Jonathan Ames & The Russian Baths

Jonathan Ames
Jonathan Ames

Jonathan Ames is a novelist and memoirist. In addition to being the creator of two television shows. HBO Bored to Death and Starz Blunt Talk. He recently granted an interview to The Week magazine. The writers asked Jonathan Ames to take him to his favorite spot in New York City. So what place did Ames choose? The Russian Turkish Baths on on East 10th Street in lower Manhattan.

This is a STRAIGHT Bathhouse for those who are wondering. But Jonathan says “When I’m in New York, the baths are my life. I come here almost every night,” he explains. “After trying to write during the day, I come to the baths, sit in the heat. Further ideas might come to me.”

The bathhouse, which was established in 1892, is still plenty popular — but it feels, like Jonathan Ames himself, like a holdover from an older, more eccentric New York. “It’s always changing. That’s the beauty of New York. It’s like a snake shedding off its skin,” says Ames. “Of course, one part of human nature is to be resistant to change. There is an element that’s sad to Manhattan — by becoming so expensive, it’s squeezed out all the artists and perverts. A city, like a colon, needs some dirt to keep it strong. Needs some bacteria.”

Read A morning at a Russian bathhouse with Blunt Talk creator Jonathan Ames

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