Welcome to Twentysomething, SFist's latest series of interviews. What exactly is Twentysomething, you ask? Well, similar to the Proust Questionnaire or the gobbledygook heard at the end of each Inside the Actor's Studio, we ask a bevy of famous subjects a series of searing questions, followed by a handful of tailor-made queries. (Hence TwentySOMETHING.) Launching the series today is none other than Stuart Schuffman (aka Broke-Ass Stuart), creator of Broke Ass Stuart, author of Young, Broke, and Beautiful: Broke-Ass Stuart's Guide to Living Cheaply, and host of IFC's Young, Broke, and Beautiful (the season finale airs tonight, by the way).
SFist: 1. Introduce yourself in one sentence
Broke-Ass Stuart: That douchebag who writes books about cheap stuff, drinks too much, and somehow got a TV show.
2. Zodiac sign
Sagittarius, which means I got a thing for centaurs right?
The Whale's Vagina (San Diego)
4. How many years in SF or Bay Area
I've been in SF for 9 years (with a year in NY) and was in Santa Cruz for 4 years before that.
5. Favorite SF neighborhood
Almost every neighborhood has something special about it, so my favorite neighborhood generally ends up being the one that I haven't been to in awhile
6. Berkeley or Oakland
Oakland. I mean it's where Too Short is from after all.
7. Neighborhood you call home
I've been in the Mission since 2004. It's changed a lot, but I probably have too.
8. How much do you pay in rent
$662.50. Not too shabby for SF standards.
9. What was your first job
Making pizza at Roundtable Pizza when I was 15. I smelled like garlic for months.
10. Best sandwich
Best sandwich ever? A hot pastrami sandwich from Katz's Deli in NYC. Hands down. It's like the Muhammed Ali of Sandwiches: the greatest of all time.
11. Great Quake or Loma Prieta
Great Quake. Despite their whole world going to shit, those cats still looked hella classy.
12. Favorite MUNI line
This is a great question! I think I like the 33 the best. I can ride it from the Mission all the way to the Clement St. and I get that great view when it comes up out of the Castro and crosses Market (or is it Portola then?)
13. Favorite politician of past or present (you can only pick one)
Senator David C. Broderick. The motherfucker died in a duel with Chief Justice David Terry in 1859. That's some seriously gangster shit. I bet you couldn't have proposed banning circumcision back then. Someone from the Board of Supervisors might've shanked you.
14. Best TV show of past or present (you can only pick one)
Am I a total shit if I say mine? Probably, so instead I'm gonna say The Wire. Omar is probably the best antihero of all time.
15. Favorite bridge
When they finally name the Bay Bridge the "Emperor Norton Bridge" it will be my favorite.
16. Best restaurant
This is a dangerous question in San Francisco. It's the kind of thing that can create a mortal enemy here. It's really hard to decide! But I guess right now it's Lolo. Those tropical tacos are magical.
17. SF would be soooo much better if only ___________
SF would be soooo much better if only if I didn't have to constantly worry about stepping in human poop.
18. SF has the greatest __________
SF has the greatest number of people (per capita) who have a costume boxes in their closet.
19. Redheads, y/n
I'm one myself! My beard is red and when I was younger my hair was quite red. Also, Christina Hendricks is probably the sexiest woman on earth. She's like a real life Jessica Rabbit.
20. Question you'd ask if you were doing this interview
Where do you camp at Burning Man?
Thanks, Stuart! Now let's ask you a little bit more about yourself. Tell us the single best piece of advice for broke-asses trying to survive in SF?
Be wary of free furniture on the street. Nowadays it may have bedbugs! It didn't used to be like that...sad face.
You visited many cities around the country to film your new IFC show, Young, Broke, and Beautiful -- which is the best city to be broke in?
The best cities to be broke in are the broker cities. In places like Detroit and Baltimore you can live really cheaply, meaning that it's a lot easier to be an artist and survive off just making art.
What is the cheapest thing you've eaten that wasn't free? Was it gross?
I basically lived off empanadas in Argentina. They were one peso, which was US$0.33 at the time. They were delectable.
Share with us your top one or two broke-ass cocktail recipes (Anything with 2-3 ingredients, really)
My drink is a vodka soda with a lemon. Fewer hangovers that way.
You've published two non-fiction (?) books about living on the cheap, and a third is on the way. Now, let's say you're penning a work of fiction: give us the title and a brief synopsis.
I'll have to keep those secret because I do plan on writing some longer form stuff one day.
Worst part of being recognized now that you're on TV?
It was actually worse before the show when I was waiting tables. At least once a week someone would come in and recognize me from my books or website. They'd be like, "Hey you're Broke-Ass Stuart!" and I'd be like, "Um, wanna refill?" I liked keeping those two worlds separate. Otherwise, it doesn't bother me at all. It's not like I'm Jennifer Lopez famous. Most people on the street don't know who I am. But, I did get recognized in a bar in El Paso, Texas a few weeks back.
So... are you still broke?
Unfortunately yes. I'm probably making less money this year than when I was waiting tables. So buy my book, people!