That’s because an event and party organizer on New York’s Lower East Side has decided to have an unusual Irish-themed evening at the Slide, a new bar and club on the Bowery, once the home to New York’s seediest and most sordid side, where drinking, prostitution and vice danced nightly in the streets.
What better, thought the event organizer Daniel Nardicio, than to advertise for little people — dwarves and midgets — to come to the Slide and be painted green and to dance on the bar tops as leprechauns.
“I thought it was the most tasteless, tacky thing I could imagine,” said Nardicio, “But that’s what I do. I want people to be shocked by the freakish side of life.”
Nardicio’s advertisement was placed online at the free advertising site, Craigslist.org.
It read: “Seeking little people (i.e. midgets or dwarfs) for go-go at a gay club in the East Village for St Patties day party Saturday March 15th — must be willing to be painted green and play a leprechaun — pay is $125 cash plus tips and all you care to drink.”
Asked if he thought his event could be accused of bad taste, Nardicio said “Absolutely — but I want to push boundaries.”
“Last week,” he explained, “I employed this really beautiful male dancer, but he had no ear, so that really threw people when they looked at him.
“Now, from the ceiling to the bartop is only 5 feet, so for someone to dance there they need to be pretty short,” Nardicio said, confirming that he has two candidates signed up already, one at 4-foot-2 and another at 4-7.
“Technically not really little people,” was Nardicio’s verdict, but he is hopefully of finding other candidates.
One of the candidates for Saturday evening’s event was reached by telephone. His name is Bill Hind.
“I need the money,” Hind said. “And it’s not often my size comes into play. This will be a performance and I treat it as such.”
Asked if he expected to be painted or sprayed green, he said, “I have no idea.” He added that he had Hannigans and O’Reillys on his maternal side of the family.
The New York Times reported last Sunday that the rumor on the East Village nightlife circuit is that the Slide is on the site of the first-ever reputed gay bar in Manhattan, also called the Slide.
Luc Sante’s history of the Lower East Side, “Low Life,” refers to this establishment, and writes that it was noted in the 19th century as “the lowest and most disgusting place, filled nightly with from one to three hundred people, most of whom are males.”
But, said the Times, the original Slide was actually a few blocks away on Bleecker Street.
Asked if he thought Irish people or little people would be offended, Nardicio said, “I don’t do this to offend people. I’m Italian and I’ve heard all sorts of nasty things said about the Italians and it doesn’t bother me. And Irish people have such a wonderful sense of humor, I don’t see them getting upset.”