Read Lena Dunham’s Heartfelt Essay About Her Boyfriend Jack Antonoff

For Variety’s latest issue, we asked Lena Dunham to write a tribute to Jack Antonoff, one of 50 people to make our New Power of New York list. Here’s why Antonoff, the prolific singer-songewriter for the band Bleachers, represents a new generation that captures the best of Manhattan. For the full list, click here.

The New York/New Jersey Issue
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It’s easy to forget someone’s magic when you’ve lived with them for half a decade. Their refusal to pick up their towels or get more seltzer or clean the hedgehog cage becomes a narrative louder than, “They’re changing the world with their passion and skill.” Which is why, when I need a romance reset, I Google “Jack Antonoff David Letterman.” It’s a video of Jack (my partner of five and a half years) performing with Steel Train, an earlier iteration of his band Bleachers. While he was still fairly unknown outside New Jersey, his joy was infectious, and even the hard-to-crack Letterman looked pleased when they shook hands. Only I know that, without his glasses, Jack missed most of the sights.

It’s safe to say that before Jack my life was full of far fewer sights. He showed me the importance of making political statements using your public platform. He showed me the joy of collaboration. He showed me the magic of his home state of New Jersey and turned the butt of my snotty New Yorker jokes into a glimmering fantasyland. I know he does the same for all the artists he produces for, the fans who come to his shows and the recipients of his love. I try and share nicely.

Iveta Karpathyova for Variety

Lena Dunham is a writer, producer, director, actress, and activist and the co-founder of LennyLetter.com. Read the rest of our New Power of New York list.

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