There were a few things I neglected to include in my post about day 1 in this new city and I feel as though I should revisit the night so you know (and I don’t forget – because that is what my brain likes to do) how much I’ve been welcomed with open arms.
When I left off, I was headed out to meet my friend Melanie and her fiancee for dinner. I looked up the route to get to the West Village via subway and promptly took the C train the wrong way. I figured this out about five or six stops into my ride and it only became apparent when I noticed I was passing a lot of the stops I had taken to get home from the airport. So, that first “lost in New York” experience is out of the way and now that it’s in writing, I will hopefully remember the train going towards Euclid is not the one I want to take. When I got out at the right stop, I pulled out my map app and, as I’m prone to do, ended up figuring out a way to get lost while following the little moving blue dot that tells you exactly how to get from point A to point B. Yes, I am pretty special.
When I finally made it to the Cubby Hole the place was packed with lesbians of all ages, shapes, sizes, colors and drink choices. I got my Beam and diet and must’ve looked like a lost little lamb because I was tapped on the shoulder and asked if I had come for the Butches and Femmes meet up group. I assured the lady that I was not – nor did I know which of those categories I would even fall into. She told me I was definitely there for the meet up and pulled up a stool for me to join their party of four. Immediately, I was asked where I was from because she knew it wasn’t New York. I explained that it was my first day and I was from Chicago and my new nickname, “Chicago”, was born. It’s not a very creative or clever nickname, but I will take it as long as it isn’t “Fatty” or “Ugly”. I explained that I was there to meet up with a friend of mine and the questions started coming as to whether or not my friend was butch or femme. I explained that she is femme (though in college there were a few wardrobe and hairstyle choices that would have made it more difficult to decide) and straight.
As if she had gotten my bat-signal, Melanie walked into the bar and after hugging it out explained that she was hungry and her fiancee was outside waiting for us. So, I chugged my drink and started to leave but not before my new friend ordered Melanie “Out of the bar, straight friend!” and insisted that I had to give her my phone number. She also asked if I dated butch, black lesbians. I explained that I really don’t have a type but that I’m not trying to date anybody due to just getting out of a relationship. I also had no idea what the hell to do about giving her my phone number so of course I did because I’m from the Midwest and I didn’t want to be rude. In case you’re wondering, she did text me last night to say, “So yea, we need to hang out. I know the queer side of NYC so well. Like if your vegan or veggie, I know spots for that ” I haven’t texted back yet to say I don’t mind dating butch, black lesbians but I can’t date anyone who uses the wrong form of “You’re”. When I showed the text to Melanie, she got adorably straight on me and wanted to know what being “vegan” or “veggie” was code for in the lesbian vernacular. I explained that I was pretty sure it was just about food but if I’m wrong, somebody please better let me know with quickness.
The three of us then hopped in a cab and headed to a new restaurant specializing in nice American cuisine. The decor was lovely even if the ceilings were mirrored and made me feel a little raunchy. It was also very loud and only got louder when Melanie and I polished off a bottle of red wine between us. When the bottle was gone and the food was finished, we headed out and Alan dropped Melanie and I off at a really cute bar called WXOU Radio. I had a hard time figuring out if it was gay or not because the sweet guy tending bar was certainly a sister, the women were all incredibly friendly but the rest of the guys all seemed like well-dressed perverts creeping on any woman unfortunate enough to be sitting next to them.
Later in the evening, I told Melanie she didn’t need to babysit me and could go home because she had had a long day and needed some sleep. I still had a full beer and as everyone probably knows, I don’t mind talking to strangers. Luckily, I was sitting next to two friendly women who I found out later are twins. We had some great conversations with one finishing the other’s sentences or coming back from a cigarette only to repeat whatever sentiment the other one had just relayed to me. Twins are fascinating and only slightly creepy – but really only in the psychic power kind of way. Unless, of course, we’re talking about the Olsen twins – those two are creepy pretty much all the time.
One twin went home and the other, Elizabeth*, stayed and kept me company for a bit and then defied the laws of New York’s reputation by making sure I got to my train alright. We got to her street and she gave me the rest of the directions to the subway while we stood outside of a little corner market. Hearing our conversation, another woman, who was sober and on her way to her first bar of the night, turned around and said she would walk me the rest of the way. Elizabeth made sure I was ok with my new chaperone and since she had a nice smile, was in heels and dressed nicely I figured if anything funny happened there was a good chance I’d be able to out-run her so I said yes. I don’t remember her name but the new chaperone said she manages a bunch of restaurants in the city and had just come from getting off of one of her shifts (at least I’m pretty sure that’s what she said). Then, as if New York’s reputation for being mean needed to be defied even further, she escorted me all the way down the subway steps and we asked the attendant what my best route home was and then said our goodbyes.
I’m a big fan of this welcoming with open arms that’s been happening. Every day can’t be as great as that one but it was definitely just what I needed to get me through my first day.
Since my second day has been more on the low-key side of things and I need to finish Penny Marshall’s upcoming book so I can interview her on Monday, I will bid you adieu for now.
Chubby Gossip Girl
*No, her twin sister’s name is not Jessica but yes I was hoping for a Wakefield twin Sweet Valley High situation.