Stefan Batista, 24
A Floridian basks in the cold.
Chicago and Wabash Avenues
With a name like Stefan Batista, you should be a dictator. Oh, well, thank you! My grandfather is from Portugal, my father is from Italy, and my mother is French-Canadian.
Quite a lineage. What are you up to? I’m in town from Florida assisting a photographer for some shoots for an auction house. I have a map plotted down with all the churches I want to visit. Right now, I’m just doing quick sketches in my book of buildings and people on the subway. I’m feeling inspired. The first night I was here, a lady was passed out on the train, so I started drawing her. I coughed, and she woke up and caught me in the act. She was like, “What, are you drawing me?” I said, “Yeah, is that all right?” She was like, “Fuck no, that’s not all right!” It’s nice to be in a big city.
Did you own a winter coat before coming here? I had to buy one. The cold is a novelty to me. I’m fascinated by snowdrifts. When it snows, everyone’s like, “Ugh, fuckin’ snow.” I’m like, “This is awesome!” I don’t see it—ever.
Ever been in a snowball fight? I had a to-do list when I arrived, and one of the items was to throw a snowball at a complete stranger, which I achieved. I thought it would be a good conversation starter, but I got a swift “Fuck you!” I was like, “I love Chicago!” [Laughs]
You’re making friends all over town. A lot of people think that Chicagoans are somewhat more laid-back than New York people. Well, I lived in New York and I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Everyone’s cold and angry.