Randy Rainbow’s (Higher) West Facet Story


The YouTube star Randy Rainbow was 10 when his household relocated to South Florida from Commack, N.Y. For many who are keen on figuring out silver linings, the unlucky transfer furnished younger Randy with a eager sense of objective: getting again to New York as quickly as potential.

“All the flicks and TV exhibits I like happen in New York, and being a musical-theater fan, I used to be obsessive about Broadway,” stated Mr. Rainbow, 39, who has harnessed that keenness to concoct sublimely impish parodies about Donald Trump and Mr. Trump’s coterie with melodies borrowed from theater and movie scores, in addition to pop hits. The ever present pink cat’s-eye glasses add a sure je ne sais quoi to the proceedings.

A sampling of Mr. Rainbow’s oeuvre, the premise for his 2019 prime-time Emmy nomination for excellent brief type selection sequence, consists of “Omarosa!,” a jaundiced have a look at the “Apprentice” contender turned White Home staffer, sung to the title tune from “Oklahoma!,” and “Kavanaugh,” an account of the messy affirmation of the latest member of the U.S. Supreme Court docket, sung to the title tune from “Camelot.”

Cover Your Freakin’ Face!,” a quantity composed for a current Nancy Pelosi fund-raiser, could also be extra acquainted to you as “Placed on a Completely happy Face” from “Bye Bye Birdie.” There’s additionally a young paean to Andrew and Chris, the brothers Cuomo, set to “Sandy” from the movie model of “Grease.”

The viral movies, the live performance excursions and a brisk enterprise in merchandise (these signature pink glasses and the “Any further I establish as Cuomosexual” line of caps, mugs and tote luggage) enabled Mr. Rainbow to maneuver, final summer season, from Astoria, Queens, his dwelling base since returning north 18 years in the past, to a nook two-bedroom rental on the Higher West Facet.

Occupation: Author and performer

My truthful laundry: “Nearly the very first thing I observed concerning the condominium was that it had a washer and dryer. It adjustments all the pieces. Each time I wash my underwear, it’s like, ‘Thanks, Lord.’”

“You’ve caught me at time, as a result of I’m now residing within the condominium I’ve all the time dreamed of,” stated Mr. Rainbow — sure, that’s his actual identify — who enumerated the view; the floor-to-ceiling home windows; the 2 columns in the lounge; the washer and dryer; and a separate room full with inexperienced display and prop closet to function his manufacturing studio.

“I actually saved up,” he continued. “I didn’t wish to make a lateral transfer to Manhattan. So I saved saying to myself, ‘At some point, after I can do it proper and stay in a cute-doorman constructing, that’s after I’ll do it.’”

Mr. Rainbow travels mild, which is to say that when Mr. Rainbow strikes — he lived in 4 totally different, unprepossessing flats in Queens — he doesn’t actually need a shifting truck.

“I discover that after I go to a brand new place, I throw all the pieces away,” he stated. “And this condominium was a lot nicer than the opposite locations I’ve lived in in New York that I needed to begin from scratch.”

The Randy aesthetic is CB2, with slightly Wayfair and West Elm thrown in. “I’m obsessive about CB2, like several typical homosexual Higher West Sider,” Mr. Rainbow stated. “You possibly can stroll in and say, ‘Give me this and provides me that, and the little tchotchke on the espresso desk, and provides me the espresso desk, too.’”

As a result of he’s confused by design, he stated, he laid his chips on a black-and-white palette (tufted black-leather couch, black-and-off-white space rug with a leaf sample, black-and-white accent pillows) backed by chrome (the mirrored desk in the lounge the place he does a lot of his writing) and gold (a lamp base). “These are protected,” he stated. “You possibly can throw something in there and it’ll work.”

The heavy reliance on CB2 however, Mr. Rainbow has put personal stamp on the condominium. It’s obvious to even probably the most informal observer that right here lives a real household man, albeit one with two households. There’s the showbiz “kin” — Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton; Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando; Paul Newman (“as a result of he’s scorching”); Bette Davis, Gloria Swanson, Elizabeth Taylor — whose photos are displayed, variously, on partitions and cabinets. Likenesses of Barbra Streisand are in every single place. Framed letters from followers Stephen Sondheim and Hillary Clinton hold within the studio.

The luminaries share area with Mr. Rainbow’s real-life clan. A framed New Yorker cowl dated April 14, 1951, his mom’s birthday, hangs close to his desk. A photograph of Mr. Rainbow together with his maternal grandmother, Irene, “who’s now not with us,” sits on the windowsill within the studio. A photograph of his cat, Mushi, additionally now not with us, sits on a windowsill in the lounge; Mushi’s ashes are on the windowsill as nicely, nestled in a field Mr. Rainbow discovered on Etsy.

The center of the condominium, he stated, is a big rendering of Grandma Irene’s Chinese language zodiac image; it hangs on the wall between the master suite and the visitor lavatory. “My grandmother was essential in my life and profession, and he or she cherished Asian décor, and this can be a tribute to her,” Mr. Rainbow stated. “If you stroll into the condominium, you see it. If you’re sitting in the lounge, you see it.”

Throughout his adolescence in Florida, Mr. Rainbow, with the assistance of a pal, painted a mural of the New York Metropolis skyline that wrapped round his bed room. His whole highschool profession, he recalled, was spent mendacity in mattress watching that mural.

“And now,” he stated, “I’m residing on this condominium on the Higher West Facet that’s floor-to-ceiling home windows. And I’m wanting on the real-life model of the skyline I painted all these years in the past on my bed room wall.”

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