aaduna in exile - Winter 2021-2022 - Conversations - Kristyn Elyse
bill berry, jr.’s chat with Kristyn Elyse
Barcelona is situated on the northeastern coast of Spain. “It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighboring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the fifth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, the Ruhr area, Madrid, and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 meters high.”
A vibrant city with significant amenities for its residents and visitors, there are many areas and sites to discover. Here are sites that define the vitality and scope of this world-class enclave:
Parc Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectural elements located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona. The Basílica de la Sagrada Família, also known as the Sagrada Família, is a large unfinished Roman Catholic minor basilica in the Eixample district of Barcelona., Designed by Spanish/Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, his modernist style work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Barcelona’s most famous and important landmarks.. Casa Batlló is a building in the center of Barcelona designed by Antoni Gaudí and is considered one of his masterpieces.
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, often simply referred to as La Boqueria, is a large public market in the Ciudad Vieja district of Barcelona and one of the city's foremost tourist landmarks, with an entrance from La Rambla, not far from the Liceo, Barcelona's opera house. The market has a very diverse selection of goods.
Rest assured, “Barcelona is a city of history, art, and architecture. Located on the northeastern coast of Spain, the city is a Mediterranean port, a seaside destination and a cosmopolitan city that calls attention to its history. Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, a Spanish region with its own language and character. The city is filled with famous places to visit that reflect both the Catalonian and Spanish cultures.
“Barcelona's most famous street is La Rambla. It connects Placa de Catalunya, the busiest plaza in Barcelona, to Monument a Colom, a monument to Christopher Columbus. One section of the street closed to traffic is a pedestrian area with flower shops, kiosks and street artists that attract both locals and tourists.
“Poble Espanyol was built for the 1929 International Exhibition. It is a Spanish village with 116 buildings, each representing different architectural styles of Spain's regions. Some of the buildings are replicas of existing structures, while others are representations of architectural styles. Visitors will find bars, restaurants, and shops as well as artisans in workshops in the village.
“The Picasso Museum in Barcelona houses many of Picasso early art works, completed when he was a teenager. The Miro Museum contains a large collection of Miro's works including paintings, sculptures, and sketches. The National Museum of Art of Catalunya is housed in a large facility of impressive architecture that overlooks the city. There are a few of Picasso's works on display as well as temporary exhibits of the works of such painters as Van Gogh and Gaugin. A collection of frescoes and Medieval art are in the permanent collection.”
An appreciation for the Barcelona’s dynamism and vitality is important to know as we chat with one of its influencers.
Kristyn Elyse is a model a writer who represents the overall ambiance of beauty, intellect, and graciousness that permeates Barcelona.
Hi Kristyn. Can you share what propelled you to seek a career in the demanding world of modeling and more importantly, describe your childhood that may provide the initial glimpse of circumstances that would propel you towards an eventual career built around sharing one’s physicality, personality, and intellect with the public.
Hi Bill, thank you for your kind words. I started modeling much later than most girls- when I turned 25. Throughout my life a lot of people told me I should try it due to my height and slim figure, but I was way too self-conscious. I went through a bad break up on my way out of Berlin, and my ex started dating some Instagram model. She was really short and not that pretty, so I thought, well if they’re gonna pay her, they’re gonna fucking pay me. So, I started working. I had an agency in Barcelona, and they got me a few good jobs. I walked in Barcelona Fashion Week for Emma Picanyol, an amazing designer. After that I was obsessed. I decided to move to Manhattan, where all the “real” models and real jobs were.
I don’t think my childhood had anything to do with modeling. It was really just about that breakup and trying to kind of piss him off.
Well, retribution is the ultimate “revenge” and I surmise the former boyfriend may regret his decision when he left your life. But that is water or piss under the bridge! You mentioned Berlin, is that the city where you were born and grew up in and are there precious moments from your childhood that have left an impression on you? And now that you are in NYC, how long have you been living in “The City “and are there professional challenges, obstacles, and social issues that you did not expect? How are those issue affecting you career-wise and your overall well-being?
I grew up in Connecticut. I left home when I was 18 and started traveling. After a few years I ended up in Berlin working as an au pair. I stayed for about 5 years, working different jobs, and going out to the clubs like every night. Berlin is one of my favorite cities in the world, it has an amazing nightlife scene, like it sets the bar for the whole world in my opinion. The techno scene is insane. But it’s way too cold and dark, so quality of life in terms of happiness and general wellbeing, is totally shit. That’s why you have to party so much.
So, after Berlin I was in Spain, started modeling, and about a year later moved to NYC. I was there for one year. Quality of life doesn’t even exist there, all you do is work, hustle, make money, spend money, try to prove to people you hate that you’re doing better than them, and avoid jobs that are actually porn. That’s a very fine line.
It’s really hard to relax in New York, and that tends to show up on your face. So, it was a real struggle to maintain peace within myself, and to go to sleep at night peacefully, despite how loud the city is, and how much you have on your mind, everything that’s stressing you out, knowing people are doing better than you, and feeling like a fraud. One time the city repaved my road at 1AM. Two times actually. They tore the road up one night and then a few nights later they repaved it. They really waited until 1AM to do it. And no one in my neighborhood even gave a fuck. Everyone was just inside doing whatever. A few people looked out their window but otherwise they just completely ignored the situation.
What part of CT did you grow up in, and when you left home was it due to a “push” or a “pull?” And where did your wanderings take you before ending in Berlin. While I have been to Munich< I missed the craziness of Berlin. And at a certain point in my life, techno deejays defined contemporary music. But, back to you.
I grew up in the Bronx and spent my share of time in Manhattan (less so in Brooklyn; but lived in Queens and only occasionally visited Staten Island mainly to ride the ferry!) So, where did you live in NYC and were you able to have your own place or were you part of the roommate scene? After being a world traveler and resident, the overriding question is where have you now put down roots, and more importantly, how do you assess your life at this point in your development?
Before Berlin I lived in San Antonio, Texas for almost two years, and I spent a lot of time traveling in South America and throughout the United States.
I lived in Manhattan, first in a neighborhood called Inwood, and then in Washington Heights. I had roommates both times. I didn’t know how long I would be staying there so I just rented a room.
I don’t feel like I have roots right now. I just have a lot of clothes in one place. I have my dog, too. I think she has roots, like she will probably stay in Barcelona for the rest of her life. And I will spend as much time here with her as possible. But I still want to pursue a career in modeling and entertainment, so that involves a lot of travel, and trial and error in new cities, and trying out new agencies in different locations.
I like my life. Think it’s more interesting than anything else, and sometimes I’m in a lot of pain from the decisions I make, but I’m not really trying to be comfortable. I’m trying to do everything possible.
It sounds like you still have wanderlust and a focused penchant for fulfilling your life goals and aspirations. And that takes a strong character and perseverance; good for you! So, you have a dog…what is her breed, age, and name? Now, back to you. As you look ahead into your future, where do you think you will be five years from now as far as your personal growth, as well as your professional career?
Thank you, I am trying to stay focused, but these boys are killing me. I have a dog; her name is Anja. She is a mix, part husky, part German Shephard, part Greyhound. She is 6 years old. She is my best friend.
In five years, I see myself living in a wonderful city, signed to a great agency, modeling, and acting, and continuing to work with great brands on Instagram, continuing to not give a fuck what others’ opinions are, and have a book published. Personal growth, I hope my hair is down to my ass.
I suspect with your determination it is just a matter of time to achieve those goals. So, as we settle our chat, I was wondering if there are any final words of wisdom or advice that you want to share with our readers. And thank you for our conversation.
Anything that you want, and work hard to get, will come to you. Work hard and set big goals for yourself. You can have anything in this life that you want.
aaduna - an online adventure with words and images - a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.
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