Not to toot our own horn, [but] we have women … who look like middle-aged women. It’s actually pretty rare to see women, especially of a certain age, that look like women do in real life. Even on reality shows, those women are getting tons of plastic surgery. I loved it when we had our premiere at the Beacon in New York. 1,500 people show up and so many people commented afterwards about how diverse the audience was. The streets of New York are diverse, but when you go into a Broadway show, unless Denzel Washington is in it, or Fantasia’s in it, it’s a lot of old white people and gay men. Our pop cultural likes and dislikes are still very segregated, and that is not true of Billy on the Street.
— Billy Eichner, who’s been making me laugh too hard for three years to even realize and celebrate this great aspect of the series. (Discovered this while writing about Billy and Julie Klausner’s new sitcom and all the Billy on the Street guests I want to see show up.)
(Source: zachdionne, via popculturebrain)
My life has been a whole lot of doing things like eating froyo while watching the sun set lately. It’s nice.
A cancer doctor on losing his wife to cancer.
Read while in a safe place.
Party monster and murderer Michael Alig was unleashed back onto the streets of New York yesterday after 17 years in jail.
I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve watched the movie Party Monster which documents Alig’s rise to club fame in NYC, starring Macauley Culkin. It seems like every time I’m bored or tipsy or thinking about life in New York, I just so happen to be in the mood to watch a thrilling film about a man’s terrifying descent into drug addiction and eventually killing his dealer. So fun!
Anyways, I have to say even though he chopped a guy up and threw him in the river I now wish him the best, and especially enjoyed reading James St. James’ welcome-back-to-freedom open letter:
You aren’t going to believe this one: Clubs play top 40 now. Rihanna, Britney, Katy Perry. That’s it. It’s very sad. The scene has changed. Clubs aren’t the subversive pleasure palaces of yore. Now, it’s just a thousand shrieking girls taking selfies and dancing to “Wake Me Up” by Aviccii.
95% of your time in any given club will be spent having your picture taken. Seriously. It’s. All. You. Do. Picture after picture after picture.
Until you want to snap someones head off.
Speaking of clubs: You’ve become a bit of a legend since you went in (YOU’RE WELCOME) and you WILL stop the room the first few times you go out. It’s an odd sensation, but even odder is when it doesn’t happen. See, you’re old now, and although many of this generation were raised onParty Monster, sometimes you’ll find yourself in a room where everybody is completely CLUELESS. They’ve never seen theGeraldos orPhil Donahues orJenny Joneses. They’ve never heard of Angel. They don’t know or care who Julie Jewels was. They don’t even know who Andy Warhol was. A 21-year-old at WOW had never heard of Moby. MOBY. It’s weird. The generation that has the greatest access to knowledge in the history of mankind is the one that cares the least about it. So there will be places where you go where NOBODY WILL RECOGNIZE YOU and NOBODY WILL CARE. And because you are no longer a cute little twink, 20-somethings will LOOK RIGHT THROUGH YOU. Or worse: SNEER at the old man.
Long live the Club Kids.
Some #realtalk I found on the corner of S 4th and Bedford this weekend.
Obligatory Sunday afternoon walk through Central Park. (centralparknyc)
Nothing quite like spring in New York, and that very first time you walk out of your house and find everything suddenly in bloom.
What I did in New York this week
My best friend of 20+ years, Rebecca, flew into JFK last Friday morning straight from living in Spain for eight months. I went to visit her in Granada for ten days over Thanksgiving and stepped into this magical life she had built in a pueblo an ocean away—full of shared meals around a table with a built in heater for your legs, bread topped with cheese and tomatoes and oil, unending porros (weed and tobacco), the turrets of La Alhambra gleaming in the sunset, quaint cobbled streets, and live music playing everywhere you turned. It was eye-opening to see how adventurous and alive my best friend had become in my absence.
When I left Spain, I vowed to turn my life in New York around. I was unhappy in so many ways, and seeing Rebecca seize life as fully as she had during her time in Granada made me realize just how much time I was wasting. Within three months of my visit I had quit my job and started Spanish and improv classes, within four months I was a bartender, and within five I started putting energy into freelance writing more seriously. Becca has always profoundly affected my life, but my brief peek into her life, so packed with adventure, helped me suddenly wake up from the nightmarish state of complacency I had been in at home.
So when Becca finally made it to New York, her first visit in the almost two-and-a-half years I’ve lived here, I wanted to show her the life I had built for myself, and hopefully that I had followed through on my promise to follow my own happiness.
In the week she was here, we packed in as much as possible (along with catching up on a season or two of How I Met Your Mother, which she had missed dearly). Friday night I kept her out at Cherry Tavern till 5 a.m. or so. Saturday night was my Arrested Development-themed birthday party, and Sunday was my friend Shadi’s pies n’ champagne party where we had alcoholic slushies illegally delivered to our door and danced for hours. And on top of that:
We stuffed ourselves at:
Milon, Indian food in the East Village
Grimaldi’s, known as the best pizza in NYC, in Dumbo
Roberta’s, hip pizza in Bushwick
Pies n’ Thighs in Williamsburg
Momofuku Milk Bar in Williamsburg
The Bagel Store in Williamsburg
We drank heavily at:
Spanky and Darla’s (had to show her where I work)
The Patriot (had to show her another place I work)
The Frying Pan
We pounded the pavement on:
The Brooklyn Bridge
The High Line
We did an hour of karaoke in a private room at:
SingSing, on St. Mark’s (the old standby)
We saw an improv show at:
Upright Citizen’s Brigade
I was able to show her a solid slice of my life here while further exploring my city. It wasn’t really until this year that having visitors didn’t stress me out, because I finally know a place to go no matter what my guests want to do. And that actually makes me very proud. This city may still not be “home” for me, but I’ve bent her to my will as much as I can.
Becca looked around at my neighborhood and said, “I really like it here, Jill. This is really good living. I hope you know that.”
I do know it, but sometimes you need to re-explore your city like a tourist to see it again with those fresh, hopeful eyes you had when you first moved here.
T: For my friends who are women writers, what tips do you have on shutting down haters and chumps?
JK: Be more prolific than those mutants, keep getting better, and as your star rises, hire your friends and collaborators. While these aging sexist hacks are preoccupied being threatened by you, take their jobs, and watch as they, in time, die out like the dinosaurs they are.
Julie Klausner is a hero. —Danielle
One of those great New York moments happened tonight
I was on my way home from Spanish class, and tired after walking around Manhattan all day with my visiting best friend, so I decided to catch a cab. I stood in the cold for a few minutes until one finally arrived, but a girl across the street flagged it down at the same time I did. My first urge was to sprint to the cab to take it before she did, but I decided to be mature about it instead.
"Oh… did you want that or…?"
"Where are you headed?" she asked, in a European accent.
"South 4th and Wythe."
"Oh, I’m headed to Grand and Driggs. We can share?"
"Okay, great. Sure."
So I hopped in. We asked the cab driver to make two stops. We started talking about our lives. She’s from Switzerland, but lived in New York for 4 years, most of that time right near where I live in South Williamsburg. She’s a singer-songwriter, and she moved to California to pursue her career. “I’m just not a city girl anymore,” she said. I know how she feels.
She had the most beautiful smile and kind nature. Her name was Ella and she was wearing fabulous leopard-print pants.
When we got to her stop first, she handed the cab driver some money and got out.
She leaned back in before closing her door, smiling, and said, “I gave him a ten, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your fare.” Before I could thank her, the door was closed. There was money left for my ride including tip.
It was a rare but monumental of moment of kindness that gave me hope all over again in New York City.