[New York Magazine, 20 April 2009]
As told to Richard Morgan
My first New York home was at the NYU dorm on 14th between Third and Fourth. It was right beside Amore’s pizza, which I first thought was delicious, authentic New York pizza but soon realized was in fact greasy, nasty, shitty pizza.
My dorm, like all NYU dorms, was full of potheads. Most of my initial friends were content taking bong hits and playing Snood all night instead of actually exploring the city. The kids I knew who did go out told me the places to go were hot clubs like Twilo and Exit. Apparently, all I needed to do was grab a shiny shirt and puffy pants, take some E, and twirl glow sticks to terrible trance music and I’d have a good time. I decided to take a pass on that scene.
One thing I was really excited about was live music. Most musicians usually don’t have a South Carolina leg on their tour. I used to be really into scratch D.J.-ing, but I’d never seen any of those guys live. After a few weeks in New York, I saw Cut Chemist, D.J. Shadow, D.J. Qbert, and Mix Master Mike pretty easily. I also went to Kim’s on St. Marks and Fat Beats to browse records between classes.
Most nights, I ended up going to bars on a strip of Third Avenue below 14th Street. Bar None, Nevada Smiths: Finally, the experience of shitty college bars, right in New York City! Every year, I would wise up and go one more avenue east to avoid the mess. And every year, one kid in the group would always say we should go another avenue even farther east, because that’s where the good bars are.
–Aziz Ansari, Comedian, arrived 2000
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