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Caroline Calloway Moves Out of Her Apartment

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Caroline Calloway Moves Out of Her Apartment
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Caroline and Matisse, her cat
Photo by Lily Burgess

“This is my whole 20s,” Caroline Calloway tells it wistfully as she walks around her West Village apartment, which is littered with wine bottles, flower petals and plant dirt. She also has dozens of matchboxes with her name. And, in an odd gesture towards conventional orderliness, a color-coded wardrobe. Caroline turned 30 in December, and, like many manically charismatic young people who schmooze and shitshow their way through New York right out of college, she has decided it’s time to pull back, take stock, and — at least for now — leave town. With that, we say goodbye to all that clout chasing. As such, she was hosting a series of not-quite-dinner parties in her studio apartment, the seat of her reign of shamelessness for the past decade (for as long as she’s had an Instagram), and mostly inviting other members of the status-thirsty-monde, many of whom, like her, are young women without boundaries.

Maybe you know this apartment, which is in an unremarkable 55-unit 1960’s building, from her social media, or have been invited to one of these “salons” yourself. For years she has DM’d writers, artists, influencers and anyone with something to offer to come over so she could hold forth.

Calloway is, naturally, internet-famous because he is internet-famous. (Her Wikipedia entry describes her this way: “Caroline Gotschall Calloway is an American internet celebrity known for posting Instagram photos with long captions.”) Then she became even more famous for being betrayed — or possibly just described — by her ex-best friend Natalie Beach, who wrote a Tell-all essay in 2019 about their relationship for the Cut, taking partial credit for her influencer success. At the time Beach’s piece came out, I was new to New York and didn’t understand why I was supposed to care about these two Instagram girls and their melodramatic friendship meltdown. Her mess soon roped me in. Reddit was full of trollish obsessions about her, which seemed to indicate that she was culturally significant and therefore worthy my attention. So I thought. But she was undeniably entertaining.

Caroline was the first person I met in person. I followed her around last summer. for a story at a party at Russian Samovar. Unsurprisingly, she was an excellent person to party with — determined to have a good time, she brought genuine smiles to the faces of those around her. That party (and her being in New York again) was part of her post-Natalie game plan to stay relevant. She also started an OnlyFans, sold a $75 skin-care oil called Snake Oil — yeah, maybe too obvious, but she’s proud of her “scammer” reputation — and could be found around town trying to do the whole Dimes Square thing, systematically making friends with the influencers, writers, and artists who would accept her invitations to hang out, including me.

As always, there will be plenty of food and drink on the floor.
Photo by Lily Burgess

The thing I discovered about Caroline after I met her is that you just can’t easily say no to her; she sucks you in. You can dismiss Caroline as a crazy disaster on the screen and perhaps feel more confident that you have it all together. In person, she will trap you with her big eyes and a flurry if compliments. She will try to get you to agree to her demands for validation, wine, or your attendance at the party (or all three). It’s hard to say no because you think that you might just be witnessing something important — what that is you’re not sure — even though, deep down, you suspect it’s probably inconsequential.

Still, the manic charm doesn’t work on everyone. Caroline spent the rest of the year partying after being booed at sceney lit readings last summer. Like the restThey then allegedly left for the U.K. “celebrate and recalibrate”(She began her influencership with a post about her high-class undergraduate life at Cambridge University. She returned to New York in the New Year, and was seen at the events. show upat if you want to be a part of the elusive scene, such as the artist Annie Hamilton’s one-woman show at The Jane Sean Thor Conroe’s book launch in Ridgewood. However, she disappeared from social media in November. “Is Caroline Calloway alive?”I was often asked this question.

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I can assure that she is.

February Caroline reached out to inform me that she’d soon be leaving, for real this time, moving to Florida to take care of her 99-year-old grandmother and focus on “her masterpiece,” her memoir. She wanted to invite me for one of the many farewell dinner party she was planning at home. It was all organized in a notebook with hand-drawn calendars.

Caroline Calloway has a custom of letting you go for it. “dinner”You can eat at her apartment from the paper plates placed in the middle of the floor. The drinks are served in a variety of mugs or jars. The menu is the same: either takeout sushi paired alongside Aperol spritzes, or salads paired together with wine (wine that your bring). With two 20-something influencers, I was the first to arrive for salad night. When I showed up, there were four plates already on the floor, her cat, Matisse (she says he’s from Ukraine), wandering among them. They tasted like Sweetgreen (arugula, apples, avocado, Za’atar bread crumbs, seemingly no dressing) and had clearly been purchased earlier that day, then left out. The meal was served around her. “altar”: A tableau of art supplies and animal skulls, flowers and vases, terrariums and taper candles, in the middle of her potting soil-covered floor.

You fancy a relaxing bath?
Photo by Lily Burgess

One of the influencers brought shrooms, and suddenly the very polite dinner, mostly spent talking about Caroline’s New York run and the “iconic lines” she can’t wait to write down in her book, turned into a trip. Before I knew what was happening, Caroline had already rubbed off the top layer of my nails in order to superglue French tip acrylics to my fingers.“I have no idea how she stuck these on there,” my nail lady told me a few days later during the three-hour appointment it took to remove them), while the other two took selfies around the studio, on her bed, and in front of her walls, lined with hundred of books — mostly classic novels, memoirs by women, a couple of collections with matching green-and-red slipcovers, and one clearly visible copy of Play It As It Lays. Caroline declared that the night was the beginning of the end. “historic” era.

She asked us all to tell her what we liked about her. I shroom-stumbled through an answer and she then asked me. “What do you mean?,”I was forced to try again. We talked about Caroline and drank wine for a couple hours. Despite the self-interest, she’s warm and maternal in a way that reminds you of your one friend’s crazy mom. She spent a lot of her monologue telling us how special we were, and giving out gift bags with Snake Oil, Caroline Calloway matchbooks, and purple-hyacinth bulb vases. Shortly before 2 am, she got her cat into a bag and we started down Sixth Avenue. Paul’s Baby Grand. You might think it’s abuse, but I have to admit I’ve never seen an animal so happy and docile, passed around the dance floor by kids who clearly couldn’t believe they’d run into Caroline Calloway, not to mention her cat. (The next morning, it was back on. Twitter: “I walked into a bar in NYC looking for a lowkey night and saw Caroline Calloway holding a cat and I left.”)

Over the next two weeks, the going-away parties continued, attended by Vogue editors, fashion designers, Canal kids, Spike editor Dean Kissick, Fuccboi author Sean Thor ConroeMeg Superstar Princess. Caroline also talked about inviting Kaitlin PhillipsVictoria ParisSerena KerriganAlison Roman, or at least having intended to invite Emily RatajkowskiHowever, they were all unable to attend due to various reasons. Caroline claimed that Cat Marnell would be coming to my house one of the nights, but Marnell later denied to me that she ever consented to go.

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This past Monday night at 8 p.m., Caroline FaceTimes me again from the bathtub, boobs out, just like the first time We have spoken before. She tells me it is finally her very last night in New York and that a number of people she admires will be coming over, including Julia Fox, Serena Shahidi (a.k.a. @glamdemon2004), the writer Honor Levy, the poet Rachel Rabbit WhiteReal Housewife Leah McSweeney (by FaceTime).

When I arrive shortly after 9 p.m., I find her once again on the floor, with Honor, Serena, and a number of other young people, drinking Martha Stewart’s Chardonnay collab with Snoop Dogg and trying to piece together 3-D flower puzzles Caroline bought for them.

“Don’t I look like an alien empress? Alien empress is what it’s giving,”Caroline says, “When I walk through the doors, Caroline runs around the room wearing a powder-blue silk gown and flowers in her hair before sitting down crisscrossing applesauce and exposing my white panties. “HONEY.”She mostly talks about the same things that she did last time I was there: the memoirs Catherine the Great. “the time I lost my cat at KGB Bar,” the books she’s working on, the movie supposedly being made about her by Lena Dunham, possibly starring Maude Apatow and Emma Corrin, and about all of the things she wanted to do before leaving the city, like eating at Via Carota, drinking at Bar Pisellino, and meeting up with a guy she likes to fuck.

@glamdemon2004 works on a 3D puzzle
Photo by Lily Burgess

“I know we’re about to see one of the most famous people in the world,”She tells the group that she is referring to Julia Fox, though the only people to arrive after me are Rachel Rabbit White, (British) Vogue’s resident astrologer, and a sexy, beefy man who, she tells me, is 59th in line to the British throne and brought Cheez-Its and four Ferrero Rochers to the party (believe it or not, from what I could tell from Googling later, he actually is the queen’s first cousin, twice removed; Caroline refers to him as a “former lover”). At some point, Caroline FaceTimes Leah but she doesn’t answer.

Caroline plays Taylor Swift, talks to Kurt Vonnegut and gives away more flowers. “When I was creating my brand, Blair Waldorf was on my mood board,”I hear her before she gives us all pep talks about careers.“You’re one of the great minds,”Honor hears her tell. She has tried to create a relaxing atmosphere in her bathroom, filling it with water and putting real daisies on top. There are candles, a Coca Cola can and every Glossier product on the ledge.

Caroline opens a port bottle she claims belonged to her father just before Midnight. She declares it a very special evening and I also enjoyed it at the last dinner, but also from a dirty glasses. Rachel braves the detritus in the pond/tub for a photoshoot, still wearing her ripped tights and six-inch Giuseppe Zanottis, and Caroline shows me how she can contort Matisse’s face into a number of personalities: first a bunny rabbit, then a vampire, then President Martin Van Buren, then President Martin Van Bunny. It’s at that moment that she tells me she’s on acid. “Who needs to leave next?”She asks the room because she wants to be alone before everyone goes.

Rachel Rabbit White, the new occupant of Caroline Calloway’s apartment.
Photo by Lily Burgess

“I can’t wait to be in open air, where I can’t catch on fire and none of my limbs fall asleep,”Serena says that the second puzzle box will be lit from one of the three dozen candles on the floor after Serena has finished. Caroline commands us all to “pretend” this is her real going-away party, which is confusing because I thought that it actually was. “Isn’t Julia in Milan?” Rachel asks when it starts to become clear she won’t be joining us tonight.

As people start to head home, Caroline, now somehow with a green juice in hand, says that she’s going to the Waverly Inn for a martini and to “read her lover’s book,”But with an 8 p.m. departure the next day, she decides that she will head out to Art Bar with the distant Royal, Serena and a sweet gay boy who have spent the majority of the evening trying the 3-D puzzle. “I came, I saw, I conquered,”Caroline calls Rachel behind her as she walks out the door, encouraging Rachel to stay for a while, take a bath in her famous apartment, then close the door.

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Think of her bottle “acid” to be just more snake oil — “I bet it’s some herbal shit,” says Rachel — we drop it on our tongues and wander the littered apartment, looking for clues as to how someone becomes Caroline Calloway, catching glimpses in bowls of unidentifiable pills on the counter and the books and art, including a painting of herself, on the walls. “This is like a horror movie,” Rachel says. After determining that the acid is not CBD oil, we take some more.

We spend the next half hour listening to Lana screeching. “I’ve been tearing up town in my fucking white gown like a goddamn near sociopath,” gliding around the room, now fully tripping, and searching for something, we’re not sure what — “talismans,”Rachel calls them “the women” and that would explain the woman and what has happened in the apartment over the past ten year. It’s crazy, not to mention probably irresponsible, but both of us agree that the studio is intoxicating in itself, altering our behavior as much as the acid. We put on Caroline’s perfume because we can’t help it.

Caroline in front her flowery floor tableau.
Photo by Lily Burgess

I leave Rachel curled up next to the cat in the same position. Rachel and Caroline meet up again at 5:45 pm the next day. She hands Rachel the keys to the apartment, which Rachel can then move in. Instagram). Caroline misses the flight and ends her evening at the Jane Hotel. Meanwhile, Julia Fox posts a video: “I had full dinner plans last night and decided to take a power nap and woke up the full next day. Forgive me @carolinecalloway.”Rachel texts me “Look we were taken over by her spirit. Something happened there where she like brought us on on a psychic level to her vibrations.”

It is one of Caroline Calloway’s greatest wishes, among many other definitely grand and probably delusional things, that one day, when you arrive at her former apartment building in the West Village, there will be a metal plaque next to the front door commemorating her ten-year residence there. It was the decade she became, she once told me. “professionally, Caroline Calloway,” and it ended this week — or at least her time on West 13th Street did.

It will take time to determine what the hypothetical inscription would look like. Perhaps it would say “Caroline Calloway, Notorious Scammer”Or “Caroline Calloway, Internet Celebrity.” If Caroline got her way, she’d be memorialized like Edith Wharton: “Caroline Calloway, Literary Sensation,” “Caroline Calloway, Best-Selling Author,” “Caroline Calloway, Downtown It-Girl.” Of course, most likely, there will only be a buzzer that the landlord still hasn’t fixed.

Rachel Rabbit White currently lives in the apartment. Caroline says she’s staying off social media “to make prose that explodes over you like your favorite confetti,”However, she did return to TikTok briefly last week to mark the “the end of a fucking era.”She signs off in the final video with a quote by Joan of Arc “I was not afraid. I was born to do this.”

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