George and Louie messaged each other on tumblr, then asked each other for their numbers on Kik, and began to text message all day and FaceTime every night. Both were aspiring models, hoping to land that big modeling deal. They agreed to meet in New York City, because there is no place better than NYC, to fulfill that dream. After a year of working at Walmart, George finally saved up enough money to be able to purchase a one-way ticket to NYC.
George: “I didn’t tell my mom I was moving to NYC. I told her I was gonna stay in this expensive model apartment, knowing that I was going to come to NYC to nothing. I had no idea where I was going to be staying.”
Louie: “My mom kicked me out cuz me and my stepdad had a really bad relationship. So he said ‘either I leave or he leaves’ so my mom kicked me out the house. At first I stood with my aunt in NYC, but the living situation was terrible there, her house was full of bed bugs and cockroaches.”
Louie landed in NYC before George, but still met up the night George arrived. They met up that same night in the Bronx, and headed down to Union Square to roam the city streets.
Their first kiss: “We were going to the bathroom in Starbucks and no one was around so we just started making out.”
Louie was staying with his photographer friend and George with his agent who he couldn't stand living with.
George: “I ran into some Buddhist monks and they just took me to this place and told me to start chanting, and I started chanting ‘Man I hope K**** [photographer] lets me stay at his place and the same night he said I could stay with him.’”
After living with the photographer for a month, complications began to grow, which led him to ultimately kick them to the curb without notice. No money, jobless, and no place to go.
Louie: “It’s 1AM when he kicks us out, so we sat at the corner of his block and these people that bring homeless people to shelters drove up to us and took us to a shelter for teens, but it didn’t open until 9AM. So we went to Central Park and slept on the grass until the next morning.”
Louie was currently working at Ann Taylor but didn't get paid until next week. So they ended up staying at the shelter for a week. In the meantime, George began working at Topshop and catered their events. After saving up for a bit, they still didn't have enough money to get their own apartment, so they turned to their mothers. Both mothers provided the rest of the money in order to rent a single bedroom for $200 a week in the Bronx.
Louie lives by, “Give but you cannot take love.”
Geroge lives by, “Always take a chance, even if you’re scared.”
I’m not sharing their story to show signs of failure, but to show how brave these two men were to move here on their own and follow their dreams. And to show that every dream comes with hardships that you must break through. So I truly wish them the best. Keep striving and inspiring, don't give up. <3
Photographs & Words: Abdul Kircher