In this occasional column, we learn what's the haps with the best friend who casually destroys your life. The Underminer has a new address, and it's on the Fingerstraße!

Oh wow, hi. There you are! Your hair is so much longer! And kind of...wild!

It's SO good to see you. I am so glad we could find some time to catch up while I am in town. Before I go back to BERLIN!

How ARE you? How's New York? Great, great.

You're writing a lot, huh? What are you writing? The Ten Best Butternut Squash Soups for Time Out? Cute kiddie Christmas Gifts for House and Home? Or maybe just something mean and snarky about socialites for a website?

Haha! I love New York, it's so insulated and strange now.

Me? I'm AMAZING. Thanks for asking. As you know, I have been in BERLIN for seven years now, just creating and living and being a fully realized artist, novelist, and lead singer. It's crazy I know. But I just have so much TIME there because unlike you (well not really YOU-you but people like you) I haven't had to scrounge around and take career-compromising odd pathetic assignments and gigs to pay for my overpriced life and instead I can really become a fully expressive ARTIST in BERLIN.

I mean I am not trying to really diss New York. It's just, well, over. And I know you agree with me. The luxury condos, the lack of dance clubs, the NYU robots, the Nanny-culture. In BERLIN, it's different. It's different in BERLIN. We don't ascribe to the narrowed, uptight, fitted, fashiony ideology that seems to have taken over this city. For instance, the other day I woke up in my apartment (I live in a huge former button factory on the Fingerstrasse for which I am charged about 60 dollars) and I decided I would just walk down the street with a teacup on my head! And no one even looked! Because we are all beautiful losers and artists and creators and puppeteers in BERLIN!


What's even funnier is being here and seeing how New York is in love with BERLIN now. There's the Weimar show at Joe's Pub, and the Speigeltent, and my friend Ute is doing a show here too! I was eating dinner with her the other night and she couldn't believe how much The Big Apple emulates our beloved city. No, it's sort of cute. Like when your younger sister tried to dress 'cool' like you in high school.

After eating, Ute and I walked out into the street, and before you could say "Bienvenue" we ended up back at my hotel drinking cheap vodka and singing Kurt Weil songs with a dwarf accordionist, a Flamenco dance troupe and three Ukrainian baritones that we randomly met. It's weird when you live in BERLIN this kind of night is just commonplace, but somehow we still had our innate BERLINABILITY to make it happen in the boring, mid-level-restaurant-clogged Upper West Side!

There is of course a sense of tragedy in BERLIN. Sometimes I think that's what makes BERLIN thrive, because we walk among ghosts of the dead yet we still celebrate our artistic selves!

Maybe in like 50 years, after Guiliani becomes president here and turns the entire country into a hideous fascistic death camp, you guys can be as free as us, in BERLIN! But until then I guess you will have to be depressed, and write think pieces about 'Gossip Girl.'

No! Don't get all sad. Don't worry. If there is one thing I have learned from my amazing, expressive, incredibly cheap life in BERLIN, it's that we are all victims of history. Remember to celebrate life! Because it's a cabaret!

Well, I gotta get going. Could you remind me — which is the best subway to Marc Jacobs?

Oh right, perfect, thanks. Ciao!