She'll Take Manhattan
a gifted gothamite maps a master plan for urban self-development
Before the blue-green eyes of a chestnut-tressed, twenty-year-old native New Yorker named Sheralee Conners -- as before the unswerving gaze of thousands of female fame-and-fortune-seekers from shore to shore -- Gotham shimmers like a modern-day Xanadu of fifty-storied pleasure domes, antenna-spired TV tabernacles and long-green mansions of high fashion and finance. These naive newcomers to the Unforbidden City ordinarily arrive with little more than a pocketful of hope for a well-padded niche in the fashion, publishing, or communications kingdoms. Sheralee, contrarily, pursues her aspirations with a city-hipness that would leave these Janies-come-lately olive with envy. Perspicaciously, she chases after three simultaneous dreams, on the worldy-wise theory that at least one of them is even money to come true. Hankering to fly high as a big-time thrush, she sings willingly for the nonce as an off-screen oriole in sixty-second TV sales-pitches. One of a lithe-limbed modeling elite, Sheralee labors Dior to Dior in Manhattan's well-groomed world of haute couture. A long-time scholar of cakewalk, charleston and gavotte, she also teaches terpsichore, wants to start a summer camp seminar in the Berkshires for serious students of modern dance. Amidst all this job-juggling, she still manages to steal moments for surf-splashing at nearby Jones Beach; for alfresco listening in Lewisohn Stadium; and for Sunday afternoon canters along Central Park's meandering bridle paths, pursued by galloping huntsmen eager to lead her down the bridal -- or primrose -- path. The end of this long but lively journey into night finds her lampably lamplit and birthday-suited for forty well-earned winks.
Photography by William Crespinal and Sherman Weisburd