Learning to Crawl
It was hot and steamy last Saturday as only July in NYC can be.
Neither Tim nor I are fans of industrial strength air conditioning, but it was really necessary. And of course, I knew Tim was feeling the heat when he asked for Gin and bitter lemon rather than the traditional bourbon Manhattans we consume during our traditional Saturday evening cocktail hour. I did have gin, and even had a pair of frosty high ball glasses to serve it to him in. A true sign of incipient alcoholism: Having the correct stem/bar ware chilling in your freezer for almost any cocktail occasion. I even had the appropriate lime garnish. We sat out on my terrace on the Syrocco Adirondack-style chairs and tried to chill out, while listening to Shirley Horn.
Tim took it into his head that we had to have dinner at a very old village standby, soon to close forever. It has been owned and operated for longer than most of you have been on this planet by a feisty older woman, who fixes fierce drinks after she fishes the black particles out of your glass, and serves dishes your mother hasn't made since 1963. It is populated by a group of men whose median age is approximately 85. I feel positively chicken-like everytime I enter that room. The room is chilled, if you want to call it that, by an ancient swamp cooler, which heaves and groans louder than anything in a 5 block radius. Dinner was, um...an experience. I don't have to add that we both had fairly distressed stomachs the next day. I wonder why.
After dinner, around the corner to Ty's. Snore. ZZZZZZ. The aging clientele now stare as one at the large screen TVs they've installed, thereby guaranteeing no conversation, cruising or even random admiring of your neighbor's flannel shirt. We abandoned them to Reel Gay TV, a constant panorama of Gay-Pride-Around-The-World, and headed out.
I know...let's try that new-ish bar on 8th Avenue!! The Gym. Damn, what a bad name. It was packed to the proverbial rafters at 11:00 on Saturday night, with very few people I've ever seen before. And none of them were the slightest bit interested in us. It was not a stellar crowd, some attractive fellows, but the lighting was awful, and most people were squinting, so hard to tell. The highlight was getting carded at the door. That never happens to me. We had a beer, and scoped the room out for potential further visits. Now I like a bar where there's some sort of open area where you can spy your prey without having to parade back and forth in front of them all night. That's just not going to work here. We finished off our drinks and left in search of the next one.
We headed across the street to Tim's old 80's stomping grounds, the Rawhide. Seedy as ever. Only slightly more horrifying than usual. We managed to finish our drinks before the mingled scents of ammonia and stale beer asphyxiated me. The highlight was getting carded at the door. Next station.
We wonder up the block and fall into Barracuda. Obviously, we have a death wish. You know two middle aged men in that bar on Saturday night are completely and totally out of place. I admired the decor for a brief moment, allowing Tim to share the facilities with some nice young girls from New Jersey. The highlight was getting carded at the door. Outta there!
Well, the only place to go was G. The highlight was getting carded at the door.
It was definitely time to cut our losses and head back home.
In the taxi we discussed the fact that we'd both been carded more that evening than in the rest of our entire lives. What gives in Chelsea? Are they looking for terrorists? Underage booze hounds? Both Tim and I have more than our share of silver hair and the fine lines that signify aging. We could hardly be mistaken for young!
Sunday morning we headed off to our respective gyms and I pulled up at the Dugout around 5:00. It's been so hit and miss there lately. A really nice Sunday night followed by a totally suck-ass one. It's more predictable in the winter, when the Eagle roof deck isn't happening. Tim said it was alright, but on my side of the bar it was pretty dismal. I did spend part of the evening talking with a couple of guys from Denver. If I remember correctly, if you're in Denver on Sunday night, you have to go to the Wrangler. Or maybe it's the Ranch Hand. I dunno. I was drinking beer at the time.
I was in bed and drifting off by 10:15 Sunday night. At least there was no doorman to card me.