The Humans of New York formula is foolproof. Photograph ordinary folks, conduct a brief interview in which the subject illuminates a rich and compelling inner life, share said content with millions of empaths, repeat until you sit down with Barack Obama.
Things get a bit fucky when Brandon Stanton finds someone extraordinarily compelling, who not only forces us to accept the fact every person around us harbours immense and revelatory beauty, but that a one-time President of the United States allegedly hired a sex worker every time he rolled into New York City.
That’s the takeaway from Humans Of New York’s latest post about Tanqueray, a woman introduced to the audience only through her stripper name, who apparently accrued decades of face-melting gossip from her time in New York City’s club scene.
Through three consecutive posts, Tanqueray has outlined a life of vibrancy and turmoil: tossed out of home at seventeen while pregnant, Tanqueray said she landed an internship at the storied Fashion Institute of Technology, which provided her work with for “the strippers and porn stars in Times Square. All my friends were gay people, because they never judged me. All I did was gay bars: drag queen contests, Crisco Disco, I loved the whole scene. And I couldn’t get enough of the costumes.”
She also harkened back to an encounter with a Hasidic rabbi. It’s a sentence which, in fairness, is the best novel I’ve read all year.
Then came her rise in the scene, complete with this perfect anecdote:
In fact, one night after a show, I caught another dancer sneaking off to the Tate Hotel with our biggest tipper. Not allowed. So the next night we put a little itching powder in her G-string. Boy did she put on a show that night. Didn’t see her again until ‘The Longest Yard’ with Burt Reynolds. So I guess she finally fucked the right one.
As for the thing about El Presidente, we sincerely believe it’s best for you to digest the story as presented by HONY:
Those revelations have sparked furious discussion in the comments section, with folks trying to triangulate Tanqueray’s timeline with the life of mobster Matty the Horse (who actually existed!), the filmography of Burt Reynolds, and the succession of US Presidents.
The posts are also look like documentary-fodder for many commenters, who are demanding Netflix take a swing at something, anything, with blessed Tanqueray. That number includes Jennifer Garner, FWIW.
The mini-memoir is perhaps the most unexpected exposé since hit record producer Quincy Jones sounded off on JFK, Michael Jackson, and The Beatles for no apparent reason.
We would obviously appreciate more input from Tanqueray, but if this is the last we hear from her before she returns to a life of relative privacy, that’s fine too. She’s already given us so much.