Oliver Otcasek, High-School Student
Snap anything good today? I’m taking a photography class at school, and am just out documenting the streets. Music is my main interest; I play the piano, the violin, and mandolin and am hoping to compose a violin concerto over Christmas break. Creativity runs in our family; my mom was a model and is now a writer, and my dad was the lead singer of the Cars.
You seem out of another era. People say that. I love the Victorian age, I collect pocket watches, and I like treasure-hunting; I’ll take antiques I buy at flea markets and sell them on eBay. I actually used the profits to buy a $600 metal detector. I love metal-detecting—I once found a 1911 Ingersoll pocket watch in the backyard of our house upstate. But I’m also really into computer programming and AI. I read Ray Kurzweil’s website every day. His famous prediction is that the singularity will occur by 2045, but I think it’ll probably be more like 2085.
Neighborhood: Lower East Side.
Currently reading: Virtual Human, by Martine Rothblatt. “My dad recommended it to me.”
Other hobbies: “Collecting Popeye. I had a guy at the Antiques Garage look for this specific Japanese Popeye lighter for me. It took him a while, but he finally found it.”
Personal style: “I get a lot of clothes handed down from my dad. He has great taste, so it doesn’t matter how ’80s something is.”
Sports: “Basketball, swimming, and does metal-detecting count?”
*This article appears in the December 15, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.