Monday, June 30, 2008
Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Patrick needs a stylist. And he is thinking again. Too much with the thinking, he thinks.
Was out with the boys for the Gay Pride Parade in New York City. My first.
In New York City.
If I were a baby and this was a baby book, today's entry would be "Pat's First NYC Pride." Notes would be made like:
"Governor Patterson was there. Mr. Sulu and his fiance were there. Lots of hot firemen and guys who play rugby were there. And lesbians of all stripe being sassy and Sapphic. Pat was well-behaved. Too well behaved."
But the photos would all be of drag queens because, let's be honest, they are just more interesting to photograph and they know how to pose.
I go to these things now wondering how I will "feel." Do I feel proud? No. Do I feel ashamed? Nah. I guess I feel like I am going to hang at a city event with friends and have fun and people watch.
But I do think that I now think about things too much. Think, think, think.
I have nothing more to say. Because it will just sound, well, "thoughtful."
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I did manage to have coffee and cereal with fresh fruit on the terrace before heading out the park to read my book. This became my Bronx Zoo as I thought it was clear I needed to do something that DIDN'T count: something simple. It was a lovely day in New York City and I sat on the grass and read as people have done for 100s of years. It was so truly simple and perfect. I then took a really good yoga class.
Tonight I went to see "Wall E" with Sean and had Japanese beforehand at this really nice find of a place on Broadway. Later we had ice cream off one of the 100s of Mr. Softee vans that dot the city this time of year.
If I didn't analyze it or try to think of how it would have been all that much better if it had taken place in Paris and I had a 34 waist and owned my place, I would have to say it was a perfect day.
Friday, June 27, 2008
We ate at Arte Pasta on Greenwich and it was really good. The service was off, but the food was good and it was great to chat, chat, chat and sit outside and watch the world go by. We always have a good laugh which I enjoy immensely. I also enjoyed my beet salad and a fettucine bolognese. Perfetto cosi. Afterwards we went to Cones on Bleecker for gelato. I had mascarpone con frutti de bosco which was really good. (Though nothing in the US has beaten Capogiro in Philly.) We ate it in Sheridan Square Park surrounded by Village hubbub. We were living our lives in the city!
I walked Frank up to Port Authority and this is was where The Out of Towners began. I planned to hop on the C train like any sophisticated, knowledgeable UWS New Yorker, but I got on the E instead. I noticed this at 53rd and 5th which was a stop Frank had been talking about earlier and I had no plans to see directly. I find it best just to backtrack. Iwaited and got the traing back to 50th. Turns out you have to leave the station to get the uptown C. No problem. Up, up, up the escalator and out. I get to the uptown station and my card won't work. It is after midnight at this point and my monthly pass has expired. Oh. My. God? Train is coming and I have punched my zip code in incorrectly for the credit card purchase. I breathe as I know I have issue with performance anxiety when it comes to public transport. Okay, private transport too.
All ends well as I get home at just before 1am on a fine New York summer night.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
We'll start with mice. I have had no mice for months and I have been living a grateful, but clean life ever since. Gone were the days of lying in my perch at night and hearing "Scurry, scurry, SNAP!" I was mouse-free.
So today I am working in my office under my perch and I hear what sounds like a bird screaming. I pull open my sash to see what was the matter. Nothing there, so I go towards the kitchen. My IMMEDIATE ability to deny reality kicks in and I just KNOW they are using power tools next door that sound mildly like screaming birds. Whew.
Hey, I'll just look underneath the cabinets anyway now that I know it is powertools. The flashlight catches the dead eyes of a little Stuart pinned underneath a metal bar. He is so not chirping. I now know there are reinforcements. In the movie version I gallantly deal with it, but in reality I go next door LIKE A LEETLE GIRL and get my landlord to come deal with chirping/screaming mysterious power tools coming from somewhere by my stove.
There is sticky paper under there and a mouse who was not even born when I took the garbage out on Friday is glued to this thing in some Kubler-Ross stage of mousemortem. But he is still alive and knows his young life is over and he no longer has to worry about getting that report in on President Garfield by Monday.
My gentle Southern landlord takes care of all including dignified toilet burial. I am bereft. But macho bereft.
In a related story of protecting one's homestead and loved ones:
Supreme Court rules in favor of gun ownership rights.
And here's a quote:
Supreme Court Justice Scalia noted that the handgun is Americans' preferred weapon of self-defense in part because "it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police."
He really, really said that?! Come the hell on!! Good job Brownie! He really said that? So I am shooting at my burglar with say my right hand and dialing with my left? He really suggested that? We Americans prefer handguns 7-1 over other leading killers of other human beings?
And get ready for the FLAMING LIB "they always go there" response to a government who just wants to keep her people (the law-abiding ones) safe...
This person I am killing with one hand is stealing from me because:
a. No job due to economy which has tanked due to lied about war in Iraq? Scalia helped get Bush shoved into office.
b. Drug addiction? Don't we have any Religious group tax-funded programs for this?
c. parent was a heterosexual single unemployed person who couldn't keep the sanctity of her marriage going?
Scalia you are an idiot. Please.
And do people who kill their co-workers sometimes prefer handguns? Or students who kill teachers and other students. They are free to use handguns to kill them. Thank you very much. And who are they dialing with thatfree hand? You, Scalia?
Thank you very much all you really intelligent judges. Thank you for that. I appreciate your ruling. I hope you don't face the wrong end of one of your Freedom Funnels.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Anyway... went with Ron and his sister Cynthia and her husband Joe to see "Hamlet" in Central Park.
Here is what you have to do to get a free ticket to this show which starts at 8pm:
You have to get in line in the park the day of in the morning. We got there with chairs and water and food and reading stuff at 8:30am. Then you have to hang there until 1pm when they start giving out tickets. Two tickets max to each person in line. They are very strict on cutting and people showing up late to join friends. I think it may even be punishable by death, which is okay if it happens in front of you and you are iffy about getting in anyway. We were iffy. We were there at 8:30am and had still had Iffy status.
A woman even fainted. From the heat, not the status.
Turns out we were one of the last to get a ticket and these were in seats with "limited leg room" which means if you don't have to be bring legs, don't.
See where I am in that book? I started it in September! Arrgggh!
Cynthia and Joe catered a lovely wine and cheese and bread dinner on my terrace since Ron and I waited all day for the tix. It was really perfect and I was so thrilled to entertain. And with my preparing food for others hangups, it being catered was perfect.
A catered affair
Then it was steps from my Upper West Side flat to the theatre in the Park. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
Well there was no way 4 tall people could have folded ourselves into these seats. There would have been a blood clot and then death for certain.
I went to talk to the nice usher who sent me to speak with her manager at this obviously sold out event. The three New Yorkers I was with stood in our unsittable seats and lovingly mocked me for even trying (I was told later). Well, this naive Californian managed to talk us into 4 amazing seats just left of center that the manager was holding!!! I merrily waved them down from the crippling gods and we continued our lovely, lovely evening. I did end up sitting next to a crystal meth addict lady (poor thing) who finally got escorted out of the theatre. I thought she was mentally handicapped, but all the New Yorkers around me told me at intermission she was out of her mind on crystal.
Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
It was really satisfying. Some great lines.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I was walking home through the park and then by the Museum of Natural History. I was a block from my house. This guy in a suit walks by and I just stare at him and let him go. The old-fashioned data processor in my head woke up the hamster who got on the wheel and started going through the paper files I keep up there and I realized that was Marc from the YMCA in Hollywood, California! On my block in New York flippin' City. In a suit. With a mission.
So I runs up to him and stop him and he almost falls over. We always saw each other in the locker room in Hollywood for about 12 years! I remember when his wife gave birth to a baby girl. She is nine now!
I saw pictures of her on his camera phone! By the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
What a great guy. I know he works with Russians and oil. He is an orthodox Jew. We couldn't be more different and we have always been great Y acquaintances. We exchanged numbers and I will have coffee with him before he leaves.
Small world is New York City's middle name. I get that part. It does make more sense to run into someone in New York City than in Des Moines. I know that, but it also requires that you be on the same block, on the same side of the street at the same time and one of you has to see the other and your hamsters have to be working at full speed.
Therein lies the miracle.
Monday, June 23, 2008
The characters' names: T-Bag and Feminem. I kid you not.
Man. Hat. In. must get with the times. I blog, I add photos, I add video, but I have not blogged remotely from my phone. This will be the next thing. I have to keep my readers up to the minute on this dynamic life I lead in Gotham.
Anyway, like the rest of you, I worked today. Nothing to report there. But then I met my pal Jerry at the Zipper Theatre in Chelsea for the opening of a play called Bash'd: a Gay Rap Opera. I kid you not. It was a benefit for the Anti-Violence Project.
Two white Canadians rapping about being gay, falling in love, getting bashed and the consequences. Let me just say the memorization was amazing. These two guys were on stage for 90 minutes straight and rapped the whole thing. The story was a bit, well, a bit, well. I dunno. It lost me with the gun thing. I don't allow Canadians to have guns in my mind.
It was GREAT to see Jerry as always and he we had a good time catching up. We talked about normal stuff like Fire Island.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I need a straw for my beer!
Yesterday I was at a sweet down home Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. Today I went to Folsom Street East ( I love that New York follows after my home town on this!) which is a leather/fetish festival. Now before you get all weirded out, I am a semi-professional blogger and new to New York so it is incumbent upon me to check these things out. There was a food booth, some flogging and some bare-breasted women and some leather daddies. Nothing I have not seen back home. This San Francisco boy says "Ho (mo)-hum."
And talk about soaking up the local color, (which was black leather, of course) the heavens opened up on this parade and it just poured and poured and poured. Many a butt-cheek got wet I am sure.
You laugh, but the people with the vinyl fetish were just way ahead of the game. They probably laughed all the way to the piercing booth.
Star Wars extras? No, just New Yorkers out celebrating.
It was good for this nerd to leave and get back to the leafy-green, doggy and baby-strollery fetish of the Upper West Side and dry out and put on my sweats for my Italian Cinema fetish! A new Sunday evening ritual.
Back to business clothes tomorrow... (hey, i was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The whole day!)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Okay, this city just slays me. I live here!
La Dolce Teresa has come to town with her wonderful aide de camp and husband Jose Luis. It is amazing and important to me how many years we have all known each other. Teresa and I went to college together and had many a lovely bottle of wine under the jacaranda in the sculpture garden at UCLA after Italian Cinema class. All in the name of study. Ah, what great times.
I adore this woman and she will mind me saying so in public, but no matter. Teresa and Jose came up to my pied a terrace for breakfast. It was a lovely morning. I served a perfectly perfect UWS New York repast of H& H bagels, hand cut salmon from Fairway and all the fixings offset by excellent Citerella French Roast and fresh pineapple and blueberries. It was fun.
Today was Upper West Side tours. We walked through the park which cannot help but be glorious and down to the Plaza where the once beautiful Oak Room (Ah, G & T's in the 1980's ...) is being completely redone, along to Columbus Circle and up to Lincoln Center. Teresa seemed to know everything about everything architecturally-wise and then some.
After a hot dog at Gray's Papaya we walked past the Dakota and rested on the beautiful grass by Imagine in the park. I had to exit stage left to go back and do some work plus my heel spur is acting up big time. This has to be re-addressed as I keep not dealing with physical pain by turning up the radio in my body as it were. What would Jennifer Jones as St. Bernadette do? She would suffer and then build a pond!
Taken before I put my hand through my sunglasses.
I am reminded ONCE AGAIN that life is pretty fantastic if one (ie me) let's it just be so.
But it is hard to sit still and be grateful knowing that we are going to the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island tomorow!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
There are exceptions to everything. And one of those things that bucks sense is heart/gut/soul. I LOVED being a member of the YMCA in Hollywood for so many years and I feel the same sense of community here. I think it is an institution where many members have been coming for years and that creates something special. There is something about an old building and history that gets me every time. I don't like instant that much, I like age spots and inconvenience and spirit.
I seem to waiver on so many things, but I feel happy with my decision here. I am at home before I even get started.
Now to get me some mus-kles and lose me some blubber or I will soon look like an old building.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
I took this pic to show my sis in CA the beginnings of my terrace planting.
Today was another odd weather day that I love so much here. I feel the variety just touches my soul in some way. There is something about weather that I feel so oddly connected to and missed all the years in LA. Not to say there wasn't variety, just not enough of it for me.
It was beautiful blue skies during the earlier part of the day. The sun shone and the weather was mild. The kind of day you would photograph kittens in wicker baskets with balls of wool out of doors if so inclined. The kind of day you would grab a nurse and bend her just so and kiss her. But only if a war had just ended. It was that kind of day.
I ventured out in my shorts and t-shirt to take the subway and the bus to the Bronx for band practice. Something told me to throw my raincoat in my pipe case. As the bus approached my stop the sky was BLACK. I prayed for it to hold 2 more minutes until I got inside the relative safety of Kelly Ryan's pub. It was having none of it and the heavens opened as we alit from the M17. The sky flashed bright with lightening and the thunder applauded. The rain was from the torrential school. Essentially me and the lady in the Glad bag got nailed. Totally nailed.
Later that day at the pub. Torrents of rain.
I played that night in the band with wet underpants and socks. Had I been wearing a kilt all would have been fine.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
This evening I was out watching Sean's friend, David Quantic's film, "Dish." It was a short about gay Orpah fans. Very well done. I think my sister Eileen would have been perfect for this, if she were well...
Sean, David and I went for great Chinese food afterwards.
All of this happened during TORENTIAL rain here in NYC. The heavens just opened and there was thunder and lightening and loads and loads of rain. I was soaked. I even had to take my shoes off and wring out my socks in the subway. Classy.
The Chinese was great.
I wish I had pictures of the rain, but in place I leave you with this:
Friday, June 13, 2008
I worked on the mobile project with concentration and focus. I then put it aside and had a late lunch out on the deck. Then it was off the Central Park to practice pipes.
Seems the sound of the pipes drifts across the park and I had people come from the Museum of Natural History and the Marionette Theatre to hear me today. I am there to practice and I used to find people an annoyance, but now I see that playing in front of others and for others is a good thing for me. I only get better.
Many people stopped and listened. I had a virtual busload of school kids. Then a man in a wheelchair with his Guamanian helper and two kids in yarmulkes became my biggest fans. They really enjoyed it and I enjoyed them. I was a little miffed with the guy on the next bench who was drinking vodka out of a plastic bottle because he put in headphones! He was sitting in the same spot as the lovers who made out while I played some slower tunes. Any way I can be of service!
After the park I headed to the gym and had a good workout and an awesome steam. I left my stuff there and went across the street to Lincoln Center and bought a ticket for the ballet. What a treat! I had the best time. A full orchestra, Brahms, Balanchine and some excellent dancers. I was totally engaged. And I remain engaged all the way on my walk home up Columbus.
State Theatre, Lincoln Center
Life gets no better than today and I am thankful.
Having said all that, the only thing that was just a total drag about this day was hearing that Tim Russert died. I am still totally shocked. I know I would not feel this weight over Tom Brokaw or Sam Donaldson. (Cokie, yes) Nothing against them, but I just felt that I knew Tim, which I don't, and that he was just a lovely, lovely guy and smart as a whip. And at only 58 it makes it really hard to take. I am sorry for his family and especially his son. This is a big loss for him. I know.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
"Sometimes guys are not gay they are just European."
This one has fooled me a number of times. I notice when I have my headphones on it is more difficult as I can't hear them and I am just going off their tight t-shirts and shoes that seem out of my league. When I turn off the Annie Cast Album blaring into my skull to listen for a lisp and I hear an umlaut, I know I must never judge a book again.
Of course there ARE gay Europeans..., but really, who can tell.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The temp dropped to the doable 80s and it was nice to be out and about in town. People seemed happy to be alive. And this time, I was one of them.
Having said that, I had my headphones in (who doesn't?) and I fear that I think I am invisible when I wear them. Like Super Power invisible. As in people cannot see me! This, of course, is nonsense AND dangerous. I notice I stare longer, I am flirtier and more self-confident because I am hiding behind bagpipe music blaring into my ears. Maybe this will one day pay off, but so far, I think it just makes me crash into ladies with shopping bags and have to yell "SORRY." I know I am yelling because I can hear me above the bagpipe music.
I decided another super power could be defensiveness. Defenso Man. I have prepared for possible scenarios. Let me try this one out on you: Whenever I feel trapped by the overly pretentious and I know I really am feeling envy and "less than" I will simple reply "Sure, but it's so derivative" to everything they say.
So that is all for today from New York City.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
After uptown working and pilates and general festering, I went downtown to the Meatpacking District, home of cobblestone streets and $700 t-shirts for back to back "industry" parties. First it was to Florent which will sadly be shuttering its doors soon due to uber jack in the lease. The Board of Directors party for Newfest was there. What a great time. One (me) worries at these things that I will just stand against the wall immobile like a the map of Australia on a wall of a map store and fade away (note to self: work on analogies), but I saw some people I knew, met new ones and just generally had a great time until they kicked us out to open the doors to paying diners.
Fenton Bailey and I at Newfest Party at Florent. Glass behind my right arm plummets to its death right after photo was snapped.
I had an hour to kill until more glamour so I chatted on my iphone on some lovingly placed concrete slabs in the quad of the District at 13th and Gansevoort. Excellent. Talked to no one, just left messages, but BOY did I look the part doing it.
Met Heidi and we went to a mobile phone event/party at Soho House. It was in the Library. With a Knife. We managed to talk our way onto the roof where the pool is (and, I guess, the cool people). It was very much like (what I am used to in?) LA so I was not impressed, but I can see that it was nifty.
Okay, if you don't do something or are not interested in something or don't think about something DON'T think there isn't a convention or a party or a publication or even bloggers that are TOTALLY into that. This party at Soho House was all mobile phone industry people here for the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) convention. What must it be like for mobile phone people to have to actually talk in person? Well, I have to say they were all pretty nice. High energy, frantic, but nice.
Heidi and I were just leaving and one could tell there was a STORM a brewin' We were headed for the subway when God's wrath over Gay Marriage just unleashed above us. There was thunder. There was lightening. Then there was a HUGE ASS downpour that did not relent. Once your H & M briefs (shhh, it's the only thing I can buy there) are soaked you may as well keep going. Had this been a romantic movie, the two of us walking soaked in the rain while all the extras remained under awnings, would have been pretty cool, but it was not and we were wringing wet on the ride home.
My soaked clothes. The wet part on the trousers is the front. Shirt has at least 2 pint glasses of water in it. Sean, does this count as putting another photo of myself in my blog?
All in all another great adventure in New York City.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Had a breakfast meeting with a bigtime Hollywood producer at the Maritime Hotel this morning. What a nice man. We discussed mobile and content and it was a total delight. I loved the space we were in as it was a totally different Manhattan than I am use to. The hotel was built in 1966 for the Maritime Union, a place for sailors, and then was converted to Covenant House, a place for runaways. Now it is a funky hotel, a place for travelling paying guests, where I had scrambled eggs with Tuscan toast and coffee.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
More and more New York firsts.
My pal Ron was so thoughtful to invite me out for the Belmont Stakes, the New York part of the Triple Crown. Horse racing is a foreign country to me, but the sport of doing it and hanging out is novel and fun.
Ron and sis, Cynthia
We, like everyone else, went to see Big Brown win the Triple Crown. He (?) did not even come in in the top 4.
I thought that the Belmont Stakes would be like Ascot or the Kentucky Derby - ie posh with fancy drinks.
Here is what I noticed:
Lots of heat.
Lot and lots of tattoos
Loads of public drunkenness.
Lots of cleavage (mostly with tattoos)
Loads of belly button piercings
Lots of trash everywhere
Guys peeing in bushes in picnic area
Mayor Blumberg was there. That was kind of cool. His girlfriend wore a big hat willing herself to be at Ascot.
Mayor Bloomberg and hatted gf.
All in all a sweating, fun day at the races.
Oh my! I forgot I won $26.00 on "Dancing Forever" to win in the 10th.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Had a meeting this morning with Carl Pritzkat, the founder of Datalounge, an on-line bulletin board that is funny, smart and up to the minute. He was really nice, funny, smart and up to the minute himself. It was a pleasure to meet him.
We had the meeting at the Antique Cafe on 27th and 8th. I loved the little place. It was NOT Starbucks, had friendly service, was tucked away, had amazing-looking baked goods and just everything you want from a neighborhood cafe.
It reminded me how much I loved all my great "one-off" cafes in San Francisco. My brother, sister and I used to hang at this one on Balboa all the time. It had mix-matched furniture and cups and saucers with chips in them, etc. I loved it. There were loads of these lovely places and most of them are gone, gone, gone.
Carl told me about the sister cafe to Antique so I am going to check that out as well. It is always good to have "back pocket" places in one's city that one likes.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
On my way to the super exclusive VIP pre-party for Newfest last night with Heidi when we came across ambulances, police cars, and crowds of people all over the place looking skyward. I SWEAR it was as if they were shooting a scene for Spider-Man or Batman where our hero was flying high trying to do what heroes do up there: save damsels, run misunderstood from the law, or fight crime.
It turns out some guy was up on top of the new Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building. I thought it was a suicide attempt being from Sunnybrook Farm and all. ("Oh my goodness, that poooooor man.") But no it was a stunt. Some guy/vigilante/man of the people had scaled the building. When he got safely to the top we, the crowd, CHEERED!! It was a whole thing. I could just see Commissioner Gordon blow a gasket when he found out his daughter was dating this nutter.
Anyway...it turns out this was the SECOND climb of the day. The first dude, the famous French stunt guy, Alain Robert, had climbed it in the morning to raise awareness on Global Warming. (I later found out he has a doc coming out on BBC America - publicity stunt much?) and I was late for being a VIP from some sloppy seconds follow-up, non-exotic Brooklyn wanna be dude who was chagrined when he found out that Alain had beat him to it? He was climbing to stamp out malaria. Global warming is so much sexier than malaria.
So two illegal climbs in one day on the New York Times building.
Renzo, all I have to say is that you didn't do such a great design job. I mean who would make a skyscraper a virtual ladder? Wonder what they will do to prevent further attempts? Maybe a "Please Do Not Climb" sign. Or they can coat the building in Pam?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I had decided yesterday that it would be another lovely day today. But last night the wind just howled and the heavens opened up. (Hillary's Wrath on New York?) So it was wet this morning and it never got to that lovely shade of loveliness.
Even so I go out tonight and was by Union Square and NYU and I come across Stuyvesant Square Park in its just so tucked away in its own part of town place. The park is surrounded by amazing architecture and a spired church. It was named for Petrus (Peter) Stuyvesant, the last Director-General of the Dutch colony of New Netherlands. (Those Dutch have their fingers in EVERYTHING!)
I just learned as well that bowery as in The Bowery is from the Dutch "bouwerie" which means "farm." I bet those boys never thought they were the Farm Boys! (Anyone under 40 please leave the room.)
So to wrap up. It rained, I got out, I saw a lovely park and I remain struck and excited by all the treasures that still await me here in New York City.