Before the meat dress, before the sky high heels and before the fame, Lady Gaga was just a 4-foot-11-inch brunette, bar-hopping her way across the Lower East Side. That’s how her best friend, DJ and Esquire magazine writer Brendan Jay Sullivan, remembers her when they met. In his new book, “Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives,” Sullivan relives those moments that took place in the wee hours of the night and the years since. Despite everything, some things have remained the same about Lady Gaga. Sullivan tells Metro five ways to live like Gaga, so you can make your own fame monster dreams come true.
Make your own clothes.
“Gaga made all her own clothes in the ‘Just Dance’ video,” Sullivan says. “She bought a disco ball, broke it, took the mirrors off and made a disco ball bra. That same audacity of saying, ‘I’m not going to shop for this, I’m going to make my own outfits’ — she still acts like that.” Reflective bras not your thing? Find steps to make clothes you want to wear by typing “DIY clothes” into Pinterest. It’s a black hole of endless ideas that will help you reinvent your entire wardrobe.
Have a go-to bar.
For Lady Gaga and Sullivan, that was Stanton Social, and later St. Jerome (now closed). “That was our clubhouse. You walked in and everyone knew each other,” says Sullivan. “You know that feeling when you walk into a bar and you feel like everyone’s staring at you? It’s because they assume they know you from somewhere.”
Celebrate small victories.
Even if your long-term goals don’t involve hatching on stage from a giant egg, dreams don’t come true overnight. Nobody knows this better than Lady Gaga and Sullivan. “Success then was when I got a story published in a magazine that only 1,000 copies would get printed, or if Gaga had a show or was getting studio time,” Sullivan remembers. “Then it was, ‘Oh my God, the record label wants to fly me out to do a video and I want you to come with me.'”
1/2 lemon, muddled
1/4 lime, muddled
1 packet of sugar
1 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. Sauza Hornitos
Shake and serve on the rocks in a pint glass.
It’s Sullivan and Gaga’s signature drink.
Have a personal mantra.
Lady Gaga and Sullivan share the same one, straight from the Bible: “Therefore you must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming to you at an hour you do not expect.” “To us, it means, forget your expectations. Just be ready,” he says.
Brendan Jay Sullivan’s top Lower East Side spots:
99 Stanton St.
“It’s still my favorite restaurant!”
158 Ludlow St.
“Pianos is the most underappreciated restaurant in LES. People don’t realize they can go there in the afternoon or night and get a great $9 tuna steak.”
159 Chystie St.
“The guy who opened this suit shop wrote a book called ‘I Am Dandy,’ which I always thought was pretty cool.”