Fun stuff in the latest issue of New York. Jay McInerney profiles the Strokes and misidentifies the title of the band’s new single or is horribly let down by the magazine’s proofreaders, That’s before getting into a snit about singer Julian Casablancas making him wait several hours for an interview (y’know, the kind of thing that happens to rock journalists who aren’t household names all the fucking time). In another wonderful case of keeping the focus on the subject, Phillip Weiss proclaims Craigslist’s Craig Newmark to be “one of the most socially impaired people to be found this side of a high-school reunion” and helpfully adds “on the evening following our first meeting of four hours, Newmark failed to recognize me when I came up and introduced myself at a lecture to which he had directed me. ‘Bill, did you say?'” Memo to anyone being interviewed by writers from New York ; be ready to kiss ass and remember names, or you might be portrayed as a prima donna, or worse, socially impaired.
And of course, there’s no possibility whatsoever that Weiss made little impression of his own, and remembering his name out of all the details Newmark must keep track of daily, wasn’t so easy.
Elsewhere in the mag, Keith Gessen’s excellent profile of the Rangers’ Darius Kasparaitis features an interesting observation or two about the nuevo NHL, along with the defenseman’s landlord aspirations.
I ask Kasparaitis if he has much of a social life outside of the Rangers.
“There is nothing really outside hockey,” he says. “I was traded a lot. And, you know, I have to be here every morning at nine o’clock. I am in bed by midnight.”
But there’s a lot of going to strip clubs at least?
Kasparaitis shakes his head. “This is not the old-time hockey anymore,” he says. “Guys now, they take vitamins.” All the syllables of this ugly American word are pronounced with a gentle Lithuanian disdain. “They drink…protein shakes.”
Karparaitis is a mixture of professional athlete-speak and a very worldly kind of honesty. Lately, he’s been worried about money. “I can’t afford to live here,” he says. You live in any other part of the country and you think with million dollars you can buy a mansion. You can’t get anything here for million dollars. It’s crazy!”
But you make $3.3 million a year.
“I can afford it now. I’m a professional athlete. After hockey, I won’t be able to live here. I pay $50,000 a year in real estate taxes. Even if I coach, or do something like that, you don’t make very much money being a coach.
I ask about his previous marriage, to a Russian woman, with whom he has a daughter, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. “It’s not a good situation — the money. She doesn’t understand, it’s just now, just a few more years.”
But Kasparaitis is not prone to melancholy. He hunches over the wheel and ponders some real estate transactions. “Where is Williamsburg?” he asks. “Near the bridge? That’s a hot neighborhood. If you buy there now, the price will double in 5 years. I guarantee you. Because Manhattan is full, you know, and people have to move somewhere.”
Sadly for Kasparaitis, he fell victim to the legendary “I Was Beaten Out For The Cover Of New York By The Strokes” Jinx, spraining a knee when colliding with teammate Dominic Moore during warm-ups prior to the Rangers’ 4-3 loss this afternoon in Detroit.