07/25/2013 12:32 pm ET

A Summer Love Beach Read You'll Want To Escape With: "Long Island City" by Curtis Sittenfeld

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We met on a March morning in Long Island City, near the Pepsi sign. He needed publicity shots for his first album.

He had bright blue eyes and stubble and was wearing jeans, a jean jacket, and a faded T-shirt with a deer on it. I wondered if this was how he thought a rocker should dress—if his T-shirt was in fact brand-new from Urban Outfitters—but this was my last snotty observation, because it soon became clear that he was a completely nice and down-to-earth person.

As I checked the exposure on my camera and adjusted the aperture, he asked, "Does everyone feel this ridiculous having their picture taken?"

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