Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tsuris Season

Tonight, I saw a baby in a stroller being pushed out of a restaurant by Santa Claus, but I didn’t have time to stop. Manhattan is a busy place and if you stopped for every crazy thing you saw, you’d never get anywhere. The other day, I was rushing to the train and I passed a homeless man noisily humping the pole of some scaffolding while shouting aggressively at his reflection in the building. I suppose I could have stopped to find out what that was all about but, like Santa and his baby stroller, it is almost better when you don’t get the whole story.

It is Friday and (as usual) the show was a freight train barreling out of control. We had so many calls in the first hour, our producer Amber didn’t even want to answer the phone anymore. Whenever the lights on the phone would flash, she recoiled in horror. It was pretty much like that all night. ADD Jeff was there and the first thing he did when he walked in was whip out a bottle of Stoli Vanilla. I was already worried about all the visitors we would have dropping by and when I saw Jeff plunk the bottle down on the counter, I knew it would be trouble.

Brian Gianelli, who lately moved to Los Angeles, was back for the weekend and for some reason was fixated on a visit to Henrietta Hudson’s, a notorious lesbian haunt downtown. Obviously he wanted Romaine to take him, but every time I brought it up this week her face would turn sour. “Oh God. Do we have to? Can’t we go to a gay boy bar instead?” So when Brian showed up, Romaine turned on her sweet voice, the one she uses when she wants something from someone who doesn’t know better, and in her angelic way coaxed Brian into going to Therapy instead.

My friend Brandon was also visiting from Los Angeles but instead of a lesbian bar, he had his heart set on Rockit. I couldn’t imagine a place on earth I wanted to go less, except maybe Los Angeles. But after that he wanted to go to Industry, so I figured if Romaine couldn’t talk Brian out of Henrietta Hudson’s then Brandon could go to Rockit with his lady friend and then we could all meet after at Industry. But Romaine had her way, as she does in these matters, and we all went to Therapy, which is across the street from Industry, making everything so much easier.

Therapy was busier than I had seen it in a while. It must be the season. ADD Jeff accused me of going out more now that it is chilly than I did during the summer. This may be true. After all, I did join him (and Erik) at Flaming Saddles last weekend where we ran into Adam Jay and I predicted the bar would only last a year based solely on its gimmicky hook (a gay country bar… in Manhattan!), the lack of a DJ (there is a jukebox if you know what country song to pick!) and the subpar Coyote Ugly dance routine by the just okay looking bartenders. I’m sorry, but if you can’t find three hot guys to do a few basic moves from a production of Oklahoma in the heart of midtown Manhattan you are doing something wrong. I have at least three on my Facebook wall and I don’t even own a bar! But I like going out this time of year. It feels like the end of the world, in the precious few days before the snow falls and the mechanisms of the city grind slowly to a wintry halt.

But right now, the bars are full. The city is full. Even Santa’s baby carriage was full. The second weekend in December in Manhattan is the living embodiment of Dickens’ “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” Never has a place looked and felt so amazing, never has it been so weird and crowded and insufferable. Even Apple got into the act by opening its new store in Grand Central Terminal this morning. Grand Central! The place that has been shorthand for “crowded” for decades. They don’t say, “It’s like Grand Central in here!” for nothing. So why not add the world’s largest Apple store right in the middle of it, and then have the grand opening at the peak of the morning commute?

“Do you like living in New York?” I was asked that tonight, but that’s the wrong question. Living in New York is something you love and something you hate, but it is rarely something you like. New York is popular but unpleasant, like an exhausted celebrity. The city never sleeps because no one ever leaves it alone. You’d be cranky too if eight million people nudged you 24 hours a day. But I’m sentimental I guess. I love it anyway, even if sometimes I am too busy to stop and tell it.


Anonymous said...

I checked in today for the first time in a while and found your new post. Another lovely one - you write about NYC so beautifully!

(I was thinking of your blog because I loved your brief, so brief, mention of Monsters, Inc., yesterday. Sounds like you love that movie - I do as well. Couldn't you PLEASE get some more time on the show to talk about things you like ... movies and economics, for example?! What did you think about Wall-E? How about old classics like "Miracle on 34the Street" ... a lovely old New York.)

P.S. When are you going to write book #3?

Your Boston fan

Anonymous said...

"Booby hatch" - !!!

That was fantastic! You are a smart, amusing man.


Anonymous said...

(Not for posting to the blog, just for you - sorry I don't Tweet or Facebook!)

Last night, Jan 5th, on XM - the part about "Breeders" preferring the term "straight" ... and the problems of Princesses. That was so excellent! MOST amusing, especially the Breeder one. (And has any Princess ever had a worse row to hoe than Princess Dianna - what a mess that turned out to be!)

The night before, I believe it was, Romaine (re the curtains) said you were gay. Your very quick assertion that indeed, you were/are, was wonderful. Such good listening. (And the curtains sounded good too.)

~ Your Boston fan
Jan 6 2012