Volume 80, Number 7 | July 14 -21, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Villager photo by J.B. Nicholas

Paparazzo was wondering if Luc Carl a.k.a. Lord Gaga was in the house — when suddenly he saw her.

On the trail of Lord Gaga on the Lower East Side

By J.B. Nicholas

The drinks were strong, the girls were cute and the rock ’n’ roll was loud.

I had passed the place hundreds of times over the years, yet never ventured in. This night I entered because I was on the hunt. My quarry was Luc Carl, a lanky, leather-sheathed, chrome-studded Nebraskan turned Brooklyn rock demigod. The day before, the New York Post had outed him as Lord Gaga, lover of Lady Gaga, and the inspiration for more than one of her hits. It was also said he could be found here.

A disco ball spun spots of white light around the rectangular space. Booths lined one side; the bar took up the other. I walked straight to the back of the room, bellied up to the bar and ordered. As I waited, I raked the room with my eyes, searching for the face I had seen in the Post. I didn’t see him, but my gaze lingered on a couple caught in the rapture of lust as they made out shamelessly in the booth behind me. Then a gaggle of girls exploded through the bathroom door and skipped to the dance floor as the Stones began blaring from the speakers above.

I turned around and found my drink on the bar. I paid and took a deep gulp. It was strong and satisfying. I decided that this place was cool, the coolest bar I’d been in in some time, in fact, and that whoever hung out here was likely to be cool, too.

A few drinks later, I saw her sitting on top of the divider between two booths, her back resting against the tin-covered wall, multicolored light dancing across her face. I walked over and asked if I could take her picture. “Sure,” was the answer.

When I returned to my drink, the bartender eyed me suspiciously and confronted me.

“We don’t want attention in this place,” he said. “There’s been a lot of paparazzi around here lately. I’m not gonna say anything more, just check out Page 3 of today’s Post. We’re about music here. Most everyone’s a musician of some kind.”

“I write a column for a local paper that’s been around for like 70 years,” I answered him. “It’s called The Villager, little yellow boxes all around this side of town. I want a little something about this place, that’s all. My name is Nick,” and I stretched my open hand out to him.

He took it and said, “As long as you don’t work for the Post.”

And with that I made a new friend, until he reads this.




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