June 28, 2024

New York, New York


"New York. New York." Thus spake Carrie Bradshaw from the DVD we loaded onto Tim's laptop. Some may disagree with such effusion. I myself disagree, having spent a week in New York City as an interloper, a Brooklyn flaneur. I barely stepped a toe onto the Isle of Manhatta, and then only to lounge in parks eavesdropping and people-gawking.

Many of you have come of age in New York City. While you were all traipsing about the Big Apple, familiarizing yourselves with TKTS booths and The Lion King and Bowery Bar I was in London, which I have to say, even after this trip, remains the undisputed Center of the Universe. So I arrived in Brooklyn a bit of a naivete, an Oliver Twist unaccustomed to the city's temptations.

I stayed with Tim in what he calls South Slope (but which is really a no man's land of fantastic bagel shops, cheep beer emporiums, and the twisting ribbon of the Ocean Park Expressway and spent a lot of time in Park Slope, where the more gentrified Marc and I pushed our prams up and down 8th Avenue to enjoy late brunches at Dizzy's. I overheard conversations novelists had with their girlfriends about lackluster agents, mentors had with their struggling playwright students, hipsters kvetching about the rumble they got into the night before outside That One Bar. On one beautiful day I hiked from Park Slope to North Williamsburg, attracting the unneeded aid and eventual sympathy of a Brooklynite who shook his head at my bus map and said, "too far, too far." I passed through Hasidic neighborhoods and became a bit Hasidic myself as the week wore on, preferring coffeeshops and empty parks to the bustle that is so hard to escape in New York. I attended events recommended and mentioned on Gawker, lounged on the grass of Prospect Park before The New Pornographers, and bought overpriced fried shrimps at Coney Island. I became so familiar with the F Train's proclivity to stall and sputter at Smith and 9th that I called it the Fuck Train along with everyone else. I slept in, sweaty and sticky from sex and humidity and had a night at which Tim and I tumbled into bed at 6:30 in the morning.

New York City for me was never more beautiful than it was at that morning. Happy to be away from the gay stand up comic and the libertarian fashion photographer who, combined, had sucked the air out of the evening, Tim and I stumbled down to Delancey Street, pinked up sky and the Chrysler Building looking so beautiful you wanted to sit on it and no one on the streets, we felt so rich to be away on our own, Holly Golightlys not really tired and without a reason to get up (hence no reason to rush home to sleep).

There were other moments...the narratives Marc and I constructed about the poor little Vassar Boy at Excelsior, our excellent juke box selections that no one appreciated but the bartender, who bought us beers, the painfully full bladder I endured on a slow G Train, the stench of the East River, apropos and slightly tangy, wafting over a Greenpoint dinner in the backyard, the immense drag queen who made me take out my cock for the bartender at The Slide, walking into St. Mark's Bookstore and seeing all the books from my press, face out mind you, and being reminded again how lucky and happy I am to be doing what I am doing.

In the end, Brooklyn made me appreciate Minneapolis.


i'm sorry i've lost touch with you; fallopian art; rest in peace, richard whiteley; i have a theory i would like to try; i had phone sex with this guy; jake hangs right; fred phelps, are you a repressed homosexual?; is that new house of yours a meth lab?

Posted by jason at June 28, 2024 12:27 AM
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