Dear Bob: Guess what? I went to the Big Kahuna of New York type cities, you know, New York City itself and I didn’t get 1) shot 2) mugged 3) fondled on the subway or 4) blown up by the al Quaida on the Fourth of July, so I think your proclamation that the entire Eastern Seaboard, namely towns, villages and cities in New York are unsafe and scary have no basis on reality.
My only complaints? Subways are hot. All the theatres are freezing. And a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is $4.49!
The trip down was uneventful other than my mom waited with me at the train station and engaged a cute man for me in a conversation, but then was doing her usual thing like announcing things like “witty, your bra strap is showing. Let me fix that.” And then trying to pull my bangs down, even though I had purposely pushed them back for the train trip. All this in front of this eligible guy who was a photography teacher. Oy!
My train arrived about an hour late, almost midnight, but my friend was waiting of course. He had dyed his hair blonde recently, so I was to look for Tab Hunter. It was great to see him. More than great! And then it was time for some more public transportation up to the Upper 90’s on the Westside of Manhattan. I got the grand tour of their 3 bedroom/3 bath apartment, which was stunning. Their master bedroom is actually larger than my entire apartment. I think they may have thought I have been joking, but their closet is actually larger than my living room. They apologized profusely that the Tony Award that “G”s partner had won three weeks ago was still out getting engraved so there would be no photo ops.
The next day was the Fourth and “G” and I headed over to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art…my Holy Grail)….but not before getting some true culture…a Kodak moment for sure with the Nekkid Cowboy at Time Square.
note my apparent pleasure at seeing a guy and his geetar! Hee, hee, hee!
So we went to MOMA and it was totally awesome. I got to see all my art hero’s work, like Kandinsky, Frido Kahlo, some of Picasso’s. I was especially blown away by seeing Jackson Pollock’s work up close and all the layers and layers of paint splatters and how delicate and deliberate they actually are. “G” and I were standing and talking in front of one of them and some young girl with a Texas accent came up and asked us what it all meant (the painting I assume). After she left, we both agreed it was a Woody Allen moment…Us talking about what a painting meant at MOMA. We actually had a lot more Woody moments throughout in the days ahead. I know Woody has a bad rep now, but he was still my cultural hero growing up.
After MOMA we raced up to Broadway and had lunch at Joe Allens (?), a famous restaurant where theatre types hang out. And then “G” surprised me when we walked under a theatre marquee and abruptly turned in. We went and saw “Grey Gardens” which just won some Tony Awards a few weeks ago and is now closing next week. We had box seats right off the stage and it was great! Talk about an appropriate show for me. Its about a dysfunctional relationship between a mother and daughter where the daughter blames the mother for never letting her have a life. Hmmm, sounds familiar?
After the play we zipped home and got ready for the fireworks at some lighting designer’s house over on the East Side and it was pretty much solid Woody Allen territory from there. I stuck close to “G” since I didn’t know anyone and everyone there probably makes about a ga-zillion dollars a year and lives on Central Park, or in a place like this with a million dollar view overlooking the East River. The two gay men who lived there had just returned from Oregon and had put together a multimedia presentation complete with sound track about their bike trip on their 155″ wide TV screen.
At dark we all went up to the 21st floor rooftop and tried to watch the fireworks. It was raining and windy, but it was still pretty cool since you could see fireworks in all directions including Jersey, Manhattan and from the various rooftops in the area. I did lose the title of the angstiest person on the roof however, when some little kid next to me kept saying the fireworks were going to kill him.
When we got home we watched fireworks from around the country on “G”s large screen TV and then he showed me all the channels he has including some local access channel hosted by some naked chick with massive boobs pinching another chick’s head in-between her massive boobs. See what I’m missing by not having cable? We mostly watched old game shows though, making fun of Chuck Woolery and the clothes people were wearing in the 1970’s.
The next day we visited the Imagine mosaic, close to the Dakota where John Lennon got shot. Being a big John Lennon fan, seeing the mosaic really meant a lot. Get out of the way, you stupid tourist, I have to take a picture!
It really was beautiful in person. But then it was onto another art museum. I should mention, I never knew where I was going with “G”. I would just follow behind him and we would suddenly end up at some cool place because he knows me so well.
So we walked across Central Park and ended up at the Whitney Art Museum. They had an art display of 1960’s paraphernalia. Posters from the Fillmore Theatre in S.F. Photos of Janice Joplin and Frank Zappa and the Beatles. They had this psychedelic movie which really meant a lot to “G” and I since it was filmed in San Francisco, where we both grew up, with hundreds of fast paced clips of “The City” in the late 60’s, early 70’s set to Pink Floyd. We kept saying “We know where that is…we know where that is!” We figured we were probably the only people in the whole museum who grew up in that particular locale and era of the film and how fucking appropriate they were playing it that day!
And then we saw the movie “Evening” and then it was back down to Broadway for dinner with “G’s partner and yet another (yawn) Broadway show. I guess I can now say I’ve seen a clunker. Its a show that is due to open on Tuesday and it was really, reahhhhly bad. It was called “Kanadu” and why anyone would want to base a big Broadway musical on a flop movie about roller derby from 1980 is beyond me. So I’ll just beat the critics to it and call it “Xana-don’t“.
And then on my last day I just asked “G” if we could go to the beach, since I live inland and don’t get to see the ocean at all. He kinda laughed at the “beach” part, but said he could get me to some water. So we once again hopped on the 112 degree subway and took the Staten Island ferry around New York Harbor which was very nice since I love boat rides. I find them very relaxing and I think “G” enjoyed it more than he thought he would. We then had a nice lunch at some frou-frou restaurant right on the water with a direct view of the Statue of Liberty. I felt like a geek because the menu was in rich-people speak and I had no idea what anything was. I told “G” we should probably talk about the Hamptons in order to fit in.
It was finally time to go home. My train was due to leave at 4, but like everything else about Amtrak, it was late, so “G” and I got to visit a little longer.
Anyways, I had a great time. “G” spent tons of money on me. I felt a little guilty, but what could I do. What I think was the best part however, was that we were able to totally pick up where we left off before. He’s easy to talk to. He humorously noted on the last day, as we were walking home from Central Park, that all the gay men were looking at him like WTF? Why are you walking with her? For me, I just felt good walking with my friend…a real friend…a person who knows what I like and makes it happen. Thanks “G”!
Incidentally, today is the fourth anniversary of my diary. Thanks for everyone who reads. You’ve been a god-send.