The larger-than-life inhabitants of New York City are from all walks of life with captivating stories to tell.
With so many fabulous anecdotes, the Humans of New York (HONY) photoblog highlights the stories from the streets of Gotham.
But one woman's engrossing story blows all others out of the water.
The blog's recent entry features a Black woman named, “Tanqueray," and her story is a fascinating look into her wild past that has transfixed the internet. Because Tanqueray's outrageous city life in the 70's couldn't be contained in one Instagram post, three entries were dedicated to this metropolitan national treasure.
And we're hoping for more.
The elderly sage didn't hold back when talking about being kicked out at seventeen and making a living as a stripper while whipping up costumes for drag queens and porn stars.
You're not ready for Tanqueray.
But once she starts, you'll want to come back for more fabulousness.
"My mom threw me out of the house at seventeen for getting pregnant, then had me arrested when I tried to get my clothes. Then she f***ed the head of parole to try to keep me in jail. She was some prime p***y back then."
“But the warden did some tests on me and found out I was smart, so I got a scholarship to go anywhere in New York. I chose the Fashion Institute of Technology, which I hated."
“But by that time I was already getting work making costumes for the strippers and porn stars in Times Square."
She found solace in the gay community.
“All my friends were gay people, because they never judged me. All I did was gay bars: drag queen contests, Crisco Disco, I loved the whole scene."
“And I couldn't get enough of the costumes. My friend Paris used to sit at the bar and sell stolen clothes from Bergdorf and Lord and Taylors, back before they had sensor tags."
She proudly described her wardrobe that would be the envy of every drag queen.
“So I had the best wardrobe: mink coats, 5 inch heels, stockings with seams up the back. I looked like a drag queen, honey. One night a Hasidic rabbi tried to pick me up because he thought I was a [trans]. I had to tell him: 'Baby, this is real fish!'"
Yes, she made her authenticity unapologetically known.
One follower was instantly bewitched by Tanqueray and said her posts were their favorite “from this page ever."
It wasn't long before Tanqueray-mania spread over into the Twitterverse.
Put Some Respeck On Her Name: Ms. Tanqueray Lead The Way For These Strippers Turned Stars Ms. Tanqueray from Human… https://t.co/8m2Tk5aRdR— Global Grind (@Global Grind)1574279678.0
This woman spilled the tea, the whole damn pot. This woman's life has more plot twists than an action mystery film,… https://t.co/8Wyw0YkOlV— My Gay Marriage (@My Gay Marriage)1574382619.0
So how did she become Tanqueray?
You'll have to let her tell the story.
"My stripper name was Tanqueray. Back in the seventies I was the only Black girl making White girl money. I danced in so many mob clubs that I learned Italian."
“Black girls weren't even allowed in some of these places. Nothing but guidos with their pinky rings and the one long fingernail they used for cocaine."
“I even did a full twenty minutes in the place they filmed 'Saturday Night Fever.' But I made my real money on the road. Three grand on some trips."
“Every time Fort Dix had their pay day, they'd bring me in as a feature and call me 'Ms. Black Universe' or some s**t like that."
It sounds like she put on quite a show.
“I had this magic trick where I'd put baby bottle tops on my nipples and squirt real milk, then I'd pull a cherry out of my G-string and feed it to the guy in the front row. But I never used dildos on stage or any s**t like that."
It was an honest living, unlike her eagerly ambitious cohorts.
“Never f****d the booking agents. Never f****d the clients. In fact, one night after a show, I caught another dancer sneaking off to the Tate Hotel with our biggest tipper. Not allowed."
“So the next night we put a little itching powder in her G-string. Boy did she put on a show that night. Didn't see her again until 'The Longest Yard' with Burt Reynolds. So I guess she finally f****d the right one."
One user called Tanqueray:
“the hero we don't deserve."
“She needs a book/movie deal."
Ladies And Gentlemen. ...I bring you..........wait for it........The Almighty Miss Tanqueray!!! Jesus Hold My Whi… https://t.co/6keYeKJAeP— Bee Hill (@Bee Hill)1574442152.0
The last HONY post shows a picture of Tanqueray next to a framed photo of her younger, ravishing self.
And the chapters of her life were never in short supply.
The gays weren't the only well-dressed crowd she cavorted with. She also enjoyed the company of the mob.
As long she didn't touch their hair.
“The scene was different back then. All the adult clubs were mob controlled. It all flowed up to some guy named Matty The Horse. Honestly the mob guys never bothered me. They were cool, and I liked how they dressed. They wore custom made suits. And they went to hair stylists, not barbers."
“These guys wouldn't even let you touch their hair when you were f*****g them. Not that I ever f****d them. Because I never turned tricks. Well, except for one time."
She dabbled in prostitution, but after her one and only job required a bit of role play involving pain endurance, she said, “no thanks."
“I took a job from this woman named Madame Blanche. She controlled all the high dollar prostitutes back then. She was like the Internet-- could get you anything you wanted. And all the powerful men came to her because she never talked."
“She set me up with a department store magnate who wanted a Black girl dressed like a maid. I thought I could do it. But when I got to his hotel room, he wanted to spank me with a real belt. So that was it for me. I was done."
She spilled major tea about her best friend, Vicki, who fared better with presidential trysts.
Don't tell anyone.
“But Madame Blanche set my best friend Vicki up with The President every time he came to New York. And don't you dare write his name cause I can't afford the lawyers."
“But he'd always spend an hour with her. He'd send a car to pick her up, bring her to his hotel room, put a Secret Service agent in front of the door, and get this: all he ever did was eat her p***y!"
@msbond2u We're taking bets on what president! also a plot twist was thrown out that she meant a future past presid… https://t.co/Upz9AT7cgK— D. Danyelle Thomas (@D. Danyelle Thomas)1574277197.0
We want more of Tanqueray.
We need a Tanqueray from Humans of New York docuseries ASAP— King Williams (@King Williams)1574216936.0
I am seriously infatuated by this @humansofny three-tweet thread about this fascinating giving-no-f*cks woman. I wi… https://t.co/9YaxWclD2O— Toula Drimonis (@Toula Drimonis)1574358896.0
YES! Give 👏🏾 us 👏🏾 more 👏🏾 Ms. Tanqueray! 👏🏾 https://t.co/V5tyrZpWgc— theGrio.com (@theGrio.com)1574343000.0
She is a living legend.
I told my partner this last night. There are a lot of people who have RT’d this & commented elsewhere that Tanquera… https://t.co/DPcmk6684C— this is real fish (@this is real fish)1574345311.0
If your best life isn’t the “My stripper name was Tanqueray” life, are you even living? Humans of New York 🤔— Je' (@Je')1574185903.0
@ltmfum @humansofny Honestly truly. I need coffee, I need life advice, I need MORE.— Laiza | “Lay-sa” (@Laiza | “Lay-sa”)1574342449.0
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Or actually, she let us have it.
If only our lives were as half as delicious.