Archive for the 'New York' Category



17
May
11

Can’t Win for Losing

Some people are naturally competitive about everything they do. I am not.

That’s not to say I want to lose, or that I don’t like to be my best. I get jealous when someone is good at something I want to be good at. I want to be a success, and I want people to think I’m successful, but my goal is merely to be accomplished. I don’t necessarily want to be better than anyone. I just want to be as good as they are.

I don’t need to win. Sometimes I don’t even like to win, because I feel bad that someone else had to lose. I just want to be evenly matched. And then if I should happen to win, its not my fault that someone else lost. It’s just down to a good hand. Luck. Fate.

And I don’t like to celebrate and carry on. I don’t like to stand under a spotlight as draw attention to myself as “the winner.” I definitely don’t like to put it in anyone’s face.

But then sometimes, when I drink a lot, I behave much differently.

Continue reading ‘Can’t Win for Losing’

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31
Mar
11

Umpire State of Mind

Every time I see the New York City skyline I remember exactly what I thought the first time I saw it. I was on an airplane, approaching the city. Having been to Chicago, I’d seen a massive urban landscape from highway level, but I had never seen one from above.

Looking down from that distance, you don’t see the dirt. There is no sign of people from that height, which is strange, because at ground level, “people” is all New York City is. From inside the plane, you don’t appreciate the brutal mechanical hum of the city. The buildings themselves seem to be silent. Cold. Inert. Noble.

Continue reading ‘Umpire State of Mind’

16
Oct
10

Look Both Ways

Sometimes crossing the street in New York City is a flirtation with disaster. Times Square is a far more dangerous neighborhood than many. The volume of foot traffic, taxis, delivery trucks, police and emergency vehicles — it’s overwhelming.

Whether the pedestrians are tourists or business people, most of them can’t be bothered to get off their cell phones or stop texting or look away from the person they’re telling such an important story to wait a sec, yo, you gotta hear this, wait a sec, dude! — or even to follow traffic signals. Look both ways before crossing the street? We gave up that bunk back on Sesame Street. This is New York City, baby!

That’s not to say pedestrians are always at fault. Walkers rule over drivers in a lot of ways in New York. Sometimes traveling on foot really is faster. And if it’s not, dammit, I’ll make it faster. I gotta get across the street now! So of course sometimes the motorists, the cabbies, the cops consider it their duty to educate pedestrians by giving them a horn-honking thrill, making a thinly veiled threat. My friend calls cabs “yellow flying death.”

On a rainy night this week, leaving work for the bus back to Philadelphia, I wove through clusters of spiked umbrellas and danced around puddles to cross 7th Avenue… Broadway… to the opposite corner… toward 8th Avenue. And freedom. There were fewer people out than normal because of the rain. But also because of the rain, the reconstituted city filth made any sidewalk and street an oil slick.

A very specific sequence of sounds occurs when a moving car strikes a human body. Even if you’ve never heard them before, even if you don’t witness it with your eyes, they’re distinct enough that you know instantly what is happening when you hear them. It’s not a cracking of bones. It’s not a splash of blood and wet parts.

Continue reading ‘Look Both Ways’

11
Oct
10

Hungry, Hungry Hypocrite?

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is getting some guff for pushing to prevent poor families from buying sugary snacks and sodas with food stamps while at the same time offering similar items to employees at his financial firm. This is the height of hypocrisy, some say. (“Mayor’s Soda Plan and His Company’s Policy Differ“)

He has, on the record, served junk food at Gracie Mansion and at events in his townhouse. Further — gasp — he uses salt at home.

So, does this deflate his argument that poor families should not be using food stamps to buy crap for their kids? Not at all.

Bloomberg’s employees are given healthy snacks as well as Coke and Fanta. I agree 100% that it’s a little weird that he gives away soda. His employees are basically a captive audience. They will take what is given to them. Just like families on welfare. They’ll take what’s available to them. So, to align better with his public policy, he should probably do away with the free junk food at work.

Better yet, he should install a vending machine. Then will people have to actually buy the stuff. It would be completely their choice and their responsibility.

If he wants to salt his food and if his employees want to spend their own money on junk food or bring in whatever they buy from elsewhere, let them. But we should not allow poor families to use taxpayer money to buy crap for their kids. Force them to make better choices. Lobby retailers to offer better options.

Food stamps should be used for things that are actually nutritionally beneficial for kids. Anything else is a waste of money and an insult to the taxpayers who fund assistance programs. Food stamps are for food: fruit and vegetables, meat, cheese, bread, milk. Someone at some point has already had to decide what families are allowed to purchase with food stamps. Items have already been vetted and either added to or eliminated from the program. Under further scrutiny, it’s a very excellent idea to cut as much nutritionally void content as we can. A government in the business of assisting its less fortunate citizens has a responsibility to give them access to the good stuff, not some bullshit that’s going to make them worse off.

16
Aug
10

Fear the Schmear

The New York Post can be always be relied upon to deliver the important stories of the day that really make a difference in our harried, overcomplicated lives, such as this nugget about a woman who got tossed out of a Starbucks by the cops after getting into an argument with a barista about the way she was ordering a bagel. (It’s a biggie. It took a team of three reporters to cover it.)

She asked for a “toasted multigrain bagel,” and when the barista asked if she wanted butter or cheese on it, she dug her heels in the dirt and refused to specify or say “neither.” To her way of thinking, there was  no need to use their weird lingo.

“When you go to Burger King,” she told the Post, “you don’t have to list the six things you don’t want.”

No, lady, but when you go to Burger King, you don’t order a flame-grilled quarter-pound hamburger sandwich with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, mustard and ketchup on a sesame seed bun, either. You order a “Whopper.” You use the conventions of the fast-food place you’re in. We all feel like assholes when we order a chalupa, but that’s what Taco Bell calls it. We can’t be responsible for the fool who named it. Just suck it up, and move on. There’s a line behind you.

Continue reading ‘Fear the Schmear’

28
Jun
10

Foxy Boxx Really Rocks

Pandora Boxx, Miss May

Pandora Boxx, Miss May

It’s always May in my house, because my RuPaul’s Drag Race wall calendar is forever turned to Pandora Boxx‘s page. She is my drag obsession. I might even have a crush on her.

A recent visit to Chicago last month coincided with an appearance by La Boxx at a local gay bar. The night of the performance, my husband and I were sitting around with some friends, contemplating going out. I looked at the clock. 9 p.m. I looked at my husband. I looked at my friends. I looked at the six packs and the chilled bottle of white wine waiting for us. I heard the gentle hum of the air conditioner. And I decided: I am too tired to deal with a dance bar full of screaming gay boys, flashing lights, and ka-thunk ka-thunk ka-thunk — even to see my favorite fake lady. Heaven forgive me, but I am staying in tonight.

Sometimes getting old is no bloody fun.

I never felt good about the decision, and since then I’ve been looking for a chance to make up for it. It came last week. Pandora Boxx was in New York for a Gay Pride kick-off party at the Gramercy Theater, and I was able to get on the VIP list because my company had something to do with the event. This was it. I was going to meet the Pandora Boxx! Get a picture with her! Shake her hand and tell her I love her and that she was robbed on season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race — robbed, I tell you!
Continue reading ‘Foxy Boxx Really Rocks’

26
Jun
10

How I Learned to Relax and Love Drag Queens

It’s Gay Pride Month for a few more days. I’m as gay in June as I am July through May, but I think one big difference is that the world’s drag queens probably see the light of day more now than any other time of year. So much sunlight bouncing off so many sequins. What is the SPF on that foundation, girl?

The other day, I was at a Gay Pride kick-off reception at an ad agency in Manhattan. They had set up a couple of bars in their lobby and conference room. Beers, cocktails, something called a “drag-me-to-the-bartini” (it involved mango nectar) and a curiously strong vodka and raspberry lemonade mixture.

The company I work for (a certain gay cable network) sponsored the event in an effort to get some face time with an agency with whom we want to drum up some business. Britney and Madonna were turned way up. Wall-mounted flatscreen TVs displayed a DVD loop of promos and clips from RuPaul’s Drag U, The Big Gay Sketch Show, Beautiful People. We had posters up all over the walls advertising our gayest shows. And the place was mobbed with very attractive, very casually dressed creative types. (One guy’s engorged pecs were nearly popping out of a very thin tank top.) Many, many of the guys were by all accounts pretty much gay. And a drag queen named Lady Bukaki (Lady B, if you want to be delicate) was cruising the crowd, stopping to take pictures with the Yuengling-swilling office folk.

So there I was, through some sort of company diversity initiative, sipping cocktails and getting looks from beautiful strangers in what, for all the world, looked like a swank cocktail lounge (Turning your office into a gay bar is business? I’m in.) — and chatting with a gentleman in a wig, makeup and fishnet stockings, named after a Japanese masturbation ritual. I couldn’t help but think, What a strange life — and how wonderful.
Continue reading ‘How I Learned to Relax and Love Drag Queens’




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