People & Places

  • Perfect Day

    Jose Germosen

    Photograph by Sylvia Plachy For so long, I'd dreamed of becoming the Ideal New Yorker—one of those fabulously pulled-together soldiers of the street for whom every living minute moves in seamless perfection. My life would appear as if it had been ripped out of the pages of a fashion magazine; a DKNY ad with Mark Vanderloo rollerblading down Fifth Avenue,… More >>
  • Perfect Day

    Lynn Yaeger

    For as long as I can remember, I've spent my weekends trolling the aisles of upscale stores and antique shows, gazing at objects that offered solace in a chaotic and often unlovely world. In the last several weeks, when people sought comfort at makeshift vigils, I found myself, as usual, drifting to my old friends, even if their windows were… More >>
  • Perfect Day

    Grace Bastidas

    It's the a.m. at KENNEDY AIRPORT (Jamaica, Queens, 718-244-4444), and my bag's packed and ready to go, just the bare essentials, a journal and a camera. Today, there are no turbulent flights, no temperamental children, and no terrorist threats. Instead, the sounds of takeoff are like a quiet storm in the afternoon: soothing and reassuring. I sit at Terminal 5… More >>
  • Perfect Day

    Michael Musto

    I'm wondering what my ideal New York day would be like, mainly because that was the assignment, but also because it's incredibly gratifying to imagine such a 24-hour period of nirvana with a side of corn dogs and a sprinkling of radical fairy dust. Well, I'd spend the day gamely cheerleading for our damaged entertainment scene, while sending a big… More >>
  • Perfect Day

    Nita Rao

    And this is how one perfect ordinary day unravels: with a tin of peppermints and two black ponytail elastics in my back pocket. Early Friday morning during the month of October smells like buttered toast, Yardley soap, and copper pennies—"In God We Trust." Outside is 51 degrees Fahrenheit and has an apricot-tea varnish. The sky is blushing. Inside an apartment… More >>
  • Perfect Day

    Toni Schlesinger

    Howard was looking at me funny. We were sitting in his truck across from SAME DAY SERVICE LAUNDRY (200 East 6th Street), waiting for a space after street cleaning, and I was telling him about what would make a perfect day. Photograph by Sylvia Plachy"First, there has to be mystery and excitement.… More >>
  • Perfect Day

    Nat Hentoff

    I often had perfect days when I came to New York to live in 1953. I did not anticipate the energy of the city then, or in the years ahead, climaxing in the 1960s. Before my new life in New York, I was out most nights in Boston—in jazz clubs, union halls, and political gatherings, but nothing there compared to… More >>
  • Best Condom Selection

    Condomania

    With such a large variety of rubbers, you may feel overwhelmed at CONDOMANIA, but remember to take your time when deciding whether the Kimono Micro Thin or the Bareback will allow for superior cock sensitivity. Looking for more head room? Condomania recommends Maxx for you lucky, well-endowed fellows. (If you actually want to downsize, the Trojan Ultra-Fit is code for… More >>
  • Best Way to See a Pal Naked Before Deciding Whether or Not to Hit on Him/Her

    Spencer Tunick's Photo Shoots

    Put together a group outing (non-threatening!) to one of SPENCER TUNICK'S PHOTO SHOOTS. (Thanks to persistent mayor-related hassles, he hasn't done any in New York this year, and may not be shooting here again until the spring, but you can sign up for alerts on his Web site.) Meet up at some ungodly hour Sunday morning, and chat sleepily with… More >>
  • Best Place to Check Out Nude Girls With Your Girlfriend and not Feel Like a Total Sleaze

    Scores

    Let's talk about sex, baby, let's talk about you and me—and Candy, Natasha, and Carmen. If only, you sigh. I could watch, I retort. You fancy this new communication thing we're doing. A day later, it's prom night (as I reason it to myself) all over again at SCORES—pretty girls in fancy dresses, a yummy buffet, plush seating, and your… More >>
  • Best Place to See a Parade of Nude Male Members Completely Erect

    Gaiety Theatre

    Giuliani may have cleaned up other parts of town, but there's one thing he cannot keep down, one remaining bastion of artsy sleaze, the GAIETY THEATRE. It's the old burlesque-cum-music revue, a kind of live version of Physique Pictorial. Here, to a background of pulsating music, you'll find full-frontal male nudity enshrined in front of a glittery slash curtain.… More >>
  • Best Pre-Date Store for Wild NYC Folk

    Ricky's

    Get ready for the wildest fucking date of your short, fast life. With RICKY'S help, it'll be a bit like Nickelodeon's Double Dare (same amount of slime, different source). First, slap on some Slut lip balm and yank your hot-pink fishnets up to your knees, then dye your hair and pin on that leopard-print cowboy hat, now iron a "VAMP"… More >>
  • Best Cruising Spot for Dykes

    Gloss

    Every Thursday night, vixen promoters Chloé and Rachael bring out the most glamorous femmes, the studliest butches, and the rest of the cream of the muff-diving crop for a little slice of heaven they call GLOSS. Whatever's on the menu—fine go-go girls, rockin' female bands—you'll want to stay late and have seconds. Not a wallflower in the place, these girls… More >>
  • Best Lesbian Go-Go (and Lap!) Dancers

    Lovergirl

    A longtime staple on the lesbo club scene, LOVERGIRL may sound like a typical Saturday-night sapphic fest, but hold your horses, cowgirls, because the dancers here are out of this world! The trampy chicks of HBO's G String Divas haven't got a thing on drop-dead gorgeous Cinnamon, funky former On Our Backs model Angel Baby, teasing and twisted Jesse, feisty… More >>
  • Best Place to Make Someone Your Slave (For a Night)

    Hellfire Club

    Very much alive despite the city's famously anhedonic mayor (and the Manolo Blahniks that now doom the meatpacking district), the legendary HELLFIRE CLUB offers safe and respectful fantasies for consenting adults over the age of 21. If you can comply with club rules, which include no penetration and no blowjobs, the sky's the limit for men, women, couples, transvestites, and… More >>
  • Best Club for Sexy and Adventurous Straight People

    Cake NYC

    The women behind CAKE NYC began with a radical notion: Create a sex-positive space for hetero-inclined people where the girls call the shots. With parties in hot locations around the city, ranging from amateur striptease shows to porn-video viewings, Cake is where it's at for the erotically minded, straight-but-not-narrow set. The meeting place of a new generation—including exhibitionists, sex-toy warriors,… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Corset

    Purple Passion

    Now that Moulin Rouge has made corsets super trendy, your friends may be flocking to Victoria's Secret to get their hands on cheap imitations. If you're looking for the real thing, then get thee to PURPLE PASSION at once! Don't be fooled (or stifled) by the crammed-to-the-gills appearance of this neighborhood fetish store; you cannot find a wider selection of… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Plastic Vagina

    Toys in Babeland

    I cannot actually vouch for the efficacy of such an item, content as I am with a filthy sock. Kidding! (Not about the first part.) Point is, TOYS IN BABELAND isn't just for your mom and girlfriend. They have black-leather wristband-looking things that are apparently meant to cinch around your penis, lord knows why, and this other thing a bit… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Incense, oils, and All Things That Smell Sexy

    Monir Attar

    You're on your way to BAM Theater for dinner and a movie when bam! It hits you: You forgot to put on perfume. Well, back up, calm down, and head to MONIR ATTAR, which carries over 300 domestic and 200 imported essential body oils and fragrances, from Eternity to Paris. "These oils have been imported from India, Singapore, France, Bangladesh,… More >>
  • Best Place to Rent a Feminist Porn Movie

    Toys in Babeland

    Put those scenes from Deep Throat out of your mind for just one moment and embrace the notion that feminist pornography is not an oxymoron. It actually does exist, and New York's own girl-powered sex store TOYS IN BABELAND is your best bet to find the work of pioneers like Candida Royalle, Betty Dodson, Annie Sprinkle, and Nina Hartley, as… More >>
  • Best Place to Be Solicited For TV Dating Programs

    Washington Square Park

    The people at Change of Heart believe that even if you are currently in a relationship, you may still be available for the New Age-y dates they provide. Therefore they send two nondescript women to sit around in New York parks in order to solicit particularly hip passersby for their phone numbers with the promise of $250. If you aren't… More >>
  • Best Place to Stand up and Parody in the Name of Amour

    Luna Lounge

    On a Monday night at LUNA LOUNGE, Perdita Woo met her intended. In the back room she sat alone, an ecclesiastical gal, the improbable reader of McSweeney's. It was absurd, really. Perdita of the halfhearted finger snaps—you go, girl! (snap, pause, snap)—at "Eating It," the weekly briny, brainy sanctum for live experimental comedy. A salon vision with saloon execution, to… More >>
  • Best Place for That First Pivotal Daylight-Hours Sober Date

    Cobble Hill Park

    Henrietta was giddy. Theirs was not a dalliance. Oswald had called, and so she would see him again. "Yes, I would love to," she'd said, and so they arranged a second date in Brooklyn in COBBLE HILL PARK. The first meeting had been glorious. Two tart pitchers of sangria, and they'd played pinochle and talked like it was nothing. But… More >>
  • Best Place to 'Fess Up

    St. Francis Xavier Church

    ST. FRANCIS XAVIER CHURCH, 2001: No black box. A priest in a sweater and khakis sits you by a big open window and chats with you about your problems in a nonjudgmental way. Says things like "No matter what you choose, you are loved in the eyes of God." (This was in reference to me telling him I wanted to… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Married Fast

    City Clerk Office

    For a fast and easy wedding, try the CITY CLERK OFFICE at the Municipal Building on Centre Street. You can obtain your license in approximately 20 minutes, then return 24 hours later and be married on the same premises. For two Brits, this is a miracle. All you have to do is turn up with your partner, ID, and a… More >>
  • Best Place to Publicly Feud With a Significant Other

    Mary's Fish Camp

    Unlikely Suitor and I got into a tiff last night. He can be such a ninny. I love Unlikely. I loathe Unlikely. Consider this: We were on the corner of Charles and West 4th drinking Guinness and waiting with 12 strangers for a table at MARY'S FISH CAMP, one of the latest prevailing standards for sought-after-ness (arrive early, lines are… More >>
  • Best Place to Put a Spell on the Object of Your Desire

    Essex Street Market

    There are many reasons to visit the lively, indoor ESSEX STREET MARKET, but if a special prayer is your goal, be advised that although the market's botanica has all manner of candles, statuettes, beads, rosaries, mysterious texts, and large Virgin Mary altars, the owner takes his religion very seriously and will not advise you unless you have done your homework… More >>
  • Best Dinner-Date Cruise

    Staten Island Ferry

    She told me her name was Olivia. Olivia! What a fabulous name! Four syllables, six letters—defiantly more exotic than the names of the last two months: Stacey, Jill. (Feh!) We were at the party, it was a bore, and we decided to leave. Me and her. But where to go? The night was sticky, ideal for a boat ride, a… More >>
  • Best Fairy-Tale Date

    Cloisters

    Hand in hand, wander through the CLOISTERS' winding paved paths, feel the balmy breeze, remark how this sylvan environment seems so unlike Manhattan, eye each other furtively. Take your time en route to the Cloisters museum—the one you both heard was built in the '30s and whose chapel was transported stone by stone from Spain. Stroll further into Fort Tryon… More >>
  • Best Terrifying East Village Makeout Accessory

    Cell Phone

    Two a.m., at the corner of Houston and Allen. A late-twenties-ish NYC couple is embracing and K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Serious tonsil hockey going on. And on, and on. But something is wrong with the picture, we sense, and then we realize what it is. She's still got her CELL PHONE to her ear.… More >>
  • Best Stop for Breakfast During a Walk of Shame Home

    La Bonbonniere

    Those first peculiar moments in the morning are best examined through blurred vision. Where am I? Who is that? Does the general citizenry misplace its underpants, too? Such are the communiqués of a hangover. The perils of four scotch-and-sodas (universal euphemism for "lobotomy") the night before. Mortification is likely pending, so it's advisable to seek fortitude through grease. Tramps and… More >>
  • Best New Yorkers

    Tom Robbins

    Sirens have always been the city's background music. In the best of times, a racing police car, the blur of a rushing fire truck or ambulance merits no more than a sidelong glance, a momentary forced pause in conversation. It is, perhaps, an emergency. Whatever it is, it's being dealt with. It is as much as we need to know.… More >>

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