Oh, Alice You Remind Me Of Manhattan

I think I was 17 when I fell in love with Manhattan. Unlike the closed minded Brooklyn community in which I grew up, it was there, among the freaks and the weirdos, that I felt truly accepted.

Give us your different, your strange,
Your misguided, your misunderstood

Our apartments like cubicles, piled one on top of the other, outrageously painted, posters on the wall, not unlike a college dormitory. People wonder, why put up with the crowding, the masses, the limited amount of space? But it is here where community grows strong, it is here where we know this is a small price to pay for living in the greatest city in the world.

My neighbors, the T.V. hooker with the heart of gold, the rock star, the guy who sells comic books on St. Marks, the homeless guy who sells words of wisdom at 25 cents a pop, and Mr. Schindleheim at 3rd and C who makes the city’s best bagels, and you know in NYC, that is saying a lot.

Give us your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to be free

If I can make it here, I’ll make it anywhere

But the best is the night time, when the energy of the street beckons you. And so we emerge from our tiny cages, in our platform boots, our tight jeans, our short fur jackets, the beautiful wrecks, the 5 AM perfection, the glitter in the gutter, the screwed up eyes and screwed down hair-dos

Oh, Alice, you remind me of Manhattan
The seedy and the snaz, the shoe boys and the satins
Like a throne made of gilt that too many johns have sat in

I’ll never forget the last morning, as the grey light of day descended over a city still asleep, or maybe still awake from the night before, he left my bedroom, leaving me a wreck, crying on the disheveled bed, saying goodbye to a city I would never see again.

Now I live in Los Angeles, with all it’s sharp angles, it’s elegant curves, it’s austere white mansions, it’s eminence front, and it’s perpetual blue skies and sunshine, where you could almost forget the heavy layer of smog that hovers outside the atmosphere, where I look at the people around me
and wonder
if they know what it’s like
to love a city.

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Inspired by: http://spacemonkeytwins.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/brooklyn-a-love-story/

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Happy New Nuttin’! (What New Years Means To Me)

New Years can be a great time of the year. Whether you look back at the year that past with fond recollections, or whether the last year was not all you hoped it would be, there is always the prospect of a fresh start with high hopes for the year to come.

However,  like Pandora’s Box, and other things that carry the prospect of hope, there is also a certain amount of evil abound. For me, that evil can be summed up with three simple words: New Years Eve.

Back when I was young and single, in the days following Christmas, my mind would be largely occupied by a single thought: “What would be THEEE THING to do on New Years Eve?” The answer was always the same, and that would be to find some small intimate party with my closest friends and spend the entire night there. The problem was that, most years, such parties did not exist. The second most reasonable option then, was to go to sleep at 9 o’ clock and pray that I did not wake up until well past noon the next day. However, for a hardcore scenester like myself, this option presented the possibility that I would miss out on something LEGEND (wait for it) ARY.So once again, another option put to the wayside.

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All this added up to me being out on the streets, following leads on parties that I was not quite invited to, or trying to charm my way into overcrowded venues for free, as I set off on a long, and often unsuccessful quest for the ultimate New Years Eve. It also inspired me to write this somewhat dismal account of what New Years means to me.

1. Everyone is entirely too drunk entirely too early
2. All my favorite clubs are charging an exorbitant fee at the door and are overrun by a bridge and tunnel crowd
3. Everyone expects something magical to happen and often it doesn’t
4. The TV selection is obnoxious and everyone at Times Square looks freezing cold and like they have to pee really badly
5. Resolutions are for suckers
6.If you are a parent, you could enjoy an expensive night out with your significant other,(not to mention what you had to pay the babysitter to work on…gasp…New Years Eve!!!) only to wake up at 7 AM with a throbbing head and a toddler who thinks it would be fun to start off the new year by pouncing on your bed.
7. If you are single you are weighing your options on the whole midnight kiss thing…and it does not look promising
8.The news has slowed to a halt and now all journalists remind us that we have spent the year looking at Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, and the Kardashians and using acronyms much too often.
9. The prospect of going back to work seems more hideous than ever.
10. 358 days till Christmas

All of this leads me to my current state of contentment which is staying at home with  my husband and two children who are easily pleased by party poppers, funny hats, cookies, and a movie on New Years Day. So I guess I did get that intimate party with my closest friends after all…and I’m gonna stay there…all night.

With sincere hopes that you fare better than I ever have on New Years Eve… May the odds be ever in your favor.

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75 E 3rd St., NYC

The other day I wrote a blog about my neighbors. Well it got me thinking about all the unusual neighbors I’ve had in the past, but none were quite so noteworthy as when I lived next door to the Hell’s Angels club house in New York City’s East Village.

Usually when I tell people this, their eyebrows raise in amazement thinking I would now regal them with tales of drunken debauchery and violence, but actually, the Hell’s Angels kept very much to themselves, and the block I lived on was probably the safest one in Manhattan, although we rarely saw a cop car drive down.

I never went in the clubhouse itself. It probably would not have been too hard for me to procure an invitation, but even for a rocker chick like myself, I think that was way beyond the kind of trouble I was looking for although I may have ended up sipping tea and commenting on their decor. I did know of one girl who dated a Hells’ Angel (friend of a friend) who got through the relationship uneventfully enough although, as you may well imagine, the break up was not so copacetic.

Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when, one winter night, as I was leaving my apartment I ran into my old friend Brendan who I used to hang with when I was a teenager in Brooklyn. I hadn’t seen him for years. Turns out he was prospecting for the Hells Angels and one of the tasks they designated to him was to keep a fire going outside of the clubhouse throughout the blisteringly cold New York night, even though I hardly think they were about to roast marshmallows.

I don’t really remember how I ended up on the back of Brendan’s motorcycle, but I do remember screaming and holding on for dear life as we headed down the streets of New York doing 35. Brendan finally ended up depositing me at my then favorite local dive and haunt “The Continental”. I gracefully (I hope) dismounted from the bike securing myself a reputation as a badass biker babe which lasted approximately one week and a burn on my calf that lasted approximately three.

Another time, I was hanging out in my apartment listening to music and minding my own business when I heard Aerosmith piping in quite loudly through my open windows. Normally I am tolerant of noise, as long as I am not trying to sleep and I love Aerosmith. However, this particular music was so loud, it completely drowned out the music I was trying to listen to, not to mention, it was post-Permanent Vacation Aerosmith.

I decided there would be no real harm in, very politely asking whoever was playing the music to please turn it down.

When I got out the door, who should I see but  THE BIGGEST Hells Angel I have ever seen, on the THE BIGGEST bike I had ever seen with THE BIGGEST ghetto blaster I had ever seem. He was fixing me with his best “Go ahead, make my day” glare as Steven Tyler wailed on about how pink was his favorite color.

Well, as you can imagine, I returned his glare with my sweetest smile, looked both ways as if checking for a friend who, most assuredly was not coming, and returned to the sanctuary of my apartment where I decided that,  yes, Aerosmith would be a good musical selection for the afternoon.