This week, Jake goes out with comedian Sam Taggart. The two discuss their complicated feelings about Christmas, people who order dessert in restaurants, and which NYC bars are secretly gay. Tune in for more.
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Jake Cornell: You hate winter, I f*cking hate the winter.
Sam Taggart: Wow, so this is it? We talk about the…
J: We talk about the weather for one full hour.
S: Here’s the thing about the weather. I do feel fall, I don’t think it should be celebrated because fall, you’re celebrating as the year is dying and you’re going into winter. I cannot be happy.
J: Are you familiar with the movie “The Stepmom?”
J: Okay. Well spoiler alert, it’s about a mom dying. But there’s a scene at Christmas where it’s the bittersweet thing of being… It’s also like “Family Stone” where you’re at a Christmas where you know, spoiler alert for “The Family Stone,” it’s a huge twist at the end, but it’s like when you’re at the Christmas where you know the mom’s dying and you’re celebrating the end in this sort of… that’s very fall.
S: Yeah. I don’t like that.
J: I think that the death has been removed from fall is the problem. People are sort of like… that’s what I’m talking about, it’s that people aren’t acknowledging that you’re celebrating a death. I think if you brought that nuance in, it would actually bring a lot of texture and culture to fall. It’s not pumpkin spice, do you know what I mean?
S: Yeah. We need to bring spirituality back as well, essentially.
J: It’s about the circle of life.
S: Yeah, and it should be respected. It should be treated with that weight. And also my pitch, I’m always pitching this, someone’s going to buy it one day.
J: I’ll take it. I’ll take it.
S: How about after Christmas, no more winter? I don’t know who-
J: Let’s be honest though, Christmas is a fall holiday
S: And the fact that that is not addressed is so upsetting because it is absolutely in the fall, it barely snows on Christmas.
J: No, absolutely.
S: It’s been winter for four days at this point.
J: No. Yes. Yes. People are like, “We might get a white Christmas this year.” It’s like, “Why are we branding it that way at all then at that point?” No.
S: It’s also, if we moved Christmas to the end of February, I think that could be really helpful for everyone’s mental state.
J: Yes, I agree.
S: Because then you have something to look forward to all winter long.
J: Yeah, I hate Christmas. I hate Christmas.
S: How come?
J: Because I had divorced parents, so it’s just a lot of stress. And a lot of money, it was so much watching people trying to save up money to buy presents for people. I just think it’s a whole rigmarole, and it’s so much of social media is watching. I used to say my favorite part when I was coming up in comedy, one of my favorite things was watching your brokest friends you know going back to their Nancy Meyers homes for Christmas with a purebred dog, and just the expose of that. But I feel like everyone should just reveal their Trump-ass families on their social media.
S: Yeah, it’s pretty dark.
J: And it’s never spoken to me. And I think also maybe part of it is that it is at the beginning of the worst season of the year. I know that Christmas is heralding three months of depression.
S: Yeah. Christmas, it unfortunately has spoken to me. I’m trying to think about why.
J: Wait. Really?
S: Christmas really speaks to me.
J: I don’t know why, but that’s deeply shocking to me.
S: I’m trying to unpack it.
J: Are you a sentimental person?
S: I think I am, actually.
S: I think I’m kind of moody.
J: Is Valentine’s Day a moment for you?
S: No, because that feels faker, that feels even worse, that feels like-
J: Because there’s no Christ moment. Christ wasn’t involved.
S: That’s not because of Christ.
J: You need Christian involvement.
S: I don’t need Christ.
J: So Easter is huge.
S: No, I think Christmas is… The holidays are a movement, whether you’re… Valentine’s Day, it’s like, “This is optional.” You can literally live a whole Valentine’s Day.
J: But as a culture in America, there’s a holiday moment.
J: Okay. If you like Christmas, as someone who f*cking doesn’t like Christmas, if you want to feel Christmas, you go to London on Christmas because they ram that sh*t down your throat and they make it taste good. It is incredible. Christmas in London is really something, it’s better.
S: Well, I want to say you recommending Christmas in London as if it’s like a club is really funny.
J: I think people go to London for Christmas.
S: Oh my god, if you’re not in London for Christmas, what are you doing? You don’t even really celebrate.
J: No, that’s kind of how I feel at this point.
S: Is Christ even born on this day if you’re not in London?
J: Also Jesus, I think he was born in September, so I don’t think it matters. But I think Christ was a Virgo. But I get what you’re saying, though, of the Western cultures, the holiday season is a moment that is inescapable.
S: And my favorite time of the year genuinely is that sweet spot between Christmas and New Year’s.
J: You just said you didn’t like fall because it meant winter was coming.
S: That’s true. Look, if this is some sort of gotcha journalism, if you expect me to maintain a point of view throughout this however long this is.
J: No, I’m trying to unpack this.
S: You’re literally policing my thoughts. It’s so absurd. And I’m just trying to brainstorm. I think maybe weather-wise, yeah, I would love it if it were summer that week, that would be huge for everyone.
J: Is it the thing of those are four days where you can truly do nothing guiltlessly?
S: 100 percent. That’s the only time I actually feel free.
J: Yeah. Wait, so were you like me where that was the best part of the pandemic, was it the feeling of, “I don’t have to do anything”? I don’t want to talk about the pandemic, I’m just curious if that’s part of your psyche. No, you were scared for your loved ones, weren’t you?
S: No, I wasn’t f*cking scared. I didn’t give a f*ck about them. No, I was more like… I think, well, yeah, it’s a bummer to talk about.
J: Yeah, I shouldn’t have brought it up.
S: I feel like I was just bummed about the lack of social stuff.
J: Sure. Yeah, I get that. As someone who constantly feels like I should be doing something, should be working, I get the draw of the Boxing Day to New Year’s stretch of there’s nothing-
S: There’s nothing.
J: And there’s freedom there.
S: And there’s freedom.
J: I will say New Year’s, I’m a big proponent of holidays that have no familial obligation. My favorite holidays are New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, purely in terms of how they’re celebrated, not what they mean. Once again, I don’t think any holidays have intrinsic meaning. Halloween, I think, is very funny.
S: Well, I want to know how you feel about Valentine’s Day.
J: Uh-huh. I don’t feel a super-big draw. I worked a lot of Valentine’s Days because I was in restaurants for a long time. I think I love an excuse to go out to dinner, I do enjoy that.
S: Sure. But I don’t want to go home when everyone else is going out.
S: And I don’t want the waiter to be like, “Oh, Valentine’s Day.” I don’t want to be judged.
J: Sure. What are they judging? They are there to work.
S: On Christmas morning, you had to go to a store and a person had to bring you your presents, I would feel like this isn’t joyful.
J: I didn’t know this until I worked in New York. In New York, it’s normal for rich people to rent out restaurants for their holidays, or rent out private dining rooms and do Christmas dinner in a restaurant, in a private dining room.
J: Yeah, I was the server of one of them. It was truly cuckoo.
S: Wow. Yeah, sounds chic.
J: It sounds chic, but it’s just crazy to me that the idea of doing the holidays not in your own home, and that being normal.
S: Yeah, that is weird.
J: I think it’s crazy.
S: But people in New York are broken.
J: Deeply broken. Deeply broken. Deeply broken. Are you a restaurant person?
S: So is that what this podcast is about?
J: It’s about all things going out, so restaurants, bars, if you like to not go out, we can talk about that.
S: No, it’s like-
J: Holmes was on, and we talked about menstrual cycles for a long time. It’s really free form.
S: Well, I guess I was scared because-
J: Formally ABC family, Freeform.
S: I think I was scared because I was like, “Okay, I think this podcast is about restaurants.” And I eat, obviously I’m a person that has to eat sometimes, but I don’t consider myself a restaurant person. There are restaurants I like because I have to eat something.
J: No, but I would eat in a restaurant every day if I could, except I do like cooking. But do you not enjoy them? Do they not speak to you? I just want to interrogate where they exist in your life and in your perspective.
S: Okay. I’m learning to like them, actually. I’m learning to like the idea of a dinner that you go out to and you really luxuriate in. It’s a very new thing.
J: What was the previous aversion?
S: Previously, I wanted all meals… One, I hated any sort of group meal. I hated all going-out meals. I wanted to eat a sandwich on the street and then roll up for drinks.
S: That’s sort of my preferred-
J: Can I ask why?
S: Well, one, I was broke.
J: Broke. So broke is valid.
S: And that it’s easier to not want, so I would be like, “I don’t even want that.”
J: That’s really real.
S: And also in just the complication. At that point, it felt like everyone was broke too. Where it was like, “Why are we pretending that we’re not broke? Let’s just eat a piece of pizza and then go get drinks.”
J: Yeah, that’s valid.
S: Like this show. And then a birthday dinner is my nightmare, like 10 people, and then the birthday person being like “mmmm” And everyone being, “We’ll get it.” And it’s just like, “No, I can’t.” You shouldn’t have those until you are 35.
J: One of my best friends had a birthday dinner last night and we went. And he sent a message beforehand with a full price breakdown of, “This is how much it will cost you. Here’s how much it would be.” I really appreciated that because I don’t think that was happening when we were 23.
S: Wow, that is nice. How many people?
S: It’s a little too many people.
J: It was eight people, actually, it was seven people I genuinely like, which is rare.
S: Oh, that’s nice.
J: And it was a very fun dinner.
S: But here’s the other problem, this is getting into Seinfeldian territory, but it’s like, okay, so you’re at a dinner with eight people, you’re only talking to the three that you’re next to.
J: We actually did a pretty good job of having a full eight-way conversation.
S: There’s a lot of waiting to talk.
J: I’ll tell you this. I know for a fact the tables around us did not like us because we were loud. It was loud. He slammed his drink and he’s furious on behalf of the other patrons at that restaurant, he’s so mad.
S: No, I actually think there’s a real… Oh, thank you. Coaster! I feel like a caveman in this space. I think that, no, to be contradictory of myself once again, I think there is real power in being the loudest people in a restaurant
J: It’s assertive.
S: Because you’re either the loudest person or you’re mad that someone else is being loud, so you might as well be the loudest.
J: That’s poetry. That blew my mind. That blew my mind.
S: Sure. Be the evil you want-
J: Be the evil that you don’t want to deal with in the world because then you don’t have to. Okay, wait. Okay, I hear this. It’s interesting. When you were broke, what was your money job?
S: I was a dog walker for a while and then a mover, and then I worked at the 14th Street Y, like an after school kids’ counselor or whatever.
J: Mover is one of those jobs that sounds so hot. And then I think about actually doing it, it makes me be like, “Oh, it must have been so hard.”
S: It was so hard, but it was kind of horny too.
J: It just looks that. It’s the horniest job I’ve ever seen in my life.
S: And the guys are like-
J: It’s more than a masseuse.
S: The guys are horny.
J: I was having a lot of sex.
S: They’re just really horny and they’re always talking about it. They’re always helping you carry something. It’s a lot of like, “You got it? You got this?” Or spotting you as you lift something, and you’re also with them all day long-
J: In a truck.
S: A truck, and you’re sweaty.
J: Are there communal showers? Is there a locker room?
S: God, I wish. No. It also was one of the most more homophobic places I’ve worked.
J: Well, duh. Because they’re gay.
S: Yeah. But one of them did message a fellow mover at 3 a.m. and was like, “I think you’re really cute.” And then the friend who was kind of bi-friendly and kind of flexible in a fun way, the next day was like, “Whoa, cool. What’s this about?” And he was like, “I was just f*cking around, man. I was just kidding.”
J: Oh, that’s so dark.
S: And it’s like, “Oh, no. You’re so clearly-”
J: His one moment of bravery, and then he immediately took it back. Yeah, that’s so sad.
S: But when I rode in the truck with him, I always wanted to be like, “I know. Okay. It’s just us. It’s just us, you’re safe.”
J: “It’s just us and Susan’s credenza in the back.”
J: Okay. But those are jobs very separate from the restaurant. I understand now the aversion to the spaces.
J: What has your journey been getting into them? Is your boyfriend into them? What has been your draw into getting into-
S: My boyfriend’s a real restaurant guy. He loves them.
J: He has that energy, I will say. I would’ve guessed this.
S: Yeah, he reeks of it. He reeks of restaurant culture, of wanting to be waited on.
J: I knew him for 10 minutes and he asked me to get him a drink. I was like, “Okay, fine.” Was that a thing that you had to deal with? Was it like he wants to go to restaurants and you’re like, “No”?
S: Kind of, actually. At the beginning of the relationship, I was really like, “No, I don’t go to brunch. I don’t do that. We can get a bodega egg and cheese and that’s what we’re going to do.”
S: I was, I would argue, not a great person to date for the first four years of the relationship. But I was so sexy he couldn’t stop himself.
J: Because you’re a mover.
S: Because I was a mover.
J: What has your journey been like getting into restaurants as now you are getting into them?
S: Okay, so I’ll…
J: I’ve never felt like I’ve pained someone more by interviewing them about restaurants. I truly am nailing you to the cross.
S: No, it’s really tough because I assume that a person that clicks on this is like, “Oh, I want to hear about fun restaurants.” And so they’re hearing a cranky man.
J: It’s more like people just talking about living in New York than anything else.
S: Okay. Well, one, I live in New York and I love it. Two, it’s the city that never sleeps. No, I’m learning to like restaurants. I think I’m picky. I’m finding myself almost when a parent comes to visit New York, I’m a little cranky, I’m like, “This place is too small.” That happens to me a lot. “You’re right next to the other table.” But I do, I don’t know, I have fun with it now. Get me a Martini and I’m having a blast.
J: Were you going to restaurants growing up?
S: Yeah, but we were in the Midwest in rural parts of the South, so they were sh*tty restaurants.
J: And there was plenty of space between you and the table.
S: Oh, so much space. So much space.
J: Okay. So restaurants are not part of your soul.
S: They’re not part, but I’m learning.
J: No, and that’s beautiful and I love that for you.
S: I also do, I have a-
J: What’s a restaurant you feel really safe in in New York City?
S: I feel safe in Rolo’s.
J: I’ve heard it’s amazing.
S: I love that place. But I was told recently that it’s partly owned by an evil real estate company too.
J: Maybe that’s happening, you’re not getting out of that New York.
S: Right? I was told to feel bad about it and I was like, “I actually don’t think I should.”
J: No. I gave up on doing that. I’m sorry you can’t.
S: That’s all New York. Do you think a restaurant can afford a building?
J: No, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. Your favorite restaurant is owned by Galane. It’s just that’s the reality of it, 100 percent. I just ask that they do a good job of hiding it. I just don’t want to see a picture of them on the wall.
S: Okay. An appetizer used to be like, “No, that’s for the king.” I was like, “That’s not for a commoner to order.” And especially a dessert, I thought they-
J: Birthdays only?
S: I thought no one ordered them. I thought they put them on the menu as like-
J: As performative. This is fascinating. Have you ever in your life ordered a side?
S: Now that I’m with my restaurant-loving boyfriend, I do get little treats. We’ll spend $12 on chick beans.
J: Oh wow. It’s cute. He’s holding your hand like, “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to work through it.”
J: Are you a picky eater?
S: No. I’ll eat pretty much whatever.
S: I like spicy food, and that’s pretty much it.
J: Are you open to bars?
S: I love a bar.
J: So we love a bar.
S: I love a bar.
J: And we’ve always loved bars?
S: Always loved bars.
J: What are the bars we love? And what do you love about bars?
S: Oh wow. Okay. Okay. I love a mixture. One, I’m a simple man, I love almost any gay bar. I’m happy there, I’m having fun. Even when they’re horrific, I like them.
J: Same. I can’t think of one I don’t like in New York.
S: I’m trying. I’m sure there are some. No, I was going to say, like, Boiler Room, it’s like, no, I love Boiler Room.
J: No, I love the Boiler Room.
S: Wait. There’s got to be one. No-
J: I don’t think there is one, that I’ve been to at least.
S: Yeah, I love them all. At this point I’m enjoying quiet bars in a way that I never thought I would. I love neighborhood spots. I live in Bushwick. So I love, what is it? Honore Club. I don’t know if you’ve been there.
J: No, I don’t know this one.
S: It’s like a dive bar.
S: And because, again, I think of myself as a commoner, I don’t like cocktail bars.
J: Fancy cocktail bars.
J: More of a beer and a shot man.
S: I’m a beer and a shot girl.
J: I really respect that.
S: I’m addicted to them. It’s actually a problem.
J: It’s hugely bad, this is an intervention.
S: Yeah, it should be.
J: Okay. When you first moved to New York, were you hitting the gay bars?
S: No, I was going to real divey places. And even I was in music scenes, vaguely.
J: I didn’t know this about you.
S: I played drums in a band and so it was a lot of stupid DIY venues.
J: Like warehouses that would burn?
J: Flammable bars.
J: Yeah, absolutely.
S: Sort of paying a random person, $2 in cash for a PBR.
J: Yeah, I’ve been to those spaces.
S: Which I really did like and I thought that was going to be my life forever. But I think I was denying that I was… I was out but I wasn’t living out loud.
J: That’s a real time when you’re like, “I’m the gay one in the straight space.”
S: Yeah. Yeah. And then when I started to go to gay bars, I was like, “Oh, this is so much better.”
J: Yes. I regret that. I think the number one reason because the first three years I lived in New York, I lived on 156th, and I really like-
J: I lived so far up town.
S: That’s crazy.
J: I know. I know.
S: Why did you do that?
J: Because I got some bad advice. I think it was a mixture. Someone who had lived in Brooklyn for a long time, who I knew, because I was in Burlington, Vermont before this. Someone who had lived in Brooklyn for a long time before she moved to Burlington was giving me this speech one time about, “How Brooklyn’s changed, Don’t live there. It’s over.” And I didn’t know that’s just what anyone who leaves Brooklyn has to say to assuage the fact that they left Brooklyn. And so I was like, “Oh, I guess we can’t move to Brooklyn.” I truly took that as, “Don’t go to Brooklyn.” She was like, “It’s too expensive.” I thought it was just not doable. And I also knew I had a restaurant job lined up in Manhattan, and in my mind I didn’t understand. I thought anywhere in Manhattan would be closer to a spot in Manhattan than Brooklyn. Little did I know I was four times farther away than I could have been.
S: Oh, no.
J: It was so bad. And then once we lived there, I just did the thing where I didn’t want to admit that I had moved to the wrong neighborhood. So people would be like, “You live how far uptown?” Like, “Do you know what? I actually love it, it’s amazing, and Brooklyn I hear is so bad.” And I did that for years.
S: Oh, no.
J: When I started dating Nate, he lived in Crown Heights and I started staying at his place, and within one week it was like, “By simply sleeping here three nights a week, my quality of life has improved.”
S: It’s sort of a long-distance relationship.
J: Oh. I mean, true. I owe his old roommates money because I spent too much time in his apartment. I just started sleeping there all the time because it was too far. But now there are gay bars up there, apparently.
S: I’ve been to one. Is Suite up there?
J: Suite was up there and was up there when I went there, I had a really bizarre night at Suite once.
S: That’s kind of the vibe.
J: The one time I walked into it, it was truly an establishing shot from an episode of “Broad City.” It was like linoleum tile, there was a man walking around in all whites and an active hospital bracelet on his arm, it was really something. No, but I think there’s a Boxers up there now in the 150s.
S: Oh yeah, that makes sense.
J: None of that was up there when I went there. And so all the gay bars were in Hell’s Kitchen or in Brooklyn; I guess there’s Boiler Room East Village or whatever. But I just was never going to them because they weren’t in my neighborhood. And it wasn’t until I moved to Brooklyn that I got to really dive in and I was like, “Oh, this makes living in New York so much better, actively going to the gay bars.”
S: Yeah. Yeah. And I think we can agree on the hottest spot in town, The Exley.
J: It’s the hottest spot in town.
S: It’s actually too hot.
J: That’s the thing. And I hate talking about it because I hate any sort of energy like, “Well, I used to be into it when it was…” But I’ve been going to The Exley since I moved to New York because it used to be a straight bar that just played Drag Race.
S: Oh, I didn’t know they did that. I remember it as a straight bar.
J: That was the thing. It was a straight bar and it played Drag Race. And because I think the bartender who worked. — because this was also back when Drag Race was on Wednesdays or Thursdays or whatever — was gay, and he was like, “I’m playing Drag Race.”
S: That’s nice.
J: And so it was nice to go because it would be like, I think the first time I went there, there were five people watching Drag Race. It was empty. And then by the time a few seasons rolled around, it was just packed, and then it became a gay bar. And watching a bar become a gay bar is a cool experience. But now it is like you can’t get in.
S: You can’t get in.
J: I will never forget a few months ago going to The Exley, and there was a guy standing by the door and I went to walk by him and he was like, “Hey.” And I was like, “Hi,” thinking that I didn’t recognize him from being drunk there. It took me three full minutes to understand he was the bouncer. There was a bouncer at The Exley. I could not understand what was happening. And he was like, “Can I see your ID?” I was like, “Why?” And then I was like, “Oh, you’re employed by this venue.” And he’s the nicest guy, he’s the sweetest guy. But the first time that happened, that was like, “Oh wow, this is a very different bar now.”
S: It is like I can go there and run into every type of person I’ve ever met. It’s all different circles that shouldn’t know each other.
J: I know. When I started seeing other comedians there, I was like, “Oh, wow. This has changed circles.”
S: It’s too bad. I do think we need a 30-plus gay bar in Brooklyn that’s tasteful and ideally has more than one bathroom.
J: You know that The Exley got new bathrooms.
S: Oh, I saw last night.
J: I haven’t gone yet because I’ve been gone.
S: Oh my god.
J: But I’m going to Azealia Banks after this, so maybe I’ll go to The Exley after that. She’s playing in Central Park. Do you want to come?
S: Is it right after this?
J: It’s at, I think, 7.
S: Oh, wow. Is it free?
J: No, but I think it’s like 30 bucks.
S: Wow, I mean-
J: It’s like two sides and a dessert to go see Azealia.
S: I don’t deserve it.
J: All I can think about right now is I might find out the Queen of England died while watching Azealia Banks in Central Park.
S: Wow, that would be a slay.
J: But what was I going to say? They do have two bathrooms now, which is nice.
S: Yeah. But I do think there needs to be one more. There needs to be one more place like that.
J: Yes, because it used to be… I’ve been thinking about this. It used to be like you could go to Metro and stand and maybe dance.
S: Right. Potentially.
J: Is that a dance floor? I would not say so.
S: I’ll argue no.
J: I would argue absolutely not. You could go to Rosemont and maybe dance. And then Macri was like, “I’m not really sure what’s happening but it’s fun.” And then Exley was like, “I can sit down and have a conversation.” Those days are dead in the ground, and the sit-and-have-a-conversation place is not in current existence.
S: Right, right, right, right, right.
J: And so I’m like, do we turn another straight bar in the area?
S: There’s an audience for it.
J: There’s two of us sitting right here.
S: I’m trying to think which straight bar I would turn first.
J: Oh my God. If this was people, it’d be so problematic being like, “Which person is secretly gay?” But doing the bar is very fun.
S: You love to do it with the bar.
J: Yeah. Which bar is secretly hungry for c*ck?
S: Yeah. Okay. So it’s in the Williamsburg area.
J: Yeah. Does it have to be? I guess it kind of does.
S: I like that little neighborhood feeling of we can bop around.
J: Yes. Yeah. So it could be-
S: There’s a bar that I used to go to, it was called Lady Jay’s, it’s kind of a divey vibe, they have a nice backyard patio area.
S: That should turn, I feel like it already has a name that feels like a gay double entendre or something but isn’t. Also there actually are randomly… I’ve seen a few bears there, like the bear that cut my hair.
J: Is that a children’s book? I’m sorry. The bear that cut my hair.
S: I saw the bear that cut my hair there, but I stopped going to him.
J: Oh, that’s the worst when you see a hair person you stopped going to in public.
S: Yeah. Now I go to a lovely little twink.
J: Do you only let gay men cut your hair?
S: I do prefer it.
J: Okay. Okay.
S: I just feel like they understand.
J: This is my thing right now, my hair is the longest it’s been in years, which is not saying much because it’s not that long, I just don’t normally have my hair long. But it’s long enough that I feel like I can get some sort of fun cut. And I was like, “Should I get a fun cut?” And Nate goes to some chic East Village queer place. I was like, “I’m sorry, haircuts are $80? I’m not really doing that.” So I do just want to go to the straight barber and have him give me the…
S: I think they’ll do what you need.
J: Yeah. How are you finding gay barbers? Are you-
S: Through luck.
J: Through luck, okay.
S: Yeah. But when I do find them I cling to them.
J: I really hate when people look for municipal services on Grindr. Can I just say that?
S: Oh my God.
J: When people look for municipal services and when people look for housing. Sorry, I know people need housing, but I really hate when a bio is like, “Looking for a roommate.” I’m like, “There are apps for that.”
S: I never have trusted that when it’s like, “Looking for a roommate.” I’m like, “In what sexual way?”
S: “You’re looking for a situation, right?”
J: You’re looking for drama is what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a place where… You can say that. It’s like you’re looking for a place where it’s like there’s going to be immediate sexual action upon moving.
S: Yeah, that was my college fantasy, I would argue. I was like, “Please have a gay roommate, and we both closeted”
J: Oh, in the dorms?
S: Yeah, that’s all I wanted.
J: They should do some sort of testing for that.
S: Literally, there needs to be a code word. You can be like, “Give me another closeted guy. We need to find ourselves together.”
J: It’d be so helpful.
S: It would actually be huge. Mental illness wouldn’t exist anymore, it would be so helpful.
J: Because if they’re gay, they will both get along, and they will enjoy sex with each other, and they will be compatible.
S: And only for one year, and then that’s perfect because then you move on.
J: And yes. And then you go out of your closet and then you get to live with the gay person you want your sophomore year
S: And you can be like, “Oh, and I know how to have sex because I did it with my closeted roommate.” Which would be so helpful.
J: That would be so helpful.
J: You should open a college.
S: I should open a college, Sam’s School for Girls. Yeah, all the classes are fake, but you do have a roommate, and that’s what’s key.
J: You have to mandatorily stay in the dorms for all four years. And it’s like, “Why?”
S: The classes, like the dessert menu, are for show.
J: I can’t believe you thought dessert menus were for show. That’s the funniest thing to me.
S: I believed it.
J: Okay, so we can turn Lady Jay’s gay. I’m open to that.
S: I think we can.
J: I think that could work. My thought was because she’s already a little queeny, is Night of Joy. Is that still open?
S: Yeah, that is still open. That is going to be a hard battle to win because I feel like straight… Okay, Cupid dates come alive at Night of Joy.
J: Yeah, you just need to start. Gays can do it, though.
S: It’s going to be a battle.
J: I’ll bleed for it.
S: I do love that place, though.
J: Yeah, I’m always like, “Is this owned by Sleep No More? Is it-”
S: Yeah, it’s got a spooky feel.
J: I think a gay spooky bar could be fun.
S: That would be fun. I will say Night of Joy is one of those places that I don’t go to because I’m like, that’s a cocktail bar, and I wrote those off in 2013.
J: Do you not consider Exley a cocktail bar? I guess you can get a beer in a shot is the thing.
S: You can, yeah. And I feel like it used to be a cocktail bar, but now if you order a cocktail they’ll literally get mad at you.
J: That’s actually really true. Do you like cocktails, though? Twist my arm.
S: Are you offering? I do. I do. I don’t like anything too much stuff, I like a simple cocktail.
J: That’s the general theme among people right now, I think it’s very in.
S: Yeah. Well, that’s good. I love to be on trend.
J: Yeah, I think you are on trend.
S: I love a Martini.
J: The Martini is the drink of the moment, objectively.
S: Objectively. And it should be. It should be celebrated.
J: And it’s the most classic drink of all time.
S: A staple.
J: Life’s hard. It’s a drink for alcoholics, but it’s like…
S: Yeah, but cool ones.
J: No, like cool ones.
S: Ones that have nice clothes.
J: Cool alcoholics drink beers and shots or Martinis.
J: So you have both bases covered.
S: Yeah, I have it all figured out because it’s hard not to do the beer and shot. It’s so affordable.
J: See I don’t do beer and shot because the last time I did it was like a year or two ago and I got rip sh*t drunk, I’m like, “Oh yeah, because I’m doing a shot with every drink.” I love beer but I don’t need to do shots with it, I think, is the thing.
S: Sure, sure. No, I leave the bar being like, “I only had four drinks?” And it’s like, “You had eight drinks.”
J: You had eight.
S: Yeah, but it only counts as four.
J: According to medical science, it doesn’t. But I hear what you’re saying.
S: It’s like four rounds.
J: That’s a different thing. That’s a different thing. That’s the other problem with The Exley, and this is like, I love them so much, but I’ll be like, “Can I get a normal gin and soda,” and then the amount of gin they put in, and I’m like, “This will kill a whale.”
S: I’ve gotten dangerously drunk at The Exley bar because they pour so strong.
J: That’s amazing.
S: It’s kind of crazy.
J: Yeah, that’s why I sometimes have to drink beer there because I’m like, “At least they can’t roofie me with this.”
S: Yeah. There was a time I had my birthday there two years ago or something and I almost died. I was like, “This is insane.” And then I was like, “Were they mad at me? Were they trying to injure me with how much they were giving me?” It’s crazy.
J: Yeah, I think it comes from the best of places, but overly strong drinks are not a gift.
J: Maybe when you’re 21, but once you pass 28, it’s like, “I want the exact amount of alcohol I ordered because I’m really trying to control my health.”
S: And a lot of times it’s an endurance test and it’s like, “I want to be getting a drink but I don’t need to be drinking.”
J: Thank you.
S: I also wish an expert bartender, I want them to give me a really strong first one and then get less and less strong as they go on.
J: Oh my god.
S: I want them to know what I’m up to.
J: That reminded me, this one time this woman came up to me at Rosemary’s, which is this restaurant I worked at in the West Village for a long time, and she was like, “Hey.” She was like, “I really like the vibe of this table, this table and this table. Do you think it’d be possible,” this is in the middle of a busy service, she’s like, “Do appetizers at this table, and then do entrees at that table, and then we finish up some dessert at that table.” And I was like, “I’m sorry, are you asking to move three different tables during the course of your dinner?” And she was like, “Yeah.” And I was like, “Absolutely not.” It was maybe the craziest thing anyone ever asked before in my time working in restaurants.
S: Wait, I don’t even understand what she means.
J: So they were like… Have you ever been to this restaurant Rosemary’s? No, you hate restaurants. It’s in West Village. It’s this big open room, and by the bar, there are these standing tables that are long wooden tables that you stand at and usually drink wine and have snacks while you’re waiting for your table. She was like, “Can we be sat at this table for appetizers? And then when we finish our appetizers, walk over to a table that is set for us for dinner, have entrees at that table. And then when we finish our entrees, stand up and go move and sit at a table outside for dessert.”
S: Wow. Yeah, that’s insane. She wanted to do a crawl within the restaurant.
S: A table crawl.
J: She wanted a full wedding planner event. I was like, “Babe, no.”
S: You know she’s ordering dessert.
J: She’s ordering dessert, she’s never not. She’s not eating it, but she’s ordered it.
S: She’s ordered it. She’s getting it to go.
J: But she thought I was a real b*tch for saying no. She was like, “Really?” And I was like, “Absolutely not.” I thought it was the craziest thing. It’s one of the craziest things anyone ever asked me.
S: How mad did she get?
J: Really mad.
S: Did she leave a Yelp review?
J: It was really funny when people would leave bad Yelp reviews about me because management would have to try to not be offensive by being like, “What says like big gay man.” And they’d be like, “Because we don’t know who that is.” And it’s like me and three women who are the bartenders and it’s like, “Yeah, I don’t know.” They’re like, “Okay. Well this one says, ‘That loud f*ggot was rude to them.” And I’m like, “Who do you think that was?” And management has to be like, “Sarah?” It was truly my favorite.
J: Someone was like, “I don’t remember his name, but he looked like a Justin.” Rudest thing anyone’s ever said about me. Looked like a Justin.
J: Looked like a Justin.
S: Looked like a Justin. I would never describe you as that.
J: I could kiss you on the mouth for that. Thank you so much. If you said, “I see it,” I would’ve been like, “Leave, it’s over.”
S: No, I’m trying now. I’m like, “What would I see you as if I didn’t know your name?”
J: I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot recently, so maybe I’ve said this on the podcast, but I recently remembered when I was 4 or 5, when I was a little kid. I was in absolute crisis about the fact that my name was Jake. I was like, “I’ve been named the wrong name. This is the wrong name. I have name dysphoria.” And I was positive that I was meant to be named Chris.
J: The most lateral move in the world. I was devastated, and that would’ve made my name Chris Cornell.
S: Love that. I think you could be a Dylan, to be honest.
J: That’s hot. Thank you.
S: Right? It’s kind of sexy.
J: I-L or Y-L?
S: Let’s do Y.
S: Dylan, because that’s like… with a Y, that’s like a man that goes to London for Christmas.
J: Yes. Yes.
S: He knows the world, he’s worldly.
J: Okay, wait.
S: But he still knows how to fix a truck.
J: Thank you.
S: That’s Dylan.
J: I don’t know how to fix a truck.
S: No, no, no.
J: No, no, no, no.
S: You just look like that.
J: No, no. I look like it. Okay. Wait, what name would… I would say… Wait, do you know what name literally just came to me?
J: Do you see that? No, they’re on the phones. Do you see that for you?
S: Trevor? Well, I like it. It sort of implies intellectual. It’s a little nerdy, but not in a way that’s bad. It’s sort of like you’re almost the quiet hero of the story, I could see.
J: Yeah. Trevor also has an intrinsic sort of, there is a physical capability there. I don’t think Trevor is ever that weak.
J: They are nerdy and they’re delicate, but there’s a strength and there’s an ability, there’s a physical capability to it.
S: Wow, I love that.
S: Trevor wears glasses, but they’re sexy.
J: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re more for reading. If they were to fall, he’s not like Velma-ing. Do you know what I mean?
S: Yeah. He puts them on when he’s driving a car.
J: That’s what I need my glasses for.
S: Oh my God, huge.
J: Whenever I get glasses because I do find them really helpful for driving, I always get dragged by the people at Warby Parker, they’re like, “Wow, this prescription is so light. Do you sure you need these?” And I’m like, “Are you trying not to sell me the glasses? I just want them for driving. I don’t wear them all the time.”
S: What do they help with for driving? They’re so light.
J: I get the ones that are treated with this thing for oncoming… This is so boring.
S: No, someone at home is going through this exact same issue. And you’re about to set them free.
J: It’s two things. I get tired and I get headaches because my eyes are trying to focus, so it makes it easier on the eye sore with the glasses. And also I get this treatment on the lenses that makes it so that oncoming headlights aren’t as bright, so it doesn’t blind me because I struggle with that.
S: Wow, I love that. I think maybe this podcast is the time for me to say it, but I think I might need glasses.
J: Wait. Really? What’s been happening?
S: I just can’t see as well. I’ll notice myself looking at something in the distance and not being able to read it, and being like, “That’s not how I used to be.”
J: Yeah, I feel that way all the time now.
S: But getting glasses is the fall of my life. I’m a little like, “Oh no, this is death. This is decay.”
J: Is that your first aging thing to experience? Because I don’t see any gray.
S: I have a touch. But yeah, I think for the most part it’s probably the most notable one.
J: That’s interesting. That’s hard to experience, is your first big moment of aging.
S: Yeah, because I’m a teen. I always have been.
J: You’re 19.
S: Yeah, I’m 19 and I have a fake ID.
J: Did you ever have a fake ID?
S: Did you?
J: Yeah, I had a lot of fake IDs. I had two fake IDs.
S: Well, yeah-
J: Or three, because one was someone else’s, and I had two that I had made.
S: How come?
S: Why? Weren’t you in Vermont? Do you need to go to bars in Vermont?
J: What the f*ck else are you going to do?
S: I feel like Vermont is where you have house parties or something.
J: No, I never liked house parties because I always used to say the theme of every party is if there’s a fire we won’t get out because they’re just so many people. They were always in basements and I didn’t like it. And it was also a lot of it was the navigation of, “Can we get in with the ratio of girls to boys?” Do you remember this?
S: Of course. You were going to more fratty parties, you weren’t in the sort of indie scene of Vermont?
J: No. Yeah, I was not with the indie scene. Because the indie scene of Vermont was annoying rich kids who were into… The indie kids in Vermont were too into hard drugs for me is actually what the issue was. It was either you could just be a drinker, but then you had to hang out with people that had bad personalities. Not my friends, I like my friends if you’re listening. But the general population had bad personalities. Or you could hang out with people that had maybe good personalities, but they were like, “We could try heroin.” They were like, “We could flirt with it.”
J: So I think I gravitated more towards that one crowd. But yeah, so I had fake IDs to get into the bars because also I’m young for my grade.
S: Oh, when’s your birthday?
J: November 3rd.
S: Okay. Now I’m trying to do the math. I don’t get it, but I believe you.
J: I turned 21 in November of my senior year of college.
S: Oh my god. Okay.
J: So I was young for my grades.
S: And you wanted to be able to hit the bars with the squad.
J: I needed to, I couldn’t be left out.
S: Was there a gay bar in Vermont?
J: Absolutely not. There were two things. There was a bar called Half Lounge that felt gay, but I think that just meant that they were like nice.
S: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
J: They were queer adjacent, but no one there was actually… I wasn’t hooking up with people at Half Lounge. And then there was this concert venue called Higher Ground that had this thing called First Friday, which the first Friday of every month was a gay party.
J: Yeah, but it was 16 or older. So once you were like 20, I was like, “I don’t like this.”
S: Wow, that’s kind of gross.
S: Why did they… Well, I guess… I don’t know.
J: Because the teens needed something too.
S: Yeah, but gay teens?
J: No, gay teens can suffer.
S: Yeah. They can go on the internet or whatever and see whatever nasty sh*t.
J: Did you have a gay bar in college? No way.
S: Oh, God, no.
J: No. Where’d you go?
S: University of Virginia.
S: And they’re actually-
J: Were you out in college?
S: Half? Do you know what I mean?
J: Like you were bi?
J: That’s a valid guess.
S: That’s a really valid guess, actually. No, that’s really smart.
J: I should have done that.
S: No, I was like, “I’m out to my friends,” but in Spanish class I’ll say mi novia. Do you know what I mean? Because I don’t need my whole Spanish class knowing what my whole deal is, my sexuality is private.
J: Okay, sure, sure, sure.
S: But it was complicated.
J: Yeah, that makes sense. But there was no gay bars at UVA?
S: There were zero. Well, okay. There was actually one called… I forget what it was called, but you had to be a member and-
J: So it was like a sex club?
S: We went once and it wasn’t a sex club, but I think like-
J: Oh, maybe, this is dark, but maybe it’s Virginia, they were like, “You have to be a member because it’s a safety concern.”
S: I honestly think that might have been it.
J: That sucks. That f*cking sucks.
S: Yeah. It wasn’t an incredible gay scene, but there were closeted frat bros in sort of a hot throwback way.
J: That is fun.
S: And it’s like, where else are you going to have that? You don’t have that in New York damn City.
J: No, too many people f*cking out here for that.
S: My favorite bar is going to the Midwest and being on SCRUFF.
J: It is crazy when you go. It’s crazy to go back to Burlington. Even just Burlington, which is a very progressive city and open Grindr and SCRUFF, and how many of the profiles are faceless, it’s wild.
S: And being like, “Married to a woman. Need to be discreet.” And like, “Wow.”
J: Or, “Am straight, but love sucking dick.” And I’m like, “The fact that you could type that sentence out is really crazy to me.”
S: It’s genius. They’re actually working at a higher level than we are.
J: Yeah. If you want to talk about acting, the best theater is happening in the Midwest and in rural areas.
S: They have full families and then they’re also on Grindr, it’s insane. Who has the time?
J: The stress of that.
S: Oh my God.
J: That was the thing. I remember when I was thinking about coming out, I was like, “Oh my God, the stress of doing anything otherwise sounds worse.”
S: So I was like, “I’m going to be the best closeted man on Earth.”
S: I was so committed.
J: Reading books on it.
S: No, I was like, “It’s actually going to be really easy because I’m really efficient, I’m really smart.” I was like, “I’m going to have a perfect family and I’m going to be secretly gay.”
J: You sound so excited planning out your Tracy Flick life.
S: I was like, “This is perfect. Everyone else has it all wrong.”
J: “Everyone else who was outed and had their lives ruined was just dumb. I’m smart and I’ve got it figured out.”
S: “When people come out of the closet, they’re being lazy.”
J: “They’re not willing to do the work that I’m going to do, that I’m going to put in.”
S: Yeah. And then I think actually drinking, I was like, “Oh wait, now I feel free to talk and I’m spilling all my secrets.”
J: Oh God.
S: So if I had never had a drink, I would never be out of the closet. That’s not true, but let’s run with it.
J: That’s a beautiful thing that alcohol did for you, and alcohol does almost no good things for anyone.
S: Yeah, it’s kind of a slay. Alcohol’s a slay.
J: A slay to heterosexuality.
S: Yeah. Bye. And honestly, sometimes when people have never had a drink, I’m like, “What are you hiding? What don’t you want to say?”
J: Yeah. It’s always interesting. I don’t judge anyone who doesn’t drink. I get it, especially… but if never even tried it and they’re like, “I just don’t like being out of control in that way.” I’m like, “What are you trying to control? Are you Bruce Banner? What is your Hulk?” Do you know what I mean?
S: Yeah. I love that. I’m about to talk about this on this podcast. This is genius. I was listening to Jason Alexander on a podcast.
J: You’ve brought up “Seinfeld” three times.
S: Sorry. I’m in a “Seinfeld” era. I started watching it this year and I’m loving it, actually.
J: Okay. God bless.
S: But Jason Alexander, he said he’s never had a drink. He said he’s never been drunk in his life. And I was like, “You’re bisexual.” He gives me such bisexual energy and I think he’s hiding it.
J: Good for him.
S: You heard it here first. Breaking.
J: That’s your number one red flag for bisexual. Yeah, okay. I’m down, let’s say.
S: Yeah, let’s spread that.
J: What’s that character’s name? I want to say Kramer, but I know it’s not Kramer.
J: Okay. So Costanza’s bi.
S: Costanza’s bi.
S: Confirmed. Confirmed, or else why doesn’t he drink?
J: That’s it.
S: That’s it.
J: And that’s it.
S: And that’s it.
S: So who do you think is bi? Oh, brother.
J: I think most people would be bi. I know that’s not a novel take to have, but I think most people would be bi. This is true. The people I respect their sexuality the most are the handful of straight men I know who are like, “Oh, I tried hooking up with a guy and it wasn’t for me, so I went back to girls.” I’m like, “You’re the straightest person I know.”
J: If you had sex with one man and you didn’t enjoy it, and you’re like, “I actually think I really prefer women.” I’m like, “You’re literally the most heterosexual person I know.”
S: If you love something, let it go. And that’s what they did with their straight and that’s when they came back. It was just so powerful.
S: Because how else can you know?
J: Absolutely. Someone’s like, “I’m a salty person, not a sweet person, but I’ve never had ice cream.” I’m like, “You don’t know.” But if you’re like, “I tried ice cream, not for me really, I prefer chips.” I’m like, “You’re the saltiest b*tch I know, 100 percent.”
S: Yeah. So maybe you’re telling me I need to start ordering desserts because only then can I know for real if I’m a dessert person.
J: What did you feel like the first time you were at a table and someone ordered dessert? Was it shock?
S: It was shock. Truly it was like, I do the performance of the waiter, like, “And dessert?” “No, thank you.” I was like, “Yep, now we have to do this thing that we always do.” And they were like, “Actually, I would… thinking about the chocolate.” And I was like, “What? No one orders this. Off limits.”
J: Did you have a bite?
J: Have you ever experienced the dessert cart? I feel like that’s a very rare thing now, but that’s…
S: I saw it as a kid, but I feel like I don’t see it anymore.
J: Yeah, okay.
S: And it was always for other tables.
J: That was not coming to the Taggart table?
S: No. No. No. My mom is a real health nut.
J: No sugar household?
S: Kind of, but not entirely, but mostly.
J: Were you the house where I would go to when I was a kid where they were like, “We don’t have Frosted Flakes, we have Tiger Chips,” or whatever it was called?
S: Yeah. Everything had to have less than 10 grams of sugar, all the cereals. So that outlaws so many of them. But I found that if you sort of find the ones with the smaller serving size, it says they have less sugar. It’s one way to hack the system, if any bad kids are listening.
J: That’s amazing. I’m just a small child really holding hands with corporations like GE or GM. GE? And being like, “Let’s do this together. Let’s deceive this mother together.”
S: “Yeah, we need to… Yeah, we’re tricking them.”
J: We’re tricking them. Okay, Gorgeous. I like to end these episodes by planning our next night out together.
S: Ooh. Sorry I’m bringing the mic closer because I’m like, “Wait.” I’m trying to get intimate.
J: So do you want to hang out?
S: Is that how it always starts?
J: Yeah, sometimes. Well, sometimes it’s with Dorinda, and it’s like we’re not hanging out, but let’s plan the night out. But you and I have gone out together and I would like to go out again.
S: Yeah. I don’t know what the segment is.
J: “You didn’t ask me permission. I don’t want to hang out. I’m leaving. I’m so busy.”
S: I’m like, “Literally, every night is booked. You have no idea what I’m up to. I’m always moving in silence, and it’s very productive silence.”
J: “I have to go back to Long Island.”
S: Yeah. So we’re going out.
J: We’re going out. What do you want to do?
S: Where do you want to go? So this is why I’m bad to go out with because I literally am just like, “So what do you want to do?” Okay. But okay, so you want to go to dinner?
J: The face you made when you pitched that was begging me to say otherwise, but I really want to see you in a restaurant. I want to take you to one of my favorite restaurants and see what happens.
S: Where would we go?
J: We could go to Bernie’s because it’s within walking distance to all the bars we just talked about.
S: Oh, I’ve never… What’s that place?
J: It’s on, not Fort Greene Park, McLaren Park, and they do Martinis and burgers and chicken parm and sh*t like that. So we could do that. We could do somewhere a little easier because that might be a wait, that might be triggering for you.
S: I mean, 100 percent.
J: We can also… I’m not above doing slices of pizza.
S: No, we’re going to Bernie’s, we’re going to make a reservation.
J: They don’t do reservations.
S: They don’t do… Oh.
J: It’s walk in.
S: How close is the table next to us going to be? Really close, right?
J: It’s like a banquet, it’s shared. We could do the bar.
S: Okay. I was like, I’d do the bar. Okay. That sounds nice.
J: Okay, we’ll do that.
J: And then this is the question. I guess it’s like, what bars do we check out if they are… do we want to go one of the gay bars, or are we trying to turn Lady Jay’s?
S: Okay. Unfortunately, we will have to go to The Exley if we’re going to meet them.
J: We do love them, but yeah.
S: And it’s like we’re just going to have to go there and maybe we can get upset there, that could be a nice texture for the night as we get mad because it’s too crowded. And then maybe we start a revolution and are like, “Everyone outside, we’re going to Lady Jay’s.”
J: All the people we don’t like, “Come with us.”
S: “We’re going to make it gay for tonight.”
J: Wait. Wait, you just actually brought up the actual plan, which is we need to make another bar in that area cooler so that we then can go back to The Exley when it’s not cool.
S: Wow, that’s smart. Lead a revolution and then go back. That’s genius.
J: That is the move.
S: Downright evil.
J: I’m not above it. I’m not above it.
S: Take back The Exley by any means necessary.
J: Wait, I would… Okay, so that’s the move. I’m picturing setting roach bait for people, but it’s for Gen Z.
S: We’re literally going to throw a party at Lady Jay’s, make an event, make a poster-
J: We need to get the Elf Bar to sponsor it so that there’s a bunch of free vapes.
S: And then we don’t go.
J: Oh, no, no, no.
S: We’re at The Exley enjoying our quiet time.
J: One time, when Exley was still transitioning from gay bar to straight bar or from straight bar to gay bar, so you would show up and it was usually a gay bar every once in a while. One time I threw my birthday party at The Exley probably four years ago. Threw my birthday party at The Exley, which means we all showed up and it was the premiere of a what? A skateboarding film. That wasn’t a narrative, it was just a video of people skateboarding.
S: Oh no.
J: And there were 400 skaters in The Exley watching it, so we had to go to Union Pool.
S: Talk about a straight bar.
J: It was tough. So what if we made Union Pool gay? That would be Herculean.
S: They did have a party every once in a while, I forgot what it was called, but it used to happen on Thursday nights after Drag Race screenings.
J: Oh, interesting.
S: And it was apparently kind of slutty, but I never went because it was like, “I have to move in the morning. You can’t be going to the Union Pool gay party-”
J: Oh, doing a shift moving hung over, sounds like maybe the worst experience.
S: I did it once and I wanted to die. It really sucks.
J: That sounds so bad.
J: Okay. This was so fun. Thank you so much for doing the show.
S: Thank you for having me. So fun.
J: I will see you at The Exley.
Thank you so much for listening to “Going Out With Jake Cornell.” If you could please go and rate and review us on whatever you’re listening to this on, that would be really gorgeous for me in a huge way, so thank you.
And now, for some credits. “Going Out With Jake Cornell” is recorded in New York City and is produced by Keith Beavers and Katie Brown. The music you’re hearing is by Darbi Cicci. The cover art you’re probably looking at was photographed by M. Cooper and designed by Danielle Grinberg. And a special shout-out to VinePair co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for making all of this possible.