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Jewish World Review July 16, 1999/ 3 Av 5759

MUGGER

MUGGER
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http://www.jewishworldreview.com --
ON SATURDAY MORNING, after buying coffee and water at the local deli, a jogger with his pup says to me: “Hey MUGGER, aren’t you glad I’m cleaning up this dog poop with the cover of the Village Voice?” I nodded in approval, but do have to admit it was the best Voice cover in a long time: a full-page illustration by Seattle’s Peter Bagge.

The story, Eric Weisbard’s “Generation Ex: Caught Between the Boomers and the Brats,” which Adam Heimlich comments on in his new, and prickly smart, column “Heimytown,” was stupid, but that’s not Bagge’s fault.

Still with the Voice, I rarely agree with its publisher, David Schneiderman, but he gave the Daily News’ Celia McGee an hilarious, and dead-on, quote for her June 29 column. Commenting on a union walkout at his shop, Schneiderman said: “[It’s] an every-three-year event. I’ve been doing this for the past 21 years, and it’s part of the drama of our negotiations.” Why owner Leonard Stern hasn’t smashed that tin-horn union I don’t have a clue, but hey, power to the people! Especially those of color!

On the topic of my limited social life, Mrs. M and I spent two wonderful hours at Amy Sohn’s party for her book Run Catch Kiss at Joe’s Pub last Wednesday night. Before taking a cab down to the Noho location, I read in The New York Observer Alexandra Jacobs’ nasty description of the affair, in which she dubbed Amy a “smut columnist.” Hands off, Alex, she’s our smut columnist. And God didn’t create no junk.

Anyway, Mrs. M was the first to arrive and spoke with Amy before the hordes of people showed up. Jam-packed. Before getting to the bold-faced names, I do have to register a note of astonishment: It was a wine-and-beer-only bash, which was fine, but what do you think Joe’s Pub charges for a simple Campari & soda? Eight bucks! Jeez, not that I’m being cheap, but you could purchase a bottle of the stuff up the street for a few dollars more.

Dave Daley was down from Connecticut, where he’s covering Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the Hartford Courant, so we had plenty to ramble on about. Then Howard Kaplan showed up, looking very fit and proud to report that he’s keeping his sweeping rituals to a minimum; New York’s Michael Wolff was on hand, as was Manny Howard, one of Brooklyn’s most famous glad-handers who’s now working for Ruth Reichl’s revamped Gourmet. Mrs. M and I spoke with Adam Heimlich and Lis Kerr, Hillary Kearns and Don MacLeod, Kim Granowitz, Mistress Ruby and Ned Vizzini, NYPress’ boy wonder journalist who’s taking a year off after high school to get a real job before joining the academics at Columbia.

My bet is that he’ll never make it to 116th St.; the money and stimulation will be too much to pass up for all-nighters and Karl Marx seminars. Strausbaugh bonded with Open City’s Tom Beller and I saw the Post’s Richard Johnson, although he never mentioned the party in “Page Six.” Probably just wanted a look at Amy, like so many other men in the crowd.

Amy told me the next day that she was more than satisfied with the turnout, as was her Simon and Schuster publisher David Rosenthal. “It was also the night my parents met my boyfriend,” she said. “It went okay. I kept the interaction to a five-minute maximum and then whisked him away so they couldn’t interrogate him. All the books disappeared within minutes.”

As for the weekend, the boys were crabby on Saturday morning—it was beyond me—and things only got worse as we drove around the East Village looking for a Boba Fett action figure. There was a store that Mrs. M remembered had all sorts of Star Wars junk—and that’s the word for it, if you ask me—but when we found it the place was closed. At 1 p.m. on a Saturday. The boys were dumbfounded: I had to explain that storekeepers in the East Village generally don’t wake up until after the sun has gone down.

However, once we hit a Burger King on 6th Ave., where the premium for a kids’ meal is a pair of sunglasses, they turned into angels. “These chicken tenders are so much better than McDonald’s,” Junior chirped happily. “Yeah, and dig those fries,” MUGGER III piped up. Later, we went to the Tribeca location of St. Mark’s Comics, where my sons are on a first-name basis with the help. They all speak in a language I have no comprehension of—Spawn this, Darth Maul that. I’ll bet that St. Mark’s Andre doesn’t know who sang “Eve of Destruction” either.


JWR contributor "Mugger" -- aka Russ Smith -- is the editor-in-chief and publisher of New York Press. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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©1999, Russ Smith