Sunday, May 31, 2009

Overheard In NY

"I could never get into knitting man. That's when you know you're alone, alone."

-Man on Subway wearing baggy pants

Are you a natural snooper who overheard something unnatural? Send your captured conversation snippets and we'll print what's fit.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Showroom Dummies

As long as I can remember, I’ve watched Saturday Night Live. Not ‘cause it’s consistently funny or even worthwhile. I’m just a loyal consumer.

Then sometimes a TV show can take a fatal, ridiculous turn, and it becomes forever dead to me. I’m looking at you, Grey’s Anatomy, or “Postal Service Hospital: the O.C./ER,” I call it. I was never really invested, aside from my girlhood love for Patrick Dempsey, but my friends watched it, so I figured what the hell. But the moment that chick from Sideways was impaled with the fallen icicle I forever turned my back on those philandering doctors. I like preposterous tripe, but that was way too much.

I’m like this with lots of stuff: film directors, sushi bars, dudes. I’m a Scorpio: Loyal to a fault, so when shit gets super-fucked, it usually spells curtains for us. Some may call this behavior “vindictive,” or “petty,” but, you know what? Fuck those guys! They’re dead to me, too.

These days, Old Navy’s number one with a bullet on the Dead-to-Me List. The cheap-but-on-occasion-cute clothing chain’s latest “Super Modelquins” campaign features a rag tag bunch of stiff yet racially diverse ON mannequins who get engaged, lose their fingers, have leg tattoos of former lovers and suffer morning sickness all the while dressed in affordable resort wear. Each commercial plays like a soap opera serial that pits the ‘quins in dramatic situations I’d barely care about if the people in question were actual humans. I mean, who gives if Josh can’t choose between Kelly and Heather? First of all, Kelly and Heather look exactly alike. And Josh is a fucking eunuch. Why would Kelly or Heather even want to vie for his fake plastic love in the first place?

Old Navy’s launched True Hollywood Story spoofs about the origin of the Super Modelquins on YouTube. They’re on display in all Old Navy storefronts. Shoppers are encouraged to snap photos with Kelly, sporting a bold Old Navy tankini for only $24.99. Or obligatory black modelquin, mother of two Michelle, summer ready in her Old Navy town gown. Town gown? Really? As if calling them “maxi dresses” last year wasn’t enough.

Previous O.N. ads featured Morgan Fairchild and the late Carrie Donovan, bespectacled fashion doyenne of the New York Times, kitsching about in performance fleece. The spots were corny and charming. Not that I’d ever wear performance anything, but my closet floors have been known to be littered with an occasional Old Navy cotton dress. Until, you know, the ‘quins came to town.

Maybe I’d like ‘em more if the Super Modelquins were magical and came to life, like Pygmalion’s beloved statue in Greek mythology, Andrew McCarthy’s beloved Kim Cattrall in the 1987 movie Mannequin, or Jodie the window display designer’s be-hatted Jeff from creepy 1980’s Canadian children’s show Today’s Special.

Yeah, I’d probably budge on my boycott if that happened. Because being a true blue Scorpio, my vindictiveness is only matched by my willingness to forgive.

–Megan Metzger

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Unlikely Icon

When I visited Vegas for a wedding two weeks ago, I got a chance to meet my own, personal icon: the Coca Cola polar bear.

I was walking along the strip, looking for an attraction other than Casino bells and whistles, when I saw a giant, green glass bottle announcing the entrance to Coke World. I went inside to check out old billboards made into MP3 cases and notebooks, soda tabs transformed into pocketbooks. As I turned to leave, I saw a flash of unmistakable white fur. I gasped and grabbed my friend Rosary’s wrist. “That’s him! That’s the Coca Cola polar bear!!”

It was all I could do to keep from jumping up and down. When Rosary suggested I take a picture with him, I started in shock. It was more than I ever dared hope for. Taking a deep breath, I approached.
“Hi, Mr. Bear. I know you must get it all the time, but I just have to say you’re my favorite company mascot. I love your commercial work.”
He batted his big, brown mechanical eyes and I was a goner. We hugged for a picture, and the perfect gentleman among bears, he kissed my hand before we left.

Sadly, my bear and I haven’t had any contact since. But we’ll always have Vegas.

-Carly Okyle

Overheard In NY

"Pigs don't fly, but Swine Flew."
-Old Man sitting around patio table by pool, Long Island.

Are you a natural snooper who overheard something unnatural?
Send your captured conversation snippets and we'll print what's fit.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

California should be banned

So what's the deal Californians? What's the deal with this proposition 8 nonsense. I would understand if there were studies that showed a decline in the sanctity of marriage connected to homosexuals getting married, I would understand if you saw a link between the high divorce rate and gays getting married, or a link between lowered marriage rates and gays getting married but it's just not any of those things. Straight people barely believe in monogamy anymore (thank you misogynistic media and men who write self-help dating books [that's right I blame you]), and fewer yet believe in a sanctified ceremony of marriage. Of joining two souls together in love and harmony forever and ever amen. If people who *do* believe in it want to get married then why the eff do we want to stop them? It's a gift, it's a beautiful thing that everyone else searches for and completely fucks up. If somehow two men, women, trans, men and women were able to stand the thought of getting married to each other I just don't understand why anyone in the world would have the right to stop them. I just don't get it, and I don't think I ever will.

This is the part about religion that always gives me pause, it's the self-righteousness. If you believe in something bigger than yourself, then shut up and hold on to your judgment. Stop looking at what's right and what's wrong, you're deluding yourself. It's never been that easy.


Monday, May 25, 2009


Friday is Sonic Truth, the new album listening party. The free Two Boots pulls me in and the rest is waiting in line for 20 minutes, rushing in and grabbing bottles of beer and pizza: looking at Thurston Moore artwork and listening to the 90s creep back into my subconscious: a dim, cool room in the back covered in baroque wallpaper artwork with cartoon characters and minarets, ribbons and pillars.

I end the night at Think Cafe, where the bartender is stoned and Alice, the band is playing. The band consists of a cello player, bassist, electric guitar, accordian, trombone, trumpet, clarinet (the last three played by one guy) and tablas. They do amazing covers of Smooth Criminal, Bulletproof and God Only Knows. They do a cover of Sweet Child of Mine which suddenly sounds like a Roy Orbison original. They made me giggle into the palm of my hand.

This weekend is me trying to ignore stress. Getting barely any sleep. Seeing old friends. Pleasing the family. One after another the chores pile up, behind it all is the curtain which will fall and let me rest. I just want to take a bow.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bring It Back!

My mom bribed me into getting Bar Mitzvahed by buying me traif (non-Kosher) Burritos after Hebrew School. I loved The Big Enchilada, but I was into fame, sex and drama not davening. Growing up in the ghetto Lower East Side of the '90s, I thought Torah was trife. Urban Dictionary defines trife as

adjective - 1. something that is gross,cheap, or in anyway unbecoming of you or beneath you. 2. Anything you deem to be stupid.

i.e. I can't believe we're staying in a Motel 8, this is so trife.

Bring It Back?


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Overheard in Pomp-ville

Tourist 1: *sniffs* Smells like farts.
Tourist 2: What?
Tourist 1: Smells like home.
Tourist 2: *sniffs* Yeah.

-Central Park

NYU Kid 1: You Gotta Fight!
NYU Kid 2: For Your Right!
NYU Kid 3: To-
Guy with Dreads: SHUT THE FUCK UP!
NYU Kid 3: *quietly* okay...

-Washington Square

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fight for your Right

Sunday brought the hope of gay marriage to 6th Ave in NYC. Sadly, the rally did not attract the crowds I had hoped to see. Come on people, didn’t you read my facebook status? Also, the spirit of the crowd was subdued. This is NOT the persona we need to show the world. The LGBT community needs to let their true colors fly in fabulous glory. I did just that. I brought a big rainbow flag to show my pride. To my shock and delight, Gov. Patterson made a personal appearance, emphasizing his positive stance for gay marriage in New York State. The LGBT community not only needs to rally ourselves, we must reach out to our straight family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Reach out to all who love and embrace the LGBT community. Go to Broadway Impact to find out who the state senator is for your district. Contact your state senator urging them to pass the marriage equality bill. Encourage all your loved ones to contact their state senators. We need everyone’s help to bring about change. Everyone can talk a good game, but now is the time for action! Make every effort to attend marriage equality rallies in your area. We need people on the street to show the world we are united in our stand against discrimination.

-Eric G.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Soda

Halfslant's exciting artist-in-residence opportunity is part of a new initiative in Krakow, Poland: NOWA SODA.  

The title, which literally translates as the new soda, is a project that aims to transform the headquarters of a former soda chemical processing plant into a contemporary art event, where art and international interaction act as the catalyst to create a new experience. The building represents a new type of space, where, instead of manufacturing products, the "factory" is transformed into a fertile ground for ideas. 

The artist will be provided with housing and a studio, as well as a stipend of 1,000 euro. 

More information on can be found on Nowa Soda.

-Patricia Maciesz

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ghosts of Savannah

After our sophomore year at art school, M and I took a 2 week road trip to Florida. In the midst of a cranky day we found ourselves lost in the streets of Savannah, and were completely enchanted. We promised to one day go back.

Six years later, my first year of grad school over, M and D have a break from their busy schedules and on impulse we decide to return.

We arrive in lush, quiet Savannah under the cover of night. The air is heavy with history and the smell of magnolias and gardenias. Petals turn to perfumed mush underfoot. Parking the car by a large square with a statue in the middle, we walk through uneven brick streets to our bed and breakfast.

The woman behind the desk is grandmotherly, with a southern drawl and sweet smile. She greets us with a plate of freshly baked cookies and a tour of the house. She shows us the back porch where we will eat fancy breakfasts, and drink iced sweet-tea. "The property is an old carriage barn. They kept carriages downstairs and the upstairs were filled with haylofts. You have your own patio." She says, handing over the keys.

Exhausted from the 13 hour car ride but bolstered by cottage comfort, we go for a walk. Then we get lost in the sullen shade of trees and Spanish moss, panic silently until we find our way back. Streets dark, shadows heavy, there is a sneaking feeling of being followed I can't shake.

The next two days are a whirl: ambling down squares, smoking on park benches, going on house tours, a pub crawl where we can drink outside and listen to ghost stories: pirates and wenches, old brothels turned schools, plantation home mansions, grand cathedrals, antebellum houses, classical art and architecture.

People here are... nice. Like really nice. I find myself smiling and saying hi to just about everyone. My favorite part: they all have stories to tell. I follow their words and gestures until my head is filled up, until my own sad little tales begin to shed from my mind, like the magnolia petals we've been stepping on since we arrived.


Not My People?

Walking around Union Square, being a big, fat consumer, I couldn't decide what color oxfords would be best: black or brown? What would be best for a lady who loves to wear color?! I asked a random girl who from a distance looked to have good fashion sense. "Brown. you know, all those L train people are always mixing it up- bird in your hat, whatever goes. You gotta mix it up. It's ok,” she advised.

I can't decide whether the fact people consciously acknowledge the L train fashion show is endearing or embarrassing. That *I* might be accused of contributing to the hipster-typical mania is something I am afraid to face. I don't even live in Williamsburg and probably ride the L train....thrice a month. Can I wear brown oxford shoes and avoid the label?

-Suhatcha Nuriyah Panya

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pomp Confessions: Sleeping Over

In ‘97, I was eleven, living in Toronto when what should have been just another sleep over at my best friend Hiram’s house turned into a nightmare. It started out typically enough with us stealing gulps of his parents’ lousy vodka and salty wine, sneaking out to the basketball court across the street to smoke some shitty pot, watching French-Canadian pornography until 2AM.

The television screen softly flickered writhing ladies: undulating breasts, pussy eating left and right. I could feel my jeans shrinking against my erection. Excited and little boy buzzed from the booze and pot I blurted, “Oh wow look at that one!”
“Shhh, you’ll wake my parents up” Hiram scolded.
Hiram was silent but out of the corner of my left eye I noticed him staring at me. At thirteen, he was two years older and my initiator in all things I then considered cool: skateboarding, smoking, and kissing girls.
“What do you think about when you jack off?” Hiram asked, rubbing his crotch, eyes darting from the television screen to me, gleaming with sexual tension that scared me.
“Pamela Anderson in ‘Barbed Wire’ I said. “Or Mrs. Tam our 3rd grade teacher.”
We both laughed and he stopped touching his dick. I was relieved but confused. He was my best friend, so I tried not to make too much of his gaze.

At 3AM we went upstairs to sleep. I slept on a futon, near the door on his floor while he fell heavily onto his bed. I woke to Hiram straddling my back. I could feel his pubescent pecker on my pajama bottoms. I tried to get up but he placed his hand on the small of my back and forced me down.
“What the hell are you doing?” I yelled.
“It’ll feel good,” he said.
I thrashed and twisted, smashing him in the balls and shoving him into the closet.
“What man? It’ll feel good, it’ll feel good,” was all he muttered.
Hiram’s mother poked her head in the door
“What’s going on here Hiram? Are you two fighting?” she asked
“No, mom we were just wrestling sorry.”
“Is this true Nicholas?’
Hiram looked at me in fear.
“Yes, sorry,”
“Well quiet down or there’ll be trouble,” she warned.

We went back to our beds and I lay there in the dark until morning. I was frightened sharing a room with someone I had trusted, now a stranger. I anxiously waited for my mom to pick me up.

Things weren’t the same between Hiram and I back in the sixth grade. We never talked about That Night, but it was in the underlining of all our conversations. The closeness we had shared as friends was replaced by unspoken aggression. Despite our sleep over, Hiram will always be the coolest of my childhood friends, the guide who showed me how to shoplift from the Don Mills mall.

-N.P. Milanoff

Friday, May 15, 2009

Behind The Big Top

Jacob Freund is currently working on his second tour with Ringling Brothers’ Barnum and Bailey Circus. Jake works exclusively in the men's wardrobe, where at any given time there could be a dozen men from a dozen countries quick changing. My mind wanders to what tasty tidbits Jake might "accidently" see, before I am reminded there is professionalism, and naked doesn't necessarily equal sex. "Wardrobe Rules" in four different languages, are drilled into performers.

I got the inside scoop on Jake's life in the circus, the challenges of the road, and what he really thinks about animal right’s protesters.

If you could reroute the train to any destination where would you go?

I would love to take the train through my hometown. We travel through so many small towns, and the tracks run right through. I want to stand on the vestibule, smile and wave as I pass through Freeport, ME. I also love Canada.

How much ass have you gotten through your travels? Any of it because of your circus connections?

I don't kiss and tell but the circus connection and the rainbow connection go hand in hand.

What's the hardest part about living on the train?

The room is 5 feet wide and 7 feet long with an 8 foot ceiling. It's about 35 square feet. I'm 6 feet tall. If I forget to close a cabinet door and stand up too fast... The flipside is that I can reach almost everything I need from bed.

What's the most interesting circus trivia you've learned since joining the company?

Our train is over a mile long and houses elephants, horses, 200 of the cast and crew and all the wagons for the show. Our top speed is about 60 mph but it can take us a lot longer than you'd expect to get from A to B.

Which animals do you try to avoid at all costs?

I steer clear of all the animals, all the time. The handlers don't like people getting too close to the animals because it can spook them. The last thing you want is a pack of spooked zebras or elephants backstage.

What do you have to say to all those protesters?

I wish the protesters the best. They have a hard job. Standing out there, holding signs. But I think they should educate themselves, instead of listening to propaganda being fed to them.

Any circus scandals you're willing to share?

There are too many! I will say, it's never a dull day at the circus. There is always something going on.

If you could be part of any of the acts which one?

I want to be an elephant rider. It looks like so much fun up there.

If you were a clown what would your name be?

I would never be a clown. If through some freak accident, I wound up as a clown I think my name might be something like Slappy.

What's your favorite circus catchphrase?

"Not in the Wardrobe!"

-Corinne Kassor
Photos of Jake: Esteban Aladro
Wardrobe Shots: Anthony Viera

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Oh Shit, The Queen Bee Brings Cyber Sex Back!

Bring It Back!

Sex saturated, but naive twelve year-olds, my friends and I cybered. Not with each other. Seventh grade the next year ushered in wet dreams, phone sex, my shrink mom's birthday present to me What's Happening To My Body? Book for Boys. But before I gawked at female flesh, I giggled over HotGirl69 from a Christian Sex chatroom (half the hidden turn on: I was Jewish). My sixth grade Lower East Side crew would munch Two Boots pizza as we typed depravity. Our cybering was always funny first, I never let on I was secretly aroused. We cybered with women and men, at the end of steamy sex sessions always spilling secrets instead of semen. "i am actually old enuff 2 b ur lil bro lol" or "dude i don't hav pamela andersson size tits, u just fucked a 45 yrs old man" then signing off. We laughed off our cyber sessions as funny, harmless jokes, not exploring an adult world of intimacy we barely understood. At twenty three, part of me still prefers the anonymity of internet climaxes, if not the cheesy come ons.

Cyber Sex. Bring it back?


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pomp Cabaret

This year’s PEN World Voices Cabaret was packed with award winning novelists, slam poet champions, rock icons, and some of the most attractive actors around.

The celebrity performance of the evening was a one-act adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s New York chapter in State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America. The protagonist is Jonathan Franzen, played by James Franco.

Midwestern lad romanced by NYC in the ‘70s, Franzen/Franco returns in hopes of interviewing a personification of the state, played with seductive haughtiness by Patricia Clarkson. However, before he can reach his lost love, Franzen is intercepted by Manhattan’s publicist Parker Posey. With an obnoxious sense of entitlement, PR flack tells Franzen the rules—he mustn’t mention New York’s dirty decades: “'65 to '85.” Finally reuniting with his beloved state, he finds she has long forgotten his existence.

Despite the actors reading off scripts, every member of the ensemble was remarkable at capturing nostalgia, sarcasm and humor. The performance truly lived up to the hype of its cast. Plus no complaints about sitting feet away from James Franco’s gorgeous smile.

My most anticipated couple of the evening, Lou Reed and his wife Laurie Anderson, took the stage to thunderous applause. I was unprepared for the magnitude of trip that occurs when their forces combine. I felt like I was on a spaceship, watching Earth destroy itself.

Laurie Anderson began the set speaking into a voice synthesizer making her sound like a man-robot. “How do we begin again? What are days for?” she asked, as the theater filled with disorienting electronics, shadowed by Reed’s guitar. True to form, Anderson’s lyrics were thought provoking and disturbing, eerily blending with the backdrop cacophony.

Lou Reed sang for two songs, his dead pan evoking raw emotion “a younger man, getting older … I hold a mirror to my face.”

Many audience members fled for exits. I stayed to the end, mesmerized by two of my heroes.

Leaving Florence Gould Hall, passing Parker Posey in the street, I felt like I was coming down from an acid trip on a UFO (Lou and Laurie’s, most likely).

-Hannah Miet

Monday, May 11, 2009

Racy Recession Realty

My roommate and I have been apartment hunting ever since someone slashed my tires in Park Slope. After five years in the Slope, I can no longer stand entitled parents and co-op fights.

My radically progressive agnostic mother is from Ukraine, so I felt at home in Greenpoint. But my dad's New York Jew culture drew me back to Brighton Beach.

In need of professional help, I stumbled into a real estate agency and let a male broker show me around, since it was free. Boris was tall, brooding and Polish, looking like he could beat me if he wanted, though he was probably more of a lover. We chatted about his job and why he moved from Poland.

We started talking about heritage, I blabbed to Boris my mother was from Eastern Europe, I felt comfortable in Greenpoint, my old best friend, who was Polish and lived there had moved to Brazil to marry her boyfriend.
“Why all good Eastern Europe women want foreigner?” Boris asked.
“My mother told me to never date a Slavic man. She said they are alcoholics who beat their wives,” I teased.
“Alisa, look at me, do I look like? Maybe you should try and then tell me,” he winked.
“Would you date a Jewish girl?” I countered.
“No too different,” he replied.
I was so ashamed, I played the Catholic card, talking about the church I went to as a child for Easter.
“How do you pray?” he asked me, “right or left?”
I tried to remember, but my mother had refused to teach me.

Boris lectured me about two types of Catholics. I knew he was trying me on. We'd shared a weird sexual tension in one apartment. He was my type: handsome and foreign.
He teased me about dating an Orthodox guy, I told him the outcome, the Yids refusal to marry me.
“Poland is best!” he proclaimed.
“I'd like to visit, but is it okay I'm half-Jewish?”
“You are not Jew, that is all,” he said, assuring me I had a chance at his heart.

I thought about sharing sulky meals with a bigoted broker in a fancy Brooklyn abode.
He called me recently about an apartment, but I let him go, “Boris, I think I am going to try it alone.”

-A. Pinsker