ELI REED & MORDECHAI RUBINSTEIN

ELI REED & MORDECHAI RUBINSTEIN

FADE IN:

EXT. WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK, GREENWICH VILLAGE, NEW YORK CITY — MORNING

Washington Square Park, in lower Manhattan, pulses with the flow of pedestrians walking through it every which way. A film crew is set up beneath its marble arch. Nearby, a department of parks and recreation employee prunes branches from a yet-to-bloom tree.

CUT TO:

ELI REED, in white pants, and MORDECHAI RUBINSTEIN are sitting on the lip of the park’s fountain, which is still drained for the season.

MORDECHAI
What an amazing place to start a morning in New York City.

ELI
This is definitely one of our favorite parks.

MORDECHAI
I was having a rough day, but as soon as I stepped foot in here, I practically started to whistle. I try to spend as much time as I can outside.

ELI
I’m living in Brooklyn now, and Fort Greene Park is nearby. When it’s nicer I’ll go for a jog every so often.

MORDECHAI
Washington Square Park is where models were scouted back in the day. It’s since become so sterile though.

ELI
I was recently in Berlin, where, at seven in the morning, I encountered the craziest creature I’ve ever seen: this guy with pink glasses, wearing a tutu. “That’s what I’m missing in the city,” I thought.

MORDECHAI
Yes. We’re missing characters.

ELI
There are less and less.

MORDECHAI
People are so vanilla, you know?

ELI
Just getting more and more corporate.

MORDECHAI
No one does vintage justice like those in Berlin. In New York, or San Francisco, folks tend to be a bit too costumey with it.

ELI
It’s not just a look in Berlin.

MORDECHAI
I love to undress people with my eyes, and sometimes with my mouth [laughs]. The street is my office and my runway. I say I’m the most observant, non-observant Jew. I don’t miss a damn thing! I can see the herringbone of a three-button suit from a mile away.

CUT TO:

A MAN in the park sees ELI and MORDECHAI, and begins to walk toward them.

MORDECHAI [to MAN]
There’s our guy! He’s wearing like $300 hiking boots.

MAN [to MORDECHAI]
I used to have a coat like the kind you’ve got on, but with an eagle on it. That shit was hot!

MORDECHAI
Bless up. Good to see you!

The MAN walks away. ELI and MORDECHAI turn back to one another.

MORDECHAI
So, did you bring your skateboard to do some tricks?

ELI
No — too cold [laughs]. I started a new board company, though. It’s called Becky.

MORDECHAI
Oh, that’s what that beautiful Instagram photo was.

ELI
The one of the board?

MORDECHAI
Yeah, with the woman’s face and her one eye.

ELI
Yes. That board is called Lisa. The graphic is actually from an old Vogue cover.

MORDECHAI
So that’s a sample?

ELI
No, that’s my boy already making product. You know my friend Sam Salganik right?

MORDECHAI
Oh my god. Dude’s incredible.

ELI
Sam kind of changed the game for skating videos.

MORDECHAI
He’s like one of the original —

ELI
Hipsters.

MORDECHAI
Yes, that too, but I was going to say skate video guys.

ELI
He was the first dude to wear all velour, and dirty beat up Vans —

MORDECHAI
The knit beanie all year round. A non-Hasidic beard at all times.

ELI
What’s going on with your movie?

MORDECHAI
The one I’m doing the wardrobe for? It’s called Finished. I’ve never worked on a film before so I can’t even compare it to anything.

ELI
So what’s it about?

MORDECHAI
Cops. There are a lot of uniforms. Construction workers, too, which are my favorite right now. The way they dress hasn’t changed too much. There are pops of neon and orange.

ELI
Oh, workwear shit. That’s perfect for you. People on the street wear their clothes way more interestingly than those who claim to have ‘style.’

MORDECHAI
If you feel like coming out to Long Island City, where we’re shooting, we can get weird. I’d never spent time in Queens before. Holy fuck. It’s another world.

ELI
Just like our club!

MORDECHAI
Yes! The reggae spot in Crown Heights. I don’t want to name drop, but we’re fortunate to be a part of that. Every Sunday the party starts around one in the morning and goes until the lights come on at four.

ELI
I had the wildest night there recently. It started as I was walking down 14th Street, where I saw the craziest girl. She looked like a bottle-service waitress —

MORDECHAI
Where’d you see her? 14th Street and what?

ELI
14th Street and 8th Avenue.

MORDECHAI
Oh. I kind of knew it was 8th Avenue [laughs].

ELI
So I kept walking, got on the subway, turned around, and there she was. I was like: Hey, you want to get some tea? She said yes, and the next thing I know I’m bringing her to the club.

MORDECHAI
That same night?

ELI
Yes. It was like bringing meat into a lion’s den. I couldn’t believe I made it in and out alive. What’s his name was sitting right there in front of us —

MORDECHAI
Bobby?

ELI
Yes! Our favorite deejay. It was the first time he recognized me.

MORDECHAI
It’s so nice to get recognized there, dude. Sometimes I get real shy.

ELI
We can get different reactions.

MORDECHAI
But they love us.

ELI
They do, they do.

CREDITS

Photography byBramble Trionfo
Sania Tharani

Conversation moderated byAnthony Rotunno

Eli Reed is a New York City-based pro skater and the founder of Becky.
Mordechai Rubinstein, aka Mr. Mort, is a New York City-based photographer.

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THE END