Archives for category: frau’s nonfiction

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I was 20 years young when I fell witness to a very naughty Jennifer Jason Leigh getting a foot massage from a stranger after descending into a subterranean S&M club.

All these years I was certain that Single White Female was filmed at New York’s notorious sex club, The Vault. I was not quite right. The Internet (more specifically, Jeremiah) corrects me, as I research it’s salacious story. The Vault opened in 1984 in the basement at 675 Hudson Street. After some success, it moved to 28 10th Ave. Club Hellfire took over the space on Hudson Street. Disappointingly, only the street part of the scene was shot at 675 Hudson, and the interior elements were filmed in a Hollywood studio.

Frank Cooke and Janet Carpenter, a married couple founded the business. She was an ex-banker, solid and fearless. He was an ex-bus driver skilled at carpentry. He would build the various binding contraptions and sexual apparatus that would not only inspire years of spreading and spanking, but ultimately cost New York State a mint.

Janet had the wonderfully warped idea to dress a mannequin in head to toe leather, hang it out the window and illuminate the thing. As you might imagine, the police were called by neighbors thinking they were responding to a suicide.

There were four floors and a basement, each with its own target market. One floor was for couples, one for the gay boys (dubbed the Cell Block), one for the ladies who love ladies and another for straight singles. My personal favorite was the basement, otherwise known as “the Dungeon.”

I was 24 when I went to The Vault on a date. A gentleman named Jared took me there because I am an elegant lady. He paid a hundred at the door for the two of us. There was a steady stream of people going in. Imagine a car accident and subsequent traffic jam; we struggled to pass through because of all of the rubbernecking. But Jared was chivalrous. He was my guide and he held me close.

We began in the basement. The red lights were dim and the walls and ceiling painted black. There were a lot of people, mostly men, masturbating. Mounted TV’s played pornos on a loop. A tall, sinewy man in a tattered pink nightie and full face of make up locked eyes with me and gazed in my direction for the duration of my dabble in the dungeon. He began following us at a distance. Every so often I would look back to see if he was still there. Indeed, he was. Each time I looked at him he’d flap his arms like a bird, tilt his head back and open his mouth wide. “He forgot to put pants on,” I told Jared as I pulled him closer. There was security-a-plenty so I wasn’t frightened so much as I was disturbed.

In the dungeon there were several human sized cages. The biggest of them was in the middle of the room, being dominated by a large muscular man masturbating in his extremely oily birthday suit and Air Jordan’s sans socks. With his ample afro and a menacing manhood, he stroked ceaselessly well beyond dawn. I was spellbound; Who are you, Sir, what is your day job… and what, pray tell, do you tell your colleagues when they inquire about your weekend.

Jared and I found a bar in the couple’s lair. There was no booze for sale but there was a wide variety of Arizona Iced Tea to choose from. Lucky for me, Jared was stealth in his schmoozing and soon we were served some Jack Daniel’s Sour Mash and soda, courtesy of the staff’s own secret supply.

I observed from my barstool a short, stout man on a sad old sofa, ass in the air, receiving a lackadaisical jump rope type whipping from his short, stout spouse. Also on the menu was a romantic duo tenderly sharing a grapefruit, after he peeled a hole and ejaculated in it.

Jared and I didn’t last long, but The VauIt stayed strong, attracting a massive following of freaks and fetishists. There were goths and vampire geeks, tickle torturers and diaper enthusiasts. There were people that wore nothing but leashes and crawled around on the floor. Ponder for a moment, the filth on that floor.

Management was enthusiastic. They sponsored slave auctions, toe sucking summits, hot wax sports, uniform night, boobie contests and during Christmas they even put Leather Claus on the payroll.

Madonna was one of the first celebrity patrons. she wore track pants and baseball caps. She gravitated mostly to the homosexual sections and enjoyed watching girls and playful Latino boys fool around. She arranged a photo shoot there for her Sex book. In addition, she filmed the video for Erotica there and then mentioned it on Arsenio Hall. This was the definitive point in which the club spiraled into the mainstream.

Soon The Vault’s celebrity cameos were abundant. Sharon Stone arrived in casual attire with a couple of friends and spent the evening watching girls torture each other. The actress that played Jan on the Brady Bunch showed up once with two queens in full drag and expressed concern for a monkey that was in attendance. Joey Buttafucco rolled up in a white limousine and Lilo Brancato came in often and bullied the transvestites. He even went so far as to beat one over the head with a fire extinguisher. Elle Macpherson frequented having once brought David Lee Roth. Claus Von Bulow cheered on Tommy Lee as he tied up Pamela and another broad and continued to whip and fondle their boobies. One night Pam and Tommy brought Slash who then became a regular. Heather Locklear was aloof as a pair of foot fetishists groveled around her barstool. Claudia Schiffer and David Copperfield brought their realtor with them. Roseanne Barr was asked to leave for mocking people and jokingly ordering her bouncer to whip randoms’ asses for her amusement.

According to Anthony Marini, the General Manager, Al Pacino attended often, under the guise of ‘preparing for a role as an undercover homicide investigator on the trail of a sadistic psychopath’. Marini explained that Al became, “deeply involved in his research.” Today I combed imdb.com to sort out which movie Al was researching and, indeed, there is a film that fits this puzzle. The film is entitled Cruising, and here is the description; “A police detective goes undercover in the sleazy and underground gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer, who is murdering numerous gay men with S&M tactics.” The interesting thing here, is that Cruising was released in 1980, four years before The Vault materialized.

Another celebrity scandal included Bob Dole’s political advisor Roger Stone. Some club personnel apparently provided some tangible evidence to The ENQUIRER exposing Stone and his wife as solicitous swingers, including a hand written note and a series of sordid snapshots.

Other regulars included Harrison Ford, Iggy Pop, Robert Downey Jr., John Wayne Bobbitt, Corey Feldman, Naomi Campbell and Mickey Rourke, who was bounced for belligerence.

At some point, Carpenter and Cooke turned to organized crime for help as they struggled to repay a loan they had taken from a wily motorcycle gang. This resulted in a split ownership with Anthony Rotundo, a capo in the DeCavalcante family and a couple of his cohorts. (The Sopranos were thought to have been inspired by the DeCavalcantes.)

In 1996 Mayor Giuliani shut it down for violating public health laws, but a judge deemed it safe shortly after and it reopened. However, the New York State Department of Transportation was beginning its expansion of West Street, which involved putting in six lanes and some peripheral parking.

Condemnation laws demanded full compensation for the take, so the State prepared to purchase the permanent fixtures as part of its relocation deal. Things like light fixtures, sinks, a subpar sound system, TVs, bar paraphernalia and refrigerated coolers. The more colorful items; things like St. Andrews crosses, gynecological chairs, cages, spectator platforms, hitching posts, kneeling horses, leather slings and shackles, which had been constructed from crap scrap and weren’t worth much, needed to be welded to walls and floors in order for them to be rendered permanent. The appraisal produced 579 separate items estimating a total of a hilarious $1.8 Million. And one can only assume the State was in a hurry to finish the project, so they settled… claiming it was a tiny fraction of the $104 million they spent acquiring three and a half city blocks of properties.

Interestingly, amongst the items was an actual twin seater electric chair, built for the purpose of tittilating nipples and genitals and such, donated by art dealer Andrew Crispo, who himself had been arrested for kidnapping and torture in 1988.

More interestingly, a nurse who moonlighted as an S&M aficionado, called Marini to let him know of St. Vincent’s disposal of an examining chair and from what such sidewalk he could scoop it.

Carpenter and Cooke had moved on, but the others tried to revive the club at 12th Avenue and West 23rd Street, but as you might predict, it failed after a couple of years.

This tale of the Vault is a great New York story. I’m confident in the idea that the one common characteristic of all New Yorkers is an unbridled affection for the mysterious. It wasn’t specifically sex that made The Vault irresistible. It was an unconventional thing to do with a Saturday night, and its risky location made it that much more magnetic. It was the opposite of boring. I believe the lot of us moved to New York to avoid all things beige and banal. The Vault’s is a story of corruption and greed loaded with lunatics and perverse anecdotes. But most of all, it is a story of change, which is what New York does best.

robert-de-niro-nyc-taxi-cab-driver-license

When we first started hanging out, we had this obscene joke. That every time we got into a cab and the name on the license was any variation of Mohammed, we had to perform bits of sex on each other, that were decided before the actual hailing of the taxi, for the duration of the ride, no matter how near or far the destination.

There are so many cabbies named Mohammed…  or Mohamed, or Mohammad, or Mohammed, or Muhamad, or Muhamed, or Muhammad, or Muhammet or Mohamsandie.

We weren’t racist. We were just filthy pigs. And this is the most common name in the world. And since cabs are firstly for getting around in, and secondly for squeezing in everything you need to do before you get home… because you probably left take out containers in your bed, and floaters in your toilet…  you’re very welcome, New York;

The perfect game for perverts, like us.

 

 

 

Gregoire Alessandrini was a student in Greenwich Village in the ’90’s. I was too, but this guy actually did something with his time. He has posted these and so many more on his blog. I spent all day staring at these gems. He was everywhere. We must have passed each other because I have a picture of the same person from Wigstock ’93. There are so many memories here.

I lived relatively close to the World Trade Center in September of 2001. Truly, I thought a small propeller plane accidentally hit that day. I thought to myself, “well now, that will be a daunting scaffolding scenario.”

My three roommates and I watched this horror from the rooftop of our loft. Our building was only two stories so we could hear the people on the street talking their theories of terrorism.

It wasn’t until the second plane happened that I realized this would probably be, historically, the biggest event of my life. I knew everything on my timeline would forever be filed “before” or “after” this day.

This is how I became the asshole with the camera.

My photos will tell this story:

As I said, we observed tragedy from the roof. When the first tower collapsed we collectively shit ourselves and then went back into the apartment we called “fishbowl” (because of its panoramic windows). We could see nothing but a wall of white tornado and zillions of flecks of corporate docs spinning wildly within. There was no way of knowing if we were in the AM or the PM.

We decided to leave, quickly.

We entered the wall of white that was somehow dark. To open our mouths meant to eat the weird whiteness, so we stayed silent until we heard more rumbling and dared to look back downtown. That’s when number two fell.

I walked to Central Park that day. I shed roommates and tears as I walked and gagged and listened to radio broadcasts coming from parked cars along the way. I cried and vomited some more in the park and when it started getting dark I checked into the hotel where I worked.

I stayed there for several weeks. What a wonderful place to work. (The W Hotel. Thank you, Sheraton shareholder and upper management types.)

My slampiece at the time worked in the World Financial Center. A week after the attacks he was escorted into his office to retrieve his laptop. I went with him and was allowed in somehow because the address on my New York ID put me in the zip code.

I took some of these photos from his office at the WFC and the rest of them are just general aftermath. I couldn’t get into my apartment for six weeks. We lived in a demilitarized zone which was the shits. But we partied with firemen from all over the country and you really can’t go wrong doing that.

That experience did more than open my legs to firefighters. It opened my eyes, too. People live in countries where this shit happens weekly.

So don’t bitch about your frizzy hair and gluten allergy.

lunch

Here is a great story that promises to reveal my extreme elegance.

I used to live in Queens without a car and the Key Food was just too far for my fat ass. I mean, if I was going to walk all the way to Queens Boulevard for food I would just hit White Castle. So on the way home from the train I’d stop at the bodega and buy the kind of food that your parents had in the basement for emergency scenarios. The kind of food you left in the poor people crate at school during Thanksgiving. The kind of food that never, ever, ever goes bad.

My mom used to serve up Spaghettio’s. I have never not loved Chef Boyardee‘s classic collection of foodstuffs. It was, and has always been my favorite sort of lunch.

I went out one night and drank a huge mess of alcohol, took a taxi home and was fucking thrilled to find a couple of cans of Spaghettio’s with hot dog bits in my otherwise thirsty kitchen cabinet.

I piled both 14 ounce cans into a 24 ounce bowl. I waited anxiously by the microwave. I watched the bowl rotate and the orange sauce splatter about as the reflection of my lazy eye tried to focus on its next meal. I nearly fell asleep waiting.

I took the bowl to bed because that’s what single girls do. They eat buckets of orange food in bed. (Someone let the execs at  Victoria’s Secret in on the real deal.)

Believe it or not, I was too drunk to eat, so I passed out with a steaming, teeming bowl of Boyardee parked next to my pillow. When the sun came up I opened my eyes, and that bowl of beautiful O’s was still there. Like a polite one night stand.

Lucky for me I was so dehydrated that I didn’t have to get up and pee. I just leaned over that lovely lukewarm meal and began shoveling in the morning light. When I was through, I rolled back over for a few more Z’s.

Life’s defining moments can be very delicious, indeed.

Spaghetti-Os-

I found a recipe on the internet to make Spaghettio’s at home. It’s more work than stumbling into a bodega, but you won’t have to worry about the preservatives ravaging your children’s innards.

Here is the recipe for DIY Spaghettio’s:

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 adult servings, 6-8 child servings

  • 8 oz ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, to al dente (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saute’ pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar and butter. Heat, while stirring, until the butter is melted. Slowly stir in the milk, then turn the heat to low. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes.

Stir the shredded cheese into the soup until melted. Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour as much of the tomato sauce into the pasta as desired; stir to combine. (I don’t like mine extremely soupy, so usually have about 1/3 cup of the sauce leftover.)

Notes: Looking for the convenience factor? Double the batch and freeze the rest for later. Heat on the stove top or in the microwave when you’re ready for that quick lunch or dinner!

UPDATE: my friend Renee sent me the below genius-ness. I’m still not sure if I want to eat this or sleep in it.

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101 Things I Love

I wake up one magnificent Monday morning (1) all spry with the good kind of dirty hair (2) to the adorable sounds of Chinese children (3) singing Red Rover, Red Rover (4) in the schoolyard (5) across the street. I remind myself that I am fortunate enough to be gainfully employed (6); to have the opportunity to meet lots of lunatics (7) and earn boobfuls of cash (8) nightly. I fantasize for a second that my pillow (9) is John Kennedy Jr.’s (10) crotch area (11) and give him a tender good morning kiss. Then I hoist my considerable rear end out of my beloved bed (12), and skip over to the finest greasy spoon in the world, the Cup and Saucer (13) still proudly wearing my jammies (14). Stavros (15), who is seriously sexful, prepares me a special Sanka (16) with a splash of skim in one of those waxy, we are happy to serve you cups (17). I lap that caffeinated deliciousness up walking home along Hester Street (18), but not before making a cameo at the corner laundromat to scoop my freshly folded slutwear (19). New York (20) is so alive today, and all the freaks (21) and geeks (22) are out wearing muu muus (23) and muscle shirts (24) while its menacing teens are chained up in their PS’s (25) learning how to read (26) and write (27). When I return home, I sit all ladylike upon my luxurious toilet seat (28) made of silky synthetic stuffing (29) and priceless pink vinyl (30). I take a very meaningful and meditative crap (31) while i read from my dog eared Dictionary of Serial Killers (32) with a parcel of Charmin (33) tucked between my chins. Feeling accomplished, I call up one of my Bay Area Bitches (34) for an impromptu exchange of evil gossip (35), and then put on a DVD of Jane Fonda (36) burned illegally by my mother (37) who loves me (38). I push confidently through several sets of Donkey Kicks (39). After a 90 minute shower (40) I’m ready to pick up today’s New York Post (41) from Eastern Market (42) on Grand Street (43) on my way to work. I also stop at Jin (44) on Broome Street (45) to power down a bento box (46) while I enjoy reading Page Six (47) and overtip the underpaid darling (48) who serves me. I walk around for a while listening on my ishuffle (49) to Olivia Newton John (50) sing the most beautiful song ever recorded, Please Mr. Please (51)… I discover a newly opened QiGong Tui Na massage parlor (52), pet a puggle pup (53), joke around with a quint of queers (54) who need directions to Katz’s Deli (55) and an old man in a seersucker suit (56), asks me where he can get himself a KNISH (57)… Glorious! I look at the time and quickly catch a coconut curry scented cab (58) and careen up First Avenue. Every light is go go green (59), the windows are down and my hair blows around not even getting stuck in my tawdry red lipstick (60). I parade through the restaurant’s entrance as if it were the runway of a Pat Field (61) fashion show. I breeze past the chicly dressed hostess (62), who is are hard at work (63) organizing tonight’s floorplan. I give that bitch a wink and high-five. My uber industrious Barback, Johnny Pineapples (64) whom I would give my runner-up kidney… calls me Mommy and tells me I’m gorgeous. He gets his face (65) licked liberally, after he does like a true stallion and effortlessly fetches me ice and all other stuff that is heavy, while I savor the gorgeousness of rare filet the kitchen staff (66) has prepared for us as a thank you (67) for all of our hard work. I would kiss the Chef (68) if it wasn’t very busy right now eating very delicious red meat (69). The night starts flawlessly. Everything is in order (70) and the piece I’m currently stalking sends me an onslaught of perverse text messages (71). Everyone at the bar (72) rules in some way; local litigators (73) working late and expensing (74), commuting marrieds (75) medicating themselves before joining their faithful spouses (76) and pubescent kids (77) for dinner, local bartenders (78) getting lit before or after their shifts, local homo (79) and hetero singles (80) perusing for tail. The sliders (81) are new on the menu, so I sell them like hotcakes (82). I am salesgirl extraordinaire. Y Chromosomes wearing suits (83) ask me for my number all night either because I am either fertile (84) or look fierce (85), you tell me… The night flies by like the quintessential Q train (86) and I leave the restaurant with a serious stripperwad (87), and meet my peeps (88) at PJ Clarke’s (89) where Doug (90) serves me a Stinger (91). Hilarious stories from the night abound (92) and I leave, my cheeks hurt from hardy har har’s (93). All of them are all so different, and we are like a gang together… I cherish those dorks and all of our fun times (94). Also I want to have sex (95) with them (96). We all get taxis in different directions and when I arrive home beautifully buzzed, and my apartment (97) is safe, clean and rent stabilized (98). Boozer the bear (99) snuggles me to sleep and I pray to God, that power lesbian (100) in the sky, for this fantastical day. LIfe (101) is good.

101 Things I Hate

I wake up hella hungover (1). I lay in bed for hours rocking back and forth, anticipating in horror, the Saturday night (2) bartending shift awaiting me. Around 2:00 PM, dehydrated and toxic, I am scared to check my salacious sext messages (3) and drunky dials (4) that went out to dudes I’m weak for (5) from last night, which I can’t fully remember (6). On my way to the toilet, I realize I have forgotten to remove my corroded contact lenses (7). As my temples throb, I fumble and forage through dank masses of laundry (8) to find my rancid uniform (9) which has been entirely befouled; steeped in boobsweat, cigarette smoke (10) and just general bar sewage (11). I haphazardly spackle foundation onto my capillaries (12) and into my craters (13). I receive a voicemail (14) from my superior (15) telling me to come in early for a stupid staff meeting (16). Hurried and harried, I gather my gear and head to the bus stop at Canal Street (17). I look for a NY Post along the way but all I can find is the damn Daily News (18). I’m waiting for the M15 bus (19) but all that stops are those detestable double deckers (20). It starts to rain (21). Finally, I board a bus and and there are exactly zero available seats. So I have to stand (22) next to a group of inner city teens (23) scream-singing (24) “Lean On Me” (25). There is parade (26) traffic (27) on First Avenue. I am going to be late (28). Today’s “Family Meal” (29) is complete crap. I refuse to eat this mess, and as a result, start my shift STARVING (30). I have barely collected enough lemons and limes from the uncomfortably cold (31) walk-in refrigerator where I lay my farts, when the dumb door whore (32) who is skinny (33) and pretty (34) escorts a hodgepodge of half-witted tourists (35) furnished with foolish fanny packs (36) to my not-yet-ready bar to have drinks until the dining room is set up for service… KILL. I rush around looking for my embarrassing nametag (37). They ask for a specialty cocktail list (38) and then order an extra sweet Vodka Mojito (39), Virgin Piña Colada (40) with whipped topping (41), herbal tea (42) with honey (43), and, …a “surprise me!” (44), to which I supply a Triple Zombie. I am so frazzled that I butcher my hand on the blue foil of a Grey Goose bottle (45). After twenty minutes of mediocre mixology, I drop their check and they pay with a Traveler’s Check (46). I grunt and spit while they continue to sit and stare (47) for an eternity asking repeatedly for bar nibbles (48). I fling a basket of stale bridge mix (49) at them. They make a massive mess of crumbs (50) and turn a stack of beautiful bevnaps into a swarm of snotrags (51). When they finally haul their asses (52) away, they leave behind greasy glassware (53) rimmed with 90’s lipstick (54) and moistened morsels of pretzel (55). I barf in the sink and then quarantine the area by employing a pair of powdery latex gloves (56) and bleach. Just then, some Saturday night regulars who split checks (57) and modify (58) everything come through the door and bitch relentlessly (59) about the lack of air conditioning while theatrically fanning themselves (60) with oversized menus (61). I ignore them and concentrate on serving a family of Born Agains (62), who are celebrating something stupid (63) by drinking non alcoholic beverages (64). They demand a smörgåsbord of maraschino cherries (65). I’m so cranky I’m coughing flames. A steady stream of amateur party goers (66) ask for ridiculous shots (67) and separate checks (68). Alcoholic divorcées (69) sniff each other’s crotches after starting stupid conversations (70) about their tacky timepieces (71) and hideous handbags (72). Bachelor party types (73) are typical and territorial about what trifling sporting event (74) should be on the TV’s (75). Over styled gold diggers (76) sit with crotchety curmudgeons (77) who wave their arms (78) and/or snap (79) to get service. Various types of other self entitled sociopaths (80) are littered about checking the scene and smelling up the place with their putrid perfumery (81) and ghastly cocaine breath (82). Anemic actor/waiters (85) interrupt me all night with their consistent whining (86); change of a fifty, (87) tastes of obscure grappa (88), sludgy vintage ports (89), and various other superfluous details (90). The piece I’m currently stalking is not responding (91) to my embarrassing texts (92). I’m about to cut myself with a corkscrew. On my way to the toilet to squirt urine and tears, the only waiter I’d even consider naked mentions that I look tired (93). After I threaten to rip his face (94) off, I sit on the toilet splat onto a puddle of pee (95) left by the bridge and tunnel C-U-Next-Tuesday (96) before me. Homicidal, I clench my teeth and return to the bar to clean and close this dump. I am on a fervent mission to go home and drink myself to death. Diabolically depressed, I slap checks in front of whomever deserves them and demand promptness in payment. After everyone (97) has paid, I am so bent on getting out of there that I swear I’m gonna have a stroke. Just then, a group of Yankee enthusiasts, (98) who are somehow VIP’s (99), appear out of nowhere, drink us out of Jaegermeister (100) and then stumble somewhere to have sloppy blackout sex! and I, of course, am going home alone (101)… again!

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