Alphabet City

The Year in Letters

u is for Uptown Santa, a/k/a Ed Lover, the long-running, old-school-rhyming, big-nose-having DJ on radio station Hot 97. In the sad landscape of contemporary radio, Ed Lover bids fair to become a perennial, the black Joe Franklin, or at least a sepia Murray the K. What other DJ in what other city can get away with impersonating Saint Nick with a "Merry Christmas to all and to all a wussup"?

v is for Victoria Gotti, so New York and yet so Long Island, so much a novelist and still so deeply the daughter of a crime boss doing life for murder, so truly a peroxide Electra behind the wheel of her white Mercedes, hair trailing as she speeds breathlessly—crying "Give me my brother,"—to rescue her tubby sibling John ("Orestes") Gotti, Jr. from exile in the slammer.

w is for "Whew! I got through it," and "Whew, the subway didn't get stuck in the tunnel for an hour," and "Whew! I won the Yankees ticket lottery," and "Whew, my land lord didn't murder me because I complained about the heat," and "Whew, I'm really awful ly glad that the condom didn't pop."

x is for XXX theaters. Remember those?

z (we'll get to Y in a moment) is for zinc-topped tables at all the bars and boîtes and bistros that Josephine Baker might frequent, but doesn't, because she's dead, but which are mobbed by Web site designers and Avid editors and lawyers writing prospectuses for rock bands issuing IPOs, and also by film critics who hardly even live in New York anymore, they're so busy jetting to enchanting niche festivals in Vienna and Telluride and Rotterdam.

y, or course, is for you, because every single person in New York is a special individual with a totally unique and personal dream, and if you happen not to believe that then you probably shouldn't be here in the first place, so why don't you just get the hell out of town.

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