Your $20 Lower East Side Christmas

Rev. Jen, Faceboy reveal ‘cutting’ edge tips


[media-credit name=”Photos by Scott Stiffler” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]MEET YOUR HOSTS

Originally from Middle Earth, Maryland, Rev. Jen is an “elf that lives in a Troll Museum above a shoe store, with a chihuahua named Reverend Jen Junior.” She is “an Art Star, author, Troll Museum curator, columnist, guru, open mike host, ambassador to the otherworld, underground movie star, Voice of the Downtrodden & Tired and Patron Saint of the Uncool.” Rev. Jen is founder and host of The Anti-Slam (currently happening every fourth Wednesday of the month, 10pm, at Bowery Poetry Club). Unlike poetry slams where a panel evaluates performers based on a numerical scale, all who take to the Anti-Slam stage receive a perfect 10. “I don’t believe in talent or genius,” says Rev. Jen, “but in authenticity and desire.” Rev. Jen’s new book, “Elf Girl,” makes a wonderful holiday gift. Support the LES by purchasing it at Bluestockings Bookstore (bluestockings.org; at 172 Allen St.). For more info, visit revjen.com.

Born and raised in Greenwich Village, Faceboy began a long friendship and collaboration with Rev. Jen when the two met in the mid-1990s — as Faceboy began what would become a 13-year run of “Faceboyz Open Mike” (which happened mostly at Surf Reality). Based on Rev. Jen’s dubbing her Anti-Slam performers as “Art Stars,” Faceboy declared Downtown’s emerging comedy performance circuit as the “Art Star Scene” (A.S.S.). Faceboy returns as a producer and host, with “Faceboyz Folliez” — a new variety show happening on the first Sunday of each month, 10pm, at Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery; bowerypoetry.com). The debut installment is on December 4. Visit faceboyzfolliez.com.

B & B VARIETY STORE (110 Ludlow St.)

Our first stop provided Faceboy with a smart holiday outfit: One $1.29 Santa Hat (with “2012” printed on it), and one pair of ($1.29) “2012” glasses — which anticipate New Year’s Eve, while providing excellent protection from the sun. Also on our receipt, a bottle of “212” men’s cologne (99 cents) — not for the faint of heart, or those with a sense of smell.

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In the toy aisle of Lot-Less, Rev. Jen and Faceboy share a sad, quiet moment — when they accept the grim reality that these dolls are thoroughly beyond their $20 budget.

SHOPPING STOP #2: LOT-LESS (80 Clinton St.)

“Are you sure about the Sea Otter book,” asked Faceboy — concerned that we were falling under the spell of these lovable creatures and therefore vulnerable to the siren call of the book’s prohibitively indulgent asking price (99 cents). Against our better judgment, we emerged from Lot-Less with our own copy of “Splash Amidst Rowdy Rafts of Otters.”

The following day, having read this  fine Zoobooks publication from cover to cover, Faceboy remarked: “It was horrifying. It told of massive hunting that nearly wiped out the entire species — that they were easy to hunt because they were friendly and would swim right up to the boats. It also told of their resurgence after a 1911 ban on hunting, and then their current decline due to polluted waters.” Rev. Jen wondered, “How could someone kill that?” — to which Faceboy replied, “Much like Christmas itself, learning about sea otters gives moments of hope followed by worlds of grief.” Faceboy’s plunge into the heart of holiday darkness was made worse a bit later in the day, as we decorated our tree to the strains of Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The song, he remarked, “definitely makes me want to cut myself.”

Also purchased at Lot-Less:  Disney’s “The Princess & The Frog Sticker & Earrings Set.” Dividing the set into 14 individual gifts, we figured, made its asking price of 99 cents seem very reasonable indeed. A $9.99 three-foot white Christmas tree (minimal assembly required) left us with a crisis of faith as to how we’d spend the little money we had left. The answer was staring at us…from a liquor store.


After purchasing a $1 Gordon’s Vodka nip bottle (no tax), your hosts pay their respects to a nearby depository (dubbed by Rev. Jen as “The LES Stonehenge”) created by the accumulated discarding of empties by loyal Jade Fountain customers.


Tip #1: Hang the tree upside down, in honor of Isaac Newton (whose birthday is also December 25). Whether you’re a Jew, Christian, Buddhist or heathen — we can all agree on one thing: Gravity!

Tip #2: Use shit that’s already in your home to decorate (a Valium on a string, old Budweiser cans, NYC condoms, etc.)

Tip #3: When hanging banners, cross out the “Happy” in “Happy Holidays,” so guests don’t feel too much pressure — and cut out the “Merry” in “Merry Christmas.” People should be able to feel any number of emotions during the holidays.


Because it’s a recession and you are probably working 50 hours a week just to pay your rent and Con Ed, you shouldn’t have to cook. Remember all that canned food you bought for Hurricane Irene? Why not just serve that? Spam Singlets and almonds for everyone!

Who can afford cheese and crackers? Opt for Handi-Snacks instead. They have that cool little wand for spreading the cheese.