These days, choosing between the closet or being out is more akin to sitting quietly and coloring within the lines with only gray crayons, or saying “fuck you” to the quiet, flipping the table and ripping up the coloring book.
“They used to be named Special and Delight, but they sounded like retired strippers.”
“Queer, tender, true. I like those things.” – Gabrielle Hamilton, Mind of a Chef
A look at the stuff that’s fueled my week.
I’ve made it something of a regular occurrence to post anniversary checkins every year at August 15, but this year, my fourth anniversary as a New Yorker came and went. Rather than a long winded essay—as is my wont—I thought it’d be appropriate to post some lessons I’ve learned so far. (Hashtag basic, amirite?) I posted a version of this on my Facebook, so apologies for the repetition. Without further ado: It’s ok to cry on the street. It’s even better to cry in an ATM vestibule. Let your account balance be your guide. If you believe a cab is a quicker way from Point A to Point B, you WILL get stuck in traffic. More money makes it easier to live here, yes, but don’t underestimate the restorative power of a walk through Central Park while eating a plain slice. New Yorkers are a lot nicer than their reputation belies. Except the Times Square Cookie Monster. He’s an asshole. Never tell a cabbie where you’re going until your ass is firmly in seat. Until then, …
Like, oh, the rest of the world ringing in the New Year, I’m reflecting on 2014. Was it a good year? Yeah, I’d say so. I traveled more, worked harder, developed new skills and largely avoided not dying. Someone get me a prize! The flip side of reflecting on the New Year is dipping a hopeful toe in Jan. 1, the calendar date equivalent of fresh fallen snow. “Should I be prettier and thinner this year, or just nicer?” “Should I try harder or maintain the status quo?” “Do I finally make it to Paris this year?”
It’s the last weekend of Christmas shopping and I’ve basically checked out of consumer culture. Don’t expect much from me this holiday season, unless of course, it’s wine. Or books. From, y’know, the bookstore, not that Internet-commerce hydra, Amazon. Because, try as you might to deny it, bookstores are cool, bro. Cliche, I know, loving bookstores, but! Their smells! And the quiet rustling sounds of spines cracking! Pages fluttering! Other readers breathing!
This last month has been quite the doozy and frankly, I’ve been bad at Internet as a result of it. It’s hard to keep up with the blog when there’s so much to do IRL, but let’s give it the whole college try, eh? November was a big month for work: lots of projects, lots of learning. But it was also a fun month of events and press trips. A cruise out to sea—I billed it as the world’s fanciest U-turn—kept me away from the office, while Virginia’s Eastern Shore treated me to waterway adventures in and around Chesapeake Bay, whereupon I ate all the oysters and clams. All o’ dem.
Everyday around 5 PM, I can hear the trains rolling through Mt. Kisco from my desk. The aggressive horn starts off in the distance, and I can’t help but look at my desk clock. The sound comes closer, and I pack my bag. The doppler’d noise goes off into the distance, and I’m getting into a cab, eagerly waiting for my own train to whisk me back to the city. It’s a process that I neither hate nor love, but helps me mark the time nonetheless. This week’s been a doozy, what with rain, ebola scares and terrible commutes, it’s all a guy can do to hold out until Friday. Since Monday, I’ve been expecting that train to remind me to go home, perking up to the sound, only to be roundly disappointed because I remembered yet another thing I had to do once I got back to the city. Another event, another friend to hang out with. But now it’s Friday. Though I’ll be bartending tomorrow, I also have a relaxing weekend of adventures planned. I’m …
By the time I got off the L in Bushwick this evening, the sky—which had threatened rain all day—released its wet freight. Underground a mere minutes before I butted heads with meteorology, I had already decided to take the long route home, if only to be outside for a short while. I even wanted to go on a run, imagine that. Instead, I was stuck with a drizzly 12 minute door-to-subway-door jaunt. Sigh. Then again, if the worst thing in the world during a light autumn rain is having to take off one’s glasses, well, there’s not really much to complain about. Plus, over the course of my drizzle-stroll, I was able to decide three things: