Every day, someone tweets or emails or otherwise messages me to let me know that they’ve read my novel GUESTLIST. It’s an amazing feeling, to know that something I’ve written has affected another human being in so strongly a way that they must reach out to me to let me know their opinion.
I’ve heard it all – people love Juliet and Swann, others hate Ava with the intensity of a thousand white suns. For some, it presents a New York City that is authentic and wholly familiar; for others, it’s like visiting the city for the first time and experiencing a world they’ve never before encountered. I’ve had people tell me my characters have motivated them, and I’ve had people question whether certain characters are based on them. I’ve had people dream about my characters. Hell, I’ve even had someone tell me they think Ava is the good guy of the whole damn thing!
The point I’m trying to make is, everyone who’s read GUESTLIST has a strong opinion of the novel. That’s a good thing. I want people to talk about it, to love it or hate it.
Posted in Books, Cool Story Bro, New York City, Writers, writing
Tagged Amazon, Ava Rice, Barnes and Noble, Book, Byron Lord, eBook, GoodReads, GUESTLIST by Jay Fingers, Juliet Feliz, Kindle, Library Thing, Marcel Swann, Napoleon Fey, New York City, novel, Shelfari
Last night, I was invited by my buddy Topher and the good folks at Google to drink and dine at new Nolita watering hole Randolph Beer. It’s owned and operated by the same folks that run the Randolph cocktail bar just a few doors down.
First off, I loved the decor — it’s all wooden booths, half barrels masquerading as chairs, and antique hardware accents. The staff was pretty chill, as well. Everyone was helpful, knowledgeable, attentive, and (thankfully) swift. My bartenders answered questions about the different selections before allowing me to try the Southern Tier, a delicious IPA with a sweet tinge to it. And the Southern rock soundtrack certainly kept things lively.
Finally — and, dare I say, most importantly — they have a decent selection of craft beers and wine. It’s like Pokemon: gotta try ’em all. Okay, that was somewhat lame, but you get the gist!
All in all, I was pretty pleased with Randolph Beer. It’s certainly a spot I plan on visiting again. Oh, and shout out to the very lovely Angela, who recommended the delicious Cheesy Brat, seen above!
343 Broome St
(between Bowery & Elizabeth St)
Canal Street, NY 10013
Neighborhoods: Little Italy, Nolita
Grand St (B, D)
Spring St (4, 6, 6X)
Posted in Cool Story Bro, Drink, entertainment, food, Life, New York City, Nightlife, Random, Random Cool
Tagged Craft Beer, Google, Google Place, Manhattan, New York City, Nolita, Randolph Beer, Southern Tier
I haven’t said very much about Trayvon Martin for one simple reason: the whole situation makes me angry.
Yes, I know, it makes us all angry. We can’t believe that we live in a world, a country, an era where a 17-year-old black teen can be murdered in cold blood and his killer not be in danger of prosecution. But what I’m saying is, and those who know me know this to be true, when I’m angry, I don’t become loud or boisterous. I become quiet.
Damn near silent.
I fester and stew in my anger. It’s not healthy, but that’s what I do, partly because I’m cynical to the point where I don’t think anyone care. No one wants to listen. That goes for everyone, from the politicians and authority figures tasked with creating and enforcing the laws of the land to my own family and friends who have enough troubles of their own to be concerned with anyone else’s.
And so I’ve remained silent. Quiet. Haven’t said a word. Even as the evidence against Trayvon’s murderer George Zimmerman began to mount. Even as tapes of the 911 calls became public. Even as common sense and compassion began to prevail among the masses.
Today, I’m breaking my silence. Today, I’m a black man sporting a hoodie, as Trayvon did the evening he was murdered, to show the world that I am not “suspicious.” The pic above was uploaded to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag #millionhoodies, and the video at the very top was posted with the same hashtag on YouTube and Viddy.
Posted in Life, New York City, News, Op-Ed, Politics, Random
Tagged #JusticeForTrayvon, #MillionHoodies, Change.org, Facebook, George Zimmerman, Instagram, New York City, Trayvon Martin, Twitter, Union Square, Viddy, youtube
Last night, my homegirl Keisha Dutes aka Tasty Keish hosted A Monthly Bondfire, a concert and open mic event with the goal of cultivating a nurturing environment for both artists and non-artists in New York City and abroad. I didn’t attend last night’s showcase – I’d just returned to NYC after spending the holidays in Memphis – but I have been to previous Bondfires, and let me tell you, it’s quite an event. I was saddened to learn that the series will be ending soon.
However, I was even more saddened to read my Facebook news feed this morning and discover that Keish’s MacBook was stolen by someone described as “light skinned […] with wavy hair about an inch or two long […] possibly Latino, Black or Middle Eastern.”
For those of you unfamiliar with Keish’s work, she wears many hats, DJ, voiceover artist, radio personality, and web series producer among them. She’s worked on a large number of projects over the past few months, many of which include interviews and footage that cannot be replaced. While Keish is offering a reward for the safe return of her MacBook, an effort to raise funds to help her acquire a new laptop, Get TastyKeish Back Online, has already been organized.
Posted on Keish’s Facebook status earlier today:
My macbook, bookbag, and all it’s contents was stolen after the show last night. I spent the morning in a police station filing a report. My livelihood has been compromised. I didn’t want to wake up at all today. When I did, i saw that you all have started helping me by starting a fundraiser (http://conscious.chipin.com/get-tastykeish-back-online). Thank you so much family. I doubt that i’ll get it back but i’m offering a reward for the return of my macbook unharmed. My recent interviews and projects were on there. I can’t get that back.
This is a small thing. A minor event. And still, it’s a major triumph for the kid.
Last Thursday, I attended Christina Milian’s 30th birthday party at Kiss in Fly. But I wasn’t there to party, get drunk, and shake my ass — no, no, I was there to work. I covered the event for Billboard‘s Backbeat section and, three days after turning in my piece, it finally appeared on their website.
Posted in Cool Story Bro, magazines, Music, Nightlife, writing
Tagged AwwwYeeeaaa, Billboard, Blogging, Christina Milian, Jay Fingers, Journalism, Kiss & Fly, New York City, NYC
This Wednesday, I’ll be at former LES massage parlor Happy Ending
for the free condoms to attend How I Learned To Fight Loneliness. Created and hosted by writer/artist Blaise Allysen Kearsley, How I Learned … is a monthly storytelling series that features tales from writers, comedians, storytellers, bloggers and other performers, and chosen, according to Kearsley, based primarily on their personal hygiene and make-out prowess.
Ahem, um, I’ll go ahead and trust her judgment.
Wednesday’s showcase features comedienne Ophira Eisenberg (The Moth), writer Connor Gaudet (Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood), writer/comedian Catie Lazarus (Employee of The Month), writer/blogger D.E. Rasso (Love is a Four-Letter Word), and—oh, looka here!—Lapdance Academy‘s very own Brian Grosz.
Posted in Event, New York City, Random Cool, Writers
Tagged Blaise Allysen Kearsley, Brian Grosz, Catie Lazarus, Connor Gaudet, D.E. Rasso, Employee of the Month, Happy Ending, How I Learned To Fight Loneliness, Lapdance Academy, LES, Love is a Four-Letter Word, Lower East Side, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, New York City, Ophira Eisenberg, The Moth, Wilco
Thought I wasn’t gonna do this? Thought I wasn’t gonna keep my word? Thought I was gonna disappoint? Ha! Fat chance, I’m doing these challenges, baby. Nothing but God can keep me from it!
Okay, that was turrible. Let’s get on with the post, shall we? So as you can see above (and I mean above the Color Purple .gif), the book I’ve chosen as The Best Book I’ve Read This Year is An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin. It came out around the holidays last year but I didn’t actually get around to it until earlier this summer. And since I haven’t posted a review of the novel, now’s as good a time as any.
For those unfamiliar, An Object of Beauty tells the story of Lacey Yeager, a social and professional climber in New York City’s art scene. Lacey has no real love for art, but she does want the spoils of success in the field, namely owning a gallery that showcases only the hottest, most sought after pieces. Alas, Lacey is struggling in a lowly, thankless position at Sotheby’s and recognizes that her charms are not enough to elevate her to the status she desires. And so Lacey does what anyone would do if given the chance—she hits one hell of a lick.
What’s that? You don’t understand what that means? Oh, I’m sorry. Here. Urban Dictionary defines the phrase “hit a lick“ thusly: “To gain a shit load of mony [sic] in a short amount of time.” That’s precisely what Lacey does.
Posted in Books, Cool Story Bro, New York City
Tagged 30 Day Book Challenge, An Object of Beauty, Lacey Yeager, New York City, Shopgirl, Steve Martin, The Best Book I've Read This Year, The Color Purple, Urban Dictionary