Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lucy Feldman: Calm, Cool, and Collected

Her beat at Brown’s Daily Herald was crime. The first semester, there was a slew of capers and malfeasance.

It wasn’t break-ins or illicit drug use: it was a serial masturbator. And Lucy Feldman was on the case.

“People didn’t know how to respond to it – people thought it was hilarious, others horrifying. I was on-call from the editor-in-chief. He’d call and say, ‘Lucy, there’s been an incident.’”

Leah Newcomer, a friend since freshman year, remembers the pair running in slippers and pajamas to the scene, where Feldman would interview policemen and witnesses.

The now editor-in-chief recounts the story with a lazy smile. Pausing, she leans back, stretching in a way that reminds friends of an acrobat or the claymation character Gumby.

“One of my favorite writers, Mark Bowden, writes these crazy, awesome crime tales. I love reading about crime, writing it — all of it,” she says.

Fortunately for her, she and Bowden share a publication: they both work at the esteemed Vanity Fair.
The petite girl with the wild hair didn’t always want to be a journalist.

Before arriving at Brown, she had no plans of even being an English major. The daughter of a psychologist, Feldman thought she’d follow in her father’s footsteps, becoming a clinician.

She also considered doing theatre. And she’d been a gymnast before a back injury halted her athletic career.

“Psychology never happened. I took one class in that department…I just haven’t gotten around to it.”

She hasn’t ruled it out — it’s on a to-do list.

“I can see her do a lot of things. She’s really passionate about publications and writing, and she’s very good at it. She’s very capable fitting in everywhere. She could be on a lot of different paths, if she wanted to,” Newcomer says.
Feldman exudes a confidence, a sensibility and assurance as she speaks.

It’s also one of the first things her friends mention.

“She’s one of the wisest people I know. She’s very insightful and in touch with herself,” Newcomer says.  

Another companion, Nora Orton agreed. The two had talked late into the night, eating cupcakes as they discussed their short time at college.

“For me that was the first day – it was actually probably a few weeks in – that I thought 'I will be able to do this.' She’s very thoughtful, and could really go there and past the surface in conversations. And all freshmen are pretty disingenuous. She knew what she wanted, more than anyone else did. With that comes a sort of confidence that drew me to her,” Orton says.

That security and capability has continued to manifest at her time in New York.

“I’ve loved it. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know some editors, which isn’t always the case. I love the editorial assistants, and I love the magazine,” she says.  

Feldman is currently debating between the path of an editor versus a writer, having experienced both at the college newspaper and after an internship at The Oregonian.

“Short-term, I would love to be an editorial assistant. It’s a really special job, to work with someone who is doing such interesting things,” Feldman says.

She’s had practice at Vanity Fair, sitting in for various editorial assistants over the weeks, grasping how the magazine comes together to create the pieces she’s loved and admired for years.

While running all over the city, she occasionally hits a bump or two. Usually, a cupcake or cookie from a nearby bakery can solve it. 

“I get lost whenever I go to Lexington Avenue,” she says. “It’s like the Bermuda Triangle; I avoid it like the plague, because I can never navigate my way out.”

Other than that, it’s been smooth sailing. While the girl from Portland hasn’t fallen head-over-the-heels with the city as many of her fellow interns have, she can see herself staying here for a while.

“I feel like all roads lead to New York,” she says. “And it’s always interesting when I go out.”

Written by Em Maier, University of Pittsburgh, Inc.
Edited by April Castillo, SUNY New Paltz, Woman's Day

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