strolls around her West Village apartment. It is littered full of wine bottles and flower petals as well as dirt. Her name is also on dozens of matchboxes. A color-coded wardrobe is another odd sign of conventional orderliness. 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. That’s it. We can say good-bye to all of that clout hunting. 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.
Naturally, Calloway, because he’s internet-famous is web-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 The 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. This is what I thought. However, she was unbelievably charming.
Caroline was the person that I first met. She was the first person I met in person. 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.
You can expect plenty of food and beverages on the floor.
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. You will be captivated by her large eyes and flood of compliments in person. 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 restThe couple then fled 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. In the New Year she returned to New York and was present at the events. 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. In November, however, she vanished from social media. “Is Caroline Calloway alive?”I received this question a lot.
That I know she is.
February 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. I was invited to one of her farewell dinner parties. The entire event was recorded in a book with hand-drawn dates.
Caroline Calloway is known for her willingness to let you try it. “dinner”The paper plates are placed on the ground floor and you can enjoy your meal at her place. Drinks are available in various mugs and jars. You can choose to have sushi taken out and paired with Aperol spritzes or you can order salads that are paired with wine. My salad night was preceded by two influencers in their 20s. 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. It was served to her. “altar”In the center of her potting soil-covered flooring is a tableau with art supplies, animal skulls and flowers, as well as taper candles.
Are you looking for a peaceful 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 already had removed the top layer from my nails before I realized what was going on. She superglued French tip acrylics onto my fingers.“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 said that this night marked the beginning of the end. “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?,”It was my second attempt. 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. Her monologue was long and she spent most of it telling us how important we were. She also gave out purple-hyacinth bulbs vases, Caroline Calloway matchbooks and gift bags with Snake Oil. 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. The next morning it came back. 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 spoke also about inviting Kaitlin Phillips, Victoria Paris, Serena KerriganAlison Roman or having at the very least intended to invite Emily RatajkowskiThey were all, however, unable to make it due to different reasons. Caroline stated that Cat Marnell would visit my house on one of the nights. But Marnell later denies that she consented.
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,”Before she talks to us about our careers, I heard her.“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. The ledge is covered with candles, every Glossier product and a Coca Cola Can.
Caroline opened a port bottle that she claimed belonged to her dad just before Midnight. Caroline declares that it was an unforgettable evening. She also said it tasted great at last night’s dinner. Unfortunately, I had to watch it through dirty glasses. 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?”Because she is lonely and wants to be left alone, she asks for the space.
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 states that Serena will light the second box from the third dozen candles left on the floor. 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 and an adorable gay boy. “I came, I saw, I conquered,”Caroline calls Rachel as she leaves the house, and encourages Rachel to come back.
Imagine her with a bottle of wine “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. We decide that it isn’t CBD oil so we add more.
For the next 45 minutes, we listen 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”That would be the explanation for the woman’s behavior and the events that have occurred in her apartment during the last ten years. 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 with her floor floral tableau.
Rachel and I lay down next to each other, with Rachel in the same place. Rachel and Caroline meet back up at 5:45 the next morning. Rachel is then able to move into the apartment after Rachel has given her the keys. Instagram). Caroline misses her flight, and she ends 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. She once said that it was her tenth decade. “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. Maybe it would read: “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,”She did however return. TikTok briefly last week to mark the “the end of a fucking era.”The final video ends with Joan of Arc as her signature. “I was not afraid. I was born to do this.”
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