Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mondays in New York---

I feel compelled to explain what can happen in the course of one new york night. One New York MONDAY night. I headed up to Birdland around 7pm where my friend Jim Caruso hosts a fabulous weekly party where the best of Broadway comes to perform. This week it was Tony award winning actress Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens). She was fantastic.

It was loungy-jazzy- masterful and if there's one thing in the world these shows make me wish it's that I had a voice. A big voice. A big lyrical voice. One that could hold a note and make the room swoon. This she did, and she also did this amazing thing where she made this harmonica out of her fingers and, well, I guess you have to see her live!

Then I went to Anita Private's place for some cocktails. She was already drinking with our friend Paul who just got back from Mexico. He looks radiant, even as he approaches 50, and he told me that while he was sunning himself in Mexico, the swine flu arrived and all the tourists fled in one gigantic stampede. This left him almost alone to enjoy the splendors of Cancun, where he kept muttering to anyone who would listen, "I survived the AIDS plague, what do I care about a little PIG FLU?!"

Anita chimed in that, YES, at least he was exposed to just swine flu and not HER last week --- because (as she so humbly puts it) "If you think YOUR LIFE is bad....just call me!!!" Yes, Anita was "rolled" (read: robbed) again last week. She was out in Chelsea, where some guy played amorous and took her all around in taxis (that Anita paid for) and buying drinks (that Anita paid for) and ultimately zig-zagging across the city leading Anita to believe she'd get sex with him....
eventually. That didn't happen. But by the time she said, "HEY! I've paid for all the taxis and all the drinks and you haven't even put out!" he decided to give her some money from the ATM.

She was satisfied. "We were even."

But that was before..of course....Anita realized that this money----that he gave her.....was money he obtained from her own ATM card!!! But that she didn't figure out until 3 days and $3000 later. Leave it to Anita to get robbed and not even realize it. Paul says he would feel sorry for her, except that every time Anita says, "I've been rolled!" she punctuates it with, "Again."

We're trying to figure out how to erase the target from Anita's face. Then again, who else but Anita can bring urban myths to life?

17 soothing cocktails later, we headed to Vlada where Casper Andreas was celebrating the DVD release party of his latest film "Between Love & Goodbye", which everyone should buy! It was also his boyfriend Ryan's 29th birthday party....and after that we went BACK to Birdland with a gaggle of friends. Christine Ebersole was long gone, but several Broadway Babies were singing at Jim Caruso's "Cast Party"open mic.

We caught....Cheyenne Jackson and Ricki Lake singing a duet. Which was really, super coincidental because we've considered casting both of those actors in our new film. Hello, fate??!
Ricki Lake & Cheyenne Jackson
I also met a Broadway hottie named Brent Barrett (?) who has a great face and even greater voice and who my friend Chad said starred with Cyd Charisse in Grand Hotel on Broadway back a long time ago. And because I'm a huge fan, I ask the man, "Tell me about Cyd Charisse...just, please, distill her essence for me." And he says, "Well I was at a benefit with her last week..." and I say, "Interesting---did they re-animate her or something because Cyd Charisse died last June!"

He's like, "Well who's the one who played opposite Gene Kelly in American in Paris?" And I say, "Leslie Caron?" "Yes, Leslie Caron." Um, okay, someone needs their gay-card revoked because every good gay knows Cyd Charisse, and there's really no comparison between her and Leslie Caron especially now one of them is dead. So turns out this hot Brent Barrett did star in Grand Hotel, but with another actress who was neither Cyd Charisse or Leslie Caron. No word on whether that lady is alive or dead.

Following that folly, I headed to the subway back to the East Village and there was this really greasy looking guy sitting in front of me. He was bigger than me, and tougher--to be sure. And he kept flexing, while muttering to himself the whole way downtown "I slammed his face into the floor" and "I slit his throat" and "I kill fuckin'...FAGGOTS!!!" I knew he was talking about/to me, trying to intimidate me, and I kept thinking I wished I took Karate as a kid.

I decided I wasn't going to move to another car and prove his macho man talk scared me. But I also thought about the daily things I read on blogs about gay guys who get killed and I decided I wouldn't go without a fight. So I reach into my pocket and there's a pen and I grip it very tight and while he's threatening my life without looking me in the eye, I'm preparing to plunge it very deep into his motherfucking eye socket. He doesn't test me.

I get out at 14th street and change to the L train where I see my friend Jeff, the photographer from HX magazine and he's going to the "Nowhere" bar for the Latino/Black-Hooker night. I don't think that's what the night is called, but that's what it was. At one point, my hand brushed the ass of one of the wandering nearly naked "dancers" and I said, "Sorry!" and he responded, "You'll be sorry if you do that again because I'll break your face!"

And I'm thinking----already pretty amped from the subway---why am I getting this shit at a gay bar? A gay bar!!!! I know that 95 % of the "performers" here tonight are gay-for-pay, but really. Either I give you a dollar or you break my face? Honestly. Some days I wonder how any of us make it home alive at night.

Jeff and I left soon after and hit the ARTICHOKE pizza place to split one of their signature waistline-be-gone, soup-on-a-crust slices. I walked back home from there and it's 3:30 am and I'm thinking tonight was pretty darn representative of a NYC night out. Talent. Friends. Danger. It all happens here.

Especially on a Monday.


Tony said...

Hey Jesse -

I was gonna write a sympathetic note in response to your pitiful "lonely" post of a couple of days ago, but "Mondays in New York" showed me I needn't worry. What a night! I couldn't have kept up.

S said...

Can't wait to hear about Tuesday night...

The Blackout Blog said...

Not that I still have my gay card, but I'm definitely going to have to google Cyd Charisse and Leslie Caron. The latter sounds vaguely familiar, but I think I'll just have to claim cultural disadvantage on this one.

AJ said...

Hi Jesse,

Looks like Jesse is on the prowl again. Are your Mondays always so filled? I hope you are keeping a journal. You have enough interesting material to write a best seller! |I guess it is true: NYC never sleeps, and apparently neither does Jesse!!

youyong28 said...

Hi Jesse,
I'm glad to hear that you're a big Cyd Charisse fan. I love all the MGM dance movies and have most of them. Although she danced with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, my favorite dance partner for her was Ricardo Montalban. He was just gorgeous back in the day.
Another favorite of mine is Vera Ellen. She was just unbelievable.
I hope you're enjoying the book.

Jesse Archer said...

Hi guys!

Kareem, you may not be into old time dancers. Or maybe you're too young!

AJ-yes, typical night! :)

Bob, yes--thanks for the book! I'm finishing up a gothic horror one, and the Buddha is next. Ha!