Augusten

Droopy ears, a button nose and a tail, which wags to the sounds of Ethel Mermen, this character isn’t another gay date for me; it’s my ideal future puppy.

Augusten (named after author, Augusten Burroughs) resides in the figments of my imagination, alongside all my imaginary friends of yesteryear. The idea of having a puppy didn’t quite find it’s home in imagination land, until one spectacularly chilly April afternoon.

While out in the East Village, I decided to visit my favorite coffee shop, The Bean. It’s a most wonderful cozy place, on the corner of Ninth and First Ave. Regardless of the unseasonably cold temperature; I bought a Mona Lisa (a cousin to the Frappuccino, an ice blended beverage with vanilla flavoring). I sat outside on one of the inviting benches and people watched.

While watching, hipsters, old people with rent control and clueless tourists, I started to shiver. However, I continued to sit on the bench, since I was thoroughly enjoying the free entertainment. As I peered to my right, a very attractive silver fox (attractive older guy), strolled Ninth Street with an adorable, but gigantic, black lab.

“Geez, big dog= big apartment,” said I, while sipping into the final stretch of my blended drink. The black lab walked toward me. I didn’t pay him any attention, since I was listening to Tori Amos and drifting into never land. The dog parked himself in front of me. His frustrated owner tried tugging his leash, but the dog wouldn’t budge.

“Sorry about that, he’s never done that before,” said Mr. Silver Fox. I played with the dog a bit, but really I was interested in the owner. My thoughts were “this dog is a yenta.” He’s trying to match two lonely New York gays. Finally, after a few minutes with the dog and Silver Fox, they left. No romantic connections, but the playing with the puppy kept me thinking.

” A dog, such a novel idea. We could go play at the dog park at Madison Square Park, take long walks in the East Village and watch great John Hughes films from the 80s at night, said I.

It was simply magical. Especially living by myself all the way uptown, a dog would be a great companion. I could also join doggy owner groups. It was also a fantastic way to meet guys. The gays do love their dogs.

As the idea became more endearing, I called my cousin. “You with a dog. I can’t see you picking up poop,” said she with a giggle. Poop, that’s right, they do poop, said I to myself.

Bringing Augusten, home didn’t seem so wonderful. I realized at this point in my life, I didn’t spend much time at home and need a bigger apartment.

Hence, my puppy will become a reality years down the line. In the meantime, my (0wn) droopy ears and I will enjoy treats, while listening to super duper gay Broadway show tunes.

Across The East River

Across the East River from glamorous Manhattan, lies the borough’s hip and stylish counterpart, Brooklyn. Within Carroll Gardens, one of Brooklyn’s most charming neighborhoods lived a lawyer. He was gay, single, late thirties, and lived in a most charming Brownstone. One icy Sunday night, he logged into okcupid and connected with a creative type across the East River.

In the upper, upper Upper West Side of Manhattan (Harlem), lived a thirty-something, gay, singleton (yours truly). He resided in a modest walk-up.

In a shocking state of events, he had also logged into okcupid on that icy Sunday night. Through messages about a common love of Japan, high neurosis level and coffee, Brooklyn decided to embark on a journey to meet Manhattan.

While waiting in the midst of the East Village’s St. Patrick’s Day mayhem, Manhattan locked eyes with Brooklyn. “Wow, he’s has that cute, intellectual, nerdy, yet easy-going vibe about him, thought Manhattan to himself.

After enjoying wine, and an authentic Thai dinner, Brooklyn needed to head to a jazz concert in Midtown. However, Manhattan couldn’t resist Brooklyn’s charms and insisted on going to a passé gay bar in Chelsea instead. Brooklyn caved in.

In a classic gay bar with videos of drag queens, a dancing Donald Duck, and David Bowie playing in the background, Brooklyn interlocked with Manhattan through a kiss.

A week later, Manhattan made the trek to Carroll Gardens. It was an easy ride, since he had been visiting old friends in (semi) nearby, Greenpoint.

At the corner of Union & Smith, the irresistible eye contact persisted. Margaritas were drunk, childhood stories exchanged and a kiss over guacamole, commenced.

While strolling along Carroll Garden’s immaculate brownstone blocks, Manhattan had to return home. With one faithful swipe at the Carroll Street station, Manhattan waived “so long to Brooklyn” at the other end of the turnstile.

Like something out of Nora Eprhon flick (When Harry Met Sally), Brooklyn swiped his unlimited metro card, dashed to Manhattan and gave him another very long, passionate kiss.

The G train arrived. With the wind from the train blowing across the station, Manhattan could barely walk from the highs of romance. He managed to step into the allusive subway train, which doesn’t actually go into the city.

After transferring to the A, then to an Uptown 3, Manhattan came to an inevitable realization. “Shit, Brooklyn is far from Harlem,” said our lovebird, who had just been struck by (ok) cupid’s arrow. Regardless, of distance, the romantic prospects were simply thrilling.

As time flew in a New York minute, Brooklyn and Manhattan texted each other. There were novel worthy texts, naturally. However, the distance factor persisted.

Brooklyn stepped foot in the city for work, only. While, Manhattan adored Brooklyn and his very lovely Carroll Gardens flat, but it was a long trek. Strangely, our gay superheroes were in a long distance relationship within New York City.

Winter faded to spring, though the romance blossomed slowly. Then the text messages grew tiresome, Manhattan just wanted to go to brunch with his friends and partake in bottomless mimosas. He did just that. In great spontaneity, Brooklyn crossed the mighty East River and met Manhattan for a sandwich.

On fourteenth and Seventh Ave, two familiar lips locked once again. This time, Manhattan headed uptown without an encore, kissing performance on the subway platform.

Once, he arrived at his modest walk-up apartment, he had some Pringles and called it a night. Who needs romance when potato chips await? Said Manhattan.

Brooklyn and Manhattan continued to live a world away from each other. However, with the magic of bridges, the two could find each other again, with a side of guacamole, of course.

 

Hello, Polar Bear

EXT: New York City, post Polar vortex

The skies were a crisp and lovely shade of blue. Trench coats, pea coats and scarves retreated to their spring/summer home, the closet. Tulips and roses bloomed across the city. From Midtown East to Greenwich Village, the blossoming flowers re-created the charm of an English garden. However, post Polar vortex New York was more hot Tottie friendly than conducive to frozen margarita madness. A bit of cold air still lingered.

For this polar bear at heart, the cold weather was splendid. I paraded around the East Village in my pea coat and fancy sweaters. Then one weekend, this urban polar bear felt a strange sensation. A drop fell from my forehead and into the sidewalk along a merry festival of historic West Village brownstones. I gazed into the sun. “Shit, it does finally feel like spring. It’s hot,” said I, whipping the sweat from my brow.

I made the best out of my sweaty scenario and ventured into the Hudson’s waterfront. The breeze from the river was quite refreshing.

While walking along, everyone seemed delighted. The sidewalks were bustling and not one remnant of winter could be felt. As I crossed the West Side highway into Christopher Street Pier, I looked around there were shirtless gays everywhere. “Ok, maybe spring isn’t too bad?”

The next day, the heat intensified. Like most New Yorkers, I cooled down with a mimosa at brunch. While sitting at a charming restaurant with my friend, Jennie, she suggested we venture into a most cliché of scenarios. If you guessed Central Park, than congrats you know Manhattan quite well.

“Why don’t we go sit in the grass?” asked Jennie. “I don’t wanna sit in grass. My tuckus will get green and I just don’t want to get my shoes dirty, said I.

“Oh common, said Jennie, as she sat amongst the other park dwellers. I continued to stand. Giving a smirk, I grew weary of standing and finally caved in. As my tuckus hit the green and wet grass, I gave out a whine. “Geez, I don’t get sitting in the grass. I mean, I am not a wilderness kind of guy, said I.

Jennie giggled and replied, “Look around, you don’t exactly live in the country.” I smiled and indulged in some people watching. Typically, I enjoyed New York parks on a bench, but the grass wasn’t so bad. That was my idea of roughing it and oddly enough, it was enjoyable.

The next day, springtime heat disappeared. With a sudden shock, the aftermath of the Polar vortex returned. It was a happy spring, indeed. My pea coats returned from their closeted confides, after a weekend away. It even snowed, briefly. I enjoyed a bit of winter, since the roar of summer was en route.