Issue #14

Pietro Frassa

L'Eroico Pessimista

I feel my approach to life is best defined by one of my favorite Woody Allen quotes, in what is unquestionably one of his best movies, ‘Annie Hall’: “Life can be full of loneliness, misery, suffering, and unhappiness, but it’s all over much too quickly”. I have always tried to find beauty in my life, hoping that somehow it would console me. I studied philosophy and worked in an art gallery, then down the road, I confused beauty with success and I took a master in business and moved to NY to start a career in fashion.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

I bike. I like Italian Food and Chinese dumplings. I work as Director of Sales for Max Mara in what I consider the ugliest neighborhood in the City (The Garment District). I am trying to watch all 100 movies in Roger Ebert’s list of greatest films of all time. I used to hike and camp till I discovered lyme disease. I listen to opera, mainly eighteenth Century.

What made you leave Italy and chose NYC?

My father used to always talk about the US and NYC, even in a denigratory way. He invariably used to quote Oscar Wilde, who once said: “America does not exist, believe me, I have been there…”. Then, there is Manhattan by Woody Allen, and its grand opening scene with Rhapsody in Blue. But ultimately I moved to NYC to look for a new horizon of opportunities.

Please share your best memory in the City.

It is very hard to find the best memory of the city. I think I have a constellation of incredibly charming fragmented memories and images that compose my perception of New York. If I close my eyes I see Washington Square Park on a sunny day. The Blue Ribbon spicy seafood soup. The beautiful trees on the High Line. The bike lane on the Williamsburg bridge. My barber shop on Rivington street. The beautiful apples and pears by Cezanne at the MoMA. The Seu Jorge concert at Blue Note. And obviously the night I met Michelle, my girlfriend and future wife, in the ugliest basement club in Nolita.

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

I am wearing my uncle’s denim shirt, my girlfriend’s denim vest, my brother’s denim pants, my beloved mom’s necklace and my dad’s red bandana: I am basically a denim collage of items given by the people I love the most. For what regards the location, I think it is vertiginous and claustrophobic enough to be a good metaphor of NYC, without mentioning of course the exposed red bricks, which obviously make the metaphor even more clear.

Your thought about this project, ITALIANY.US

I think it is a fantastic project that could become an inspiration for people in Italy that are losing hope and believe that the world ends with the Alps. Emigration and immigration is the lymph of the future society, and certainly I believe it is invaluable what Italians could bring to this new world.

How would you describe being an ambassador of the italian style/culture abroad?

Besides the embarrassment of mispronouncing every single English word with more than two syllables, I feel proud of my Italian cultural identity.

It gives me a certain pride to know that I am representing one, if not the most, wonderful country in the world.

  • Manhattan, NY


  • Time

    120 mins

  • Shots


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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US