Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pride and Prejudice in the Media

June was Gay Pride month and "we" were center stage in our annual spotlight once again. But the discrimination and stereotypes still prevail... thanks to the media.


For me Gay Pride is not only about men wearing dresses and prancing around waving a sequined rainbow flag. It's not about the leather clad women looking like men revving their big powerful motorcycle engines. It's not about transgender and what bathroom we can or can't use or even who or what we identify as. Gay Pride is more than the stereotypes that the media continues to focus on and insists on shoving down our throats. It's too bad that this is what the majority of middle America only gets to read about or see on television. They don't focus on all the Gay people that look just like anyone you might see at your grocery store, school or doctors office. Where are the Gay middle class average Joe or Jane? They're never on the front page!


For me and many others, Gay Pride is the ability to be looked at as an Equal. Having all the rights that everyone deserves as humans. Feeling proud is waking up next to the person you love and being able to be yourself. It's that simple!

Pride is about being Proud of who you are. It ain't just a day or a month or a parade. Pride is something we can all have everyday and is not just limited to being Gay.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Room With A View - My NYC

I'm looking out my window in Suburbia while obsessively scouring the New York real estate ads in search of an apartment. It doesn't matter how small the apartment, I don't need all the space that Suburbia has to offer. I need the energy, the life and the public transportation that NYC has to offer. Besides, I've never needed that much room, I've been very creative with  small living spaces. I'm frustrated and my mind begins to wander... I start to remember the tiny apartment where I grew up.


We lived in a two bedroom one bath apartment - very small for four people. It was on the first floor which meant you could see and hear everyone that came in or left the building... at all hours. I didn't think twice about it, I thought it was great that I got to see all these people coming and going. I guess I didn't know better, but it was all I knew and I loved it. As a kid I decorated and redecorated my tiny bedroom hundreds of time. My parents never objected and just let me express myself, I guess they were ahead of their time!

My aunt (who was more like a grandmother to me) lived with us most of the time. She was the oldest of my mothers sisters and my mother was the youngest... of thirteen! We all got along even though we had strong personalities (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). I'm not even sure how we did it with one bathroom. It was like living in Grand Central Station with all the family and friends coming over. My father was a saint for putting up with all the drama, but we were an Italian family that lived in the Bronx and drama was just another part of our lives.


I always had a creative imagination and at the time I thought it was a great apartment. After all we had a "terrace" that I'd go out on and tan or sing or draw or just daydream. It may have been just a fire escape, but to me it was our terrace. I even had my own special beach... on the roof. I'd walk up the five flights and sun bathe and look beyond the tops of all the buildings with the clothes hanging out to dry. I'd dream that one day I'd go all the way downtown where I could live amongst the tallest buildings and continue to create my own little paradise. Eventually I did and moved to Manhattan where my dream came true. I even had a real terrace with a garden and I didn't have to share the bathroom with three people.

Most people would kill for the peace and quiet that I have in Suburbia. But for me it's a lonely place and I'd much rather see and hear people coming and going. I'd still like a view... even if it's from my "terrace" on the fire escape.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Comma Changed My Life ... It's All About Punctuation

I got back to Suburbia after being in NYC, and everyone kept asking me "Did you have fun"? "Did I have fun"? "Did I have fun"? Are you kidding me? That's like asking a fish if they like water? Yes I had "fun" but once again my trip to NYC was for a reason, not just a "fun" vacation. I was searching for an apartment again and continuing my social media work on a landmark preservation project, Save Gansevoort. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to apartment sit while friends were out of town for an extended period. I'm on a budget, and yes you can have "fun" on a budget in New York. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, I know firsthand. I've always lived on a prayer and a shoestring - does anyone even use that term anymore?


I texted a friend and told him that I've been feeling down since returning "home" to Suburbia and losing two more apartment deals in NYC. Later I got a text back saying "...try to be positive - you are alive, pretty, healthy and not dying." The text made my day - I was called pretty and even from a friend who has seen me in the morning... before coffee! Later that day I reread the text. Shit! There wasn't a comma after pretty. I wasn't pretty. I was pretty healthy. Now I wasn't just pretty anymore. I guess I'm gonna have to pay even more attention to punctuation - Exclamation!


Did I have fun? Of course I had "fun". What the hell is life without fun. It comes natural to me, I can even have fun when I'm "pretty healthy" and not just "pretty". A comma can change your life, it's all about punctuation.... that's it - Period.

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cell Phones and Texting and Driving... My Suburbia

I just read some of my first blog posts and found that not much has changed with me in the last few years. I'm reposted this one for those of you who may have missed it the first time...

I'm sitting here in our home at the computer typing and thinking, as I look out my window surrounded by trees and our beautiful garden that we've created. I have this repeated, gut feeling that this is a great place to visit, but... damn, I miss New York City and the where the hell are all of the people here???


I know where all my clothes are (we now have closet space), we live in a much larger space (we have more than one room)... but, there is no life outside of mall life and highway driving! You have to drive everywhere! OMG, I love to walk and see people on the streets at all times of the day. If you don't want to walk, there are options - subways, crosstown buses, taxi cabs, gypsy cabs... options. Okay, I'll admit since living out here in Suburbia, many of my fears/phobias have surfaced! (Probably because they finally have the space to do so)!!! One of my biggest fears is driving. There, I said it out loud.. driving! People drive while using their cell phones and texting and drinking, Oh My. Cell phones and texting and drinking, Oh My!!! What is that about? Do they need to see the Wizard before their designated time? 

This is Suburbia in its truest form. Very white with not much variety. No Jews, no Blacks and no Gays! (Just like the old school disco song). Okay, I like variety, I find life out here too sheltered with little diversity. That's fine for some, but when you grow up in New York City, you thrive on the diversity, you need the diversity, you crave the diversity! It gives you something to talk about. You have a wide variety of people to complain about! Maybe being a true New Yorker means that you're only happy when you have something to complain about? If that's the case, I'm definitely a New Yorker, because I have been complaining non stop since moving to California. But in many ways, I just feel as if I'm fighting for my sanity while trying to survive suburia. 

So here's where I get to ask for your help. How do you feel about my dilemma? Has anyone felt this way? What have you done to cope? I don't want my post to sound like an angry rant, but think of it as sharing my feelings with you all as I go through it to not feel that isolated.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Movin' On - 2016

New beginnings, New Year... 2016! Woo hoo - I'm looking forward to it and I don't regret 2015 or say that next year has gotta be better! Really? Are ya kidding' me? Ya never know what tomorrow will bring and that's why I'm so grateful for the past year as I reflect on it. And as you all know I can reflect just a little too much.


It was another year of life and all that it brings... the joys, the sorrows and everything that falls somewhere in between. The pee in your pants good times, the panic attacks that feel like they're never gonna end, even just playing video games on the toilet in the morning! The exhilaration of almost signing the contract on your New York apartment and the devastation when you see it in person and you cancel the deal. The relief you feel when you go to yet another specialist who confirms that there's nothing seriously wrong with you and the sadness you feel knowing that your mother is not gonna be with you for the Holidays and never will be again.

But this is life and it's full of everything! How wonderful is that? Without the bad you wouldn't know the good. It's the yin and yang thing, like my pal Liza sings "But The World Goes Round". So your year sucked? Sorry to hear if it did, but this is life and it ain't perfect. As for me I'm still glad I'm part of it. I will continue to embrace it and feel and question and I thank God I can still complain and rejoice about the whole damn thing.

Thank you 2015, Happy New Year or as Kay Thompson would say Happy "Everything" darling!

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cobblestone Community ~ My NYC

What most people don't know about NYC is that it ain't all about skyscrapers, bright lights and Disneyfied gentrification. New York is made up of many communities, neighborhoods and landmarked areas. It's still the "melting pot" and that's one of the many things I love about NY... a little something for everyone.


Stereotypes suck and it's a shame that a lot of people still think of New Yorkers as rude and unfriendly people. That's so untrue because New Yorkers are the first to give directions when you're lost. They stick together when disasters strike and will speak out for a cause.

I'm proud to be part of the #SaveGansevoort group trying to preserve the challenged landmark areas of NY. One of the last frontiers battling with yet another money hungry landlord is Gansevoort Street. We're trying to keep one of the few remaining blocks low-rise, retaining its original character. I'm lucky enough to remember when the Meatpacking District was full of character! There wasn't a hint of the bridge and tunnel "hipsters" glued to their cell phones googling the next hot spot. They're oblivious to the landmarked areas they're walking thru taking their umpteenth selfie... unless of course their Manolo Blahniks get stuck in the iconic cobblestone streets.


Where have all the real club kids gone? The ones who dangerously ventured to the after hour clubs in the Meatpacking District? Where have the trannies gone that walked around until the early morning hours as the meats were being delivered by the truckers? Who remembers The Mineshaft, Florent, the Piers, Hogs & Heifers or J's? Does anyone remember the smell of raw meat and the sight of blood being hosed down the cobblestones? I remember...


Change is good (usually) but for me what I love about New York is the dedication of a community sticking together trying to preserve a little of the "Old New York". I only hope our future generations will be able to see that history does matter and that landmarks will still be around for them to enjoy.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Whose Bed Is It Anyway?

My blog is called nyc2suburbia (sometimes I enjoy stating the obvious). I'm a native New Yorker that moved to Suburbia in Northern California. There were many reasons why I made that decision at the time, it all seemed good on paper, but it was the wrong decision for me. It was one of the things that I did in my life that I regret. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know everything happens for a reason... bullshit! It was an emotional decision and I'll never make another big decision like that based on my emotions. My inner self knew better, but I ignored my natural intuition.


The point to this post is that I travel back and forth to NYC a lot. I do this for my sanity, but since Mama passed, I realize more than ever that I gotta move back "home". I've made many trips apartment searching and I've come close so many times but always get a "NO". It's so frustrating that I'm almost ready to give up the search for a studio apartment in NY! How's this for a great pitch for a new HGTV show... create a show with average people searching for a studio apartment in the city. We all don't have an unlimited budget with a million things on the checklist. Some of us can even live without that indoor swimming pool or that fourth bedroom used only on the annual family holiday get together. Bitter, not really... pissed, you bet your ass!


I'm on a plane again exhausted and not in a great mood. It's been another challenging trip of hearing "no, no, no" in NY from agents, landlords and God (better known as "The Board" in Co-op buildings). I'm feeling defeated, down and depressed on my flight back to the land of eternal highways in Suburbia. I'm able to meditate and finally doze off for awhile with a little help from some Xanax. Suddenly there's some turbulence and I wake up not knowing where the hell I was going... New York? Suburbia? Which friends apartment was I going to or coming from? Was I going home? Where the hell is home anyway? Whose bed am I in now?


Pheww, it took me a few minutes to get my shit together... breathe... think good thoughts... try to relax again. I thank God and American Airlines for all the reward miles that allow me to travel. But my frequent flyer mileage account is running low (along with my patience) and I fear the welcome mats at my friends are probably wearing thin. Relaxed, I fall back to sleep one more time and dream that I'm on that new HGTV! You know, the one about an average guy finding his simple NY studio and getting his dream of moving back home. Fadeout yellow brick road... "Oh Auntie Em"!

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Moving On - My Suburbia , My NYC

There are many levels of letting go and I thought at this point that I went through most of them. But I realize that I'm the kind of person that holds onto "things" for way too long. Not only do I hold on to physical things (I still have my high school gym shorts and yes, I still fit into them), I hold on to my feelings (sometimes I can't let things go - I can forgive, but I never forget) and I hold on to my memories. I've talked about this with my therapist (big shocker) and thought maybe this could be connected to my mother's Alzheimer's and my fear of getting it.


I've been trying to reach another level of "letting go" as I continue to "move on", but it ain't easy. Since I've been relentlessly working to move back home to NYC, I've realized I can't bring back all of my stuff. My boxes, my "things" are filled with feelings and memories. The reality is that space in NYC is smaller and I need to let go. All this "stuff" is holding me back... WTF? I thought nothing can hold me back.


When I moved to Suburbia I brought all of my NYC stuff with me. Everything I had in storage, all of my things, all of my feelings, all of my memories, all of my expectations... all of what I thought was me! I didn't "let go". Maybe that's why it's been such a tough transition, I never let go. (Wow I've reached an Oprah "A-Ha" moment)!

For me, it's natural to hold on and to not let go. But hopefully I can pack my memories with me and move forward and let go keeping my NYC and my Suburbia. And maybe, just maybe I can leave some excess baggage behind and finally let go by just being me!


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