This week, Jake goes out with TikTok creator and writer Eli Rallo. The two discuss college tailgating culture, how TikTok has changed nightlife, and why younger generations are drinking less. Tune in for more.
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Jake Cornell: I was thinking about this last night when it’s 50, 55 in New York and it’s nighttime and there’s zero wind, the air is completely still. That’s my most “I’m living in a New York movie” moment.
Eli Rallo: Yeah. That’s really “The Devil Wears Prada,” Andy Sachs moment.
J: Exactly. Yeah. It’s very romcom, like oh, “This is perfect New York because you can layer but you’re not actually uncomfortable.” If anything were to happen, you could be outside for hours, you could be indoors for hours. That is truly the world is your oyster.
E: Happy medium.
J: All the happy mediums.
E: But then when it’s raining it’s disgusting at that temperature.
J: Oh, I can’t. 50 and raining is one of the worst weathers there is available to human existence.
E: I also was saying this to someone yesterday, I don’t remember the last time we’ve had a week of terrible weather where you wake up and go to bed with gray sleeting rain nastiness.
J: People don’t really talk about it but the truth of the matter is the weather of summer 2020, or was it summer 2021? The summer — maybe it was summer 2021, our first “We’re back, it’s happening.”
E: Yeah, last summer.
J: That summer the weather was wretched the whole-
E: It was horrible.
J: The whole summer. And everyone was like, “I’m having the best summer of my life,” and I was like, “It is absolutely disgusting out and has consistently been disgusting this entire month, these three months.”
E: Maybe that’s also why the Hamptons and Fire Island and all those places saw a crazy boom and influx of people this year because last year they couldn’t do it because the weather was sh*tty every weekend.
J: Yeah, I think that was a part. I think that’s actually a really good theory. Are you a Hamptons person?
E: I like the Hamptons.
J: Are you from Long Island, did I make that up?
E: I’m from Jersey.
J: You’re from Jersey.
E: But my parents love to take a little boat day to Fire Island. They love Fire Island so I was there a bunch this summer. And I’ll go to the Hamptons and Montauk, but it’s not really my scene. I don’t love a see-and-be-seen vibe. I like more chill.
J: Gotcha. Which town on Fire Island is the town your family goes to?
E: The first one. Okay, the first one is a terrible way to put it. The one right where the dock is, with Flynns, the bar Flynns. I don’t even know what it’s called.
J: Yeah, is it called Ocean Grove or something? Ocean Hill?
E: It might be.
J: Something. Because obviously, as a gay man, I’m much more familiar with the Pines and Cherry Grove but then I have a friend group that actually does, and I almost don’t want to say this on the podcast because I don’t want other people to start doing this, but we go to one of the straight towns on Fire Island in September the first week that’s considered off-season and it’s dirt cheap, it’s still really nice and there’s no one around and we just have a house to ourselves and a really quiet beach and it’s gorge.
E: Yeah. Last time I went there we brought my brother who’s also a gay man and everyone was DM-ing me like, “You guys are in the wrong place. You’re not in the gay place. He wants the gay place. You guys are in the straight area of Fire Island.”
J: It’s so funny because whenever I tell people I’ve gone to the straight places, they’re like, “Wait?” I’m like, “You have to understand, as a gay man, I can go to the straight place.”
E: I’m allowed to go.
J: I’m allowed to go there and I actually can enjoy a space that’s not exclusively queer. Maybe not as much, but I have the ability to do both.
E: Yeah, you were like, I can be sort of ambidextrous in that way.
J: So you are from Jersey. Did you grow up? Are you from a part of Jersey where you were growing up coming to the city a lot?
E: Yeah. So I grew up in Monmouth County, which is 45 minutes in a car. There’s also a boat, which is a very chic way to get back and forth. It’s easy.
J: I’m obsessed with taking a boat anywhere.
E: It’s a ferry. A lot of people take it actually in the summer to go to the beach because I grew up on the beach so it’s like you can take it for a day trip and then there’s a train, whatever. So I definitely came in a lot, especially because I was a drama club kid. And seeing Broadway and doing that stuff when I was young was the thing to do to come in.
J: Totally. And then did you go to college here?
E: No, I went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
J: All right. For musical theater?
E: Not for musical theater, for playwriting and producing, a little creative writing too. But I originally was like, I’m going to go and do MT stuff and then I woke up one day when I was in high school and I was like, you’re not going to be on Broadway, b*tch. You’re just not that good. It was a moment of self-awareness that I’m proud of to this day where I was just like, I don’t think that singing, acting, dancing is for you. You can have fun doing it but you’re not going to make it.
J: That shows a level of self-awareness and maturity that I think a lot of people don’t have. To be like, it’s not… There’s a difference between giving up on your dreams and changing your dreams to what you actually think makes sense.
E: Yes. Because the thing was, I was a really talented writer and I was good at positions of responsibility and I was like, I deeply love theater but it isn’t even so much performing it that I love because it’s so hard for me, it was so challenging. I really had to push myself to even be able to do certain roles. So I was like, it doesn’t come that natural. It’s not my gift. But I could be in theatrical spaces and use my gifts and that was what I ended up doing.
J: I love that. And so then you moved to New York, what? Two years ago when you graduated?
E: Yeah, so I actually moved to Columbia University Journalism School to get my master’s.
J: Oh, sh*t.
E: So I was a pandemic baby in terms of college graduation. So it was 2020. I was like, “I don’t know what to do with my life.” I don’t want to do theater anymore, because I had interned on Broadway and just didn’t love it and I wanted to write so I was like, “I guess I’ll be a journalist.” That makes sense. I’ve been writing for a school paper. So I went to Columbia and then all social media stuff happened and I have not used that degree.
J: You got it, though.
E: I got it. Yeah.
J: Nice. But you’re writing a book now?
E: Yeah. So I guess, everybody’s like-
J: But I guess it’s not a journalist book.
E: “She went to Columbia, she got this degree and she doesn’t use it.” I’m like, “This is audio journalism, baby.” Podcasting, and in a way TikTok is broadcast journalism of the 21st century.
J: Oh my God.
E: I say that all the time.
J: That’s so real. Because I’ve watched so many of — you’re actually one of those people where I was like, do you know how you think you follow someone but you realize that the algorithm follows them for you?
J: I was like, “Oh, I don’t actually follow you but I see your videos literally all the time,” because you forget… Also, it’s like I follow people that they never show me. It’s actually crazy.
E: I never follow. I’ll go up to people and be like, “I’m such a fan,” and it’s like I don’t follow them because I naturally see you on the algorithm and I just never thought to. It wasn’t even like I didn’t want to, I just never thought.
J: Well, I’ve had that thing where I’ve talked to someone about how much I love their videos and then I’ve realized I don’t follow them and I’m like, “Oh, f*ck. They probably think I’m a fake b*tch.”
E: So awkward.
J: And I’m like, it’s just that I genuinely don’t have to follow them. I’m shown your sh*t constantly.
E: And TikTok is like a special beast with the For You page.
J: It’s actually scary. Wait, so. Okay. This leads to my question which was, what was the initial… Because I feel like you have a lot of different things you do on your page. What was the initial thing that you were doing that brought you to making videos?
E: So it was really random, as it is. I think a lot of us TikTok creators, people that are predominantly on TikTok, we were born of the pandemic random virality. I was not trying to go viral. In 2020 in the spring when I was quarantined at home, I was screwing around with this jar of trail mix that my parents used to let us fill up when I was a kid and my brothers were like, “For old time’s sake, let’s fill it up.” And it’s basically just a big clear jar that you would get at HomeGoods and then you just put different things in it and it layers really nicely. And so I meant to put the video on friends only so that my close friends from childhood would be like, “Nostalgia, cute,” and I accidentally posted it on public where anybody can see.
J: That’s so funny.
E: And it went so viral and then the next day people were like, “What the hell’s this?”
J: And the video was like, was it like guess how many things were in the jar?
E: No, it was literally just us pouring the stuff in. It was just this aesthetic moment. But then people the next day, when it went really viral, asked what it was so many times they were like, “I’m so confused at this concept. What is this gracing my fyp?” So I made a video explaining it but I made it super creative and theatrical and I was talking and making jokes and telling the story and that video went crazy viral. And so I think that was what started me out of people being like, “I really like this girl’s personality. Who is this person? I want to know more about her.” So then I slowly pivoted away from that, though we still do it sometimes and my username is still thejarr, but I pivoted away when I moved to the city because it was like May 2020 that we went viral with that and then I moved in August.
J: Yeah, okay. So you’re the second person that’s in this interesting situation. The other person was when I interviewed Talia. Which is you guys both moved to New York right as this huge moment of exposure and notoriety was growing. So it’s very — I’m assuming, I don’t want to speak for you — but it’s very entrenched with your experience of New York becoming a public figure simultaneously.
E: Oh yeah, for sure.
J: What has that been like in terms of moving to a new city and needing to make friends and going out and socializing when you also have like, what? Over a million followers? You have a lot of followers.
E: Yes. So I think for me what was so weird is I never imagined any of those moments of my life. Graduating college and then going to grad school and moving to New York City, I never imagined those moments to be adjacent to virality on the internet. I don’t know why I would. So I think-
J: Yeah, it’s not a normal connection to make.
E: And I had hardly 200,000 on TikTok when I moved to New York City but that was enough for everybody in my class at Columbia, because there were only 100 of us, to know that I was “TikTok famous.” And especially at the time in 2020 there weren’t that many people that were viral on TikTok in New York City with those numbers. Nowadays, we have a lot of people in New York.
J: I know, back then it was kind of… Because I was probably in a similar situation, we’re talking a year, a year and a half ago?
J: I was in a similar boat and it was crazy that it was just-
E: It’s different.
J: It was very different than it is now, but in a way I didn’t like.
E: Yeah. No, in a way I didn’t like as well. And I think, for me, I had never experienced that thing that celebrities say, and I’m not calling myself a celebrity by any meaning of that term-
J: You don’t have to explain, I get what you mean.
E: When celebrities are always like, “I have to decide if people want to be my friend because they actually want to be my friend or do they want to be my friend because I have social media following and I can get them free stuff and I get cool reservations and I go cool places.” So I think for me there was a little bit of that at first and I really tried to separate it and approach people as though they didn’t know. And if they wanted to end up saying, “Oh, actually I follow you,” or whatever. Or if it slowly came up, then that would be fine. So I think at first it was definitely weird because I was like I don’t know how to handle this. And then when I would go out with my friends, especially when they were newer friends, because now of course they’re an established group of people that I love dearly. It’s like my New York City group is my friends from grad school. But before that I would go out with them and people would recognize me on the street and I would be embarrassed almost because I’m like, I don’t want these people to think that I think of myself in a certain way, or I think I deserve this and I don’t want them to feel weird about hanging out with me. I just want people to like me for me and not because people approach me on the street or because I have a social media following. And I think the craziest part about the social aspect is you, in a very quick way, find out who the real people that you want to surround yourself with are. And also, a lot of people from my past came back up to be shady, half of them, but then the other half to be genuinely congratulatory. And I was able to make relationships with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise because they saw my video or something resonated with them or they watched me speak about something. So that’s been a really interesting aspect of my social life, too, is that there are a lot of people, I’m sure there are a lot of people I would never have reignited a friendship with had there not been social media, in the same way that if I had not done social media I probably would be surrounded by totally different people as well.
J: That’s so interesting. So are you someone — is Michigan a party school?
E: Yeah, it’s a Big10.
J: It’s a Big10 party. Yeah. Were you a part of that?
E: Yeah. So in college I was a crazy girl. I think I definitely go through phases of going out and my whole relationship with partying and alcohol I feel like has been really interesting because in college I was crazy because everybody is kind of and it’s like Saturday morning you’re waking up at 6 a.m. to tailgate and the Greek life.
J: Yeah, that’s like football, because it’s football, right?
J: I went to a party school but we don’t have a football team, so I was at UVM.
E: Okay, sweet.
J: And so that culture of the football day drinking is one thing that we missed and I think maybe for the better.
E: No, it’s a blessing and a curse because it is feral, the energy is feral in a good way and a bad way, I think. Part of it is Michigan can’t really have night games.
J: Because it’s too cold?
E: No, because too many people get blacked out in the hospitals, they couldn’t handle it, they would say. Dead ass. There are slots, there’s the noon games, the 3:30 and then the 7 and we had to prove that we deserved a 7 and they put one or two a season now, but we don’t get a lot of those nighttime games.
J: That’s f*cked.
E: Because people will start drinking at 9 in the morning and just go through.
J: Even for a 7 game?
E: Even for a 7 game. The energy is so insane.
J: That is f*cked.
E: No, it’s f*cked.
J: I guess it’s interesting to me because I associate, obviously football, tailgating, that to me that feels like a very heterosexual straight, Republican culture.
E: Yeah. No, definitely.
J: Then also Michigan has one of the most renowned… It’s one of the biggest musical theater schools in the country.
E: Yeah. It’s like she’s number one.
J: Are those people siloed away from this world or are they also tailgating?
E: It’s funny, they love it. Especially MTs at Michigan, they love to put on a flirty little slutty little tailgate outfit and they have their senior theater houses and they love to go crazy in tailgate. And I just think it’s part of the thing theater people are like, we love the drama but we’re also fun. And those days are fun. It’s just so fun.
J: So I guess I always assume that they would, because I think of the most strict musical theater people being like, I can’t drink alcohol. It dries up my vocal cords. Being very that.
E: There’s definitely a funny thing about Michigan when you talk about all the MT programs that are big, people associate partying with Michigan and also big leads. So everybody has these gorgeous effortless voices and are stunning musical theater majors and they’re all fun and a good time. And you would go to a Michigan over a Carnegie Mellon because Carnegie Mellon’s like cutthroat and they don’t have that feral energy.
J: I know, I used to talk to, back in my bartending days, I knew a couple of people who had, or I’d met a couple people over the time who had the gigs at the couple really exclusive late night midtown spots where those people who are now on Broadway would go and he was like, “I would bartend until 6 in the morning.”
J: And these people are doing six shows or eight shows a week, whatever it is. And he’s like, “And they’re ripping it.” He’s like, “There’s a coke dealer at the bar.” It was crazy. It’s not what I picture when I picture… I also have a few friends that are on Broadway, but the music theater world is not my world. So my imagination of it is purely that, imagination. And it’s wrong.
E: I think that there’s two sides to it because if you’re playing Elphaba or Evan Hanson on Broadway, you’re on vocal rest, you’re not going out. But the ensemble members of those shows are in their 20s and hot.
J: And making what? Three grand a week.
E: Yeah, and effortlessly talented. They go out, they have a good time. Theater people know how to party. And I feel like people go to those Broadway shows and they do not know that those people were out last night partying. But they definitely are.
J: You’re like, why does this whole show smell like tequila?
E: Everyone’s sweating out tequila on the stage.
J: That is crazy. So how do you like to go out in the city now?
E: So I definitely had an interesting relationship with this because I moved here when we couldn’t go anywhere.
J: Totally. And where in the city do you live if you don’t mind me asking?
E: I’m in the East Village. But when I first got here I was in the Upper West side, which was fine because I was close to school and going out back then when it was 2020 and going into 2021 early-
J: Were your classes in person?
E: Some of them. But it was a really weird thing where we had a pod of eight people and we would have all of our classes with those same eight people. So it was quarantined together essentially.
E: So one person got Covid, then yeah. And we would get in trouble when they found out that we were breaking pod and hanging out with other people. And so back then-
J: Ew. Oh my God, literally the idea of a grad school where they control who you hang out with makes my skin… I would die.
E: I guess it was such an uncharted time that they didn’t know how else to handle it and they wanted us to be in person because it was only an eight-month program. But back then it was like house parties and I was literally reverting to guys I used to hook up with in high school who were having a house Halloween party because we couldn’t go anywhere. And I was like, whatever, I’m going to go slumming with this guy I hooked up with when I was a junior in high school.
J: That is so dark.
E: No, it was dark. It was dark. So that was like-
J: You know it’s bad when you’re not even looking at Instagram, you’re scrolling through your contacts being like, who are these people?
E: Let me just see what I can hit up tonight.
J: Yeah, Josh Tinder.
E: Yeah, deadass. It’s like, okay, Hinge, Hinge, Hinge. And so back then it was a lot of house partying and then when floodgate opened, I did a lot of the young 20s, East Village, Niagara, Kind Regards-type bars. A lot of that energy for a while. And that was around the time that I met my boyfriend, got into a relationship and then I think there was a Covid resurgence. My whole time here has been bookended by all of the weird things where people would stop going out. I remember maybe last New Year’s Eve there was Delta.
J: No, it was Omicron.
E: Omicron, and I was supposed to host a huge New Year’s Eve party and this whole thing had to be canceled and thousands of people had bought tickets.
J: Oh, this wasn’t your apartment, this was like an event.
E: Yeah, a ticketed event. And we had to cancel it because of the Omicron. Nobody was trying to go anywhere. So I feel like I have been bookended by so much of that. But now I have a membership at DUMBO House, so I go there often. I love it. I love Brooklyn. And a lot of the events that come my way end up being fun, going-out vibes where it’s a concert, I don’t know, random Lizzo concert that I went to with Steve Madden last week and people will want to go out from there. So it’s kind of just these days, whatever’s coming my way, I’m really very open to it. I had a period of time where I didn’t go out as much, but I feel like I’m getting back into the socializing vibe again.
J: Gotcha. So it sounds like it’s pretty informed by the PR events you’re getting invited to and stuff. That’s a big part of it.
E: Yeah. And going home in Jersey over the summer, a lot of going out on the shore. Down the shore, there’s a lot of places to go out. There’s Parker House and Donovan’s and everybody knows DJs. That’s from around the area.
J: Yeah. And you grew up going down to the shore?
E: Yeah, I grew up going down the shore because it’s like five minutes from my parents’ house.
J: Oh, so you grew up on the shore.
E: Yeah, I grew up on the shore. You can literally Uber. But then going home, my brothers had turned 21 and it’s kind of a weird high school reunion vibe where you go to these bars and you know everybody. But it’s funny because nobody cares about the sh*t that happened in high school anymore. Everyone’s kind of grown up, but it also can be “trigger warning. Everyone from high school is going to be at that bar down the shore.”
J: Because you’re a fair bit younger than me. And I went through that phase because I feel like this is a big thing in most hometowns is the night before Thanksgiving. That’s like the big thing.
E: So big, yeah.
J: And that’s pretty big where I’m from in Vermont. And so I used to do it, there was a handful of years where I did it every year and it was honestly very fun. So I’m 29 and something so acutely happened this year where we went out on New Year’s or not on New Year’s Eve, the night before Thanksgiving. It’s like me, my sister and her friends and my sister’s a couple years younger than me. And I walked into the bar and I looked around and then I realized what grade… I was like, okay, I’m 29, which means the 21… And the bar looked very young. I was like the 21-year-olds who are in this bar were in the fourth grade when I graduated high school.
E: Yeah, no, it is so scary.
J: So I actually am leaving right now.
E: Yeah, you’re like I’m done.
J: I was like, I’m actually done. If I saw another high school student here, because my mom moved right near downtown where I’m from, so I could just walk to these bars whereas everyone else has to drive. In Vermont, drinking and driving. It’s a whole thing. So I walked in and I was like, oh. Anyone else in their 30s coming to this would be really sad. I’m actually leaving immediately. And I exited and I was like that chapter of my life has now closed.
E: It’s interesting because last Thanksgiving I was at my boyfriend’s hometown and he’s from Texas so I was down there. I don’t know anyone down there, but of course with my following, wherever I go, girls will come up to me and it’s always hard to decide. I don’t want to be the feral girl that people are like, oh my God, she was blacked-out drunk at this thing that I saw. It’s hard, but I still want to have fun. But I feel like I always have to be aware because I’m a very aloof person. So I just look for the best in everyone. I’m just walking down the road and my friends will always be like those people that just walk by were literally talking about you. How did you not tell? People will come by me and not say hi, too. So I feel like it’s a little tough because you just never know. And I never want to be sloppy anymore, but I still want to have a good time, and I love to dance but I can’t dance. But I just want to be a freak. Am I allowed to do that?
J: Yeah. I mean I would hope at some point it kind of turns a corner where if, God forbid, you were dancing and looking silly but having a good time and someone took a video of it, the comments on the video would be like, why did you take this f*cking video?
E: Yeah. Why did you care? I think it’s really weird when people do that. I see that all the time on TikTok. Number one, people taking videos of strangers. But number two, people taking videos of creators or whatever without their consent.
J: Even just celebrities. I do think it’s weird. I think it’s weird to take a video of… It’s different, I feel like it happens with Adele a lot when Adele goes out and I just love Adele and want the best for her in her life. But it’s one thing if she went up on stage at a drag show and pole danced with this drag queen. Videotape it. She’s literally on stage.
E: She wants it to be videotaped.
J: But if she’s sitting at a table trying to have some drinks with her friends, don’t videotape her.
E: Why are you video taping her? Yeah. I agree.
J: I think it’s weird, people just want to make everything a moment to commodify and I think it’s very strange.
E: It’s crazy these days.
J: Phones have made it, I think that it’s a specific phenomenon that’s really crazy if you think about it, if we had had it with, think about it if you were doing it with a camcorder.
E: It would be f*cking weird.
J: How crazy would people think if you were like…
E: If you were like, oh you’re in the bar, let me just get out my camcorder and record this. Yeah, it’s bizarre.
J: But you have to just sort of release it. I am not nearly as followed as you and I don’t post as much, but there was a period when I was posting more, there were a couple times where I was out and my boyfriend was like, that person’s taking photos of you. And it’s like I just have to not care.
E: You can’t control it.
J: You can’t control. You can’t say anything because then that’s a whole situation so you just have to release it.
E: I’m also non-confrontational.
J: I can’t imagine if that’s happening to you all the time. I actually can’t imagine what that feels like because I would lose my mind.
E: Yeah, I think the thing is I don’t have the experience, knock on wood, if anyone ever videotaping me that I know of. But I do have the experience of knowing that people saw me and didn’t say anything. I get a lot of DMs, like I passed you when you were out to dinner tonight. I pass you on the street. I saw you were there. And I much prefer someone to just come up to me. But it does give me anxiety when I’m going out and drinking because other people that go out and drink don’t have to think about that sh*t. And I used to not have to think about that. So obviously I’m so grateful for what I have, but it does make the going out aspect, especially in New York a little bit different.
J: And I can’t really imagine because your part, the 22, 23, 24-year-old East Village going out scene is such a thing right now. And that is not what was happening when I was 22, 23, 24 in New York I don’t feel as much. It was just a different situation.
E: Different vibes.
J: It was definitely different vibes. It was more like Murray Hill and it was more siloed over there and I didn’t go out there as much. But I feel like there’s just this current, I think it’s a post- pandemic thing. I don’t really know. But it just feels like right now there are these spots to see and be seen and I think TikTok is such a part of it in this way. I’m still kind of processing how TikTok has changed New York City night life because it’s happening so intensely. I was walking, I was on a standup show in the East Village last night and I was walking from the train and I had to go off the sidewalk and into the street and around to get around four different groups of modelesque Gen Zers doing photo shoots in front of Lucien. And that is such a product of the past four months of TikTok. And it’s really interesting to look at your phone and see this and then go out into your life in this city that you live in and see how it’s affecting things. And I’m not complaining, I’m not mad I had to walk into the street but I was just this thing where I was like, oh, in four months Lucien has now become a place where you go to be seen. Lucien has always been a cool vibe.
E: You go there to be seen.
J: Now you go there to be seen and take photos in front of it and do the whole moment. And it’s interesting because it used to be the kind of place, I feel like the term going somewhere to be seen used to mean actually to go there and be seen by other people and it was a little more of a subtle move of I’m trying to build up a reputation in this community. Now these places are like “I’m going to go and get the shot and to post it.” And post the videos and post the videos about where I went this weekend and all of that.
E: I was literally at Lafayette, which is the restaurant that’s directly across the street from Acme on a Saturday night and our reservation got pushed, it was 9 p.m. and we were on the street side of it just watching the people fighting for their life to get in. But they were all-
J: Oh, it’s Acme. I was like, “To Lafayette?”
E: Bet you were like “Wow. No, to Acme.” But they were all exactly what you said, dressed in that very Gen Z modelesque Bella Hadid vibe where it’s like I’m trying to go in there to get the content that I was here. Which is so different than it used to be. There was never an “I’m going out to get content.”
J: Yeah, it’s very interesting because I don’t know what it heightens to. It feels like we might be at critical mass with it where we’ve completely flipped over to going out is about content now. In a way that is really wild. It’s the number one goal. And things continue to heighten and it’s like what is next? Do we move into… Because oftentimes I feel like the way trends work is something gets so cool that then the coolest people start to do the opposite, and then the opposite things gets cool. So I’m like what does it become? I always think about this. I’m like, are we ever going to get the moment where it becomes, will not having a phone be cool? Is there a world where that ever happens?
E: That is so interesting.
J: If the cool girls start showing up being like, “I didn’t bring my phone tonight?” And it’s interesting because I think about this a lot because the number one barrier to it happening, and this is not a critique of it, it’s a fact, is safety. Especially as a woman, if you go out without bringing your phone, it’s like kookoo kachoo.
E: No it’s nutty.
J: And it’s funny because women went out without their phones in the ’90s all the time. But if you have a phone, take the phone. But is there a moment where, what I could see happening is, and I don’t even know if this is technologically possible, but I could see a moment where it comes up going back to phones that literally just text and call. Like a Nokia Brick.
E: Yeah, no deadass. There’s this whole Y2K thing that’s happening, this resurgence of Y2K. This obsession with the ’90s from people that weren’t even alive during that time. And I feel like the idea of having a Verizon flip phone or a Motorola razor is sexy to people.
J: I see a world where it’s like you do that. Clubs and bars start getting photographers so that you’ll be seen there. Because that’s also how it used to be. If you went out and that’s still how it is at comedy shows, there will be a photographer there and they’re taking the shots and it’s kind of how you see who is there. But I wonder if there’s a world where that happens because it just feels like right now we’re so… nightclubs and especially the ones that are really popular among people your age are an extension of content farming.
E: Yeah, no it really is. It’s like a hype house.
J: It’s like a hype house.
E: It’s like a hype house and it almost makes it hard to even go there. Because if you’re just trying to dance, which is what I like to do. If I’m going to go out, it’s all about, it needs to be good music. I want to be dancing. That’s why I really liked Niagara before it became what it is.
J: Wait, can you actually walk me through that because I don’t know what Niagara is.
E: So Niagara-
J: I know what Niagara was like 10 years ago.
E: So Niagara when it opened back up was just the place you would go to have the most fun dancing. The dancing was just so elite. It was like, I don’t know, everybody was dancing. The DJ was banger after banger finger on the pulse. Just always knew what to play. And I think people started to figure out the drinks were low-key good. You wouldn’t think that Niagara would have a good Aperol Spritz, but they did. And it was just fun as hell. I would always go there, it was a go-to and then I think people started to talk about it more on TikTok. And obviously Niagara’s always existed but it was like the line was never awful.
J: Sorry, a line for Niagara. It’s really crazy. For context, Niagara was just a divey pseudo-club. Back when I would go out in the East Village in 2015. It wasn’t sh*tty, but as far as I know, I have never seen a line there though.
Katie Brown: That’s how it was in my intern days too.
J: It was kind of like, oh yeah, let’s go to Niagara, I guess. There’s a seat there. You would go there because there are seats available and the drinks are fine. I don’t think I’d ever in my life gone out to be like, I’ll meet you at Niagara.
E: Okay. Yeah. So you’re fighting through the crowd. It became that.
J: Good for them.
E: And then it started to hit intern New York City TikTok and then the interns infiltrated. So I didn’t go there at all over the summer. I had gone there a bunch last year also when I was more new to the city and I was like 22 and now I’m 24. So obviously not a huge change, but 22 it makes more sense if there’s some interns around that are like 21, it’s like whatever, they’re 20. But now to be 24 and then there would be a lot of interns there, I feel like it kind of switched and people were doing the Acme thing, Kind Regards, all of those bars down there. And I don’t know, Niagara, though, was the vibe for a hot minute for me at least when they opened up again after Covid because the music was so good and the dancing was so good and it didn’t feel like it was a oh, we’re taking photos in front of Lucien and we need to look gorgeous and stunning and everything of the sort. It doesn’t need to be The Box, so exclusive.
J: Totally. What are your spots for that now?
E: It’s a good question. I really like DUMBO House because of-
J: Oh right, you mentioned that.
E: I really like it because of the lack of the phone thing. People aren’t like-
J: Right. Because it is Soho where you’re not allowed to take pictures?
E: You’re not really allowed to take pictures. You could take a picture of the skyline or a picture of your food or a picture of yourself that isn’t with other people in the background, but they kind of try to make it a little private. And I like that vibe. It’s a little bit better. And they do have great music. In the summer, they have a DJ that goes outside that I really like. I love The Box, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing. And to get friends there is always interesting to see who would want to go there. And they were closed for a really long time. And then I went there for Halloween last year right when they reopened and that was really fun.
J: Nice. How long have you been going to DUMBO House?
E: I’ve been a member for four months now. And in the summer it was just really great. I first went there because my agents brought me there for dinner. My literary agents when we got the book deal and I was like I’m literally becoming a member here because it is everything of the sort for me. The music’s good. People were dancing. I was there on a Saturday night and people were dancing. The food is great, the drinks are great, the views are great.
J: But can you bring your other friends?
E: So I can bring two people at once. So it’s not amazing. But then if you make a friend that also has a membership, then they can bring two people and then, okay, now you’re six people. So my boyfriend and I will go there a lot. I just think it’s, I don’t know, it feels a little bit more mature to me also. I’ve never been to Soho House and DUMBO House is the only one. I’m just like a one- stop shop person.
J: Is it the same company? Are they owned by the same people?
E: Yeah, so it’s all owned and then you could do a — I don’t know what they call it, but you can do a membership where you can go to any of them or you can do a membership where you can just go to one. And so I’m currently only just at the one. I feel like maybe if I moved or something or if I was traveling a lot, maybe I would want to do the one where I could go in L.A. or go in London. Something like that. But I really like it. It’s so good. I don’t know. People have their things to say about it, but I like it.
J: Yeah, I mean I think it’s a complicated thing. I’ve never been a member of any of them. I’ve been to a handful of them over the years. I’ve been to the… Because Soho House here has a standup show. So I’ve been on that and then you have to go to Soho House for that. And I’ve gone to the one in L.A. and then I went to this other one in London that’s not owned by Soho house. I think it’s called a Groucho House, but it’s like an alternative Soho house. And it’s like I have mixed feelings about it because one, I get especially if you are a celebrity, I get the impetus to be a place where people aren’t allowed to take pictures. On the one hand that makes a huge difference. For me there’s an energy about walking into a place and having to prove who you are, that is not my flavor.
E: I agree with that a hundred percent.
J: Personally. Because you can sense the energy of when you walk in, especially of someone who’s not a member there. So I have to explain that I am allowed to be there. They don’t recognize you so their energy is sort of prepared to tell you how you can’t come in. And I don’t love that vibe.
E: I hate that.
J: So I think that is a little bit of a turn off for me. And I think obviously with anything that’s exclusive, it has a barrier to entry. You get into larger conversations. Right?
J: And so I think it’s an interesting thing. But I also do see, I don’t totally write it off because I see the benefits and I have had fun when I have gone.
E: I think the reason I was drawn to DUMBO House is also because I saw a little less of that. Because that’s also totally not my vibe at all. When you go to Montauk and you’re at Surf Lodge and you feel like you’re having to prove that you’re allowed to sit at a table outside, it’s so exclusive. You just feel so small. And what I like about it is that it felt, it feels a little just bit more chill, DUMBO House. And people are relaxed and open to chatting, which was the point in the first place. But I also feel like in the same vein, I’m kind of getting more into… I like a place where you can go and have some drinks, but it’s social and the music is good. People love to make fun of the Garret East and the Garret West. But I feel like they’re decently popular. There’s always people there, there’s always a good vibe. The drinks are okay. I really like Sel Rrose, which is on Bowery. I don’t know the exact area of the city that it would be districting to.
J: Oh, it’s on Bowery.
E: It’s on Bowery. But she’s adorable. And it’s the best people watching. The music is loud enough that you kind of feel like you’re out. You don’t really feel like you’re at just a dinner restaurant. And the people watching is great. The people are vibey. The drinks are really good. And you could sit there for hours with your friends and just have a good time. I kind of like that vibe these days because I feel like it’s more, I don’t know, toned down and less like the content farm situation.
J: A hundred percent. I think it’s hard because it’s the places you have to, those places that exist, the sweet spot between being really nice drinks or a really nice vibe but are very kind of siloed to you and your people you’re sitting with, if you want that thing of maybe talking to someone else or meeting someone, finding the place that has that element before you get into full shoulder-to- shoulder kookoo.
E: And you can’t hear people, yeah.
J: Yeah. And it’s too loud and you can’t hear people. Someone said, I saw a tweet earlier, it was the way to ruin anyone’s night over 27 is to show them a DJ starting to set their booth up. And I was like, that is so real. I’m having a fun night at a bar and then the DJ starts to set up, I’m like f*ck, it’s about to get so loud.
E: It’s about to get so loud in here. Yeah.
J: I do hate when you can’t hear talking because of the DJ. In a small bar, we don’t ever need a DJ.
E: No, we don’t need a DJ. We don’t, just a good playlist.
J: In a large bar. Spotify can be your DJ.
E: Spotify can be like, please just put on Renaissance. Nobody needs anything else.
J: So what do you like to drink when you go out?
E: It’s a good question. So I’m a big tequila girl. Always have been, always will be. I do spicy Skinny Margaritas all the time. I’m a bit of a snob about them. I know where my favorite ones are, where I’m like, okay, I love the spicy Skinny Marg there. I’m going. I also am a glass of Prosecco, glass of Champagne girly. But if I’m at a bar going to go out and drink, either do tequila shots, just shots of Casamigos or I’ll do tequila soda, splash of pineapple.
J: Oh my God. That’s my friend’s drink. We call it Tiki Piso.
E: Wait, what’s your drink of choice? Now I need to know.
J: Gin and soda.
E: Gin and soda. Okay. My boyfriend’s a gin guy too.
J: Yeah, because I can kind of drink anything because I worked with it all for so long. But I do kind of just default to a gin and soda and I prefer a large one with, like I’ll do a single gin and soda in a pint glass so it’s extra soda-y. I like voluminous beverages. I like to have a lot of liquid because I drink quickly.
E: So do I.
J: Which is why I do enjoy beer for that purpose. But I feel like sh*t if I drink beer all night, so large watery drinks if I’m out is really my joy.
E: Am I allowed to bounce the question back to you and ask where you like to go out in the city?
J: Literally ask me all the questions you want.
E: Where do you like to go out in the city? Where’s your spot?
J: So the listeners will know I’m a big fan of Exley; it was my bar for a really long time and I still go there pretty often. It gets really packed now. It changed so much because of the pandemic and that’s not me being like, I don’t like it anymore. It’s just a little bit of a different vibe and you used to be able to show up there anytime on a Friday or Saturday and grab a seat and hang out. And that’s deeply not the case anymore. But it’s still fun. I’m often now more about the restaurant than the bar. So I’ll have a night out. I’m loving a long restaurant into maybe a drink or two after.
E: That’s exactly my vibe.
J: Loving to go to Harts in my neighborhood and then go to Doris after or go to Bernie’s in Greenpoint and then go to Exley actually after or going to different spots like that. I’ve started for this month, I have been doing a couple shifts at this restaurant I used to hang out at, or it’s at Ruffian. Do you know Ruffian?
J: It’s on 6th. So I used to work at their sister Kindred and just like this month I’m helping out and doing a couple shifts here and there for funsies and it’s so nice to be back because I haven’t worked in restaurants for a year and then I just was like, oh yeah, I’ll do two nights a week for a couple weeks.
E: When it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood. I grew up in restaurants.
J: It’s just really fun, honestly. And it’s nice to come back and not have it be this thing that I’m like, oh I’m back. When am I going to get out of restaurants? I’m like, I’m just here for the month and I’m running around and it’s my friends and it’s like, cool. But it means I’ve been in the East Village a lot more recently, which is fun. And there are a lot of spots in the East Village that I really like that I hadn’t been to in a long time. I love Club Cumming. I’ve been doing shows there.
E: Love Club Cumming.
J: I really love Tile Bar and honestly I’m starting to like Boiler Room a lot, which is a gay bar on fourth that I haven’t been to in a minute. The bartenders there are just these sweet old gay men and I adore them. So yeah, I’ve been vibing with the East Village a little bit more. Lately, it is so different than it was pre-pandemic. That neighborhood is the one I feel the most change in for sure. Do you feel the same way, Katie? Yeah. There’s like a profound change there. And I’m not really someone who’s mad at change because there’s no point.
E: It is what it is.
J: It’s changed. I can’t change anything about it, but it is just interesting to be there and be like, wow, this does feel so different. And I think my favorite area to go out in is Fort Greene, Brooklyn. There’s this drag on Dekalb that’s just really great restaurants and bars and they’re all just really low key and nice and pretty and you can still bop around, but it’s not like, they’re all just really nice vibes. I hate a long commute home at the end of the night.
E: Oh yeah, I don’t like it at all.
J: I really struggle with that. Even a car ride, I’m just like when I want to go home, I want to be home. So being in central to mid-Brooklyn is really thriving for me.
E: I used to go a lot to the Meatpacking. I used to do a lot of Standard. That was always my phase. And then it’s just a terrible commute. It’s just a sh*tty commute and it’s expensive if you don’t want to do the subway late at night or you’re by yourself and you’re like, hey, I can get an Uber. It’s expensive to get all the way across town, but I do love a night with The Standard.
J: When you were in high school, were you guys sneaking to the city to go out? Was that part of your journey?
E: So yes and no. It was actually kind of funny. I remember the day that the kid who got us our fake IDs gave them to us.
J: Wait, what was your fake ID journey? I love talking-
E: Yeah, you need to know. It’s actually really good. I was smart about it. So my first one was horrible, truly awful. But it got me into the bars where freshmen were going at Michigan.
J: And how did you procure it?
E: Somebody got them from China when I was in high school. Yeah, that’s basically what it was. And the day that he gave them to us, we were going, the AP art history and AP English class had extra budget and they were taking us to the Whitney Museum. But when we got here, they took us on a bus and we’d all just procured our fake IDs. And when we got here they were like, you guys don’t really have to go to the Whitney Museum, just get back to the bus at 2 p.m. We really don’t give a sh*t what you do. So we all went and got drunk.
E: We were in Chelsea Market.
J: Oh my God. That’s the beginning of a story where this would be like, had anything gone wrong, it would’ve been national news. School lets children loose.
E: Yeah. And then we all went home on the bus.
J: Also you picked Chelsea Market, like the worst place in New York City.
E: Yeah. Why were we in Chelsea f*cking Market?
J: Oh my God, it’s so funny because I look back and when people used to visit me in one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life was my first three or four years in New York when I was dead, dead, dead broke. But people were like you live in New York now. We want to come visit and I’d be like, cool, welcome to New York. I have no money to spend on you. And what do we do?
E: Yeah, it’s like what are we supposed to do?
J: Took every single person I know to Chelsea Market. I was like, this is an amazing tunnel we have underground with mediocre restaurants. It’s cold and dark.
E: Yeah, like here we are.
J: It’s literally the worst place. I hate Chelsea Market so f*cking much.
E: No, it’s not fun.
J: Actually the bathrooms are cute if you need to poop, I will tell you that.
E: It’s like a good bathroom, yeah.
J: Otherwise, f*ck that place.
E: So we went there. Yeah, literally f*ck that place.
J: It’s 16 years old getting drunk.
E: It’s so 16-year-olds getting drunk. So we went there and then I went to college with that ID and it was awful. I would get denied at doors. It was just not a good id. It was good for like, oh the neighborhood Mexican place will serve me a Margarita and that was the extent. And I could buy liquor at a liquor store. Then the next year I was in a sorority for a year at Michigan. And the best part was the girl that was my big, her best friend looked just enough like me that if I brought her real license, I would never get denied. She had shoulder-length brown hair in the same color. Green eyes, was the same height. And from a photo, no bouncer would ever have been able to tell that that wasn’t me. She really looked like me. So I bought her license off of her and she went and got a new one. And so we just couldn’t go anywhere together. But not that it really mattered. Who cared? She was the friend of my big. And it was so funny because eventually my best friend turned 21 and she’s from Arizona. And Arizona licenses-
J: They don’t expire for like 50 years.
E: Yes. So it says expiration date 2080, like dead ass.
J: It’s crazy.
E: And bouncers in Michigan think they’re fake because they’ve never seen that before because there’s not that many people.
J: This happened to me when I would card, I remember the first time I carded someone in Burlington and they gave me an Arizona ID and I was, are you joking? They were like, “No, Arizona’s insane.” I was like, “Okay, sure.”
E: And I would literally get in with the girl’s license no problem. And she would have to bring her passport. She would get turned away at the door when she was legal because they would be like, this isn’t real. And she would be fighting with bouncers. In Arizona licenses don’t expire for 50 years. It’s weird. And so it worked out really well for me, that license. And I was a baby, so I didn’t turn 21 until the summer going into senior year of college. So everybody was 21 before me.
J: I was similar to that.
E: Which was annoying.
J: Yeah, my birthday was in November, so I didn’t turn 21 until November of senior year.
E: Oh my God, so you were really baby.
J: I was baby baby.
E: Yeah. The fake ID journey is always a good one, though. It was funny.
J: Yeah. I think it’s a little humbling. It’s just so stupid. It is funny, though, because, I’ve gone on this journey where I was like, we should lower the drinking age, and I do think we should lower the drinking age. I do think we should lower the drinking age. I think it’s insane that you can sign up to go to war and you’re not allowed to have a beer. However, the older I get, the more I look at an 18-year-old and I’m like, no, don’t let them drink. They’re so little.
E: Yeah, they’re so little.
J: All teens are so young that I’m like, okay. And then you see how destructive and bad alcohol is, also there’s that. And I’m like, okay, yeah, maybe it’s just instead of making the drinking age lower, we just let everyone drink a little less, but it’s never going to happen.
E: It’s hard to police that.
J: Yeah. I saw this TikTok the other day that was this woman saying that alcohol is going to be for the next generation what cigarettes are for us.
E: So it’s a fun thing to do when you’re drunk, but people think it’s gross overall?
J: The way that we think it’s crazy how much our parents just smoked, they will think it’s crazy how much we just drink. And I was like, I wonder if that’s true.
E: Well, I’m definitely seeing, because I had a period of… so I used to drink way more than I do now. And I would say, I’ve been trying to find a word for it. I would say I’m a social drinker, but I used to be like a glass of wine at the end of the day type of person. I just loved wine. And if I went out I could have six drinks and not even get drunk. I had a high tolerance and now I’m like three drinks, I’ll be drunk if I drink three drinks. And I’ve just changed my relationship with alcohol. So for a while I wasn’t drinking and I was calling it a sober curiosity. I was like, I’m trying to figure out how this makes me feel. And a lot of people on TikTok reacted to that because they were doing the same thing. People younger than me and around my age. And I just realized, okay, I’m comfortable not labeling it. I’m just a social drinker where I’m going out to dinner with my friends tonight, I’m going to have a few drinks. But if we then went out dancing, I maybe would take one tequila shot, but I don’t feel the need to be exorbitantly intoxicated. So I think I actually totally see that because the younger generation I feel like is drinking less.
J: I think they definitely are. And I’m seeing… I’m obsessed with non-alcoholic options.
E: Yeah, a mocktail.
J: I do drink often. I don’t necessarily love drinking alcohol, but I love drinking beverages.
E: You just love a beverage.
J: I literally love beverages. The fact that I was running late today and couldn’t get a coffee and a seltzer before this is, I’m in hell right now.
E: Yeah you’re like, I’m feeling horrible.
J: I want a beverage so bad. I just want a beverage at literally all times. I love beverages and I love fun, interesting beverages. So now there’s non-alcoholic Negronis and non-alcoholic beers. I think we need to normalize, I don’t think there’s anybody that would judge, but I’m loving getting a non-alcoholic beer out. I’m loving getting a non-alcoholic cocktail out.
E: No, it’s fun.
J: But from what I’ve heard they have yet to make a not gross non-alcoholic wine. They’re all kind of gross. I trust science. We got the vaccine.
E: We’ll figure it out.
J: We’ll get a good non-alcoholic wine. I just love drinking something interesting and fun. And sometimes it’s alcoholic and sometimes not. And I think the more non-alcoholic options the better.
E: Have you ever heard of the Kin Euphorics thing?
E: Okay. I don’t know what model someone’s going to need to fact check me.
K: Bella Hadid.
E: Bella Hadid. Okay. So it’s like her company and it’s these canned mocktails, but they have sh*t in them that makes you feel like a buzz. It makes you feel like-
J: What is that, like CBD?
E: I do not know what’s in it, I think it might be CBD. And people have been reviewing them on TikTok and they drink one and they’re like, I am feeling fun and flirty right now. I really want to do a taste test of it.
J: What are they called?
E: Kin Euphorics.
E: Kin Euphorics. Like euphoria.
J: Is it like a tall skinny can?
E: It’s like a tall skinny can.
J: I think I’ve seen these in the store.
E: It looks like an Onda Seltzer. It looks like Shay Mitchell’s seltzer brand. Tequila seltzer. But they’re like, I don’t know what’s in them, but everybody’s-
E: Adaptogens. Okay.
J: Okay, that’s fake.
E: Everybody says it gives you a buzz, but they can’t tell if it’s placebo or not. But I’m like, I kind of want to try it.
J: I want to try that.
E: That sounds fun.
J: I’m very interested in that. Again, I want to try every beverage.
E: Every beverage ever.
J: There’s no beverage I wouldn’t say no, I’m dead serious. I’ve never seen a beverage where I’m like, I don’t want to try it.
E: Can’t have it. Yeah.
J: And I like all beverages. Do you f*ck with Court Street Grocer? Do you know about this?
E: No. What is it?
E: Are you about to teach me something?
J: It’s just like an incredible sandwich place in New York. There’s one in Williamsburg. The original one is on Court Street in Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. There’s one in Williamsburg. There’s one I think in the West Village. You have to go. It’s like one of my favorite sandwich places. But they make their own celery soda. Sounds gross.
E: Sounds good.
J: It’s so… Katie, do you f*ck with the celery soda?
K: I’ve never been there either.
E: Oh my God. I want to try.
J: The celery soda at Court Street Grocer is like a nectar of the gods to me. It is so good.
E: Stop, I want it.
J: I’m dying for a beverage right now. I would kill for one. Also, I’m currently having a soda renaissance.
E: Like a Diet Coke or are you not a Diet Coke gal?
J: I’m a Diet Coke gal. I was raised on Diet Coke. My mom loved a Diet Coke growing up, but I literally like all soda. Dr. Pepper.
E: Dr Pepper f*cks so hard and people don’t want to talk about it. I’m like, I’m done.
J: I think it’s on the come-up. I always say this.
E: It’s so good. It’s the best one.
J: All I’m going to do in heaven is drink Dr. Pepper and smoke cigarettes, literally that’s me in heaven. I love Dr Pepper so much.
E: It’s so good.
J: And this one’s hack at this point. Everyone says it. Sprite. Incredible beverage.
E: Sprite is an incredible beverage. It’s an incredible chaser too.
J: Yeah. And I will say, okay, so are you a movie theater person?
E: Oh yes. Icee, a blue icee. I’m a blue icee stan.
J: So I’m a red icee but I respect blue culture. Synthetic cherry to me, like a cherry soda.
E: So good.
J: Have you ever been to the South and had Cheerwine?
J: It’s a cherry soda. It’s incredible. But blue icee, incredible. But what I was going to say is I love the Regal Theaters in New York. Like the Regal Essex, an incredible movie theater. So the only thing, obviously the greatest war in the world, AMC versus Regal number one. And I’m team Regal except-
E: They don’t have the machine.
J: AMC has the design-your-own flavored Coke products machines.
E: It is so fun.
J: Oh my God. I’m literally a master chef at that thing. I am like concocting sh*t. I love those so much.
E: Oh, that is one of my favorite things in the world for them to create. And we don’t talk about it enough. People talked about it for 20 minutes in 2010 when they came out with them or whenever the f*ck that was. And people just sleep on it and they just go up to it and they don’t act like it’s a delicacy. I’m like, this is a wonder of the world.
J: It’s literally so good to mix. I want it so bad right now. You can put any flavor in a Sprite.
E: It’s so good.
J: You can do a Coke or a Diet Coke and do half cherry, half regular. So it’s like slightly cherry.
E: Or cherry vanilla. You can mix so many different flavors.
J: You can make so many.
E: Oh they have vanilla Dr Pepper. It’s so f*cking good.
J: It’s incredible. There used to be, 10 or 15 years ago, there was a moment where Dr Pepper was doing fun flavors. There were berries and cream Dr Pepper.
E: Were they? How about that?
J: I would love to bring all those back. Sprite remix.
E: Oh, so good.
J: Blue Pepsi. Do you remember Blue Pepsi?
E: I do remember Blue Pepsi.
J: Blue Pepsi was really good.
E: Anybody who doesn’t like a McDonald’s Sprite I think needs to get checked out. It’s an amazing taste.
J: You know the conspiracy theory that McDonald’s has a contract with Coke that they make all of the sodas for McDonald’s like a little sweeter, so it’s a little bit better.
E: So it’s just a little tiny bit better. Because a McDonald’s Diet Coke is the best Diet Coke that you could ever have, I think.
J: Yeah. Well people have, see I think there’s a different kind people because my mom is very strictly a canned Diet Coke person. For her, the draw is the bubble and cans have the best bubbles.
E: Yeah. The bottle Diet Coke is not good. I wouldn’t even go for that, I don’t think.
J: Yeah, the short glass bottle is nice.
E: Yeah. No, that one’s gorge. Yeah. But the classic bottle.
J: I’m fountain all the way.
E: Fountain all the way.
J: I want fountain always. The best part about a movie other than the movie. And sometimes better than the movie is like-
E: Oh, the snacks.
J: A giant soda.
E: The big-ass one that’s like, it’s so monstrosity. That’s my vibe.
J: I’ve never wanted a beverage more in my life than I do right now. On that note, the way we like to end episodes here is based on the conversation we’ve had now we’ve gotten to know each other, if you and I were to have a night out in New York together, what would we do?
E: Oh my God. I’m obsessed. I kind of want to go to a dinner. Maybe a nice– we’re going Upper West, Upper East, but I think we need to do a karaoke moment. Like a Marie’s Crisis. Have you ever been to Marie’s Crisis?
J: Of course I’ve been to Marie’s Crisis.
E: Okay. So I think we need to have a blacked-out Marie’s Crisis.
J: Can I make some pitches on it?
E: Yeah, amend.
J: My lack of musical theater knowledge usually leaves you in the dust in Marie’s Crisis.
E: Okay. So do you have another-
J: Have you done Planet Rose?
E: Heard of it.
J: Okay. So I think we should do something… I had initial resistance to the idea of uptown, but there’s a lot of uptown. I never go uptown. And there are restaurants out there I haven’t tried. So actually I’m down, I’m into this. We try an uptown restaurant and then I think maybe we do a bar in the West Village and then we move over. Because then we’re on both of our way home because we’re moving to the East Village in Brooklyn. Planet Rose is on Avenue A, B. One of the two.
E: I’m so down.
J: On like, 13th. So then we do that, and that one the songs I’ll know more.
E: Okay. So then it fits because I feel like I can go for any kind of music. I’m not picky and I don’t want to put you in a musical theater crisis for lack of a better phrase.
J: Here’s the thing about Marie’s Crisis for me, is Marie’s Crisis is an amazing institution. I hope it literally outlives the apocalypse. God bless it. But when you are there and everyone is connecting to this song and someone is singing, it feels like you’re at church. It gets that level of cacophony.
E: It’s holy.
J: And I’m not a part of it because I don’t know this song and I feel like I’m ruining the vibe.
E: Yeah you’re like, “I’m a vibe ruiner.”
J: I don’t know the words to this cut song from Sweeney Todd that was only done in one production in 1992.
E: It so would be a song.
J: I’m like literally changing the key and I’m like, I don’t know this and I don’t want to ruin the vibe because I should have not come here. So that’s my thing with Marie’s but nothing but respect.
E: What would be your go-to karaoke song?
J: My go-to karaoke song is “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple.
E: See, I respect that. I respect the sh*t out of that.
J: It’s really in my vocal range and it’s not too long.
E: Just feels good. I love that for you.
J: Yeah. What’s yours?
E: God, that’s so hard. I feel like it would depend on exactly the mood that I’m in at that moment. Am I drunk or am I trying to like… Am I a “Before He Cheats,” Carrie Underwood where I’m black on the floor?
J: I love that.
E: I really can’t recover and it needs to be kind of a mess. Or am I going to serve and I want to get up there and really sing?
J: And what’s that?
E: God, that’s hard. I feel like then I might go for a Celine Dion moment and just make it.
J: I respect the hell out of that.
E: I think I would make it kind of like a moment.
J: A statement piece.
E: Yeah, a statement piece for sure. Or even like a duet. I think I could go for a duet.
J: Okay. I like watching a duet because then there’s a little bit of a play. Okay. Perfect. So we’ll get drunk enough that I will do a duet with you.
E: Okay. Yeah.
E: I’m loving it.
J: This has been so fun. Thank you so much for doing the show.
E: Thank you for having me. Can’t wait to go out and do karaoke with you.
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.