Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
32, Writer. Six years and counting. I'm from the Chicago area originally, and right now I'm living on the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, 11211.
Three For Thee
1. I've read where you've done a writing residency or two. What's that like? Fantasy camp for writers?
I am in favor of anything that forces me to write for days on end, and residency programs do just that, probably because there's nothing else to do there but write. I don't think they're for everyone - I've heard complaints about the isolation, because most of them are located in small towns - but I find myself pretty productive when I'm there. Plus the free food and rent for a few weeks doesn't hurt either when you're struggling to pay the bills.
2. Hassies vs. Hipsters. What's your take?
You speak of course of the particular section of Williamsburg in which I live that is high on Hassidics and borders the Hipster-heavy region. OK, I assume you mean who would win in a fight? Hipsters are total pussies, we know this already. They're skinny and they smoke too much and at the very most, the only exercise they get is doing yoga once a month at some place on Bedford, and that's only because they're trying to sleep with their hot upstairs neighbor who teaches there. Also they never want to put their pretty boy faces at risk, and you've got to be willing to take a blow in order to throw two. They tend to be on some sort of prescription medication, as well, although if they go off of it for any reason there could be trouble. Hassids are out of shape, too (although they clearly spend a lot of time procreating, but hipsters fuck a lot too so they cancel each other out), but more importantly, they are nutritionally unbalanced. I shop in their grocery stores, and I see the kind of crap they eat. They are all about the carbs, which can traditionally slow you down, though I am grateful for the prevalence of Black and White cookies in the baked good sections when I have PMS. And finally, their layers of outerwear do not lend to street fighting, even if they do bring them closer to God. So I think in a sense they're pretty evenly matched, except for the deciding factor: Hassids have cars to take down anyone in their path, and as anyone who lives around here can attest, they drive like maniacs, even the school bus drivers. So as long as it's not sundown on Friday till sundown on Saturday, the decision goes to Hassids. Wild card: A recent Oberlin grad with daddy issues who forgets to take his Prozac during Shabbat hours.
3. Forget about writing for a second, where are you going with your photography career?
Yes, I am sure there is a huge market for pictures of me and my friends drunk at rock shows. If only I could just tap into it. Seriously, there are many photobloggers out there who do an amazing job - Red from 0x99, Mike from Meccapixel, Todd from Quarlo, to name a few - and they should have a show at ICP any day now.
What was your best dining experience in NYC?
As a Midwesterner I'm going to have to go for the cheese experiences: Artisanal was yummy, and I had a great time at Otto, as well. You can pretty much put a plate of cheese in front of me anywhere and I'm happy, but those places do an exceptional job with it.
Where do you summer?
On the roof of my building.
Just how much do you really love New York?
I love New York more than you love New York.
What happened the last time you went to L.A.?
I got dumber with each successive day until finally I just started losing my car keys every hour. I really don't feel comfortable with that much relaxation. Also I met the guy who played the creepy mailman in Better Off Dead. Surprise: Still creepy.
Describe that low, low moment when you thought you just might have to leave NYC for good.
Pretty much every year, January 1-April 1. One of my favorite things about New York is the fact that you can traverse so many different parts of the city in a day (or night) on foot, and be stimulated just by that alone - the people you see, the architecture, the noise of the city. Also it's great fun to go from a gallery opening to a reading to a rock show to a bar...it goes without saying that the opportunity for cultural events here is tremendous. When the weather is cold and miserable and you're stuck at home, or you make plans just to hit only one spot in a night because that's all you can deal with, well then all you're doing is living in a city that has really high rent and not much else. (Don't give me that "But you can make snow angels in Central Park" crap. I'm not buying it.) This is usually the time when I start making plans to move to San Francisco. I've been making these plans for six years and counting.
Jami's website is Whatever-Whenever.net.