Last year for Halloween, I donned one of my 400 black dresses, a pair of oversized black Swifty Lazar spectacles, and slapped a “Hello” nametag on the front of me that read: “HELLO. My name is Elaine Kaufman. Now GO FUCK YOURSELF.” Needless to say, it was a SMASH HIT with the decadent crowd with which I run.
Follow the link below to read a piece I wrote about Miss Elaine Kaufman shortly thereafter, a woman who has mightily inspired me in both my personal and professional lives. No, wait…strike that. Roll it back. Elaine Kaufman was no woman. Elaine Kaufman was a FUCKING BROAD.
I say “was” because that awesome, rollicking, profane provocateur/restaurateur left this world today at the age of 81, after nearly five decades of nourishing both the successful AND not-so-successful members of the New York literati…in every way that one person CAN nourish another. She fed them when they were hungry, cheered them when they were lauded, knocked them down a few pegs when they got too goddamned big for their britches, and mourned them with all her heart when they died. She was a force of nature who took no fucking prisoners and lived life on her own terms. She also counted some of the greatest minds of our generation amongst her closest friends. It would not be overstating it in the least to say that the end of her time here is also the end of an era. Kaufman was a walking, talking, cursing, belly laughing institution all her own — and in 2003, was, in fact, named a New York “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
When they handed her the prestigious award…I imagine that she probably told them all to go fuck themselves.
Go get ’em, Miss Elaine.