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Autumn in New York: The time David Bowie’s daughter laughed at my feet

I’ve never been particularly interested in David Bowie’s family. Even though I had a five year professional relationship of sorts with The Dame, which ended with the book BowieStyle, his wife and kids I always considered off-limits as they were from the private department store marked David Jones and almost nothing to do with Brand Bowie, unlike his first wife Angela.

I’ve only met Iman purely because she was either at a party of David’s, backstage, or in the case of one show (the Outside tour in Boston, ’95) literally breathing down my neck sitting behind me watching her hubby, with the dreaded Coco Schwab right beside her. Not once have I ever crossed paths with his first-born Joe/Duncan, so imagine my surprise when I recently paid a very impromptu visit to the New York City building where David lived and died.

Late in 2016, my travel buddy and I were shopping in SoHo and at the last port of call before dinner we had a mosey around the famous Strand bookstore. This is the shop Edina’s son Serge works in, in the Absolutely Fabulous special set in NYC, and when I couldn’t help but notice they had BowieStyle in stock (though not nearly enough hats, gloves or shoes), I remembered reading something that suggested The Dame himself was a regular visitor.

So I looked up where the Bowie penthouse was (thank you, BWW site), and as it was a mere 10 minute’s walk decided to pay a quick visit, something I’d not thought about doing when he was alive.

We get there at just gone 6pm. It was a chilly Tuesday evening (November 8, the night before Trump’s victory and two days before the ten month anniversary of DB’s death) and it looked like such a non-event picture wise: light was fading, street was busy and dirty, and there was not a single sign or marker to indicate he’d ever lived here – no permanent floral tributes a’ la Brixton and Berlin, and even the American Apparel store next door that Joel wanted to shop in (venue for January’s bouquets) had closed down – that I almost couldn’t be bothered to do one of my usual feet foties.

Then as luck would have it I spied some cardboard and sat on that to take a quick pic. The concierge inside the lobby didn’t bat an eyelid and Joel remarked what a surprisingly public location David decided to reside in. I replied that I remember reading something which suggested the Jones clan had the entire two-condo top floor and David had his own personal exit round the rear somewhere.

By this time I noticed a well-built mixed race young girl and her flamboyantly slim bleach-blond male friend exiting the lifts. As they made their way to the front door they had seen me pick myself up from the sidewalk and chuckled to themselves. I kinda laughed with them, somewhat self-consciously, and for some unknown reason snapped a photo as they walked towards us.

Up with Lexi and… 285

They were still laughing when they wandered off into the night, the lass even turning around to smile at me, before it finally dawned on me who’s that girl: David’s 16 year-old daughter Alexandria ‘Lexi’ Jones! As she seemed surprisingly approachable Joel asked me if I wanted a piccie with her and, true to my word, I declined.

C’est la vie.

Steve Pafford

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