How to Vanquish Costco

I just bought 30 rolls of Scott Tissue for 62 cents apiece, in a bundle the size of a wheelbarrow.   Many years ago, when I became fed up, as it were, with eating out every night in order to write restaurant reviews for the Village Voice -- yes, those tribulations of modern life -- I began a column called "Consumerismo" about the history and temptations of shopping. I can't say that the effort was a complete success, but no one at the paper seemed to care what topics I approached, so even a paean to a pair of socks could, and … [Read more...]

Is “Downtown” Dead?

The art world isn't the same. New dance is derivative; fashion's faded; there's been nothing major in American theater since Albee.When one is in a graveyard mood, it seems as if all our blood has long since flowed under the bridge. Yet poets make hay from just such Margaret R U Grieving moments, and critics may too, especially with shows like the one now at New York's Grey Gallery to spur us."Downtown Pix: Mining the Fales Archives 1961-1991" took me and photographer friend Robin Holland on a melancholy trip back to the East Village and … [Read more...]

Larry Sultan, 1946-2009

                                                                                                   Photo ©Mike Mandel and/or Larry SultanThe photo above is a piece of Evidence, a slim book by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel that is photography's calling card to the world of Conceptual Art.Any … [Read more...]

Salami and Eggs: A Family Tale

Don't Hide the SalamiIn my college-dorm bed, I came upon this passage while first reading Vanity Fair. I was fascinated, puzzled: "Isn't it a good salmi?" she said; "I made it for you, I can make you better dishes than that: and will when you come to see me." Becky Sharp was trying to woo the dull Sir Pitt, even though she was already married. But woo with a homemade, quaintly spelled salami? I read on ... Besides the salmi, which was made of Lord Steyne's pheasants ... Does pheasant go with garlic? Did she make the mustard too? Later, much … [Read more...]

Super Bowl — Gay-Guy Version

If an American guy says proudly that he's never watched a Super Bowl, the American imagination assumes he's either a professor who resents the moron sports-money his department isn't getting, or gay. He could be both, but American imaginations aren't as flexible as American tight ends.Too bad that most popular assumptions are demonstrably wrong. You've never been to a gay sports bar? Lite beer or boutique EPA only. Plenty of gay-guy house parties as well -- those wings had better be hot hot hot and not drip on the Eames.(Sorry, there's a long … [Read more...]