Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend Highlights

Saturday, 11:00 pm, Mercer Kitchen:

Mr Pinstripes: "Well you know what they're saying don't you. Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, or Bye Bye."

Sunday, 7 pm, post-another afternoon of damage at the cross streets of West Broadway and Grand:

J: 9 bottles of Rose. 3 bottles of champagne. Remind me again what we were celebrating?

Girl: That we creamed Germany in the Euro Cup. Viva Espana!!

J: You do realize, my dear, that we were only six people.

Sunday, 9:30 pm, back at my place

J: Aww please don't cry.

Girl: I can't help it, I'm going to miss you.

J: Me too. But seriously, please don't cry. Your doormen are going to think I beat you or something.

Friday, June 27, 2008


As I write this, there is somewhat of a commotion happening about 10 meters from my desk. A tightly packed circle of people chat loudly, alternately cooing and laughing awkwardly in unison. The women have two varieties of smiles plastered on their faces: the knowing smile and the “will this ever be me?” smile- the one I like to call the Sad Clown (this one’s more prevalent, in case you were wondering). The men stand on the outer rims of the circle, chests puffed like overfed pigeons, hands dug deep into trouser pockets, trying to pass off their smirks for genuine emoting. In the middle stands a woman: brunette hair blown out, healthy looking, and all smiles. She has the distinct look of a woman who used to toil in the trenches amongst us but has left it behind for morning walks through Tribeca and afternoons at Stella McCartney. She is carrying something- it's very tiny. Everyone's focus is on her. Wait why do the guys look even more awk than usual?

Oh that's right: she has brought her baby into the office.

“How old?” they’ll murmur in unison.

“13 weeks!” She’ll reply, because new moms always report their baby’s age in some obscure time frame that forces one to divide by 4. (I’ve never understood this by the way. 72 weeks! 17 months! What the fuck, does getting knocked up somehow change how we tell time?! Do you tell her husband to be home for dinner at 2100 hours?! Inquiring minds and all that.)

“Ooh, you must be not be getting much sleep!” another new mom will throw out.

Which of course garners a blank stare because she has a nanny, silly pleb. And onward and upward.

Then of course there’s the whole issue of tearing oneself apart from the pack. Because “Daddy” is taking full advantage of this opportunity to squeeze in a conference call, one has no option but to oblige his time with the obligatory worship of his wife and child. It’s simply not an option to leave first lest you be marked a detached psychopath. Which, naturally, I am. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. I could eat that little fucker for lunch with some Cape Cod chips and a Diet Coke. But it’s too early in the effing morning to fake being agreeable (I have to harness all the fake niceties I have for important shit, like dates).

Oh god…what did I tell you. Now the little babe is crying. Not so fun anymore, is he?

No, he isn’t. So don’t mind if I just sit here instead, plotting my next cigarette break, thanking God for birth control.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You Mean I Shouldn't Stand still in the middle of Grand Central at Rush Hour? And other questions answered

A few months ago, a friend wrote a few of us to inquire as to where to take a female friend for dinner. This was someone who took his restaurants very seriously, so when he asked us for advice we often attempted to go above and beyond. After asking our usual questions “Are you going for a good scene (i.e. are you trying to just get her drunk) or for excellent food (i.e. to please yourself)?” we unloaded the best of what we had to offer. A few moments later we got the following response:

Guys, I think I’m just going to take her to the Rainbow Room.
Sent from my blackberry wireless

We unleashed the fury on him. His roommate called him a Penis. Another friend asked him why he asked us for suggestions only to counter with an idea totally contrary to ours. And I; well I told him the truth. It was the ultimate in cheesy gestures and I’d be totally insulted if someone thought I'd enjoy something so trite (minus my team lead who took us there for our Christmas party- thanks dude). Authenticity (i.e. anything built into an old townhouse) was and remains the main concern.

The Just Ask the Locals campaign, is predicated on the same belief- that the “authentic” New York experiences are the ones worth coveting. Like the $725/night Greenwich Hotel and the overhyped Tribeca film festival, it is an idea of paramount Robert Denirian brilliance. Celebrities offer their favourite tips on living in NYC (if living denotes the one weekend a month spent here en route from the south of France to their beachfront homes in Malibu) and tourists benefit from their wisdom (which is more important than the wisdom of normal people because these people have been featured on E! True Hollywood Story).

While the idea of New Yorkers trying to be more inclusive of the people we despise (fat, slow, annoyingly curious, overly chatty) comes from a good place, the suggestions themselves are laughable at best. Want to have a fun night? They suggest you go Goldbar, the Box, or Socialista. Because no visit to New York is complete until a tourist sells his kidney for admittance to a place stuffed to the gills with the suffocating pretension of hipsters. Want to try a really insider-y restaurant? They suggest you go to Nobu - and be sure to order the miso cod! Which again, is so funny because only like 876 people before this random celebrity have suggested that to me since I moved here. Maybe I should also hit up Times Square during TRL or go to Soho and see how all the “artists” live. Maybe I’ll run into David Schwimmer at the Spotted Pig- The possibilities are endless!

So it was certainly a pleasant surprise to find some advice from real New Yorkers on the Visit NYC website. This was the stuff that I was open to perusing. These people would tell tourists where they could get the best slice of pizza or New York's finest bagel. They would divulge where the best vintage boutique was. At least they would say where the best alley in which to purchase some crack cocaine is located, right? No, they would say this:

if you see alan cumming stab him
Submitted by anonymous on Jun 23, 2008 10:29 AM

Stay out of my way on the sidewalks
Submitted by anonymous on Jun 04, 2008 02:20 PM

Submitted by anonymous on Jun 19, 2008 03:10 AM

Don't urinate off the Empire State Building
Submitted by anonymous on Jun 03, 2008 11:32 AM

Don't trust anyone with 2 first names!
Submitted by anonymous on Jun 03, 2008 09:01 AM

Don't ask famous people for tips.
Submitted by anonymous on Jun 01, 2008 02:21 PM

That’s right, It’s all there. Their desire to inflict violence on random celebrities, their sidewalk rage, their unwavering support of the right to bear arms, their disposition toward public urination (just not off a tall building, mmkay?), their distrust of their fellow man. I especially love BRING YOUR GLOCK, though really, I kinda hope you don’t bring your glock, because that would rob me of my ability to wander the streets- drunk and alone- at 3am because my friends insisted on staying at the club and I felt like GOINGFORPIZZA, which I always feel like doing at 3am, and that’s just not really cool. But apart from that little glitch, I love that in so many words, they told me to Go Fuck Myself for even thinking I might find something useful.

Oh wait, I spoke too soon. There was something else- this little gem:

Take your kids for Shirleytinis at the W-makes your girls feel super luxe.
Submitted by anonymous on Jun 06, 2008 11:04 AM

Because if nothing else, you can start breeding our next generation of alcoholic young women with a preference for bright cocktails and hotel bars. The next generations of finance geeks will no doubt thank you for sowing the seeds of their getting laid.

The good old fashioned authentic way, with 20 dollar martinis.

On the Importance of Priorities

Girl: What are you doing!

Boy: Well first I'm looping all your wires together and making them flush with the wall, and second I'm hooking up a router and giving you wireless internet.

Girl: That is the sweetest thing ever! To what do I owe this honor?

Boy: I couldn't imagine you not being able to watch porn in your bedroom. Literally, it brought tears to my eyes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving the Illicit Spa Treatment

It’s no secret that New York City is home to many a “Massage/Hand Job Parlor”. Hell, I have one on my own street, and I live on a decidedly un-shady street. But when it comes to paying poor immigrants of Asian descent to touch you inappropriately (and most importantly, to leave afterwards, har har), the scales tip largely in favor of men. This is due to the fact that patronizing such an establishment requires that heady mix of monumental idiocy and undying devotion to getting off that only certain males of our species are capable of possessing. Women, I was lead to believe, were above such base endeavors.

I was, embarrassingly, mistaken. While women won’t exactly pay to get off, they will apparently pay exhorbitant amounts to get to Second Base (I know, what the fuck, right? Aim higher ladies). Featured thus in New York Magazine, the “Summer Season Spa Boob Improvement” (emphasis is mine, OBVI):

"In time for bikini weather, Graceful Services, a midtown spa, has introduced the Breast Lifting Treatment. In an $100, 80-minute session, the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are massaged, excess lymph fluid is drained, and a cream and mask are applied. “It even makes the nipples turn up again,” promises the spa’s owner, Grace Macnow. Dr. Stephen Colen, chief of plastic surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, notes that while “the treatment hydrates the skin so it looks plumper, healthier, and tighter, and the massage causes some swelling, which can create a lifting effect, this is temporary. It won’t have the lasting effect of a surgical lift.”

Listen, I’m psyched that women now have options or whatever, but why the fake-out appeal to their vanity as opposed to their straight out desire for some good old fashioned second base action? How is anyone dim enough to believe that putting a face mask on the ole twins afterward negates the fact that this is just a pretty sketch massage? Let's get serious here, why not tack on a 15 minute Motorboat Treatment? You can claim it takes years off your “boob age”, which is another concept you can invent to scare women the fuck out of ageing. Own that shit, Graceful Services.

I mean, when you say that it “makes the nipples turn up again” in the effing description, you’re being about as subtle as a tramp stamp.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Presented with Minimal Comment, because I really can't be assed to give you more than that

From this morning's amNY, otherwise known as the best free paper in New York (i'm fairly certain there are only 2 in the running, but whatever):

"Silvano Orsi, a resident of Rochester, N.Y., says Sheik Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan [i.e. brother to the ruler of the UAE] hit him repeatedly with a steel belt buckle after Orsi declined a bottle of champagne from the sheik."

Yeah, I had to read it a few times too just to let it absorb.

I'm gonna clue you into something here- I'm not hiding under a fucking rock (I do, by some accounts however, live in a rather well appointed bubble); I know that arabs have a bad rap. If they aren't busy terrorist fist pumping each other, they are buying up your precious landmarks and making you look bad (The indignity of it all!). I get it. I mean, there has to be some legitimate reason we've squandered trillions of dollars in resources and 7 years on killing them right? Sure there is.

But this is fucking ludicrous. Why would the fucking sheik of the UAE be sending a bottle of champers to this whiny fanny-pack wearing twit in the first place? I've indulged in many a glass of Veuve from the odd saudi "prince" but let me tell you my friends, they don't just give that shit out for free. Even a Bedouin, which Orsi clearly and fucking deludedly thinks this guy is, is familiar with the concept of fair trade.

However, let's assume for a moment that hell hath frozen over and this actually ocurred. At what point during this encounter did the bartender not think, My, that's wierd! That dude just whipped out his belt cowboy-style and started violently assaulting the guy at the next table. Call me crazy, but that's the sort of thing that raises eyebrows.

I don't know, something is just not measuring up here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On Board Elections and Lunacy

“Um excuse me? I have a praaahblem,” whined the voice in the back left corner of the room. “My neighbor, who I share a terrace with? Well she hasn’t trained her dog, and it’s disgusting. She’s a bad ownah! And she awhlso tries to put furniture between moy side of the terrace and hers to block her naaasty dog but the furniture is hideous! She has some sort of feng shui bumbling fountain with little rocks and when the wind blows the pebbles make it onto my side, and I’ve called the president of the board 12 times in the LAST WEEK ALONE and she hasn’t stopped doing what she’s doing!”

“Tell me again what it is she’s doing?” The president of the board replied calmly.

“Violating the fire marshall code!” she yelped.

“Uh huh.”

Anyone wishing to study the wide range of human psychoses need only attend a Condominium Association Annual Board meeting.

Where I lived in Chicago, the board was comprised of a notoriously tightknit crew of WASPy octogenarians who squandered the entirety of the capital reserve on cases of Vintage for their weekly “meetings.” We turned a blind eye to their rampant excess and they turned a blind eye to…all of our requests. Were it not for one of the member’s very public divorce and subsequent commitment to regaining attractiveness, the new gym would never have been built.

Needless to say, I steered clear of those twin-set donning ninnies like the Bubonic Plague.

Having since relocated to a decidedly more diverse establishment in New York, I was rather excited to attend last night’s annual meeting. For one thing, I considered it the decidedly “adult” thing to do (a concept that, like cooking proper dinners and working out on Saturday mornings, at first serves to bloat one’s self satisfaction, only later to become expected and ultimately imprisoning).

Perhaps more crucially, however, I went to both judge how attractive my neighbors were and . to gauge their distinct level of crazy.

There was the characteristically cocky Energy Trader. In his election speech, he mumbled something about the value of our investment, and in an entirely unconvincing show of emotion claimed to care about “our community”. His speech was brutal and his suit terrific. Patrick Bateman himself would have shed tears of pride.

There was the woman who had so much collagen in her face; her cheekbones looked like veritable ping pong balls. There was a woman who so violently opposed the placement of the fucking couch in the lobby that we thought an angry wrinkle might just fight the good fight through all of the botox and betray her emotion. In short, there appeared to be many, many victims of both overzealous plastic surgery and poor taste in design.

People wined about everything from recycling, to cigarettes falling into gardens, to doormen taking “excessive bathroom breaks.” I mean, for fuck’s sake (I shall not invoke the name of the Lord here although it is most apt). It took a great deal of courage on my end not to pick up my chair and throw it at the offending commenter. I earmarked their names for future reference.

Last of all, there was the CEO, in whose speech to the board it was shamelessly announced – no less than 20 times- that he was, in fact, a CEO. “Having managed thousands of people in my lifetime,” he would gloat, “I should think I know how to handle a measly 140 units.” To which we all wondered, genuinely, what the fuck he was doing living in a building that many deemed only a slightly more upscale version of a dormitory to begin with.

That, unfortunately, wasn’t covered in the 2 hour long Q & A.

In the end, after countless hours of nonsense, far too much indulgence in the catering from Mangia (“Brownies with Jelly in them , what the fuck kind of way is that to ruin a brownie” the gentleman to my right duly noted), we cast our ballots. The moment of reckoning arrived. Would I vote for catwoman? She was rather passionate about the unsightly blue panels in the mailroom. How about the man with “I’m a CEO” induced turrets? Or the student with a superhuman concern for the fire safety of our terraces? Or perhaps one of the yummy mummies with so much time and so little to do? Perhaps I could write myself in a la Ralph Nader?

No. In the end, I would vote not on promises nor on well based platforms. Like a mirror of national politics, board elections were a haven for smooth talkers and inexperienced doers. I would vote based on the one criterion that was true and good in the world. The one that I knew would be most committed to providing returns: again, and again, and again, on my initial investment.

I would vote for Trader Guy, because he was hot.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hawking Shit because I know what's good for you fools and damnit, sometimes you just DON'T

Friday evening, over a bottle of Prosecco and far too many Marlboro Lights on my friends Lower East Side rooftop, the talk turned to the heat. Specifically, the City heat that can only be generated by a blazing sun and complete lack of ventilation. A friend extolled the beauty of her air conditioning unit, one that she was quick to point out she leaves on all day so as to squash any hint of heat that might enter her artificial paradise. I don’t take to the heat very well, but this shocked even me.

“You mean, even when you aren’t there, you leave it on?!” I wondered aloud.

“Yes. All day. I can’t be bothered to shut it off.”

“All day.” I repeated.

“Yes,” she echoed, somewhat perplexed.

“Your carbon footprint must be atrocious!” I huffed. “I mean, really!”

The conversation, for a brief moment, fell silent. Or perhaps I just imagined it had because I was so enamored by what I’d just said (this happens fairly often, no cause for alarm). What’s more, I hadn’t even said it to impress the handsome environmentalist/mogul who had just cracked open a beer next to me.

I had been levitated to the veritable bright side.


As you, my dear reader will recall, I’ve often lamented the pitfalls of Yuppy obligations: maintaining interest in the Benefit circuit (its for the children!), going on insufferable dates with “good on paper” guys, going green. But I shall concede that perhaps…perhaps… I’ve railed on these intolerable practices because I’m just so bad at acting like I care. I guess I could be on the committee for Golfing in the Ghetto: giving children aspirations to play a sport they never knew existed and which they will never afford to play once the program runs dry. I could date the guy whose first name sounds like a last name and wears a pocket square and also just happens to be so bad in bed he makes you want to weep. I also could stab myself in the eye with a rusty needle.

Or maybe I could just go green? Yes, yes apparently that was the subconscious line of reasoning.

So it was that I found myself in Central Park the next day sharing a baguette and grapes with a charming gent who turned me on to his site, Greenzer. From the site:

Greenzer is a next-generation shopping engine designed to make environmentally conscious shopping easier…collecting product and merchant information from across the internet to filter and arranging it into a comprehensive catalogue of the web's best and greenest products.

The timing was brilliant.

Because let’s be honest, the only thing a great deal of us are really good at is consuming. It fills that nagging void that says: Why am I in the office on Saturday afternoon when everyone else is at the beach? Have you guys ever felt that void? No? Ok then, how about the “Why am I not getting laid?” void. Really? Okay, okay how about the “I have no soul and the devil is probs saving a spot in hell for me?” Bingo! Well let me tell you, in the short term…buying shit helps that feeling. Trust me on this one.

Especially when it’s shit that’s green. And replaces shit you never really cared about in the first place... like wind breakers and shampoo. See how this works?

Because in truth, I haven’t gone all dark side on you. I’m not going to stop taking showers, or eating meat, or any of that nonsense, but I’m a huge proponent of change that requires minimal effort on my part. And yours. And I’m willing to concede that this is a little problemo that needs to be addressed, and the sheer quantity of stuff for sale on this site is a testament to the fact that I'm apparently the last person stuck in fucking 1995. You don't want to be stuck there with me.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Little Kid Things!

Ah the smells of childhood. To this day, the olfactory senses are what jolt me back to these days so poignantly. The scent of pistachios harking back to exotic marketplaces, animal crackers to the backseat of my mother's old Volvo, hairspray to the smell of Trolls.

And then there were My Little Ponies.

My Little Ponies always smelled like baby powdered plasticky goodness. I never understood how they retained that scent, but it so fittingly embodied the purity that only a My Little Pony could have. (My Barbies, on the other hand, smelled like the 10 cent hookers they really were. They did unmentionable things just to get rides around the living room in Ken's pink corvette, the TARTS).
Anyway, lest your waiting for a point to this post- don't hold your breath, there wasn't one. But just look at the smug look on the little dominating Pony's face, it's really pretty heartwarming.
* My dear friend "ImaCowboy" chimes in that the Pony on bottom "clearly has WTF written on his face." Thanks kiddo.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie...lalala

I was perusing the Equinox Class Schedule yesterday and came upon the following:

Brazilian Butt Lift

Class starts with high intensity cardio drills & ends with strength and flexibility exercises designed to sculpt and lift those hard to reach areas. Cancel your plastic surgery appointment and take Leandro Carvalho’s signature class! Voted “Best Bikini Prep Class” by NEW YORK MAGAZINE 2004.

There are so many things going on in that one little description. All of which pissed me off to no end.

First of all, why am I getting an enthusiastic directive to cancel my plastic surgery appointment? I don’t have a standing butt lift procedure in my name, do you?! Is everyone secretly going in to get their asses lifted except for me? Is this why I can’t legitimately bounce a quarter off of my ass? Am I meant to? I thought that was some sort of urban myth. Fucking Brazilians.

Seriously, this is an assault on everyone who shamefully pays out the arse for the “holistic” equinox experience, which is supposed to recall spas, steam and wheatgrass, but really just involves: a) sacrificing your firstborn for a treadmill, b) being forced to watch Mad Money on all the televisions (why Equinox why?) and c) developing deep-seated complexes from the girls in front of you who have been on the elliptical so long they’ve practically finished War and Peace in one sitting.

And let’s get real for a second, what the fuck is a “Bikini Prep Class” anyway? Because I was under the impression that the only way to “prep” for wearing a bikini is to starve and get a fake tan. I’m burning to know which other classes were in the running for these top honours. “Get a Hot Bod Using a Hot Rod 101?” “Cycle Till you Collapse?”, “Cut your Head Off and Lose Those 9 lbs. You've Been Desperately Wanting to Diet away?” I'm a huge fan of New York Magazine, but this is about as embarrassing as those ads for Asian Massages that they shamelessly plug, hoping no one notices that its the newsprint version of pimping.

In short, I don't know if I want to share a gym with girls who find this amusing. I can deal with the naked hair-blow-drying in the locker room and stupid coversations about your hedge fund boyfriend, but this whole "hahah omg I'm going to call Dr. Aston and cancel my combo ass-enhancement/boob-job like pronto!" idea is fucking nauseating.

In the meantime, your schedule can kiss my non-surgically enhanced ass buhbye. I think Sir Mixalot would approve.



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I love you New York but sometimes you just make me want to scream, and not in a fun way either

I very rarely write about anything of substance on here; mainly because my views are just not that amusing, nor that scholarly, so I doubt you'd want to waste your time reading them.

Well, I'm going to have to tender my regrets because today I'm breaking the rules. I am fucking outraged and I am not going to take it anymore.

You see, I have a love-hate relationship with smoking, but mostly its just sweet, blissful love. I've quit a bunch of times, and yeah, when I did quit my hair smelled better, I could run a mile further, I probably didn't taste like an ashtray, and my lungs weren't eroding. I get the fucking appeal, okay. At the same time, outdoor cafes, cocktails, clubs, pubs, post-coital activities, road trips: nearly everything that I hold dear was rendered veritably incomplete by the loss of my dear cigarettes. I may very well leave this world attached to a breathing machine, but that's the price I'm willing to pay to be able to fucking live a little.

Well, New York City doesn't agree with me. Today, the state raised the cigarette tax by $1.25, effectively raising the cost of a pack to nearly $10.25. Their dubious calculations approximate that 140,000 New Yorkers will quit smoking on account of it. They say that this will move mountains in the efforts to deter youth from smoking. They say that this is a public health victory.

Well you know what I say New York City? FUCK YOU.

Seriously, go to hell. Until now the laws surrounding smokers have been centered on protecting the public from smokers' noxious fumes. Secondhand smoke has been rendered virtually a non issue since the banning of smoking from our public spaces. So why does the government have the right to impose higher taxes than on any other product on something that I enjoy virtually in private? The tax stands to result in $ 254 million in revenues per year, where the implementation of a congestion charge, through which the public would actually be done some good, would have resulted in $354 million in federal moneys. I think we can all agree this is not about public health, this is about punishing an already fucked consumer.

Furthermore, what on earth makes the government believe that teenagers- who will spend upwards of 100 dollars on Abercrombie jeans - will respond to economic disincentivization to adopt another "cool" activity? Why does the government tacitly allow tobacco companies to riddle their products with highly addictive and harmful chemicals only to turn around and further punish the consumer who chooses to partake, as opposed to taxing the aforementioned companies in larger sums?

In short, what the fuck is wrong with this picture?

As for me, I'm going to keep on keeping on. But maybe I'll start having to buy more duty free.

I'm out,


The Big TZ: "You're going to his house to watch Law and Order? Uh oh."

Girl: "And?"

The Big TZ: "Ok, which one are you watching, Criminal Intent or Special Victims unit?

Girl: "Uhm...that's totally irrelevant.."

The Big TZ: "I knew it. You know what watching Law and Order is code for, right? The Sex."