Prince Language

When we asked Prince Language to tell us a little about himself, his answer was simple: "I'm quite tall, and I like to read a lot." While reading might be important, to him, music is a way of life. He can be found DJing at GrandLife events, and at parties throughout NYC.

What would the title of your autobiography be? “Pull My Daisy”

What can’t you travel without? A few good books, and a notebook. There’s a singularity to the pleasure of reading on a train or airplane, a languorous concentration that comes from a lack of place, and which is filled by what one is reading.  You locate yourself in a book when you read while moving.

What’s your favorite travel destination? Big Sur, California. It’s an unparalleled confluence of rugged coast, mystical forest, meditative mountains, and out-of-body lunar interactions. And that breakfast pizza at the Bakery.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in NYC? Not be subject to the consequences of Saturday night.

If you could choose one person to show you “their New York City,” who would it be? Luc Sante, the brilliant author of Low Life, which is the best and weirdest book written about the city. The poet Frank O’Hara is a close second.

What has inspired you recently? Dancing with thousands of New Yorkers at the Larry Levan block party, a gathering that took place on the site of the legendary Paradise Garage nightclub to celebrate the life of the DJ who created the sound of the club, and was a pillar of the city’s dance music heritage. It was an ecstatic reminder of dancing’s role in the city’s history as a form of communal, diverse, and ecstatic cultural resistance.

What are your favorite NYC restaurants, and what do you order there? Grand Central Oyster Bar for its namesake raw bivalves and fried clams, Blue Ribbon for the fried chicken and exceptional shrimp cocktail, Employees Only for that charcuterie plate, and Casa Adela on Avenue C for the transcendent yet earthy rotisserie chicken and sweet plantains.

What’s your go-to spot in NYC for drinks? Back to Casa Adela for a morir soñando made by one of the lovely and brusque abuelitas who run the place.

What’s your favorite NYC brunch spot? I love Dimes on the Lower East Side/Chinatown border. The seasonal menu changes pretty frequently, but I have yet to be disappointed by following the whims of whatever I was in the mood for – everything is delicious, and the juices are always perfect.

Where do you get your art fix in NYC, and do you have a favorite artist? The permanent collections of the MoMA and the Met will never disappoint, as well as whatever’s showing at the invaluable Artists Space in Soho. The recently refreshed contemporary galleries of the former are unexpectedly good at the moment. Donald Judd is my lord and Savior, Yvonne Rainer is my guide, and Chris Kraus changed everything.

What are some of your under the radar must-do recommendations for NYC visitors? A helicopter tour of NYC may seem touristy, but it is one of the greatest unexpected experiences that one can have with the city.

What are some of your favorite NYC stores? Mast Books on Avenue A is a passionately curated treasure-trove of new and vintage – some quite rare – art, poetry, and literature that yields amazing discoveries upon each visit. A1 Records is THE New York City record store, and Other Music is a temple of discovery for both new music and recently unearthed gems from the past.

What are you listening to these days? Recently: Kindness, Ramona Lisa, and Laaraaji. I always return to Philip Glass, Teddy Pendergrass, and Bob Dylan. A minimalist, a maximalist, and a mystic. And Leontyne Price singing Puccini – eternally.

What song would you consider your personal soundtrack to NYC? Nothing evokes summer in New York City as much as hearing “Puerto Rico” by the great salsero Eddie Palmieri reverberating through the street from a speaker pushed onto a fire escape.

When you think of NYC, what comes to mind? Difficult, unbridled joy, the golden mercury light on old buildings at dusk, and transcendental heartbreak.