42; vegan 20 years; hometown New York, NY
“I grew up in Connecticut, which is a horrible place to grow up. Sorry, if anyone’s from Connecticut. My parents are from Venezuela, so they ended up there, and it’s not shocking that there isn’t a thriving Venezuelan community in Connecticut. So, I never really felt like I fit in there.
From kind of an early age, I knew I was going to end up in New York. My father and I used to go to New York all the time; we’d go to museums and walk around. Eventually, when I was around 21 or 22, I dropped out of college to move to New York City to be a punk rocker. I was hanging out in the Lower East Side and I worked lots of strange jobs. I worked a lot of food jobs, too. I worked in a health food store, and was a baker and a dessert maker in a long-gone vegan restaurant in Chelsea.
I’ve been in New York now over 20 years. I feel like I grew up here. I feel like my previous life didn’t shape me the way that living here and meeting so many different kinds of people from walks of life and living pretty intensely here… That really shaped me.”
photos by Holly Feral