Rachel’s New York blog #4
Swing dancing last night was awesome! I presume the dance was in the studio where all the classes happen and it was an amazing space of light hardwood floor and mirrors. Yet I still was able to not watch myself dance. I asked probably about 10 different guys to dance. The dancing here is so much better than in Canberra. One guy said he’d only been dancing for about 4 months and he was already better than many of the guys who’d been dancing in Canberra for over a year. So, yeah, I was blown away by the level of dancing – no one seemed to be a beginner and almost everyone was quite good. It was different dancing than I am used to – no Charlestoning – some much closer, entwined, hip-swaying sort of dancing – and more room for improv – at least I guess that’s the case as I found myself often dancing arm length away from the guy with both hands in his and not knowing quite what to do. By the end of the hot and sticky night I was losing it a bit, but other than that I think I held my own well enough. Solita, whose only taste of swing came last year when Lucia gave her a bit of a lesson at a nearly-dead swing club, loved it and she danced a few dances as well.
The dance party ended at 1.00 am and we were still up for partying, so Solita took me to the Village to this awesome piano bar. This was a tiny bar with a bunch of mostly gay men surrouning a piano and singing their guts out to Sweeny Todd and Gypsy songs. It was such a great place with a variety of people there, a heavy woman with a beautiful voice, a set of three friends in a corner table, one woman of whom I was told was an ex-Saturday Night Live star, a couple couples and some random stragglers you wouldn’t expect to see at such a place. For the most part everyone could SING and it was a very communal feel, with a tinge of failed dream sadness and cheery camaraderie. There was a very cute gay boy who I was making eyes at (couldn’t help it) and he told Solita and I, who were sitting on stools off to the side of the piano, that we were great and gave me a couple great big, beautiful hugs. He also got the piano player to play In the Rain from Les Mis for us so we could sing too. Solita knew a couple songs from Sound of Music, but otherwise we were watching the others sing.
We left around 3am. Today we met up with Gigi and Wendy (who write the West Village Life column in the mag). After hanging with the ever-adorable Gigi in her West Village apartment, Solita, Wendy and I went to the pub that was Dylan Thomas’s hangout and had a good, fattening lunch (I had fried potato skins with generous amounts of sour cream…). We then checked out the new Hudson Riverside park and talked about many things. Wendy showed us Hugh Jackman’s apartment in a building totally of windows and then left us to visit the muffin shop that at that time of day (4ish) did not have a line out the door. I didn’t get a muffin because the chocolate and Heath bar brownie looked better (and was). But for the record, muffins are $1.75.
A subway booth attendant was kinda rude to me today and the New York City gloss is wearing off a bit. Which is good, ’cause I’ll want to go back home to Canberra. For now, though, its all sun and play.
Now Solita and I are off for a night of bar hopping with Amanda.