Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"How I Learned..." at The Happy Ending, New York City

Tonight I went back to The Happy Ending in Chinatown. This is one of those places that seems illegal or a front for something you don't want to know anything about.  I could swear it is a poetry club, bar and illicit massage parlor where naughty things happen.  It is the sort of venue that confuses me. And I like that.

Tonight I was there to to hear writers read for the 'How I Learned" Series. This is a format where writers can get up and read on a certain topic. Tonight's was "How I Learned...It's Not Me, It's You (or Maybe It's Me)"  Boy I could have read at this one!

Some great people got up. But first the hostess and creator, Blaise Allysen Kearsley, MC'd and started the night by reading about her love affairs from high school in her diary of the time. Brilliant. She is a very personable, off-the-cuff funny MC.  I really enjoyed her.

The readers were wonderful.  Jim O'Grady (The Moth) was one.  Maybe someday she will ask me now that I am a published New York Times writer and essayist! Ha!

The next one is about "How I Learned About Sex."  That would be Kevin Bennett. (Not with him, he just told me about it and it was gross! Sometimes still is.)


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Modern Love" - The New York Times. Easter Sunday, June 24 2011

 (I was illustrated in the NYT! My piece was professionally illustrated. Calm down, Sally Field...)

I have written about New York City in this blog for over 3 years and tomorrow I am getting published in one of the most widely read newspapers in the world, the paper of record, the Old Gray Lady, The New York Times.

I feel like I got off the bus with $3 in my pocket and tomorrow I hit the big time. Whoa, there Mr. Hyperbole. 

The breeze off the Hudson whispers, "Keep going, keep going."

Dan Jones, the amazing and wonderful editor of "Modern Love" in The New York Times told me when he wanted to publish my piece that they get 300-400 submissions a month.  And here I was one of only 4 of them that got selected.  He actually told me I was a really good writer and he loved the piece. This better shut up "Mr. I Never, You Always."  Starting tomorrow I am a paid, freelance writer. Well and truly. I am a professional writer. I am a writer.  I write. 

I am very proud of this Modern Love piece.   I do think it is well-written, funny and emotional - everything I wanted to convey.  This, for me, is a triumph.  I have suffered from "Other People" syndrome ie "other people write, are doctors, get married, build skyscrapers, win gold medals, buy houses."  The thought is a crippling one.  But it is time to shed this. 

I have trouble with the word "deserving" as in I am deserving of happiness, success, etc.  I prefer "worthy"  I am worthy of love, success, getting published.  It seems to require more effort on my own part that "deserving."  So today I am worthy and I celebrate.

But it is a bittersweet triumph because I don't get to celebrate it with the Jeff in the piece. We did not make it.  We made it 9 months, we delivered the baby, but it was DOA.   I still shake my head at this, but I have to be grateful that our meeting was worth it and I was worthy to be in the relationship and so was he and we move on.  I wish him well. 

The breeze off the Hudson whispers, "Keep going, keep going."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pure - 9th Avenue

My friend Anthony took me to this amazing Thai restaurant on 9th Avenue today.  There are loads of Thai restaurants in the area, but this one is special.  I am not a food writer, and, sadly, a TERRIBLE food photographer, there are way better bloggers that do this especially, but I just have to tell you about this place.

The place is called Pure.  It it located at 766 9th Ave (btw 51+52nd) 

It is a tiny place, but is decorated with warmth and a clean feel to it.  The service is great and polite and the food, well,  the food was amazing. First off, the place makes its own noodles.  Any place that makes its own noodles is fabu in my book, but on top of that the flavors are wonderful.

I started off with vegetable dumplings.  They were green and round and looked almost as exquisite on the table as they tasted in my mouth.

My main was homemade egg noodles with pork and real crab.  Make sure you mix this as the sauce seems to be waiting for you at the bottom.

Even the tap water is served in this lovely long, Euro-style water vessels.  The water sits at you table and just adds to the ambiance. For a work lunch hour I felt miles away from Midtown.
Go here. 

Photo Credit: Anthony, hand model.

My friend Yoshie blogs on food on Ramen and Friends.  Check out her review here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Patrick Connolly Writer/Interviewer blog

I have started a new blog on Tumblr to focus more on my writing and panel moderating.  To showcase it, publicize it and just get it going a bit more.  Man Hat In will continue, but it is more personal and
"Patrick Connolly" on Tumblr is, if you can believe I am even writing this - more (self) promotional.

My aim is to delve further professionally into writing and digital and social media.  Tumblr seems to be a place that the folk are playing these days.

There is SO much out there in terms of social media and the places to get your stuff seen.  Facebook, of course. And LinkedIN, and Stumbelupon and Digg and Twitter and Delicious.  It is massive out there.  And where to start and what to share and where to link and how to do that and what is the best way to express oneself professionally and what am I as a brand, as a person, as a tree?!

Too late in the night to be thinking about anything, but I got excited when I saw my latest Virgin.com post got published.

And why do it at all?  Because I love to connect, create the conversation, pass on the conversation, be a part of the conversation.  For example Honey Badgers are IN and I want to be the one to get them on the map!

So please go to my new blog site and follow me, link me, forward me.  Thanks.

New York City - Scotland Week


I wrote this piece for Virgin.com    Please go to site and click ROCKED if you liked it or LIKE on Facebook or link it and spread it.  But spread it fast as Scotland Week is coming to a close soon.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Promise at 59E59

Scotland Week is once again upon us.  My first venture out this year was to see the Scottish play (not THAT Scottish play!) The Promise by Douglas Maxwell.  Lisa and Carri and I were guests of Scottish Development International and had a wonderful time as the event surrounding the New York premier of this play.

What a play. Wow. It is a one-woman show, but not really, it is a full play with one actor in it, a woman.  She is played brilliantly and untiringly by Joanna Tope.  Ms. Tope is one stage for 90 minutes of straight dialogue sans water.  They treat prisoners better than this!  How she did it is incredible. Well, I guess that is why they call her a professional actress.  There is no place for her to hide should she forget a piece of the rapid-fire dialogue. There is no break, no quick walk off stage. She is with the audience without a net and with an amazing story to tell which I will not ruin here.

Me with actress Joanna Tope at after party.

There was an reception afterwards. Lisa, Carri and I love receptions.  They had Scottish whiskey, wine (not Scottish I do not think) and Scottish canapes. Scottish canapes?!  WTF?  Well, there were wee meat pies, Haggis with a turnip coulis on a bed of oats, Cock-a-Leekie soup in wee cups, and fish and chips on a poke.  It was delightful a few pies I might add, but they were small.

We got to talk to Joanna Tope and she was so delightful. I found out the play originated at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow where I worked in the 1980's and I got to tell her so. She has performed this play in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh and now in New York.

Go see it through April 17th at 59 East 59th Street Theatre.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wisco Girls Take Manhattan

New York City is not for owning, it is for sharing.  When friends visit it is okay to pass on joining them to the see the Statue of Liberty (but only if you have gone in the last 5 years) but to miss out on the joy of a visit and the joy of their joy of being here is a shame.


Many friends will say "I am here to see YOU, I do not need to do any touristy stuff."  This I will not allow.  You can see me, but you must see me while we are walking through Central Park or while we are strolling through the Frick or while we are strolling along the Hudson or taking a coffee a Joe.  I insist.  Think "Woody Allen Movie" before they got creepy.

You walk and talk, but New York City must be a backdrop for the conversation.

My friends Lisa and Carri came here to celebrate the "20th Anniversary of their 30th birthday" this week and it was so good to have them.  I was going through "a thing" and they kept me buoyant and laughing and eating good food.

I had never goofily played in front of the jumbo screen in Times Square.  (we are on the bottom left second row)

and we got to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge which is never not a thrill and meander through Central Park. 

We also had one of the small town experiences that I love here:  I wanted to show them my old beloved block on the Upper West Side where I used to live and we crashed into old neighbors and dogs and it was just a delight. 

New York is for lovers and friends and is not to be hogged like Halloween candy when you were a kid.