Cathy Begien
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March 2013, Christopher Street.
Tell me a favorite story about your neighbor, Village Pleasure.
When I try to describe where I live in the village, I just have to mention two sex shop land marks, Village Pleasure or London, before I get the “Ohhhhh! I know where that is!” And more than once I’ve had someone tell me that they’ve bought lube by my house. The guys that work at Village Pleasure are your regular neighborhood guys, they have families of their own at home. Once I was strolling home with my neighbors who live in my building – a mom and dad with a son and daughter aged 6 and 4. The two kids ran into Village Pleasure with enthusiastic glee. This of course, startled me and when I gave the dad a look he said, “The owner gives them the broken penis and booby lollipops.” Oh, of course, who likes to see good candy go to waste?
What do you know about the saying, “can’t judge a book by its cover?”
I’ve been reading a lot of paperback books this winter and I am currently obsessed with covering my books with grey paper for that exact reason.  I’ve also been wondering, will people still say that in 100 years? Or will their children ask what that means? “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” and their parents or grandparents will explain, that back in the day people used to read stuff on papers and in books. We didn’t have so many screens or phones or iPads or tablets. And these book things opened up and the information or stories were written and stacked and glued inside. You could only see it if you were in a lighted room. Often times these books had jackets or covers on them with artwork or different fonts.
The thing is… We say: “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” but the truth is we all do, all the time. But when we open the book and look inside, we experience all of life’s little surprises. What they should really say is: “Fine go a head, judge the book by its cover and then when you open it and read it, you’ll feel like a complete ass.” That is the fun in life.
Cathy is one of those people that come into your life one day, you forget how, and then it feels like she was always there. I actually asked her to remind me how we met and, surprise surprise, it was over candy. Way back in my intern era, Cathy was visiting the Opening Ceremony webstore and had a hankering for Haribo’s Fruity Pasta. I volunteered to go on a gummy run and, failing to find her favorite, I opted for mine (fizzy cokes) and changed her whole outlook on Haribo!  A few meals, dog walks, subway run ins, and video projects later and it feels like Cathy and I have been friends for decades. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is so open and generous that you want to immediately make her your BFF.
Cathy is a visual merchandiser for Prada (swoon, right?) and her eye for what looks amazing is amazing.  Seriously, give her a pile of colorful paper, food, clothes, anything and she’ll turn it into something you’ll covet. She dresses exactly how you wish your cowboy boyfriend dressed and she has the cutest dog named Cheeseburger featured below!
- Anna

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