21 questions

David Johansen Will Not Let NYC Become Cincinnati

Photo: Mara Hennessey

Name: Buster Poindexter (a.k.a. David Johansen)
Age: Old enough
Neighborhood: Yupper West Side
Occupation: Entertainer (and New York Dolls frontman). You can catch him performing at the Café Carlyle from October 21 to 25.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Hands down, Bella Abzug. She was an icon, a quintessential New York individual in the Coney Island of my mind.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Peasant. Chef Frank DeCarlo lovingly prepared for us many denizens of the deep; in fact, I ate so much I haven’t had to eat since.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I tend to think a lot, but of course if all you do is think you have nothing to think about but thoughts.

What was your first job in New York?
I worked at a sort of head shop on St. Marks Place, when I was around 17. It was great because the guy who owned it was one of the Ridiculous Theater members, and through him I got involved with working with them.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
My Big Gay Italian Funeral.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
Yes, if they have that certain je ne sais quoi.

What’s your drink?
I’m a Barry’s Gold man.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
When [wife] Mara and I are not on the road we like to cook (well, Mara mostly).

What’s your favorite medication?

What is the best thing in or about your apartment?
I would have to say the bedroom because that’s where the bed is.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on the subway?
One time I got off the express at 96th Street and the 1 train was waiting for me.

When was the last time you stayed out past 3 a.m.?
Well, I predominantly work at night, so I’m often out late.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
Please, old. Does anyone remember Grant’s — now that was a bar.

What do you think of Mayor de Blasio?
I like to open my window, lean out, and at the top of my lungs yell, “De Blasio!!!”

What do you hate most about living in New York?
Well, I’d like to be in the country so that I’d want to be in the city.

If you could banish one person from New York forever, who would it be?
Handsome Dick Manitoba.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
I drive all the time. Brian Coonan, my bandleader, taught me 30 years ago.

Finish this sentence: The NYPD _____.
Needs a new spin doctor.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
Google News, I’m afraid.

Where do you go to be alone?
The bathroom.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Either you’re born here, or if you move here, you try to acclimate, as opposed to all of these people who are trying to turn New York into Cincinnati or where ever the hell they come from.

David Johansen Will Not Let NY Become Cincinnati