Thirty Something Land

A funny thing happened on the way to thirty-something land, turning 29. In lands far from where Spring meets LaFayette, being single & twenty-nine has always equated spinsterhood. That delicate condition where prince charming had not yet arrived in a white horse with a rent controlled walk up on the Upper East Side.

However, living in Manhattan, where being single is revered, life was changing too. Out were the Carrie Bradshaw(s) & Samantha Jones(s) of the world. In were the new faces of thirty-something New York. From high above Uptown to the Lower East Side, couples & baby carriages were taking over the once gritty and dangerous sidewalks. Was the city turning into a sleepy suburb without the track homes?

I pondered this question. While at the social event of the season, a spring outdoor party in TriBeCa, a new fashion accessory dominated the sea of Prada purses, the wedding ring. Nearly everyone was gorgeous, successful and yes, very married. Oh no, did I miss something (in mid-twenties land), while drinking too much wine & figuring out how to stuff a whole week’s groceries in one paper bag? While I still pondered the deep, philosophical and very first world question, Mr. Ideal arrived.

Certainly, he was straight & married, but mirrored JFK Jr. perfectly. He simply charmed me, while I wondered if he had a gay brother. If I could wake up to such a handsome man, surely married life couldn’t be that bad.

Then as we smiled at each other, it hit me. I would have to share a bed, checking account & that secret stash of jellybeans I keep hidden. Could I deal with farting in bed? Even worse, having to watch endless hours of football?

I walked out of the event thinking, “I really am the gay New York version of Bridget Jones.”  Like Bridget, I was officially in spinsterhood mode and enjoyed eating too much. Unlike Bridget, I didn’t have two men fighting over me toward the end of the movie (or in my case, the Thursday night get together).

As I walked home feeling single and ready to turn thirty, I looked around. “Oh my this is my life!” I am a New Yorker, working in my dream field & have funny and very interesting people around me. Then I thought, who needs a man to be happy?

While Tribeca faded into Chinatown, something unexpected happen. I was almost hit by a bike while crossing a (surprise) bike lane. As I was about to tell the guy ” Hey you fucking almost killed me,” I looked up. There he was blue eyed and smiling. My frown turned into a smile & I walked away. Only in New York, would, you almost get hit by a bicycle with the possibility of meeting Mr. Right at the same time.

Type A Gay

Weezer played on my iPod. My shoes were perfectly polished and I wore one of my favorite outfits. It was one of those magical Saturday mornings in New York. Saturdays are my absolute favorite day of the week. I typically brunch it up, take long walks around the East Village & breathe in the intense yet very creative New York air.

On one of those magical days, the streets were soaked from a previous rain shower. I lingered around the sidewalks, which were slightly empty. I stepped in front of a record shop with a window display filled with obscure CDs and DVDs. As I walked away from the record shop (still feelings distracted), I noticed a big bus driving uptown. From the corner of my eye, I then noticed a puddle.

I did quick math in my head. Bus + puddle = A soaked Anthony and even worse, a very damaged iPhone. The bus drove closer and I didn’t have any time to step away from the edge of the street. The bus went over the puddle and the unthinkable happened. I looked at my outfit and iPhone, “wow I didn’t end up drenched.”

I went on my merry way. As I walked toward the Lower East Side, the breezy weather turned into a humid afternoon. While walking in Chinatown, the humidity levels increased as the tenement buildings grew closer together. At that moment, I hoped to be Carrie Bradshaw in the opening credits of Sex & the city, getting splashed by a bus. Alas, nobody splashed me.

Quack Says Duck

New York weather is radical like Sylvia Plath, Jackson Pollack & Joan Crawford at a dinner party. What could be the most beautiful day; eventually ends becoming a humidity induced rain shower, followed by a rainbow, but more rain. On one of those quintessentially humid (& seemingly rainy) New York afternoons, I waited for Tony outside the Plaza hotel.

The forecast called for rain showers. In my own grand tradition, I left my umbrella on the subway. As I waited for Tony to arrive from Queens, I was praying to the weather gods. Please weather Gods don’t rain on my parade. Naturally if Barbara Streisand landed from the heavens and started singing “Don’t rain on my parade,” I’d be ok with that. Tony showed up with a surprise.

“Here, it’s going to be raining.” He handed me an umbrella. Unlike the generic umbrella bought at the local bodega, this umbrella was bursting with character.

The handle had the face of a duck. I smiled and proclaimed, “Oh my it’s a ducky umbrella.” Though, the rain didn’t appear that day, we had a wonderful day at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). While admiring all the avant-garde gems at the New York legend, I was most excited about the umbrella. While an hour previously, I had fear torrential rain with my new cute umbrella, I longed for it.

Ducky (as I lovingly named my umbrella) & I wandered the streets of Manhattan together. He kept semi-dry and refreshed in the most intense of storms. One day, my life changed.

I took Ducky to my favorite deli in Midtown. It’s where I go before work to enjoy a bagel & coffee. The forecast called for severe thunderstorms, but the morning was bursting with sunshine. I took Ducky out anyways. Hours after leaving the deli, I forgot Ducky. “Oh no, my quack is missing.”

However, the weather was still sunny and gorgeous, till I left the office. As I got on the subway to meet a friend for coffee, it looked like rain was on its way. I thought, Ducky was gone for good, no need to check the deli. As I exited the 6 train at 23rd street, the skies over Manhattan were dark and haunting. While, I sat with Jenny over coffee, a major thunderstorm hit. No umbrella in sight.

While walking down a rain soaked Broadway, I stepped into a Duane Reade & bought a new umbrella. “$11 bucks for an umbrella?” that’s not right, I told the cashier. She didn’t really care & I bought a very boring umbrella to keep dry.

As I walked toward the West Village for supper, the umbrella wouldn’t open all the way, leaving me partially soaked. Walking past the perfectly adorned brownstone residences, I proclaimed “Ducky, I miss you.”

As time went on, I returned to my deli. There in a shelf close to the cashier was Ducky. He was safe & sound. I almost kissed his beak, until I wondered where that beak had been.

From then on, Ducky & I enjoyed our rainy days together. We loved walking from the East Village to the West Village with rain pouring & fashion by David Bowie playing on the iPod. What can I say? We’re always going to be New York boys.