Viagra, a new medicine that helps combat impotence, is being touted as the miracle pill of the millennium. Heavy worldwide demand may make it the biggest-selling drug of all time. Want a prescription?


Tony Lipari

Age: 31

Resides: Midland Beach, Staten Island

Occupation: Elevator mechanic

Do you or your significant other need this drug? I’m married with two kids. I’d say no. I’ve already done that route–been married seven years. Now I’m celibate.

Would you try it to increase your sexual potency? To enhance my love life? Why not. You never know. Now if I was with another woman, that’d definitely enhance it.

What do you wish there was a pill for? Energy, so I don’t have to sleep. 


Andrea Cafarelle

Age: 30

Resides: Hoboken, New Jersey

Occupation: M.B.A. student

Do you or your significant other need this drug? My significant other is six years younger than I am. I don’t think he needs it. That’s what you have to do, pick the young ones.

Would you try it to increase your sexual potency? If it doesn’t have significant side effects, it’d be interesting to try out.

Who should pay for it? The individual should. Medical insurance is for life-threatening illnesses.

What do you wish there was a pill for? I would like a pill that would just stop the effects of aging. 

Mel Alvarez

Age: 22

Resides: Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Occupation: Waiter/dancer/singer

Do you or your significant other need this drug? No.

Would you try it to increase your sexual potency? Yeah. I’d take it anyway. I love pills.

Who should pay for it? Individual. It’s not a medical thing.

What do you wish there was a pill for? I wish there was a pot pill. I mean, sometimes you don’t like the smoke.


Michael Farbiarz

Age: 24

Resides: New Haven, Connecticut

Occupation: Law student

Do you or your significant other need this drug? I don’t need it.

Who should pay for it? The insurance companies. If they pay for mental health stuff, they should pay for this.

What do you wish there was a pill for? I’d say something for Patrick Ewing’s wrist.

Renee Monique Brown

Age: 25

Resides: Park Slope

Occupation: Dancer

Do you or your significant other need this drug? My significant other doesn’t need a pill for that.

Who should pay for it? If it’s for, like, procreating, the insurance companies should pay. They cover procedures for infertile women. But if it’s just for recreational use the individual should pay.

What do you wish there was a pill for? Racial tolerance.


Elliot Fruhschien

Age: 40

Resides: New Jersey

Occupation: Financial analyst

Would you try it to increase your sexual potency? No. I don’t need anything to enhance my, uh, activity.

Who should pay for it? If it’s a medical condition the insurance should pay, but if it’s not then the individual.

What do you wish there was a pill for? Be-nicer-to-each-other pill. Especially in this city. Get rid of all the greed. 

Cynthia London

Age: 28

Resides: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Occupation: Receptionist

Do you or your significant other need this drug? No.

Would you try it to increase your sexual potency? If it’s not broken, why fix it?

Who should pay for it? If it’s something that’s been plaguing you for a number of years, insurance should pay for it. But if it’s just for your own luxury, you should pay for it.


Larry Tagarelli

Age: 35

Resides: Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Occupation: Carpenter

Do you or your significant other need this drug? I don’t need it!

Would you try it to increase your sexual potency? Sure. I’m interested.

Who should pay for it? The insurance companies. It creates happier workers on the job. And so they don’t get grief from their wives.

What do you wish there was a pill for? Definitely AIDS. 


NY Mirror

Maybe Mars was conjuncting Saturn or something. Whatever. Nineteen ninety-seven will go down as the most patently absurd year in all of recorded history. One more like it and Jay Leno can be replaced by a news reader.

Here then, 10 to be treasured or trashed:

1. MARV BITES. How could we not have guessed he was a weirdo? One of the highest-paid sportscasters in the world, he nonetheless wore a giant endangered species on his head. Why were we shocked that a man who thought no one would notice that aberration assumed no one would notice the bra-and-panties getup? Or that women would ignore having large chunks ripped out of their flesh. Pity that woman who came to his hotel room to help him fax. Can you hear old Marv now? ”I’m innocent, I tell you. Who wouldn’t want a little bite after a good fax?”

2. ELLEN GETS HECHED. After coming out, Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche went out so much it looked like they’d rather be hit by a semi than miss a photo op. In a move that got huge press, they allegedly kissed at the White House. If they were straight, they probably would have gotten tossed out for making out at a State, er, affair. But then again, if they were straight the president would have tried to get in on the action himself.

3. DASH PUGACH. Linda Pugach, the woman who was (literally) blinded by love when her then boyfriend (now husband) had lye thrown in her face, took the stand to testify on her basher’s behalf. Hubby Burt was defending himself against accusations by his latest mistress. ”He wouldn’t harm a fly,” Mrs. Pugach testified. A woman, yes; a fly, no.

4. KATHIE LEE WAY. Admit it. You hate Kathie Lee. You liked seeing her get hers. Meantime, ol’ Frank Gifford got tons of public sympathy when he was nailed. Go figure. Anyway, you’d think that after years of football he’d be better at making passes. What a cheese-ola! Word to KL: Leave him before he becomes a burden.

5. TYSON CHICKEN. Iron Mike showed true form by biting off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear. Everyone was outraged and shocked that a man who rapes and batters women would stoop so low as to bite a man–one he’s paid to batter.

6. THE BRIDE OF WILDENSTEIN. Wherein a rich guy with a rich wife (who turned herself into a photocopy of their house cat) got caught in bed with a model young enough to be his daughter. These people need to get jobs, and the surgeon needs to have his license revoked.

7. VANITY UNFAIR. The mayor was absolutely outraged that anyone could accuse him of having an affair with Christyne Lategano, his communications director. The fact that they are together every minute, and wife Donna (who has gone back to her maiden name) wasn’t seen in his presence most of the year, means nothing.

8. TWO WOMEN. The death of Mother Teresa, who spent her whole life serving the diseased and poor, was pretty much overshadowed by the death of Princess Diana, who died in a car travelling at high speeds with her playboy boyfriend. Mother Teresa, while a nice person and all, never had the–what?–style that made Diana so special. I mean, for God’s sake,can you ever recall the Mother in couture? She also never got the sympathy vote for marrying a royal pain who shamed her into suicide attempts and anorexia.

9. VERSACE GUNNED DOWN. Explain the absurdity: A serial killer of gay men roams Miami for weeks without getting caught. Then, two minutes after the shooting, the cops not only know precisely who did it, but have his car impounded.

10. DON’T WALK. The year ended in a huge hue and cry by pedestrians who were barricaded from crossing at busy intersections. But, really, when you live in a city where buildings are falling faster than Communist countries, it’s probably just as well. They should leave the barricades up, or just permanently close any street near a Macklowe construction site.


Attention Noel Cowards

Mr. Giuliani has swept the streets of marijuana smokers and public urinators, Mr. Pataki is making the subways more affordable, Mr. Eisner has erased the last trace of debauchery from Times Square, and you still don’t want to go uptown? Well, who can blame you: it’s hell having to plow your way through platoons of tourists just to get that box of dusting powder at Macy’s for your old Aunt Faye. This year, why not confine your holiday shopping to the friendly streets of the East Village, where merry merchants have culled distinctive merchandise to please even the most outre tastes? To make your task even lighter, we’ve combed our favorite addresses, and are ready to recommend stuff that will set you back $20 and less.

We hit the sartorial jackpot at the very first store we visited, Daryl K’s bohemian factory outlet (208 E. 6th). Though admittedly less glamorous than the designer’s Bond Street venue, this tiny shop contains the ultrahip clothing Ms. K–a near cult figure to anorectic Conde Nast junior editors–is famous for. Here her renowned low-riding pants are unceremoniously dumped into bins, but the lucky recipient doesn’t have to know that: fish out a pair in the appropriate size (the day we stopped by there were shimmery turquoise and black-and-white prison-striped versions available), plunk down $15, and wrap them up.

The mood at Back From Guatemala (306 E. 6th) is far more Lori than Marisa Berenson, with most items perfectly suited to those Holly Near–spinning, Nation-reading funsters on your list. If your friends already have a tapestry purse ($12) and/or hat ($15) made by the Hmong people of Vietnam, consider a graven image from ”one of the largest collections of deities in the neighborhood–no, the city!” Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, can be had in bronze for $15, in marble dust mixed with resin for $16, or as a wear-with-everything sterling pendant for $19. If none of the above strikes quite the right note, the shop also boasts a large musical instrument selection, including an item we’re sure no one, but no one, on your list already has: a rattlelike percussive affair, made of strung-together Peruvian goat hooves, for $14.

A radically different set of acquaintances (then again, maybe not) might prefer a little something from Body Worship (102 E. 7th), where the frankly s/m merch includes conveniences like the double-header-with-balls (if you have to ask…) along with the requisite tight-laced corsets, policeman’s hats, riding crops, and other spunky gear. There’s not much under $20 (”We don’t manufacture, everything’s made special,” explained the salesman), but we did manage to scare up a set of nipple clamps for $20 and a mean chain-link choker for $15.

Down the street at the winsomely named Sears and Robot (120 E. 7th), the stock is perfect for superannuated club kids: there’s a Hello Kitty umbrella with little ears for $10 (also available in panda and frog versions), a jaunty Ultraman watch for $16, and a translucent plastic Kewpie travel alarm clock, to wake the sleeper from a sound disco nap in plenty of time to complete his or her toilette, for $12. The immaculate haberdashery D.L. Cerney (13 E. 7th) will rearrange your preconceptions of what a vintage clothing store looks like–the offerings here are so exquisitely presented you’ll think you’re at Sulka on Park Avenue. Immaculate vintage socks, in a variety of midcentury patterns and colorations, are $15, and printed cotton boxer shorts from the same era are likewise $15. Everything is guaranteed fresh, unworn, and mint-in-box. (Well, you can’t really give used socks and underwear, now can you?)

In addition to purple velvet, green-winged dragons and elaborately beaded Christmas stockings (alas, both far more than $20), the newly opened Paper Rock Scissors (436 E. 9th Street) sells artful items like leopard-velvet sachet pillows for $9 and stamped leather money clips for $16 (is someone on your list due one of those Wall Street bonuses?). A few doors down, storefront couturier Mark Montano (434 E. 9th) has a Wings of the Dove–ish, choker-style ribbon necklace enlivened with rhinestones for $20, and a $15 black feather boa that ties high under the chin and will make the recipient look like a cross between Pierrot and the Lady Bunny. And, despite its name, No More Eggs (312 E. 9th) does indeed have eggs for sale: OK, so they’re really candles–at $1.50 per you can give an even dozen. Other bibelots include a cherub purse mirror in its own velvet pouch for $12, and a very dramatic glass votive holder–you could maybe stick an egg in there?–for $6.

Though the empty shell at 8th and Broadway that once held our neighborhood Woolworth’s brings a catch to the throat of even the most hardened Scrooge, we now have a Kmart in the old Wanamaker’s building. There’s a surprising number of likely candidates within: the lingerie department features a sheer black slip with a drawstring neckline and puffy sleeves–the unmistakable hallmarks of Prada’s Miu Miu line–for a piddling $15.99, and a panne velvet chemise in seasonal red or green is $10.99. Upstairs, a cartoonish rendering of Ernie (he of Sing and Snore fame) graces a transparent backpack that’s a mere $12.99.

Lastly, if nobody you know wants nipple clamps or goat hooves or Ernie packs, you still don’t have to show up empty-handed: florist Elizabeth Ryan (411 E. 9th) promises to fashion a bouquet of voluptuous blooms so exquisite that no one will guess it fell well within your pitiful price range.