west side nyc

instagram

Different types of location drawing from around the Upper West Side. 

Central Park, and making dumplings at the back of the new Jing Fong.

My Reputation Secret Session Experience

(an abbreviated version to keep confidentiality)

I got a DM from Taylor Nation before the London SS had happened, so I honestly had no idea what the “secret event” was. They called me and said the event was in Rhode Island, and I mean the only thing there is her house but I didn’t know what the event entailed. Knowing Taylor, I was like she’s gonna make it so fun and so detailed and so personal whatever it is.

I was not able to focus on anything for two weeks because I was just thinking about taylor and rhode island. I took a train from NYC to Rhode Island the night before. Wednesday October 18, 2017 was such a GORGEOUS day. The water was SO BLUE. THE SUN WAS SHINING. and there was a helicopter hovering in front of taylor’s house which annoyed me but yeah I’ll try to get over that.
Fast forward to being at her house. First of all, her security detail is hilarious. They are so nice and funny and were cracking jokes the whole time. The very first person I talked to was none other than Scott Swift, the man the legend, wearing a striped sweater only a dad would buy and his pockets overflowing with 1989 guitar picks. I spent a good chunk of time chatting with him on the deck he’s amazing—we stan forever.
Also I legit hung out and excitedly mingled in Taylor’s kitchen so long that I forgot it wasn’t normal to be in her kitchen. There was a huge spread of Chick-fil-a nuggets, pizza, chips, custom Rep cookies and M&Ms, Smart Water and Diet Coke.
*side note i’m a vegetarian but if taylor would have offered me a nugget i would have forgotten my vow against meat*
I was so comfortable and having so much fun that it just felt like I was at my friend’s house party, which I was. But then like every 30 minutes it would hit me that to the outside world, she was THE Taylor Swift, and I was in her kitchen…
Fast forward to Andrea coming down to also hang out and mingle with us. She smelled amazing (so did the entire house). She came up to me and Sol and said hello with a huge smile on her face and then pulled us both into a tight hug at the same time and said “YOU BEAUTIFUL SOULS.” and honestly I just wanted to hug her ten more times and be like THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE MADAM PRESIDENT.
Side note, the kitchen has adorable childhood pictures of Taylor and Austin and pictures of the family on the beach and its all v cute.
Also I saw the mermaid, I MEAN THE MERMAID that taylor and selena posed by and i was like wow this iconic.
ALSO as many of you know i’m not only a taylor stan, but a huge todrick stan, and i have been for years. so i died a little when i realized that i was leaning against the same kitchen counter that they were sitting on during thanksgiving and i was like wow its cool i’m fine we’re fine EVERYTHING IS FINE.
Fast forward to Austin also coming downstairs to mingle. He’s adorable and I love him. I didn’t get to chat with him bc it was kind of crowded but he was smiling and laughing and looked genuinely happy to be there.
Tree was also floating around the kitchen here and there and let me just say she’s GORGEOUS. (also she was the MVP later when I needed to pee)
Okay fast forward some more and it’s time to move into the living room. There are cushions on the floor and I’m sitting with all of my friends, including several of us who are from NYC. There are people setting the room and Andrea, Scott and Austin just look so excited that we’re there and that made me so happy.
After what felt like centuries of people opening doors, stomping upstairs and shutting the curtains, it was time for the queen to make her entrance.
The door to my right flew open and that tall drink of water in black thigh high boots and blonde curls and a huge smile entered the room and collectively we all made noises that probably sounded non-human.
She said “Hi, I’m Taylor” as she sat down in this throne of a chair and crossed her legs that are collectively longer than the great wall of china.
She said “you’ve done your detective work right (my detectivey heart fell out of my detectivey ass) and you are at the Reputation Secret Sessions


**and that’s where the cone of silence comes on and what happened for the next several hours at the secret sessions STAYS at the secret sessions.**


So after I DIED because she obviously played us every track of the album. It was time for picturesssss.
As I walked in to see Taylor, I didn’t even make it to her yet before she strutted toward me and scooped me into a hug so tight that I said “hey i’m kelsea” into her hair ;askdjflskfj
She pulled away and was like “yeah I know, and you spell it S-E-A right?” AND LEMME TELL YOU i’ve gone my entire 24 years of life with my name spelled wrong, even people I’ve known for years will spell it Kelsey. and I replied to Taylor, “UM YEAH” and she got so excited she fist pumped and then put her hand up for a high five and we literally had the most epic high five of my entire life I’m pretty sure they heard it in Australia. ok.
At this point Sol walked in and I introduced her to Taylor too. She loved Sol so much. so so much.
Then I asked Taylor if she found me on Tumblr or Twitter, and she immediately replied “Tumblr” with a nod. and then she goes “I KNOW you love TODRICK, and I LOVE that.”  and I’m pretty sure that was the moment my brain short-circuited.

and i was like “OKAY well TN contacted me via Twitter and I was real confused because my handle is  @ toddyownsmyass” and her face lit up, her mouth dropped open, she grabbed my hand and laughed and said “OH MY GOD HAHAHHA”. 

Next I told her about our annual NYC July 9th party. I was like listen taylor, the entire reason i met sol is because we’re tumblr friends and we have this party every year at sofia’s apt in the upper west side where we stay up until 1:58 AM listening to Last Kiss and then she was like “AWWWW” and I remember her face just looking at the two of us in pure amazement.
OKAY now it was time for pictures and Taylor was like “we’re gonna take a group shot first and then we’ll do individuals ok?” and during our group photo she hugged both me and Sol so tightly. 

She looks at me and I put my hands together and I’m like “Okay, I want to recreate a photo you and todrick did on the couch” and she got so excited she was like “GREAT but I’m not doing the splits again” as she walks over to this gorgeous white couch. and i was like “nah girl i CANT do the splits, i wanna do that back to back one” and she was so invested it was adorable. It took us a few minutes of sitting back to back and discussing our knee placement, our hand placement, and both of us kept turning and looking over our shoulders to make sure we were matching and coordinating our bodies right. and then right before the picture taylor goes “what should we do with this hand? oh i know lets hold hands” and she grabbed my hand and held it so tightly. i’m pretty sure you can see in my facial expression how much that meant to me—i’m BEAMING. out of all forms of social interaction, hand holding is one of the most intimate,it’s not something we do with very many people if you really think about it.
after the picture is taken, we are still sitting back to back on the couch, holding hands, and she turns to look at me and goes “that’s the cutest pose i’ve ever done” and i’m all “Awwww thanks!” thinking she’s just being a sweetheart. and then her expression is happy but a little more serious, and she goes “No, I’m being serious, like I’ve never done anything cuter.” and ladies that’s probably the moment I was like “HI I’M KELSEA AND I WELCOME DEATH WITH OPEN ARMS”.
It was going to be time to leave because we had already taken our pictures but Taylor grabbed me and Sol again and squeezed us and gushed “you little FLOWER buttons” and at the time my brain was like ???? I thought maybe she was going to say we were flowers, and then halfway through changed her mind to buttons…well ANYWAYS she reblogged that photo of us later and clarified that she believes sol and i embody the aesthetic of tiny adorable little flower-shaped buttons and now i will no longer look at flowers nor buttons the same way and Sol and I text each other randomly “FLOWER BUTTONS” just to make each other cry it’s great. okay moving on…
It was time to leave and right before i walked away, I yelled to her “TAYLOR, YOU’RE INVITED TO OUR JULY 9TH PARTY ANYTIME, UPPER WEST SIDE, NYC, SEE YOU THERE!” and i did some mix between dabbing and pointing that can only be attributed to all of the time i spent in college with frat boys. and with this big grin on her face she yelled back “THANKS! LOVE YOU GUYS!”
and i stumbled out of the room to pick up the Reputation merch bag Taylor gave all of us (GET YOU A WOMAN).
As her security guard let us into a van to be taken back to our car, I asked what time it was and it was so late Sofia and I had missed our train back to Manhattan. We didn’t care. We were stranded in Rhode Island but WHO CARES BC TAYLOR SWIFT LOVES US.
Ali from TN was like, “you guys have friends at your hotel right? like you have somewhere to go?” so sweet i love ali– we stan her forever.
Sofia and I went back to our hotel, which we had already checked out of mind you, and sat in the hallway, dazed and happy, from 2-4am. Sofia posted a photo of us on tumblr and taylor liked it and i was like wow taylor knows we’re stranded that’s hilarious i bet she’s laughing. We ended up calling a car service to pick us up in rhode island AND DRIVE US BACK TO NEW YORK CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. I got back to my apt on the upper east side at 5am and took a nap and then got up for work and tried to be an adult but it was a very sad attempt.
This is a very abbreviated account of what happened that fateful day Taylor welcomed me into her home for 8+ hours. A lot of it has to stay secret and confidential until the album comes out on Nov 10. Even more of it will likely never leave the walls of that gorgeous house by the sea. I will cherish these memories always and I know I am forever changed as a person from the Reputation Secret Sessions.

Thank you @taylorswift for EVERYTHING. I’m so proud to call you a friend.