Guacamole Tour

I have a friend that sort of materialized out of nowhere in my life. I think that he maybe messaged me on facebook or twitter asking about… a trip I was on? I’m not sure, it’s fuzzy.

But anyway, after talking for a bit we ended up making plans to meet for coffee, and the coffee shop he chose was a kind of cool, indy place called Kahve in Hell’s Kitchen.  I remarked about how cool the shop was and he said that it was on a list of 10 best coffee shops that had been in a magazine article (New York Magazine I think).  And just like that, we agreed to go to all 10 coffee places. One per month! Along the way we added two more so we could celebrate a complete year of coffee which I have slowly become addicted to in my mid-late 20s.

And these coffee trips got more and more elaborate until we were pairing the coffees with museums and shopping trips in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. I think the furthest I went was cafe grumpy of the HBO “Girls” fame.

Well, it’s over a year since that first trip. and we’ve completed 12 coffee dates in 12 months. But now, since we don’t want to stop hanging out, we’ve made a simple shift! and so begins 1 full year of Guacamole.  So far we’ve only been to Dos Caminos and had their Spicy Mango Guacamole (delicious, but gimmicky). Today will be Mesa Coyoacan, in Williamsburg. I can’t wait to try it. We’ve been trying to come up with names for this adventure. So far I have Guacapalooza, or Woodsguac (woodstock). More names to follow. 🙂

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Icy Gays and Super Powers

This Sunday Justin and I actually canceled plans to watch our DVR’d Doctor Who episode and instead accepted an invitation to watch the VMAs with a group of gays down the block. I have loved music award shows for many years after I realized that I almost always have a stake (that is to say favorites) for this type of award show, compared to the Academy Awards or the Emmys (where I usually have seen nothing).

The other reason we were excited about this invitation is that the party was in the super-fancy building on the corner of our block- luxury living for sure, and we wanted to get a peek at that! 🙂

It was a very beautiful apartment, and a very beautiful group. Everyone was young, toned, fashionable. Probably all of them were younger than me. They were not, however, outgoing. When we walked in one of the pretty guys who we knew best came over and hugged us, but the other 8 people in the room stayed firmly planted in their seats and merely glanced at us before directing their attention back to an announcer who I didn’t recognize on the screen.

We floated toward the TV and after a few moments when two got up to get more drinks I made the first step and introduced myself. Conversation didn’t really flow from there.

After settling into the circle I tried starting some conversation up again. “Hi, I’m Joe” I offered a handshake to one of the guys. “Hi” is all I got back. I decided that I was definitely going to make each of them shake my hand. “What’s ~your~ name?” I pressed with what I hoped sounded like super-friendly interest, but it kind of sounded like I was 1st grade teacher.

After each of them accepted my introduction- including one wearing a black caftan, which he described as “just something simple” when I asked about his outfit- we returned to watching the show.  There were general exclamations of “yas, gurl!” and “get it!”, everyone was making A Lot of noise, but I still felt like nobody was getting to know each other. This went on for about 15 minutes.

Now I’m am fresh off a trip to Provincetown where the week’s theme was Comic Books, so I’ve had 7 recent days of super heroes wandering around drunk and making jokes. Perhaps the most perfect, true joke I heard the entire week was someone saying that their super-power was breaking the ice. And even now when I think about that (pickup) line, I laugh because actually Ice-breaking is a great super power!

So I pressed on, asking each boy about themselves, remarking about the performances. It took a lot of work but I think I was slowly melting down these icy guys into conversation.  But it wasn’t until I pulled out the mother of all music conversation bombs (Ariana Grande as the next Mariah Carey?) that I truly got big full responses from the group. There was discussion, and argument, and sharing, and reminiscing, and everyone just ended up talking about how Mariah Carey is one of a kind. It was everything that I needed. So thank you Mariah, a hero does lie in you, and your power in any gay group is breaking the ice.

CD-MariahCarey-RainbowFront

 

 

It’s kind of a big deal.

I came across this NPR article while waiting for a mango chicken wrap from my local juice bar. “In Changing America, Gay Masculinity Has ‘Many Different Shades.” I chose to read instead of a competing article about the ebola virus because I didn’t want to spoil my appetite with descriptions of death, but also because, hey, I’m gay.

It’s a nice article about how men in Colorado (who are gay!) are playing rugby and acting tough. I scanned the screen of my phone with narrowing eyes waiting to see if the article was going to take it somewhere new or fresh; to me this rugby team was not big news. I play on a gay sports league in New York and I’ll be the first to tell you: it’s competitive. 

The line that stood out the most (the pull quote on the top photo) takes, I think, a very defensive position about homosexuality, quoting one of the players: “I’ve always thought of myself as … the rugby player that happens to be gay… I never want to be the gay man who happens to play rugby.”

I remember thinking that way.  I remember telling people that it’s a small part of who I am. I remember building consensus with my family that it wasn’t important. But that philosophy is a phase, right?

I have just come back from a week-long vacation (or was it work?) hosting Absolut Vodka promos in Provincetown, MA. As I described to my mother on the phone, Ptown is a seaside artists’ colony, with plenty of places to buy lobster or souvenir sweaters, that also happens to be this incredible gay mecca.  Theaters, cute boutiques, gay bars, costume parties, drag acts, art galleries, and a parade. It’s a very special place and I feel blessed to have visited it. I also feel blessed to have claim to it. Being gay is awesome. We create great neighborhoods, great art and culture, and I’m pretty sure a gay high school student just beat an asian high school student at teen Jeopardy (at JEOPARDY, people!).

That above comment isn’t meant to be racists, only funny.  

So, I didn’t mean to write a diatribe this morning, nor did I intend for THIS SUBJECT to be my first post in about two years (eek), but I am really gay… like through and through. And it’s maybe one of the most permanent things about me.  I’m glad that this guy can self-identify as a rugby player who happens to be gay, but my life is in way to much flux to let me feel permanently identified by my career, city, hobbies, sports, etc. 

In 30 years I don’t know what I’ll be doing, who I’ll be with, or where I’ll be, but I’m pretty sure I will still be gay.