Monday, August 28, 2006

I've Been To A Marvelous Party

Though Mr. Coward might or might not have a difference of opinion as to what could possibly constitute said marvelous event, Tim and I had an utter blast at the first Big Lug BBQ, held this past Saturday afternoon in wilds of Brooklyn on the cusp of Gowanus and Park Slop, atop the almost autumnal roof deck of Cattyshack, a local hangout for BK gals and the boys that like 'em.

It was a pleasure spending an afternoon outdoors drinking beer with men we usually spend afternoons drinking beer with indoors. We got to see old pals and meet quite a few new ones. We ate and drank with abandon. In hindsight, I probably should have eaten a bit more. Neither the small hamburger I devoured, nor the solitary artichoke leaf or even the two hot dog end-tips I stole from cute boys did anything in aiding in the absorption of the estuary of Miller Lite I consumed.

Much too late, Tim and I adjourned around the corner to Aunt Suzie's, a neighborhood red sauce joint. It was there I mentioned that it seemed imminently possible we were actually in San Francisco at that very moment. The odd thing is Tim understood, and agreed. I mean, drinking beer outdoors in a semi-industrial neighborhood in broad daylight, followed by a drunken dinner at the Sausage Factory on Castro Street. It made sense to us. Not to mention the fact that I'd never been in this particular part of Brooklyn before, and had great difficulties getting my bearings. My sense of direction would just not function, even after Tim kindly pointed out the Woolworth Building on the distant horizon.

We returned after dinner, and jumped back in the fray. By this time, all participants were extremely well lubricated. With no hesitation, I headed straight for the deep end; drinking, smoking and kissing a handful of attractive men. As has been mentioned before, I'm quite kissy when in my cups.

Somehow we managed to pile into a taxi with handsome John and Dustin and were whisked in a blur back to Nowhere Bar on 14th Street. We had one last beer with the many other Big Lug refugees who had repaired there after the BBQ, even though few of them can even remember that far into the evening. Tim and I finally crawled around the corner and into bed.

For reasons that escape me, the following morning was not nearly as painful as one might suppose.

For your edification, pictures are available here, and elsewhere.

As Mr. Coward might say, I couldn't have liked it more.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Land's End

We've been and we're back.

It almost seems dream-like, except for this high coloring I'm sporting.

What can I say? I plan on doing the exact same thing again next year. And , with luck, it will be the exact same thing I did last year and the year before that and the year before...well, you get the picture.

We made it up in record time, only hitting some traffic in the Bronx, of all places. Our secret? We leave at 5:00 AM. Our combined Adult Attention Deficit Disorders will not allow us to endure 10 hours of traffic jams. We wake up early, much like that young man in the Disney commercial who is too excited to sleep, throw it into gear and hit the road. There's something almost romantic about seeing the sun rise over the swamps of Secaucus. We stop for coffee and breakfast somewhere in Connecticut and we're on the Cape by 10:00, in Provincetown by 11:30.

We listen to soft, jangly music like Elliot Smith and Joni Mitchell as we ride in the dark, notching up to Mark Knofler & Emmylou Harris, Maura O'Connell, then both of us singing old Marshall Crenshaw songs as we ride up the Cape.

We arrive and park the car on the pier, awaiting access to our little condo. Some breakfast at Bubala's, where we receive our usual greeting from the taller of the two Hat Sisters, who is sitting at the bar. For years he and I have enjoyed a relationship that strictly consisted of sticking our tongues out at each other at the Boatslip, later blossoming into airborne kisses sent across the crowded deck, now relaxed into a warm welcome.

If fact, we received similar greetings from various bartenders, restauranteurs and even the lady who scoops up our ice cream cones each night before we hit the A-House.

It's great fun to see our Provincetown friends; those people from all over the country, and in fact, the globe, who return every year for the same week in August.

By the time we've unpacked, shopped and set up housekeeping, it's time to head over to the Boatslip. I've never subscribed to the fashion of pastel/jewel-tone/day glo vacation togs, and arrive pretty much in my standard NY gear. You know, black, blue or brown t-shirt, jeans and boots. Nothing fancy, just what works. And in that floral hued crowd, I stand out not unlike Maleficent, the evil fairy/dragon in Sleeping Beauty. Like I said, it works for me.

I must talk about the t-shirts here. There were no end of attractive, and not so attractive men in shirts with printed slogans like Catcher, Pitcher, Plow Man, Top Loader, ad naseum. What is Crewcut Wrestling anyway, if you don't have a crew cut, and you're clearly not in wrestling form? Morning Wood? Oh, please. The tall, rather burly young man in a tank top emblazoned with the word BUTCH and a drawing of a bear beneath it was clearly having identity issues. Guys, first of all, it's generally pretty easy to figure out who's fucking who in a relationship. And all I need is about 10 minutes, probably less, to suss out what you and I would most likely be doing in bed. Yeah, there might be some surprises, but generally, I find I don't need shirts that seem to have the equivalent of "I'm with Stupid" on them to figure out which way the wind blows. As a matter of fact, it's becoming something of a deal breaker for me. My apologies if you just bought one.

Another complaint heard around town this past week was that the young guys, mostly from Boston, were extremely nelly. Their word, not mine. First off, I've found that each new generation reacts to the very thing held dear by the previous one with a disdain bordering on the pathological. After 10 years of Chelsea boys and Weho wannabees, these kids have embraced a whole different aesthetic. They're slim. They're trim. They're wearing my old wardrobe from 1974. I think it's cute, as long as I don't have to fuck 'em. They haven't learned to hold their liquor yet, and now and again someone would just Girl Out, causing no end of eye-rolling among the more experienced crowd. It made for a great show.

A couple of years ago, we stood on this very same deck listening to a New York friend complain about the very same thing: the men in Ptown just weren't butch enough for him. Tim put an end to that conversation by announcing in his inimitable fashion:

"It's the Boatslip, not Sturgis!"

I agree.

I spent a good deal of time sprawled on the sofa in the late afternoon sunlight, reading "Summer Crossing", Truman Capote's unpublished first novel, and Alison Bechdel's "Fun Home", which might be one of the bravest things I've ever read, and Jay Presson Allen's "Just Tell Me What You Want", which I'd read about in her obituary and hadn't known existed as a novel.

I'd alternate between reading, push ups, and watching the family of Robins that were nesting in the cedar branch that brushed against our kitchen window. When we arrived I heard the tiny peeps, and located the four almost translucent yellow beaks sticking up, crying to be fed. By the time we left, the birds had grown enormously, all gray sticking-out feathers, in contrast to their dapper parents.

We managed to get out of town and hike some beautiful Cape beaches. That's Tim up there, about to venture out on the Great Island Trail near Wellfleet. You can walk miles of beaches, admiring the banks of cranberries and beach plums growing wild on the dunes, or laugh at the thousands of tiny crabs that poke their way out of the sand when they think no one is there, only to disappear as you lumber by.

I ate too much. I drank too much. I didn't stay out late nearly as much as I might have liked to. Like so many other cities, Provincetown has it's own Crystal Culture. It's settled in and has been going on for a few years now. The one bar I really used to like enormously has changed from a handsome, almost bucolic setting into a seething pit of bad moods, short tempers, too much machine-like porn and not a whole lot of the old camaraderie that existing before this current siege. It used to be a great room in which to actually meet people and talk to them. It isn't that at all, anymore. In fact, it's rather downbeat and depressing. We never really stayed that long.

None the less, we'll return next year.

I've made my reservations already.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm Back In Town

But not for long!

Okay. I know. I've been remiss. Call it blogger's block. Call it boredom. Get fancy and call it ennui or mere malaise. All I know is that I couldn't get it together enough to string a few simple sentences together.

Lord knows, I tried. I put together a post about Folsom Street East, only to discover that it was pretty a complete redaction of last year's post, only with a different set of friends. At the time, I couldn't even find a way to frame the highlight of that Sunday, which happened to be concurrent with Father's Day. So allow me this totally gratuitous posting now:


Yes, one of my dearest friends, and his accomplice gathered wishes and signatures from other buddies on this lovely card through the course of the long drunken day and presented it to me later on. It really touched a cynical old fuck like me.

End of gratuitous Folsom Street East remembrance.

I tried writing a piece on Scritti Politti. I tried writing it three times. Blogger does not seem to like me at times. It wouldn't allow me to upload photographs. It wouldn't let me edit. It kept deleted the post. I grew tired of the subject. Quick synopsis: I was on the train at 7:00 AM reading the New York Times and spied a picture of what looked like a haggard Irish man on the morning after a bender. Perusing the article, I gasped when I learned it was Green Gartside, who has just released a new collection of songs. The piece I tried to write was a meditation on time and age, and was to be called Flesh & Blood, after my favorite song from the Cupid & Pysche '85 album. There were some vague Dorian Gray comparisons. It was turning into one of those sad recollections of friends who died. I worried that no one would know or even care much about Scritti Politti, or what I was doing in 1984-1985.

Knock-Knock.

Who's there?

Writer's Block.

End of joke.

So, I'm leaving town. Just for a vacation. Yup, we're heading back up the cape to Provincetown for a week of relaxation, or something like that. I need to recharge my batteries, bad. I need some new adventures, and I'm really, really, really up for whatever comes my way. I need some quiet time to get back in touch with Tim. And some really wild times to do the same.

It looks like the weather will be great up there, after this week seemingly spent in the mouth of Hell. I'm gonna sit in the pool at the Boatslip every afternoon and chill. I'm going to eat lots of great dinners. I'm gonna have way to much fun at Spiritus.

I will return with stories to tell.

Thanks for sticking by me.