Pink House. 130 North Street. Back In The Day.

Fellow residents from the 1991-94 years were Clint Curtis, Shyam Patel, Raj Krishnasami, Lydia Craft, Jess Deltac, Kyle York Spencer, Caroline Rivers Hall, Mel Lanham, Michelle Sinnott, Jay Murray, N'Gai Wright, Scott Bullock (who crashed on the couch for a year before finally moving in), Bryan Ellerson, Karen Hurka, Sally Stryker, Ryan Mathias, Charlie Speight, Chris Palmatier, Trent McDevitt, and Steve William.



Besides holdovers and returnees Jay, Scott, Mel (& Laverne!), Chris, and N'Gai, residents during 1995-97 included Allen Sellars (who, like Jay, lived at both the Pink House and 401 Pritchard), Ian Williams, Zak Bisacky, James Dasher, Linden Elstran, Jiffer Bourguignon, Grant Tennille (who first made the scene as a fixture in N'Gai's room circa summer '93), Zia Zareem, Ben Folds, Tom Holden, and Chris "Chip" Chapman.

- Erik Ose

Saturday, October 23, 1993

Ray Combs almost caused a riot at the $5 Psychic

The jazz show was in a little restaurant in SoHo called Sweet Basil, an infamous spot in the pages of New York jazz history. My housemate Mel and I went there on the Saturday night of our visit, a night when everybody had split up to pursue their own agendas. We saw Mal Waldron, a pianist who used to play with Eric Dolphy, and who now has his own quintet. On bass was Reggie Workman, who used to play with John Coltrane. It was essentially the best jazz going on in the city that whole weekend.


Recorded in 1987
You know what else I recall about Sweet Basil? We were seated in the very front, and you had to duck and swerve whenever the trombone player had a solo lest you get banged in the head with that brassy curve. That was a great concert! - Mel, 2009
We each had to pay a $15 cover and get $10 minimum worth of drinks, so Mel and I split a big bottle of wine. Later, after the show, we went out walking around the Village for a while, both of us slightly drunk. There were all these psychic stores around, and one of them had glaring neon signs everywhere that said "$5 palm reading special." Mel decided she wanted to have hers read.

We sat down and were chilling, waiting on another guy and his girlfriend who were inside to finish their reading and get out. Then, up came these other four kids, two guys and their girlfriends, about our age. They were all from different boroughs outside the city, mostly Queens and Long Island, I think. We started talking with them, and they were cool. None of them were in college, but they were all very aware, and we were talking with them about NYC politics, and the media, and all sorts of bullshit.

Meanwhile we're all getting kind of impatient waiting on the people inside, and I'm thinking to myself, and saying out loud, yo, we should chill out before this palm reading woman puts a voodoo hex on us. And then, we're all looking inside the window, thinking all of a sudden that the guy in there with his girlfriend looks awfully familiar, that we've seen him somewhere before, and then it hits us - he's the guy from the new Family Feud! The motherfucking host!



So everyone flips out, and we're yelling "Survey says!," and tapping on the window, and waving to him, and then the girlfriend comes out, and she starts yelling at us, telling us that she's trying to have her reading done, and then the psychic woman comes out and starts yelling at as too.

Now I'm like, oh my fucking god, she's definitely going to put a hex on us. All of a sudden, from out of the shadows come these mafia type guys, three of them, real shady looking. They start telling us, alright you kids, get out of here, this is our store, we don't want you here, and I'm like, oh shit, whatever, and I start trying to get up and leave. But one of these kids that we were talking to starts arguing with one of the mafia types, and the shit looks like it's escalating fast.

Not one of these kids could have been more than twenty-one or twenty-two, and these guys were like in their late forties, early fifties. Out of a door comes another shady character, this one a skinny kid about our age, and he gets into the thick of things shouting, "yo, that's my father you're talking to!" Mel is right up in there herself, trying to be a peacemaker, and I'm thinking, great, so we're about to get shot by some mafia family. I don't know how the shit cooled down, but it did, and there was no fight. Luckily. In the commotion, the Family Feud guy vanished, and we never saw him again.


Later that night, however, when we went to meet Steve at a gay club called The Roxy, I ran into that Norman guy from the first Real World. He hosts a cable access show now, and since it was Disco Diva night, they were filming some of the transvestites at this club. So those were our brush-ins with celebrity while in New York.

- Letter to Jared, 11/7/93

2 comments:

  1. I was trying to remember the other day, who have I seen that is a celebrity? I had this nagging feeling there was someone I was forgetting...he was it! That poor dude. He killed himself soon after, did you know? I guess he was searching for answers by the light of a neon sign.

    Here's the sad story of Ray Combs:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Combs

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow...I had no idea the New Family Feud guy killed himself. That's weird. Maybe the voodoo hex was in effect after all.

    ReplyDelete

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