Amy Sedaris on the cover of the Fall 2003 issue of Nest, photo by Todd Oldham

The mantel of Amy's fake fireplace

The mantel of Amy's fake fireplace

Part of the wall unit that Todd Oldham built to house and hide Amy's rarely-used TV

The fake fireplace and pot-leaf cushions

Is Amy getting a little hot on those pot-leaf cushions?

The tree-stump bar that brother David left with Amy, beneath a Hugh Hamrick painting that was used in a dinner theater production of ''Come Back Little Sheba''

Plastic food products, taxidermied woodland creatures, and other kitsch

Amy takes a break from baking

It looks like Amy's ready to twirl a baton in a parade

Looking toward the screen door that leads into Amy's bedroom, with Dusty waiting to be let in

Flower's Kiss Candy wrappers, from Chinatown, adorn the walls of the hallway

A closer shot of the Flower's Kiss wrappers

Part of Dusty's bedroom habitat, built by Todd Oldham

The other half of Dusty's bunny palace, beneath Sedaris family photos

Check out Amy's feet!

Amy rests beneath her books

One of the bedroom shelves

The woman in the black-and-white photograph is Sharon Sedaris, Amy's mother

The kitchen where Amy makes her delicious cupcakes and cheeseballs

An adjacent kitchen shot




We drop in on nest official celebrity spokesperson Amy Sedaris. Hipstress-comedian Amy revels in her ongoing roles as Christopher Street homebody, cupcake maker, and Todd Oldham decorating client.

Poem by Carl Skoggard
Photographs by Todd Oldham

Little Miss Amy Sedaris is a very nice girl.
Little, I say, because she seemed so
Framed by her front door,
Very little and very nice.

"Carl?" she'd called
From around the bend of hallway.
"It's me," I'd called back,
Grateful to be welcomed with my name.

Well it was scary,
Being out of it and going to meet Amy.
She's way cool, they say,
Hipper than hip.

The time: precisely one o'clock.
Amy draws me into her abode.
Trays of cupcakes line the kitchen counter,
Things she's made.

Little cupcakes frosted pink aren't scary.
Not obviously.
"I'm always in here baking," Amy says.
"Don't let me forget to give you some."

Amy's pastel herself,
A pleasing little body in green and yellow.
She unties those apron strings and presto
We're in her sitting room.

"Nice in here," I say.
"You really like it?"
"I feel right at home."
"My friends do, too."

I put down the economy-size notepad
Which probably was a mistake
And glance about:
Not much is missing.

Animal effigies lurk high and low.
"Can't help the varmints," quips Amy.
What about her "MUMPS" sign and
Her tres strange drawings.

Her fake flowers, plastic roast turkey
Ready to serve,
Human organs, her crow repellent?
I could go on.

Shelves are neatly crowded,
Not quite packed,
Lots to see and
You see around, behind, through.

Semiotic sleuthing's out:
I won't ask Amy why these objects
Are on display.
They're her, no doubt about it.

Retro charms
From somewhat simpler times,
Mementos of childhood.
We get to talking.

Miss Amy's from Raleigh,
Not far from where I'm from.
Her mother's dead.
"Is your mother alive?" she asks.

She cares about the answer.
Amy divides people by their parents,
Whether one or the other's gone:
Two different hurts.

Now her mother's over her bed,
Right in the middle.
Young, could be a Southern deb,
Sure looks like Amy.

Amy's handsome family,
Smiling but not too much,
I spy up and down the bedroom wall.
Warm, whole, at ease.

We're copacetic in her 1970s,
God knows,
Still duty calls.
What to ask, got to ask something:

"So this feels like your home home?"
Ten years she's lived in here,
Snug with the night noise
Of Christopher Street.

Her only New York address ever,
Convenient to everything.
To me it's a tree house:
A place you listen from, safe and secure.

And woodsy.
Why load it with furniture?
Amy's walls are complex,
Her floor things few;

Just what a neat little body needs.
Though suddenly I'm suspicious:
Might Amy be a neat freak?

She takes me over to the hall closet,
Opens it and we behold
A wonder of packing and order.
"Some day I'll get to this," Amy sighs.

(She's way ahead of me.)
Next in peeps Amy's rabbit,
Boldly marked like a prize tulip.

Retiring by day,
Madame D's an after-hours hellion,
Climbing walls when Amy gets in late.
Who never barks, I think.

We discuss the turds.
Amy's not put off by them,
Not one tiny bit.
They'll dry to harmless pellets.

To outlive the goldfish,
Soft and cleanly
Of philosophic mien,

Here's your perfect citypet.
Dusty reminds me of a Yale professor
I saw once in a loony bin,
Swinging on a closet door, in and out.

He, too, was wisely inscrutable.
I try to recall what happened
Way back when to my pet rabbit but can't,
Which makes me feel guilty.

"Losing a pet is awful," Amy says on cue.
She lost Mamselle Tattle Tail,
A nester formerly
In the box springs of her bed.

Mamselle's portrait makes her out to be
As spiritual as her successor,
Who by the by
Sleeps in a palace.

Amy decides to look up my birthday
In her compendium of star lore.
"You are strong, self-reliant...."
The astrologer's wrong and I say so.

Oh why Miss Amy won't you help me
Bare the mystery,
Or is there any?
Stars are fine outdoors not in.

"Think I gotta go,"
I suddenly hear myself say,
And I should.
Amy must have other things to do.

She gives me six cupcakes in a carton.
When I bend over to peck her cheek
She prefers a hug.
Goodbye Amy, it was real.

She walks me to the elevator.
"Don't worry," she says.
"You'll do fine with the write-up."
"We'll see," I answer.

© 2003 nest