Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Archive for the tag “New York”

Woody Allen on life vs. suicide

This is Woody Allen‘s character Mickey Sachs, from the film Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), narrating:

I agree. I’d rather be a part of it.

What a brilliant sequence.

More Grace Jones: “I’m Not Perfect” (1986)

Pretty much everything Grace Jones has done has been innovative or outrageous or both. (See previous post). One pivotal moment in Grace’s career — and my personal favorite as an enthusiast of modern art — was the 1986 video for the song “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You”) in which Grace is wearing a costume created on the spot by the late painter Keith Haring.

Here’s the video. Look for cameo “testimonials” from several of Grace’s New York art and music pals including Andy Warhol and Nile Rogers, as well as an appearance by the late fashion designer Tina Chow (as Grace’s “esthetician”):

I wonder what Keith and Tina, who both died of complications from AIDS in the 1990s, would be doing today. Keith was only 32 when he died; Tina only 42.

Yoko Ono: perennially cool

Via Jezebel: Here is 75-year-old hipster Yoko Ono posing today in New York:

I’m an Ono enthusiast. I love her art, her music, and her personality. I’m one of the few, the proud, the people who own Onobox.

The highlights of my music critic career were four interviews with Yoko – and having her send me gifts after each one.

Lindsay and Sam ride the subway?

In New York (via Gawker).

My favorite New York styles

I’m still scratching my head over the squeaky clean and boring Us Weekly list of 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers. Where are today’s trendsetters?

Let’s remember some great Manhattan looks from years past, before the city was a wasteland of trust fund kids and fake tans. Shall we?


The Velvet Underground with Andy Warhol:

Bob Dylan:


New York Dolls:

Woody Allen & Diane Keaton:

Halston, Bianca & Liza:

Richard Hell:

The Ramones:

Patti Smith:

Debbie Harry:


Pat Benatar:

Grace Jones:


Jean-Michel Basquiat:


Cyndi Lauper:

I’m cutting my list off there because thinking of hip New York fashions from the 1990s is difficult. Things started switching to the Pacific Northwest around then and everyone grew their hair long and wore flannel. Thanks, Kurt Cobain. And Eddie Vedder. Well, actually, NYC’s Beastie Boys also kind of ruled in the 1990s and reminded everyone how cool hoodies (and matching one-piece jumpsuits) were.

In the 2000s, they Yeah Yeah Yeahs restored my faith in New York cool, but then lead singer Karen O. moved to -gasp! – Los Angeles – the most loathsome city on earth.

Is there anybody left in New York who looks edgy and cool? Tell me if there it is, it will make me happy.

10 best books I’ve read in the last six months

No, these books are not all recent releases, but they floated my boat enough for me to want to recommend them to you:

1. Old Money by Wendy Wasserstein. A great and funny play about the gentrification of New York City over time. Wasserstein does an excellent job illustrating the effects that industrialization and its New Money had on NYC at both the turn of the 20th Century and that century’s zeitgeist.

2. The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead by David Callahan. Callahan makes a convincing argument that the decline of decency in corporate and individual behavior is rooted squarely in capitalism. The book is copyright 2004 and believe me, it shows. Former Governor of New York Elliot Spitzer is still a hero and not the buffoon (Client #9) who racked up tens of thousands of dollars of debt to a call girl.

3. Are You There Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea? by Chelsea Handler. The rare television talk show host who shoots from the hip. Her “memoir” is sharp and funny and she’s not afraid to make herself unloveable.

4. Blue Angel by Francine Prose. A scary novel about a middle-aged creative writing professor who falls in love with his manipulative protege.

5. A People’s History of the United States 1492-Present by Howard Zinn. I know, it took me long enough. It was a joy to read a history book that’s devoid of idiotic mythology.

6. Hubert’s Freaks: The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus by Gregory Gibson. A great book of non-fiction about one man’s quest to solve a mystery about vintage books and old tymey New York freak shows.

7. Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield. A great book for music lovers who want to reminisce and have their hearts broken.

8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. A frighteningly dreamy look at a society that has traded chance for science. The characters in this book haunt me.

9. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. A romantic and modern novel about love and sacrifice.

10. White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Another “academic novel” about an interracial relationship between a professor and his student that jeopardizes the structure of two families.

Now you give me your recommendations!

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