For the last two years, the cult newsletter Perfectly Imperfect has offered a window into the changing guard of New York City’s downtown scene with a deceptively simple premise: “Cool people like cool things.”
Started during the loneliest days of the pandemic, the newsletter offers highly curated recommendations from on-the-cusp tastemakers and aspiring aesthetes including the synth-pop singer Jake Lazovick, the Canadian painter Chloe Wise, the model Meetka Otto and the “Euphoria” actress Chloe Cherry.
“I don’t want to seem full of myself or anything, but Perfectly Imperfect will probably be the most sprawling cultural document of who and what was cool during the time we’re in right now,” said Tyler Bainbridge, the newsletter’s 27-year-old founder. “It’s like a big artifact of all the personalities from this era.”
That artifact was exclusively online until last Saturday, when Perfectly Imperfect held a party at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. Dressed in teased-out super mullets and indie-sleaze suits, some 400 guests celebrated the newsletter’s second anniversary with a bawdy bash that included a floor-shaking, sex-positive performance by the Dare, the electro-pop act behind the underground ear worm “Girls.”
Between the mosh pits and D.J. sets, a few partygoers talked to The Times about their latest obsessions.
Harrison Patrick Smith, 26
The Dare, indie-pop prince
“August” by Taylor Swift. I really like the Taylor Swift song “Karma.” I think it’s a great song. I have just had Taylor Swift on the brain with “Midnights.” I haven’t listened to it all the way through yet, but it actually led me to revisit one of my favorite songs of hers, “August,” which is, in short, a perfect pop song.
Angel Prost, 24
Half of Frost Children, the hyperpop band with Lulu Prost
Wardrobing. I’m really into buying clothes from Dover Street Market for special occasions or shoots, and then returning them. They let you do it, too!
Blake Ortiz-Goldberg, 26
A.k.a. the rapper Blaketheman1000
Raw merch. I recommend Raw Rolling Papers merchandise. The Raw hat is my favorite. There are so many smoke shops, and almost all have Raw merch. I suspect there might be more Raw-branded merchandise in New York than “I Heart N.Y.” shirts.
Gutes Guterman, 25
Founder of The Drunken Canal; Web3 marketing at Digital Counsel
Weather reports. As a meteorologist in training, I think weather forecasting is cool because it’s largely universal, while at the same time hyper local. Weekly weather reports are fascinating and strange. You’re placing something so specific, but it’s not there yet.
A. Savage, 36
Northern Soul dance music. When it comes to D.J.-ing, I have been kind of sticking to Northern Soul kind of stuff. That’s been my thing lately. It’s always good, but especially even a little bit later in a set, because it allows you to venture into disco or techno — all that kind of stuff. I really like making people dance and creating a good atmosphere. I mean, that really should be a goal for anyone when they’re D.J.-ing, right?
Mark Hunter, 37
A.k.a. Cobra Snake, party photographer
$1 slices. I’m into the indie-sleaze revival, unsweetened iced tea from McDonald’s, riding Citi Bikes, wet cupping and $1 slices of pizza.
Tyler Bainbridge, 27
Founder of Perfectly Imperfect
Chloe Cherry. Chloe is a friend of a friend, who knew her before she kind of exploded. So he has a good rapport with her. She’s been super nice the whole time that I’ve known her. I’ve met her in person a handful of times now. She told me that her Perfectly Imperfect feature is the favorite interview she’s ever done because she kind of got to talk about whatever she wanted to. More than anything, she really gets it. I think that is kind of what is important about Perfectly Imperfect.
Natalie Miano, 27
Music forecaster at Terrorbird Media
Third Eye Blind. Often Third Eye Blind is dismissed for being cheesy, but Stephen Jenkins is quoted somewhere saying that he wanted “Semi-Charmed Life” to make people feel like they were on crystal meth. While I’ve never tried the stuff, I do get that “3EB” high. I have also attempted to give myself a Third Eye Blind tattoo on my ankle, but unfortunately failed.