Occasionally, a sad, beautiful little gem is found in the blogosphere. Our former editor Alex Balk's world-weary tone always seemed like a schtick. Until one reads something like this:I got nowhere else to go! I got nowhere else to go. I was walking down Second Avenue yesterday when I saw a woman retrieving something from the trunk of a cab. She was attractive, mid-twenties, in great shape, and she was pulling out what, on closer inspection, turned out to be a baby stroller. I looked for a baby, and there it was, sitting on the curb in a carrier. This was all taking place in front of a nail salon, and a woman was sitting in the front window while her nails dried. This woman appeared to be in her mid-to-late-thirties and was well put together, but wearing a denim jacket in a failing attempt to somehow give the illusion of youth. She was staring at the baby and the look in her eyes was one of anguish and desperation. You could almost HEAR her thinking, "This is never going to happen for me. What choices did I make in my life that brought me to this place where it's never going to happen for me?" It smacked me like a wave, and it was one of those New York feelings that you only let yourself feel every three or four years where you're just overwhelmed by how everything is too close, there's too much anguish, it's all too much in your face. The ragged homeless schizophrenic who mutters "I should call my mom, let her know I'm still alive." The old man sitting alone in the diner ordering one more cup of coffee so that at least he has another few minutes before he has to return to the empty room where he's the only one who knows or cares that he exists. The exhausted nurse smoking outside the hospital whose voice cracks on the cellphone as she tells her child that there's something you can warm up in the oven, be sure to do your homework, I have to work a double shift tonight, I won't be able to walk with you to school in the morning, before she hangs up the phone and lets the tears just roll. It's all of it, all around you, and it never stops. Then the next wave smacked me: The aging fat man, unshaven, shirttail hanging out, hunched demeanor, stopped short on the sidewalk staring at a woman in a nail salon. What's his story? What sadness is he carrying around with him? Why the fuck won't he keep walking?" So I kept walking. I mean, what else are you gonna do? [Alex Balk]
Former Gawker editor twice over (twice-former??) Choire Sicha recently got canned from his job writing columns for a pittance at the New York Observer because he wrote something about how no one at that sad newspaper has any air conditioning, because of wee Jared Kushner (and now we know that we shall never work there!). But good news for him! He is joining former Gawker editor Alex Balk at Radar, where he will certainly never get in trouble for writing anything about anyone who may or may not own that fine publication. He will be called an "Editor at Large," just like Hamish Bowles! The position is sort of the one our own Moe was going to take, but then she came to Gawker instead. There are like three jobs in New York and they now they are ALL taken. [Radar]
Former Gawker commenter Newtojezebel has been banned for nine months now, which is probably some sort of record, but apparently people continue talking about her, all the time. She was banned for seeming a little unstable, so naturally she decided to contact former Gawker editor Alex Balk, via fax for some reason, to ask him to please email all of you to explain that she is not him. Balk, of course, is too busy writing on issues of great international import at Radar to do this on his own, so we've decided to help. You follow? Just read it!
Many members of your Gawker editorial team are not in the Gawker office at the moment. Why? Because the AC there is a crap shoot (or has been), and SOME PEOPLE don't want to take their chances in DANGEROUS HEAT like we have today. I'm in a coffee shop in Brooklyn, and I'm sweating here, too! But it's not just us; a trendworthy number of key media figures are facing air conditioning problems. The media cannot work like this!
(Also: finale y'all! Someone I did theatre with in college is on the show tonight. Go Zack!)
Let's put aside any judgment on the literary qualities of Sloane Crosley's collection of essays, I Was Told There'd Be Cake. One talent is beyond dispute: the author, a book publicist in her day job, is one of publishing's most expert promoters. Crosley has secured interviews and profiles which must make writers with fewer connections insanely jealous; and she handles the suspicion that she's trading on those connections with expertly self-deprecating charm. True to form, her book party, itself a rare event in the penny-pinching publishing industry, drew pretty much the full contingent of New York's gossip columnists. From left to right: Spencer Morgan, slap-happy editor of the Observer's Transom column; some big-headed internet geek pretending to run Gawker.com; Paula Froelich of Page Six; her rival Ben Widdicombe of the New York Daily News; Jessica Coen of New York Magazine; and Radar's online editor, Alex Balk. In the gallery, Chris Wilson, Elizabeth Spiers, Russell Perrault of Anchor Books, Frank Rich's son, Nat, and others. Photos, as always, by Nikola Tamindzic. GALLERY»