Archive for the ‘Fictional NY’ers’ Category

Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #8: Tess McGill

08%20-%20tess-mcgill.gifName: Tess McGill
Occupation: Secretary/Wall Street Wannabe
Home borough: Staten Island
Hobby: Vacuuming topless
Memorable Quote: “I have a head for business and a bod for sin. Is there anything wrong with that?”

Tess McGill is a secretary with moxie who can’t seem to get a break. She gets a hot tip for a new job, only to get caught in a limo with a sleazebag and forced to watch his porn. Then a fairy godmother seems to arrive in the form of a woman boss, Katherine. Katherine promises to help Tess with her career, only to promptly steal Tess’ investment idea.

Instead of credit, she tosses Tess a housesitting gig while she goes off an chichi ski vacation. Karma steps in and Katherine breaks her leg. During her extended absence, Tess discovers her mentor’s misdeed. On top of that, she catches her hairy boyfriend having sex with another woman, she’s just turned 30, and she has bad Staten Island hair.

What better revenge than to get a chic cut, pose as your boss, do her tasty boyfriend, and get the lying, cheating, stealing boss’s bony ass fired? An inspiration for all of us suburban working girls trying to make it in the big bad city.

Last seen Tess was unsuccessfully balancing family and career.


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Greatest Fictional New Yorkers # 9: Mr. Big


Name: Mr. Big
Real Name: John
Wheels: Limo and a vintage Jag
Hobbies: Women
Memorable Quotes: “Absofuckinglutely.”
“After a while, you just want to be with the one who makes you laugh.”
“Why don’t we save time and you just tell me what I want?”

Do we even care that we don’t use his real name? Nope. Big is the best way to describe everything about him. Good and bad.

Mr. Big is the kind of trouble that’s ALMOST worth getting into. As modern New York as he is, he reminds you of that old school Cary Grant type. The type that makes women melt. Debonair, handsome, charming, impeccably dressed, gentlemanly, witty, aloof, and COMPLETELY unattainable and emotionally unavailable.

Like so many men, he finds gorgeous high profile women irresistible and manages to get involved with tons of them. Smart in business – bad in relationships. But, he’s Mr. Big and because of this, he can easily brush himself off and move on to the next woman. He certainly has game and knows how to get the girl. I’m sure the fact that he’s successful and loaded doesn’t hurt his cause.

Somewhere along the way, he literally bumped into a woman on the street and as he helped her pick up the spilled contents (condoms) of her purse, his love life took a turn. Her name? Carrie Bradshaw. She wasn’t your typical beauty, but something about her drew him in and he took her on a rollercoaster ride. Like every other woman he came in contact with, she fell hard and no matter what he did, she kept coming back for more. Every time she was close to forgetting about him, he’d mysteriously show up to make those grand gestures that she always longed for. Poor Carrie, she just could NOT resist and allowed him to torture her for years.

But, even the Big ones fall at some point. No one is really sure what life-altering event caused Mr. Big’s heart and head to change, but whatever it was, he realized that he needed Carrie in his life and rushed off to Paris in true Big style to proclaim his love for her.

The rest, is history.

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Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #10: Eloise

10%20-%20eloise.gifName: Eloise
Address: Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue at Central Park South
Occupation: enfant terrible
Notable Quote: “Paper hats are very good for talking to Mars.”

Born November 4, 1949 to rawther wealthy parents who travelled constantly, Eloise grew up under the care of long-suffering Nanny, her british governess. The staff of the grand Plaza Hotel were accustomed to seeing Eloise, at six years old; rollerskating through the hallways and shouting through a bullhorn, attending fancy private soirees dressed as Sherlock Holmes, and placing her pets Weenie the dog and Skipperdee the turtle in unusual places. However, Eloise did not limit her adventures to the Plaza, she also wreaked havoc in Paris and instigated mayhem in Moscow while on holiday.

So dear is Eloise to the Plaza Hotel her portrait, painted by Hilary Knight, still is grandly displayed. Eloise would have rawther liked that, I imagine.

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Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #11: Patrick Bateman

11---patrick-bateman.gifOccupation: Wall Street banker at Pierce and Pierce/Psychopath
Address: American Gardens Building 129 West 81st Street 11th Floor, Upper West Side
Memorable Quotes: “I like to dissect girls. Did you know I’m utterly insane?”

Born in Long Island, NY in 1962, Bateman graduated from Harvard University in 1984 and upon graduated Harvard Business School in 1985 he moved to New York City. A V.P. and later CEO at the Wall Street firm Pierce and Pierce, Bateman’s hobbies include watching “The Patty Winter’s Show”, discussing the careers of Talking Heads, Genesis, Whitney Houston and Huey Lewis and the News at length and trying to get a table at Dorsia. An accomplished style authority, Bateman often councils his friends and coworkers with fashion advice, ranging from the proper way to wear a cummerbund, pocket square, or tie bar, to discussing which tie knot is less bulky than a Windsor knot. He also continually lectures his friends on the importance of ending apartheid, slowing down the nuclear arms race, stopping terrorism, providing food and shelter for the homeless, opposing racial discrimination, promoting civil rights, promoting equal rights for women, returning to traditional moral values and promoting a society of general social concern and less materialism in young people.

Bateman might also be seen checking out hard-bodies, feeding stray cats to ATM machines, conversing with park benches that follow him home, returning videotapes, snorting cocaine and torturing and murdering a litany of call girls, co-workers, taxi drivers and homeless people, although there is a distinct possibility that some or all of these events happen only in his mind.

There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real him, only an entity, something illusory, and though he can hide his cold gaze and you can shake his hand and feel flesh gripping you and maybe you can even sense your lifestyles are probably comparable: He simply is not there.

Official Site | Wikipedia | imdb

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Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #12: Newman

12---newman.gifName: Newman
Neighborhood of Choice: Upper West Side
Occupation: Postal Carrier
Memorable Quote: “Hello, Jerry.”

Newman is the ultimate New York curmudgeon. This lazy, conniving fellow hates his job with the United States Postal Service and will do anything to spite his enemies.

While his peers snap up gym memberships and extended hours at work, Newman, renegade that he is, prefers to eat at home on his couch and call in sick to work whenever the mood strikes. Despite his slovenly lifestyle, Newman has been known to snag a hot girlfriend or two (score one for the underdog! that’s part of why we love him). He’s even shared lady loves with his nemesis, neighbor Jerry Seinfeld.

Despite his steady job and comfy enough apartment on West 81st Street, Newman longs to leave New York. After an unsuccessful attempt to win a transfer within the USPS to Hawaii, Newman came to terms with that classic New York revelation: you think you want to leave, but really, you don’t…and anyway, once you get here, you’re stuck.

Newman has a friend in neighbor Cosmo Kramer and an enduring crush on Elaine Benes, the ex-girlfriend of his nemesis Jerry. Chances are, he’ll never have more than a few friends. Chances are, he’ll never settle down or leave the Postal Service. Good ol’ Newman, set in his ways, oblivious to the changing city around him. For his dedication to not being dedicated, we salute him.

More info: Newman on Wikipedia

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Greatest Fictional New Yorkers # 13: Holly Golightly

Name: Holly Golightly
Real Name: Lula Mae
Favorite New York Spot: Tiffany’s
Occupation: Call Girl, Socialite
Favorite Song: Moon River
Memorable Quotes:
“I’m CRAZY about Tiffany’s”
“You could always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives you. I must say, the mind reels.”
“Only promise me one thing. Don’t take me home until I’m drunk. Until I’m VERY drunk indeed.”
“You mustn’t give your heard to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get.”

Holly may not be a born and bred New York City girl, but it didn’t take long to become quite the New York socialite.

After one year in the city, she never attached herself to anything and never made a home for herself. A scarcely furnished apartment with a tiny couch, no place to put her phone and a cat that she never even named. If only she could make Tiffany’s her home, she would.

Without a steady day job, she made some quick money as a “call-girl”, getting $50 each time she left for the powder room. Those poor men didn’t know what they were getting into. After one date with Holly, they thought they owned her, but she didn’t belong to anyone and she’d only break their hearts. Every Thursday, she’d make a cool $100 after heading up to Sing Sing on MetroNorth to visit mobster Sally Tomato. No conjugal visits here – she would just get the “weather report” and deliver it to Sally’s lawyer.

The rest of her time was spent gold-digging. The big search for a rich husband while sorting through the rats and super rats that New York brought her way. No broke bastards for her, but as irony and luck would have it, she started to fall for her upstairs neighbor – Paul Varjak. A “kept” man and a poor writer who couldn’t resist Holly no matter what he found out about her, and no matter how much she tried to push him away.

His persistence worked in his favor and he finally convinced Holly to be his one and only. No one is really sure how long that love affair lasted. We just hope that they finally gave that poor cat a name.

More info: Holly on Wikipedia

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Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #14: Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable

14---cliff-huxtable.gifName: Heathcliff Huxtable, MD
Occupation: Obstetrician/gynecologist
Residence: 10 Stigwood Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Interests: Jazz, hoagies, roadkill-esque sweaters

This Philadelphia native was often exasperated by his five kids’ antics and drama. Sondra, the eldest-yet-latest addition to the family, was alternately desparately in love and furious with her boyfriend-then-husband Elvin. Denise, while a straight A student in high school, had trouble once she got to Hillman. Theo couldn’t seem to get anything together, Vanessa was an annoying know-it-all (later engaged to a handyman ten years her senior), and Rudy had that moustache problem.

Even after the nest emptied, it kept filling back up. First with now expectant-with-twins Sondra and Elvin, sparking a nightmare-world in which the men were pregnant and Cliff gave birth to a hoagie. Next Denise, husband Martin, and stepdaughter Olivia, returning cuteness to the now cute-underloaded house. Finally cousin Pam, who brought some ghetto into the upper middle-class home.

Cliff got through it all with the help of his lovely attorney wife, Clair; encounters with music legends like Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, and Tito Puente; and those retina-burning sweaters. Nowadays he toys with the idea of retirement, and can be seen playing in Prospect Park with his grandkids, Winnie and Nelson, and trying to start drum circles with random musicians.

IMDB | Wikipedia | Nick at Night site (For some fatherly advice, click on “Cliff’s Notes.”)

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Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #15: Ishmael

ishmael.gifName: Ishmael
Town: City of the Manhattoes
Occupation: Seaman, Amateur Cetalogist
Memorable Quote: “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off–then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”

“Ishmael” is the nom-de-voyage of the scion of a prominent New York City family. A dreamy, bookish sort of fellow, Ishmael continually disappointed his well-connected and influential clan, and was known to waste hours staring at off at the Hudson River. Ishmael turned his back on several lucrative offices obtained for him, and instead enlisted in the Merchant Marine. After returning from his service, Ishmael was forced by his family to take a position as a schoolmaster. The boredom and hypocrisy of the enterprise quickly weighed on his mind, heart and spleen, and Ishmael took to hanging around cemeteries and fishing wharves; anywhere you could find lowlifes and Pagans, you could find Ishmael. It was even rumored that he belonged to the Varick Street Deblockers – a vicious gang of ruffians known to assault random passers-by and trampling their haberdashery. No proof was ever found of Ishmael connection with the gang, but there were whispers of a family-financed coverup of their embarrassing scapegrace.

Shortly thereafter, Ishmael vanished. His family assumed him to have met his demise in some dark corner. But he reappeared three-years later, a changed man. Ishmael bent every ear with the tale of his journey – an impossible babble about some awful White Whale or something-or-other.

Nowadays, you can find Ishmael down at the Battery, where he’s retaken his former occupation of gazing at the Hudson. A copper or two, or perhaps a steaming mug of chowder, and he’ll tell you his tale himself. But if you choose to approach him, Gentle Reader, do not address him by his given name. Call him Ishmael.

Wikipedia | Searchable Full Text

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*Note–this entry was actually written by Jay Bushman, an NYC native currently residing in LA. He’s a man with whale on the brain.

Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #16: John Shaft

16%20-%20shaft.gifName: John Shaft
Occupation: Private Dick/Bad Mother–(SHUT YOUR MOUTH!)
Neighborhood: Harlem
Memorable Quote: “Cut the crap, man, this is Shaft”

John Shaft is a black private dick who’s also a sex machine to all the chicks. He would also risk his neck for his brother man and he won’t cop out when there’s danger about. John Shaft is a complicated man–no one understands him but his woman. But I digress

John Shaft is a Harlem based private detective who is hired by pimp and drug dealer Bumpy Jonas to find Bumpy’s daughter who has been kidnapped by an unknown party. Shaft investigates the local Panther organization but ultimately finds that the Italian mafia is trying to move in on Bumpy’s territory. John Shaft uses his private detective status, ethnicity and extreme coolness to get the girl back. Not only is he a ladies’ man, but he’s also a man about town. He knows every iota of New York City and uses his detective skills to the fullest. Whether he’s ducking the city police, handling his business with the mafia or spending time with the ladies, Shaft is one cool cat who rocks a turtle neck and a leather trench coat like it’s nobody’s business. I’m just talking about Shaft–can you dig it?

Wikipedia | imdb

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Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #17: Travis Bickle
Name: Travis Bickle
Wheels: Taxi
Occupation: Taxi driver; vigilante; savior of underage prostitutes
Interests: Guns, adult movie theaters, mohawks

A former Marine and Vietnam vet, Travis Bickle spends his nights driving a taxi, mostly in rough neighborhoods. His observations of drug addicts, pimps, prostitutes, and other unsavory characters in his nightly forays into the city have made him disgusted with humanity, which led to a new hobby – collecting weapons and developing a tough-guy vigilante persona.

When he’s not driving his taxi or plotting the cleansing of “filth” from the streets of New York, Travis enjoys taking in a fine selection of films at the local adult movie theater. This enjoyment carries over into his romantic life, as he has been known to take at least one lady there for a date. She, however, did not share his enthusiasm for the subject matter.

Travis is also obsessed with saving a 12-year-old prostitute named Iris that works in one of the neighborhoods he frequents on his taxi route. His repeated attempts to rescue her from a life of prostitution eventually lead up to the shooting of her pimp, one of her johns, and one of her pimp’s thugs. Travis is heavily praised for rescuing Iris, but many question whether the praise was real or all in his head.

More info: Travis on Wikipedia

Other fictional New Yorkers in this series.

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