Time for a Cookie

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World AIDS Day is a chance to reflect on some of the individuals whose lives were cut short by the disease. In the early days of the plague, New York's artsy scene was hit especially hard; among the victims was cult-film actress, writer and gung-ho adventurer Cookie Mueller.

Many of Mueller's wildly-entertaining exploits are captured in the 1996 anthology, Ask Dr. Mueller, including her go-go gigs at a sleazy Times Square strip joint, the time she accidently burned down a friend's house and her Christmas holiday adventures with larger-than-life drag queen Divine (they met through John Waters and both starred in his movies).

New York figures prominently in her stories. Her portrait of the city in the 1970s and '80s, especially the walk-on-the-wild-side East Village and its eccentric inhabitants, is a fabulous and vital history of a pre-AIDs bohemia. R.I.P. Cookie.

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