Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
I'm 26, and I'm the deputy editor of mediabistro.com. I'm a third-generation St. Louisan (my parents went to the same high school as Nelly), and I hate people who are ashamed of their Midwestern roots. I mean, have you ever been to the Minnesota State Fair? People eat fried cheese on a stick, and they carve beauty queens' faces in butter. No shame in that. I went to school in California, where I thought I'd reside forevermore, but then I moved to New York and decided I might never leave. I've been here almost four years, and I'm currently living in a cozy West Village shoebox.
The Dirty Three
As mediabistro.com expands and "goes global, baby," slowly slipping its tentacles into markets all over the world, do you feel that you are gaining a degree of power over world events by shaping the way that journalists think and cover them? Or is it just a lot of ankle-biting and name-dropping?
Clearly, any rumors of my flexibility have been exaggerated. I can barely touch my calves. The idea of getting low enough to bite someone's ankle is frankly ridiculous. By default, then, I'm going with the former. And yes, if interviewing Will Leitch and editing Chris Gage translates to "power over world events"sure.
Say you've been kidnapped by the Russian mafia and taken to a desert island where all there is to watch is Topic A, 1920s pornography, and the blinding sun. How long would you sit under the coconut tree before savagely ripping the heart out of the mafioso's chest with your bare hands and swimming throught the shark-infested waters to freedom? Would you attempt to bring the pornography with you in the water?
Ooh, is this like that episode of the Golden Girls where the girls go sailing on vacation and get shipwrecked and they think they're marooned but really they're just on the other side of the island from their resort? It's really a shining moment for Rose. If memory serves, she calls upon her Girl Scout smarts to get them out of a pickle. I personally was very nearly kicked out of the Girl Scouts, but I think I've retained enough to escape the mafioso and find my way back to the other side of the island to have some Mai Tais. And I have never seen any 1920s pornography, but I'd try to bring it with me. I'm somewhat obsessed with little-known early-20th century films. Like there is this turn-of-the-century film called Babies and Puppies. I haven't seen it, but my God, it sounds like a wonderful film. Is this not the best IMDB description ever? "Four little children are sitting on the edge of their bed dressed in their night robes. Three of them leave the room and in a moment appear with three fat little puppies, which they put down next to a pan of milk. In their childish glee, they are the picture of sweet innocence. This picture is a favorite with the public."
You reportedly brush your teeth many, many times every day. Is this due to extreme dental hygeine or do you know something that the rest of us don't? Do your teeth get dirtier because of some gum condition? What do you think is the optimal number of times that one should brush their teeth in a day?
Well, there's a fine line between dental hygiene and receding gums. I'm not that obsessive about it, I just think the optimal number of times to brush is proportional to how often you eat. Which explains my habit.
Krucoff Hirschman Questionnaire
Please share a personal (and hopefully interesting) NYC taxi story.
My roommate (who is similarly poverty-stricken) and I once shared a cab to Rosa Mexicano with an older gentleman whose accent could only be described as "continental." He was going to the theater, naturally. When he found out where we were going, he kept asking if we'd been to Gramercy Tavern, or Daniel, or Chanterelle, or whatever, and we're like, uh, no, no, and no. He inquired whether we had just moved to the city, and when we said no, he said, "Oh, are you just new to eating?" Asshole. But then he offered to "make a call" and get us free tickets to Thoroughly Modern Millie. It was all very odd.
Given unlimited resources and the ability to purchase any living space in the city, where would you most like to live (this can be a specific intersection, a specific building, or even a specific apartment)?
I feel like I've lived or lived by proxy in a nearly every Manhattan neighborhood, and I can't say I'd want to be anywhere other than where I am, which is around the corner from Magnolia, Corner Bistro, and Gwyneth, Chris, and Apple. On the other hand, my dresser lives in my closet. So I've been coveting this townhouse down the street, in which I can see through the window these gorgeous exposed wooden beams on the living-room ceiling. The nly other place that might be more picturesque would be maybe 11th street between 5th and 6th. I think achieving either of these dreams will necessitate marrying well.
What was your worst living situation in New York?
When I first got here and was trying to find my own place, I was living with my plder sister in a 1BR in Park Slope, and every day when she came home from work, she'd bring me xeroxed lists of women's residences that I should belooking into. We're terrible roommates.
Which NYC TV show or movie would you most want your day-to-day life to
Newsies, easily. It has all the necessary components: singing, bad choreography, jailbait boys. I have always wished/pretended that my life if a musical anyway, and I'd be best friends with Christian Bale, an inspirational cripple, and Vinny from Doogie Howser. Or, Sports Night. Mmm, Peter Krause.
If you could pass any municipal law, what would it be and why?
Some people have suggested that I might be a bit clumsy. I prefer coltish. Or ham-handed, which I suppose would mean I really am clumsyor have hams for handsbut is still an awesome word. In any case, there are all sorts of laws I would pass to mitigate this alleged curse: Immediate salt dispersal on subway staircases when it snows. Runners on all office staircases, particularly those that are wooden or metal, and preferably before I begin employment at said office. A ban on all sidewalk cracks just narrow enough to accommodate a standard ladies' heel. A ban on deceptively deep puddles. I'd also like a ban on cilantro, but that seems overly punitive. And, I know this is impossible, but wouldn't it be great if cab rides were buy 10, get one free, like subway rides or frozen yogurt?
Have you ever considered moving away because of the threat of terrorism?
No, but I hated how ridiculous things here got after 9/11 in terms of just basic civil rights and treating people fairly. I had two Indian friends who were stopped and questioned while they were walking in Prospect Park. Granted, this turned into an amusing email trope, like they didn't know if they were being tracked by the government or what so they'd write little asides in their emails like "Dear FBI agent, I am sure when you started tracking these accounts, you were hoping to find some subterfuge, but all you found was crappy mid-20s angst and comments about how charming we think we are. Sorry." But still.
Describe that low, low moment when you thought you just might have to leave NYC for good.
I used to work at a place called Renal & Urology News--which really was not a bad job in the scheme of things--but, jesus. I spent my time writing up things like the "Contemporary update on the lower urinary tract at the time of the 16th Annual Slovakian Urology Congress." There were these weird teardrop graphics on the urology websites and I wondered if they were supposed to represent the tears of the Europeans from the pain of their UTIs or what.
If you were banished from the city, where would you most want to spend your exile?
A friend of mine has a villa on the northwest coast of Spain. That sounds pretty good. I could also gladly take up residence at Achewood Estates.
Where (besides Gothamist) do you get your local news? How much do you care about local news?
Gawker Stalker and the Fox 5 Problem Solvers. I think my level of devotion
Best celebrity sighting in New York, or personal experience with one if you're that type.
It used to be having drinks with Jimmy Fallon in the old Siberia Bar until I realized that every goddamn person I know had drinks with Jimmy Fallon at the old Siberia Bar. But my best friend and I did have a drink once with a very foxy Paul Rudd. I think we talked about Febreze. Stars they're just like us!
Just after midnight on a Saturday - what are you doing?
Isn't this maybe a stupid question? I mean, 9 pm on a Wednesday, sure. I'm either watching The OC, or, during the summer, listening to Death Cab and reading The Unauthorized Biography of Adam Brody: So A-dork-able! Isn't everyone? But I thought the very point of being a twentysomething in New York is that Saturdays are unpredictable.
What's the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
When I was in the 7th grade, I cried to my parents that I needed these forest green, brushed cotton Guess jeans. I think I literally told them I would be a social pariah if I did not get them (which, in retrospect, is pretty great to think that I was using the word "pariah" at 13, but that, perhaps, is why I could have been one). They cost twice as much as any other pants I had at the time, and my parents remind me of them biweekly still. So I guess you could say I have been paying for them all my life.
Who do you consider to be the greatest New Yorker of all-time?
Kurt Loder and Chris Parnell.
Excepting your significant other (and assuming they wouldnt mind), which New Yorker would you most like to make out with in the bathroom at CBGBs?
Hands downno pun intendedRhett Miller of the Old 97s. He's a transplant, but aren't we all? If called upon, I would even have Rhett's babies, but I've got to assume there's some sort of CBs house rule about making babies in the bathroom.
Who in the city most deserves to be publicly flogged/kicked in the balls/bitch-slapped?
I'd like to give Courtney Love a swift kick in the balls. Get it together, woman. It's getting harder and harder to justify to people why I love her.
What was your best dining experience in NYC?
Basically, if I could have a day catered--and possibly followed by immediate liposuction--I would have EJ's blueberry multigrain pancakes with Florent's coffee for breakfast; a veggie burger from Rialto, sweet potato fries from Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and Bloomingdale's frozen yogurt for lunch; and an onion/goat cheese tart from Balthazar with the Mermaid Inn monkfish and an Eleven Madison Park espresso brownie sundae for dinner. And then I would probably have an extra dessert.
Best place in the city for a first date?
Revival, near Irving Plaza.
Best place to break up with someone?
Probably in their apartment so you could leave immediately.
What about the city makes you most happy?
I've always loved how no matter what crazy thing you do in public, you're never crazier than the person next to you. This comes in handy because I do a lot of excessive singing in public, but that's not worse than the guy peeing his pants across from me on the F train. I also love how you can eat at like 10pm and it is normal. When I go home to St. Louis, and the TGI Fridays closes at 10:30 on a weeknight, I just want to take the people by the shoulders and say, "PEOPLE. You don't have to live this way."
If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?
The frequency of trash pickup
The End of The World is finally happening. What are you going to do with your last 24 hours in NYC?
I sort of imagine the end of the world as being really chaotic and dark, like a cross between a Barneys Warehouse Sale and the fourth floor of every Super Mario Brothers level, with all those crazy turnstiles of fire. But I'm a Jew, and we're the chosen people, so I could probably rest easy. Maybe I would go out into the middle of a lake with some Bach, a saxophone, a handle of tequila, and .wait, that was Christian Slater's answer in Heathers. That's the problem with being so media-centric, I confuse my life with fiction. Like I really do think I am Cindy Mancini from Can't Buy Me Love all the time. I even have that fringed white suede jacket.
- Interview by David S. Hirschman