Lush life on the LES

I’m reading Lush Life, a novel by Richard Price, a NY writer who wrote Clockers as well as a lot of scripts for The Wire. The book opens with a a murder on the lower east side — nothing earth shattering plot-wise, but Price does dialogue really well. In one scene, the cops try to piece together what happened. One cop named Yolanda is interrogating the prime suspect, a 35-year old wannabe actor named who bartends at a place on Rivington:

“So where’d you go next?” asked Yolanda.
“Some top secret bar on Chrystie,” Eric replied. “We started drinking absinthe, and I got a lecture about how it isn’t real absinthe unless it is from Czechoslovakia, and even if it is, it has to have wormwood or tapeworms or whatever.”
“You sounds like you weren’t having a very good time.”
“I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like everybody I know down here went to the same fucking art camp or something.”

“So where’d you go after that?” Yolanda asked.
“We went to some poetry bar on Bowery, beatnik bar or something,” said Eric.
“What’s it called?”
“Zeno’s Conscience.”
“They can get all that on the sign?”
“He said they had a puppet porno show we couldn’t miss.”

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