Emily Cohn and Emma Orlow are the co-founders of the endlessly fascinating Do Not Enter Diaries, a new website exploring the special places that are teenage bedrooms! These two New York babes recognized the mystical, universal connection between teens and their boudoirs, and began collecting video diaries filled with lip-syncing and bedroom explorations from adolescents all across the world! They post a new bedroom diary every Wednesday and a Correspondent’s Corner each Monday, both at 4pm EST. (Check out today’s Correspondent’s Corner with Victoria U. from Beijing!!) Emily and Emma were the first entries in the Diaries back in January, letting the world in on their own special places. We asked Emily and Emma to draw what’s in their own rooms, and chat about secret hiding places, books, and learning about today’s teens as a whole!
What is the first thing you thought of when waking up this morning & what was the last thing you thought of before falling asleep last night?
Emily: Well today is Mother’s Day and since my older brother is away at college and I live alone with my mom, I was thinking about how to time my mom waking up with hot coffee and my brother on Skype waiting for her! The last thing I thought about last night was what songs I could quote in my Mother’s Day card (I ended up quoting Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be In My Heart,” and Kanye West’s “Hey Mama.”)
Emma: It’s kind of hard to say exactly, because in both instances the real first thing was probably in some hazy dream-state, so it’s hard to make sense of or remember exactly. But the last thing I remember thinking about when going to sleep last night was about how magical the marshmallow/banana milkshake I had just had was and how I was too tired to take off my eyeliner. The first thing I thought when I woke up was that I wished I had taken off my eyeliner before I went to sleep.
Do you have a secret hiding spot in your room? Don’t ruin it and tell us where it is but what do you hide in it?
Emily: I used to have a secret safety deposit box in my room, where I kept a little naked toy baby that peed if you put water in it and a swatch from Christo and Jean-Claude’s orange Gates project in Central Park in NYC. I also kept some money in there, but the code for the small lavender box was written directly on it, and my bro’s friends ended up stealing the money one time. I don’t have a secret place anymore though. I do keep a secret journal though where I document happenings in my life from time to time!
Emma: It’s a secret for a reason 😉
If you had to live in one state in America for the rest of you life which one would it be?
Emily: I would have to choose NY. I’m a city girl, no question about it, but there are also places upstate that are really nice to go to if you get sick of the city. My mom can’t drive though, so I basically never leave even Manhattan as it is!
Emma: I sometimes dream of moving to San Francisco, but that is only because it is the most New York-y California can get. Honestly, I love living here in New York because there is so much variety from Coney Island to Central Park to the West Village. Just within New York City each neighborhood offers something different, but when you expand out of that, there is also so much to do. Every summer I spend time in the Woodstock area and if need be, I could certainly spend an extended period of time there.
Are there any books you wish you could live in and why?
Emily: Well, it’s funny since most of my favorite books are non-fiction, survivor type stories like Alive, the story of a rugby team that crashed in the middle of the Andes and had to eat their friends to stay alive. So, yeah I wouldn’t want to live in that book even though I love it. But I definitely remember reading Patti Smith’s memoir in 9th grade and being completely absorbed with the NYC that she described. It would be incredible to live in that book/her world and community of amazing artists and musicians in the NYC scene in the 70s. It actually pains me to think about how amazing it must have been. Nonetheless, I do love being raised in my generation.
Emma: I’d like to take a visit into Legends of The Chelsea Hotel by Ed Hamilton for a few nights. I’d love to get to experience a grittier New York and be able to walk through the city and be like, “wow, so that’s what existed where Whole Foods is now…” And of course, I’d use this form of time travel to go to a few parties at Andy Warhol’s Factory.
We are in love with your rad new site! What’s something totally unexpected that you’ve learned about teen girls and guys from exploring their rooms?
Emily: Mostly I’ve just learned how cool teen girls are. I’ve never underestimated teen girls, but it’s just so awesome getting to talk to all these people and hear about their passions. This time in a person’s life is so unique, and I try to tell myself that all the time. I mean, when else can you put all of your energy into cool things and not have to worry about all of the responsibilities of adulthood? It’s a beautiful time to find what you love and do what makes you happy.
Emma: We started our site with a theory—that you could learn a lot about teenagers, specifically by looking at their bedrooms. But what we also found was how important a bedroom really is for teenagers for figuring out and culminating their interests. Its not unexpected to see how cool teenagers can be, being and knowing teenager ourselves, but for adults, many perceive young people to be selfish, lazy, or ignorant and we hope that if anything, our videos can show the opposite about them.