Five Quick Questions With…Jessica Pressler

Though my dislike for Philadelphia magazine is fairly well documented (fifth letter down), I do have to admit that I have long enjoyed the musings of one of their regular contributors. For several years, Jessica Pressler was the author of “Pressler’s Miscellany” in the Philadelphia Weekly, an irreverent column in which she made fun of Philadelphia celebrities and carried on an unhealthy obsession with Neil Stein. Pressler ruffled quite a few feathers last summer when she wrote her infamous “6th Borough” article for the New York Times. The Massachussettes native currently writes a humourous column about relationships for Philadelphia magazine, and still does some freelance work for the Times.

1. If you could have dinner with any 2 philly celebrities from the past or present, who would they be and why?
If it was like a long meal with
appetizers and dessert, I’d definitely want to hang with Lee Daniels
and Patti LaBelle. They seem like a lot of fun. I bet if you got them
like really liquored up they’d tell you all kinds of scandalous
gossip. That Lee Daniels is a mouthy little queen, and Patti’s been
around so long I’m sure she just doesn’t give a f*** what she says. I
mean that in the best possible way.

2. What musical artist or song do you have in your collection that you are a little bit ashamed of?
I guess I should be ashamed of having the
Thong Song on my I-tunes, but f*** it, I’m totally not. It’s one the
best odes to the female posterior ever written, and you can dance to
it. Whither Sisqo now? I guess when Hot in Herre came out everyone
forgot about him. Which is not really fair. When you think about it,
Sisqo was ROBBED by Nelly. ROBBED.

3. If you could be on any reality show, which one would you want to be on?
MTV’s Made, which is the best show ever. Right now they only do
teenagers but I think they should start a version for mid-twneties
career changers. I’d be like, ‘Hi, when I was a kid I wanted a career
in international relations, but somehow at 28 the closest I’ve come to
this is a newspaper story that called Philadelphia New York’s next
borough. What the f*** happened? I want to be MADE.” And then MTV
would get me some fabulous gay coach from the Carnegie Endowment that
would quiz me about sustainable development and s***. Of course, like
that model from Temple who is STILL a waitress at Coffee Shop,my
career in diplomacy probably wouldn’t really work out. But I figure
I’d have a chance at getting a spinoff series in which I would live in
a house with Richard Holbrooke and Brangelina. The White House.

4. Speaking of reality shows, you recently did an article for Philadelphia magazine about Gervase. Does he have any discernible talent, or is his greatest asset simply existing?
Gervase has sustained his career as the Survivor also-ran for SIX
years. I don’t know if talent is what he has, but he’s definitely got
that combination of savvy and shameless that is all you really need to
succeed…in Philly. He’s working it, man, and he brings home more
than you or I.

5. What’s your favorite restaurant in Philly?
The food at Amada is awesome but I’ve had really weird unfriendly
service every time I’ve been there, and they have a tendancy to play
crappy house music. Abyssinia in West Philly is my favorite place
forever, and I also have very warm feelings about Saad’s down the
street from there.