Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
I am 26 and an editor of the Readings section of Harper's Magazine. I just recently gave notice though, and am going on vacation. I am experimenting with self-identifying as a 'holiday maker.' I live in the West Village. I used to have a turtle, but I gave him away to an intern because he smelled god-awful.
Three the Hard Way:
Working at Harper's, you've worked on the some the mag's most famous front-of-book sections like "Readings" and the "Harper's Index." How do you find things to excerpt and what is the guiding philosophy behind what you choose? Have you ever found that your own politics diverged with those of the magazine, (and, if so, how did you handle it)?
Whoa, I'm just trying to be funny.
Are you planning to stick around in the city during the Republican Convention next month? Do you or the magazine have any particularly scathing criticism or antic hijinx planned? What is the proper response for a progressively-minded New Yorker when confronted with a gun-toting, abortion-hating, war-loving, Bush-monger during the week of the convention?
I'll probably buy some oak tag and make a sign. If there were a band doing a jazzy peace number, I would join in, provided I was in costume. Someone at an editorial meeting mentioned pooping into his own hand.
A recent Mediabistro "Editors Hot or Not" poll found that Lewis Lapham was slightly more hot than both Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter and Esquire's David Granger. There were rumors, however, of ballot stuffing, and orders given to staffers to place in extra votes. Were you under massive pressure to vote repeatedly? Did you feel like your job hung in the balance? Was Mr. Lapham gratified at the results?
Lies! David, I sniff at the suggestion that the addition of hot-dog vending machines and a roof-top sauna, the dancing bears and pizza parties, the balloon animals, the bubbles, pyrotechnics, the visits by Gwyneth Paltrow, the well-timed and affectionate calls from David Foster Wallace, were anything but serendipitous coincidences with each and every-single-one-of-our decisions to vote our hearts, and often, and then! the felicitous news of such a favorable outcome!
Please share a personal (and hopefully interesting) NYC taxi story.
Who the hell is sober enough to remember taxi rides?!
What era, day or event in New York's history would you like to re-live?
I don't feel any particular tie to this city, to be honest, although I would very much like to have had something to do with bathtub gin, or bathtubs and feathers, spangles, and gin, or underground la la and drunky and so on. So if that were happening here, say around 1926, and I weren't Jewish, which I always have been, and it was always such a disadvantage to be, then I suppose gin and all that in New York would be fine.
If you could pass any municipal law, what would it be and why?
Ech. Redistribution of wealth. Avanti populo!
Describe that low, low moment when you thought you just might have to leave NYC for good.
I walked in on a transsexual prostitute shooting up in our foyer, which gave me pause, but my downstairs neighbors told me s/he used to hang out in there naked, so what the hell. I am currently considering leaving New York City, at least temporarily, to try to open a restaurant in Athens, Georgia, where some friends have an organic farm. This may sound like submission to the trend of young professionals down-shifting, but I am different! I am inscrutable! I contain multitudes!
If you were banished from the city, where would you most want to spend your exile?
I would like to be banished to a castle in Corsica. I would like you to banish me there as soon as possible.
Best celebrity sighting in New York, or personal experience with one if you're that type.
I think a better question would be the best thing about sighting celebrities, and I have two answers to that question: the first is that they're short, especially the girls, really, really short, like ants. The second is that maybe you will see David Bowie. I once saw him in Chinatown. He was carrying a baby and sneering.
What's the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
I have a bottle of twenty-one-year-old Dalmore Scotch I wear occasionally.
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?
Does Owen Wilson live here? If so, please tell him that I will be in the CBGBs bathroom from the moment after I send this until the end of time, wearing honey-flavored lip gloss.
Best place to break up with someone?
I wouldn't mind being dumped at either Angel's Share or Bemelman's bar, although the latter has a piano player, which seems helpful.
If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?
Homelessness, river pollution, honking, the meatpacking district, $6 beers, no hydrofoils. . . the list goes on and on.