Mixtapes for Hookers


Matthew Takes Manhattan And Also Brooklyn
February 7, 2011, 12:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Woke up on Thursday and actually made the 6:30am Megabus, roughly three and a half hours after finishing the story I was scheduled to read that evening.  This time, unlike last time, there were no Brown students on the bus speaking in really loud “conversational” voices about their favorite subway systems of Europe or about how it burned when they accidentally squirt hand sanitizer in their vaginas.

Got to New York around 11.  Wandered around Chelsea, which has hilariously become the part of NYC I know best.  Peed at Starbucks, looked at some art and some clothing, and then worked my way south.  Stopped at Bookmarc to say hi and check on the magazine.  Succeeded (against all odds) at not buying half the store.  Stopped at McNally Jackson and somehow managed not to buy half the store.  Went to the Housingworks Bookstore (and Cafe) and miraculously didn’t try to buy half the store.  Went to the Clic Gallery bookstore and you get the idea.

Around 5 decided to look for a happy hour.  Went back to Greenwich Village and wandered around.  Stopped at The Leather Man, where the very friendly (and hunky!) man behind the counter told me he was on barber duty at the Eagle that night and that if I went he’d trim my beard for me.  He said there was a dress code but that my black jeans and motorcycle boots basically were the dress code.  Left without buying anything and found a happy hour on 7th Ave where I was the only customer and where the bartenders were freaking out about whatever Yankee just decided to retire.  Then went to Chinatown for the reading.

I read the story I’ve been referring to for months as “The Veronica Number,” although in this most recent version there is no Veronica and also no number.  The reading went pretty well, I think, although I went on last and accidentally drank two Manhattans and a beer before it was my turn.

Thanks to the otherwise annoying new “Friends’ Events” feature on Facebook, I learned about the ‘Stache Bash facial hair party at Julius, which is the oldest gay bar in NYC but which no one I know seems to have ever heard of before.  This presented a dilemma:  Do I get my beard trimmed at the Eagle and then go to the facial hair party, or go to the facial hair party and then get my beard trimmed?

I opted for the latter and walked back up to Greenwich Village, the one part of Manhattan that makes no geographic sense to me no matter how many times I walk through or look at maps of it.  Walked into Julius and before I was five feet past the door some man offered to buy me a drink.  He was nice, we talked for a minute, and then he suggested I move on.  I made it maybe halfway past the bar and a different (younger, more bespectacled) man offered to buy me a drink.  I declined politely, since my plastic cup of Guinness was still full, but we talked for a while.  He was there with his lady friend, and they had both just moved to Brooklyn from Portland.  I liked them.  After I drank my beer, they suggested going to another bar, which they said was right across the street.  They asked me to go with them and I said okay.

We walked outside and began walking up the street, because suddenly this new bar we were going to was “across the street and a block up.”  We got to where Greenwich and 7th and I don’t even know what other conglomeration of streets intersect, and my new friend suddenly bolted diagonally across the traffic.  His friend and I asked each other why he would have done that, and then we crossed the street using crosswalks the way that sane people do.  By the time we got to where our friend was, he was gone.  Totally gone.  The lady friend, the one who actually wanted to stay out for another drink in the first place, immediately hailed a cab and went home, saying it was nice to meet me.  And there I was, alone.

Even though Julius was only a block away and I was obviously kind of popular there, I decided to go to the Eagle, because I’ve never been there before.  I walked the twenty or so blocks, stopping along the way for a slice, and was thrilled to be able to check my coat and bags, because all this time I had also been walking around with a big stack of Headmasters all day lest anybody seem interested in one.  There were only maybe five people in the bar, though, which I found odd, not realizing at first that all of the people were on the second floor.  A very hunky man led me upstairs, then went I immediately went back down to check my shirt, because a bouncer on the second floor told me it was either black t-shirts or no shirts at all.

The Eagle was fun.  The barber was no longer on duty, though, and I didn’t see that guy again, which made me sort of sad.  (Consider this your Missed Connection, leather barber man!)  The room was full of visually pleasing and also shirtless men, though, and the music was actually pretty decent.  (It wasn’t terrible dance music, at any rate.  I heard “Celebrity Skin,” anyway, which would probably cause anyone at a Providence gay bar to faint.)

Anyway, I stayed until 4, because I completely lack self-control, and at that point getting to my friends’ couch in Park Slope seemed kind of rude and also kind of daunting.  Luckily, a tiny Chilean fashion designer came out of nowhere and offered for me to stay at his place.  He hadn’t been drinking, he told me, and didn’t want to fool around or anything, but he said he had a big penthouse in Brooklyn Heights.

I’ve never seen Brooklyn Heights, I said.

We talked on the train, and then on the other train, because I noticed (and he didn’t) that the train he put us on wasn’t actually Brooklyn bound.  Three hours of sleep and seventeen hours of traipsing around New York in motorcycle boots with a stack of magazines was weighing me down, though, and I fell asleep on the train.  When I woke up—or, when I came to, anyway—I was in the elevator of some building with the tiny Chilean fashion designer, watching him press the P button.


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