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Dead Boys: Fast Sex and Slow Suicide on the West Side Docks

Dead Boys: Fast Sex and Slow Suicide on the West Side Docks
January 30, 1990

AT TWO A.M. THIS BILIOUS TUESDAY, Pookie hops off the low wall of the pier and fastens a moistened forefinger to his ass. “Fsssssssss,” he goes, flashing his frog-eyed crack grin, “I’m hot like a full-time motherfuck.” On the instant, all the pretty cars come courting, making the hairpin turn at the north end of the dock. A black Saab swings by, a silver Volvo hard behind him, slowing to get a load of the short, plump kid with the sort of epicene beauty peculiar to boys of a certain age. At the back of the pack, the guy in the blue Town Car leans on his horn.

The Town Car pulls up; its passenger window whirs down. A broad, pink man with a polished skull peers out, composed as a corpse in his Chesterfield topcoat. “Aren’t you freezing in that little thing?” he inquires. “Aren’t you hot in that big thing?” says Pookie, popping his head in. “I don’t recall seeing you out here before.”

“And might not see me out here again, so best pick up while the iron is hot. Is your iron hot, love?”

The Pink Man’s eyes play up and down the boy. “How old are you, 15?”

“At least!” Pookie trumpets. “Plus tax.”

The Pink Man frowns and looks away awhile, performing his moral arithmetic. “Get in.”

Pookie jumps in. In the eight or 10 seconds it takes the Town Car to hit the exit. Pookie is across the seat and in the Pink Man’s embrace. “That’s a fuckin’ yo-yo right there,” sneers Georgie, who at 18 looks spent, his face cinched up like an old canvas bag. It is impossible to tell whether his is the voice of experience or envy. “I told him, ‘Stay in the loop till you know the game.’ Instead, he’s gonna bust right outta here with a stone-cold freak. I laugh if he come back here with a knife in his chest.”

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IF YOU ARE SITTING on that wall at two in the morning, the cold and damp on you like a molestation, chances are you aren’t one of the sleek-skinned kids who turns up here on weekends for the party off of Christopher Street. Chances are even better that you aren’t one of the buttoned-down 20-year-olds hustling a place like Rounds on 53rd Street, pre­senting your business card — Professional Escort — to the Aquascutum crowd. No, the chances are you are what they call a “dead boy” down here — a throwaway be­tween the ages of 16 and 20, homeless and hungry and, like as not, in ill-health.

According to Covenant House, the ex­perts by default, there are between 10,000 and 20,000 adolescents on the streets of this city: the kids from the Koch pest­-houses like the Martinique, the Prince George; the kids off the Greyhounds, flee­ing predaceous families; and the kids shot out of the foster care system, New York’s sprawling pathology factory. The most desperate of them eventually land with a thud on the docks, where not even the salt in the air can preserve them.

For the past several months, these kids have talked to me about certain johns who heal them up as a sort of postsex purgative; about the perils of sleeping amongst the crazies at the shelters; about the crackheads and dealers who ride herd on the scene, picking kids off on the fly. But in a sense all of this is overkill, because if you stack it up together and pile on things like polyaddiction and double pneumonia, the sum total will not finish off as many of the kids I spoke to as their numb indifference to AIDS. According to the CDC, the number of kids nationally between 13 and 19 with full-blown AIDS cases has more than doubled in the last two years.

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Everyone on the docks has a pocketful of condoms. Project First Step, the outreach arm of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, dispenses them nightly with the strenuous injunction to please use them. But pull a kid aside, out of earshot of the pack, and he’ll tell you that (a) he doesn’t need them, (b) the johns won’t wear them, and (c) a rubber these days is just a bargaining chip — “they’ll give you five, maybe 10 more bucks to let ’em do it skin-on-skin.”

“In the first place, I fuck, I don’t get fucked,” harrumphs Arnie, the tall, haggard kid to whom Covenant House intro­duced me. “In the second place, I get sucked, I don’t suck. Does it sound to you like I need to put on a bag?” Actually, I tell him, it sounds like he needs to put on two.

“Nah,” he sneers, sliding down in his seat. “I’ve been out here running game going on like six years now. And every time they test me…” he clucks, giving me his stagey grin. “Clean as the Board of Health.”

“Twelve per cent of the older kids who come into our system test positive for HIV,” reports George Wirt, Covenant House’s tireless VP of Communications. That figure is staggering, matched up against the national infection rate of 4.3 per thousand, but, as Wirt says, “You really can’t even go by the 12 per cent. Most of the kids who’ve been out there hustling for any length of time don’t even come into our system. The real number has got to be significantly higher.”

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Covenant House is itself a telling gloss on the problem. For all its celebrated good works — and even its detractors agree that life in this city would be un­thinkable without CH’s interventions­ — the agency is notorious for giving gay kids a hard time. At the crisis center on 41st Street, effeminate boys are thrown in with the hardass straights, with the predictable result that some “get raped, or beat up, or harassed to no end,” says the director of another agency who de­clined to be named. And Joyce Hunter, the director of social services for the He­trick-Martin Institute, a small but ex­traordinarily effective agency whose charter is the protection of gay and lesbi­an youth, tells the story of a kid who once called her in desperate shape. “I referred him to Covenant House. Where else could I send him? He said, ‘If that’s the best you can do, I’ll take the streets,’ and hung up. That call still haunts me now. It’s why we decided to start this agency.”

And even as Covenant House beats the drum about teenage AIDS, it stands on its refusal to hand out condoms. Instead of safe sex, it preaches abstinence to these kids, proving that Catholic obscu­rantism isn’t dead, it’s just gone private sector. This isn’t to scapegoat Covenant House, which recently opened up a floor for homeless kids with AIDS, and is re­viewing its policy of lumping gays in with straights. The point is that, outside of a cluster of small agencies, these are kids without a port in a perpetual storm.

“No one’s set up for what’s about to come down,” warns Wirt. “Nationally, there’s God knows how many kids infect­ed right now. You’re going to need a whole array of new responses once those cases incubate.”

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Certainly, the old responses aren’t working; Covenant House loses two of every three kids who come into its care. The up-at-six-lights-out-by-10 Boys Town lifestyle can’t begin to compete with the street kid’s “deathstyle,” as Tru­dy Peterson, the director of the Streetwork Project, calls it. Peterson, a vivid blonde woman in her middle forties who’s been working with these kids for almost 20 years, says that what they’re aggressively engaged in these days is a kind of “slow suicide. ‘I’m gonna take a bunch of drugs, and I’m wiped out, and my immune system’s crazy, and it’s five degrees out, and… I’ll get in this car with three guys, knowing they’re sadists and will abuse me…’ ”

Kids are, by definition, creatures of the moment, oblivious to their mortality. But on the docks, the denial is double-walled. Behind the customary teenage omnipotence is the thick shale of grief and rage. “Virtually every kid I see here is a badly abused child,” explains Elizabeth Mas­troieni, Covenant House’s straight-shoot­ing AIDS educator. “So many of them were sold, or seduced, or beaten by their parents, or just flat-out abandoned… For a lot of [the kids], hustling is really a reenactment of what they grew up with, only now they’ve got the control. Instead of lying in bed helplessly waiting for the parent to come in, now they’ve got the power to say yes or no — and get paid money to do the thing, on top of it.”

By CH’s estimate, there are a million homeless kids hustling sex in this coun­try. In New York, they happen to be largely black and Hispanic, but in Miami and Fort Lauderdale they are overwhelm­ingly white. And in L.A., reports Wirt, just back from a fact-finding trip out there, the kids are in flight from split-­level houses. “We’ve never seen anything like it. There are little cities of kids thing under the Santa Monica Freeway.”

Nor does the thing hang neatly on the peg of sexuality. For every boy on the dock who acknowledges he’s gay, there’s another who’s vehement that he’s “got a girlie in Queens, and a little baby on the way.” No, the only thing these kids can be said to have in common is that they’ve been sabotaged by the very people life appointed to protect them.

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I WILL LIVE TO BE a hundred,” declares Diego, a sweet, expressive kid who bends like an antenna against the breeze. “I won’t get no disease, no one can’t hardly hurt me, ’cause life already used up all its bullets on me. If it wanted to finish me off, it woulda did so when I was four.”

We are walking the dock this balmy October evening, enjoying the false blan­dishments of Indian summer. Around us, the johns are positively buzzing, brought on by the mild air and some hallucination about romance. Diego ticks off their pre­dilections as they go by. “That one likes to get beat up a taste, got his own little custom-made paddle.… The blue Regal, he wants you to fuck his ugly wife for him, then go out and eat Mexican food with ’em after. And this knucklehead, he’ll take anything he can get, but what he really wants is for you to piss on his windshield. From his lips to God’s mouth, I say.”

We had been talking about his child­hood a moment ago, so when I tell him that his thing is evasion, he laughs out loud. “Oh, I can skate alright, honey! I’m the black Dorothy Hamill!”

 

The story that he unfolds is like so many others you hear that you catch yourself wondering if these kids share notes. There was his airtight relationship with his adoring mother, “who was to me like a saint, an angel on earth”; the fa­ther, a mailman who was so mean “he used to bite the dogs”; and there was Diego’s own sense, “from as early as I can remember,” that he’d been singled out of the family for the old man’s abuse. “I’m sorry, but I have to laugh,” he says, not laughing. “You’re going to beat my ass with a broom handle for something as two-cents as slurping my milk — and then an hour later come in and lay down with me? I know it’s not polite to say something against your family — but for that man, they should’ve brought back lynch­ing, baby.”

And your brothers and sisters? I ask. Did they come out of it alright?

“Pshuh,” he snaps. “They’re as happy as larks. Far as they’re concerned, none of this ever happened.” He pauses, peering down at the bright pageant of Christo­pher Street. “I guess I had to take the weight for the good of the family.”

That isn’t self-pity, it’s guilt, and it’s the deadliest addiction down here — this attachment to the idea that you’re the proper target of life’s sadism. Why, for instance, aren’t these kids selling crack instead of their bodies? Because dealing is an act of violence perpetrated against others; hustling your body to men who won’t wear condoms is an act of violence against yourself, a carrying-out of the sentence handed down in childhood. “Why the fuck should I hassle ’em to wear a rubber?” shrugged Chris, a very stoned metal kid in heavy leather. “I’m gonna be dead in two years, anyway.”

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ONE NIGHT IN LATE September, perhaps my second on the scene, I was walking up the dock taking the lay of the land when I heard someone shout, “YO, YOUR BACK!” I wheeled and saw three kids coming straight for me, closing hard and fast as linebackers. I froze, bracing myself for the hit, when a second shout brought them up short. They veered off right, hurling glares over their shoulders, and hopped the divider onto the highway. I put my heart back inside my chest and went to thank my benefactor, a squat black kid in two-tone denims sporting a fat welt over one eye.

“Ah man, fuck you,” he sneered, “I shoulda let ’em jay you, only I don’t need no 20 cops down here. I got like 60-something cents in my pocket tonight.”

I explained what I was doing, and of­fered to buy him dinner. He asked to see my press card. “Oh, this’ll make someone a nice souvenir. But you bullshittin’, I know you got back-up somewhere. You ain’t really out here by yourself.”

I assured him that I was, and on foot, to boot.

“Look around you!” he guffawed, sa­voring my stupidity. “You see all these hardnut crackheads? They ain’t here to get laid, they’re here to get paid, if you know what I’m talking about.”

There were kids sprawled sullenly on the hoods of cars; kids roaming the piers in packs of three and four, or huddled like cabals around someone’s boombox. Only at the far north end could boys be seen standing by themselves, arms across their chests in desultory attendance. “This ain’t Shangri-la anymore, this is 42nd Street South,” said Aubrey. “Any­thing up there, you can buy down here now. Drugs, car stereos, a whole trunk­load of guns — anything you want, except for pussy… but check back for that on Friday.”

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The joke reverberated. Just that eve­ning, I’d been talking to a couple of retail­ers on Christopher Street, whose bitter suspicion was that the cops were quietly redlining the West Village, pinching all the pandemic sins of Times Square down here. “Doesn’t the Sixth Precinct ever patrol this place?” I asked Aubrey.

“To protect who?” he snorted. “Ain’t nobody out here but a bunch of fags and baseheads.”

And into which of the two groups did he fall?

“Neither, nor,” he declared. “I’m a man with a plan. One day real quick, I’m gonna just… disappear.”

There was some thunder in that word, too. Trudy Peterson, whose love for these kids suffuses everything she says, told me that the hardest thing about her work “is that these kids just disappear. We don’t know if they went down to Florida to hustle, to Puerto Rico and their grand­mothers, or if they’ve been taken up to some rooftop by a gang and raped.”

Aubrey did in fact disappear — on his own steam, I hope — but not before I ran into him again that Friday night. He was standing by himself, looking like hell in a red hood, skeed off his ass on a crack­-and-smack jam. “Come here,” he said, hugging me. “I wanna show you something freaky.”

We walked down to the second pier. He pointed to a crawlspace about 40 feet out, where a kid was sound asleep perhaps a yard above the tide. “I never in my life been that fucked up,” he marveled. “I hope whatever he do tonight, he don’t roll over. That’d be a wet dream-and-a-half, boy!”

He was still tittering about this 10 min­utes later, wondering whose life would pass before your eyes if you drowned out there, your own or Charlie the Tuna’s, when the laugh suddenly caught in his throat. “Ho, shit, here comes the fastest way to die.”

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He pointed discreetly with his chin to a baby Benz sedan. which was circling the dock slowly, in a sort of taunting, Dave Parker trot. Its windows were down, revealing three b-boys in black, fronting enough gold to float a municipal bond issue. They sprayed the scene with their 12-gauge glares.

“Which one’s the dealer?” I asked.

“What, are you gonna go interview him?” he sneered. “Yo, man, quit lookin’ at ’em! You got detec written all over you. If they see me even talking to you about ’em…”

We averted our eyes as the Benz made another pass, then peeled out onto the highway, serenading us with the gentle strains of NWA:

Fuck the police, and Ren said it with authority 
’cause the niggers on the street is a majority
A gang is with whomever I’m stepping
And a motherfuckin’ weapon is kept in
A stashbox for the so-called law
Wishin’ Ren was a nigger they never saw…

“That was Markie’s crew,” said Aubrey. “He’ll send ’em after you if you’re like even five minutes late — and those niggers don’t even play.”

“Does Markie run the show down here?”

“Not really, he stays on the uptown tip. But some of these hardnuts go up and get 50 bottles [vials] offa him, then smoke the shit and don’t come back with the $200. That’s how niggers get shot down here.”

“Are there a lot of kids getting shot?”

Aubrey fixed me with his ready glare. “All these motherfuckers they be pulling out the river — what do you think, they fell off their yacht?” He wagged his head sadly, then murmured, “Dag, but that Benz was slammin’, though. All the mon­ey I made out here… I coulda bought that car three times.”

“Where is it all now, Aubrey?”

Wise and world-weary and, like so many street kids, theatrical, he waits two beats before saying, supremely, “Me, I might be crazy, but I ain’t stupid. I pay homeboy in full.”

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“THERE ARE KIDS TURNING up dead all over the city,” says Covenant House’s Mastroieni. “Sometimes, when cops find a body in a lot or a construction site, they’ll know to call us first. We keep a file on every kid we see here… very often, we’re the only ones who can identify a kid — or care to.”

A kid running the docks, she points out, is terribly vulnerable, the perfect crime waiting to happen. “They work by themselves, they’ve got no I.D., [and] they’re high out of their minds most of the time.… If you’re a dealer and a kid stiffs you, you can make a quick example of him for $20. And if you’re a john and you want to take a kid to Jersey and bury him — well, it’s not like he’s got a partner jotting your license number down…”

“Please understand that we’re trying to maintain good relations with the police,” says Mastroieni. “And generally we do. There are some very honorable cops out there, cops who tip us off when they see one of our kids where he isn’t supposed to be. But most of them?” she sighs. “Most of them don’t give a damn about these kids. As far as they’re concerned, who­ever’s killing them is doing the Lord’s work.”

How does a skinny 17-year-old stalked by johns and dealers defend himself? By arming himself, quite literally, to the teeth. There isn’t a kid out there without a gun or a knife, or at any rate a single­-edge secured in imaginative places. Bob­by, a delicate kid sitting on the hood of a Dodge, showed me how to conceal a razor blade between cheek and gum (“Keep the sharp side down, and don’t smile too much”). He told me what had happened to him and his lover, Raymond. They were walking west on Charles, “drinking a beer and smooching to try and stay warm,” when suddenly they were set upon by a carload of kids. “I’m not saying they didn’t fuck me up good — they did­ — but I know at least one of those boys will never forget me. I cut his shit from yay to yay, and the blade was rusty, too.”

Raymond, however, came away so banged up he had to go back to Puerto Rico. “He was really a nice guy, and I never expected that… I never had no one treat me with that respect before. And between us, we had like a little room in Flatbush. It wasn’t much, but at least I wasn’t out here till no four a.m., trying to get someone to take me to his place so I could catch a shower.”

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IF IT’S FAIR TO CALL kids living from trick to trick slow suicides, what do you call the grown men who cruise them? Write a piece on the johns, implored one outreach worker after another, meaning by all means bash those bastards. But the request betrayed a certain curiosity as well — who are these men, and why are they out sniffing after kids — and sad, sick, addicted kids at that?

“Ninety to 95 per cent of [the johns] are married men with families,” says Pe­terson. “They’re Boy Scout leaders, store managers, executives — men with money… One kid said to me, ‘You know, they open up their wallets to pay me, and I see pictures of their children in there and I think, if they’re paying me to do this, what are they doing at home to their own kids?'”

At 3 a.m., when the exchange rate on the pier is a bottle of crack for a blowjob, it’s the john who like as not is supplying the crack; the john who spurns the kid’s choke roll of condoms; the john who boosts the ante from sex to sadism. Al­most every kid I talked to, from the piers to Port Authority to the loop on 53rd Street, said he has at least one regular who engages him to do the “wilder thing,” i.e., the sort of act that only the most unfettered mind could construe as carnal. There is Peter, the lantern-jawed kid in greasy jeans, whose “Friday guy” forks over $200 to be yoked to two poles in the back of his van and have his nip­ples pierced with an ice pick. There is Maurice, who gets paid “stoopid money” to shit on a hot dog roll and make his client eat it.

I want to make it thuddingly plain that we are talking about so-called straights here, men whose sexuality is the ticking bomb under their two-family colonial. “Some day,” Peterson worries, “some guy’s going to wake up with AIDS, and give it to his wife. Then he’s going to come over here with a gun and shoot 10 street kids.”

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Given the fixity of their death wish — ­there are johns buying boys with conspic­uous lesions on their arms — it is impossi­ble that “some guy” hasn’t already awo­ken to that discovery. But what Peterson is putting her finger on is the john’s ca­pacity for projection, driving the stake of his self-loathing through the hearts of these kids. “With the transvestites, you know, the johns like to punch them in the crotch,” says Mastroieni. “The kid’s roll­ing around in agony, and the john’s up there laughing, going, ‘Hey, I just wanted to make sure you were a boy.’ ”

The other fraction of the john popula­tion, out gay men, tend to be vastly more benign to the kids. Many form attach­ments to their “steadies,” bringing them home for several days or even a stretch of weeks before the thing craps out over drugs or house rules. They’ll take a kid out to dinner, or occasionally pick him up a shirt, no small favor for someone who’s been wearing the same thing all week. Whether it’s empathy or romance or a rescue fantasy, something quite the ob­verse of sadism seems to obtain here.

The kids I spoke to were by and large grateful for these affairs, but the experi­ence of being cared for was also terrifying to them. On the one hand, they’re hungry for it, no matter how long they’ve been out here; on the other, they’re clinging fast to their hard boy swagger, to that uptown street affect by which they sur­vive. “I do what I gotta do,” goes the dogma of West Street, “but I damn sure ain’t nobody’s toy-boy.”

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“I’M A PRETTY NORMAL person. I wouldn’t consider myself a sex fiend,” says Peter. “But when I’m on that pipe, all I can think about — bang! — is fucking. Fucking, smoking, and fucking some more. And I’ll tell you what — when that head comes over me, I gotta go some­where and beat my meat, ’cause otherwise I’m liable to kill someone.”

In the centrifuge of crack, everything flies apart: neighborhoods, families, per­sonalities. But the drug also has an insid­ious side effect that hasn’t been suffi­ciently well-documented. Smoked in even modest amounts, it can be just a crazy­-making aphrodisiac, wiping all the other imperatives off the board. It’s like an infusion of pure id every half-hour — and these kids aren’t exactly overloaded with superego to begin with.

“Because of crack,” says Peterson, “there’s more sex and more desperate sex: multiple-partners, orgy-type sex in crack houses.… The drug itself drives you to it. You don’t care how many arms and legs and asses — the more the merrier.”

“Look at these people out here,” Diego sniffs. “They don’t care what they look like, they don’t care what they smell like — crack whores, that’s all they are.… You come down here with 20 bottles, it doesn’t matter how old and ugly you are, you’re the Pied Piper of West Street.”

The only thing that’s dropped faster than the price of drugs in this city is the price of street sex. “I used to make good money out here, and I’m talking 50s, 100s,” says Diego. “Now, the johns drive up, they don’t even say hello. They just go, ‘Hey, you got a stem (a crack pipe) on you?’ And if you say yes, right then and there they know they got you… Three, four hits, you’ll be up in the back seat like a slave — you might even get out that car with no money. This boy Rickey talk about, ‘Oh, that man spent $300 on me.’ Really? I don’t see it. ‘Well, it was $300 in rocks.’ Oh. So you’re up in the room with him talking about six, seven hours, and when you came down you had to hop the turnstile to get back here,” Diego chortles. “I guess that’s why they call it dope.”

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Covenant House refers to this disas­trous tit-for-tat as “survival sex,” as if kids were blowing johns to keep a roof over their heads. CH ought to know bet­ter. Certainly, its outreach people do. Making the rounds in their baby blue vans, they see the same boys out there night after night — strung-out, exhausted, the odor of the subways upon them. The kids descend upon the vans in their em­barrassed way, ostensibly for a cup of cocoa and a peanut-butter sandwich, but also to talk to someone like Veronica DiNapoli.

A four-year outreach veteran, DiNapo­li’s blend of tact and tenderness often opens kids up on the spot. They hug her and hold fast to her hand or her sleeve as they pour out their sad packet of lies: Veronica, didja hear, I’m going away to college… Veronica, Herbie told you we found this fly spot in Queens? And she listens to it all, treading delicately around their claims, because she knows that’s all they have. On a particularly cold night, several of them will consent to come back to the residence, or take a ride to the hospital for the gash in their forearm. But these are children whose hope and trust have been ripped out like cables. In every blessing, they have been taught to suspect a beating.

“It’s so sad,” says Liz Russo, the tough, pretty former director of Hetrick-Mar­tin’s outreach team. “They get battered at home, they get battered in their neigh­borhoods, [and if] they’ve been kicked out by their parents, they get battered in the group homes… That’s why so many of them are down here in the first place­ — they actually feel safer on the docks.”

Even by the standards of this shame­less city, it is disgraceful that there is no sanctuary for homeless gay kids. In Los Angeles, a town not known the world over for its benevolence, there are several such places, notably Lois Lee’s group res­idence Children of the Night. In San Francisco, kids converge on Project Stepping Stone, a crash pad with staff in the Tenderloin. But in New York, it is either Covenant House or the East Third Street Men’s Shelter, where kids stand about as much chance as goldfish in a shark pool.

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What they need is a place that’s uncon­ditionally theirs, that welcomes them in all their pain and complexity. There’s been some talk among the loose consor­tium of small agencies about acquiring a space, but the thing is miles beyond their grasp. No, this is a matter for the next HRA chief, who can either start looking around for a facility downtown or laying in a supply of caskets for the new year.

In the meantime, the kids will go on wintering on the E train, or at a certain all-male theater in the West Village. Said one kid who’s passed his share of nights there, “You go in expecting to see a whole bunch of bizarre sex going on, and in­stead it’s all these young kids knocked out sleeping.… In the middle of February, you’ll be glad they let you stay there, but those seats get hard on your ass, boy.”

Ignoble as that is, it’s high living compared to last year, when kids slept in the backs of reeking garbage trucks, or in the Department of Sanitation’s salt storehouse on 16th Street. “They had the most casual rats in there,” Diego winces. “Big-ass ones that just walked right up to you and started chewing on your shit… If you count my father, I’ve slept with sick, dirty bastards for 13 years, but rats I cannot work with.”

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ONE NIGHT, THAT FIRST bitter stretch after Thanksgiving, I took a ride up to East 53rd Street. The Loop, as it’s known, used to be the Ritz of rough trade: clean, pretty boys, the majority of them white, available for the delectation of more discriminating palates. Enter crack, the great leveler. Such kids as have managed to steer clear of the pipe now do their business inside the bars, leaving the streets to the Dead Boys and the newly addicted. You see them staked out in doorways or phone booths, skinny and windburnt in their thin nylon jackets.

They tend, however, not to show up much before 3 a.m., working the docks and the ’Deuce for the earlybirds. So, just before midnight I walked the neighbor­hood looking for stragglers. I turned up 55th Street, marveling to myself at the high-speed sociology of crack, when I saw a kid skulking in the shadows. I’d been mugged just the week before, nailed as I left the piers by a bunch of kids yelling “Faggot!” so I broke left on instinct, cut­ting him a wide berth. As it happened, he was weeping. I came near, guilty and so­licitous, and saw a small Spanish kid with a flat, round face, hugging himself inconsolably.

“What happened?” I asked. “Did someone hurt you out here?”

Startled, he came out of his half-crouch and fixed me with a look that I will never forget. He had the heartbreaking eyes of an abandoned baby, wild and illingual in his pain and terror. He was convulsing in sections, his left and right sides going at cross-purpose spasms. He teetered against the building on stork legs. “Mau­rice!” he screamed at me. “Maurice, the motherfucker! I was ’sposedta been high from three hours ago!”

I backed up and look off down the street, looking for a cop, an ambulance. But the only thing that met me coming up Second Avenue was the wind making its announcement to Diego, and to Au­brey, and to Dead Boys everywhere, that winter, in all its maleficence, was here.

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Eliot Spitzer Chimes In On Pregnancy Of Hooker Who Ended His Career

The hooker who brought down shamed former Governor Eliot Spitzer is preggers and gettin’ hitched. So how does her most infamous client feel about his former gal-pal’s pending nuptials? Jealous? Elated? Glad he’s not the father?

Well, Spitzer’s not talking about it — only he is talking about it…without actually talking about.

“Client No. 9” appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show yesterday, where he was asked how he felt about his former gal-pal’s pregnancy and upcoming marriage to New Jersey businessman Thomas “T.J.” Earle. The former governor answered by saying “I just don’t respond to that stuff” — right before he responded to “that stuff.”

“Anybody who is pregnant, congratulations and good luck. Having kids is the best thing in the world. So, whomever it may be, that’s always my attitude,” the former gov said, while shucking and jiving his way around mentioning Dupre by name.

Earle used to be married. Then he met Dupre, and the two shared a drunken afternoon “drinking, dining, shopping and snuggling in limos” shortly after Dupre brought down Spitzer in a hooker scandal that ended his political career.

Earle and his wife have since divorced. The couple’s baby is expected to arrive in the fall.

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This Is The Guy Who’s Marrying The Hooker Who Ended Eliot Spitzer’s Career In Politics

Meet Thomas “T.J.” Earle — asphalt magnate, former married guy, and the soon-to-be Mr. Ashley Dupre.

Earle, the New York Post “exclusively” reports, is now engaged to former Elliot Spitzer hooker Ashley Dupre, a.k.a. “Kristen,” a.k.a. “client number 9’s” favorite escort.

Additionally, Dupre — who made the jump from high-priced hooker to Post columnist by simply fucking a sitting governor — is preggers with Earle’s kid.

Earle used to be married. Then he met Dupre, and the two shared a drunken afternoon “drinking, dining, shopping and snuggling in limos” shortly after Dupre brought down Spitzer in a hooker scandal that ended his political career.

Earle and his wife have since divorced.

From the Post:

Dupre and Earle were first linked mere months after Dupre’s scandal
with Spitzer broke. The Emperors Club VIP escort and the then-married
exec at asphalt and road construction outfit The Earle Companies flirted
at a Jersey Shore restaurant in 2008, prompting Earle to reportedly
brag to a pal at the time, “I could have had her for free!” (Judging by
the size of the diamond we’re told Ashley’s sporting, turns out he
couldn’t.)

The pair embarked on a steamy affair, which TJ then said publicly was “a grave mistake.” But Earle and his wife, Alisa, have since divorced, and the break, we’re told, was “amicable,” paving the way for impending marital bliss with Ashley.

“TJ and his wife divorced over a year ago,” Earle’s lawyer, Mitchell Ansell, told us. “They divorced amicably. She has moved on, and he has moved on.

“There’s nothing scandalous. No one’s running around,” Ansell said. “[Ashley] is
pregnant, and [TJ and Ashley] are planning on getting married.”

“We’ve all moved on and [are] doing great,” Dupre said. “Everyone is looking forward to the future.”

Spitzer could not be reached for comment.

Regardless, there you have it, fellas: New York’s most infamous hooker is off the market.

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“Soccer Mom Madame” Anna Gristina’s 9-Year-Old Son Pimpin’ Hard For NBC

The apple apparently doesn’t fall far from the tree at the home of accused “Soccer Mom Madame” Anna Gristina — the accused pimp’s 9-year-old son apparently has caught the pimpin’ bug, and his number one hoe is NBC, which just so happens to have landed an exclusive interview with Gristina.

Gristina was released from jail last night after spending four months at Rikers Island following her chaotic February arrest (home-girl threw a straight-up hissy fit as police yanked her off the street in Midtown). As you can see in the video, Gristina’s 9-year-old son, Nick, is completely decked out in NBC gear — all as NBC was preparing to shoot the exclusive homecoming interview.

“I’m just going to walk around the garden and just feel the grass under my feet, smell the fresh air, and just watch the sun coming up,” Gristina said — while allowing NBC News cameras to exclusively film her return home. “(I want to) see what it’s like to be back home again and let it really settle in that this is home again. I’m back. It’s real.”

A representative from Platform Strategy, the PR firm representing Gristina as she enjoys her 15 minutes, tells the Voice that “[Gristina] was not paid by NBC, no one was. As far as I know, NBC doesn’t pay for interviews.”

So, we asked if perhaps Gristina was compensated in the form of NBC merchandise. We haven’t heard back.

As the saying goes, “pimpin’ ain’t easy” — but it sure is tacky…especially when it involves a 9-year-old.

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Hot Dog Hooker Gets Time Served; Appeared In Court Wearing Bikini, Carrying Hot Dogs

If you don’t absolutely love the infamous Long Island hot dog hooker, we don’t blame you — she’s about as crass as they come. She turns tricks out of her hot dog truck, for god’s sake. But she’s at least good for a laugh.

For example, when she was sentenced to time served this morning after pleading guilty to prostitution charges, she showed up to court wearing a bikini under her clothes — while carrying a package of hot dogs.

Additionally, she told a local TV station that she’s “eager to get back to work.”

The hooker, Cathy Scalia, was hit with a seven-day jail sentence this morning, but was credited with time served and released.

Despite pleading guilty, Scalia, 45, denies offering sex to an undercover cop inside her hot dog truck.

According to authorities, though, Scalia propositioned “customers” at
her hot dog truck on Sunrise Highway in Baldwin. Nassau County police
say Scalia would then tell clients to go to her home in East Rockaway
for sex.

Sclaia claims she would strip for customers, but says she never offered sex for money.

“I don’t think I’m going to jail,” she told ABC’s New York affiliate
prior to her sentencing…again, while wearing a bikini and carrying a
package of hot dogs. “Because I’m innocent. I really didn’t do anything
wrong.”

Scalia has been striping since she was 19. She’s been selling hot
dogs for seven years. At some point, she combined her two professions and
started offering lap dances  — while serving hot dogs while wearing a
bikini.

“I pleaded guilty to stripper, a stripper,” she told ABC. “Not
prostitution. Prostitution is sex. Listen, I’m Sister Theresa over here.
Showing your cleavage is indecent exposure. Prostitution is sexual
acts. That’s prostitution.”

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Mike Bloomberg: Spotting Hookers Is Hard (And More On Young Women Dressed In A “Sporty Way”)

Pimpin’, as you know, ain’t easy — and according to Mayor Mike Bloomberg, spotting a hooker is no walk in the park, either.

On his weekly radio show this morning, Bloomberg voiced his concerns regarding a bill passed by the City Council that would create stiffer penalties for cab drivers who contribute to the sex trafficking industry by knowingly transporting hookers to meet clients. He did so by explaining how he would feel if he were a “young lady” dressed in a “sporty way” and a cab driver accused him of being a hooker (have fun getting that image out of your head).

]
In other words, Bloomberg’s problem with the bill is that hookers don’t
usually wear name tags saying “Hello, I’m a Hooker,” so cab drivers
could unknowingly offend a non-hooker because of the way she’s dressed.

The mayor seems to have a valid point here — as the saying goes, even a
broken clock’s right twice a day. The bill essentially leaves it up to
cab drivers to determine who’s a hooker and who’s not, which seems to be
a task most cab drivers probably didn’t sign up for.

The bill would impose a $10,000 fine on any cab driver convicted of a
felony related to sex trafficking. The drivers also would lose their
Taxi and Limousine Commission license. Council speaker/mayoral hopeful
Christine Quinn says the measure is just the “first attack” on those who
profit off of prostitution.

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A Secret Service Scandal South of the Border

As President Obama touched down in Colombia for the Summit of Americas yesterday, where he and 33 other world leaders would meet to discuss the economies of the Western Hempishere, his Secret Service agents might have been elsewhere.

Last night, the Washington Post received a tip from Ronald Kessler, an ex-Post reporter and expert on the shadow force. It involved a scandalous story of the shadow force’s members up to no good, in which twelve of them were taken off the job and replaced with others.

The reason: possibly hiring prostitutes.

Yes, while President Obama is busy talking geo-politics, his entourage will be reprimanded on charges of supposedly paying for girls in Cartagena. That’s definitely not good for PR.

Even though the practice is legal in Colombia, it is considered misconduct within the ranks of the Secret Service. An investigation into the South American antics of Obama’s entourage has begun, as the members’ case is transferred to the Office of Professional Responsibility, an office that presumably handles situations where their office title is comprised.
Unfortunately, the President’s men are at this office more then they’d like:
Last November, Christopher Deedy of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security was arrested in Honolulu for second-degree murder in a fatal shooting while the President was attending the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. And just this past summer, Serviceman Daniel Valencia got a DUI in Iowa during a Presidential Midwestern bus tour stop.
The White House refuses to comment on the South American situation that involves their own employees, directing all comments and inquiries to the Service itself. One of the agency’s spokesman, Edwin M. Donovan, confirmed the allegation that these twelve agents were dismissed of duty but refused to comment on the prostitution charges.
It is still unknown what the punishment will be but criticism of the President for his hiring practices should be expected, especially with outlets like Gawker calling it “the biggest scandal in Secret Service history.” Cue the angry commentary from Fox News and clever headline involving play on words from everywhere else.
Update: According to the Daily News, the investigation is based around one Secret Service who apparently refused to pay for the prostitute. So they took advantage of a country’s legal policy against ethics and then refused to obey it? Ouch.
Runnin’ Scared will keep you updated as this story progresses.
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Kew Motor Inn, Alleged “Haven” For Hookers, Closes Its Doors (With A Little Help From The City)

The Kew Motor Inn, located in a residential section of Kew Gardens, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, was a “haven” for hookers and their pimps. So was the Par Central Motor Inn, which also is located in a residential area of Kew Gardens.

Thanks to the city’s “nuisance abatement” laws, however, the alleged hooker havens are no mas — they were shut down earlier this week after five motel employees were arrested on multiple hooker harboring-related offenses.

(It should be noted that each of these establishments boasts a Yahoo! travel rating of “one star” and “three star” respectively).

“These two motels have been deemed public nuisances that have generated numerous prostitution-related arrests – including those involving underage girls – during the past year and have been the subject of numerous complaints from local residents,” Brown explains as the reasons for shutting down the two hooker sanctuaries.

]
Brown says authorities have been watching the two motels since December
and have witnessed “various acts of illegal activity,” mostly having to
do with prostitution and bribery at the hands of the motels’ desk
clerks.

Undercover police officers, Brown says, watched the clerks accept bribes, allow undercover officers to rent rooms without proper identification, and knowingly allow prostitution at the motels. In one case, an undercover officer posing as a prostitute instructed the desk clerks to call her room when a “customer” arrived for them and then directed the customer to the room of the faux-hooker. 

In
any event, the two aforementioned motels are no longer hooker-friendly,
and the suspects listed below have been charged with the listed crimes.

HARRIPERSA RAMJATTAN, 63, of 105-65 130th Street in Queens, is charged with promoting prostitution, first- and second-degree falsifying business records, second-degree commercial bribe receiving and permitting prostitution. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in
prison.

BHASKAR CHANIHA, 52, of 88-80 195th Place in Queens, is charged with first- and second-degree falsifying business records, second-degree commercial bribe receiving and permitting prostitution. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

WOJUECH D. SADY, 25, of 37 Villa Court in Hempstead, Long Island, is charged with promoting prostitution, second-degree commercial bribe receiving, fourth-degree promoting prostitution and permitting prostitution. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
 
ATM RAHAM, 56, of 33-16 72st Street in Queens, is charged with promoting prostitution, first- and second-degree falsifying business records, second-degree commercial bribe receiving and permitting prostitution. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. 

MASUM CHOWDHURY, 46, of 160-34 25th Avenue in Queens, is charged with first- and second-degree falsifying business records, second-degree commercial bribe receiving and permitting prostitution.  If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.
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Morgan Stanley’s PR Department Suffers Particularly Bad Week — Compliments Of Hookers And Racism

So, Morgan Stanley really took it on the chin in the PR department this week…

The public relations beat-down is the result of two of the financial giant’s employees’ suspected involvement in two fairly serious, but unrelated, crimes — in one case, one of the company’s bigwigs pleaded not guilty this morning to charges that he, in a drunken rage, stabbed a Middle Eastern cab driver while screaming “I’m going to kill you, you should go back to your own country.

The company’s other public black-eye stems from one of its financial advisers getting placed on leave amidst suspicion that he was involved in a prostitution ring with a Manhattan mother of four.

If it’s any consolation, Morgan Stanley’s stock prices, as of 1:37 p.m., are up 29 cents.

The financial adviser, David Walker, hasn’t been charged with any crimes — yet. However, shortly before the arrest of “Soccer Mom Madam” Anna Gristina, prosecutors say she met with Walker to discuss raising money for a new “business venture.”

William Bryan Jennings — the Morgan Stanley honcho accused of stabbing the cabby — however, does face charges, and was in a Connecticut court this morning, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree assault, theft of services, and second-degree intimidation based on race or bigotry for the December 22 incident.

Prosecutors say that not only did Jennings stab the cab driver, he stiffed him on the $204 fare, too.

Jennings — who reportedly makes more than $2 million a year, and agreed to the $204 fare before the cabby drove him from Manhattan to his Connecticut home — offered just fifty bucks for the ride once he was safely in his driveway, which is where he stabbed the cabby after his $50 offer was refused.

We contacted Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Christine Pollak to see how she’s holding up — and to try and figure out what the hell’s going on over at Morgan Stanley these days. She didn’t immediately get back to us this afternoon. We’ll let you know if she does — check back for updates.