Author Archive

Airing Dirty Laundry During Tomorrow’s ‘In the Flesh’ Reading Series (With Plenty of Kink and Cupcakes)

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

As an aspiring writer in my teens, I used a number of teen websites to create a network of other young amateurs, among which I found a crop of male erotica writers who, unsurprisingly, were the easiest to befriend. For months my adolescent mind found excitement and titillation in the honest fantasies of my peers as we weaved together through puberty. I thought myself particularly avant-garde, answering questions about female desires as a matter of research, and correcting grammar on essays about dreams that left the writers' sheets covered in sweat or worse. I was a privileged insider – until I became a subject. Reading the fantasies of a complete stranger was one thing, but fantasies about me were quite another. I backpedaled out of my oh-so-iconoclast image faster than you could say O-face, and never quite thought to mix literature and sex so intimately again.

Last month, I realized that I have by now lost the heeby-jeebies associated with pervy little boys. The time had come to dig my hands into the wide world of New York erotica that awaited spread-eagle at the appropriately named Happy Ending lounge at Rachel Kramer Bussel's "In the Flesh Erotica Series: LGBT Night." The next one takes place tomorrow (with free candy and cupcakes),  and although it won't  highlight girl-on-girl action in particular, it's sure  to expose plenty of kinky secrets...

Continue reading "In the Flesh" here.

Photo by Stacie Joy
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E. Coli Corrupts July 4th Barbecue Plans

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Eat & Drink, Posts

Mother nature keeps throwing us curve balls this summer, with a rampant salmonella outbreak through June, contracted from contaminated tomatoes, taking the wind out of everyone’s lunch salads. This month, at the most inopportune time possible, E. Coli has been found in the all-American necessity, beef – Just when you thought it was time to [&hellip
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More About Eddie Murphy’s Extremely Large Head

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts


You couldn't miss it if you tried, and believe me, I tried. The giant head can be seen from any angle on Times Square, with a thin line of curious tourists and kids excited by the opportunity to be on TV forming hesitantly behind it. Reporters rehearsed pithy one-liners in front of cameras before pointing to the head, where two visitors would then pop out and scream, "Meet Dave!"

The marketing ploy however does not end at the head. Twentieth Century Fox arranged for the trailer to be mercilessly played on loop on one of the large screens of the square visible above the head, and every few minutes, the buses that formerly displayed Adam Sandler's spread-eagle Zohan pose, now feature Eddie Murphy's increasingly obnoxious grin...

Continue reading "Eddie's Head" here.
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Meet Eddie Murphy’s Big Head

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

We thought Eddie Murphy's head was big enough, but Twentieth Century Fox takes over a portion of Times Square July 3-July 5 with a 15-foot, 3-ton "Dave." That would be a giant model of Eddie Murphy's head that is part of the promotion of the new Murphy vehicle, Meet Dave, which opens July 11. It won't just sit there and stare out at tourists with that characteristic toothy grin either. Visitors are invited to crawl into Dave's ear and take pictures—meant to mirror a movie poster with the same image. Sounds like a good place to watch some fireworks.

Continue reading "Eddie Murphy's Big Head" here.
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Finding Myself Watching ‘My Boys’—and Liking It

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

I had never seen an episode of TBS’ sitcom My Boys before, but when the sneak preview to the second season landed in my lap, I took a chance. Luckily, I found that the show is refreshingly accessible, and I could strangely relate. The show stars Jordana Shapiro as PJ Franklin, a personable, level-headed sportswriter [&hellip
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The Cool Kids Bring Back ’80s Hip-Hop Sound and Have No Problem Signing Your High-top Sneakers

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Music, Posts

It didn't even feel like Manhattan; the Cool Kids concert at the Knitting Factory on Saturday felt like a Brooklyn show. The people in the audience ranged between ages 13-21, like they had been saving up their allowances just for these tickets. They eagerly pressed against the stage long before the show started, despite knowing that three opening acts preceding The Cool Kids. Four boys crossed their arms and hardened their jaws in an effort to look aloof, but sported the band's T-shirt and glanced constantly toward the back of the stage in hopes of seeing them.

The nervous energy of a prom night rippled across the floor. This certainly was a break from the Pitchfork-worshipping cold hipster audiences compelled to constantly wear Mogwai shirts I generally find myself surrounded by. The earnestness of the crowd took the irony out of the band name. They are really just The Cool Kids. Like the ones at school—except they love talking to you...

Continue reading "The Cool Kids" here.
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How Looney Tunes (and Merry Melodies) Ruined Classical Music for Me and the So Many Generations

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Music, Posts

In an effort to temporarily pluck me out of the wide world of viral videos and indie music, I was recently coaxed into heels and a little black dress to find myself in Carnegie Hall at a concert of chamber music. I was vaguely aware that chamber music is designed to be played by a [&hellip
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