February 28, 2015

Singing For My Supper - My NY

I have so many memories and reasons of why I love my New York and of what it means to me. It's not just the bright lights, Broadway, limitless restaurants or the late night mentality. Even though I love all that, for me New York is my history and made me what I am today.

Growing up in The Bronx there were singers that would visit the apartment buildings and serenade in the courtyards. In my neighborhood, they would usually sing in Italian and people would throw change to them from their windows or come down and give them money for singing.

Being a precocious child I wanted to do this too! I wanted to get the attention, the applause... okay I wanted the money. After all, I sang along to Judy Garland and I was damn good. Who the hell wanted to hear some old man sing Italian songs? I was the real deal, I could entertain! So I decided that the next time one of the singers would start to sing their songs, this fat, little Italian boy would belt out some Judy tunes. I went out in the hallway and sang at the top of my lungs. It didn't take me long to figure out this wasn't my audience cause I didn't even get a dime. Nevertheless I wouldn't give up and I continued to do this for a few weeks. I finally realized that all I ever got from this gig was a good dinner from my mother. She was either my biggest fan or she just wanted me to shut up. Maybe I was just singing for my supper after all, but it was damn good and that's my New York.

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February 14, 2015

Fifty Shades of Gay

Believe it or not Gay is not just about rainbows. As a Gay man I'm tired of all this rainbow BS and to quote Judy Garland "I've got rainbows coming out of my ass." There are many shades of being Gay. We are no longer "Gay",  "Lesbian", "Bisexual" or "Transsexual" aka GLBT. Oh no, we've come along way... we now have almost the entire alphabet attached to our former four shades of Gay. We are as of now, LGBTQIA and I'm sure more letters will soon be added.


Growing up in NYC (the center of the Universe) most of what I knew about being "Gay" was what was in the media. I knew there were drag queens, leather daddies, dykes on bikes along with many closet cases. And this was in NYC... I could only imagine what a Gay child knew of Gay culture out in Suburbia! I never really thought about coming "out".  When I was a teenager and my father repeatedly asked me why I didn't date girls I finally told him "some guys don't date girls, so please don't ask me again" (pretty ballsy for a sixteen year old). I was just me and wanted to be loved for being me! I was bullied back in the day, that's just how it was. But it wasn't an "issue", there were always bullies. You didn't have to be Gay to be bullied. There were many shades of being bullied.


Unfortunately not much has changed. Whenever there is representation of the Gay community the media is still compelled to show the drag queens, leather daddies and dykes on bikes. Once again that's what sells and many people still have the need to cling to those stereotypes. I'd like to say there are fifty shades of Gay - but that doesn't even come close! So maybe there is a rainbow full of Gay and way more than fifty shades of grey.

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February 1, 2015

Who Said You Can Never Go Home?

My love of NYC started at an early age. On one of my first subway rides, I did what many people do... I got off at the wrong stop. I slowly started to explore the neighborhood and find my sense of direction, who am I kidding? I never had a good sense of direction. I walked around for awhile and found out that I was in the West Village. OMG, my life changed and I was truly "home". I felt just like Dorothy when she landed over the rainbow and opened her door to a technicolor world.

Grant it I'm a native New Yorker and have always loved the diversity of it, but this brought diversity to a new level for me. Gays and artists and hipsters, oh my! Every street I stumbled upon was magical. I met lots of local characters and window-shopped at little stores filled with things I'd never seen before. And then there was the variety of restaurants with their mouthwatering aromas. I didn't know what half of them were, but I wanted to try them all! I was in heaven when reality set in and it was time to head back uptown to the Bronx for dinner. As soon as our meal was over I was back on the subway headed to the Village. My parents were still having their dessert as I continued my journey on the yellow brick road.


It's been said that "you can never go home again", but that's not true for me. Every time I fly back to NYC I become that teenager and I remember that first subway ride when I discovered a new world. So I do go home again and again and "Oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like home."

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