Clay is an amazing storyteller, who I met when we shared the bill at the Reading Series
at Barbes. He is the creator of the Pumpkin Pie Show, a performance group.
Twenty-seven, as of September.
Writerly-type. Two books: rest area, a collection of short stories, and miss corpus, a novel -- both published by Hyperion.
Refusing to find a day-job, insisting on writing. It's a mac and cheese existence, but what the hell.
How long have you graced New York with your presence? Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
Eight years now, four of which were more or less in the armpit of New York -- Yonkers -- attending Sarah Lawrence College. The remaining four have been in Park Slope, Brooklyn. But before all this, home was -- and still is -- down South, in Richmond, Virginia.
What's the most fun you have had with a pumpkin?
Every Halloween, I throw a pumpkin-carving party at my apartment -- inviting close friends over, BYOP, carving the night away. Once all is said and done, we have a pumpkin-parade up and down my block -- or maybe more of a pumpkin-funeral-procession. We end up placing some two or three dozen Jack O'Lanterns on my front stoop for the evening... Makes for a good wholesome Halloween.
What is the best improvement to New York City in the last year?I'm a big fan of the 826NYC's Super Hero Supply Store in Park Slope. It's an off-shoot of the McSweeney's publishing company, nestled into the store-fronts along Fifth Avenue at Fifth Street. They've taken their aesthetic and applied it to education, developing a tutoring center for school children -- organizing writing workshops for students, holding readings, selling super hero tights. It's pretty amazing to have something like that in your neighborhood.
Now that it's getting cold, what (or who) do you do to stay warm?
Very little, to be frank. It's been an uphill battle with my radiator. Last winter I left NYC and shacked up in a cabin for four months, hibernating. I live in a rather condensed domestic environment here, forced to place my desk on top of my radiator... Somewhere around year two or three, I think I leaned a little too hard onto my desktop -- only to pry some pipes out of place. Now whenever the heat kicks in, I get a puddle of hot water forming at my feet. So... as far as what (or who) I do to stay warm: I'm up for suggestions.
You've been asked to host a party and the only requirement is that you must invite three New York celebrities (alive), who would you extend an invite to?I don't know if these people actually live in NYC-proper, but I'm sure they've graced through town enough times to be considered un/official residents: Susan Sontag, Jonathan Franzen, Meredith Monk.
If you could have a New York City neighborhood renamed after you which one would it be?
One of the more obscure, waterfront locales.
What would you do to kill time while waiting online to get a flu shot?
I haven't been to a doctor in over four years. I don't want to even think about the number of STD's I'm harboring at this point. Which brings us to...
What's the best place in New York for semi-public sex?
I've always been fond of the idea of making out with someone within an audience in the thick of a theatre production. Some play at the Public Theatre, that'd be a blast. To hell with cell-phone etiquette or hard-candy wrappers... Make some noise.
If you could revoke a famous New Yorker's citizenship, who would it be?