Tag Archives: East Village

Ladies & Gentlemen: Lucky!

Today I’m waiting for the exact moment that the new moon crests (or whatever new moons do) tomorrow night here on the east coast. That’s when I’m going to launch my IndieGoGo campaign to help fund a flurry of extras for the bar. I’m hoping it will also generate interest and awareness and enroll my extended community in the bar’s success.

Here’s some info everyone has been waiting for:

The name of the bar? Lucky! Not Lucky Bar or Lucky Lounge or anything else. Just Lucky. Aren’t there a million bars called Lucky? You’d think so but…surprisingly, no. How did I arrive at that name? Well, way back when it was all very abstract, I was nevertheless fantasizing about my eventual big opening night. I planned to ask everyone I invited to bring something lucky: a classic lucky charm, something that had been lucky for them, something that represents luck — in whatever culture or belief system — to them. I thought it would be fun to use the lucky stuff as decor. Then, once I’d found the proper space and plans were well underway, I was laying awake one night thinking, “I need a horseshoe to hang over the door, for luck.” I figured I’d email my friend Beany, who’s been rescuing horses and teaching children to ride them, and ask her if she had any extras she could send me. Then I thought, “Hmm, Lucky would be a great name for a bar. But surely there must be a million of them already.” I Googled it and, nope, not really. There’s a Lucky Bar somewhere in DC and another in a foreign country. There are Lucky 13s and Lucky Lounges. Here in NYC there’s a Lucky Jack’s, Lucky Cheng’s, Lucky Burger, Lucky Strike and lotsa other Lucky stuff. My advisor, Ariel, used a super cool image for the business plan we presented to my sister and I loved it; it has been incorporated into the Lucky logo. It’s a flower of interlocking horseshoes, a mandala of sorts, with the negative space in the center forming a star. It’s perfect on a number of levels.

Since the word Lucky all by itself was already taken as a URL, I decided the web address (and Twitter account and Facebook page) would be http://www.LuckyonB.com. Which brings me to the second big reveal: Lucky is on Avenue B in the East Village! I’m taking over the former Boxcar Lounge space at 168 Avenue B, between 10th and 11th Streets. I’ll be doing cosmetic renovations and hope to be open in a few months.

Now, I’d like to show you all the graphics for the IndieGoGo campaign perks. There is, of course, the Lucky logo. But in addition to that, my Burning Man DPW friends and I love to play the Sharpie knuckle tat game: give one hand to one person, the other to another person, and they each Sharpie on a four letter knuckle “tat.” It’s how we wind up with stuff like POOP CUNT written on our hands… Also, there is a cool table in the bar (the only thing I’m keeping) that’s made from an 1889 manhole cover. It says MANHATTAN DPW. Kismet, right?  Anyway, drumroll, please…and thanks to Dre for helping with the designs!

LuckyLogoThe Lucky Logo!
Available on t-shirts, tank tops, shot glasses, pint glasses, buttons, patches and hoodies!

Manhole v2The MANHATTAN DPW graphic!
This will be cleaned up a bit so the letters are more legible.
Available on t-shirts, printed BIG on the back and small on the front,
just like our Burning Man DPW shirts.

Knuckles v2CHUG LIFE!
This will be white on black, available on t-shirts.

Pardon My Meltdown

Okay, so I wrote this Saturday, during the big Blizzard of 2016. Of course, then I went out into the big blizzard and got blind drunk! Oh my. Anyway, while writing, I was also emailing with one of the other employees from the bar in question and he told me not to post anything about it. He thought it would get the staff in trouble and be negative press, both of which would be bad for him. So I didn’t post it. But I’m torn. I have some pretty strong feelings about this. To solve the problem of bad PR I took out all the names. Some people will know who (and where) I’m referring to. But at least it won’t be as obvious. And hopefully no one will get in trouble.

Last night I experienced a serious meltdown.

I sat down for happy hour at XXX, my favorite bar, a bar I’ve been drinking in since 1986. (No, not steadily. SHUTUP!) The friendly barmaid had my Stella in front of me in moments. But when my date arrived he almost died of thirst. Our barmaid was on the  phone with tech support, struggling with the new POS computer. Eventually his thirst was slaked. Crisis averted. But only temporarily.

When the shift changed, instead of welcoming the acerbic XXX, who would spin vinyl and serve attitude, a willowy young woman wearing an off-the-shoulder shirt asked how we were doing. “You’re not XXX,” I stammered. “No, I’m not,” she smiled. Sensing my distress (and probably picking up on my panic, which evidenced itself as a string of expletives) she offered to buy us a round. Ordinarily that might’ve mollified me. But when she was joined by her co-bartender — A co-bartender? But WHY? The bar isn’t so big it requires two! — I blew my remaining gaskets. The man was wearing a belly shirt. And he had a man bun. A MOTHERFUCKING MAN BUN!

Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot express to you the direness of this situation. Yes, I know the East Village has been changing for years. I’ve watched as the drug dealers and junkies were replaced by bankers and “basics.” I’ve witnessed the high-rises go up on the Lower East Side and waved goodbye as my friends were priced out of their rental apartments. And I’ve mourned every closed dive bar as my property value went up. But this? THIS?

I should’ve seen the writing on the wall. When a “cocktail menu” appeared on the bar, touting muddled drinks. When the number of barstools doubled. When the tablet appeared beside the cash register, glowing annoyingly in our faces. But is NOTHING sacred? I mean, a MAN BUN? So here is my Open Letter to XXX.

Dear XXX,
I’ve been enjoying the ambience of XXX for 30 years. Last night I was sad to see that instead of XXX there were two shiny new faces behind the bar. This upgrade was a painful one. I can sympathize that changes need to be made. I understand that rents go up. But you own half the bars in the neighborhood. I was told you want to make XXX “more like XXX.” Why? Why on earth do you need to make bar A more like bar B? Especially when bar B is only blocks away? Couldn’t you leave just one bar the same? You’ve upgraded upstairs. You’ve created XXX out of a basement. Has XXX been losing money? Those hip, young drinkers you’re making these changes for are fickle. I’ve watched as they pause on the sidewalk, decide to come in, order one Appletini and then move along to the next hot spot. Are the few dollars you make on their one, fleeting transaction that much more valuable than the dozens (and dozens) of dollars I’ve been spending at your bar for the last three decades?
Yes, I know. I can take my business elsewhere. Yes, there are still a few other establishments that remain, like flies captured in amber, unchanged. But your bar is my favorite. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive (or overly nostalgic) but the message I’m receiving is this: “Fuck off, old people. I don’t want you in my bar.” If that isn’t the intention, perhaps you can tell me why, with all the bars you run, it was necessary to “youthify” the only “neighborhood bar” you had left.
a cranky old broad from the neighborhood <shakes fist>




I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been keeping up with my bloggage. However, what little I have had time to post has generated interest…and outrage. Okay, perhaps outrage is an exaggeration. But when I’m busy I don’t spend hours mulling over my responses. I just dash off what initially comes to mind. Which often comes out sounding cunty. It could be said that I am cunty; I do, after all, have the word CUNT tattooed right on my body. Hey, truth in advertising! However, to those who know me, they get my cuntiness right along with my kindness. I can be both, as can most women. It is so very difficult to convey kindness through the ether—or the printed word—as is the conveyance of many emotions.

I’m exhausted. I am over dating people who are so terribly mismatched with me—and me with them. I don’t want to give up, though. Should I? I’m happy to be bartending so I can meet men in what I consider to be my natural habitat, especially while making money instead of spending it. And while they’re drinking and I’m not! I’ve been saying for a while now that meeting guys in bars has been my MO for so many years that it’s really the only process that makes sense to me!

So yeah, the sassy, snarky, cunty responses and the cunty part of my personality that’s been (unfortunately) emerging on many of my recent dates may, indeed, be a valid facet of who I am. Thankfully when I’m behind the bar, my happy and helpful side is what’s shown. Which means if you want to meet the most sincere me, you’ll have to come visit. And order up an Ass Juice! WOOT!

You can find me at Double Down Saloon, 14 Avenue A, Wednesdays and Saturdays from noon till 8pm. And yes, this is a bit of shameless self-promotion. It’s also an open invitation to all my friends, fans and foes to come stalk me or say hello. While you’re free to come and go as you please, I am, quite literally, trapped behind the bar!

Technicolor Nightmares

After Michael Perkins turned down “Quick Study” I needed to dredge up something much darker and more violent. This was the result. It was published in Coming Up: The World’s Best Erotic Writing (1996) under Richard Kasak’s imprint.

The glaring lights reflected off the pools of grease on my plate. I pushed my last pierogi around like a hockey puck and looked out the window. The sun had caught the sky a hazy green-grey. How had it gotten so late? All attempts to secure a buzz last night had been thwarted by the dull ache in my head. Now, having sent a combo plate of Polish dumplings splashing down into the Meisterbrau mire, I knew I could count on some serious Techncolor nightmares. It must be the mushroom gravy that expands my sleeping consciousness. Those little crescents of sauerkraut and dough look so innocent. I left that last one in its greasy puddle, shoved a grimy dollar half under my coffee cup and went to pay the cashier.

“Smoke, smoke. Sens, sens,” the disheveled black dude hissed under his breath. I wanted to backhand him, or at least bring it to his attention that I had passed by this corner, oh, about a million times before and not once had I been interested in any of his smoke, smoke or sens, sens. But why bother? No sense in wasting precious mental energy. I walked around him, giving him wide berth, to let him know I wanted nothing to do with him.

I nudged the rancid bum in my doorway with the toe of my boot. “Good morning! Excuse me.” I unlocked the door above his head and wearily climbed the stairs. Entering my little hovel, it was a nice change not to hear anyone breathing. It was bad enough living in a modified closet, but the ultimate drag was to share one’s coveted closet space with someone else. I had ultimately decided that I would rather eat Top Ramen three times a day than put up with Carla for another month, so, hoping to end our roommate relationship on a civil note, I had told her tactfully that I wanted my privacy.

Not one to let anyone off easily, Carla sneered at me. “Your privacy? For what? Or should I say who? I’m the only one who ever brings any guys home.” I had grunted in response to that particular jab. Ouch. She was right. “Or is that it?” she continued. “You’re jealous of Collin and me. You’ve had your eye on him ever since Danny’s party, haven’t you?”

Actually the thought had never crossed my mind. I mean, he was okay, but not entirely my thing. “Whatever,” I said flatly. No way was I going to let it turn into an argument. She would think what she wanted, regardless of what I said.

“Hmmph. I thought so.” And she started stuffing her belongings into her laundry bag. Then she was gone. That was last Tuesday and the past week had been heaven. I climbed into my loft, happy that there wouldn’t be any egg scrambling or MTV bellowing to wake me, pulled a pillow over my head and prayed that sleep would rescue me from my relentless headache.

I awoke, sans headache, around three in the afternoon. I could tell it was late the second I opened my eyes by the way the sun was slanting through my stained glass. All I had planned for the day was a stroll over to Kinko’s to run out a few more résumés and some strategically targeted cover letters. Shaking the remnants of the last snippet of a mushroom-gravy-and-sauerkraut-inspired nightmare, I stepped into the shower.

The steam accumulating in the low-ceilinged bathroom made it feel even closer than it was. It was hot. I was hot. I hadn’t gotten laid in ages. Maybe Carla had been right. I now had my privacy. And it was extremely private. Far more so than I would have liked. Ah, but there was tonight. People became rutting animals in heat like this. I know I certainly felt like I was in heat. I slid my soapy palm between my legs. I was hard down there under all the suds and sopping hair.

I rinsed off all traces of soap and conditioner and stepped onto the bath mat, not even bothering to towel myself dry. Why bother? I’d be dripping sweat in a few seconds anyway. Instead I stretched one leg up onto the edge of the sink and looked at my semi-obscured reflection in the steamed mirror. My nipples were already stiff, even in the heat. My body is always quick to pick up on impending masturbation vibes and this was no exception. I rolled my nipples between my thumbs and forefingers, tweaking them gently, closing my eyes. I wanted to get good and wet. And not with dripping sweat or shower water. I wanted to be drooling cunt juice, go out into the tight, humid evening with my own scent smeared on me like war paint. To attract a rutting animal of my very own.

I slipped both my thumbs into my mouth, moistening them, and returned them to my nipples, sliding my fingers over the puckered areolae, gliding in the spit, pinching. Then I spat onto three fingers and slid them down to my pussy. I felt even hotter there. I stroked my clit, smearing the saliva around, arousing myself further. I pulled on it gently, urging it to become stiffer, and skidded into my steaming cunt. Mmm, I was wet—very wet. I plunged my fingers in as far as they would go and held them there, feeling the muscles clench. I pumped my hand a few strokes, pulling out far enough to brush my clit, then dragged my juicy fingers out and fingered my clit. It was ready. I was ready. I watched myself through squinted eyes as I rubbed frantically, drawing more lubricant up every few strokes. One hand pinched and rubbed at a nipple, the other was a blur between my legs. I could feel my climax just seconds—strokes—away and sucked in a last breath, tensing every muscle in my body, the leg I was standing on wobbling like a colt’s. I arched my back as I reached the last crest of the roller coaster ride and then down, down, I was flying, my fingers sliding and sloshing in the dribbling secretions, my orgasm caroming from my cunt through the rest of my shuddering body. I slid my fingers in through my slippery lips to feel my inner muscles clenching powerfully and I stood there, moving them just slightly, savoring the fading jolts of climax.

Before I rinsed my hands off, I smeared a bit of my juices behind each ear and ran my fingers through my pubic hair, distributing the scented hormones. This would surely trigger some horny guy’s subconscious, eh?

It had been the hottest day of the summer and, as the sun set, it felt as thought it would also be the hottest night. Forgoing sustenance in hopes of attaining the buzz that had eluded me the night before, I pulled on a pair of baggy drawstring shorts tight around my waist while I was still damp, partly from my second shower of the day and partly from nonstop sweat. The thought of actually putting on a shirt—even a tank top—was enough to make me pass out, so I rummaged in my drawer for a bathing suit, settling on a black bikini top. I pulled all my hair into an I Dream of Jeannie ponytail on top of my head—the coolest do I could come up with—and tried to decide which earrings would finish off my faux flygirl motif.

I met Lennie at Downtown Beirut for a couple of pitchers, grateful for their wheezing air conditioner. After about our third, I asked him if I could interest him in a trip crosstown to Jackie 60.

“I’ll pay your cover,” I volunteered, knowing his financial situation wasn’t a whole lot better than mine.

“Okay, sure,” Lennie replied, draining his glass. “Let’s go.”

The two of us worked up quite a sheen walking all the way from the East Village to the Meat Packing District. By the time we got there, I felt like I’d been for a swim in an overheated pool.

We pushed our way through the drag queens and night crawlers to the bar and ordered the cheapest beer available. Clutching our Rolling Rocks, we weighed the “dance or hang” question and decided that it was too hot for any unnecessary movement. Besides, downstairs it would be cooler.

And it was, if only slightly. I sipped my beer, scanned the crowd, and thought I saw Collin slouching in a doorway. Having seen the guy only once or twice, and even then not taking much notice of him since he was spoken for, I couldn’t be sure. If that was him, he had his hair pulled back. And where was Carla? Not here, I hoped. In any case, the situation required further investigation. I told Lennie he was on his own and slipped through the crowd.

“Collin?” I asked, startling him out of an apparent trance.

“Uh, yeah. Oh, hi Arielle.”

“I wasn’t sure if that was you. I’ve never seen you with your hair pulled back.”

“Well,” Collin said, flipping his ponytail self-consciously, “it’s hot.” I agreed.

“Where’s Carla?” I asked, not really caring, but curious.

“Got me. We had a fight. She’s still in a shitty mood about you kicking her out.” I weighed whether to pursue this line of conversation. If their fight lasted only till the morning, Collin would remember enough of anything I said well enough to repeat it. I shrugged, waiting for him to continue. “I’ve about had it with her.” That was enough for me.

We made small talk, yelling over the music and sipping our beers. When we both tired of standing, we sat side by side on the slightly vibrating pool table, leaning into each other conspiratorially to make ourselves heard. The seemingly innocent conversation became flirtation as we exchanged pleasant compliments and subtle body language, only to be answered by increasingly more pleasant compliments and decreasingly subtle body language.

After one particularly flattering comment from Collin, I blushed and sat staring into my lap, thinking that perhaps Carla had been right about my being attracted to him. True, he wasn’t exactly my type, kind of skinny and shy and bookwormish behind those John Lennon glasses of his. But he exuded a kind of warmth, a trait that chilly ol’ Carla had been in desperate need of and, when he overcame his shyness enough to speak, he had a clever, biting kind of wit. At that present moment, his wit was doing a bit of nibbling at me.

By the time he mumbled something about wanting to kiss me, I answered, “I was just thinking the exact same thing,” and we kissed a long, humid, tongue-tangling kiss that sent shivers through me. Between the vibration of the pool table we were sitting on and Collin’s thigh pressed against my own, I was experiencing that electric, hot-to-fuck feeling that summer nights were made for; his kiss sent me over the edge.

Flustered, I looked down at my empty beer, thinking I could use another. Collin read my mind and suggested a run upstairs to the bar. “I’ll come with you,” I offered. I felt light-headed climbing the stairs; most of my blood had traveled to my loins. I’ll burn in hell for this, I thought to myself, but the “fuck her” response came faster than even I could have anticipated. I was thoroughly damp, both inside and out, just thinking about Collin’s cock quivering in my mouth, as we stood leaning against the bar, touching and kissing, our hands reading the braille of each other’s bodies. The sentence I translated when Collin rubbed his crotch against my hip was clear. When he asked, “You live on Tenth Street, right?” I laughed at his oblique suggestion and, knowing precisely where this would lead, answered, “Yeah, let’s go.”

Out on the sticky city streets, I couldn’t help periodically pressing my moist flesh against Collin’s, cramming my tongue into his mouth and inhaling the smell of him. We pulled each other along in the direction of my apartment, eager to be horizontal but hungry for immediate bodily contact. I interrupted one particularly crotch-zapping kiss to say we’d probably both burn in hell, but Collin just shushed me and resumed the kiss.

Arriving at my apartment, slightly disheveled and completely aroused, I unlocked the door quickly and yanked Collin over to my sofa. I sat down, positioned him between my legs and went straight for his zipper. As I peeled off his black denim shorts, I gasped at his totally hairless crotch. Carla hadn’t mentioned anything about him being kinky or anything; this was an exciting discovery indeed. Feverishly, I ran my tongue across the cleanly shaven surface. I licked and fondled, rubbed and grabbed, and then enveloped his stiff cock with my wildly salivating mouth. I took a grab of his ass with both hands and pulled him into me, relishing the feel of his hard cock scraping the back of my throat.

“I knew it,” he said.

“Hmmm?” I mumbled around his cock, questioning the exact meaning of his comment.

“I knew you’d be good,” he continued, sliding himself smoothly in and out of me. “I knew it.” I laughed and released his dick, and pushed him down onto the sofa, on his back, his smooth, pale skin reflecting the glow of the streetlight outside my window, his erection casting a shadow across his belly. I admired his luminosity for a moment and plunged hungrily into his crotch, sucking his balls, slathering them with saliva, and then took his rigid cock into my mouth once more.

Collin continued to compliment me and marvel at his premonitions as I gripped his cock, slick with my saliva, and he rhythmically pumped in and out of my slobbering mouth. He pulled the tie from my hair and raked his fingers through as I licked and sucked, urging him toward orgasm. When he wondered aloud if he could come in my mouth, I paused, answered, “Please,” and stuffed his cock back in, anxiously anticipating his explosion. Moments later his cock stiffened in pre-orgasmic tumescence, his balls tightened and then he climaxed, his cock spasming and shooting a stream of sticky come down my throat.

We woke up in the same position, Collin on my couch, naked, and me on the floor, half-draped beside him, still dressed. It was glaringly early. He groped his way into his clothes and mumbled something about having work to do.

As he stood poised at the door, it didn’t even occur to me to offer him my phone number. I knew this was going to be another notch in my bedpost and I wondered why he had bothered making excuses about having to leave. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Places to go, people to see. Don’t get all overwrought. You came, you saw, you conquered. And you came. I’m satisfied. You can go now. Besides, he had the number. It had been his girlfriend’s number too, only days earlier. I held the door and as he slipped past me, he smiled wryly and said, “I hope I don’t see this little encounter written up on Downtown Beirut’s bathroom wall.” Hah! He should be so lucky.

I just smiled and said, “See you around.” Which was, really, what I meant. I mean, it hadn’t been bad, for a one-nighter. But then, of course, he called.

* * *

Thus Collin and I entered into our sexual relationship of mutual worship—of each other’s bodies, of each other’s talents. Although I’d certainly heard it before, he had me believing that I did, indeed, give the best head in the world. And, using my wildly checkered past to back me up, I managed to convine him that he was a cunnilinguist whose skills were equally unmatched. He read every word I bled onto paper and praised them. I matted his stark creations with black construction paper and put even the most insignificant shot on the wall proudly.

My writing gradually improved in the fluorescent Gro-Lite glow of Collin’s encouragement and he actually purchased a portfolio to store his prints properly. We both began to feel invincible. And our sex life was incredible. We challenged each other’s creativity sexually as well as artistically.

We bought cheap sex toys. Blow-up dolls. Edible underwear. We made use of food products. We fucked on the fire escape. Actually, we fucked just about everywhere. Then we started experimenting with fantasies. I was a hooker in a sleazy Times Square bar and he was my john. I was the virginal student to his college professor. It soon became evident that the next step would be to include a third party in our escapades.

Our first girl was a cute young punk squatter we found on a park bench in Tompkins Square, drinking a 40-ouncer. Half her head was shaved and the tribal tattoos winding up and down her arms were colored in with bright plaids. Tattered fishnets stuck up out of battered Docs, the requisite uniform, but what I loved were the bloomers she wore underneath her ass-grazing kilt. “So I can sit cross-legged without everyone getting a good muff shot,” she explained when I questioned her off choice of undergarments. Hmmf, a good muff shot was exactly what Collin and I were looking for.

We lured her back to my apartment with another 40-ouncer. Too easy. After she polished that off, she looked ready for anything. Collin and I certainly were. I reached to stroke her stubbly temples and she offered no resisitance. Soon I was rubbing her shoulders, nudging her layers of chopped-off tank tops out of the way, moving closer. I leaned in to take a lick of her cocoa skin. She tasted like beer and cigarettes and sweat and dirt. I liked it.

Her head lolled back as my tongue reached her tit and when I made contact with her nipples, so small and tight, she moaned like a porn starlet. No virgin this one, I thought. Ah, just as well. And I yanked down her shirts, one by one, as you would peel back the leaves of an artichoke, until I could see her heartbeat beneath her breast. I stopped to look at her, wondering for a second where this was going. Collin had gone for his camera. Without thinking any further, I knelt to unlace her boots and slid them off. I decided that leaving the holey fishnets on would be a nice touch, but the bloomers would have to go. The elastic at the waist was used up and crunchy and didn’t have much give. I had to tug to get the damn things down over her slim little teenage hips. But it was worth the work. When the grayed bloomers were in a heap on the floor, I got that muff shot she’d been covering up. The grey-pink outer lips of her cunt were pouting out beneath a healthy tuft of wiry black curls, crosscrossed by what was left of the threadbare fishnets. Obviously Collin and I weren’t the first to go spelunking here; the seam up the center of her crotch was about the only thing left holding the stockings together. I chewed through it like so much dental floss.

Her cunt smelled like her skin, only more tart, more pungent. I closed my eyes and slid my tongue into her, tasting piss and sweat and more dirt, earthy dirt, like you get under your fingernails playing in the mud. I started sucking and slurping, pressing my hands into her firm, muscled thighs, opening them wider, listening for her to gasp or something. I thought she’d passed out when she rested her hands on my head and began humping my mouth gently.

“Mmff, wait,” I panted, getting up off my knees to strip and spotting Collin, his cock in one hand, camera in the other, smiling slyly.

“Tasty?” he asked, nodding in the squatter’s direction. I strolled over to him, unhooking my overalls and stepping out of them, then kissing him hard on the mouth, making sure to smear a sheen of the squatter’s grease across his cheek. He jerked his cock once or twice and rolled his eyes and I returned to the task at hand, naked now, and hot for this kid’s twat.

Collin clicked off a couple rolls of film, catching flashes of cunt and tit, but he couldn’t capture her fabulous grunts and squeals. It was kinda nice that she was having as good a time as we were. Collin finally jerked off onto her, all over her training-bra tits and all over her face, and I licked some of it off before succumbing to a case of cotton mouth.

So that was my virgin foray into female territory. What I’d been fantasizing about for a long while, however, was slamming some cunt with a strap-on. I hadn’t had the nerve to try it on our little squatter, partially out of sheer lack of courage and partially out of some sort of respect for the tattered and shredded little cappucino nymphette. Shit, she was tasty. I didn’t feel the same respect for the next dumpling Collin and I carted home.

We decided to live life a little dangerously and journeyed to the Upper East Side, staking out a spot at a yuppie bar and waiting for just the right girl. I was all pumped up on adrenaline and a line of cheap street coke. Collin, knowing I wasn’t much for artificial stimulants but saying it was a special occasion, had brought home a few crumbs for me, wrapped in a tagboard band flier from Brownie’s. It made me feel hateful, especially among the so-called beautiful people, their expensive sweaters draped so uncasually across their gym-toned shoulders, their AmEx numbers being scanned and approved in a swipe of plastic. I wanted to hurt someone.

And Sally turned out to be that someone. She strode in confidently with a friend and sat a few bar stools down from us. We watched as she talked to her friend out of the side of her mouth while surveying the prospects at the bar. Every so often someone would appeal to her and her eyes would brighten, but it wouldn’t take her long to find something wrong with her prospective pickup and turn her attentions elsewhere. Her pal wasn’t quite so particular; within a half-dozen frozen drinks, she was out of there on the arm of a somewhat pudgy frat boy-type. Instead of leaving, however, our mark simply scooted down a few stools and kept up her search.

Collin struck up a conversation with her and, although I could tell he was not at all her type, she was intrigued. We plied her with another foo-foo drink and started talking about our recent ménage à trois and Sally, as she had introduced herself, stopped her scanning and started warming up—to Collin and to me. She had her hands all over him and kept shooting what I’m sure she thought were meaningful glances my way. I just wanted to get the hell out of yuppieville. She looked primed.

“Whaddya say we take this little party to my place?” I suggested, certain that I had stolen that line from some bad James Bond movie.

Sally about slid right off her seat. “Sure!” she squealed. And we practically had to chase her to the curb, where merely half-raising her arm brought a taxi screeching to a stop at her feet.

Sally had a slightly green expression when the taxi pulled up in front of my building. “I hear this neighborhood has gotten really popular,” she offered weakly. Shit, she had seemed like such a willing participant uptown. I hoped she wasn’t losing her, uh, curiosity. She relaxed a bit upon enterting my apartment. It may be a tenement, but over the years I’ve managed to make it look respectable. I left Collin to charm her and slipped into the bathroom. The plan was for me to get into my robe, which would conceal my male appendage, while Collin got her comfortable. I rifled under the sink, behind my vibrator and old hotel shampoo bottles, for the strap-on. I had yet to try it out, or even take it out of the packaging. My clit throbbed.

I pulled off the shrink wrap and opened the box, smelling that fresh rubber new-car smell mixed with cheap leather. I peeled off my jeans and underpants and got a good whiff of how exciting the prospect of fucking Sally with this little apparatus was to me. I dragged my thumb slowly through the viscous liquid lubricating my cunt and groaned. The tiny buckle tinkled as I stepped into the strap-on and pulled it up, the thong slipping between the cheeks of my ass and sinking into the slick moistness of my slit. I slid the strap through the buckle and looped it back, pulling it snug around my hips. The rubber cock lolled and I pushed down on it, letting it spring back in an almost lifelike motion. I closed my robe and went out.

Collin and Sally were in a tangle on the couch. I watched for a moment, stroking my rubber cock through my robe. Sally was wearing velvety soft black Ann Taylor jeans and a silk button-down blouse. I knew her panties would match her bra, Victoria’s Secret, no doubt, and I couldn’t wait to see the set. I moved in closer and could smell their excitement, Collin’s testosterone-laden scent mingling with Sally’s piña colada and Eternity stench. I hated her. I had to have her.

“Take her clothes off,” I said to Collin. “I want to see her tits first.” Sally giggled and sat up, facing Collin, and pushed her breasts at him. He struggled with the first button, but the rest went smoothly, eventually revealing a lavender lace push-up bra with silky thin straps. My mouth watered at the thought of her pussy, pressed smooth beneath a thin layer of the same lavender lace. Sally shrugged out of her silk blouse and it slid off the couch to the floor. She oblingingly reached behind her back to unsnap the bra and her tiny tits tumbled out. They were freckled—a bit of a surprise, since her coloring had appeared so pale and flawless. Collin clumsily cupped her breasts and started to slurp at a nipple. “Now her pants,” I gurgled. Sally leaned back on her hands and poked her pelvis into Collin’s face. She sure was cooperative. He unbuckled her heavy sterling concha belt and slid it out of its belt loops, no doubt envisioning a more useful use for it than decorating her designer jeans. She giggled again and wriggled a bit, almost teasing him to hurry and finish undressing her. I was still stroking my cock and groaning softly, eager to see her pussy.

The sound of her zipper going down was practially deafening. I was so turned on, and so incredibly tuned in to the whole act, that all I could focus on was this chick’s body. I could practically feel the soft denim on my own skin as it slid down over Sally’s slightly rounded hips; the tiny triangle of lavender lace made me gulp. Her pubic hair looked thick and it poked out between the lace, above it and at the sides in a mad scramble to escape bondage. I ached to liberate it.

She wiggled her ass while Collin pulled the jeans all the way down and, as soon as they were off, she pulled her legs up and sat cross-legged, apparently pleased with herself. Her nipples were tight and shriveled and I wondered for a second if she was cold.

“Okay, now fuck her,” I rasped, pulling on the rubber cock, causing it to chafe against my clit. I was only a few strokes away from a cirppling orgasm and I wasn’t sure what to do next. When Collin ripped the little Victoria’s Secret panties off Sally’s sorority-girl tush, I yanked harder and felt a flash of heat spread through my loins. He didn’t even take his pants off. He just ripped open the button fly and shoved his cock into her. Her giggling stopped. It was replaced by sharp little gasps and her eyes were opened unusually wide. She no longer looked so eager. He slammed into her for a few strokes, then pulled out and spewed his load all over her tits. I thought she had stopped breathing.

“All yours, babe,” Collin panted as he climbed off the couch. Sally’s eyes opened even wider.

I untied my robe and let it fall to the floor, right beside Sally’s lovely silk blouse. She let out a nervous giggle that sounded more like a hiccup and eyed the strap-on curiously, apparently unsure as to how she should react. “Stand up,” I told her, and she scrambled up from her slightly crunched position. I grabbed her by the shoulders—her skin felt soft, with decent muscles underneath—and spun her around. “Bend over,” I whispered, so hot and horny I thought I’d burst. Sally bent over, leaning her hands on the arm of the couch. I lined the dildo up with the puffy lips of her cunt and slid in, feeding her the entire length of the dildo, pressing the cheap leather against the cheeks of her ass as I held them apart. I heard another one of her little hiccups and I moaned. The butt of the dildo was jutting into me, stimulating my stiff, throbbing clit. I knew that with a few well-positioned thrusts I would come. I gripped Sally’s hips and pulled the dildo out a few inches, then slammed it back in. As the cock sank in deep, the rubber bumped into me again, and again I groaned. I pulled out once more, slowly, but that was it. I pumped the rubber cock into Sally’s tight little hole in a mad frenzy, leaning a bit to get just the right pressure on my clit, and climaxed, crying out and thrusting feverishly, feeling the dampness of my juices seep around the cheap leather strap and down my sweaty thighs. My heart was hammering in my chest. I draped myself onto Sally’s back, my tits spreading against her supple flesh, and panted. Another nervous hiccup-giggle.

I’d forgotten about Collin completely. When he “ahemed,” I noticed his cock was a bit purple and raw. “What’s the matter? That wasn’t enough? You wanna get off?” I asked, still lodged in Sally’s little twat.

“Mm, I wanna spill this inside her,” and he gestured in Sally’s general direction with his hard-on.

“Well then?” I replied, making no moves to pull out of her.

Collin just grunted and strolled over, climbing up onto the couch and propping himself on the back of it, leaning against the wall, his feet sinking into the cushions. His prick was inches from Sally’s face. I thought it might be cool to see her snotty little Upper East Side face get sprayed with his spunk, but Collin had other ideas. He pushed his thumb into her mouth and then followed his thumb with his cock. Yet another hiccup-giggle from Sally, slightly muffled this time due to the mouthful she had. I watched as Collin gripped the sides of her head and rammed himself into her throat. It didn’t sound like she was enjoying this little part of our games.

She made small choking noises, but I held her body still while Collin kept his grip on her head. He’d gotten plenty hopped up watching my scene, I suppose, because he shot his load after only a few frenzied thrusts, groaning deeply. Sally emitted a few snorting noises and I wondered if she’d be snarfing Collin’s come out through her nose.

But she took it like a trooper, swallowing down the mouthful before gasping for air.

“Thanks, you’ve been a sport,” I said to Sally as aI slid my eternal hard-on out of her. It was shiny and slick. She must’ve been really digging that mouth rape Collin had given her; her cunt was drooling. By the time sweet Sally was stepping into her expensive jeans, Collin and I were rutting away on the couch, panting like a couple of teenagers at a drive-in. I didn’t hear her leave.

* * *

Every few nights we would bring home another girl and each time I’d enjoy it more, fucking and slurping them, making sure Collin got some, preferring to see his come splash their bodies, but not minding the times he felt the need to deposit his load inside them. Sooner or later, though, I knew I’d have to broach the subject. And I knew Collin wouldn’t like it.

“Ya know, all thses chicks are entertainint and shit, but whaddya say we try a guy?”

Collin glanced sideways at me from the opposite side of the couch. On the TV, Pat and Vanna were admiring each other’s outfits.

“Not a guy, really, but a kid. A young guy. Someone virginal. Wouldn’t that be hot? Maybe fuck some kid in the ass? I’d love to deflower a virgin.” “Song Title and Artist” was the category. Collin looked preoccupied. “Come on, whaddya think?”

He never said a word in response, but he was fairly cooperative when we went out. I put the moves on a frail, young-looking blond kid at Sophie’s and all I had to say was that I had cable before he was agreeing to go home with us. But as soon as I’d maneuvered him onto the couch and was negotiating the removal of his baggy jeans, Collin lost it.

“Get the fuck out of her, you queer,” he cracked at the kid. And he didn’t have to ask twice. The kid was out the door and down the stairs before I could even ask what the trouble was.

“No guys. I can’t handle guys,” was all he said. Which was the end of my attempt to get guys into the action.

Somehow weeks passed by without any more “guests,” male or female. Our sex, when we managed to work up the energy, lacked its usual enthusiasm. It was mechanical and uninspired. And fast. I wondered if we were losing interest in each other. I felt so out of touch with my feelings that I couldn’t even say. Nothing seemed to have changed, really. A muted, slow-motion effect just seemed to have taken hold. I waited for it to pass.

But it didn’t. And I attributed our boredom to our lack of extracurricular sexual partners. I brought this up with Collin one evening when Vanna was wearing a particularly unbecoming ensemble. Still absorbed in her silver dress with matching silver pumps, Collin agreed with me and suggested we go out on the prowl that very evening. While he watched the Wheel, I slipped out the door for a six of Bud talls.

At the store I thought better and bought two six-packs, supplementing our beverage selection with a tube of Pringles and some peanut M&Ms. By the time I got back, the 300-pound woman from Arizona had won a powerboat, which meant that Collin and I could concentrate on sucking down our beers and contemplate the evening’s festivities.

“Where d’ya wanna go?” I asi,ed, coming up for air after a long swig.

“Let’s find ourselves somebody truly vile. Someone we can really hate—from the word go.”

The thought intrigued me. I had hated most everybody we’d brought home for some reason or other, if only that they could afford to drink better beer than I could. Except for the squatter. I still had some warm feelings about her. Then the hazy newsprint memory of Screw’s story about cheap hookers trolling Eleventh Street fluttered behind my eyelids. Used-up crack addicts. Human pollution. Truly vile, indeed. And so convenient! We could chug a few equally cheap pitchers on the way.

It took us a while to distract the bartender from her scrawny rock ‘n’ roll boyfriend. “Pitcher of Bud,” I yelled over the blaring jukebox. “Touch Me, I’m Sick.” How appropriate. The lifeless beer went down easy. We sat propped up by the greasy window, seemingly miles away from any air. Just a soupy fog of cigarette smoke. Collin fought off the advances of the five-dollar blowjob girl and I briefly entertained the idea of taking her home and drowning her in my bathtub, but I knew she’d be way too much trouble. Flower Man presented me with a flaccid rose and Collin pled poverty when he asked for monetary compensation. “No, man. All our money’s for beer.” And Flower Man moved deeper into the bar. “Orgasm Addict” came on and I mused that if they ever made a movie of my life, this particular jukebox would provide the perfect soundtrack.

By “Venus in Furs” we were on our third pitcher and I was feeling primed. “Let’s down this piss and get on with it,” I slurred to Collin. I could feel the beer molecules bonding with my DNA, becoming an elemental building block of my very being. With the sour aftertaste of stale Budweiser stinging my tongue, we exited Beirut to the strains of “Rape Me.” Indeed.

It was only a short three-block walk to the local cheap hooker district. And there they were, just as promised. Collin and I slunk along, eyeballing each one. “So, what’s the plan?” he whispered to me furtively.

“Let’s go to the deli at the corner and buys us a couple beers—for you, me and our guest. We can decide which one to purchase while we’re making our purchase.” I giggled at what I thought was a clever turn of phrase. I had a good buzz on.

“Mm,” Collin responded, apparently oblivious to my wit.

Standing in the glaring fluorescent lights of the deli, I squinted into the beer cooler, seeking some serious shit beer. “So, any of them catch your fancy?” I asked Collin, who was behind me rubbing his hard-on into my shoulder blades. I reached deep into the cooler to get a cold one and handed it up to him.

“Colt 45, a fine vintage,” he giggled, still rubbing. “I kinda liked the looks of the black chick. She looked kinda kinky. You?”

I passed him another 40-ouncer and leaned into his grinding crotch, wavering slightly, feeling woozy for just a second. “I don’t know. She looked awful…aware…to me. I had someone more, um, out of it in mind.” I passed up a third bottle and stood up, grabbing Collin in the crotch, squeezing his cock. He had his hands full; he was defenseless. “I thought that weasely little blonde was kinda appealing,” I said, still squeezing.

“Ugh,” was Collin’s response. He mashed himself into my groping palm.

“Fuck it. I don’t care. Let’s do the black chick,” I grumbled, glancing up at the Big Brother mirror in the corner. The cashier was watching us. “Let’s get out of here.”

At the counter, I pulled a strangled wad of singles out of my pocket. The guy rang in our purchase and squirreled away the cash. “You lovebirds have a good night, now!” He grinned. His teeth were brown and grey and frightening.

Back on the hooker block, we spotted the black chick leaning limply in a doorway. “Maybe she’s already high,” I whispered to Collin. It was practically a squeal. “That should make things easier.” My heart was rising in my throat. I wanted this one to be extra special.

Collin approached her first while I hung back with our bag of beers. He negotiated with her silently, rubbing his cock for effect. I wished my hands were free so I could rub myself, too. I wanted her to know what we had in mind, so there wouldn’t be a need for renegotiating later. Collin gestured in my direction and the chick nodded. I took that as my cue and joined them. “Okay, let’s go,” was all Collin said.

We walked the three blocks back to my apartment silently. My heartbeat was knocking the bottles together rhythmically, or so it felt. My cunt was aching. When I handed the bag to Collin so I could unlock the door, I saw a peculiar look of fright in his eyes. God knows what he saw in mine.

The second we walked in the door, the cat slid under the couch. Never a good sign. I wondered what sort of strange vibes we were emanating. I cracked open the Colts and suggested we all have a seat on the couch. Collin and I sat on either side of the hooker, who swilled her beer like she’d just been rescued from the desert. I started stroking her thigh. No sense in wasting time. Time is money, I thought fuzzily, and giggled.

Quickly bored with her thigh, I shoved her skirt up a bit and wormed my hand into her crotch. She had panties on. How very unhookerlike. I wiggled my fingers around them and poked at her cunt. Dry as a bone. “Get those clothes off,” I rasped. “You too, Collin. Why don’t you two put on a little show for me?” I didn’t want anything to do with that parched cunt of hers. Collin would fix it. While they peeled off their clothes, I did the same, shrugging out of my T-shirt and shoving my jeans to my ankles. Underneath her K-Mart special, the hooker’s skin looked hard and shiny, like a cocoa bean. “Suck his cock,” I instructed. “Make him hard.” Collin was already hard, if only halfway. He didn’t appear to be as excited about the current situation as I was. I spread my legs and started stroking myself, hoping that would help him out.

The black chick popped the head of Collin’s cock into her mouth like a cherry and sucked joylessly. “That’s enough. Fuck her.” She opened her legs with a sigh. Ah, the ennui. I’d hated her back on the hooker block. She was making it worse. I was getting juiced. Collin moved forward awkwardly and placed his cock at her opening, waiting for encouragement that I knew he wasn’t going to get. “Spread those crusty cuntlips for him, honey,” I said sweetly. She sighed again and did as she was told. I stood behind Collin and leaned into him, watching as his prick edged into her. “Spit on him.  You’re so fucking dry you’re gonna give him rug burn,” I ordered. “Shit!” She leaned up, drooled over Collin’s hard-on and gave it a few pumps to spread her lubricant. This time he slid in. Their coupling was nothing more than the fusion of two slabs of flesh. I stayed behind him, dry-humping his ass in sync with his thrusts, feeling as though we were both fucking her. “Come in her face,” I whispered. “Spray all over her. Get some in her hair. She’ll wear it for a week.” I reached between Collin’s sweaty ass and my pressing body to rub myself. God, I was hot. I could tell that Collin’s enthusiasm level was tentative, so I continued urging him on. “Close your eyes if you have to,” I whispered, thinking he was the one who picked up this cunt. Soon his breathing hitched and I waited to see him shoot. He leaned back into me, pulling his cock out of her, pulled her head around and yanked on his cock once or twice before his come splattered her shiny little cocoa-bean face. The first glob  splashed her cheek, the second the corner of her eye and the third, thankfully, fell thickly in the hair above her ear. Her hair was the color of shit after a night of too much drinking. “Perfect!” I groaned. “Don’t move.”

I stumbled to the bathroom, almost tripping over my shorts, and groped under the sink for my strap-on. I had myself buckled up in seconds and hurried back to the couch, the stiff rubber bobbing in front of me. “Move!” I barked at Collin. “My turn.” I positioned the strap-on at her cuntlips, hoping Collin’s cock had at least gotten her a little damp. Just in case, I spat on my palm and gave the cock a couple of jerks, then rammed it in. It didn’t slide as easily as I’d hoped, but it went in. Then I was close to her. She smelled like chemicals. Not like a person at all. This wouldn’t work.

“Stand up,” I gurgled. I didn’t want to be so close. She stood up mechanically and waited for my next request. “Bend over.” She did. I lubed the cock again and pushed into her. She braced herself against the couch and I started really slamming her. The friction had me coming after only a few thrusts, but I wanted to hammer this chick forever. Forever. I hammered. After a while, Collin put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t you think that’s enough?”

“No! Sit down! Jerk off or something.” And I continued slamming the dildo deep into the hooker cunt’s pussy. She seemed completely unfazed and I almost offered her a nail file so she could make more efficient use of her time. That set me off. “Get me a knife!” I rasped at Collin. “From the kitchen.” Like we had them anywhere else. The whore’s flanks tensed, her ass clenched a bit, but she didn’t say a word.

Without question, he returned with the knife I use to chop vegetables. When we eat vegetables. I slid the sticky strap-on from the hooker’s cunt and replaced it with the knife, blade in. She didn’t even have time to protest before it was in her, deep. She yelped, but I slapped her ass hard and pushed her down onto the couch. “Shut up, cunt!” I shoved the knife in again, twisting it a bit, trying to fill up her sapless twat with the stainless-steel blade. She was making little grunting noises, almost as though she liked it. Collin was silent. I increased the tempo of my fuck-motion and saw the first few dribbles of her blood daubing my knuckles. “Okay,” I said, feeling like I’d finally accomplished an impossible task. “Now she’s wet! Fuck her again, Collin.” I looked over and he had sunk to the floor. He didn’t look well. “Fine then, I will,” and I climbed onto the couch, climbed on top of the stuck pig, and shoved the strap-on into her liquid gash.

I couldn’t say for sure, but I think she actually got off when I fucked her that time. She moaned and wailed like she was coming, anyway. And I came about a million times, orgasm after orgasm rocketing through me, each one stronger than the last. I had found the perfect rhythm, the perfect angle, the perfect juicy wet cunt.

When finally my clit was numb, I pulled out of her. Blood oozed down her special select thighs. She still didn’t say a word. No “thank you,” no “that was my best fuck ever”—nothing.

“Shit! I need a shower,” I gasped and, in a bit of a daze, I climbed into the shower, bloody cock and all. By the time I’d had enough of the therapeutic steam and pounding stream of water, the two of them were gone. The cat was on the couch, licking the droplets of blood the hooker had left behind. I picked up a bottle and took a long swig, feeling hungry, thinking that a little visit to Veselka would be just the thing to take the sour edge off. And maybe the paper. The crossword puzzle.

I spread the Times out like a place mat and started in. Deciphering the secret little clues and squares always made me feel so superior. I sure did miss Eugene T., though. These new ones were too easy. I took a sip of my coffee. No special select here. Soon my steaming plate arrived. I positioned it so it wouldn’t obscure my little squares. As I popped the last pierogi into my mouth, a blob of sour cream dribble out the side. I wiped it away with the crumpled corner of a sandpapery napkin. Nap time, I thought to myself, somehow certain that the yummy little dumplings would no longer disturb my sleep.

My Ambulet

I was walking through my neighborhood the other day with a friend. I’d stopped briefly at a new store a few days earlier when I didn’t have much time. It’s on a stretch of East 9th Street that’s crowded with cute boutiques: wedding dresses and antiques, vintage clothing and Wiccan spells. This new shop caught my eye because of its display: a wall of outstretched hands, delicate necklaces dangling from the ceramic fingers. Spread on the tables, boxes of clever rings: a toy car that spans three fingers; a tiny architectural model man, striding confidently; dog heads and dinosaur claws. Each one a stunning sculpture.

On my previous dash in, I’d spotted a knife, its blade glinting appealingly, the whole piece less than two inches long. It was sharp. I scanned the hands, found it and showed it to my friend. “Should I treat myself?” I asked, fastening the clasp behind my neck. “Sure,” she enthused. “It can be your ambulet.” She’d meant amulet but the fragment of her Freudian slip worked; combining amulet with ambulance resulted in ambulet. Perfect!

My “playa handle” is “StAbby.” It wasn’t bestowed upon me, as most playa names are, but was instead inspired by a song I sang at the DPW Talent Show in 2008: “Feelin’ Stabby,” sung to the tune of “Feelin’ Groovy.” I like the lowercase t and cap A, making it a double entendre, both stabby and Saint Abby. The tiny knife certainly looked “stabby.” And I can use all the help I can get.

a small object worn to ward off evil, harm, or illness or to bring good fortune; protecting charm.
1595–1605;  (< Middle French amulete ) < Latin amulētum

For the past bunch of months I’ve been wearing my feather, the one I found my first year of Playa Restoration. I usually take it off when I’m working on my tan in preparation for the desert; I don’t want a big feather-shaped white spot in the center of my chest. The Lilliputian kitchen utensil won’t cause a spot; it’s not only small but light, so it will easily slide around. This little knife isn’t imbued with as much magical juju as my feather is but a talisman is only as powerful as its wearer believes. I will touch it every time I feel my confidence slipping, when the tears are about to start, when I forget to breathe. Perhaps I’ll stop by the witchy-poo store and have them cast a spell on it!
315 East 9th Street
NY NY 10003
424 East 9th Street
NY NY 10009

Attitude Tourettes

I’ve never been one to keep my mouth shut…about anything, but lately it’s gotten far, far worse. In fact I feel like I’m suffering from some sort of attitude Tourette’s. And I’m alienating everyone around me. Also nothing new, but still.

Last night I went to a bar for a reunion of sorts. A friend visiting from LA wanted us all to meet up at her former local bar. In Hoboken. The bartender didn’t allow waving. As in patrons weren’t permitted to wave at him to get his attention. Calling his name never seemed to work and we were often left wanting. He would spend extended moments chatting up guys who weren’t even ordering drinks. We were feeling pretty neglected. At least I wasn’t able to give the bartender a piece of my mind…he was never in front of me long enough!

The DJ began playing 90s rap and hip-hop, then inexplicably segued into some of my favorite punk rock. Just as she hit her CB’s-like stride, she shifted gears and put on Pink Floyd. Huh? “It was a request,” she informed me. WHAT? Great DJs don’t take requests! This isn’t a bar mitzvah! Guess what she played next? I’ll give you a hint: it was another request. Okay, you’ll never get it: Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome.” Yup. Read it and cringe!

I simply could not stop myself from telling this woman how I felt.  “What the hell are you thinking?” I asked as Mick Jagger took us back to the 70s. “You were on a total roll!” I gushed, “And now we’re in any bar! Now we could be in Nebraska!”

After I’d given the DJ a ration of shit — in the nicest way possible, mind you — I turned my attentions to a guy who’d walked in earlier. He was wearing an Abbey Tavern t-shirt, the Abbey being a magnificent New Orleans dive bar. “I have that t-shirt!” I’d enthused to the guy, who, by the way, was about five feet tall (GNOME ALERT!) and bald. NOT anyone I would be hitting on even at my drunkest. It was merely a friendly attempt to, you know, relate to my fellow man in a social situation. The dude brushed me off like I was a dandruff crumb. So when I saw him speaking to my friend, the friend whose “local bar” this had been, I went over. “Do you know this guy?” I asked her. When she said yes, I turned to him and said, “You know, there was once a day when strangers would actually speak to each other in bars,” I started schooling him. “In fact, I have friends 20 years later who I met in a bar.” I went on to blather that it sure would’ve been nice if he’d acknowledged me, maybe stopped and introduced himself, took a moment to recognize a friendly gesture from a stranger. Yeah, whatever.

I had also attempted to befriend a woman who was sitting by herself in the corner of the bar, madly typing on her smart phone. When the DJ arrived she had to surrender her corner barstool and moved to the other side of our group. I waved to her, said, “Join us!” and introduced her to my crew. She looked at me like I was out of my fucking mind. WHAT is this world coming to? Are people so afraid of strangers? Why would you leave your apartment if you don’t want to meet anyone new?

The oddest part of the night was finding out from the DJ that a few of the “locals” in this little locals bar are actually neighbors of mine. Like they live within blocks of me in the East Village. So they travel all the way to fucking Hoboken to hang out in a locals bar. It’s the end of the world!

2010’s 10 Best New Things About the East Village

Everyone has their year-end wrap-ups and this one is strictly a matter of opinion! The subtitle should be “IMHO.” With that in mind, I present the 10 best new things to arrive in the East Village this year, in no particular order:

Ninth Ward
180 Second Avenue
It seems as though there’s a new bar opening every other minute in the East Village (much to the consternation of many co-op owners and Community Board 3). I’m a fan; I’d rather have a bar open up than one more branch of one more bank. Or a Starbucks. I can’t say I’ve visited each new watering hole; to be honest, I tend to obsessively frequent, like, one or two favorites. But when I bumbled into Ninth Ward one frigid Saturday afternoon in late November, curious about this new bar with a New Orleans name, I was beyond impressed. The place is gorgeous! There are intimate booths with velvet curtains you can draw to make them even more so. The walls are shutters that replicate the blocking out of blazing sun. The bathrooms are labeled “Sex,” “Drugs” and “Rock & Roll.” Hah! There’s a beautifully designed back yard with a fountain. And the centerpiece is a real wood-burning fireplace! But don’t rely on just the décor! They have a two-for-one happy hour that rivals even the best dive bars. There’s a kitchen that serves up tasty Cajun-inspired dishes. They have a wide selection of Abita brews on tap. And a staff that manages to balance efficient and polite with hip and handsome. The only downside is that most nights the place is packed with annoying yupsters. Sigh. There’s simply no fighting it. So you’ll find me there on random weekend days or early evening Mondays. Because it’s my favorite new bar!

New York Film Academy Café
51 Astor Place
I have never actually been inside this coffee shop but I walk by it almost every day and the mere fact that it’s no longer (yet another) Starbucks is reason enough to love them. Nuff said.

Nordstrom Rack
1 Union Square South
I’m a veteran bargain shopper. The less I pay for something the more triumphant I feel! I love clothing swaps and sales, thrift shops and freebies. So I welcomed the arrival of Nordstrom Rack with wide open, bargain-embracing arms. It’s a manageable size (as opposed to a regular department store) and impressively organized (as opposed to other bargain meccas like Century 21 and Loehmann’s) and the inventory moves along from fresh to marked down in a timely fashion. It’s pretty much my go-to store for just about anything I need clothing-wise. The fact that they carry shoes – both designer and not-so-designer – in my size (12!) makes me adore them even more.

100 Avenue A
Yeah, so January isn’t the best time of year for an icy but that doesn’t mean they slip off my list of year-end awesomeness. When it’s 95 degrees out, with 95 percent humidity, there’s nothing like a frosty little cup of yummy! This tiny sidewalk stand is nestled between East Village Farm and Black Market and serves up scoops of exotically flavored ice. Just the thing to slurp while people watching in Tompkins Square Park!

PS 122 Renovation
150 First Avenue
No, PS 122 isn’t new but their facelift sure is! For years, and I mean YEARS, I’ve walked past that lovely old building and thought to myself, “If I ever win the lottery, I’m gonna donate the money to fix that place up!” Well, I haven’t won the lottery but the renovation happened anyway and it looks great! Now, if only they’d do something about that unsightly black grating, it would look like it did the day it was built. Yes, there was a day when it the heavy bars might’ve been necessary to keep the bums from pissing in the doorway. That day is pretty much over.

South Brooklyn Pizza
122 First Avenue
Their window displays a giant wheel of cheese in a chilly fridge. My friend installed the kick-ass sound system. And it’s pizza, fer crissakes. But those aren’t the reasons this place is on my list. Nope, it’s because any movement from hipsterville, to our east, back in the western direction of Manhattan is fine by me! That’s right, I’m a borough snob. Whaddayagonnadoboudit?

Good Beer NYC
422 East 9th street
Um, do I even need to say why this shop made my short list? It sells nothing but beer! Admittedly, fancy beer, and I’m really more of a PBR kinda gal. But it’s at least a nose-thumbing at all those damn East Village wine joints that cater to people who, ya know, like WINE! Burp!

Dang Lai Palace
180 Third Avenue
Yup, this is another place I’ve never actually been to. Because I order in, beaotch! I love me some skinny, slippery mai fun noodles and this place delivers! Literally! Their serving of edamame is generous and suitably snappy and I am a recent convert to their spicy seafood tom yum soup. Their menu says “formerly Happy Palace” and I’m sure they’re formerly a whole lotta other similar establishments. As long as their phone number remains the same, I’ll be calling them when I need my noodle fix!

Dr. Brendan
8 St. Marks Place
Apple owners rejoice! Finally, there is an emergency room for your Mac! And you don’t need to take a number and wait for…hours. Yes, I love those folks up at Tekserve but, even though there’s loads to look at while you wait…and wait and wait…to be waited on, it’s still a huge inconvenience, if only because it’s such a haul from my house. Enter Dr. Brendan’s. I’m not sure exactly who Brendan is but when I popped in the other day there were a couple totally casual dudes who greeted me warmly, answered my questions as though I were standing in their living room and offered to give my MacBook’s ailing DVD drive a free diagnostic evaluation. Woohoo! (In defense of the two dudes, they used far more regular-guy terminology which, oddly, I can’t recall to accurately quote them…thusly did I descend into stilted tech-speak!) Plus they accept electronics to be recycled. I dropped off my old 3G tower and told them I’d be back with more business for them. Hopefully they won’t get so much business that they’ll start making us take numbers!

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
149 First Avenue
Yes, this meaty gem is part of a restaurant “trio” that includes Artichoke Basille and Led Zeppole, also located in the East Village, but thank gawd they’re not another chain! The reason I loved Manhattan when I moved here is because it wasn’t like everywhere else and the homogenization of the city can get depressing. So kudos to every new eatery that isn’t a Chipotle or selling us FIVE DOLLAR FOOTLONGS! Sigh. Better to buy a drippy sandwich of sizzling beef slathered in squeezey cheese! Huzzah!

Almost Lucky

After so many weeks of online dating, this past weekend I ventured out into the brick-and-mortar world to socialize with real, live humans. Friday night I attended Gratitude, a burner-produced event that more or less replaced the Burning Man Decompression. Saturday I participated in SantaCon, the global phenomenon that began in San Francisco in 1994. And a couple of opportunities presented themselves.

At Gratitude, a very nice young man introduced himself and began flirting with me. To be honest, I was a little oblivious. Not obliterated, just oblivious. He was so young it didn’t occur to me that he was interested until he had his hands on me in an obviously, ummm, interested way! I believe I marveled, “Are you flirting with me?” or something similar. He was tenacious, I’ll give him that, standing beside me as I chatted with friends and posed for photos. He followed me around for a while as well, eventually giving up when his affections weren’t sufficiently reciprocated. But it was wonderful to feel…wanted.

On Saturday, like so many oscillating molecules, I kept bumping into the same Santas at our many stops and on random streetcorners. One particularly tall and adorable Santa caught my eye early in the day and not just because he was tall and adorable: he was wearing head-to-toe red fake fur and a preposterous three-pronged Santa hat. Plus he was shlepping an enormous Santa sac overflowing with silly sunglasses that he was handing out to Santa. I saw him at Sarah Delano Roosevelt Park, again as we entered Central Park and once more in the West Village. Probably not so surprisingly, he was also at the same after party I went to at Touch. We were standing on the dance floor, shouting over the  DJ, and just as I was thinking how much I hated the music, I blurted, “Do you wanna make out?” In seconds we were those Santas.

Man, it has been years since Santa made out! And it was awesome! A bunch of us wound up in a cab, after stopping in a deli for beers, headed downtown, me and Santa making out like bandits. We made a quick stop at Ninth Ward so I could show them my favorite new place, but it was woefully overrun by yuppies. We had a beer anyway, after begging the bouncers to hold onto our bags of Stella and PBR. Stumbling out of there, scared by the seriousness of the Muggles, we bumbled down Second Avenue toward my apartment. We found a random Santa on a streetcorner (they were everywhere!) and invited him along. Once ensconced at my place, my little tree blinking away, we made out til Santa passed out. The high point was trying to help Santa out of his drawstring fake fur pants. He was having trouble with the knot and I used a screwdriver to loosen it while another Santa snapped a few photos. I sure hope his friend finds me so I have that shot for posterity! In the end, nothing actually happened, mostly because Santa was shitfaced. And exhausted.

Laying in bed Sunday morning, rhinestones still glued to my face, stripey tights still on and, most uncomfortably, contacts still in, I contemplated my near-conquests. Once upon a time I got lucky. A lot. And there was almost always a whole lotta booze involved. The last few serious relationships I’ve had were initially all drunken encounters, one night stands, if you will, who then, once sober, actually called. In other words, these men more or less “chose” me. Meaning that though we may have chosen each other while stumbling drunk or otherwise ecstatically under the influence, my male counterparts made the next move.

In both instances this past weekend, I didn’t actually “get lucky.”  I can’t say whether it was because I wasn’t quite drunk enough or if I was consciously not choosing these men. And, laying there in bed, it occurred to me that at this point in my life, I’d like to do the choosing, ideally sober. Or at least have the choosing be mutual.

No Love at Buffalo Exchange

In a season when everyone could use a few extra bucks for their holiday shopping, I attempted to sell a few pieces of vintage clothing  at my local Buffalo Exchange the other day. I got NO LOVE. I hate to sound paranoid but I’m gonna blame it on my age, because that gay guy working there takes ONE LOOK at me and immediately thinks, “No way could THIS old hag have anything WE would want to buy!” It has happened to me on BOTH coasts, here in the East Village and in San Francisco on Haight Street. It could also be that I don’t wear a size 6… But if you’ve ever tried to FIND size 12 clothes in a thrift shop you’d sure welcome a few things that you might actually fit into.

I have, literally, hundreds of items that came from amazing thrift stores, antique shops, costume sales and fancy-ass department stores. I have an entire storage space crammed with these clothes. Occasionally I feel like I’d rather have a few extra bucks than one or two pieces of vintage clothing or exotic costumes. Most recently I steamed and hung up a pair of black satin pants (Limited) and a pair of black sequin pants, both pajama style (a style, btw, that never goes OUT of style…hit the shops any year, every year, and you’ll find this cut…as it is a classic). I also brought a cute 50s/60s Jackie O.-type wool jacket with custom buttons and a fur collar. I purchased the jacket at a thrift shop and sewed on the new buttons myself back in the 80s. It is obviously not a “current” style but it IS a vintage item. I also brought a long a clingy peach sequin tank top and a beautiful see-through black tunic blouse, long-sleeved, with beading. I spent over $100 for it, again, back in the 80s. I’ve recently seen similar shirts at Nordstrom Rack and H&M.

This guy wanted nothing. NOTHING. I was kinda shocked. Every piece is something that you could wear to a holiday party (I went in on the 2nd of December) and all the pieces are timeless. No, not something you’d buy and it would go out of style in moments. So it isn’t “in style” today and then garbage next month. These are items you could wear this year, next year or 20 years from now. Well, provided we aren’t all wearing space suits or whatever else fashion magazines love to “predict” we’ll be wearing in the “future.”

When he told me they were items that “wouldn’t sell at this time” I asked, “Aren’t people shopping for holiday parties?” He sneered, “Well, these are all old styles.” Yeah, for OLD PEOPLE. Like me, I guess. Bah! If anyone on here knows a GOOD place to take unusual clothes and not the crap they sell at American Apparel, please let me know. I could use a few extra bucks! Maybe I should try their Chelsea locations, where drag queens might be shopping…

Tis the Season for SantaCon!

Yeah, sure, the stores were looking a lot like Christmas way back before Halloween but now that it’s almost Thanksgiving, it really is the season! One sure sign that “the goose is getting fat” is when you see that raucous roving band of red and white: SantaCon!

Perhaps you’ve run across them in years past, hundreds of ho-ho-ho’ers decked out as Santa — or the random reindeer, Chanukah Harry, blinking Christmas tree, etc. – on their day-long drunken ramble around Manhattan. Last year the event had five different starting points, “Con”-vening in Washington Square Park from Queens, Hoboken, Staten Island and two Brooklyn locations. Each year the route changes, incorporating outdoor photo ops, indoor drinking and at least one subway ride. I won’t give away any clues about where – or when – this year’s SantaCon will actually happen. That’s up to you to find out! But I can give you shopping tips for turning yourself into a festive variation on the jolly ol’ elf.

One of my favorite spots for quick costuming is KMart. This year they have the usual sexy Santa lingerie but you can also bundle up in holiday turtlenecks embroidered with snowflakes or pointsettias. In their accessories department, you’ll find fabulous holiday handbags with plenty of room to hide your “holiday cheer.” Some of them resemble shopping bags, perfect for Santas of both sexes. I was especially enchanted by their vast selection of Joe Boxer pajamas and found myself musing about dressing up as Cindy Lou Who…

If you’ve already got most of your Mrs. Claus ensemble together, you may need a pair of candy cane tights to finish off your look. I’m a huge fan of The Sock Man on St. Marks. In addition to his usual huge selection, he stocks seasonal socks. (Though, this being the East Village, you can probably find those stripey tights year-round!)

Another great destination for discount prices on fab fashion is Joyce Leslie. They’ve made a successful move from University Place to Broadway and Bond. You’ll find two floors of inexpensive fashions including fake fur neck wraps and hoodie hats, sequined leggings, holiday t-shirts, loads of red and white scarves and mittens, and an entire section devoted to sexy lingerie.

If you’d rather not spring for the full-on fake fur, you can always pick up a cheap pair of red sweats and be “Jogging Santa!” Red jeans, a ripped striped shirt and a motorcycle jacket would make a great “Punk Rock Santa.” Or wrap yourself up and be a present under the tree! Those are just a few ideas. My advice? Be creative!

For those sorely lacking in the imagination department, there’s always Halloween Adventure. They have an extensive selection of Santa attire, from expensive costumes suitable for Macy’s or just that one particular accessory you need to complement your creation. The whole “costume in a bag” approach is completely against my religion but I understand people have got to start somewhere. (I kinda can’t believe we haven’t already seen tees that say “I AM Santa!” like those “This IS my Halloween costume!” shirts.) Also for the unimaginative: the hot pink saucy Miss Santa you’ll find at Victoria’s Secret.

Whatever you wear, do NOT show up in just a Santa hat! You will be mercilessly ridiculed, universally shunned and possibly ejected from the reindeer games. For additional inspiration, you can Google SantaCon images.

The Sock Man
27 St. Marks Place between 2nd & 3rd Aves.

Halloween Adventure (two entrances)
808 Broadway
104 4th Ave. between 11th & 12th Sts.

Joyce Leslie
670 Broadway at Bond St.

Corner of St. Marks Place & 4th Ave.

Victoria’s Secret
565 Broadway between Spring & Prince Sts.