The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, East 7th St., between Avenue A and First Avenue.
This, below? It is crack. One of the best dessert discoveries that I’ve made in the city thus far.
Served in a boat. With a spoon. Plus your cone. Sweet salty simple bliss. You could almost get a second.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Welcome, first day of summer. And the longest day of the year.
Two of my very best friends are leaving the city in the next month. And a third, leaving not the city but this coast for another too…
Friendships that have evolved both my mind and my spirit and myself as a whole. Friendships that I feel so blessed to have found. Ones for a lifetime.
Friendships that will - undoubtedly - transcend city boundaries and state borders and area and zip and country codes. And all those time zones in between…
But what do you do in this moment?
How do you continue?
What do I do?
The whole experience is pretty informal.
The team of NBC employees running the show are my age or younger. (How did they get that job?)
You are herded into the theater in small groups. Like sheep.
There is a warm-up DJ to get the crowd going. Like foreplay.
The audience is, in general, pretty lackluster.
But the laughter is real. (There is no track.)
The stage is tiny and dominated by cameramen.
Questlove is giant.
And so soulful.
The Roots are amazing. (And most likely stoned.)
And they are the best part of the entire show.
The taping starts at 5:30, on the dot.
Jimmy’s coffee mug does have liquid in it.
He is very tan.
He has three makeup girls who repeatedly touch him up throughout the course of the evening.
He is even more adorable in person. (As if that were possible.)
They still use cue cards, and they are still cardboard and handheld.
Ice-T hasn’t aged a bit.
Everyone in the audience gets his new CD.
Lena Dunham is super awkward and adorable and genuine in real life.
Norah Jones is maybe five foot one. (Thought her vocals are a solid ten.)
The fans behind the musical guest are actually picked out prior to the show and are maybe the youngest fans in attendance (…marketing).For the first half of the show, they have to sit on uncomfortable wooden benches at the back of the theater.
The entire show takes exactly one hour. It ends at 6:30 on the dot.
Jimmy runs through the crowd. He gives us high-fives.
Then he promptly leaves.
It takes an hour to get into the theater. It takes five minutes to leave it.
You walk back out into the afternoon sunshine.
It is wonderful but strange and I leave feeling, yes Luc Sante, “everything on TV is fiction whether it is packaged as such or not.”
Now watch it here.
(And thank you for another New York experience, Marlena!)
officially a resident of the heart of the east village