Happy Earth Day! NYC’s Greenest Restaurants

When you’re feasting on a platter of cheese pierogies at Veselka, and loaded nachos from Wildwood BBQ, it’s nice to temper your finger-shaking “you said you’d order kale!” conscience with the fact that hey, you’re going green so scram. In NYC, only a select bunch of restaurants are actually Certified Green – meaning they’re using eco-friendly products and conserving energy and water – and the list just might surprise you (where are all those vegan restaurants?) Here are our favorites:

1.     Lupa Osteria Romana

2.     Nobu

3.     Le Bernadin

4.     L’Artusi

5.     Veselka

6.     Wildwood Barbeque

7.     Otto

8.     Dos Caminos

9.     Del Posto

10.   dell’anima

Know every inch of this city by visiting BlackBook’s NY City Guides, & follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

MONDAY FUNDAY: Tonight’s Top NYC Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. We get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And we’re here to honor them. Here are tonight’s top events.

Eat something fried & delicious:
Celebrate the third night of Hanukkah by honoring that beautiful fried potato pancake at the Fourth Annual Latke Festival at BAM. Chefs from favorite Brooklyn and New York restaurants – like Blue Ribbon, The Vanderbilt, Balaboosta, Veselka, and A Voce – will fry up and compete for the coveted top latke award. For a $55 ticket, you get to eat the winning latkes and jelly doughnuts from Dough, and drink beer, wine, coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company, and kombucha from Kombucha Brooklyn.  It’s Brooklyn, b%#%@. 6:30pm, $55 at BAM. For tickets, call BAM at 718-636-4100.

Hear something deep & brooding:
Get existential and transported to communist Russia at East Village red-swathed literary den KGB, where their longtime poetry night debuts aspiring and surprisingly prolific and lauded authors. Tonight marks the season finale of readings by Mark Strand, former Poet Laureate of the US, and published author Malachi Black. Damn. Grab one of KGB’s famous $7, big bottles of Baltika beer – that beloved Eastern European brand that’s hard to find anywhere but in this second-floor, Russian dive – and get ready for some brooding and wordy seduction. Poetry night starts at 7pm, every Monday. All the details here.

Watch something disturbing and sexual:
We all love a good confession, especially when it involves a half-naked, excessively good-looking human being confessing from the get-go that he’s, since the age of six, “enjoyed a rather delightful sexual relationship” with his father. Which brings us to tonight’s event: an autobiographical play by Cuban writer-director-producer Michelangelo Alasa called Confessions of a Cuban Sex Addict. But since tickets are free – and this show is riddled with actors, smoke, smoking-hot actors, and incest – reservations are highly required and tickets are scarce. Show runs tonight and next Monday, 8pm, at the Duo Multicultural Arts Center. All the details here.

Be on the radio & meet sexpert Dr. Ruth:
NPR’S most puzzling show Ask Me Another” comes to Brooklyn’s beloved and intimate events space The Bell House, where the show will be live-taped – and you can be too. Get quizzed by the trivia-and-brainteasers-centric show’s host Ophira Eisenberg, meet tonight’s special guest & sexpert Dr. Ruth , and maybe even end up in the contestant’s chair, facing trivia games customized specifically for you. This show is so intimate, it’ll trick you into thinking you’re at a game night in your friend’s cramped and messy living room – until your buddy tells you the next day, “Hey! I heard you mess up on the radio!” Show starts at 7:30pm, $10, at The Bell House. All the details here.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

Dragonette’s Martina Sorbara on Songwriting, Life on the Road, and ‘Girls’

If you haven’t heard the masterful music of award-winning electropop prodigy Dragonette, your ears are about to be elevated to a heavenly level. Listeners can’t help but bounce around to the catchy tunes of this energetic trio, comprising singer-songwriter Martina Sorbara, her husband, bassist and producer Dan Kurtz, and their trusty drummer Joel Stouffer.

Three years ago to the date they unveiled their sophomore effort, Fixin’ to Thrill, and today, at long last, they return to the record release scene with Bodyparts, via Universal Music Canada. Fans have waited quite some time for this moment to arrive and, finally, it’s here. As for the anticipation? It was worth it. The 13-track gem proves an audible assault of the best breed, with addictive numbers ranging in aesthetic from fist-pumping bangers (“Riot”) to electric-meets-cheeky (“Right Woman”), from old school-cum-modern (“Giddy Up”) to ‘80s-esque romantic jams (“Untouchable”), from sing-along ditties (“Live In This City”) to booty-moving anthems (“Let It Go”). We dare you not to dance. Speaking of which, they’re in the midst of a US tour. Have you secured your tickets yet?

The only thing better than a spankin‘ new album from our favorite Canadian-born, London-based band? Access to the talents responsible for our remarkably upbeat demeanor.

We had the privilege of catching up with Sorbara recently, a discussion during which the vocalist talked about the Bodyparts process, lyrics versus poetry, and the title she proposed that was summarily shot down. Bonus: the pint-sized singer confesses she loves continent-hopping with her hubs and dubs HBO’s Girls the best thing to ever reach TV screens. Read on for the amusing scoop straight from the source herself.

Why the title Bodyparts?
I feel like I saw the words. I saw a piece of art and it was called “Body Parts.” It was not macabre; it was the opposite. I thought it was musical, in a way. There’s a song on the album called “My Legs,” and I realized [our] lyrics often have body parts in them. I don’t know why. I like the way the words could be construed as musical or sexual or physical, depending how you look at it or what you’re looking at when you see that word.

Did you know you wanted it to be one word?
No. I had another title in mind, too, that was many, many words. But no one would go for it.

What was it?
Everything’s Happening All At Once.

I like that!
Me too. I want to write a song with that lyric.

I feel like listeners take for granted how difficult it is to write songs, to make music.
Yeah. My weakness is planning ahead with lyrics. If someone said, “Okay, use this lyric and write a song,” it would take a very long time. Unless the song is building itself up subconsciously in my mind, kind of creating itself, it’s going to take a long time for it to come.

Does it usually start with lyrics or sitting down to the music?
Sitting down and hearing the music and counting syllables, generally. And it always feels like, after a song is written, that it was already planned out, that I just had to listen to the syllables I was saying and figure out what the words were. In a way.

Like in a way it’s already written.
It sounds really cheesy, but I think the reason I like writing is because I’m not a very eloquent speaker and I’m not quick-witted in conversation. But when I get to sit down and listen to what’s happening in the back of my mind, what comes out when I pay attention, I get to know better what’s inside me.

Do you also compose poetry?
To me, those two aren’t connected at all. To a lot of writers they are. I think some lyrics are poetic, but, when I read poetry, it’s a very different thing than with lyrics.

Was the Bodyparts process different from past albums?
Kind of. Writing has generally been sort of tag-teaming. Spending very little time in the studio at the same time, spending a lot of time alone. Dan does his thing, I do my thing. I think this time around we were very insolated. We didn’t go rent a big studio. We did the whole thing at home, aside from mixing the album; we did that in Paris. Other than that, it was our really tiny studio. And a lot of software. [Laughs]

Awesome to be in Paris, I bet.
It was fun to spend so much time just the two of us, having other people tinker with stuff that, until then, had been something that existed only in our little house. No one had touched it. [I enjoyed the experience of] bringing it to another place and having someone else’s ears experience it.

You’re presently based out of London, yes?
Yeah, although it’s going to be two months total that I will be away from my house. We’re based there but we’re not there very much.

What’s it like to disappear from home for so long?
It’s kind of normal. That’s the way my life has been for the past seven years. It’s, like, we’ve been living in London, but we’ve had so much time in North America that it kind of feels like we don’t live anywhere. In a good way.

You don’t mind that feeling?
No, mostly not. Mostly I feel lucky. I’m sure there’s going to be a time in my life when I’m very stationary. Whether it’s in the next five years or the next ten years or I don’t know. I think I’ll miss the jump-around of this life.

Do you feel like you’re in a unique position because you have your husband with you?
Yeah. If I was going away for two months and I was leaving my husband or if he was going away for two months and leaving me, I think either one of those scenarios would be untenable and unsustainable. Our home is each other. We become each other’s comfort zone. The stability of home isn’t as important when we’re with each other.

I feel like so many people don’t have it that way, so you have to feel fortunate.
Yeah, totally. I think that was part of the incentive, initially.

Well, we were both in different bands. I was solo and he was playing with The New Deal, so we spent a lot of time apart in the [beginning] of our relationship. Then Dan suggested, “Oh, let’s write songs together.” I think that was the light at the end of the tunnel after touring separately and spending weeks and weeks apart.

Speaking of traveling together, you played in New York City two weeks ago at Webster Hall. When you come here, what do you like to do and where do you like to go?
I have a lot of good friends there, so I generally just find my friends and have them take me somewhere fun. The problem I have when I go to New York City is that I end up almost exclusively in Soho, so I don’t even know one other part of the city. It’s ridiculous. For how many times I’ve been there, I haven’t seen a lot of Manhattan. What is wrong with me?!

So, no favorite places to eat?
I have gone to some amazing restaurants there. [One] time we finished our show [at] almost midnight, probably past midnight, and my girlfriends took me to Veselka, because I was starving. Everyone had gone to party at some nightclub, but it was late night perogies for me, which was the most satisfying thing. I was very happy about that. It was a girl dinner, like an episode of Girls.

You watch that show?!
Oh my God, it’s so good. It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen on television.

Who’s your favorite character?
I have a crush on Jessa. But I want to be best friends with Lena. And, I want to be the nerdy virgin next door. What’s her name? I don’t know her name.

Shoshanna! That’s it. Of course!

I’m also obsessed. Clearly.
I can’t think of one show on television that [features] women I can relate to or that I feel represent me. Am I supposed to relate to the women on Sex and the City? I don’t think so. 

Photo by Kristin Vicari

The New York City Late-Night Chow Guide

Visitors to the Big Apple (and residents too) depend on 3am pizza and anytime delivery like nowhere else in the world. But our idea of late-night eats extends far beyond drunk snacking. After all, in one of the great food cities of the world, why settle for anything less than the best? Here is our roundup of the best late-night eats, divided into street food, restaurants, and special late-night menu additions worth staying up for.

Food Trucks: We’ll take breakfast food any time of the day (or night), and Wafels & Dinges, the Belgian waffle truck, is indulgent enough that you might have trouble justifying it the following morning. The best way to find them is on Twitter at @waffletruck. Hungry Brooklynites and those who’ve crossed the river for a night of revelry on Bedford Ave, fortify their stomach linings for the subway ride home at the Endless Summer taco truck. Located at North 6th St and Bedford, it’s open until midnight during the week and until 2am on weekends. But we can’t end our night without something sweet, and the Dessert Truck has stepped up our post-bar sugar game significantly. Find them on Twitter (@desserttruck) and pick up their rich, sweet cakes until 11pm.

24 Hours: Visitors to Chelsea’s Cafeteria love the trendy vibe and modern take on comfort food, not to mention a chance to continue the party with a cocktail list any time of the day or night. You can’t talk about late-night eats in New York without mentioning an old-school, greasy-spoon diner, and the Moonstruck Diner in Chelsea is our favorite. Expect to be comforted with fry grease and you won’t be disappointed. An East Village institution, Veselka’s pierogies, hot meaty stews, and burgers have been stuffing late-night partyers for decades. Hot coffee and cold borscht will set you right any night of the week.

Late-Night Specials: Gabe Stulman’s restaurants have quickly become neighborhood institutions in the West Village, and he likes to hide late-night specials on the menu for those in the know. At Joseph Leonard, the burger that’s only available at lunch (with tomato jam and ricotta cheese) reappears late-night, while at Fedora, it’s the pressed pork sandwich making an incredibly savory guest appearance. The Dutch in Soho has as lively late-night scene as any restaurant in New York, and top-notch, incredibly high quality food at all hours of the day and night. While it’s definitely worth it to try to get in for dinner, don’t fret if you happen to arrive closer to last call. That means you have a chance at the cheeseburger that’s kept off the dinner menu, as well as adorably delicious baby pancakes, and a few other surprises as well. And from the tip-top of the Boom Boom Room to the depths of the Beer Garden, locals and visitors alike quickly embraced the Standard Hotel, and the Standard Grill is a delicious part of its appeal. There’s an extensive late-night menu of delicious, stomach-friendly basics, like fish and chips, spaghetti, and their famed “end of the night” omelette.

Celebrating My Lady’s Birthday at La Esquina, Kenmare & APL

It was the love of my life, Amanda Noa’s, birthday last night and due to circumstances beyond my control we were unable to consider dining until almost 11pm. But late night fare in this town is getting swankier, if not better, so I did have some choices. I wasn’t going to get away with our usual afterhours spots Veselka or Kellogg’s Diner. It came down to the recently opened Marble Lane at the Dream Hotel or La Esquina. She opted out on the steak-centric Marble and we scooted off to La Esquina.

A couple months ago Noah asked me to suggest a name for his new steak house, and I suggested one based on a tattoo on my lady’s back. In honor of our relationship, she has a couple of tats that sum things up. One is a set of teeth with a string tied to them because dealing with me is like pulling teeth. Another is a rib-eye with a pretty bow on top, which is supposed to be “miss steak” or mistake. My gal won’t settle for just a spat – she permanently marks herself with her misgivings about me. Anyway, I suggested the gal-friendly name Miss Steak for Noah’s new spot. Apparently cooler heads prevailed… Marble Lane seems better. I’ll be out late tonight and will pop in. La Esquina remains my favorite haunt. Everything about the place is cool, cool, cool and the food is constantly terrific. We had a blast. For people in the club world, having a relationship is often problematic. We’re surrounded by distractions, many of our own devices. I’m lucky to have someone who puts up with me.

We stopped by Kenmare to say hey to Paul and Nur and found Nur in the back with some other birthday boy. Megan escorted us to see my man and we enjoyed small and big talk before scooting off to APL to wish co-owner Joey Verdone a happy birthday as well. As I hopped, skipped, and jumped to the nearby restaurant, I tried to figure out what date it was 9 months ago. My fingers told me October. After APL we headed to St. Jerome’s, a good place to end a night. It was a going away party for Hotel Chantelle barkeep/manager Dave Coleman, who’s off to Panama to find fame and fortune. He says he’ll be back in no time but I’ve got a $2 bet he’ll be a little late. A coke and a Bud in this legendary LES dive bar came in at the cheap Williamsburg price of $6. We listened to rock staples and laughed and had fun. No attitude here, just good music, a friendly atmosphere and inexpensive solid drinks. Sometimes the business is as easy as that.

Tonight I will DJ rock ‘n roll hootchie coo as Gunbar launches its Wednesday night party. The affair is hosted by BlackBook, thus me getting the gig. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. Saturday I will go to another birthday bash at the newly opened Mother’s Ruin, next to Bread. Dana Dynamite, my favorite PR and marketing flack, will show us how she got her name. I’m sure client Sailor Jerry Rum will lend a hand. I had a few sips of that cheap beer so I’m a little out of it today – I’ll cut things short. As regular readers know, I only have a drink two or three times a year…whenever I have sex. So I guess the second half of 2011 will be…exciting

Under the Influence: Joey Arias & Pee Wee Herman

I was born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, a nice enough place. I had friends, went to PS 69 (okay, get it out of your system, I’ve heard every joke possible), played Little League Baseball, and on my birthday, had the Kitchen Sink at Jahns on on 37th Avenue. I was popular, I was brash, I questioned everything. I once had a run-in over my stolen baseball glove with a kid a little bit older than me. His name was Johnny Genzale, and he was, generally speaking, a punk, a “must” to avoid. I got my glove back, and after that scrap, he crossed the street every time he saw me. He grew up to be punk superstar Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers). At Max’s Kansas City we hung out once in a while as two kids from the neighborhood. He was always good to me. I was extremely upset when he died, but I was also surprised he lived so long. Dee Dee Ramone told me that he had been whacked by Louisiana assholes. When I was old enough to know better, I went down to the old East Village, which resembles its current incarnation for only a few moments once in a while, and only at a few places, like Lit or maybe Veselka at 3am.

On St. Marks a zillion years ago, I met Joey Arias and Klaus Nomi. They took some time to chat with me and my friends. After about 10 minutes, my friends got tired of talking to the “freaks” and went off to buy a bong or something. I stayed; I couldn’t get enough. Up until this point, I knew no like-minded individuals. Except for Johnny Thunders, my world was straight and narrow. I’m not referring to gay. We had openly gay people in Jackson Heights during my Wonder Bread years. I’m talking about that downtown edge that’s been my carrot on a stick since meeting them. Joey and Klaus Nomi introduced me to a world of wonder that I haven’t left since. I went to the store that they ruled, Fiorruci, and bought swanky clothes for me and my gal pals. I hung with people that dressed differently, thought differently, lived differently than those I lived with. For so many years I thought I was alone—a freak hiding amongst the sane. Then I hung with freaks like me, and smiled about it. Although my thoughts were always grounded in the old hood and those traditions, I had been redefined. From that moment on I played and ate and read and partied — and always danced to the rhythm of a different drummer. I make my living creatively. If not for Joey and Klaus and the time they took to show me a different way of looking at things, I’m sure I’d be in a different place.

Tonight Joey will bring his considerable talents to Le Poisson Rouge. Over the years, I’ve seen him countless times, once as a backup to David Bowie, another in Vegas with Cirque du Soleil. He was a mainstay at Club 57, the performance-based club that ruled the 80’s St. Marks scene. He has been Billie Holiday in performances that made crowds gasp—he doesn’t imitate the legend, he channels her. He has been a severe Joan Crawford; he was gorgeous at Bar d’Or performing with Miss Sherry Vine and Raven O. He’s been in movies with Pee Wee and Elvira, and made me laugh in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. He starred in Arias With a Twist, collaborating with puppeteer Basil Twist. Brilliant and funny, with an impossibly seductive singing voice and an impossibly tight corset. Joey is a Can’t Miss, so don’t miss him at 7pm tonight at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker street.

Bowlers at the new Times Square Bowlmor Lanes were surprised to see Pee Wee Herman and the cast and crew of his soon-to-close Broadway Show last night. He was there to celebrate the wrap of his forthcoming HBO special. His fans were invited and showed up in full force. Pee Wee, actor Paul Reubens took the time to pose for pictures with as many fans as possible. The party was put together in a couple of days and was being shopped around by publicists trying to make it work for all parties, and I got to put in my two cents. Although I was pushing a swankier locale for the event, Bowlmor was the perfect venue. Alas, I could not attend, as Sunday evenings are spent in Jackson Heights visiting my family.

We’ll Always Have Paris

What was that line Bogie tossed at Ingrid Bergman to get her to run off with that dapper old guy at the end of Casablanca? Oh yeah: ”We’ll always have Paris.” I guess he was right, as there doesn’t seem to be an end to how much Clubland loves to associate with the romanticism of gay old Paree. Everybody is on the edge of their seat for Le Baron, which somebody told me will be “The Baron” when it slams into lower Mulberry Street. Indeed it will slam, as young romantics everywhere see it as the second coming. It’s actually the third coming, as they already have one in Paris and Tokyo, too.

Tonight I’m invited to Hotel Chantelle, which seems to be another grab at the era. It, too, resides south of Delancy, as nightlife continues to scrape around in every corner left in our uncooperative metropolis. I’m attending at the invitation of Tim Spuches, who is a gentleman, possibly a scholar, and one of the most enigmatic creatures of the night. I’m also going to Chris Anthony’s birthday there on Thursday.

Chris is a promoter-type who’s aging very well. He seems to be a person to watch, as he is traveling in better circles and has acquired a strength and confidence that compliments his Gary Cooper-like charms and demeanor. I often find him reading books in chic downtown coffee shops while others of his ilk are jamming up cell phones calling models and their compadres. I see him possibly rising above the rest, a bridge between the good-looking and the smart set. Hotel Chantelle intrigues me. I went to Tim Spuches’ Facebook page and got this: “A little hotel on the wrong side of Delancey, on a quiet corner of Ludlow in a drab and squat building. The hotel bar lies behind an unmarked door. Once inside, ask the bartender for a blackberry bramble.”

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours in an old, cold Volvo with location scouts and gals around town Karliin Brooks and Jenny Dembrow. Karliin and Jenny were “original club kids” who have grown out of their rambunctious youths and live productive lives. Both work everyday but still find time for those in need. Karliin spends her free time and money saving animals that are abandoned and need homes. She was constantly on her cell phone with her “dog nanny” and the rescue vet. The cold weather had her worried about animals on the streets. Jenny, formerly the notorious Jennytalia, toils at the Lower East Side Girls Clubs, where she makes a difference everyday in the lives of the young ladies who find support there. On the road trip up to Coxsakie Prison, I drove while they saved small bits of the world. We, of course, were off to see former club wizard in exile, Michael Alig .

It’s been 14 years since Michael’s tragic career path ended the life of Angel Melendez. Although I’m a dedicated supporter of Michael, I’ve also been a sharp critic of him when his path has strayed from rehabilitation. He was recently turned down in his bid for freedom, and must now be up there for at least another year, maybe more. Although that news hit him hard, he has found new vigor and is dedicated to doing all the right things to prepare himself for a productive life amongst us. I don’t know how he does it. 14 years in a place very unlike Paris, or any civilized community, and he still remains bright and optimistic.

His legendary creative mind focused on writing and art and his post-prison career path. I told him that every time I write about him, I get a handful of anonymous comments cursing him and generally spewing hate. He asked what they were saying. I summed up the detractors feelings with “They think that killing Angel is something you should be continuously punished for, and what would Angel’s mother feel about you getting out, and that you haven’t paid a big enough price.” He surprised me by saying, “They’re right.” He said that he can never undo what was done, but will strive to be a productive person when he is finally released, and that he lives with the horror. He is genuinely remorseful.

We left having gorged ourselves on vending machine pretzels and soda and Yoo Hoos. On the way home, we stopped at my favorite secret spot, Auntie El’s, in Sloatsburg, New York. Auntie El’s is the ultimate country roadside stand. I picked up an old Banger (cash register) that I had bought over the summer for Snap. It was sitting there, weighing about 150 pounds for months, waiting to be brought to glory. I wondered about its career path. How many bars, how much loot had it seen? It’s a beauty, all worked metal and marble and mechanical keys. While there, we grabbed famously tasty pies and preserves and pickled stuff. There was some left when we hit New York.

It was indeed Monday, which is Bingo night at Bowery Poetry, and then off to Veselka to celebrate our small victories. As I enjoyed late night laughs and belly warming fare among friends with my Amanda, I felt like the luckiest man in the world. It seemed a bit silly finding such happiness in such a joint, eating soup as we cut up one of Auntie El’s pies. Veselka isn’t swanky and it was a long exhausting day. The soup was warming away the cold from my toes and heart. I had awoken at 6am, drove 300 miles there and back. I had sat amongst felons all day as memories haunted me. My mind wandered over decades, reliving the past, glorious, and dangerous, facing my abyss, loves lost, dreams fulfilled, shattered, fulfilled, rinse and repeat.

I was up in Coxsakie for my poor lost friend. Maintaining a stiff upper lip all day can be heavy lifting. To some it seems my acorn has fallen far from my tree. There was a time when I had “more stuff,” ate at chicer places, had famous friends. Was I happy back in the day being that guy, or blessed now being the guy who used to be Steve Lewis? It had been a very long, cold, arduous day. The echoes of my life’s trials and tribulations were distracting me from our hearty party. Amanda caught my “drift” and said, “What?” I replied, “We’ll always have Paris,” and she didn’t quite understand, but sort of did. She grasped my arm and put her head on my shoulder. We silently counted our blessings, running out of digits, using hands and toes.

Egg Creams and Memories

Lit’s 8th anniversary was, as advertised, a zillion great DJs and 5 zillion great people. I met up with Ron Jeremy on 9th street at the 24 hour staple, Veselka with two very broad-minded broads. They’d have to be able to put up with our antics. We talked about how Veselka was really the last of the really good Polish/Ukrainian late night restaurants that kept eons of club denizens alive. Cafe Kiev on 7th street was the standard, but alas, the owners kept tweaking their winning formula until it just wasn’t any good anymore. In the old days, it was common to see Steve Rubell in a tux at the counter or a rock band that just headlined The Ritz and their groupies eating kielbasa and mushroom barley soup while taking turns to shoot up in the rest room. Every club employee in town fueled up before they crashed out. Kiev was the after hours for the after hours clubs and a very big part of nightlife. Although always a tamer version, Veselka still delivers great food. Ron and I talked about many a night eating way too late after way too much fun. After dinner we did the walk of shame fame to Lit just three blocks away. Three blocks from the stuffed cabbage and horseradish beets and the polite stares from diners who wanted to say hey to Ron but whispered and giggled instead.

We whisked into the party like we were walking onto a yacht. My hat was strategically dipped below one eye but my scarf was not apricot. I did have one eye on the mirror as I watched myself walk by, but then the only two frat boys in the place went nuts over my porno pal. They bellowed and laughed and shook his very used hand and Ron was a great sport about it. We went to the back to the Fuse Gallery and I introduced Ron and the entourage to Lit proprietor and cool, cool friend Erik Foss. Foss rushed to greet Ron and used his correct nickname “the hedgehog”. I gave Foss a cub scout knife from the ‘50s that I’ve had for a very long time but seldom appreciated. I told him now that as he (Lit) had turned eight, he was old enough to have my old treasure. At 4 a.m., he texted me to thank me for the knife and for the hedgehog intro. Apparently, they were still hanging out. Thank god I wasn’t a fly on the wall for this one.

I cut out with my new friend Amanda to get some air, as it seemed to be scarce inside. We walked over to Gem Spa to get their chocolate egg creams, the best in town. Egg creams are a lost art. Years ago you could get them anywhere. Clubbers going to the Mudd Club (off White and Broadway) would stop by Dave’s on Canal and have one or maybe two. Maybe a crisp hot dog as well before destroying their bodies and brain cells. Now there are only a few joints in town that do it right. The proprietor/counter man has been slinging egg creams for 30 years at Gem Spa off a recipe and technique and tradition he inherited from excellent egg creams for 70 years before. I explained to Amanda that the key is to have the chocolate, the seltzer and the milk at the same temperature so that it mixes right. The professional nodded in agreement and showed us the egg creaming equipment. Most places that still offer this very New York delicacy just offer chocolate milk and a splash of club soda. The egg creams help me get some sleep as my days are becoming more hectic than ever.

It was a cold driving rain outside, almost enough to have me pine for Miami…almost. Let’s not get hysterical. Amanda and I perused magazine covers as we sipped nirvana from a waxed paper cup. One periodical caught my eye. The cover image of a wispy gal in a tattooed white blouse and ornate bodice intrigued me but the continued egg cream chatter and the proprietor’s conversation about the history of Gem Spa and the egg cream kept me distracted and fascinated. It was a cold rainy night and the egg cream and Lit’s goings on and the tasks of Tuesday had me longing for my pillow. I headed home and don’t remember closing my eyes.

My doorbell and frantic puppies woke me at 8 a.m. an hour after my alarm had failed me. When the bell rings that early, it can’t be good. In this case, it was. A delivery of two mysterious brown paper-wrapped packages. After a blurry signature, I opened one up. The wispy gal in the tattooed white blouse and ornate bodice stared at me from the book’s cover. It’s been rare lately that the same girl that put me to sleep was there in the morning to welcome me. Even though she was only 2-D, it felt fabulous. Most of the people I date these days are extremely 1-D. The tome was not really a book but an ambitiously thick magazine with a hard cover. The second issue of Grey was indeed a wakeup call. The fine-printed Spring/Summer ‘10 offered me optimism, even though I could hear frantic taxis splashing all too familiar rain on my daily frenzy. Grey is the work of my jet setting pal/editor, Brantly Martin, and his wife and editor in chief/fashion director, Valentina Ilardi Martin (and, I’m sure, many others). Brantly used to work in clubs as a model wrangler/promoter type and in management. He left in a storm of rumors that were completely untrue except that he had fallen in love and settled in Italy. I ran into him in an obscure deli a few months back as he was passing through New York and he told me then about the new issue. It’s stunning straight through and a wakeup call to finer things and elegant ideas/. You can get it a Gem Spa (and a very excellent egg cream too).

Two for the Road: Adam Green & Lissy Trullie

A small portrait of Adam Green adorns the entrance to his East Village apartment, the words “Kafka Lives” written across the top of the framed sheet of paper, painted over by what look like smatterings of diluted watercolor red. “Pete Doherty painted that with a syringe,” says the 28-year-old singer-songwriter. “He wanted to use my blood but I said he had to use his own.” Seated in his living room next to friend and collaborator Lissy Trullie, downtown New York’s latest hope for rock salvation, he motions to a different, napkin-size painting: “Beck’s grandfather did that one.”

imageClick here for a free download of Lissy Trullie’s track “Boy Boy.”

No wonder Trullie, 25, comes around so often. The willowy rocker, with strawberry-blonde hair and Holly Hunter’s baritone dipped in nicotine, has begun devoting more time to home entertaining with a circle of friends that includes Mark Ronson, Chloë Sevigny and her DJ brother Paul, the Virgins’ Donald Cumming, photographer Ryan McGinley and model Cory Kennedy—to whom credit should be given for introducing Trullie to Green, her then-boyfriend.

On October 20th, Trullie will re-release her critically acclaimed EP (complete with 4 new tracks) Self-Taught Learner (Downtown Records), a spirited rock record that brings to mind Debbie Harry’s style and verve. Green, whose star skyrocketed with the release of Juno, the soundtrack to which featured songs from his now-defunct band the Moldy Peaches, is at work on his next record. Later this month, they will embark on a two-week tour covering nine cities across the U.K., a decision that was cemented after actor-jeweler Waris Ahluwalia challenged Green to cover Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” The bathroom at Santos Party House transformed into a rehearsal space, where they met, “drank a forty and learned the song really fast,” says Trullie. The cover, a favorite among the crowd at Trullie’s shows, was so well received that they decided to record it for her album.

Over tall cocktails in the comfort of his reassuringly lived-in apartment, littered with musical instruments, tossed-aside sketches and Garfield paraphernalia—figurines, drinking glasses, a cookie jar and his debut solo album, named after the orange sloth—Green gives his guests a preview of his new collection of introspective songs. “I usually stay in,” he says, “drinking and painting.” Trullie, scanning the room, agrees: “I think that every young kid goes out a lot when they first move here. But I’ve become a bit of a homebody, which I’m not ashamed to admit.”


Photo by Danielle Levitt. Styling by Bryan Levandowski.

Left to right: Tank top by Gap; jacket by Ben Sherman; Adam’s own jeans; dress and jacket by Dolce & Gabbana. Hair and makeup by Tracy Alfajora for Chanel Cosmetics.