Seriously. It happened last night at the Montauk Club, and every edgy momwriter was there. There were gift bags from sex shop Babeland—that's edgy! In attendance was the Sun's Lenore Skenazy, who wrote about leaving her kid in Bloomingdale's to fend for himself on the subway (he wanted to!), Amy Benfer (Salon), and New York contributor/novelist Amy Sohn. Her piece was about "trying to get her daughter into Brooklyn Heights Montessori School and all the raw, competitive feelings that the New York private school admission process rouses." (Sohn once said—jokingly, but still—"When I had a kid, it seemed natural to me to start exploiting it for material.") [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]
"We're really into co-parenting," New York magazine "Breeding" columnist and author Amy Sohn said. "I mean, we only have a part-time nanny." The assembled crowd nodded sympathetically and shifted in their folding chairs, especially the children, who were beginning to get restless. They'd liked it better when Neal Pollack had been reading from his parenting memoir Alternadad a bit earlier. He'd used the word "shit" a lot, prompting a four-year-old girl in the second row to shoot me a way too knowing glance. Clearly, we were at the Brooklyn Book Festival.
When New York magazine moved into 444 Madison Avenue, it was a young magazine in its late twenties. Rupert Murdoch had just sold his stake and the magazine's full floors—for the most part, 13 (edit), 14 (art) and 15 (ad sales)—represented a new era. The Newsweek sign came down and in its stead the now iconic New York sign went up. Folklore has it that Murdoch personally insisted on the signage. But now New York magazine is heading downtown, and the building is collapsing around them.
So Nerve—which used to be a sleek sexy magazine, and then split off a company that ran personal ads, and is also a place that gets snippy every time we mention them, by the way—is now all about the fetus and the newly post-fetal. It began with their new site Babble, "the magazine and community for the new urban parent," which I'm sure would make my mom, the old urban parent, stab someone if she saw it. But now it seems there's money in them thar baby bumps! Their celebrity baby blog FameCrawler is up and live. Nerve: They are New York. They went from screwing to breeding but like totally kept that edgy 'tude. Just like Amy Sohn! Also Drool.icio.us is their blog for "the top million baby products," if you were in need of a $390 crib in environmentally-safe fabrics or whatever. Not a good site for bitter childless fags to visit, apparently. For them, I hear, it can be a real downer.
Her glaring absence from New York's unsexy Sex and Love issue reminded us to, at some unspecified later date, schedule some wondering on the topic of: Where has our Amy Sohn gone? The answer comes today, in an email sent to La Sohn's entire mailing list (to which, we hear, one is added solely by virtue of having ever sent Amy an email!):
Poor former New York magazine dating columnist Amy Sohn. She is trapped between two worlds! In Park Slope, where she has mated and bred, she is surrounded by the Jews. In an exchange of letters with Oprah's fave rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, she says she feels "a mix of contempt, curiosity, and envy" about "your people." Annoyingly, she is also surrounded by the Gentiles! She's "sickened by the total indulgence, lack of affection between parents, and general dog-wagging-the-tail" of the atheist-Protestants of the Slope. Oh and then she goes off about this "imagined" sexless relationship where the husband looks at online porn all the time and the wife stuffs Ben & Jerry's into her craw while watching America's Next Top Model. Time for someone to get the hell out of Egypt, Amy? Can't wait for her New York mag column to morph again: As Naked City became Mating, so shall a column called Trial Separations be popped out.
All is not rosy in the land of New York mag's now-married former dating columnist Amy Sohn. In next week's magazine, she reveals that her husband is a "momblocker." A couple things, now. Sohn is using "momblocker" as in "cockblocker." But this PG modification doesn't really work. What Amy is trying to use English to say is that her husband, the pseudonymous "Jake"—real name CHARLES MILLER, for chrissakes—is "blocking" her from her mom-ly duties by being all perfect and super-dad-like. For starters, the borrowed term implies a weird hetero-homo hate-fucky aggression that just doesn't fly in the toddler-parenting arena.
Rubbing your success in people's faces without being tacky about it is always a tricky proposition. If you try too hard to flaunt your wellbeing, you might come across as braggy — or, god forbid, it might seem like you're overcompensating, or being pettily vindictive. So a subtle approach is probably best, especially if you're trying to make sure that, say, an ex best friend knows that you've succeeded where she has failed. A subtle approach like, say, a magazine column.
Sex columnist Amy Sohn pops her head up on her website to weigh in on the apparently hot topic of SAHMs. (That's "stay at home moms," for those of you who don't read New York or urbanbaby.com.) Amy thinks this is a bad idea, in that it leads to neurotic children, boring moms, and smug dads. Instead, she's figured out the secret to serenity and acceptance when it comes to parenting: Buddhist minders.
• New York mag's sex columnist Amy Sohn spares us her return. Instead, she'll be writing in-depth features for the magazine on matters such as breast milk and bjorns, reasoning that "parenting is hot right now." Yeah? Tell that to our Ortho Tri-Cyclen, crazy lady. [NYO]
• A glimpse into Jared Paul Stern's future at Page Six: "Insiders say that Walter Ripley, currently serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for racketeering, has been slowly moving in on the cigarette and pornography concession previously run by kidnapper George 'Two Thumbs' Theophilus." [McSweeney's]
• More on Ron Burkle's power in Democratic party. [Kausfiles]
• And even The Onion weighs in. [The Onion]
• MySpace is so dangerous, they've hired former federal prosecutor Hemanshu Nigam to keep the kiddies safe from internet predators. [NYT]
• The only Ann Coulter movie we'd ever see. [Towleroad]
• "JT Leroy" continues to write, albeit for something called Lemon. [FishbowlNY]
• Smirnoff will teach Brooklynites "how to do graffiti." Brooklynites, in return, will teach Smirnoff how to fuck off and die like the corporate whores they are. [Consumerist]
New York magazine's mating columnist Amy Sohn — who's been on the world's longest maternity leave — is apparently gearing up for her return. We suspect that the new mom will be writing about issues near and dear to her heart, judging from the following email she's sent around:
Amy Sohn polls her hairdresser:
Sohn: "What s the difference between straight-haired and curly-haired women?"
Hairdresser: "Women with straight hair think the whole world belongs to them."
"It is up to them to feel that way."
I nod, understanding all too well. About a year ago, out of boredom, I started getting my hair blown out twice a week. I got hit on so much more often that I started sleeping around too much, and eventually I had to stop the blowouts to raise the bar.
A cut above [NY Mag]
Amy Sohn profiles "sex surrogate" Rita Bellwho, Sohn explains, "men pay...to have sex with them as a way of resolving their sexual problems." Think prostitution meets therapy. Sohn says roughly 15 percent of Bell's clients are Orthodox Jewish men who tend to be premature ejaculators. 'It's about the guilt. It's 'I'm going to have sex, but I'm going to fuck it up for myself.'" No word on what the Catholic 'guilt' demographic is. Or the Protestant, which I'm personally inclined to believe is much much higher.
Healing hands [NY Mag]
Buried in a NY Press column was a reference to the "NYSG (New York Single Girls) literary movement" which apparently included complaining about the "predatory male attitude," so excruciatingly detailed in Rick Marin's Cad: Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor. The author had attended Marin's book party, which was also attended by veterans of the genre"walking-dead types like New York's Amy Sohn and Bridget Harrison of the New York Post." He later mentions that a co-worker calls Ms. Sohn an "unprofessional asshole" and that Sandy Fernandez (one of Marin's ex-girlfriends who recently wrote a scathing article about him) was "a miserable cunt." This clever expose of competitive female behavior must be the foundation for the newly emergent New York Single Guys literary movement.