Each week or so, we profile one of NYC's most active and interesting Foursquare members. (What is Foursquare? Read here. You should really check it out!). We’re not simply interviewing venue "mayors"—there are something like 3,000 mayors in NYC. Boring. We’re on the hunt for guys like Kyle Studstill. He’s battled for months to be top dog of the Calexico cart. He’s particular about his falafel and has taken nerdy board game Settlers of Catan to the Foursquare universe. Our kind of dude!
I hear you are fighting it out for the mayorship of the Calexico cart. Who are you battling and why do you deserve to be mayor over him?
It’s a dude I've ousted before and who then ousted me back, in a battle that lasted a few months. High-profile lunch spots like Calexico are tough because you've got to spend, like, a month planning it out. Working through the logistics and everything. This basically resulted in me going to Calexico for like a week-and-a-half straight. But I just checked the page, and evidently some guy (@wizardishungry) has recently been crowned, which means I've been completely out of the loop. I'm in the off-season, prepping for a three-week go at it.
What’s the longest you have stood in line at Calexico?
As a general rule, I don't really believe in standing in lines. In fact, I'm proud to say that the one time I've ever stood in line for anything during my six months in the city was actually for the Foursquare Day party (and I wasn't too chipper about it). This works out for Calexico, since they don't really have a line to stand in for ordering.
Nice crowd, no?
Sure, though I don't know about those girls in particular, maybe just not my scene. The third girl's shoes are interesting but I keep getting distracted by what looks like a caulk dispenser that she's holding upside-down in her hand.
You’re the mayor of Zerya. Never heard of that spot…
Zerya is this falafel place that was on my walk home when I lived in the East Village. It wasn't even that good; there was just this dude there who made for good conversation and free baklava. As it turns out they shut down, which ends up working to my advantage, since I'll never lose that mayorship.
What restaurants and bars have you set your mayorship target on?
I definitely have my sights on Prosperity Dumpling. It's one of those tiny Chinatown dumpling places where nothing on the menu is over $3 (unless you count the bag of 50 dumplings for $8). I think the family just lives there chopping chives all day long. I go mostly for the name; I keep checking in with shouts like "Peace! Prosperity! Dumplings!" and "For great Prosperity!" so my friends think it's a joke location or something.
OK, you are also the mayor of Settlers of Catan. It’s a pretty nerdy board game. It’s a great game! How are you the mayor of a game?
We've got a little circle of players, and since we're all in the scene that concerns itself with what's now being tossed around as "the data-driven life," it occurred to us that we should have some kind of system for tracking our Settlers games. It makes sense that I'm the mayor, since I grew up on all sorts of nerdy strategy games. I remember being the 16 year old kid completely outwitting my older brother's Comic Book Guy-esque friend in war-strategy Warhammer 40K games.
If you had a meeting with Foursquare, what would you tell them? How would improve their network?
There's the idea of having some way to indicate your level of willingness/desire/ability to have other friends come and join you if they see that you're right around the corner.
Photo by Ryan Muir