So Hurricane Sandy is on her way, and for the first time in about two months, I’m spending the day in. I guess its times like this that provide a perfect opportunity to update one’s blog- especially when I haven’t REALLY done so in about two months (save my midnight musing on time last week). I’ll start by telling you that yes, I’m safe, prepared and comfortable. All of these things are the direct result of supplying myself with plenty of merlot, bagels, water , and literature.
I’m currently alone in my friend’s apartment on the Upper West Side with her cat Kilo as we await more rain and wind. I can see the neighbor’s rooftop garden from the window and already pots have started to fall over. I’d feel bad for her, but there is a reason she’s been dubbed Buddha Bitch by many.
Somehow, this is all too fitting. I’m supposed to move into my new apartment out in Astoria, Queens with my best friend Rachel this week, but of course, there’s a hurricane on it’s way. This will mark my first NY residence off the island of Manhattan, and I feel like in many ways, it marks my acceptance of adulthood. New York City makes it so easy for many of us to ignore the advancement of time and the responsibilities attached. There is always yet another Club Kid art show, a friend’s drag performance, and a million and one Groupons to entertain the inner dysfunctional child in you. I don’t know anywhere in the world where so many adults have turned cupcakes into a weekly necessity. My mother would shake her head if she knew the myriad of sweets I encounter on a daily basis… and by encounter, I mean devour.
So while I await the coming of the pseudo-apocolyptic Frankenstorm, I invite you to check back here for more narratives. That is.. until the power shuts off.
THOUGHTS: Woah, woah, woah was this gym crowded! This is definitely one of those “shower at home” gyms, but like a lot of people who have such memberships in midtown, its a commuter convenience. This facility seemed to be in dire need of a renovation. I’m not so sure I would have gone to this location if I knew of the lack of towel service. Mind you I had to run to the theatre district to pick up tickets and then back to the Upper West Side to shower. Since this facility has a sauna, I can’t necessarily imagine running around Manhattan with two towels in my bag, let alone one covered in sweat.
Equipment (* * * Three Stars) This place could definitely use an upgrade, but my major complaint was the heavy crowd downstairs.
Staff (* * * Three Stars) The club manager was nice enough, but tried to sell me a membership without even giving me a tour, that is definitely a red flag for me.
Cleanliness (O Stars) Harsh? Here’s why, sure NYSC had cockroaches running around it’s sauna, but at least you could sanitize your equipment after each use. Not only was the weight room completely out of sanitizing spray for the equipment, no one seemed to mind. Not to mention there were literally puddles of urine surrounding the toilet and urinal in the men’s locker room. I don’t just blame the maintenance staff for that one- I blame the people who go here.
Amenities (* * Two Stars) While there is no towel service, at least the gym HAS showers and a sauna… use at your own discretion.
OVERALL RATING ( * * Two Stars)
Who is Bally Total Fitness, Midtown East for? Honestly, people who are able to shower at home, don’t mind waiting for free weights and would rather use cardio equipment.
This past Friday, I had the exquisite experience of attending Paul Balmer’s artist reception for his new collection Cityscape to Landscape at the Campton Gallery at 451 West Broadway in New York City. Mr. Balmer hails from South Africa and his since been somewhat of an international citizen; with exhibitions over the past two decades in London, Chicago, Sydney Australia, Boston, and New York to name a few.
Mr. Balmer’s Cityscapes capture a unique essence of both New York City and the country in that he manages to express (in cityscapes) a viable and controlled chaos that is natural in the habitat of our concrete jungle. For this reason, I would beg to argue the collection’s metamodernistic influence simply by the adventure Mr. Balmer’s pieces take you on.
Then there are the Landscapes, a perfect juxtaposition to it’s Manhattan counterpart by way of serenity and the ability to transport you to any welcome and familiar place in the annals of your memory. I was both seventeen again in the Tuscan countryside and a child on a farm in central New Mexico. Paul Balmer possesses the gift of expressing to you, you’re own emotions through his art.
A special thank you to Miss Allison Harrell for the invitation.
I found this during a Chinatown excursion with tenor Eric Bowden.
Located at 307 East 53rd Street in Manhattan, Copia serves up a deliciously wide range of food, drink and entertainment. Why go out to dinner before hitting the club when you can enjoy your favorite foods right at your favorite hot spot?
Copia’s food menuserves up a familiar array of all your favorite standards… and the scene? Copia boasts some of the best people watching I’ve ever experienced in the city.
Besides serving up some great food, cocktails (be sure to try the club’s specialty cocktail Love Lychee), the service was impeccable. Upon discovering we were celebrating my dear friend Rachel Hall’s last evening in New York City before leaving to Shreveport Opera, the club’s owner, Junior Santiago graciously ushered us to a private VIP section and treated us to a round of Patron and cocktails- truly a gracious host.
So the next time you’re looking for a place where you can eat, drink, dance, play beer pong, or even guest bar tend… check out East 53rd St’s Copia, you’ll be glad you did.
Today, while random chunks of the population were preparing to disappear off the face of the earth, a lot more of us decided to get out and enjoy ourselves. What would make a better Rapture celebration than a beer and burger outing? Exactly… So I went this afternoon with my roommates to one of my favorite Upper West Side Restaurants. Since Chef Andy D’amico opened Nice Matin in 2003 (you can read about it below), the restaurant’s most popular dish was- you got it, the 5 Napkin Burger. Given the dish’s obvious successs, Chef Andy and Simon Oren gave the burger it’s own chance, spawning into five different locations in New York, Boston and Miami. Stop by the 9th Ave. and 45th street location, or the one at 84th and Broadway if you live in Manhattan. My favorite dish? You got it, The Five Napkin Burger. At 14.95, this decadent classic features 10oz. of custom ground beef, caramelized onions, gruyere cheese and rosemary aioli on a soft white roll. Pair the burger with your favorite beer for the perfect Saturday evening treat.
- Oh Rapture! Oh Holy 5 Napkin Burger! (jacoboheme.wordpress.com)
- Best Burger in NYC? (jstoddardfinalblog.wordpress.com)
- Rapture Fizzles After Sponsor Viagra Pulls Out (prbreakfastclub.com)
- Make This: Moist and Healthy Herb Chicken-Tofu Burgers (fitsugar.com)
- The Rapture Defy End of World, Return to DFA With New Album This Fall (spinner.com)
The Diner is located at 9th Avenue and 14th Street in the middle of Manhattan’s ultra hip Meatpacking District. Famous for serving American comfort food to the after hour crowds of Kiss & Fly and The Gansevoort Hotel’s rooftop bar Plunge, there is more to this cool late night hang out than Top 40 hits and Disco fries. I was lucky to meet Ronifer, one of the establishment’s fabulous bar tenders. I was informed by a friend that I NEEDED to try his cappuccino, so I ordered myself the caffeinated concoction (let me inform you this was at 4 am) and was pleasantly surprised by tasting the best cappuccino I’ve ever had in my life. With a unique blend of God knows what and a lot of love, this cup was truly good ’til the last drop. So the next time you find yourself stumbling around the district’s cobblestone streets, be sure to drop in and visit Ronifer for a cocktail and a cappuccino at The Diner.
- The Diner’s Hidden Gem (jacoboheme.wordpress.com)
- A Weekend Along Historic Route 66 (yapanowtravelblog.wordpress.com)
- Lunch Break: Hidden Gems At Junior’s; Lure Fishbar (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- ‘Dancing With the Stars’: Hidden Gems of the Finals! (popwatch.ew.com)
- Vintage American diner in a Welsh shed (boingboing.net)
The Food Network‘s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” recently featured the Chocolate Decadence French Toast at Norma‘s at Le Parker Meridian NYC, and it seriously made me regret ordering the best eggs benedict I’ve ever eaten. Layered with buttermilk pancakes, Norma’s Eggs Benedict is simply the best around. Located at 118 West 57th Street in Manhattan, Norma’s is open every day until 3:00pm, so be sure to book a table well in advance for the ultimate brunch experience. With quirky menu items such as Wagner’s Ring of Fresh Chunky Fruit, Waz-Za (a fruit-filled waffle brulee) and The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata along with fresh squeezed OJ and heavenly French pressed coffee, you can be sure to experience a decadent meal you (and your waistline) won’t soon forget.
A macaron sampler at La Maison du Macaron on 23rd Street in Manhattan. My suggestion? At $2.50 each, why not try a gold dusted pink champagne macaron for a decadent, yet affordable petit plaisir.
What is it about the thought of an impending snow day that sends everyone into a flurry? Yesterday, I decided for whatever reason that it would be smart to take a cab home from school. I know- traveling by car is exactly the type of thing you don’t want to do in a weather-induced state of emergency. Hey now, I was tired, and I was really missing a friend of mine I’ve been neglecting lately… Sleep.
Anyways, I hailed a taxi from the corner of 122nd and Broadway, from where my driver decided to turn right/ uphill so we could take Riverside Drive. We almost made it to Claremont when the vehicle started sliding all over the place and inevitably backward towards Broadway. I nervously pattered a catalogue of four letter words as the taxi’s rear bumper neared our starting point with impressive haste. When my driver finally, and thankfully regained control of the vehicle I asked him if he could take a different route, to which he replied “Get out, we’re going to die… please take a snow mobile!”
Its moments like these that make me miss New Mexico, and also make wonder why my friends ever question my desire to stay inside when the white stuff pays a visit. Luckily for me, my good friend Danielle (see Vampire Jacob? for pic) was able to do the impossible this afternoon in making me join her and several of our friends for a snow day visit to Central Park.
Initially intended to be a sledding adventure, my friends and I decided to wait for our friend Adele in an untouched snowy patch of awesome near the West 72nd street entrance to Central Park. While she made her way to join us, we began building snow men, and of all things, a fort. After about an hour of sculpting (and laughs from passersby), a group of elementary school children enthused by our architectural efforts ran inside our fort.
The children quickly suggested a snowball war against the female members of our group. In retaliation, our girls unsuccessfully tried to claim a giant evergreen to hide under as the munchkins attacked them fiercely with impeccable aim. Mind you, my group totaled 6- Lindsey, Adele, Nicole, Danielle, Tyler and me. This left me and Tyler to deal with about 10 children setting up camp in our fort while charging after the girls.
After watching what seemed like a mash-up gone wrong between Lord of The Flies and Gossip Girl, we convinced the children that, since they worked so well together, to be on their own team, with the understanding they were free to take our fort when we abandoned ship. With a wicked smile, the self-proclaimed leader, and Jacob-proclaimed Lord of The Flies agreed.
Now that the girls were safe behind our fortress walls, we were able to rightfully declare a snow war. Hey now, I know what you’re thinking… six college students against a group of seven year olds seems highly unfair, but I must impress upon you the old adage that dynamite comes in small packages.
We must have lasted about five minutes while the children feverishly attacked us. Each of us was targeted and successfully hit in the head with several snowballs as onlookers laughed and added sports commentary while taking pictures and video. After we realized that we had clearly been beaten… and pummeled, we retreated, and gave up our fort for the children to occupy. Before we took to the yellow stained road, several of the munchkin’s parents and babysitters thanked us for playing with their kids as well as entertaining them.
As we were about to head back toward the street, we all decided on an impulse to continue with our initial plan to go sledding. After about fifteen minutes of wandering about the beautiful winter wonderland that I wish Christmas could be, we found ourselves at the Bethesda Terrace cheering a group of daredevils (and eventually Tyler) as they raced down a makeshift hill and ramp on the steps which lead down to the famous fountain. Finally, just east of the terrace, we found ourselves claiming an empty pathway to sled on.
After about thirty minutes of laughs, failures and screams, we slowly meandered back to Central Park Park West where I bid my friends goodbye out of sheer necessity to thaw. I’m happy to report that my toes still number ten and they are indeed now warm and dry
So here I am, 45 minutes into my flight back to Manhattan, I really need to use the restroom, the seat belt sign has been turned back on thanks to turbulence (which I have yet to feel), while I listen to the man behind me describe how his parents got by for 2 years on money they made donating plasma… its a fascinating story, but I’m now plugging in my headphones to try and listen to Danielle de Niese’s new Mozart album that I just downloaded. Let me just say that I really really love this singer/ actress.
Speaking of Mozart, I was visiting two of my best friends, Kim, Josh and their newborn daughter ( my Goddaughter) Kiera when I started thinking about something I read in The Mozart Effect a few years ago. The book discusses the various effects that not just classical music, but Mozart’s in particular has on our brains. Did you know that some music can actually make you dumber? I wonder if that applies to the millions of Justin Bieber fans… Anyhow, Studies have shown that when an adult listens to Mozart’s sonata for two pianos in D Major, his or her IQ actually raises by about 7-8 points, but only for about 15 minutes after an initial 10 minutes of listening. The study also showed that when newborns were played the piece, they showed an astounding improvement in spacial-temporal reasoning. As you know, babies spend that first 3 months adjusting to, well… everything. From being able to produce Melatonin in the evening to having a visual range that expands beyond twelve feet, we literally experience a whole new world as a developing human.
Another study involved control groups of 3-4 year olds in which one group was given piano lessons for eight months, the other groups were given computer lessons, singing lessons and one was provided with no training. The group of children who were provided the piano lessons scored on average a staggering 34% higher in tests of spatial-temporal reasoning than all the other children.
So what does this mean? Simply that some music makes you smarter, some doesn’t, and Justing Bieber just might fry your brain.
So guess what!? I didn’t win the Mega Millions jackpot after all, and instead of sleeping so I can get up early and spend some quality time with my father in Santa Fe (believe me, my alarm is still set for 8 am), I’m sitting writing to all of you about my now over-caffeinated nostalgic thoughts, that is, whoever YOU are.
Shortly after I compared the numbers on my multiple losing tickets, to the Mega Millions website, I started going through an old photo album of mine from my senior year of high school. You know, those things we documented our memories in before Facebook ..? What I found were not just memories, but dozens of little promises I had made to myself. No, I’m not talking about anything like curing cancer or single-handedly battling world hunger, I’m talking about all those little “maybes” we had whirling about our seventeen year old heads.
I have spent my life on the verge of becoming a hoarder, prevented only by an obsessively clean mother and stern roommates. While going through my photo album, I came across the graduation announcement of a classmate of mine who I had never really been friends with. I opened the invitation and realized that I had graduated high school and gone about the last five years without even realizing what our class song was. Apparently we had voted “Our Lives” by The Calling as the musical representation of our various public school careers and relationships. I do remember however, that our student body president had been disgruntled by the selection and decided to play another song over the stadium speakers, which I was too distracted to pay attention to, thanks to the beach balls, silly string, and alcohol that were exhanging hands and pockets around me. I decided to Youtube (or rather VEVO) the song originally intended to be played at my high school graduation, and out of nowhere, that sickening and uninvited nostalgia started creeping in.
As the video played, I continued to go through the pages of my photo album, and out fell various business cards of people I had met at local, state and national student retreats and conventions… again, this was before you could just Facebook somebody and decide from their wall and photos if you actually wanted to extend your friendship beyond “liking” the occasional status. I was also amazed that within my mounting piles of scrap was actually a little map that pointed out the location of my favorite gelateria in Florence, Italy ”Perche’ no!” (why not!? in Italian). I have been telling every friend and acquiantance of mine who has since traveled there to try the pistacchio gelato at this fantastic little gem of a shop.
Still looking through photographs of my senior trip to Italy, I kept seeing pictures of myself with other students from another school. At the time, I was convinced I would become lifelong friends with these randoms… I haven’t spoken to any of them since. I also found photographs of places and things I promised that I would someday take the time to enjoy, like Venice’s Cafe Florian in the piazza di San Marco or the Rialto Bridge, which (due to an annoyingly short city tour) I never got the chance to walk on.
I also promised myself when I graduated, that I would one day live in New York City. I thought that by virtue of making it to Manhattan, I would somehow have it all figured out. I’m realizing now that while my location has changed, I’m still trying trying to get to point B… although point A+/9, or wherever it is I currently am is giving me more life lessons than a book of soul food chicken soup or Oprah power secrets could possibly manage. What I have gained is the ability to realize that family is not bound by blood, that people can come into your life and somehow present more value than an aunt, cousin, or in some cases as equally as a parent or sibling. I am so lucky to have gained this type of family in both old and new friends.
In closing, I am giving my resolutions and promises to myself- not for the new year, but for the next five yeats by using the lessons I’ve learned from the last five.
1. In the last five years I have gained and lost fifty pounds. I am promising myself to continually strive to improve my health so that I may not only fit into those amazing $19.99 jeans they sell at Uniqlo, but also so I can be around for as long as possible.
2. I have continually made excuses to myself as to why I couldn’t be in a serious relationship “yet”. I keep telling myself that I’ll be ready for commitment when I get to a specific point in my life, but honestly, I don’t even know what that is! I’m not saying that I am going to move in with the next guy I date, but I do promise to stop making excuses and to let whatever happens in that area of my life take it’s course. What I do know, is that I have definitely been on at least 50 first dates in the last five years, and I am exhausted.
3. Since I have five years, I do promise to order lunch at Cafe Florian… after a walk on the Rialto.
4. I promise to try and think more positively about others when my first, second or even third impression of them is not so savory. I am saying this because when I first got to New York, there was a group of people who I strongly disliked, and finally after years of mutual distaste, we realized that both parties were to blame. I was the new kid, they were trying to protect the fort, and since we were all dealing with our own various insecurities, years of whispering, rumors and REALLY dirty looks ensued. Needless to say, we are all now friends and I can’t believe that I have missed out on having these folks in my life. But as they say… better late than never.
5. Finally, I will try my hardest to keep the excitement and curiousity that I had when I graduated high school. Since life is a journey, I promise to never be disappointed in where I currently am in life, because even if I’m not there yet, I’m on my way to something, and I’ll tell you what that is when I get there.
I first met my friend Katya directly after a sex education assembly at the Manhattan School of Music in which she had to role play a sex scene on stage with another student. I had until this point thought Katya was from a foreign country like the Czech Republic.
The interesting thing about the sex education for us was the enthusiasm given over sex. In my welcome packet for the school, I found a Time Out New York college edition which explained “you’re only young once; have as much sex as possible before your fab turns to flab and try different things with your partners, such as dildos, feathers, feathery dildos and the occasion blow-up doll”. To this day I have yet to try a feathery anything. In the same assembly, it was explained that we all had declining meal cards and learned that due to the extremely inflated prices at our cafeteria, we would run out of meal points very quickly. When we addressed this issue with the meal provider, we were simply told “if you can’t afford the food, then why are you going to school in Manhattan?”
About three weeks later, Katya and I were invited to a party thrown by our friend Amanda at her boyfriend’s apartment. By apartment, we didn’t realize that she meant extravagant high-rise penthouse. The elevator opened up directly into a penthouse foyer and when we arrived, we were immediately greeted by what seemed to be a short Christmas elf in Armani Exchange.
“Hey I’m Sean, you’re cute, let’s fuck.” said the overly processed man who barely reached Katya’s nipples.
“Umm… hello, nice to meet you too.” replied Katya with a stern look of confusion.“But seriously you’re cute, what’s your name?” asked Sean
“Catch-uh?” asked Sean
“Oh cool, well nice to meet you” he replied.
“Yeah, likewise” said Katya with a concentrated look of impatience.
As the evening went on, Amanda poured us mixed drinks and we discussed various school events and played Guitar Hero. Eventually, Sean decided to try his luck again with Katya.
“Hey Tatiana, do you want another drink” asked Sean
To which I replied “Her name is Katya, asshole!”
“Yo dipshit, I wasn’t asking you.” said Sean looking rather peeved.
Already that evening, Sean had taken his penis out to show another party guest a mysterious “birth mark,” and left the bathroom door open for all to observe while he peed.
“Oh don’t pay any attention to him” said Amanda’s boyfriend Brad “He’s just an annoying fuck face.”
“Oh is that his name?” I asked, I then turned to Sean and said “Well hello Fuck Face, it is truly a pleasure to meet you; unfortunately, due to your continued lack of courtesy, you have been labeled ‘douchebag’ and there for blacklisted from our yes list… so please leave us alone.”
Sean then complained to various party guests that “How dare that fag come and make a fool out of me.”
He then left and I was treated as the hero of the evening.“Seriously” said Brad “We’ve been trying to put him in his place for over 2 years, and you’re the first person who ever did successfully.”
Personally, I didn’t realize it would become such a big deal; especially since I had encountered much worse growing up. I found out later that evening Sean was an actor on Guiding Light and usually gets his way with everything. I also learned that he felt inadequate being constantly surrounded by Brad’s marketing and finance colleagues, as well as Amanda’s classical musician friends. Not a surprise when the most riveting thing you have to discuss in an evening is a strange mark on your penis.
We later relocated down the street to Jake’s Saloon where we all had a drink and said goodbye to Amanda and Brad. They were “tired” from a long day and went back to the penthouse by themselves, leaving us with several NYU marketing and finance students.
We stood at Jake’s Saloon trying to figure out what else we were going to do. After all… it was only 12:30.
“Let’s go Meatpacking!” said one of the partygoers in a thick Punjabi accent.
He was referring to New York City’s Meatpacking District, or as it was formerly known, the Gansevoort Market. In 1900, the Meatpacking District was home to over 250 slaughter houses and meatpacking plants, and by 1980 was home to a slew of shady gay bars where illicit sex acts were all too common. Currently, however, the area is undergoing a major renaissance. The district is now home to many upscale apartments, bars, boutiques and hotels. Katya and I were only too eager to experience the up and coming area for ourselves.
“Where are going?” asked Katya.
“We go Brass Monkey! Woohoo!” replied the Punjabi academic “I pay cab fee!”
We couldn’t beat that; the Meatpacking District was definitely out of our way, but we were excited to explore more areas of Manhattan. When we arrived at Brass Monkey, we found ourselves overcrowded and embarrassed. Our new hosts weren’t exactly as cool as Amanda and Brad, and by that I mean they wouldn’t shut up… literally.
“Wahoo! We at Brass Monkey! We so cool! Yay Meatpacking! So fun!” yelled our host.
He continued this behavior all evening. We were also accompanied by two other less exuberant men, but one was hitting on a girl outside, and his friend was complaining to someone on the phone that the Casanova was engaged and needed to stop his behavior.
When the Punjabi took a restroom break, we went upstairs to find ourselves even less entertained and tried to dance until we heard it again… “Yay Brass Monkey!”
Katya and I looked at each other, and as if by ESP, we came up with an excuse and a plan.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realize how late it was, we have an audition in the morning, and since I already sound like a man, I have got to get some sleep.” said Katya.
People almost always seem to understand when you have to “pace for la voce” (peace out for the voice). The ecstatic bar hopper gave us hugs and walked us out the door.
“I still want to dance” said Katya “we have not successfully danced tonight and we cannot stop until we do!”
I agreed with her as we left the industrial drab of Brass Monkey and meandered our way towards the more upscale and modern Ninth Avenue. We both noticed a line coming out of a posh looking building with a sign that read “Gansevoort”.
The Hotel Gansevoort is sort of the Botox that gave way to the drastic and much needed facelift of the Meatpacking District. At the time, neither of us had any idea that the hotel was so popular (as seen on The Real Housewives of NYC) we just wanted to dance. So we stood at the very end of a very long line.
“Oh, I need to tell you something” said Katya. I looked over to her with an inquisitive look and she continued “don’t let me drink anymore tonight, I had way too much of that 99 Bananas at Brad’s, and the last two bars did not help me any.”
“OK, so don’t drink” I said.
“I won’t, but I do owe you a cocktail for paying my cab fee to the apartment… so what do you want if we get in?”
“Just a Cosmo” I replied. Just then, the bouncer announced that the rooftop bar Plunge was only taking couples. The crowd sighed heavily and parted like the Red Sea all the way down to where Katya and I stood. Before we made our way down the line, she looked seriously at me and said “act straight” to which I replied “act sober”. She did, and strutted down the cat walk of people on my arm looking like a Russian supermodel wearing a pair of deadly stilettos.
The interior of Plunge wasn’t enclosed; it was more like a really lavish veranda with a DJ, and opened up to a magnificent balcony giving stellar views of the Hudson River. We witnessed many of Manhattan’s elite trying to court one another with unnecessarily loud conversations concerning vacations and business trips to Europe, while pouring themselves their own drinks from a selection of juices and spirits ordered by bottle service. When Katya returned from the bar with my Cosmo, she had a tall glass in her other hand.
“What’s that?” I asked pointing to her beverage.
“Long Island Iced Tea” replied Katya “there was a minimum charge and I figured I’d get more bank for my buck if I got this!”
“But you told me not to let you drink” I said with an enthused yet worried look on my face.
“I’ll be fine” she said “I’ve never actually hit my limit… I’ll be fine!”
We were finally able to dance at the Gansevoort, though there was no real designated dance space; everyone else was doing it too. When Katya wasn’t looking, I placed her half empty glass on a table that had about forty other drinks on it. When she asked me “What happened to my drink?” I told her “I have no idea what you did with it!”
When Katya went for a potty break, I sat outside with two French men I had encountered earlier. Luckily, they were opera fans, and we had a ton to talk about. They were even more thrilled when Katya joined us because I had already explained that she was a contralto, and though the two men frequently went to the opera, they had never heard a contralto live, nor had they met one. Unfortunately, our conversation was cut short when the bar began to close. A massive amount of people headed for the exit and Katya and I stood in line to leave. I thought we would never get out, but luckily we were shoved into a very crowded elevator at the last minute. We stood closely together, on the outside corner and I positioned myself facing inward.
“Those men were really nice, weren’t they?” Katya nodded with a stern look of concern on her face.
” Are you ok?” I asked.
Katya pursed her lips together tightly and gave me a very concentrated nod.
“Are you going to be sick?”
She looked even more intense when I asked this question. In fact, it was very similar to how I’d imagine a priest to look when performing an exorcism.
“If you’re going to vomit” I said “turn towards the wall.”
Katya looked at me and nodded. She then turned away from the wall and towards the man next to her; she vomited all over him. The noisy elevator suddenly became very quiet, and instead of reacting with a look of disgust, the man simply said “not again!” and tried to move closer to the door. This is when the three women beside him realized that they too had the Katya special all over their Dolce and Gabbana boots as well. The elevator stopped at the 8th floor, and everyone got off to join an exclusive party without us.
“I am so embarrassed” said Katya as she stumbled out into the main lobby knocking down a velvet rope stanchion.
“Its ok sweetie” I said trying to hold her up “Just be lucky that no one from school is here… you’ll be fine”
Just as I said this, I recognized a big group of second year graduate students from the voice program at MSM chatting a few yards in front of us.“Fuck!” said Katya trying to conceal herself as we walked around towards the back of hotel. “There’s Devon Estes and his little posse! This is so fucking embarrassing. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Oh my God, I’m sorry” she repeated.
“Its fine… you’ll be fine, we just need to wait a while and get you some carbs before we try heading back, ok?” I tried to reassure her as she began stripping her vomit drenched top off to reveal a sleek black slip and a hint of a lacy black bra.
“I must look like shit” cried Katya trying to detect if she had anything on her face that wasn’t there when we had arrived.
“You look fine” I said. In reality, she looked better than fine. At this moment, Katya reminded me of one of those Heroine chic models from the early 90’s fashion magazines, but healthy.
When we finally got a cab, I warned Katya that she needed to roll her window down.
“I’ll be fine, I promise” she said.
“Oh hell no! You are not vomiting on me too” I snapped.
As we rode home, the cool breeze came in gently through the window as other taxis passed us. They were filled with passengers pointing and laughing at Katya, as she vomited what seemed like liters of alcohol all over the pavement of the West End Highway.