Name: Mary [Editor’s note: Harvey Fierstein]
Age: None of your business
Neighborhood: A small fictional town in Connecticut
Occupation: Loud-mouthed typist; actor and playwright. His play Casa Valentina is currently on Broadway and on Monday, June 9, you can catch him as an honorary co-chair at Town Hall when Fiddler on the Roof celebrates its golden anniversary with a reunion concert benefiting the National Yiddish Theatre.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Marsha P. Johnson was, for me, the soul of the entire gay ghetto back in the day. A transvestite street goddess who I could hear from a block away hollering, “Miss Harvey! Come and get your dish!”
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Two choices: Lasagna at Mary’s Venetian Garden, under the “l” on 86th Street in Bensonhurst where they shot The French Connection, Saturday Night Fever, etc. Or pastrami on rye with mustard and a potato knish at Katz’s Deli.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Avoid work. What else?
What was your first job in New York?
I was a waiter at a Jewish old age home in Brooklyn. But I could never get the hang of pouring the chicken soup from the tin cup into the bowl. Everyone went home wet.
What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Casa Valentina. I have to check in on my girls, don’t I?
Do you give money to panhandlers?
Depends on my mood. But I always give them a smile.
What’s your drink?
Caffeine-Free Diet Coke.
How often do you prepare your own meals?
What’s your favorite medication?
Excedrin PM. But I think they took it off the shelves a few years back.
What is the best thing in or about your apartment?
That I sold it years ago.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on the subway?
A blind classical singer accompanying herself on a concertina.
When was the last time you stayed out past 3 a.m.?
It’s been a while. Sobriety will do that to you.
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
I’d rather be approached by hot hustlers than short people in smelly faux-fur cartoon costumes.
What do you think of Mayor de Blasio?
His son is going to be president someday.
What do you hate most about living in New York?
That I can’t afford it!
If you could banish one person from New York forever, who would it be?
Bill Donohue, head of his own one-man hate organization.
When’s the last time you drove a car?
Fifteen minutes ago.
Finish this sentence: The NYPD _____.
… has some very hot officers. And I mean VERY HOT OFFICERS!!!!
Times, Post, or Daily News?
Times for news. Post for Horoscope. And News for wrapping dishes.
Where do you go to be alone?
A greasy spoon.
What makes someone a New Yorker?
Like most things, it’s not really important where your head is at if your ass is in the right place.