Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bright Lights, Big City

This is my first official blog on the road. Yes, it’s only been a matter of days and not an incredible lot has happened, but this particular blog goes out to everyone who doubted my ability to keep up writing regularly. Maybe it’s the stormy weather outside or the fact that I have an evening alone but I’d like to think of myself as Carrie Bradshaw in the Big Apple. I’ve got the hair, the laptop, and the dating drama which really makes me believe this fantasy is true somehow. Maybe I’ll even step out for a cigarette.

But enough daydreaming, this blog is supposed to chronicle actual events. And I actually am in New York right now loving and living it up. Every time I come here I start scheming how and when I’m going to move here. This time I’ve convinced myself Brooklyn is well worth the commute. I still am not sure when this move will happen but this visit has shown me when I’m done with this next trip I really will be ready to settle down in one place for a year, and now I’m sure it will be here. A surprisingly easy decision considering the roaring wind and rain outside and my soggy boots. Yet this is all future talk. Let me focus on the present. (Sorry I get so easily distracted…..oooh, look, shiny!)

I arrived safe and mostly sound in New York late on a Wednesday night. The stress from packing and preparing had finally melted away on the flight. After navigating my turtle-like structure around on the subway I had the wonderful pleasure of finally meeting the boyfriend of my amazing friend Abbie, with whom I always stay with in New York. My approval was quickly passed and a quiet yet fun evening ensued.

My first full day I slept in but still managed to make it to the MOMA, my favorite of all museums in the world. The Tim Burton exhibit alone was worth the trip, I’d recommend it to anyone in the area. I have not quite realized the expanse of his body of his work in total. Burton is extraordinarily creative, detail oriented, and a bit nuts. I respect and admire all of his work but am very certain I wouldn’t even want to spend one day in his head. Other exhibits enthralled me as well, particularly the performance piece in the main stage area that was opened a couple of days ahead of schedule. (Lucky me.)

After these exhilarating few hours I visited Abbie at her new office located in a trendy area downtown. In the process of strolling around, waiting for her to finish work and figure out our next move, I loaned my lighter to one of her coworkers. When I went out to collect it she was loaning it to some hot mess on the street. I didn’t care to notice this woman’s face but did acknowledge her bloody knuckles and general disheveled look about her. It was her clear blue eyes that caught my attention and made me realize this particular hot mess was Courtney Love. Yes, it is true and was later confirmed by the coworker who carried out a longer conversation with her. One might wonder why I didn’t stick around and spark up with the rock star but alas, I had to leave and D-List celebrity stories are not really my thing. (Unless of course I have a blog to mention this useless stuff in.)

So then I went on my way to Brooklyn to meet up with a mutual friend of ours, Deena. We met at a Mexican restaurant for several margaritas waiting for Abbie to finish up work and meet us. A long evening of great conversation ensued which was well lubricated by alcohol, chips, and salsa. Abbie eventually headed back to Manhattan for a good night’s rest before work the next day. Deena and I on the other hand continued the evening back at her place to smoke some refreshing herbal medicine and continue drinking ourselves into a proper Thursday night coma. Naturally I ended up crashing there in her sister’s spare bed but before I did I had decided her and I would make excellent roommates one day.

The next morning (err…afternoon, it’s all perspective I suppose) we strolled out in the miserable wet weather for some Brooklyn bagels for breakfast. Now I know this bit doesn’t mean much to anyone out there but my family. Being that my Jewish father grew up in Brooklyn, I was raised to believe two truths in the world: one is that the New York Knicks are the greatest basketball team ever, no matter what, and also that Brooklyn bagels are superior to all other bagels in the world, including Manhattan. “It’s something in the water” I’ve been told and have been repeatedly reminded that I don’t know a good New York bagel unless it was made in Brooklyn. Glad I could finally check that off of my to-do list and make my family proud at the same time. My personal verdict: delicious! Although I’m still not sold on the water part, I suppose a proper taste test might resolve the issue.

I managed to sort myself out and went to the gym later that day as if it justified what I drank that night. When Abbie and I were done showering, but still in pajamas with crazy hair and deciding if we should even step out that night, not one, but two groups of her friends randomly stopped by to coordinate some plans. One group included a long time friend of Abbie’s I’ve had the lovely pleasure of meeting previously and she was accompanied by two of her male coworkers. They were already well into the middle of a happy hour binge and we promised to meet them at the divey Irish pub next door before we went out for the night. As if we ever would make it out of there.

The five of us began imbibing alcohol quickly as we could see the karaoke machine being set up. In the process of preparing our ridiculous selves I quickly got to know one of the coworkers, the cuter blue eyed one of course. Before long I realized that this man was me, only with a penis. What I mean to say is we had everything in common including being overtly passionate about environmental issues, throwing caution into the wind while traveling, and of course, a sarcastic and inappropriate sense of humor. He had even already accomplished one of the top goals in life: to road trip the US in a bio-diesel fueled vehicle while making a documentary about meeting people along the way. Damnit. I wasn’t even drunk before I was smitten.

The truth is I very rarely meet men I care to get to know better, let alone actually genuinely like. And the best part was he actually seemed to like me back! (Ok, let’s be honest, he was definitely more drunk than me at this point. But this rarely happens and I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it.) A few karaoke songs and several amazing conversations later we were in the ladies bathroom stall making out. In case you were wondering, this is me being prude. It’s better than doing it in the bar in front of your friends.

Anywho, I didn’t want to cross any major lines that night but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I only had a matter of days to enjoy this amazing new person and I wasn’t going to waste a minute of it. He had already planned on spending the following day all alone in his apartment watching movies while it poured down rain outside. He offered me to come over and enjoy the day together and so I made him promise no hanky panky that night. (Ok, so maybe a little hanky but no panky.) Since Abbie’s apartment was next door to where the bar was (yes, our friends had already ditched us there) I insisted we go up so I could get my toothbrush before we left for his place. And of course we had the same toothbrush, Preserve, the number one brand for hippies. Only something that stupid would make me swoon.

A short cab ride to Brooklyn brought us to his studio apartment that was clean, energy efficient, and fully stocked with vintage suitcases and a very nice bicycle. I was beginning to wonder if this was the reason why the Universe had brought me to New York. Truthfully, New York was not planned in the original itinerary. Only because I had missed my flight in New Orleans three weeks prior was I here. (A partial reimbursement and stupid time constraint on the free ticket which need not be fully explained, explains this.) I had suspected all along it was for a bigger reason. I eagerly awaited the next day when light would better reflect the situation.

The reality is this is not a fairytale. He was no Prince Charming and I most certainly am not a princess. I’m Carrie Bradshaw, remember? Which means there would be mixed signals, utter confusion, and a sad reality check about dating in New York. I couldn’t sleep in (ridiculously odd for me) so I read a book and occasionally tried to squeeze in a snuggle. Several hours later he awoke and we chatted in bed for a long while, still with the same interesting and involved conversations. But the morning was different. No kissing, holding, or romance.

He insisted on taking me to the Farmer’s Market so we could buy some fresh organic local goods so he could cook me breakfast. We braved the rain and there was an odd sense of comfort I felt being near him as we strolled through the very wet city. Once out, he wanted to show me something nearby, which turned out to be an indoor flea market full of 80’s sweaters and old maps. It was like I didn’t even need to bother to tell this guy about myself because he already knew. Eventually our hunger got the better of us and we made our way back to his place. Before long we had a delicious breakfast and started to get to know more about each other’s pasts, and not things you would always share with someone you’ve just met. This entire time I’m thinking ‘what an amazing, thoughtful, sweet, and inspiring guy! Wait, why are we not kissing?!?!’ And that, my friends, is a question I’ll probably never get the answer to.

Eventually it was time for me to go and he insisted on walking me not only to the subway, but he swiped his card so he could make very sure I got on the right train. Normally this would really upset me as my extremely independent personality highly objects to anyone treating me like an incompetent child. But no, I was eagerly awaiting that goodbye kiss. But a genuine hug was all I would receive, not even a phone number, and I was sent on my way.

I spent the next hour or so on the subway trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. By the time I made it back to Abbie’s apartment I was on the brink of tears. It wasn’t this guy in particular (ok maybe it was a little) but the reality check of my life had sunk in. As long as I’m living my dream traveling the world and going where the wind blows I will never have a relationship. The last few years have been quite enjoyable checking different types of men off my list. (Guy with accent? Check. Marine? Check. Inappropriately younger guy. Double check.) But the truth is I have finally reached a point where I want someone to share my life with. No, not marriage or anything absurd like that; I’d simply like to have one man care about what I’m doing. I want to feel comfortable in someone’s arms again, share crazy adventures together, and of course, have regular (amazing) sex. Is that too much to ask for?

The truth is I don’t often meet someone I’d even as potentials, but whenever I do, they’re not interested in me because of my lifestyle choice. What’s the point in falling for a girl who has openly admitted to leaving them in a matter of days? The longest I have ever been in one place since college is 4 or 5 months, and that’s when I’m transitioning through home when I’m overworked and without much of myself to offer. On the road, it’s a matter of weeks I’m in any one place. I get that this concept is frightening to most people but it exhilarates me. And I just want to find someone to share these experiences with. Which is truly surprising given my normal innately commitment- fearing background.

So here I am: alone, rejected, and confused. It’s Saturday night and the weather is still super shit outside and Abbie has gone to work her last shift as a hostess and doesn’t seem interested in going out after. I decided to blog and reach out to my compassionate man-hating friends around the world. In the middle of an email rant a knock comes at the door and it’s Abbie’s neighbor whom I had met a couple of times before. He said he wasn’t going out but his friend was and they were downstairs drinking and would like for me to join them. And that, right there, is New York. Because before you can even finish ranting about one boy, another one knocks at your door.

And so I had to finish this blog several days later on my flight to Ireland. I’ve had some time to reflect on this boy situation and now I can also fill you in on the rest of my time in New York.

I made it downstairs and wasn’t offered so much as given a beer and shots of jager. These two boys held lively conversation and I was happy to read one’s old sex blog and after some discussion, I was inspired to put myself out there (sexually in a blog I mean). Which is why I was so honest earlier and will continue to be. True understanding can only be made if all the facts are laid out. So enjoy the facts, at my expense, and sorry Mom and Dad that you are unfairly exposed to a part of my life I’ve managed to keep very secret. Our next gathering will have no shortage of conversation I suppose.

Anywho, the night continued when Abbie got home from work and we easily convinced her to head out with us to the meatpacking district. We went to a couple of different bars and I made friends with a pair of Argentineans I insisted on taking in under my wing. They were cousins, a guy and a girl, and had just moved to New York a matter of days ago. Their English wasn’t bad but I insisted on speaking in Spanish…with my beloved and awful Argentinean accent. Nobody really understood why I was hanging out with them all night but I suppose it was nice to be around people I felt instinctually comfortable around. Plus I had to remind them they couldn’t smoke inside. A habit I myself acquired while in Argentina.

Due to the time change we didn’t get home until 5:30 in the morning and I suppose we weren’t totally sober when we went out for champagne brunch the following Sunday morning. Deena came out from her Brooklyn cubbyhole and we ventured to Blockhead’s: my favorite (cheap) Mexican restaurant in the city. A couple of hours later we had made good friends with our server and he brought over some shots of tequila on the house. You would think by now I would have learned not to drink tequila after lots of champagne; I’ve made this mistake several times before. But no, it didn’t occur to me until many hours later when I couldn’t fall asleep because I was hung-over.

That evening was calm. I spent some time with Deena smoking cigarettes and sorting out my defunct love life but resisted the urge to head back out to Brooklyn based on the fact that I was leaving the next day and knew I would never make it back to Manhattan with enough time. So I stayed in with Abbie and her boyfriend eating delicious New York pizza and being lazy.

The next and final day of this adventure was boring. Ran a few errands. Went to the gym. Packed my bag. Strived to make it to the airport on time. A task I’m happy to report I didn’t fuck up…again. (But as usual I almost did.)

So here I am, eager to get into Ireland and begin a whole new bout of debauchery. Something tells me New York was only a warm up. Abbie isn’t a heavy drinker herself and the Irish, well, it was difficult back in my heyday of Malta to keep up with them. I’m always up for a good challenge though. And this time I came prepared with keg cups and ping pong balls so I may spread the glory and joy of that which is beer pong and flip cup.


  1. Hang in there, beautiful, and have fun on this st. patty's day in ireland!

  2. Well, well, well. I am captivated already and it's only one blog into your trip. Granted its a few days put down into one entry. But, I loved it! I can picture everything so crisp in my mind. And I want to reach out and give you a big big hug. But, you need to go out and experience the world before you settle with any man! Because lets be honest, if you were not able to travel around and be stuck in one spot you might be bitching. HAHA. And, I am very glad you let the gentleman swipe his card for you. It should not have been any other way, but I expect lots of things should be taken care of. :)

    I am so glad you made it to the airport ON TIME! Proud of you. And I can't wait to hear about the new relationships you encounter on your trip. And kick some ass in beer pong!