After Cambridge, Edie moved to New York to try modeling. She applied to be Miss Teenager in a teen magazine, and they accepted her with great enthusiasm, until they found out she was no longer a teenager. So, she lived in her Grandmother’s apartment on 71st and Park and she began to seriously spend her inheritance.
She became immersed in the world of nightlife, and she soon met Bob Dylan and his friend Bob Neuwirth.
Neuwirth said “Edie went through limousine companies the way people go through cigarettes. She never paid her bills, so the limousine people would shut off her credit, and she’d switch to another company. The drivers loved her madly, because she’d dole out these twenty-five and thirty-five dollar tips….”
It’s worth pointing out that Edie was a terrible driver, who smashed up cars left and right, so I think this was really responsible of her, and not practically retarded at all. Except for the part about not paying her bills. She should have done that. There’s a wonderful picture of her at Ondine dancing the twist, even though she had just crushed her knee in a car accident and was wearing a cast.
Neuwirth continues, “She had an ability to relate on all levels, with chauffeurs and ranch hands… yet at the same time, because of that upbringing of hers, rejecting anything less than numero uno. She would order fish and invariably ask the waiter “is this fish fresh?” Of course, in New York, there’s hardly any fresh fish, but whether it was a sleazy little downtown restaurant or Le Pavillion she would invariably ask that question. “Is this fish fresh?” And invariably the waiter would say “Of course it is, Mademoiselle.”When the fish arrived from the kitchen Edie would test it with her fork and say, “I’m sorry, but this fish is not fresh. Please take it back.” It was so crazy because she’d do this in these pop places where the fish was obviously fish cakes… she could do this sort of thing without really pushing it. It’s something you learn very early to be able to get away with – a real patrician royalty trip. People would knock themselves out to do what she asked. She was being really ungracious, but she was graceful about it. Waiters would see to it about the fish.”
I think about this every single time I eat fish in New York. I somehow feel that Edie Sedgwick is single handedly responsible for all the good fresh fish in Manhattan. Because somebody saw to it as a result of her.
And then she met Andy.