New York Film Locations

 





Gia (1998)

Fact-based story of top fashion model Gia Marie Carangi (Angelina Jolie) follows her life from a rebel working in her father's diner at age 17 to her death in 1986 at age 26 from AIDS, one of the first women in America whose death was attributed to the disease. In btw, she followed a downward spiral of drug abuse and failed relationships.


Gantry Plaza State Park, 4-74 48th Avenue. Long Island City.
   

Gantry Plaza State Park

Gantry Plaza State Park is a state park on the East River in the Hunter's Point section of Long Island City, in the New York City borough of Queens. The 10-acre (4.0 ha) park first opened in May 1998 and was expanded in July 2009. The southern portion of the park is a former dock facility and includes restored gantry cranes built in the 1920s to load and unload rail car floats that served industries on Long Island via the Long Island Rail Road tracks that used to run along 48th Avenue (now part of Hunter's Point Park). The northern portion of Gantry Plaza State Park was a former Pepsi bottling plant. The park offers picnic tables, a playground, fishing pier, playing fields and a waterfront promenade with a view of United Nations Headquarters and the midtown Manhattan skyline.

Gia Marie Carangi

Gia Marie Carangi (Born January 29, 1960 - Died November 18, 1986) was an American fashion model during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Carangi was considered to be the first supermodel, who appeared on the covers of fashion publications during her time, was later referred to as Baby Gia due to her resemblance to Carangi.

Carangi was featured on the cover of fashion magazines, including Vogue, April 1, 1979; Vogue Paris, April 1979; American Vogue, August 1980; Vogue Paris, August 1980; Italian Vogue, January 1981; and several issues of Cosmopolitan btw 1979 and 1982.

After she became addicted to heroin, Carangi's modeling career rapidly declined. She later became infected with HIV and died at the age of 26. Her death was not widely publicised and few people in the fashion industry knew of it. Carangi is thought to be one of the first famous women to die of AIDS.

Carangi was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the third and youngest child of Joseph Carangi, a restaurant owner, and Kathleen Adams, a homemaker. She had two older brothers. Her father is Italian, and her mother is of Irish and Welsh ancestry. Joseph and Kathleen had an unstable marriage due to Joseph's domestic abuse of Kathleen, which resulted in Kathleen abandoning her family when Carangi was eleven years old.

Those who knew her blamed her "fractured childhood" for the instability and drug-dependence that stilted her adult life. She was described as "needy and manipulative" by relatives who recalled her as spoiled and shy as a child and a "Mommy’s girl" who did not receive the motherly attention that she desired.

In her adolescent years, Carangi found the attention she sought; the attention came from other teenage girls. When she was thirteen, Carangi would send girls flowers and they would develop crushes on her, no matter their sexual orientation. While in high school, Carangi bonded with "the Bowie kids"—a group of obsessive David Bowie fans like herself. They emulated Bowie's "defiantly weird, high-glam" style.

Carangi was drawn to Bowie not only due to his fashion preferences but also due to his ambiguous gender play and outspoken bisexuality. A friend of Carangi described her "tomboy persona" and relaxed openness about her sexuality as reminiscent of the character Cay in the 1985 film Desert Hearts.

Carangi and her "bi-try Bowie-mad" friends hung out in Philadelphia’s gay clubs and bars. She was beginning to settle into a lesbian identity, but did not want to take up "the accepted lesbian style".



Carangi was known in modeling circles just by her first name. After being featured in Philadelphia newspaper ads, Carangi moved to New York City at the age of 17, where she quickly rose to prominence. She was a favorite model of various fashion photographers, including Francesco Scavullo, Arthur Elgort, Richard Avedon, Denis Piel, Marco Glaviano, and Chris von Wangenheim. Well-integrated within the fashion world, Carangi had the selection of several photographers, most notably Scavullo. By the end of 1978, Carangi was already a well-established model. In a 20/20 interview, she said her rise was "awfully fast": "I started working with well-known people in the industry, very quickly. I didn't build into a model. I just sort of became one."

Carangi was a regular at Studio 54 and the Mudd Club. She usually used cocaine in clubs, but later began to develop a heroin addiction. In October 1978, Carangi did her first major shoot with top fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim. Wangenheim had her pose nude behind a chain-link fence with makeup assistant Sandy Linter. Carangi immediately became infatuated with Linter and started to pursue her, though the relationship never became stable.

On March 1, 1980, Carangi's agent, Wilhelmina Cooper, died of lung cancer. Devastated, Carangi started abusing drugs. Scavullo recalled a fashion shoot in the Caribbean when "She was crying, she couldn't find her drugs. I literally had to lay her down on her bed until she fell asleep." By 1980, Carangi began having violent temper tantrums, walking out of photo shoots, and even falling asleep in front of the camera. The November 1980 issue of Vogue stated that Carangi's track marks from shooting heroin were visible even after airbrushing. The photographer disputes this claim. For three weeks, she was signed with Eileen Ford, who soon dropped her.

Carangi's attempt to quit drugs was abandoned when she learned that her good friend and fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim died in a car accident. According to the Stephen Fried book Thing of Beauty, she locked herself in a bathroom for hours, shooting heroin. In fall 1981, Carangi looked significantly different than she used to. Despite this, she was still determined to make a comeback in the fashion industry. She contacted Monique Pillard (who was largely responsible for Janice Dickinson's career), who was hesitant to sign her. In rehab, she told staff that she had done sexual favors for drug money and had been raped by a dealer. Once heavily pursuing modeling again, she received the harsh treatment she had been able to avoid last time. Nobody would book her. Desperate, Carangi turned to Scavullo. She landed a Cosmopolitan cover, a gift from Scavullo. Shot in the winter of 1982, it would be her last cover.

Carangi was diagnosed with AIDS, which was a newly recognized disease at the time. As her condition worsened, she was transferred to Philadelphia's Hahnemann University Hospital. Her mother stayed with her day and night, allowing virtually no visitors.

On November 18, 1986, aged 26, Carangi died of AIDS-related complications. Her closed-casket funeral was held on November 21 at a small funeral home in Philadelphia. Nobody from the fashion world attended. However, weeks later, Francesco Scavullo, Carangi's friend and confidant, sent a mass card when he heard the news.





 


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