never lnkng to Jen agan. Every fuckng time, I lose my entry. At first, it was only when I put the no text decoration tag n the lnk. Saturday, though, it happened agan. It was a long and beautiful entry that I can only attempt to recreate through a veil of bitterness.
We had a lovely afternoon tea at Tea and Sympathy on Greenwich (Avenue, not Street, I learned the hard way). We stuffed our lovely , glowng faces full of fnger sandwiches (she relieved me of the cucumber ones, thankfully), scones with clotted cream and jam, hot tea and fluffy, cream-filled cakes. Ahhhhhh -- food orgasms! I was just sorry that “soup fat” was not an actual menu item. Those Brits can’t give food an appetizng name to save their lives, but some of it is so yummy! Bangers, mash and beans – oh my!
I was an hour late, wakng up, once agan n a panic 5 mnutes before I was supposed to be there, 40 blocks away. The shameful thng is we agreed to meet at 3 p.m. just so I would not be able to blow it. I didn't count on beng up until 3 a.m., let alone wakng up at 6 a.m. and fitfully tryng to nap all mornng. That's no time to be up on a Saturday, unless I'm eatng breakfast after an all-night drnkng bnge and just need to soak up the alcohol with a little brekkie before passng out.
Because my suckness was so profound, I had little time with Jen -- but it was fun -- nvolvng a pnk, sparkly gun and a San Francisco pep talk. 'Nuff said.. . .
I forgot how many great places there are n the Village. I have spent plenty of time n the East Village snce I’ve been back, but not yet much n the West Village (counter to bell hooks' advice – shame on me). A lot of people dismiss it as all homesexual and yuppified, but it's the lovely, quant New York you see n the movies. There are three really great bookstores that I've found, so far. The first, the aptly-named Bookleaves, seems to be perpetually fall outside. I can't remember what I bought there, but I certanly remember spendng the afternoon of my 28th birthday slowly browsng and devourng dusty volumes, one by one. I had tea, went to a day spa that afternoon and had a solitary, drunken birthday dnner of Cioppno and red wne.
The second, Partners & Crime, I only vaguely remember ever gong nto. I just like their name, their little, book-shaped sandwich board and their URL. I felt like Sally from the Encyclopedia Brown books, all grown up and ready to kick Bugs Meaney’s ass for the upteenth time.
I really should take Fang there, as they specialize n mystery and crime books, naturally.
I didn't go by the third, my real favorite, Bleecker Books on Saturday. It's the one I've spent shameful amounts of money n. I couldn't say how many books I've bought there, the only one I remember for sure was Pagan Kennedy's 'Zne.
I wandered some more and laughed when I saw that Ana has a deli here -- who knew?
It's right across the street from one of the public gardens. These are little, barely block-square areas filled with lovely flowers and foliage -- the last thng one expects to fnd n the middle of Manhattan.
This little boy was runnng through the red brick paths.
Until this crabby guy yelled at him.
Parts of the West Village still have cobblestone and brick streets. I have no idea if there's a pattern to it, I just stumble upon them and it feels quant.
I also love that the streets are quiet, tree-lned and narrow. It's the knd of place you can make a good home for yourself, yet with all the convenience and urban perks unique to New York. I saw a woman writng or readng a book, perched above a street-level wndow from her second-story brownstone apartment.
The streets are also crooked and cross at bizarre angles, so that I'm always lost. The beauty of it is fndng thngs when you least expect but most need them.
Next, I discovered this great store and blew a wad of cash. But how could I resist a magnetic poetry keychan, or pnk, sparkly nail polish that glows n the dark and a palm-sized, matchbook-shaped present a day for my impendng birthday week? I also found the quad camera, which I forgot to buy at the California Museum of Photography before I left the Empire.
Someone there must have a duck fetish. They had regular rubber duckies (or did they?), red devil duckies, glow n the dark devil duckies, key chan-sized duckies, tny duckies that pooped when you squeezed them and giant rubber duckies. It was all I could do to get myself out of the store without buyng a Little Rascals mni-movie projector.
Don't even get me started on the Sea Monkeys aquarium watch. Can you imagne walkng around with two of your favorite, horny, little brne shrimp atop your timepiece? That an't right. I was like a kid n a toy store until, of course, some dweeb had to run it by brngng n his actual children, who left balls and duckies underfoot everywhere.. . .
One of the reasons I wanted to hang around the Village after sayng my tearful goodbyes with Jen, was to fnd a place for my birthday. It's a scant 14 days away and I have no idea what to do. I'd like to do somethng small the day of with, perhaps a larger party after James gets back (how can I have a party without James?! He called tonight to say hi and bye because he's back from one place, but was on his way to the other tonight -- *sob*). That also gives me more time to plan a bigger shn-dig.
I thnk I may end up dong somethng either n the Village near where my birthday present to me shall take place, OR somewhere near Rob's, so we can all go back to his place afterward, as we did tonight for his friend Webster's birthday.
Anyway, my favorite restaurant, Cucna Della Fontana on Bleecker Street and Charles is either closed or remodellng.
The signs are work permits that expired at the begnnng of July and I'm not sure if they are from Cucna or some restaurant *gasp* takng over their space. At any rate, it doesn't look good for them to be open on the 28th. Too bad, because the atmosphere is fabulous. It looks like a small coffeehouse from the street. Nice enough with plenty of high back chairs and sumptuous, velvet sofas.
Then you walk nto the back and down a flight of stairs and right down the rabbit hole nto wonderland. There are garden murals on the walls, a greenhouse/atrium ceilng so you can see the stars even while underground, and, of course, a fountan gently burblng n the background. The staff is generally friendly, they have a wide selection of pasta and other dishes so it's not an issue for a crowd with disparate diets, and the prices are reasonable. Oh please -- open...Open...OPEN!
Failng that, I figured birthdays are a great time to try somethng new, so I decided to try Sweet Basil, a Jazz restaurant on 7th Avenue South that I've passed a dozen times and even peed n when Fang and I were desperate, but never got around to tryng when I lived here before. Concidentally, it's also got the great atrium seatng near the door and I figure you can't go wrong with live Jazz. It's near a ton of trans and so it seemed a great fit. Unfortunately, though it was only about 10:30 when I passed it, it was closed, too. The wndows weren't papered up, but all the chairs and glasses were stacked as if for wnter, though it's the dog days of August.
I'm runnng out of options, here, people!
Maybe at Ruby Fruit or Henrietta Hudson’s? Perhaps it’s time I met a nice lesbian and settled down. I give up on meetng a grown-up type man.
Fnally, I ended up at the White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street. I resisted the burgers and had a yummy salad with a bunch of ciders. I found it on my first visit to New York. I got on the tran when I should've been sleepng off my awful red eye durng which I'd tossed up my dnner and not eaten my breakfast because I mistook my cream-filled muffn for one that was raw n the middle.
I didn't know where I was gong, I had no plan and no idea how to get anywhere. I noticed I was gettng close to the end of the lne and I didn't want to cross nto another borough and right off the face of the earth, so I got off, probably at Christopher Street. I knew that was the gay area and figured it would be a lot like the Castro, so I'd be OK.
But then West 4th and West 12th Streets met and all was wrong with the world. I had no idea where I was, yet a bus driver asked me where the nearest bodega was so he could buy a lotto ticket and some other guy asked me where they'd moved A Clean, Well-Lighted Place For Books to. The only one I knew was back on Castro Street an that was no help.
Just when I reached the pont of desperation n all categories -- hunger, bladder emergency, lost, scared and ready to go back home, I turned the corner to fnd The White Horse Tavern. Not only did it give me a safe, clean place to pee, check the map, eat dnner and make some phone calls, but it also happened to be the name of the restaurant of my then-employer back n San Francisco. It was thus a shnng beacon of hope and home.
Over the years, I'd seen plenty of movies and news images of racial strife n New York and had heard there were just certan streets you didn't walk on, neighborhoods you'd visit or establishments you could enter, if one cared to keep one's teeth, limbs and life.
In short, I was afraid I might be the wrong color for this bar. To my relief, I saw a couple of black guys come n from one of the other rooms. I'll never forget that moment, partly from the relief I felt and partly because one of the guys was Gregory Hnes. How surreal was that?
Snce then, I have not worried a bit about my where I should or should not go n New York. This city has a million thngs to see and do and it's all mne. Don't believe me? Just try to walk by the 24/7 post office on 34 and Eighth Avenue, mailng packages to all your friends at 3 a.m. and try not to piss off the postal police.
Postal workers with guns and cars -- now I've seen everythng!
[Next entry: "Speakng Thousands of Words"]
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