‘The Walking Dead’ Star Norman Reedus Leads A Quiet, Zombie-Free Life in Lower Manhattan

Norman Reedus has built a career on playing instantly memorable characters beloved by fans. First there was Murphy McManus in the cult classic The Boondock Saints, memorialized on college dorm room walls from coast to coast as an unimpeachably badass, gun-waving Catholic warrior. But it’s his role as the hotheaded Daryl Dixon—the one with the crossbow—on AMC’s hit zombie show The Walking Dead that has garnered the most attention. Initially introduced as a virulent redneck, Reedus’s Daryl slowly came into his own over the show’s first two seasons, evolving into the type of rough-edged antihero that thrives in a post-apocalyptic world. Though his character was written for the show, Reedus’s portrayal has been so immensely popular that he’s soon to be introduced in the long-running comic book, giving him an even more permanent place in the hearts of zombie-loving fans.

His stomping ground is downtown Manhattan. We catch up with him after his appearance at New York Comic Con, where hundreds of fans turned out to absorb tidbits about the show’s current season. The sweetest part, though, was the moment when those hundreds joined in on a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for his son, Mingus, who had just turned 13. Listening to him proudly talk about his son—he says, “he’s directly on the path of being taller than me, which sucks”—it becomes clear that, in comparison to the brash characters he’s famous for, Reedus is more reserved and congenial—both appreciative and down-to-earth about his success. It’s an attitude that informs this roundup of his favorite shops and restaurants in New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy neighborhoods.

Bread

20 Spring St., New York, NY, 212-334-1015

Reedus has been going to Bread, a chic yet homey bistro, for years. He orders coffee and nothing else. “I’m a creature of habit,” he says. “I go to the same places.” He takes a sharp left to a story about being given a breast implant by a devout Walking Dead fan. “Things have definitely gotten weirder over the last six months,” he dryly notes.

 

Bluebird Sky

121 Baxter St., New York, NY, 212-966-4646

Reedus is greeted warmly by the owner of this 
Little Italy cafe and gladly poses for photos with
the enthusiastic staff, most of whom grab knives in deference to his bloody fictional life. Asked what first drew him here, his answer is simple: “It’s right across the street from my house.”

 

Aqua Star Pet Shop

172 Mulberry St., New York, NY, 212-431-4311

We get a little waylaid in between locations as Reedus gets a shoeshine from a wizened Chinese man, then befriends one of the cats roaming the streets. When we get to this hole-in-the-wall pet store, the first thing we see are crickets, and lots of them. “My son has two bearded dragon lizards, so I buy the crickets for them,” he proudly announces.

 

21 Crosby Deli Grocery

21 Crosby St., New York, NY, 212-966-2020

This pint-sized deli is decidedly unglamorous, but that’s the point: it’s a local grocery, one that Reedus only frequents in order to buy cat food for the black cat he found for his son a number of years ago. “He would only eat the shittiest cat food,” Reedus says with a shrug.

 

Caffe Roma

385 Broome St., New York, NY, 212-226-8413

“Coffee, cats, and cigarettes. That’s all I do.” Indeed, we’re at another low-key Little Italy cafe where he seems to know the entire staff. He even claims to have met some of the directors of his movies here. “I just get coffee, and that’s it,” he says. “Even with the tourists up and down the street it’s very comfortable, you know what I mean?”

Photography by Janira Martinez.

Dead Bush Head Forces HBO to Pull ‘Game of Thrones’ From Distribution

Temporarily, of course, because if routine incest and dismemberment can’t derail the show’s all-consuming publicity, then nothing can. But a row over the revelation that a prop head of former president George W. Bush was used in the background of a scene involving decapitated heads has caused HBO to pull copies of the episode from its rotation, from HBO Go to iTunes to DVD shipments. That means you won’t be able to watch the episode for the time being, not until the offending frame is cropped out. It also means your Blu-Ray and DVD box sets just got a lot more valuable.

Subconscious political intent aside, statements from the show’s creators and HBO Itself makes it clear that the head’s inclusion was more of a desperate measures thing, and nothing with any sort of pointed meaning. The scraggly wig on Bush’s head should prove that much, and the fact that no one noticed it until it was mentioned in the show’s DVD commentary. The spirit of bipartisanship means other people thought otherwise, but come on; no one could watch the show and think the former president’s governing style of "questions first, bad answers next, war anyways" wouldn’t fit nicely into Westeros.

Watch Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Troll a Legendarily Rude Chicago Hot Dog Joint

Chicago citizens are well familiar with the Wiener’s Circle, a hot dog stand where the staff yells at the usually-drunk clientele who stumble in past 3 AM looking for a bite and a fight. On last night’s episode of Conan, the comedian capped off his week hosting from the Windy City by sending the infamous Triumph the Comic Dog to the Wiener’s Circle, along with 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer, to get into some trouble. After McBrayer gets his pleasant demeanor rocked by the staff’s vulgar bromides, only Triumph can set things right — or, at least, on an even level.

I’m torn, but it’s between "Queen La’queefah" and "Nicki Minaj without the everything" for the best insult. Though the bit is obviously staged, it’s still pretty funny to watch both sides escalating and escalating with no resolution in sight — until the end, when everything seems to work out for the best. (But not to spoil it.) It’s eight minutes long, but it’s pretty worth it.

Listen to ‘Dance For You,’ a Squealing New Dirty Projectors Song

Next month, art rockers Dirty Projectors are set to release their newest album, Swing Lo, Magellan. Today, they released "Dance For You," a gentle, melodic exercise that’s both playful and yearning, like some cabin meditation from deep in whatever woods they’re standing in on the album’s cover. Take it from singer David Longstreth, who bleats: "There is an answer / I haven’t found it / But I will keep dancing until I do." 

It may convince you to preorder that still-immensely goofy deluxe LP package, which literally comes with a cuneiform tablet. If not, you can just wait until the album comes out on July 20.

Hey, Look, It’s a Corgi Singing ‘Call Me Maybe’

No jokes to be made, no snark to be won. It is what it is: A corgi "covering" Carly Rae Jepsen’s "Call Me Maybe," a video that’s simultaneously the zenith and the nadir of the Internet, content that justifies itself simply by existing and makes it that more unlikely that we’ll ever read something longer than 140 characters ever again. But handwringing aside, you still won’t see anything cuter this week. Sorry to everyone who might’ve known better.

"Call Me Maybe" is still #1 and corgis are still adorable. Internet, keep on Internettin’.

You Too Can Be in The Next Tyler Perry Movie (Provided You Win a Contest)

Tyler Perry has made a lot of popular movies, and he’s not above sharing the wealth: Today, he announced on his YouTube channel that he’ll be hosting a talent search to find someone for a walk-on role in his newest film. A walk-on role is a walk-on role, but there are definitely worse ways to jumpstart a career. As the rules state, "Submit an audition video of yourself doing what you do best in 3 minutes or less. Keep it short and sweet!" After that, Perry will put a winner from the top 10 most popular videos, but voting ends on June 29 so you’d better act quickly. 

Which begs the question: What do you do, and how do you do it best? So far, most of the videos (one of which you can see below) seem to be of people singing songs in front of their cameras. Personally, I’m going to kill this thing by posting some footage of me silently surfing the Web in my boxers while eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Either that, or meowing at neighborhood cats. But I’m sure most of you have something to compete with that, hard as it may be.

Lou Reed Wrote A Poem About His English Teacher

Lou Reed is known for being ornery, and grumpy, and plenty of other adjectives that end in -y. But he’s foremost and forever a sensitive artist, the type who does when he wants when he wants to. In the current issue of Poetry magazine, Reed contributed a poem called "O Delmore how I miss you," apparently written about a teacher who hurt Reed’s feelings by giving him a  B on a short story but nevertheless taught him a lot about life and such. It’s tender, affecting, and a whole lot more palatable than Lulu. After the click, you read the poem reproduced in full.

 

O Delmore how I miss you. You inspired me to write. You were the greatest man I ever met. You could capture the deepest emotions in the simplest language. Your titles were more than enough to raise the muse of fire on my neck. You were a genius. Doomed.
 
The mad stories. O Delmore I was so young. I believed so much. We gathered around you as you read Finnegans Wake. So hilarious but impenetrable without you. You said there were few things better in life than to devote oneself to Joyce. You’d annotated every word in the novels you kept from the library. Every word.
 
And you said you were writing “The Pig’s Valise.” O Delmore no such thing. They looked, after your final delusion led you to a heart attack in the Hotel Dixie. Unclaimed for three days. You—one of the greatest writers of our era. No valise.
 
You wore the letter from T.S. Eliot next to your heart. His praise of In Dreams. Would that you could have stopped that wedding. No good will come of this!!! You were right. You begged us—Please don’t let them bury me next to my mother. Have a party to celebrate moving from this world hopefully to a better one. And you Lou—I swear—and you know if anyone could I could—you Lou must never write for money or I will haunt you.
 
I’d given him a short story. He gave me a B. I was so hurt and ashamed. Why haunt talentless me? I was the walker for “The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me.” To literary cocktails. He hated them. And I was put in charge. Some drinks later—his shirt undone—one tail front right hanging—tie skewed, fly unzipped. O Delmore. You were so beautiful. Named for a silent movie star dancer Frank Delmore. O Delmore—the scar from dueling with Nietzsche.
 
Reading Yeats and the bell had rung but the poem was not over you hadn’t finished reading—liquid rivulets sprang from your nose but still you would not stop reading. I was transfixed. I cried—the love of the word—the heavy bear.
 
You told us to break into ______’s estate where your wife was being held prisoner. Your wrists broken by those who were your enemies. The pills jumbling your fine mind.
 
I met you in the bar where you had just ordered five drinks. You said they were so slow that by the time you had the fifth you should have ordered again. Our scotch classes. Vermouth. The jukebox you hated—the lyrics so pathetic.
 
You called the White House one night to protest their actions against you. A scholarship to your wife to get her away from you and into the arms of whomever in Europe.
 
I heard the newsboy crying Europe Europe.
 
Give me enough hope and I’ll hang myself.
 
Hamlet came from an old upper class family.
 
Some thought him drunk but—really—he was a manic-depressive—which is like having brown hair.
 
You have to take your own shower—an existential act. You could slip in the shower and die alone.
 
Hamlet starting saying strange things. A woman is like a cantaloupe Horatio—once she’s open she goes rotten.
 
O Delmore where was the Vaudeville for a Princess. A gift to the princess from the stage star in the dressing room.
 
The duchess stuck her finger up the duke’s ass and the kingdom vanished.
 
No good will come of this. Stop this courtship!
 
Sir you must be quiet or I must eject you.
 
Delmore understood it all and could write it down impeccably.
 
Shenandoah Fish. You were too good to survive. The insights got you. The fame expectations. So you taught.
 
And I saw you in the last round.
 
I loved your wit and massive knowledge.
 
You were and have always been the one.
 
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him think.
 
I wanted to write. One line as good as yours. My mountain. My inspiration.
 
You wrote the greatest short story ever written. 
In Dreams.

Sun, Fun & Much More in Best Coast’s ‘The Only Place’ Video

Rather than just singing about it, here’s a way to really convince the world that California is the best place: Record a sun-dappled video in which you traverse the Golden State’s beaches, backyard pools and basketball courts, having fun where you please. In the clip for Best Coast’s "The Only Place," Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno do exactly that, vibing outrageous in a way that distracts you from how puerile, though admittedly catchy, those lyrics are. That said, I’m still pretty sure California can’t be the only place until they fix that damn budget crisis. 

Expect to see this used in a tourism campaign sooner rather than later. Best Coast’s most recent album, The Only Place (go figure!) is out right now.

A Bouncing Ball Goes a Long Way in Passion Pit’s ‘Take a Walk’ Video

Next month, electro-emoters Passion Pit will release their sophomore album, Gossamers. They’ve already dropped a couple of songs from the album, but today, they released the video for "Take a Walk," a bouncy, circus-like jaunt that, quite appropriately, is shot from the perspective of a bouncing ball thrown by singer Michael Angelakos through the streets of Philadelphia. Impossible physics aside, it’s charming and very Big Fish-era Tim Burton, so check it out after the click.

Director David Wilson’s website is filled with other cool stuff, if you’d like to check it out. Gossamers is out on July 24.