The Adventures of an Underemployed Urban Elf | East Villager & Lower East Sider

The Adventures of an Underemployed Urban Elf

This friendly “Lower Lower East Side” business won’t shoo you from its chairs.  Photo by John Foster

This friendly “Lower Lower East Side” business won’t shoo you from its chairs. Photo by John Foster

BY REV. JEN  (  |  This month’s column is all about avoiding boredom and work…oh wait…that’s each month! However, there comes a time in every underemployed elf’s life when one must look for a job — especially when you spend half your day trying to log onto the NY Department of Labor’s website, to no avail. Unfortunately, the World Cup (June 12-July 13) has derailed any plans for possible future employment because what’s better than men with nice legs playing with balls? The answer is, nothing.

Soccer is known as the “beautiful game” for a reason. One of the best things about the World Cup is that, every four years, it gives me a reason to live while simultaneously stealing money from my nieces and nephews via gambling. This year’s Cup will be especially awesome because it takes place in Brazil — which means I don’t have to wake up at 4 a.m. to start drinking and watching TV, as I did in 2002 when it was in South Korea. I simply can’t be awake at that hour unless I’m seeing morning from the wrong end of the day.

Question is: How to enjoy the matches without emptying one’s wallet (and therefore fattening one’s front butt) at sports bars full of vociferous d-bags? If you have a working television, the answer is obvious: Drink at home and watch the games alone! (This way you can even do it pants-less.) If you are unfortunate enough to not have a working television, I have some tips for you.

GLOB wrestling in Tompkins Square Park (Our Lady of Perpetual PMS, in the “Love You Krampus” T-shirt).    Photo by Dan Perico

GLOB wrestling in Tompkins Square Park (Our Lady of Perpetual PMS, in the “Love You Krampus” T-shirt). Photo by Dan Perico

As was evidenced by my most recent Villager story, the Olympic Restaurant (115 Delancey St.) is my fave place to watch soccer. (Many readers might mistake me for a girly girl, but I am actually a “tomboy drag queen” who lives to watch and play sports, drink beer, curse and climb trees.) There is also Lucky Jack’s (129 Orchard St.), undoubtedly the best bar on the Lower East Side. They have several televisions and you will likely find me passed out on the bar there during the entirety of the Cup. I asked friends for other “Cup Watching” destinations and the only one that came up was the “waiting room at Bellevue,” which I’ve already covered in a previous story.

But then I ran into a fellow named Ryan. He’s co-owner of Grey Lady (77 Delancey St.), a seafood restaurant specializing in massacring lobsters so that we can all be happy and well-fed. I don’t eat lobsters, despite them being delicious, since I found out writer Gerard Nerval had one as a pet. However, Ryan and friends just opened a new Caribbean-themed restaurant on Orchard Street called Norman’s Cay (74 Orchard St.). I recently visited along with my friend, CC John, and we were treated to a rum punch that was not only tasty, it also made me sleep through two hours of my Anti-Slam that evening (I am becoming the George Jones of the open mic scene!).

If you need a break from the menacing spectacle known as reality, I suggest paying them a visit and pretending you are actually in the Caribbean, or very far from a place called reality. But wherever you go, enjoy the World Cup. It gives us a good reason to party. Not that there is ever a bad reason. The world is clearly ending, so we should all have some fun. And if soccer and alcohol abuse doesn’t work for you, I have other tips on enjoying the end of the world.

Because my computer is broken and I am too poor to get it fixed, I have been writing all of my columns at the pad of my BFF, Faceboy. Upon my most recent visit, he surprised me by having “Apocalypse Now” playing on his TV and then dressing up as a ninja. He then handed me a French maid getup, which I have worn throughout the entire laborious process of writing this brilliant essay. It’s see-through! “Having a ninja outfit can boost ones self-esteem,“ Faceboy noted, adding, “I don’t feel so hideously ugly while dressed as a ninja.” I am still wearing my see-through maid outfit and am determined to suggest things to do, even though there’s hardly anything left to do Downtown. So here are some things that will maybe (if you have the right pharmaceuticals) make you happy. No promises!

Appalled at the dearth of chain establishments, Rev. Jen hoofs it to Norman’s Cay, a great Caribbean joint at 74 Orchard St.

Appalled at the dearth of chain establishments, Rev. Jen hoofs it to Norman’s Cay, a great Caribbean joint at 74 Orchard St.

Do you have overly organized friends who have calendars? If so, here’s a fun activity: Grab a Sharpie. Then, fill in your friend’s calendar with activities normally not enjoyed by the regular populace. Faceboy recently commandeered my calendar — and things I’ll be doing this month include time travel, getting pregnant, getting a court summons, standing on the corner, attending dolphin rape counseling, weeping alone all day, getting a divorce, attending both a séance and a gypsy wedding, and going gay. I’m gonna be busy! Luckily, in July, all I have to do is give up, according to calendar instructions.


What’s even cooler than “the beautiful game?” Gorgeous ladies wrestling in vats of fake blood, of course. Durr. Many a Generation X male I have known hath harbored a crush on the ladies from G.L.O.W. (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). But a friend of mind who goes by the wrestling name “Our Lady of Perpetual PMS” went a step further by creating GLOB, wherein fearless ladies go to combat in fake blood. The results are entertainment insanity. You can check them out on July 1, at Tammany Hall (152 Orchard St.), where they’ll be performing alongside several bands (including the Slut Junkies, who I’ve profiled in this column several times). Find out more, at

The good news: There’s no more polar vortex! Bad news: We are all living through a second Great Depression. No one I know has any money. In fact, my sabotaged calendar states that I will soon be evicted, which isn’t far from the truth. Simply buying a calendar broke my budget (and I think it was free). But sometimes, you have to entirely ignore your finances and go for a walk with a friend and a couple brown-bagged large beers. CC John and I took advantage of a sunny day to explore the “Lower Lower East Side” (stuff below Delancey).

What ensued was a lovely day of meandering through a neighborhood where I’ve eked out an existence for almost two decades and discovering new stuff. We noted the plastic chairs outside of “Good Luck Car Service” (47 Ludlow St.). Like me, they are open 24 hours a day! Their prices are good, and they didn’t seem to mind two lunatics sitting on their plastic chairs. Also, when it comes to riding through New York sans helmet, I like good luck to be involved. We noted other places, like Silk Cakes (53 Ludlow St.), a wedding cake shop you can visit if you ever make the terrible mistake of getting married. At least when you suffer a bitter divorce, you will have had some good cake in your lifetime.

There are many other fun things that don’t cost you a thing Downtown — but really, the best thing is good company. Sometimes just sitting with a friend in the sun outside of a car service that advertises “Good Luck” while laughing, talking and swigging brown-bagged beers is a cure for urban existential despair.

Go out and have fun.