When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
I’m not entirely sure if the average New Yorker regularly indulges in debauchery in public places under the gaze of friendly neighbourhood hobos, but for the sake of this story, we’re going to assume that they do.
It was the end of a mental week in New York City. The show had been stressful – tempers frayed, the end of tethers reaches, and the last thing I fancied doing was getting drunk in a bar off Times Square. It’s just not cool. I was on the verge of heading home when I got a text from SGFS (Sassy Gay Friend – Senior) demanding my presence in the West Village.
Well, seeing as I was going home anyway…
So I went to join SGFS and his motley crew in ‘Marie’s Crisis’ on Grove St, which is, quite frankly, the BEST piano bar in the universe. ‘Players’, go hang your head in shame. I walked through the door to a 7 part harmony chorus of Les Mis.
That is a hardcore sing-a-long people. Soon Les Mis became Rent, before descending into Chicago madness, the music choices getting more obscure throughout the evening. I shan’t admit how many words I knew to every single song… Suffice to say I represented my country well.
Anyhoo, SGFS had his Brooklyn based photographer friend with him, who was rather tasty, kind of arty farty, and unashamedly all over me from the moment I walked in (despite the baggy t-shirt, makeup free facade and permanently tense expression which seems to be my NYC uniform.
Random weird West Village coinky-dink time. I’m chatting away to the Photographer when a whirlwind blows over from the other side of the room, grabs my wrists and stares into my face.
‘I know you – how do I know you?’ He declares. The guys I’m with find my perplexed expression hilarious. Until the penny finally drops and I recognise the pint sized yet still oddly attractive actor from regular West End based partyage – particularly when he was in a show with Flutey. I distinctly remember correcting his quoting at the tail end of a party in the Dorchester when he ended up reciting Shakespeare down a DJ mic over the top of 50′s rock n roll. That’s right, we do that.
‘Oh my god, I DO know you!’ I exclaimed. This lead to some hilarious reminiscences followed by him inviting the lot of us next door to what he claimed was the best bad jazz bar in New York.
2am rolled round and most of my NYC posse (who all do the same job as me… but in an office where the Air Con works) had given up to go home, the Photographer and I were the last ones standing. The best bad jazz bar in New York sounded pretty good at 2am.
So off we went, and it’s true. The jazz was terrible. But it was BRILLIANT.
For some insane reason I was drinking Bud. I imagine it’s because I was in America and I have a tendency to drink things in America that I wouldn’t usually touch anywhere else in the world. As if it makes me look less than a pathetic tourist. Anyhoo, the point is that after about 10 of the evil bottles, I was dancing to bad Jazz with the Photographer, and had no problem with being felt up in a corner of a West Village hole in the wall.
At 4am, the bar began to turf people out. By that point, I was pretty much over the jazz thing, and so I grabbed my belongings and my Photographer, and gave my random fellow Londoner a cheek kiss with a promise of renewed acquaintance in London Town.
‘Have a fun night,’ he said, with a wink.
‘Oh, I will,’
‘I know you will!’ Nudge nudge, wink wink. Yes yes, send Ritzi off to sleep with the hot Photographer. Only problem is, he lives in Brooklyn, which I’m sure as hell not dragging my ass to, and I can’t bring myself to defile the VIP’s borrowed apartment, so the choices are rather limited.
We decide, as seems perfectly logical at 4am, to take a walk in the Hudson River Park. A park which appears to be cordoned off at that time of night, but as if a little barrier is going to stop a pair of drunkards intent on a somewhat romantic setting.
I can now verify that a bench in the Hudson River Park is a rather uncomfortable makeout location.
The grass under the trees is slightly better, but once it starts raining, it gets quite unpleasant quite quickly. Of course, when you’re hammered off your head, this thought doesn’t really occur until you’re picking bits of the park out of your hair an hour or so later.
Making out in the rain somehow became completely inappropriate and frankly teenage sex under a tree in the Hudson River park, which may have been quite good but I can’t for the life of me remember.
I do however remember the snap of a twig which highlighted the presence of someone that was not me, and was not the Photographer either.
Turns out, this particular tree is considered a safe haven from the rain for New York’s homeless population. A man approached, completely unfazed by the kinky park sex scene before him and promptly laid down to go to sleep.
Suffice to say, in less than a second, we sprang apart, grabbed our things and LEGGED IT.
I only realised the next day that my favourite quirky leopard print sun glasses had toppled from my head and now probably adorned the head of a trendy West Village hobo. Bugger.
I promised to meet the Photographer for dinner the next evening. Then the show ran late and stress happened and my bed sounded like a really good idea… Then the next day I had to pack… Then I got up at 4am and came back to London.
And here we are. Oops.
Back to the search for my Cornish Husband then.