Saturday, February 16, 2008
so take a look at me now:
Googling around for something Tanya wrote that I could link to in the previous post, I saw that in October, Fishbowl asked whatever happened to New York Press's roster of late-1990s/early 00s all-stars. (Or, as Slivka used to say, its "community of writers.") It gives a pretty good rundown of some of them, very conspicuously neglecting moi, so fuck Fishbowl -- actually, in truth, my college ass was barely worth mentioning during my time on the NYP payroll -- but misses a couple of the worthies. "Does anyone out there have any information on what Andrey Slivka, Tanya Richardson, Alan Cabal or Zach Parsi is up to?" Some of em, yeah.

Slivka: He's in Kiev. Flipped out after 9/11 and decamped to Ukraine, where he edited (edits?) the Kiev Post. Finishing up his novel, which he emailed to me but I haven't gotten around to reading yet. (Sorry, homie! I'm on that shit, I promise!) Rumor has it he and his wife (!) are going to come back to the U.S. to sell some pilfered uranium to the highest bidder.

Tanya: Sadly, we haven't been in touch since Thanksgiving 2003. Her 2002 wedding to Mike Wartella -- who just never liked me -- remains the best I've ever attended, especially the dirty dancing to "Crimson & Clover." I heard she abandoned her legendary rock & roll lifestyle and started editing a magazine about angels on Earth. Tanya, if you're reading this, Daria and I miss you and don't know how to get in touch with you.

Zach Parsi: Who the fuck is that?

Alan Cabal: I have no idea what he's doing. I truly hope he's still alive. I loved that guy. He really was crazy. My favorite Cabal story: in the fall of 1999, I was opening NYP's mail, with stars in my eyes and fever-dreams of one day writing for the paper. I also happened to be writing for my school paper, and around this time there was yet another scandal in Camden, with the mayor selling crack or something. My assignment was to find some kind of how-does-this-affect-Rutgers angle. Meanwhile, Cabal came into the office and mentioned something to C.J. Sullivan (also a great guy) about his time in college in Camden being the high point of his drug use. One thing led to another, and soon I was interviewing Cabal -- on background! -- about how the contemporary Camden drug scandal was nothing like the 70s, when Cabal dealt out of his Rutgers dorm. The quote that made it into the Targum was like, "I sold pure pharmaceutical methedrine to biker gangs." (Yeah, so I just broke ground rules. Whatever.)

Fishbowl also doesn't mention some of the NYP all-stars that it should. To wit...

Rich Byrne: Now at the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Holds court at finer DC bars and listservs. I talk to Rich like daily. Whenever we're at a party he requests the story about Taki calling me from Gstaad. And speaking of: Hey! Strausbaugh! Holler at your boy.

Lisa Kearns: Don't know where she is, but God I miss her. One of the purest hearts, hardest heads and strongest backs in journalism.

Daria Vaisman: My best friend and practically my sister. So international that she splits her time between NYC and Tblisi. She's working on an amazing documentary that I can't write about yet.

Godfrey Cheshire: Fired chief movie critic. Why they didn't fire Armond White instead I'll never know. Where is Cheshire these days?

Matt Zoller Seitz: Obvs. The best film critic alive, arguably the best who ever lived.

Russ Smith: Back in Bodymore. He got that WMD. My first lesson in working for a mercurial owner. Back in 2000, I factchecked the letters section -- yes, you read that correctly -- and the only time I had to do that, what with college and my school paper and all, was Saturday morning. Yes, you read that correctly, too. One such Saturday morning, I was hard at work at 333 7th Ave, 14th Floor, with a soul-crushing hangover, when Russ's two hellions burst into the place. They were like 8 and 5 or something and evidently full of Hi-C. The older one was carrying some kind of plastic sword and tearing through the office. All of a sudden, the kid swung the sword -- hard -- into the base of my skull. I fell out of my chair in pain to peals of the rotten bastard's laughter. Now, you shouldn't ever do this, certainly not to the young son of your boss, but I needed revenge. I picked Little Eichmann up and slammed him onto the bullpen couch. He squealed with glee and returned to his playtime. I had my satisfaction and didn't get fired.
--Spencer Ackerman