Location East Village
Rent $900 (rent-stabilized)
Square feet 350 (two rooms in tenement)
Occupant Joshua Suzanne (owner, Rags-A-GoGo)
Here we are on gummy St. Marks Place. There’s a tattoo place right in your building, how convenient. Isn’t it! I wanted to put a lot of tapestry in the kitchen. You’ll find there are a lot of deer in tapestry. Here’s a little Davy Crockett hat, the cups with the naked girls in the woods on them, little Boy Scout things happening here. [She snaps on an illuminated globe.] History 101. [We walk toward the living area.] I describe this area as going almost from the gladiator Romanesque act-of-conquering feel into cowboy meets crusader, 1779 kind of meets 1976, overtures of conquistadores . . .
You arrived in New York in 1989 with two garbage bags and $300 in cash. I’d been traveling at that point. My stop for ’89 was New York City. I think the reason me and my apartment are so revolutionary is because I was born 14 hours before President Kennedy was killed. As I came into this world, the energy was turning into revolution. For when we are little, little, little . . .
Where were you little? West Dennis, Cape Cod.
Your photo album—children staring at a cake, a spice rack, café curtains, your little dress with the puffed sleeves. I’m holding a pencil. I got an Easy-Bake oven for my birthday.
Family photos always have that misty sense of we’re blowing out the candles now and we have no idea what is going to happen next. Your business is secondhand clothes. How do you deal with all the memory? There’s a nylon dress and then you have to think about how it was worn by someone high on too much coke, lying on polyfiber shag carpeting in a third-ring suburb in the townhouse of some vice cop on the take. I never did heavy drugs. I wanted to either be a surgeon—I don’t have the math—or a rock star, something really famous. I’ve been driven by a vision to do really great things with my life, create a really great secondhand store. [She goes to her closet and pulls out a maroon band majorette costume with gold letters that read “Leroy.”] I will wear this. A skirt was made for me to wear with it, out of old sheepskins. In general, the clothes we carry are very functional for a functioning society.
Your dream. I want to be the Disney of erotic and skin music. I’m interested in creating a whole new business, Petting-party.com, all streaming on the computer. The whole digital age is right at our doorstep. When winter enters like a lion—that is the digital age upon us. Everything as we know it is about to become one. I’m not a computer expert. I don’t even have an e-mail address, but screens are everywhere. The only thing that isn’t being revived is sex. I’m concerned about the younger generations growing up with the nature of what sex is today. It’s about time to get back to sex, many partners or just one. How sex can be more playful.
Aren’t there still the same old handcuffs, the same old harnesses? I hate to put it too hard, but the image of some guy taking some chick and ramming himself into her—come baby suck my really big dick. I got an SUV and a big cock and you want it in your throat, baby, we’re tough and we’re American and we’re coming after you ’cause you’ve got a big cock and we’re going to fuck your brains out. I feel like someone has to do something about this, and that someone is me. People think I’m going soft and vanilla. You can have hardcore sex that’s not degrading. For me, the whole premise of Petting-party.com is to keep it really hot and . . .
Will you be shooting it in the home? Hopefully, I’ll be getting to a point where I’ll be shooting this worldwide.