The amount of coincidences/connections/etc. that I've encountered in New York City in the past few years have become so commonplace that they've actually numbed me to just how freakishly random they probably are. So much so that I abandoned an idea I had of documenting them in a book called Coinkidinks. But last night there was such a good one that I'm now inspired to get the project up and running again.
I attended a friend's birthday party at Hill Country Barbecue on 26th Street (which, by the way, is so goddamn good). Anyway, we were in the basement section, and as a cover band punched out some classics by Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard, another, much more festive birthday gathering assembled behind us. They were being loud and rowdy, but not obnoxiously so.
After dinner, a candlelit cupcake was brought out to our birthday person (my good friend Randy's wife Lisa) and we sang "Happy Birthday" to her (as for Randy, watch him interview a recently-bikini-clad-but-now-robed Danica Patrick right here or at his own site, Hi-Fi New York). Less than five minutes after our birthday toast, it became time to honor the birthday person at the rowdy table behind us. I'm the type of individual who consciously doesn't acknowledge these nearby spectacles out of some inexplicable, undefined sense of shame or guilt or being busted as a gawker or I don't really know what it is actually. But this time, as the eyes in our party lit up and everyone began to taunt Lisa for having a tiny cupcake compared to their birthday buddy's actual big cake, I had to take a peek. It turns out, they were singing to this guy:
His name is Baron Von Fancy. Of course it is.
Here's where the coinkidink comes into play. Less than two months ago, I was actually taking a tour of Baron Von Fancy's upscale two-story apartment on Riverside Drive (the living room of which looks like it belongs to a Jewish grandmother in her 70s). We were scouting locations for the web series that we're making (Super Ego), and the co-writer, star, and friend of Baron Von Fancy, Will Janowitz, thought his apartment might work for us. Turns out it isn't what we were looking for, but the visit wasn't a total bust, for before leaving, he handed me the postcard that you see above.
Excitedly, I told everyone that I knew this huge-afro'd dude, and I tried explaining to them that I had a very bizarre postcard of him hanging on my refrigerator (uncomfortably enough, right next to the most up-to-date school pictures of my nieces Maddie and Stella). They didn't seem to get it. But when I saw that Baron Von Fancy and his party was leaving, I hopped over to say hi. I told him that I was trying to explain the whole postcard deal to everyone at my table, to which he responded, without hesitation, "Oh, you mean this postcard?" and in one sweeping motion, as if it had already been in his hand somehow, he slapped it on the wall. I asked him if I could keep it. He obliged. Then I walked back to our table and proceed to blow a table of minds.
Even better. I'm not sure who's idea it was, but this postcard became the physical document of the occasion as it turned into a birthday card for Lisa that everyone proceeded to sign.
Baron Von Fancy isn't just a visual artist, however. He's also a rapper that goes by the name of Fat Jew who performs with the group Team Facelift. I'm embedding the video for "Shake That Ass" right here. It's one of those clips that technically is SFW but something about it feels entirely USFW. You have been warned...