People & Places

  • Best Defiler of Legal Tender

    DAVID GREG HARTH

    In 2001, Nolita artist DAVID GREG HARTH made an impression with post-9-11 dollar bills stamped "I am not terrorized." Recently he's returned with a far less Bush-approved statement. Harth spends singles marked with a message encouraging removal of "In God We Trust," a daily reminder of our nation's alleged church-state separation. Be on the lookout; the next person to pay… More >>
  • Best Competitive Eater

    CRAZY LEGS CONTI

    Kobayashi may own the Coney Island hot-dog-eating contest, but New Yorker CRAZY LEGS CONTI is the eater extraordinaire with his own movie. The star of Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating, the dreadlocked Conti is currently No. 15 on the International Federation of Competitive Eating charts and owns IFOCE records in the green beans, pancakes, and buffet food disciplines.… More >>
  • Best Transformer of Utensils Into Art

    MATTHEW BARTIK

    Mostly we neglect our cutlery after mealtime. But not MATTHEW BARTIK, who proudly displays his "fork art" in front of (rather than inside) uptown museums. Using pliers, he bends and shapes his implements into elaborate reptiles, orchestral musicians, religious figures, bracelets, motorcycles, doctors, athletes, and money clips. He'll even work on commission, maybe for a family portraiture in bent silver.… More >>
  • Best WWF-Loving Sushi Master

    NAOMICHI YASUDA

    Many people who think they know sushi treat it like high art, referring in hushed tones to the "itamae-san" and bowing at any chance they get. So it's refreshing that when foodie faux intellectuals pepper NAOMICHI YASUDA, chef at the excellent Sushi Yasuda, with questions about the source of his o-toro, he often shifts the subject of conversation to his… More >>
  • Best Truck Graffiti Artist

    MUSE

    Graffiti on subways is as dead as firecracker sales on Chinese New Year and gangland days in Five Points. But graffiti still prowls the city on trucks, courtesy of subway veteran MUSE, who resurrects graf's gut sense of motion in ways a tag on a wall never could. "The pieces, the colors, the characters all have movement," Muse muses. "Just… More >>
  • Best Soccer Coach

    STEVE KOVALENKO

    For the last 30 years, STEVE KOVALENKO has coached the Ukrainian Sport Club soccer team. There were the glory seasons a few decades back, when the Ukrainians were the cream of the Cosmopolitan League and the toast of Little Ukraine in the East Village. Now Kovalenko is scrambling to keep the half-century-old club together after a dismal spring. And should… More >>
  • Best Candidate for Global Takeover

    BEDBUGS

    Believe it or not, BEDBUGS are a near-epidemic in the East Village and parts of Brooklyn. The shame factor has allowed these bloodsucking fiends to proliferate under the radar, leaving itchy sores and red-stained sheets in their wake. The top exterminators can't eradicate them, they survive without food for months or even years, and they often hitch rides with fleeing… More >>
  • Best Rugby Player

    MARK GRIFFIN

    He came to New York for a 10-month bank gig, but six years later, the Englishman MARK GRIFFINis married to a Yank and plays for the U.S. rugby team—butting heads with world powers like England and Wales as he helps the U.S. "Eagles" qualify for the 2007 World Cup. Griffin's also the hooker for New York Old Blue, one of… More >>
  • Best Rodent Not Currently Residing Under Your Kitchen Sink

    NAKED MOLE RAT

    Bearing strong resemblance to an uncircumcised penis with an overbite, a NAKED MOLE RAT ain't pretty, but he sure is fascinating. These profoundly strange creatures are the only mammals that live in colonies like bees, run as fast backward as forward, and change physical size when moving up socially. Check 'em out at the Bronx Zoo; or if you're really… More >>
  • Best Baseball Player

    DAVID WRIGHT

    He hit .300, slugged .500, stole plenty of bases; and he's 22. DAVID WRIGHT also brings energy to the Mets that hasn't been seen around Shea in some time: He's the first out of the dugout to high-five a teammate after a homer; then he takes his place in the back of the line to give more love. The defensive… More >>
  • Best Real-Life Grizzly Adams

    PETER SCHAUBHUT

    Topped with chimney-smoke gray hair and matching shaggy beard, PETER SCHAUBHUT of East Village Veterinary doesn't coddle his patients. He scoops them up, speaks in a voice buried in gravel and granola, and makes his diagnosis. Dog, cat, and chinchilla regard him with a fearful respect—but usually melt with trust. After a visit, don't be surprised to find Doc Schaubhut… More >>
  • Best Jewish Boxer From New York Currently Fighting

    DMITRY SALITA

    He's got 17 straight wins, 11 by knockout, and is expected to be the welterweight champ before long; and where does DMITRY SALITA spend his Friday nights? At his Shabbat table in Brooklyn, blessing the Sabbath and deep in prayer. His bouts sell out with crowds chanting "Star of David" as if Salita is the reincarnation of Jewish immigrants who… More >>
  • Best Cell Phone Barker

    MOHAMMED

    Day or night, rain or snow, hot or cold, we see MOHAMMED, a hardworking immigrant from Ghana, standing on Second Avenue near the Ottendorfer Library, hawking phones for the store next door, Free Cell. We love his lilting accent and the way he inflects the phrase "Free cell phone, free cell phone." And he is always enthusiastic as he snaps… More >>
  • Best Sub-Zero Rabbi

    RABBI ABRAHAM ABRAHAM

    Coney Island Ice Breakers president RABBI ABRAHAM ABRAHAM swims every New Year's Day in the Atlantic; hoary and mustachioed, he also failed in his past attempt to win the world record for ice endurance when he spent over two days fasting in an ice hut. "If you eat [ice]," the Rabbi told reporters, "the blood goes into your kishkes." Which,… More >>
  • Best Shoe-Shining Trickster

    THE GUY AT 99TH STREET AND BROADWAY

    Even if you refuse a shoe shine, THE GUY AT 99TH STREET AND BROADWAY will get your money. He'll bet you that he can tell you exactly where you got your shoes. Sounds impossible, and he's a good talker, so you accept. The poor guy, you think. I won't take his money when he guesses wrong. "I'll tell you where… More >>
  • Best Old Man Living the Punk Lifestyle

    ZAK

    He may be 80 years old, but ZAK's the lead vocalist for Team Spider, a Lower East Side ska core band. With his bald head, sunken cheeks, and thick glasses, Zak seems somehow out of place with the other band members on stage. But his poetic lyrics—he's written over 5000 songs—and spoken-word delivery fit right in. Moshers love him, and… More >>
  • Best Harlem Street Vendor-Philosopher

    BEN ARMSTEAD

    He asks a lot of people the proverbial question: "What's your sign?" But the refreshing thing is that BEN ARMSTEAD is neither disgustingly drunk nor trying to have sex with you. He is trying to change your life. For 30-plus years now, Ben has set up his folding table, laid out his books (everything from Dostoyevsky to astrology), and sat… More >>
  • Best Bestselling Author

    PETER STRAUB

    Throw a stick in Park Slope and you'll hit a chick-lit author. Spit in Manhattan and you'll splatter an agent, or at least a latte-fetching intern. Though New York is the publishing capital of the country, it's tricky to find a local writer who (a) hits the bestseller lists and (b) is really good. But horror writer PETER STRAUB rocks… More >>
  • Best Blind Vendor

    OWEN MYRIE

    Order a Nutri-Grain Bar from OWEN MYRIE and he might request a little collaboration to locate your flavor of choice. "Where we at, my friend?" he'll ask. But Myrie, who runs a stand in a Tribeca court building, has most of his stock's layout memorized, down to the adjacent homes of Pepsi and Diet. And don't even think about passing… More >>
  • Best Under-the-Radar Local Literary Debut

    JOHN COTRONA

    Lost Positives comes from JOHN COTRONA, a Bronx Bukowski whose wisecracking narrators buzz with grudges but at least know that the secret to playing bass is leaving out notes. Buy his serenely corrosive collection (priced at $5) for the noir-punk ambience, the cover's Black Sparrow tactility, the periodic limpid American beauties: "For most of a thirteen hundred mile train ride,… More >>
  • Best Clairvoyant Performance-Prophet Cobbler

    LLORRAINE NEITHARDT

    Uncertain of your next step? Visit with cultural visionary and soul mentor LLORRAINE NEITHARDT. A longtime practitioner of astrology, numerology, tarot, aura reading, and Jungian techniques, Neithardt a few years back started doing shows at the Kitchen and added performance prophecy to her alchemy. Recently, she's taken to custom shoemaking. Scrunchy boots, slingback mules, fuck-me pumps—Neithardt knows what your dogs… More >>
  • Best Man in Pink

    MORTY DIAMOND

    Pink is the girliest, most feminine of colors, a sure sign of womanhood, right? Not on MORTY DIAMOND, the transman, porn director, and activist who's chosen to wear all-pink clothes every single day for a year in a bold, unique life-as-performance-art statement. He documents his sometimes humorous, sometimes frightening encounters on his blog, and he doesn't cheat on his pastel… More >>
  • Best East Village Witch

    LEXA ROSEAN

    When a website owed us money for two articles and we could not get paid, we did LEXA ROSEAN's spell to collect debts and got both checks within two weeks. When the apartment next door was vacant, we used one of her spells to attract quiet and sane neighbors. We're hooked. Rosean is a Wiccan high priestess and author of… More >>
  • Best Potty-Mouthed, Guitar-Slinging Comedian

    JESSY DELFINO

    Who else but JESSY DELFINO sings lyrics routinely invoking cocks, tits, vaginas, and rape—and makes them fall-off-your-chair hilarious? When Delfino gets onstage, she looks like any other humble East Village girl with a guitar, and lets you think she's sweet and innocent until a line like "my nipples are the clits of my tits" pops out. Funny and smutty, she's… More >>
  • Best News Correspondent on Brooklyn Community Access Television's 'Dance Hall World'

    FREEDOM

    The Dance Hall World newsgirls often get clumsy with the teleprompter, interrupting their retellings of the past week's wig-tossings and near-beatdowns at local dancehall events with dramatic pauses that kind of undermine the show's "no more drama" ethos. But FREEDOM's pauses leave space for facial gesturing and cervical contortions that add tonal depth (bemusement, agitation, consternation, etc.) to otherwise dry… More >>
  • Best Boss-Bashing Blogger

    "BEETLEBREAKFAST"

    Vice-riddled, relentlessly negative, and totally charming, anonymous Strand Bookstore employee "BEETLEBREAKFAST" offers us a reprieve from our comparatively negligible employment woes (not to mention insight into the legendary surliness of his breed). Semi-retired now, he assures his loyal readers he will return to his site sporadically because he believes in "everything it stands for as a forum. The immaturity, the… More >>
  • Best Old-School Anchorman

    CHUCK SCARBOROUGH

    The days of the Ron Burgundy­esque New York anchor are pretty much over. Jim Jensen and Roger Grimsby are dead, and Bill Beutel is retired. CHUCK SCARBOROUGH, though, keeps going strong. He started anchoring for WNBC in 1974, when ties were wide and sets were funky. Today, he is one of the most respected anchors in the country. And he… More >>
  • Best Polish Bartender Who Will Escort You Out by Your Ear If You're Bad

    LUCY

    She's got hair of steel, biceps that'd make Terrell Owens cower in fear, and a voice that empties dog parks. She's the ubiquitous LUCY, a woman who pours unpronounceable Polish alcohol like zywieck and zchvilvest till the river runs dry. Twice a year the joint shuts down for weeks at a time when Lucy is recharging in the old country.… More >>
  • Best Reason to Feel Guilty That You're Spending the Weekend in Your Underwear

    DAVID USHERY

    Every Saturday and Sunday, DAVID USHERY rolls into work at 6 a.m. to co-anchor WNBC's morning program Weekend Today in New York. Then he sticks around to co-anchor the 6 p.m. news. Whew, what a long day. But wait . . . is that him behind the desk at 11 p.m., too? How the hell does he do it? Chocolate-covered… More >>
  • Best Scavenger Archaeologists

    SCOTT JORDAN AND ANDY GOLDFRANK

    Everybody knows the saying about one man's trash. But it is doubtful Brooklynites of the 18th and 19th centuries could have predicted the lengths to which two men would go to extract it from the bowels of the five boroughs. For years, amateur treasure-hunters SCOTT JORDAN AND ANDY GOLDFRANK have scavenged the city's abandoned buildings, pulling up dozens of worthless… More >>
  • Best Reason to Get Sirius (Besides Stern)

    JIM BREUER

    Ever sit with your friends, light up a bowl, and talk about anything that comes to your half-toasted brain? Well, JIM BREUER does just that four days a week on his show Breuer Unleashed. Only the pot use is merely implied. And the conversation is much funnier. A master at storytelling, Breuer is equally riveting when he breaks out an… More >>
  • Best Sexy Crossword Puzzle Champ

    STELLA DAILY

    To take home the crown of puzzle champion of New York City, you gotta be quick, you gotta be smart, and generally you gotta have gray hair. Not this year. At the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, 27-year-old STELLA DAILY pummeled the crossword alter kockers by finishing seven puzzles in less than 10 minutes apiece. And during battle, this Brooklyn… More >>
  • Best Automated Voice

    U-SCAN LADY

    The U-SCAN LADY guides you step-by-step through the oh-so-difficult process of scanning your own groceries in the express lanes at large supermarkets. She seems nice enough, but it's hard to engage her in conversation, perhaps because she's so damn insistent that you "please place the item in the bag." She sounds tipsy when she asks, "Do you have any coooopons?"… More >>
  • Best Reason to Eavesdrop

    OVERHEARDINNEWYORK.COM

    Even fledgling New Yorkers had best ally themselves with contributors to OVERHEARDINNEWYORK.COM, quasi-malicious denizens bent on exposing the city's 8,000,000 stupid people like an Big Brother. Granted, tourists mistaking Union Square for Central Park most frequently comprise the laughable, but native idiots aplenty thrive, be they hobos waxing political, buxom middle-school prima donnas, or F-train circus runaways. Next time something… More >>
  • Best Place to See Girls in Short Skirts and Fishnets Tackle Each Other

    GOTHAM GIRLS ROLLER DERBY

    Fishnets, girls on wheels, and punching. It's Suicide Girls meets Fight Club, and it's redefining the list of things worth trekking to the Bronx to witness. The mavens of the GOTHAM GIRLS ROLLER DERBY league have reinvigorated the catfighting—broken noses, black eyes, and all. The matches come replete with beer, bands, and battling, updating the sport's 1960s girl-next-door image with… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Birthday Cake for Your Horny Uncle

    MASTURBAKERS

    Sharing space with Old Devil Moon, MASTURBAKERS offers "erotic" cakes with appropriate fillings (e.g., vanilla). Choices range from the "female torso" with optional lingerie, bikini, or corset (inscribed "tit's your birthday") to the biggest cake of them all, John Holmes ("a hard man is good to find"). Try imagining that gravelly voiced Carvel spokesperson fitting Fudgie the Whale into the… More >>
  • Best Way to Get Caught Cheating

    LASTNIGHTSPARTY.COM

    Some random night you'll don your weird little tight pants and muss your unique hairdo, and you'll thoughtlessly frolic with a verboten lover in plain view of snap-happy LASTNIGHTSPARTY.COM photographer Merlin Bronques. The flash will feel good, so you'll forget that you're cheating. Someone will e-mail your bf or gf a link to the picture: you in a back room… More >>
  • Best Boob Pumps

    UPPER BREAST SIDE

    The only store in America to carry Boob, the Swedish nursing line, UPPER BREAST SIDE has answers to all the important new-mom questions like "How do you breastfeed?" or "What do you do when your boobs are hanging down to your knees?" Bringing together the New York "lactivist" community, the shop stocks disposable nursing pads, nipple covers, slings, feeding bowls,… More >>
  • Best Hunger-Inducing Website

    SLICENY.COM

    No one in New York knows more about pizza than Adam Kuban, founder of SLICENY.COM, where he dishes daily on pizza news (Monica Lewinsky trying the pepperoni at Pizza by the Inch), trends, recipes, home-cooking tips, and restaurant openings along with organizing pizza road trips. From pizza pretzels to toppings galore to exhaustive taste comparisons, Slice pretty much has it… More >>
  • Best Blog About Non-Dating

    THE NONDATING LIFE

    Ken Wheaton talks about dating, but not about dates. In his blog THE NONDATING LIFE, Wheaton pontificates about relationships between men and women, but mostly in the context of how we screw things up for each other. Actually, it's mostly about how he screwed things up for himself in the past, but he is humorously able to make the lessons… More >>
  • Best Place to Smear Your Body With Chocolate

    JUST CALM DOWN

    With pedicures involving marshmallows (one between each toe), Bacardi, and fresh coconuts, JUST CALM DOWN gets young, svelte ladies to come in contact with food they would never normally touch. All treatments have embarrassingly adorable names like "The Grape Gatsby" (grapes are crushed with a mortar and pestle on-site) or "A Pumpkin for Your Thoughts." According to the owner, Tara… More >>
  • Best Cheap Place to Make Like a Pincushion

    PACIFIC COLLEGE OF ORIENTAL MEDICINE

    You've just visited the doctor and said, "Doc, it hurts when I do this." He replies, "Then don't do that." You're fed up and beginning to sound like an old lady chanting "Oy vey, Artie!" Ever thought about acupuncture? Oh, so you're the "but I hate to commit" or "it's too expensive" type. How about trying the PACIFIC COLLEGE OF… More >>
  • Best Dating Blog by an Anonymous Person

    THE ANONYMOUS BLOGGER

    People who encounter THE ANONYMOUS BLOGGER usually find out a few things right away. He's 34, works in New York, and likes comic books and stand-up comedy. He also thinks it's unfair that women don't have to pay on dates. After his online matches crash and burn, he writes about them, along with theories on why the sexes don't connect.… More >>
  • Best Intersection to Please a Woman

    RIVINGTON AND LUDLOW

    Common wisdom dictates that the way to a woman's heart is through Bergdorf's and Tiffany's, but if you're going less for prestige than unadulterated joy, take her down to the corner of RIVINGTON AND LUDLOW. To the east, Economy Candy; to the west, female-friendly sex-toy mecca Babeland (formerly "Toys in . . ."). After all, Gucci is great, but nothing… More >>
  • Best Collection of Sex Books and Sex Education Courses for Women

    BABELAND UNIVERSITY

    Learn how to use all those gadgets they sell at Babeland and how to get more mileage from your natural parts. BABELAND UNIVERSITY offers one-night workshops in anal sex, cunnilingus, fellatio, s/m—and they have a great assortment of how-to books. No one will forget to do this homework. Also located at: 43 Mercer Street, Manhattan. 212-966-2120.… More >>
  • Best Well-Written Blog That Still Shows the T&A

    BAZIMA

    Blaise K., the proprietress of BAZIMA with the quick, hilarious wit and gift for spot-on blog posts, came to the realization last year that writing is hard but kept wrestling with her iBook. There were tales of really bad sex ("beer-can dick"), a campaign to save Katie Holmes, text messages that would make Nokia blush and, finally, t&a. There she… More >>
  • Best Education for Perverts

    EULENSPIEGEL SOCIETY

    Whether you want to learn about spanking, bondage, role-playing, dominance and submission, pony play, or any other kinky skill, look no further than the long-running, wide-ranging EULENSPIEGEL SOCIETY, better known as TES. This organization features members of all sexual stripes (though is primarily heterosexually oriented), with special-interest groups for every conceivable erotic fetish. They welcome beginners, so you can dive… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Aroused by Writing Instruments

    FOUNTAIN PEN HOSPITAL

    Pen perverts have been hitting the FOUNTAIN PEN HOSPITAL for a quick fix since 1946. Their shiny glass cases house hundreds of sexy fountain pens from Aurora to Waterman, and they don't mind (too much) if you salivate over the curvy bodies and rich lacquers. For a strangely sensual experience, check out the Namiki-Pilot Vanishing Point Collection, which features fountain… More >>
  • Best Bootylicious Mannequins

    J.M.N. FASHION

    Thought all mannequins were designed with the shape of an anorexic, 14-year-old white girl? No more! For those who salivate over J.Lo, the plastic vixens in the windows of J.M.N. FASHION have the plump, heart-shaped asses dreams are made of. The curves not only sex up the windows, they also show how the jeans will hug your butt, rather than… More >>
  • Best Place to Rent a Man You Can Control

    NEW YORK PUPPET LIBRARY

    Need a giant bridegroom to pop the question to your honey? How about a towering skeleton and pack of devil dogs for a festive baby shower? At the NEW YORK PUPPET LIBRARY all these things and more can be had for scant suggested donation and a chat with Theresa Linnihan, the pleasant proprietor. Climbing into the clandestine location is an… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up Recent College Grads

    WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK ON NYU GRADUATION DAY

    They're naive, nubile, and approaching a quarter-life crisis. Recent graduates are perfect for a sexy summer fling! Disregard the Barney-purple robes carpeting WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK ON NYU GRADUATION DAY; underneath, the youngsters hunger for life experience. One drawback: You can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone deep in debt, but face it—you're not looking for a sugar daddy. You… More >>
  • Best Boosters of Ass-Esteem

    BLOOMINGDALE'S SOHO SALESGIRLS

    Who says upscale retail workers have to be snotty? The Calvin Klein­clad beauties at the downtown Bloomie's will take one look at your untoned tush and hand you four pairs of positively perfect jeans. Flattering, friendly, and attentive, the BLOOMINGDALE'S SOHO SALESGIRLS will make sure you leave feeling like a million bucks (and toting at least half a mil' in… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up Girls From New Jersey

    PASTIS

    A strong case can be made to New Jersey Transit for putting a PATH stop right on Gansevoort. The meatpacking district could certainly fund the effort through a "quarter at the door" tax. Better yet, maybe the train should cut to the chase and let out directly under PASTIS, Mr. McNally's seminal bistro which, when relatively quiet on, say, a… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up Cute Israeli Girls

    EL AL TERMINAL

    Tired of the Murray Hill bar scene? Exhausted all that the East 30s have to offer? Take the shuttle to the EL AL TERMINAL at Newark Airport for the genuine article. Several times a day El Al flights arrive from the Holy Land packed with girls who don't know you from Adam. Shalom!… More >>
  • Best Place to Avoid Farting

    QUIET PARTY

    The QUIET PARTY's creators bill their Silent Dating as a unique scene and cultural phenomenon. Guests use paper and pens to scribble notes to each other in absolute silence. This quirky way of meeting people is a great way to break the ice, but what happens if you need to, uh, break wind? Best to skip that heavy meal at… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up Girls Who Missed the Hamptons Jitney

    VIG BAR

    Situated in the heart of chic Nolita, the VIG BAR has long been a mecca of second-rate weekend talent. These girls don't have summer shares in the Hamptons and they don't want to know if you do either. They're just "like, so happy to be here!" Which isn't to say they aren't self-conscious about the whole thing.… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Bi if You're Straight

    MISSHAPES

    Yes, MISSHAPES, the Saturday night dance party that never ends. You stare at their online photos and wonder why you, too, aren't kissing that hot Asian girl with asymmetrical bangs. This weekly fete, located inside Luke & Leroy, is host to everyone from undernourished boys in baby tees to Yoko Ono. As you sway to Morrissey in the dark, your… More >>
  • Best Weird Place to Smell Horseshit

    TRIBECA POLICE STABLES

    As supermodels trot past with babies and boyfriends, you smell something. Sniff, sniff. What is that? Smells like horseshit! It is! It's the TRIBECA POLICE STABLES, the downtown home of horse crap and live horses. The inquisitive Tribeca pedestrian will, peeking, spy an incongruous tableau: wood stalls, hay, feed, and of course, the lucky mammals used for mounted urban police… More >>
  • Best Rooftop From Which to Exclaim That You're a Big Dyke

    CATTYSHACK - CLOSED

    Certainly there is a Sapphic shout-out emanating from at least one rooftop in Park Slope nightly, but we're talking the best here—and that would be at CATTYSHACK, the latest carpet-muncher club to hit the 718. Staked with spartan chain-link fencing and aspiring L Word extras sucking on cigs, Cattyshack's outside oasis has an industrial Cell Block H feel. Get ready… More >>
  • Best New Gay Party Night

    RUNT

    At 5'8" I'm Mr. Average as height goes, but sometimes I feel almost Brobdingnagian at RUNT, the weekly fagbash for little guys and their crew at Nowhere, hosted by popdaddy Stephin Merritt (5'3") of the Magnetic Fields et al., and former ABC member David Yarritu (5'0"). Featuring excellent tunes spun by adorable DJ MattChew, T-shirts emblazoned with mildly smutty slogans… More >>
  • Best Place to Witness a Public Enema

    DESALVIO PLAYGROUND

    Why do little kids like to sit on fountains? I guess it tickles, like the jets in a pool. Sitting on a bench in DESALVIO PLAYGROUND on a summer day, you'll see plenty of kids nest on the hard spray and then take off without incident. Enter the naked kid. He was squatting happily on that fountain for a good… More >>
  • Best Blind Date Bar

    VON

    If Dreamboat walks in, VON's candlelit nooks are perfect for smooching in. If not, Von is too dark and everyone is too caught up in their pinot noir to notice your awkward greeting or your date's attempt at '80s chic. Escape is easy: Fake a bathroom break and sneak out the bar's back door. A stylish, surly Chimay drinker may… More >>
  • Best Bar Bathroom to Get Lucky In

    M BAR

    Feeling frisky but too far from home? The restrooms at M BAR are perfect for a little mid-party naughtiness. The two, single-occupant, unisex bathrooms—ideal so you won't hold up the line when you and your "friend" disappear into one of them for an extended amount of time—are clean and surprisingly large. Unfortunately, since last year's renovations, the '70s-porn wallpaper has… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Pimples Squeezed by Attractive Yet Stern European Women

    MONIQUE K SKIN CARE INCORPORATED

    Getting a facial is a somewhat masochistic exercise. You pay a lot of money for someone to decide that your skin is in terrible shape, strap you in a small claustrophobic room with steam blasting on your nose, your hands wrapped in gooey cream and stuck in hot glove warmers. And then, to make matters more humiliating, they pop your… More >>
  • Best Hidden S/M­Themed Lounge

    UNCLE MING'S

    Upon returning from an Asian sex tourism vacation, two college friends opened UNCLE MING'S, named for a man they had met abroad who could "get you whatever you wanted." An unmarked, bouncer-less second-floor space, Uncle Ming's encourages seediness, and boasts of women sporadically dancing atop the bar. Decor-wise this translates into a mannequin in s/m gear towering over the bar… More >>
  • Best Eurozombie Grindhouse Semi-Pornographic DVD Publishers

    MEDIA-BLASTERS

    As with all cineastes, few things annoy me more than watching the climactic intestine-vomiting scene in a film and recognizing the viscera in question as fake latex crap instead of real pig guts. Thank Sweet Zombie Jesus for MEDIA-BLASTERS, who are bringing to these shores classics like the hentai anime feast Princess 69(it's about a gymnastics class, and enemas) and… More >>
  • Best Bracing Brazilian Bikini Wax

    EVE

    There is nothing like the dread a woman feels before a Brazilian wax. At EVE, though, the burn is worth it. The results are flawless—after, of course, a brusque Russian beautician informs you she "[doesn't] work with panties" and expertly twists you into embarrassing positions, never stopping to let you breathe. It hurts, but it's over before you can say,… More >>
  • Best Complimentary Porn

    ST. MARKS HOTEL

    A room in ST. MARKS HOTEL affords more for your $100 cash than the dorm-y cooler and free HBO. Beside a framed photo of a woman—face-down, Beyoncé-worthy booty up, out, and nekked—turn on the high, um, mounted TV. One channel runs a seemingly endless loop of comp'd porn. Grainy and colorless, it plays like Ron Jeremy's Eraserhead. But if you… More >>
  • Best Porn Star Named After a Borough

    BROOKLYN

    She's yet to do a film with a gentrification theme (suggested title: Bushwick), but Los Angeles resident BROOKLYN resembles folks wandering the hippest streets of her East Coast moniker. Embodying the ubiquitous punk-porn aesthetic (she models for Queens-based Burning Angel), the pierced, tattooed twentysomething (who says she lost her virginity to Social Distortion) was cover girl for the non-straight-edge Eon… More >>
  • Best Yoga-less Yoga

    DAHN CENTERS

    These days there's hot yoga, nude yoga, yoga with fruit at the bottom. It's easy to throw your hands up in disgust (which I'm sure is an actual yoga position). Want something a little more cerebral? DAHN CENTERS may be the answer. Dahn Yoga, or Dahnhak, is the study of energy (Ki, Chi) and how to use it for empowerment… More >>
  • Best Strippers Who Haven't Been Under the Knife

    PUSSYCAT LOUNGE

    Now we know how those CCNY coeds are paying for their paralegal degrees. They're dancing enthusiastically if inexpertly at the PUSSYCAT LOUNGE. There are skinny ones, jiggly ones, rhythmless ones, and one who insists on dressing like a kitten. If the amateur-night feel gets old (it shouldn't!), there are also some pretty decent rock and roll shows on the floor… More >>
  • Best Peeping-Tom Spot

    165 CHARLES STREET

    Who pays up to $20 million for real estate property that lacks privacy? The future residents of architect Richard Meier's latest building, 165 CHARLES STREET. Meier has created the perfect setting for exhibitionists and the voyeurs who love them. Each apartment is encircled with 10-foot-high windows so that the entire building is clear. Sure, you'll have breathtaking views from your… More >>
  • Best Way to Get HIV Test Results Within the Hour

    GAY MEN'S HEALTH CRISIS

    Trust your HIV testing to the very experienced folks at Gay Men's Health Crisis, who provide free, rapid testing to queers and straights alike. Arrive early on Wednesdays, Fridays, or Saturdays for a same-day appointment or call ahead to be seen the following week. Either way, results are delivered within 60 minutes.… More >>
  • The Best Piers

    Down at the waterline, quietude and camaraderie haunted by tragedy and mystery

    One of the hardest things to do in New York is to not look at other people; they are omnipresent and endlessly fascinating. But should you manage to look away, you might notice that for five boroughs on three islands (and one peninsula), you almost never see water. There are fantastic socioeconomic reasons for this, mainly involving commerce's need for… More >>
  • The End of the Line

    What you'll see when your subway car has gone as far as a subway car can go

    It's three o'clock on a balmy Sunday morning, and after hitting the majority of bars between Avenue C and the West Village, you slur to your friends that you're going home. Too cheap to spring for a cab, you stumble toward the subway, thinking that someone must have poured concrete into your legs, which as you fall through the turnstile… More >>
  • Roads to Nowhere

    The one-block streets of Manhattan, almost over before they begin

    Manhattan's a fairly easy town to navigate. Straight lines, sequentially numbered streets, and (OK, sometimes haphazardly) numbered avenues. The Energizer Bunny could feel right at home on, say, Eighth Avenue or 14th Street, both of which keep going and going and going. It's only when you fall off the grid—and into the Lower East Side, the West Village, Tribeca, and… More >>
  • Don't Get Caught Napping

    The untold legend of Room 207, and other supposedly free places to sleep when you have no bed

    These are stories no one should share. But as with hugs, or ice cream, or facts about lyme disease, we'll all be better off if I do. Twenty-three years in this game, I've had my fill of follies and first-degree murder sentences. But what shames me most, still, was my bout with homelessness from September 2004 through March 22, 2005,… More >>
  • Creepy Island Hopping

    In still waters surrounding the city, eerie lumps of land harbor secrets you never imagined

    New York's 40 or so outlying islands, constructed from glacial erosion or garbage and subway ruins, were once home to quarantined typhoid victims, imprisoned mobsters, doomed pirates, impoverished lunatics, and breeding birds. While some have been rehabilitated, many have languished, if not sunk. Those islands that are still accessible contain ravaged architecture, chronic criminals, and wild landscapes. All make for… More >>
  • The Best Ghost Towns in Town

    Hidden in the city that never sleeps, isolated urban outposts that never wake up

    Who doesn't want to be Richard Neville, last human on earth and hero of the 1954 horror classic, I Am Legend? Minus the bloodsucking vampires who keep Neville company, the novel's stripped urban landscape is a paradise. Ordinarily, only massive grid failure can empty the five boroughs. So it was in the blackout of 2003: the day milk went bad… More >>
  • Alien Architecture

    A frightened Gotham faces the invasion of the building snatchers

    I've never been tense about a planetoid before, but now I am—what with its swing out of orbit and all. The Astor Place tower (Astor Place and Lafayette Street) is disguised to take power from the earth and impose world domination. Other new towers like the Time Warner Center (Columbus Circle) are in league. It started when aliens from another… More >>
  • Your Shore

    Best obscure little Manhattan beaches to watch the tide come in and contemplate your insignificance in the universe

    Heading north on the Hudson River path one recent muggy evening, a jogger recoiled at a piercing scream. Timorously, she approached the likely source—two female runners, one of them calling out hysterically and gesturing toward the dense shoreline brush north of the 59th Street sanitation garage. "Call 911," the apparent screamer was crying out, "he's dead!" A passing cyclist with… More >>
  • Best West Village Development

    THE BRECHT FORUM

    Gentrification of the Far West Village might be out of control, but not every conversion has resulted in a megabucks, view-blocking condo project. One location that Richard Meier hasn't gotten his modernist paws on is a former gym in Westbeth. After a two-year search for a new home, the lefties of THE BRECHT FORUM have a newly renovated, airy space… More >>
  • Best East Village Block Reminiscent of the Good Old Days

    EAST 4TH STREET BETWEEN SECOND AND THIRD AVENUES

    One last slice of old East Village—EAST 4TH STREET BETWEEN SECOND AND THIRD AVENUES—recalls what the entire East Village looked like in the '70s and '80s, before the yuppies, before the condos, before sushi and $10 salads: tenement buildings and storefronts with haircutters, galleries, theaters, music stores, vintage shops, a food co-op, a coffeehouse, and a bodega. Being anchored by… More >>
  • Best New Neighborhood Group for Sensible Development

    STABLE BROOKLYN

    The next Brooklyn neighborhood to fall prey to the land grab is East Windsor Terrace, home to the historic and now threatened Kensington horse stables. A recent community walking tour highlighted five lots in four square blocks slated for development. A determined collection of community agitators who call themselves STABLE BROOKLYN is the only thing standing in the way of… More >>
  • Best Weird Neighbors

    STUDENTS FROM NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL LIVING IN A DORM NEXT TO THE HELL'S ANGELS

    With STUDENTS FROM NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL LIVING IN A DORM NEXT TO THE HELL'S ANGELS building on East 3rd Street soon, we can't wait to see what happens when a student or parent unknowingly parks his or her car in the spots "reserved" for their bikes.… More >>
  • Best Gentrification-Protest Graffiti

    "CAUTION: VILLAGE PEOPLE"

    Williamsburg we call Villainsburg now, our hands split like Spock's for the V that speaks our infamy—or at least our love of gay disco. Listen, if the city insists on building waterfront high-rises here, we insist on adding bushy black-marker moustaches to every hard-hatted man on those "Caution: Men at Work" signs. Bloomberg, take note: The one on North 7th… More >>
  • Best Tool for the Disoriented

    CITY COMPASS­NEW YORK

    Let's face it, to most of us uptown is the true north. That's why CITY COMPASS­NEW YORK points you there. Great for tourists, or those who always get confused coming out of the subway.… More >>
  • Best Reason to Hang a Banner Out the Window of Your Brooklyn Brownstone

    ATLANTIC YARDS PROTEST

    Now that the West Side Stadium war is history, the battlefront shifts to Brooklyn where the brownstone troops of the ATLANTIC YARDS PROTEST are rallying against Bruce Ratner's proposed basketball arena over the Atlantic Avenue rail yards. Tell the developer and his good buddy Borough President Marty Markowitz how you feel about eminent-domain abuse with a front-stoop slogan cooked up… More >>
  • Best Subway Station Waste of MTA Dollars

    21ST STREET

    During peak hours, the ghostly 21ST STREET stop on the G-stands-for-grimy-not-glamorous line in Queens functions as a resting point for trains crossing over at the line's nearby Court Square endpoint—which is only a few yards away! Enter during off-peak hours when the train adheres to its deeper-into-Queens route and you may suffer the fate of a woman who was assaulted… More >>
  • Best Landmark Yet to Be Exploited

    THE HIGH LINE

    Running 22 blocks at some spots, THE HIGH LINE survives as a broken-down but not forgotten elevated rail track along the West Side. For decades, it has been true to its moniker as the source of fierce debate, pie-in-the-sky prospecting, and lofty activist ambitions. Some want nothing more than to see it torn down. Others would love to see it… More >>
  • Best Unnecessary but Totally Rad Use of the City's Money

    MOVING WALKWAY BETWEEN THE G STOP AT LONG ISLAND CITY­COURT SQUARE AND THE E/V STOP AT 23RD STREET­ELY IN LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS

    Riding the MOVING WALKWAY BETWEEN THE G STOP AT LONG ISLAND CITY­COURT SQUARE AND THE E/V STOP AT 23RD STREET­ELY IN LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS, won't shave more than 30 seconds off your commute, but it will kinda make you feel like you're flying, in both the I-have-wings sense and the I'm-at-the-airport sense. Also, the walkway moves faster than most… More >>
  • Best Power Play

    SHELDON SILVER

    Years of work by hundreds of people vanished in an instant when State Assembly Speaker and LES legislator SHELDON SILVER killed off the Jets stadium and the NYC 2012 Olympic bid with a non-wave of his hand. Isn't it just terrible how Albany concentrates so much power in the hands of so few people?… More >>
  • Best Bill Designed to Have Women Simultaneously Drop Their Pants

    THE WOMEN'S RESTROOM EQUITY BILL

    In May 2005, the City Council passed THE WOMEN'S RESTROOM EQUITY BILL, popularly dubbed the Potty Parity bill, which will require certain new buildings (and ones undergoing major renovations that can accommodate over 150 patrons) to have a two-to-one ratio of women's to men's facilities. Of course there are exemptions, but here's to a new era of happy flushing.… More >>
  • Best Hijacking of Public Art

    THE NYC2012 CAMPAIGN

    One day in March, the Metronome clock at Union Square began an ominous countdown to an unknown event 100 days away, leaving mystified New Yorkers wondering what would happen June 6. A garish banner courtesy of THE NYC2012 CAMPAIGN finally explained it: The big event was the announcement of the host city for the 2012 Olympics. Once London won the… More >>
  • Best Local Politics Blog

    POLITICKER

    By his own admission, the New York Observer's Ben Smith doesn't have much competition for the title, but his POLITICKER blog is the most efficient way to take what passes for a pulse in this moribund mayoral election. It's not just news: The comments section has become the trash-talking back alley for the insiders whose lives revolve around this stuff.… More >>
  • Best Bitter Art Piece That Wants to Make You Feel Guilty About 9-11

    TEN LIGHTBOXES PERCHED ON THE RAILING AS YOU CROSS THE PULASKI BRIDGE

    Stop and peer into the TEN LIGHTBOXES PERCHED ON THE RAILING AS YOU CROSS THE PULASKI BRIDGE on foot. They contain a series of time-lapse photos documenting the July 2001 demolition of Greenpoint's "Twin Towers"—two 400-foot-tall gas silos, also known as the Maspeth Holders. The towers explode and then collapse, eerily prefiguring the events of 9-11. The display text notes… More >>
  • Best Local News E-mail Update

    BACON & EGGS

    One measure of the Working Families Party's influence over the progressive movement in New York is the degree to which those who need to know rely on BACON & EGGS, the WFP's free daily e-mail summary of what's in the papers, to get their news. On issues like Social Security and the civil war in Big Labor, it can't be… More >>
  • Best Matzoh-Based Performance Art

    SHATZER MATZOH

    The tasteless wafers are ridiculously overpriced, but make the trip to SHATZER MATZOH just to see the production line at work. I know I'm a goy and all, but little boys with wooden sticks, a digital clock counting down in 18-minute chunks—it's some elaborate art project, right? When someone shoved a yarmulke in my hands, it was some weird Brechtian… More >>
  • Best Leftist Message Board

    NYPROTEST

    It's a slow afternoon, and what's a bored radical to do? Check her e- mail for riseup.net's NYPROTEST, a daily digest of progressive demonstrations and events. Hmm, maybe a Muslim women's speakout against stereotypes, or a rally to end military recruiting on CUNY campuses, or a party to benefit a legal fund for political prisoners. If ever you thought the… More >>
  • Best Self-Esteem Booster for Jews

    HEEB MAGAZINE

    No amount of Hanukkah gelt can make up for the albatross of uncoolness we Chosen People often suffer under (must be our overbearing mothers). But HEEB MAGAZINE, with its snarky takes on Jewish politics ("Joe Lieberman Is a Dickhead"), society ("JAPs Gone Wild!"), and culture ("Why Do So Many Goddamn Jews Love Billy Joel?") is helping even the biggest-nosed, hairiest-backed… More >>
  • Best Political Coffeehouse

    VOX POP - CLOSED

    Java joints often brew an activist vibe. But Ditmas Park's VOX POP trumps the caffeinated competition with its slogan "Books, Coffee, Democracy," its progressive readings and performances, its press (with titles like American Assassination: The Strange Death of Senator Paul Wellstone), its self-publish Instabook machine and, best of all, its proud Wobbly staff, members of IWW 660. Good luck getting… More >>
  • Best Priests to Help You Feel Proud to Be a Catholic

    ARCHBISHOP SULLIVAN AND FATHER O'SHEA

    If you're Catholic and politically progressive, you're used to finding yourself opposing your church on social issues. Tired of butting heads over abortion and gay marriage? Try donating some time to ARCHBISHOP SULLIVAN AND FATHER O'SHEA's Churches United for Fair Housing—which recently united the Hispanic, Polish, Hasidic, and hipster communities in the fight for inclusionary zoning in Greenpoint and Williamsburg—and… More >>
  • Best Imitation Starbucks

    CAFÉ ANGELIQUE

    In the heart of the West Village there lies a coffee shop that serves virtually the same drinks as Starbucks at virtually the same prices. At CAFÉ ANGELIQUE the names have changed, but the tastes are the same. The employees even wear matching hats. Just don't ask them for a grande coffee or you will be asked to leave.… More >>
  • Best Hope for Sensible Christianity

    FATHER JULIO TORRES

    In a country as tweaked on Talibanian ruh-li-gin as ours, FATHER JULIO TORRES gets an "amen." The El Salvadoran reverend of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery doesn't subject his flock to fear and brimstone but to Christian teachings conveyed in an inclusive manner. Warm, funny, and devout, he encourages discussion and interfaith awareness, Buddhism in particular. And he's also a husband… More >>
  • Best Progressive Pub Party

    DRINKING LIBERALLY

    With the catchy slogan "Promoting Democracy One Pint at a Time," DRINKING LIBERALLY has been promoting a slightly sizzled exchange of ideas since 2002. This NYC-born phenomenon, in which like-minded individuals gather to raise wrists and political questions, has ballooned to locations in 37 states. The eight New York locations include Rudy's, the Bohemian Beer Garden, and Commonwealth.… More >>
  • Best Church to Attend Once a Year

    TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET

    It's been a while since you set foot in a church, and longer since you enjoyed it—at least not since confirmation class found you gulping down mouthfuls of Christ's blood (a/k/a cream sherry). But now and again, every Christian soldier appreciates a little spurring onward, and there's no better spot for high-church grandeur sans high-church haughtiness than TRINITY CHURCH WALL… More >>
  • Best NYC Contributor to Bush's "Healthy Forest Initiative"

    ASIAN LONG-HORNED BEETLE

    This creepy crawly isn't on the Bush Administration payroll, but it should be. Introduced into the area in 1996, the ASIAN LONG-HORNED BEETLE is a lean, mean, tree-killing machine. Its one-inch-long body packs a punch: Once it tunnels into the trunk, the tree is dead. If the parasite spreads, it could devastate our national forests. Luckily, the infestation is still… More >>
  • Best House of Worship That Used to Be a Movie Palace

    PALACE CATHEDRAL

    Much like the late Dr. Gene Scott saved the United Artists Theatre in Los Angeles, Reverend Ike has graciously preserved the former Loews 175th as PALACE CATHEDRAL, a logical extension of cinema-as-beacon-for-humanity. Consuming an entire city block, the 3,300-plus-seat theater is a 1930s panoply of Chinese, Indian, and Mayan design elements, bagging your slackjawed "whoa!" as its dome becomes visible… More >>
  • Best Bar in Which to Save the Planet While Having a Drink

    HABANA OUTPOST

    You'd normally expect an earth-friendly bar to be filled with foul-smelling hippies. But HABANA OUTPOST in Fort Greene is the exception. The bar (and adjoining artisans market) is solar powered, leftover food is composted, alternative plastic and paper products are used, and the juice-bar blender is powered by a bicycle. But plan ahead—they're only open Thursday through Saturday from May… More >>
  • Best Tree to Bliss Out Under

    HARE KRISHNA TREE

    While India has its sacred Bodhi tree (where Buddha attained enlightenment), New York has its very own HARE KRISHNA TREE, an American elm so magnificent it inspired legions of Krishna converts to eat oversweetened food and beg in airports. On October 9, 1966, Hindu guru Swami Prabhupada and a group of hippie disciples—among them Allen Ginsberg—gathered under this tree in… More >>
  • Best Attempt to Dissolve Red-State Stereotypes

    TEXAS'S CAMPAIGN DONATIONS TO SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON

    Any Lone Star Staters worth their weight in chewing tobacco would be quick to tell you that the Bush family is from Maine, not Texas, but that's neither here nor there. TEXAS'S CAMPAIGN DONATIONS TO SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON came in second only to New York's. And sure, perhaps those dollars might have been better suited to unseating Tom DeLay, but… More >>
  • Best Free Freakish Christian Propaganda

    CHICK PUBLICATIONS

    Fag-bashers masquerading as Christ's witnesses, CHICK PUBLICATIONS sully subways with cartoon-strip "tracts" condemning everything from Halloween (too pagan) to Muslims (not Christian enough) to Darwin and evolution (too faggy?). A good start: "Love the Jewish People," which first states, "God will destroy the Vatican just before the second coming of the Messiah," then explains the Almighty's "curse" on England: "She… More >>
  • Best Now-and-Forever Anti-Ashcroft Anthem

    "HEY! JOHN ASHCROFT!"

    Brooklyn-based American Ambulance's twangy "HEY! JOHN ASHCROFT!" surfaced last year and has taken on the ring of a classic; straightforward logic ("It ain't honoring the dead to take away the rights of the living") pairs with a chorus ("You can kiss my ass!") that will help you cope with the horrors that remain, even after John's long gone.… More >>
  • Best Street Preacher

    THE 'I LOVE YOU' GUY

    The smartly dressed minister of the Lord and Savior tirelessly canvasses Morningside Heights, Bible in hand, repeatedly yelling, "I love you, I love you", like a skipping record. THE 'I LOVE YOU' GUY does this loudly enough that you can hear him coming blocks before you see him. This display of unbridled feeling is oddly comforting until you're hit with… More >>
  • Best Place to Quietly Read About Going to War

    CHARTWELL

    Catering primarily to rich men over 50, CHARTWELL specializes in rare books about macho war figures in England who speak eloquently and use good-old-fashioned weapons—none of that fancy stuff. The store has the largest selection of Churchill books in the world and significant sections devoted to "Aircraft," "Motor," and all the 20th-century wars that involved white people.… More >>
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