Rachel’s New York blog #5
I am now no longer a karaoke virgin. Solita and I met up with Amanda and friends at the Milk Bar in East Village where Allan and I used to live. It was funny because we always wondered what that place was, with its black curtained windows with white half-mannequins placed around. It is a bar that serves milkshake-like cocktails with a cow decorative theme. There weren’t many people there, so we didn’t stay too long and moved on to St. Marks Place to a small karaoke bar. We were the first ones there as well, so had all kinds of time to sings songs ourselves. This was a sit at the bar kind of karaoke place, not a get up on stage type. I sang Fire and Rain, Everybody Wants to Rule the World and Daydream Believer – and helped many others sing many other songs. I discovered Japanese plum wine, which is this beautiful sweet, sweet wine, kind of like drinking an all-natural lollipop. I had three glasses and loved every one. Gotta find that stuff in Canberra. Altogether, there were 7 of us – two plus-size (ha, ha) models, another friend of Amanda and her friends, plus Amanda, me and Solita. We capped off the night at a crowded bar on Stanton St, but Solita and I weren’t into that, so we left. I passed the apartment Allan and I lived in when we first met, had a not very good potato knish at Katz’s and Solita found herself some pizza. Then, it was on the subway to home.
Saturday I was due to meet Jenna at 12.30 in SoHO. My planning skills made that a bit of a debacle, but we did eventually meet up around 2.30, I think, and had lunch complete with a bottle of white wine at a cafe in SoHO. That was lovely. Jenna also took me to Toys in Babeland, where I finally got to see the famous Hitachi Magic Wand. Can’t afford one at the moment, but will have to have one eventually, especially as you can still use it as a massager as well as a vibrator. Toys in Babeland is a great sex shop. It feels totally comfortable and everything is out and working so you can see how it vibrates and moves. It was just like walking into any old store and browsing the merchandise.
Saturday night was Lucia’s bachelorette party. Jenna, Solita and I did not make it out to Massqequa, Long Island, until 9.00, but it was great to see the surprise on Lucia’s face when we walked into her cousin’s house, as she hadn’t been told we were coming. Her cousin had made a nice feast of rice and homemade refried beans along with taco fixings. There were genital shaped cakes, vodka jelly shots, pina coladas, mudslides, sangria and coloured margarita glasses stuffed with bead necklaces, a condom on a stick, white chocolate penis pops, tissues, Blowpops and such. After a couple hours of eating, drinking and talking, the party piled into two cars to go to a club, but we were stuck in traffic for an hour at 11.30 at night! We didn’t get to the club until 12.30 and then had to leave at 1.30 so Jenna, Solita and I could catch a 2.05 train back to Penn Station. The club was very mainstream, but I danced to the misogynist hip hop with the Ortiz girls, while Jenna and Solita watched. Fortunately, Solita and Jenna got along very well so we had good train conversation.
Sunday was the Gay Pride parade. It was a very hot and bright day and Jenna, Solita and I slowly roasted while we watched the parade of LBGT groups and friends meander their way down 31st Street. When we first got to the parade and the dykes on bikes were rolling by, waving and cheering, I actually started to cry. Something about the solidarity of the whole thing moved me. The parade was much longer than I expected (we got there for the start at 12.30ish and by 2.00 we started walking uptown, still watching, until we got to the 57th Street start of the parade. It was a hot day for such a non-compressed parade. I expected it to be more flamboyant, but aside from the sporadic float of dancing nakedish men showing off their lovely bodies, the big queens with their headdresses and sparkles were few and far between. Most marchers were just ordinary sexually diverse people. Nevertheless, Jenna, Solita and I felt really good to have been part of it. I thought there’d be more parade viewers, but then again, we were uptown and the Village is the heart of gay culture in NYC.
Actually, the parade was a happy reminder that there are importantly good things about America. It’s awesome that we can have a parade celebrating gay people and tolerance and that opposers are also allowed to stand with their anti-gay signs and be there too. (there weren’t that many of them, at least not uptown). It’s rude and obnoxious, but they have their right to express their opinion.
Jenna left us at 2.00 to enjoy the wonderful shops of NY. After Solita and I found the beginning of the parade, she went off to shop for the party we were having that night, and I had a cold coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie at the Hungarian cafe. Really refreshing. Then I helped Solita prepare some veggies for kebabs and party guests arrived around 5.30. It was a small party, outside in the beautiful summer night cool with healthy food and good people. There were a couple of gals Solita works with, an old high-school acquaintance who lives near Solita, and Lucia came around 8.00. It will be so hard to go back to work when I get home. In fact, I really need to work on my grant application and lip email, but am so not in that space. I will do today, but it will take some coaxing.
Tonight I should be cooking a birthday dinner with Louisa and then spend an afternoon in Coney Island tomorrow.