It says something about how determined I am to overcome my social anxiety, as well as a complete dearth of cool gay friends, that I launched myself out onto the streets of Manhattan during the birth of a blizzard, but there you have it. Besides, as I was reminded by The Ex, we Buffalo boys aren't the least bit intimidated by a freakin' snowstorm. So, properly outfitted to battle the elements I made my way from my castle high atop Second Ave. down to Christopher St. I arrived at Pieces about 10 after 10 and the festivities seemed in full swing. After gamely entering and surveying the scene, where over 30 mostly male and mostly manly men gay Bloggers (I know) had gathered and were chatting amicably, I suddenly found myself in the grip of performance anxiety. So I left. I glumly headed back up Sixth Ave. alternately berating and comforting myself.
This is the gaggle of Bloggers I bravely faced.
I got about 3 blocks away when it seemed I managed to talk myself in to returning, but in reality I only managed to get myself within a block of the place before I turned around again. I know. I'm a mess. But fear not, all is not lost. I did in fact manage to talk myself in to one more attempt. Deciding that the worst that would happen is I would have a drink alone. So once more emboldened, I returned to Pieces and sidled up to the boys, quickly ordering myself a drink, in order to be committed as long as it would take to suck that (hee) down. The problem? Except for the mastermind that conceived (guffaw) the idea, I couldn't pick out a single familiar face amongst my fellow fag Bloggers. Worse, shortly after I managed to get a space at the bar and enjoy a drink, some unrecognizable signal made everyone put their coats on and head for the next stop on the train to Drunkville.
I left as well, but again headed in the opposite direction. You'll be happy to know that by now, even I thought I was being ridiculous and ended up circling the block, hooking up with three or four people inside the 7th Avenue entrance to Stonewall. What stopped them in their tracks was the fact that there was a 10 dollar cover. At Stonewall? During a blizzard? At Stonewall? What the fuck? What genius had that idea? In any case, after a quick consult to a handy Palm of some sort, it was agreed by me and my insta-friends that we would head to The Duplex and re-join the party there. Of course, it turns out that was the party as en mass, everyone decided that a 10 dollar cover at The Stonewall (!) was enough of a reason to pass.
By the time I arrived the crush at the bar had subsided and I got myself a drink right quick. I observed what I assumed were the "Duplex regulars" looking downright pissed off at this seeming invasion of bookish-looking older men. Pissing people off frequently is enough motivation for me to push on. Presently, someone else inquired if I was with The Bloggers. I responded I was but that beyond Joe himself, I didn't recognize a soul. A few moments later, and introductions were made. It was then I had finally made Joe's acquaintance. I attempted a bit of small talk, badly, but chat I did. I repeated how intimidated I was being in a group of people I didn't know. He rattled off the names of about six different Blogs that I confess, are probably extremely well written, but I had never heard of until he mentioned Richard's site. Finally, someone I'd heard of. He pointed him out across the room and I made a note to myself to be sure and say hi. After a few more drinks.
Next stop was The Monster. I always enjoy The Monster, especially if I've got a hankering for foreign tourists with loose morals. Nothing says suck me like a fucked up German on vacation. More people chatted me up and I was feeling, if not comfortable, at least less clenched. Being on my third (or was it fourth?) drink certainly helped. Joe led a bunch of the men downstairs to The coffin-like dance floor below the piano bar. I've always liked that room as well. It's dark and very ... forgiving. Dancing ensued. I saw it, I didn't actually do it. Eventually, we left for Boots & Saddles.
She was the token girl, and very sweet, and has some hilarious recollections of the night.
If I'm remembering correctly, and from here on in that's questionable, Boots has had a makeover and now goes by the moniker B&S. Sort of like when Splash became SBNY only with far, far, less money and more blonde wood. I actually enjoyed the old gals new face and started getting downright, well, friendly is the wrong word but I started meeting quite a few people I wouldn't be able to recall the next day. At some point, I think it was Joe, someone bought me a drink. Oh, the humanity. Ty's went by in a blur. But that may be where I introduced myself to Richard. We had a short conversation about that ridiculous "cartoon controversy" but I readily admit, I was struggling to form complete sentences. Onward!
I don't think he was blurry, I think it was me.
I've been to The Hanger many times and I'm always comfortable there. The pool players take the game there a tad seriously for my taste. Pool is supposed to be for fun, isn't it? But despite the blizzard now in full rage outside, it was warm and friendly inside. I did get scolded for snapping a picture of the gorgeous Go-Go Man, but it was worth it in the name of journalism.
The things I do for you.
By the time I came to on the couch the next day, I had a sense that I had accompanied the group over to Chi Chiz but I couldn't be sure. For the first hour I couldn't even find the television remote, let alone my coat or camera, but eventually I located everything (!) and as I gulped down buckets of water followed by ibuprofen chasers, I discovered photographic evidence that I was, in fact, inside Chi Chiz at least long enough to snap a picture. I did recover enough memory fragments to recall walking all the way home. Mercifully, I was by now immune to any effects of the cold or snow.
photographic evidence found the next day.
I found out days later that an attempt was made to finish up the Christopher St. crawl at The Dugout, but they were closed due to a little thing called a blizzard, but I'm pretty confident my "get home you drunken asshole" alarm went off and I hightailed it out before that happened. All in all, I had a pretty good time and I'm so glad I went, even if the actual going took a bit of an internal struggle. Everyone I met was so nice and ummm hairy. And a big peace the spork out to Joe, the madman architect of the mayhem. A picnic in the spring, perhaps?