The Phenomenon: Scoring with big-shot writer types.
The Bars: Schiller’s, Local 138, Craftbar, No Idea, Old Town
So hey, kids, the New Yorker Festival’s coming to town! Now I’m well aware that you drunks are too cheap to shell out for anything that doesn’t have an open bar, and I respect that. Like Grandpappy used to say, a penny saved is a penny chucked at passing cars from some rooftop at four in the morning. But I bet if you play your cards right, this could be an excellent opportunity to score with a higher class of floozy. Some of you may be surprised how giving intellectual snobs can be when they’re hammered and in the back of a cab. I suggest loitering boozily in bars near the festival venues, ready to pounce, drunken-sex-puma-like, on the smarted-up festival-goers as they stream through the door.
Choosing the right bar, though, that’s the tricky bit. The venues are spread pretty far apart, and there’s no telling which direction the herd will head. On Friday the 23rd, you’ve got Jhumpa Lahiri and Mohammed Naseehu Ali and later Nicole Krauss and Ian McEwan at the Angel Orensanz Foundation (Norfolk and Stanton.) Fellas, ladies love that Jhumpa Lahiri. Anything in the neighborhood is probably fair game for these: Schiller’s is close (Norfolk and Rivington), Local 138’s not far (Ludlow and Rivington), and neither is Lotus (Stanton and Clinton.) Anyway, I can’t imagine that I need to give LES bar advice to you people — go where you always go and wait for the people who look smug.
Unfortunately, some of the best events for slutty nerds — Stephen King, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith and Jonathan Franzen — are all the up on 57th Street, which... no way in hell. You can probably catch the Chang-rae Lee/Lorrie Moore and A.M. Holmes/Jeffrey Eugenides crowd if you’re willing to brave the wilds of Flatiron, though. Craftbar (19th and Broadway) could be nice for the classier among us, No Idea (20th and Broadway) will draw that precious and rare breed of quasi-intellectual frat boy, and Old Town (18th and Broadway) is pretty much always a good idea.
Saturday night is basically the same spots with different readers — luckily that don’t make much of a difference, make-out-wise. Just make sure to bring your thick black-frame glasses, and memorize these two handy phrases: “I couldn’t believe it had already sold out!” and “I saw him read once in grad school. He was incredible.” •