I’m sure many of you are on the edge of your seat wondering how things went with the guy in New York? Well, I’m not saying a peep about him…he does read this blog after all, as well as others who are more emotionally invested than most of you.
I have plenty else to talk about though, dontchya worry.
The Broadway play that we went to see was Venus in Fur: http://venusinfurbroadway.com/ It’s a sexy, complex story with a heavy S&M theme. Now I understand why he chose me to accompany him to THIS play. With his hand on my knee during the play he could feel my goosebumps as the action penetrated me personally. I loved it and would love to see it again…and again. I will read the book as soon as I can get my hands on it.
After the play and after dinner I suggested we see some live jazz. I’m not going to lie: I’m not a huge fan of jazz or blues BUT I do try to see it live when in cities like NY as we just don’t have much of it in Vancouver. Sitting on a bar stool in a crowded, tiny jazz club I felt like I could even be in New Orleans. It felt very exotic. A breathtakingly beautiful woman sat beside me and after exchanging a few words I leaned in to kiss her. With my date and her date watching I was risking humiliation if she rejected my advances but from my experience, nearly any woman will at least kiss me. The thrill of the split second before you know for certain if you’re about to enjoy a passionate embrace or an embarrassing brush off is such a rush.
She kissed me back…and kissing is one of my favorite things so I was happy to enjoy her for, I don’t know, 20 minutes or so.
Saturday night I was on my own as my gentleman friend had a previous engagement. I accepted a dinner invitation from a fan and we had a nice, casual time. He wanted to ‘play’ after dinner, I wanted to see live music. So we compromised. Just kidding, of course we went to see live music! Sadly though, it was late and we only caught the last two songs by http://therenaldotheensemble.com/ . They used an accordion in their performance & I’ve adored the accordion since my trip to Argentina years ago when I fell in love with the Tango.
My companion for the evening (to be clear, this was a different fan/person, NOT the gentleman who brought me to NY for the play) had to run back to his wife and I wasn’t ready to go home yet so sat alone for about ten seconds before I was joined by some friendly men who kept me company for another hour or so until I decided it was time to call it a night. I went back to my opulent hotel room and enjoyed a bath in my swanky marble bathroom before bed.
The gentleman who brought me to NY had to leave town on business so after spending Sunday afternoon with him I had 24 hours on my own until my flight out Monday evening. I love New York and I wanted to soak up more of it. Although I brought my filming equipment, I didn’t feel like staying inside. Although I had a list of session requests…again, I did not want to stay inside. I put out an email & tweeted that I was available for social time if any fans wanted to meet me….and you know what? Nothing came to fruition, at least not quickly enough. So off I went on my own.
THE ART OF TRAVELING SOLO:
Most of my adult life I have preferred traveling solo. I backpacked thru India solo for 2 months, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and on and on…it’s not for everyone. It can be lonely, awkward and lame. When amazing stuff does happen, chances are the people you’re with you’ll never see again so you don’t have someone to share those memories with, which can suck a little. It’s a different experience from traveling with a companion. Both have pro’s and con’s.
The main difference is that your chances of random adventure go up ten fold when you’re traveling solo. You are much more likely to meet new, interesting people and do some crazy stuff.
First, I went to see an amazing show: Fuerzabruta
I hadn’t looked at the site and knew basically nothing about it going in. If you plan on seeing it don’t watch the vids on the site because they give a lot away. It blew my mind.
After that I went to the legendary jazz club: Birdland http://www.birdlandjazz.com/ It was a special night and it was packed to the gills. I was lucky to wrangle a stool at the bar where I was amused observing James the bartender work his magic. He had clearly been there a long time and many knew him by name. It was a much older crowd and the music a slower pace…although I loved it, I was craving something a little edgier so I left after the first set.
Someone had recommended I check out the rooftop bar at the Gansevoort hotel: http://www.hotelgansevoort.com/rooftop-pool/index.cfm I found it very cold & unwelcoming. They were also filming something there and the lights & camera’s made it even less inviting. I didn’t even finish my drink.
Next stop: the Brass Monkey: http://brassmonkeynyc.com/ I nearly turned and walked out as soon as I stepped in the door but I made eye contact with the bartender & would have felt like a dick if I left. I ordered a drink and he gave me a deal, as a thank you for staying. I inquired if this was a boys only bar or something because the only patrons were men, a real sausage party. I then asked if there was a comic book convention in town as most of the men looked at me like I was from another planet. None would have had the courage to approach me. Matt the bartender turned out to be all the entertainment I needed. We shared some jokes, had some laughs and all was going swimmingly until a couple of gay guys all of a sudden invited me to join them someplace more interesting.
We went to The Standard: http://www.standardhotels.com/new-york-city/ The rooftop bar was amazing with great music, atmosphere, decor…clearly a very gay friendly place (I often prefer gay bars). I finally got my dance on and was having a great time…but those gay boys felt like they could show me an even better time so off we went.
I’m not even sure where we went next. I think it was below The Green Room. There was some confusion at the door and the boys had to commit to paying a $150 bottle service before we were allowed in. It seemed to be one of those places where the elite go which was somewhat entertaining. Lots of interesting artwork and the same people who were filming at the other place were there partying, not filming. I had a drink, met some interesting people & observed the wild life. Although it wasn’t my scene I was happy to have experienced it. It’s a different kind of tourism for me.
So, tips for having a successful solo night out:
#1. Being an approachable looking female helps. Sorry guys. Some of this info might help you but being a woman is a bonus in situations like this.
#2. Smile. A lot. Forget about trying to look cool or aloof. Make eye contact, look calm, comfortable but happy & inviting.
#3. Sit at the bar, not at a table. Tip the bartender well as soon as possible and make conversation. Let him/her know you’re from out of town and looking for adventure. Talk loudly enough for anyone close to hear you too.
#4. Don’t get drunk. Keeps your wits about you. Sip your drinks and don’t worry about finishing them if you’re ready to move on. Never leave your drink unattended and don’t accept a drink you didn’t see the bartender mix. If you’re not sure, don’t drink it, pretend to spill it or ‘accidentally’ leave it in the bathroom.
#5. Have at least two really good jokes memorized and be able to tell them well. At least one of them should take a couple minutes to tell, like a story.
#6. Be open-minded. Be prepared to hang out with ANYONE interesting, no matter if they dress in a style you like, if they’re in a different age bracket, if they have a common taste in music…often those who are NOT like us will be your guides on the best adventures.
#7. Be grateful. Tip bartenders well who are helpful. They often have the best info on the local scene. As nice as your company might be for your single-serving friend make sure they feel appreciated for taking a chance on you. All of us enter these little dances with similar apprehension (“Maybe this person will be boring or dangerous?” etc.).
At the end of the day, there are more people out there that would rather hug you than hurt you. A lot of people find it enjoyable to show a tourist their town. People have a lot of pride in where they live and like people to leave with a good impression. I have seen this in every place I’ve ever traveled.
My last day in NY I settled a score that’s been nagging me for two years. I finally got a pair of Louboutine’s. They were ridiculously expensive but since it’s so difficult to find size 4 shoes to fit me, it’s the one thing I occasionally splurge on. I almost bought a pair when I was last in NY two years ago and regretted not doing so. Life’s too short for regrets.