New York

I’ve been here for a fortieth of a millennium, and I still haven’t learned the formula governing my admiration for another person. Sometimes I recognize a certain grace, a magnanimous spirit, or perhaps simply an overwhelming congeniality. It’s the kind of quality that makes me lean back in my seat and say, “Now so-and-so, boy, what a character!”

Whatever this quality may be, it seems to saturate New York City. It holds everything and everyone together in a body temperature solution of awesomeness, kind of a fish bowl of fabulousness. These conditions were created years ago, I think, when the gravity of so many disparate cultures and brashly contrasting ideologies finally became too great; they all collapsed in upon themselves.

day 91

Glass of wine in one hand, bread with brie in the other, Landon turned to me and said, “Frankly, if you can drive a car through the man’s vibratto, it’s pretty much over.”

We lay on our plot of land within a city-block layout of picnic blankets spread across Central Park. A spectacular opera performance was taking place not 100 yards in front of us, but few paid attention. Instead there were myriad conversations, uncorking of bottles, and Ann indulging in the attention of a recently arrived Frenchman, for whom I suspect she had not completely pure intentions.

Later, Ann, Landon and I had drinks at the Abbey, and like mowing the lawn, it made me feel like my dad.

day 92

At Rose’s Turn, a piano bar in Greenwich Village, a young man with spikey hair and too much cologne leaned in towards me and growled, “You know, drinking tequila makes me really hot.” Then he tried to follow me into the bathroom. Girls howled and kicked their heels high into the air.

The bartender left his station for a few minutes and sang:

It’s a simple wish
That everyone has had from time to time
So, I know you’ll understand me
When I share my dream with you

I wanna be rich, famous, and powerful
Step on all my enemies
And never do a thing
I wanna be rich, famous, and powerful
So all I have to do in life
Is sit around and sing

I don’t wanna work, struggle, or compromise
When I set a goal, I wanna reach it right away
Cause paying your dues
A-ha, that’s just for other guys
As for me, I want what I want
And I want it all today!

A drunk Jon Lovitz-lookalike made a request. “Hey hey… have you ever heard of a song called ‘Piano Man’? Could I sing that?”

The piano player looked at him sideways. After much cajoling (and a $20 bill), Jon Lovitz got up and sang “Piano Man”.

The highlight of the evening was hearing Ann sing. Oh so sultry!

days 93-95

Ann showed me the ferry, her old stomping grounds in Brooklyn, and we had relaxing tea and good sushi. She introduced me to her friends Tom and Mark who helped me to contemplate what it meant to be a moister. I got to see Seth, my step-step-half-brother, and he gave me a tour of his workplace at the New York Times, followed by tapas.

Erik, June 2005