SEA Waiting for the United flight to depart Seattle for Washington-Dulles. That's my hoodie + a bottle of dragonfruit flavor vitaminwater™. This product was sighted all over Manhattan; some ruggers from Portland mentioned that they [or friends of theirs] did the product design. Whatever, it's awesome stuff. Make mine the low calorie lime [which is hard to find].
IAD We arrived at Dulles early in the morning; I actually slept a bit on the plane, managing somehow to ignore the athsmatic Chinese gentleman sitting between myself and Dan. No time for breakfast!
LGA The flight to La Guardia was short, and so was the wait for baggage to arrive. We walked past a taxi stand with 50+ folks waiting in line; the next one down [only 100 feet further on] had no line. The trip in to Manhattan was quick, and the cab ride was only $30 with tip. Score!
Lunch Beard Papa was hiding four blocks down and one over from the host hotel, so I couldn't help myself. Verdict: Lovely if you like that sort of thing. I was much happier with my $2.95 plate of Japanese vegetable thingies [I still don't know what they're properly called.]
Room with a view Our hotel room was a corner room; if you tried really hard, you could see the top of the Pan Am building as shown here.
Terminal (Not Station) On the way out of town, I stopped at Nordstrom in Bellevue to buy a monkey suit. Er, "business casual" clothing. Why? Matt Hall invited us to his birthday party, which was held in a restaurant here in Grand Central Station. This is the view from the party. Not shown: multiple gin and tonics, a Chilean cabernet that was quite good, or his uncle who told me the following joke: What do you get when you turn a blonde upside down? A brunette with bad breath.
New York City Gay Men's Chorus (badly lit) The title pretty much says it all. They stopped by to sing a few songs, one of which I gather was Matt and Mark's song. I didn't catch the title, and it was hard to hear due to shitty acoustics, but it was moving.
BTW, Mark and I had an "our song" as well - Psychosexual by Pop Will Eat Itself.
Double Decker Bus (With Rockettes) Later on in the evening, we boarded an open top double decker bus that drove the party to the Rockefeller Center so that we could continue at the Top of the Rock. We Shanghaied some sailors in town for Fleet Week along the way.
Ice Skating Here (Just Not Right Now) Yeah, if this had been December, there would have been ice skating there. Blurry due to crappy camera and worse camera operator. *hic*
That Black Part Is Actually Central Park (It Looked Better At The Time\Sorry About The Crappy Photo) Again, the title says it all. Doesn't look great in the picture.
Top of the Rock The red white and blue blur is the Empire State Building.
Last Exit To Pretension This is near a Costco in Queens. I think it's a sculpture park.
Brooklyn Public Library badfaggot lives near here, but I had no idea at the time. We walked past on our way to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Bluebells is a picture I took for my Mom. They were beautiful. austinlb and danlmarmot guest star.
Line The line to get in to the opening night party a block south of the Eagle. You'd think they could get their shit together and let us in on time, but no. The party sucked, too. Grrrr.
Mark is one of Dan's teammates, an excellent teacher, great with improv, and always fun to be around.
Please rotate Same damned line. There's a huge ad for mojitos up there on the building; those seemed to be very popular in NYC as well.
Same goes for Soundgarden is actually an ad for some sort of alternative spirituality center. It reminded me of The Body Electric in Oakland, or something.
Yawn is an example of boring-ass gay dance parties. Bleah. Does the world really need a house remix of the theme from Brokeback Mountain?
Die Nudelrepublik [Smells like Wagamama] is a restaurant called - I think - Republic; badfaggot and theoctothorpe were having supper here, which I crashed after declaring myself bored to tears by gay disco-ing. It looked and smelled exactly like Wagamama, sort of. I waited outside while they paid their bill and took this picture.
Shake was taken at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. This was perhaps the most L.A. moment of the weekend: waiting an hour in line to have a trendy snack product that was both expensive and pedestrian. Mind you, $5 for a milkshake was actually good value for money, especially given the conversation and fraternity. Meeting Matt and Christopher was easily one of the high points of the weekend; sadly, scheduling was such that we couldn't go back for seconds. Oh, and I kinda sorta wanna fuck Matt senseless, but I digress.
Good night, Christopher is a shot of the Chrysler Buildling after bidding Christopher and Matt a good night. Grand Central Station was only a block or so from the hotel - very conveniently located. The only problem was the lack of a good bodega nearby - the closest one was an absolutely nightmare. Then again, what do you expect at 3 AM with a bunch of drunken Welsh ruggers?
Descent into the inferno is of course a picture so boring I really shouldn't have posted, but the conceit was of course to just post a bunch of stuff as it happened, right?
Marmot at the pitch shows Dan doing his best Angus Young impersonation. The Quake shared half of a tent with Philly, who were annoying as hell. They were the only team to bring a boom box so that they could play gay disco music at top volume. Uh, Philly? Go fuck yourselves.
Alice Hogland is standing on the podium delivering a short speech at the opening ceremonies. I stood in the back row with a couple of Mark's friends; after Alice finished speaking, a presumably Unitarian [maybe MCC] chaplain gave an invocation, and we misbehaved. "It's Pat!"
Philly (Assholes) needs no further explanation.
Thor works here is in fact a shot of the building Thor works in. It is not a Japanese toilet stall.
Dong should of course be Vong, Jean-Claude Vongerichten's snazzy French-Asian fusion restaurant where I had lunch with Thor. Being more of a Jerkcity than a fusion cuisine aficionado, however, meant that I retitled the entry. Lunch was good value at $35 for entrée, main, dessert, and wine; however, I have to admit that I thought it was fairly ordinary. [Please don't hit me, Thor. Or, rather, please do, but not because of what I'm about to say here.] I had a flashback to the early 1990s when things like there were considered novel; however, in an age where a good 20% of what's on sale at Trader Joe's kind of goes down this path, I don't see the charm. The entrée was a Thai-esque beef salad over yuppie chow, but it wasn't particularly flavorful [I prefer my beef salad to have lots of fish sauce, mint, and chillies]. The main [pictured] was lovely but very one-note, flavor-wise; beaucoup de lemongrass but not much else. Finally, my dessert was boring. I was exceedingly jealous of Thor's chocolate banana but refrained from chowing down on it [he offered] simply because I was being too uptightedly polite to do so. Even so, the conversation was superlative and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go.
Closer to Barney is around the corner from Barney's. I dragged austinlb in with me as I wanted to see if I could smell the new Frederic Malle perfume. I did; it was lovely, but also uninteresting and definitely not something a man could wear. I wound up buying some of their Vetiver Exceptionelle; the whole experience was kind of hilarious, to be honest. We did smell some beautiful things, though.
Oh, and the Apple Store? I didn't go in, but it looked very much like every other Apple Store. Folks, it's just a store.
The bears is a statue in Central Park; I'm happy with this picture because I managed to get the kids playing in the frame. Austin and I had just been to Dean & Deluca [my first time] where we bought a bottle of French lemonade to share in the park. The original plan was to find some good wine, but we were unable to find a wine shop anywhere.
Fotografieren verboten was taken in the Whitney. Sadly, Momus had left the day before, but Austin and I still had a blast. The trailer for the remake of Caligula was easily worth the price of admission alone. My other favorites were Michael Snow's video installation of sheep grazing in a meadow, this weird punk rock movie of a violent Fasnacht in Basel [pictured], and [I forgot the artist's name, sadly]. Ran into an acquaintance of Austin's here as well; hours later, I realized who she was [a celebrity!] which I thought was pretty cool and kinda funny [because if I'd have known who she was, I would definitely have experienced her differently].
TV is rugbybearpa and bearwoodsam; Zach is watching TV, and I'm drinking his delicious Pennsylvania microbrewed beer. A wonderful evening of conversation friendship and beer. Mmmm beer.
Can is the view from the toilet in our hotel room. I know, I know.
T-Mobile MDA is the Windows Mobile device I used to take all of these pictures. It mostly irritated me, but it works fine in Seattle; it's just that the networks are wildly overloaded in New York City.
Noguchi features Austin taking a picture of three visitors to the Isamu Noguchi museum in Queens.
Body of Drain is a drain at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It reminded me of the cover art on Bob's last album.
Rock You Like A Hurricane is a mistake [it's not a picture, but a map of the Roosevelt Hotel, where we stayed.]
Brassiere, In Rome is a bad picture of a far-away replica of the Statue of Liberty in a parking lot next door to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The title is a non sequitur, but 50poundnote and bearzbub can fill you in on that one.
Bus is the M1 to Harlem on Sunday morning, en route to the Guggenheim. Totally empty save for one other rider. I had no idea public transit would be so clean and so convenient.
More is at the Guggenheim. Most of the museum was closed as they were busy installing a new exhibit. It smelled like sawdust and excitement.
Unterwegs is a shipping label from a museum somewhere in Duisburg, Germany. I lived near there in 1985-6.
Pollock is a really weird looking Jackson Pollock - it looked like Liquid Paper on Japanese black lacquer.
Downstairs was taken somewhere in the basement of the Guggenheim past a sign that said something like DO NOT ENTER STAFF ONLY. I couldn't resist a little transgression.
R is me experimenting with extreme closeup.
Double No is an obvious Bruce Nauman reference. Bruce... ah, Bruce. One of my favorite artists by far. Anyhow, I was compelled to take a picture of this with my phone. Wouldn't you?
Vic is a bust of Victor Hugo. This is a terrible picture.
Under construction - I like this picture. It looks more like an Ikea showroom than a museum.
ICBP is the M1 to Harlem going downtown.
What's Your Brand? is a picture of the sidewalk in front of a bench where I sat for a while. There were butts everywhere, usually in thick clusters of a single brand. I gather some folks would just sit here and smoke for an hour or two before moving on. Strangely, lots of Kools.
Half A John is a vandalized Bible quoting ad on the bus up to Harlem.
Passat shows the Seattle Quake's drying style.
Ron is tattooedbear, who possesses one of the sexiest voices I've ever heard. Is it a Michigan thing?
Go Quake! - that's the Quake walking out to a match on Saturday morning. I was sitting under a tree talking with Alice, fitting more pieces into the overall puzzle of Mark. A wonderful morning.
More Quake and Scrum, with marmot show the Quake in action. This was sadly the only match danlmarmot got to play.
Look, I had my bear411 handle tattooed on my back is exactly what it says it is. It doesn't show up well in the picture, but you get the idea. I think this guy might have been a Sydneysider, but I'm not sure.
Bear foldover documents a physical attribute that I find very, very sexy: when a man's belly is just big enough to do that creasing just above the waistline. Damn. I've seen this guy around for years but never with his shirt off... woof.
Full Support is a random bra ad snapped from a taxi headed down to Greenwich Village - we were going to Ty's to have a pint after the rugby. climatebearnj was leading the way. At Ty's, I ran into Regi, an old friend from SF I hadn't seen in ages; we caught up on mutual friends and laughed about how I've spent the night in his condo but never seen him there [I was over there shagging someone way back in 1993; furthermore, we joked about how I had no idea what I was getting into, seeing as how I'd only just started having sex at all. Long story!].
Free is a picture of the Statue of Liberty way off in the distance taken from the piers just west of the Dugout.
SEAL RIDES $5 is Mark goofing around on the way to dinner. We'd originally planned on having sushi, but I defected at the last minute when I saw an implausibly awesome looking French restaurant. I forget what it was called; it was some guy's name [Claude something, peut-etre?], had simple rows of tables, a huge pile of corks in the window, and a perfect menu of simple dishes. I was in heaven. We had a bottle of Sancerre along with such tasty things as foie gras, scallops, skate, mussels, French fries, creme brulee, and tarte tatin. We ate like pigs; with tax and tip, it still only came to about $65 a person, though. You cannot possibly eat that well for that little money in Seattle; I was overall surprised at how much of the New York experience was moderately priced. The main exception to the rule were drinks at XXL - I paid $10 for a cocktail, but only one. Better to wait until you get home and have a $10 bottle of pink wine with the marmot.
Cub Room shows Dan standing in front of the eponymous restaurant.
Divinyls were here - well, that awesome French restaurant had a very cool toilet. The men's room didn't have a crapper, only a pissoir. As a result, lots of graffiti bemoaning the lack of a place to take a shit. I was hoping to get a picture of the really funny graffiti, but this is the only one that seemed to make for a "good" picture [framing-wise, at least].
14th St Union Square shows the bears at Astor Place station on the way back to the hotel.
Astor Place shows the Bleecker Street station, beautifully tiled and aging well, if perhaps difficult to enter going uptown.
Markhattan shows Mark at the wheel driving back to Manhattan, with the Manhattan skyline off in the distance.
Bridge and Tunnel is the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, which I last saw with oxbear years and years ago.
New Jersey-New York is the state line as marked in the Lincoln Tunnel.
TWR is a DC license plate - I hadn't seen this before. Over the weekend, there were many, many bear themed license plates around, although none particularly memorable.
Intrepid shows the Intrepid, with a long line of visitors out front. Hey, it was Fleet Week.
Please Return When Finished is the biggest customer restroom key I've ever seen. This was in a Kinko's across from a small park near the main public library; we had to fax documents to our real estate agent in the middle of the vacation. If the lot sells, easily the best $17 I spent all weekend.
Hi Chris me trying to get chrisglass's attention - nice logo for a small show in Chelsea near the gallery district.
W24 is - I think - a Cabaret Voltaire reference combined with a street sign someone ran over.
Don't Honk $350 Penalty is us waiting outside of the Eagle - what's up with bars that don't open until 5 p.m.? The barbecue at least was delicious.
Marmot vs. Eagle shows Dan enjoying a $3 Red Hook on their beautiful upstairs patio. We had a good time just chilling for a bit - high point was meeting some guy from a bar called The Hidden Door in Dallas, who was funny, easy on the eyes, and very much an old school Gay. It's good to experience that kind of history in person.
GILF is some guy on roller skates in the Village with a big white beard and a very small blue miniskirt. Hrm. We were on our way to Webster Hall for XXL and the closing party.
Jane Fonda ate here appeared to be a place called Klute's Restaurant.
Black Shirts Kilt is some of the security staff at the Webster along with a local helping organize things on behalf of the NYC rugby club. He was dreamy, although the XXL organizer was far woofier [think heavy Scots accent (?) along with a much more handsome kilt].
ZULU shows someone doing a Zulu. Ask madmooney what that means if you don't already know.
Kangaroo Court was held at around 9:30 PM. This is an old rugby tradition, and hugely amusing. At the time, I was upstairs in the VIP room chillin' with my homies. Both Mark and Austin had ponied up the $30 required to enter the XXL event - and thanks to subterfuge and Matt Hall's generosity, we were able to move them upstairs to the real party, get them a bunch of free food and beers, and really get the evening started off right. This was the quiet before the storm - it was all over by around 10 P.M., at which point the music got really, really loud. By 2 A.M., I had been dancing like the stupid white boy I am for hours, frugging madly with Mark, shirtless, mixed in with a couple hundred other bears. It was beautiful, man.
Goodbye Roosevelt Hotel was aggravating - our bill was wrong [overcharged about $180 due to an incorrect room rate], and it took me for-fucking-EVER to get it taken care of. Finally, the front desk manager got involved, wasted another ten minutes trying to get the reservations department to make sense, gave up, and just comped us one night, which meant we actually saved about $100 vis-a-vis the correct rate. That make me happy. Dan and Mark had gone to get Starbucks, and then Mark graciously drove us over the Museum of Natural History where we spent most of Monday.
Photoshoot RMX was taken on the Avenue of the Americas on the way up to the museum; there were full size desks hanging from a crane as well as a bunch of gawkers standing around. I have absolutely no idea what they were filming.
The AOL has been removed shows the Time Warner corporate headquarters. When I was an AOL employee, this was still being built.
Vera Cruz is not my drag name, but I did get a hcuckle out of what appeared to be bodacious ta-tas. Remember, kids, anthropological museums are largely there so that kids can laugh at boobs.
For shamantraveler was taken from the South American section of the museum; there was a small display concerning itself with ayahuasca, something I've been interested in ever since I read Burroughs/Ginsberg's The Yagé Letters back at Berkeley in the 80s. The most fascinating part of the exhibit, though, was a ritual clitoral removal knife and set of ceremonial clay objected used to place over the wounded vagina after certain other initiation ceremonies - ouch. There didn't seem to be anything even remotely as brutal for the boys, but the women had to not only endure that but go through ritual shavings, fire ant bite endurance trials... you name it. This is of course where I really should channel Hirsi Ali and talk about the fundamental question of what do we tolerate as a society? but I'll leave that for another post.
The Fun Mask is an African mask that was described as "the fun mask" in the accompanying text. Many exhibits had not been updated since the 1950s; it seemed clear that only stuff people really want to see gets updated [think dinosaurs and, well, dinosaurs]. Sigh.
Grisly is a beautifully outdated information panel in the Hall of North American Mammals.
Marmot Guest Photo is Dan borrowing my phone en route to La Guardia airport. We took a private car from the hotel - $35 plus tip, with air conditioning that almost kept up with the 88+ degree temperatures.
Marmot has pizza at LGA shows an exhausted marmot with some broccoli chicken pizza, waiting for the plane to board. The pizza was damned good, although not as good as the pizza I had in the Village oh so many years ago.
Ruggers at LGA shows a mix of Quake and Fog players waiting for flights to Denver and Chicago.
Ground stop for Chicago traffic - apparently there were horrible thunderstorms around Chicago. sftekbear got screwed by them as well. Here, we're stitting on the tarmac at La Guardia waiting to take off. We left nearly three hours late. At least the air conditioning was good!
I think that says Trump out there somewhere is a really bad picture. It eventually started to rain, and then I noticed a TRUMP AIR aircraft out there. I'd never seen that before.
Hate Dropped ? was posted out of order. It's one of the coolest ads I saw. See thornyc's comment for more detail.
Approaching Chicago is somewhere a few miles north of O'Hare. I was hoping the clear skies would mean the last of our travel delays, but that wasn't to be. Apparently traffic had backed up so incredibly over the last several hours that just cleaning the stacked up planes waiting to take off would take two or three hours. We got home nearly four hours later than we were originally expecting.
On our way to Seattle is a misnomer - we thought we would be taking off as the weather had been fine for hours, but instead we just went out to somewhere on the tarmac, parked, and waited another few hours. Ugh.
Big Momma's House 2 serves only to document that yes, on United 433 last night, we did in fact watch Big Momma's House 2. Unbelievable.
Well, so much for my moblogging experiment. I hope the pictures were more entertaining than exasperating. It was kind of fun to do, but I'm not sure I'd do it again. It was frustrating dealing with poor signal quality and endless data glitches - I'm not sure if it was just overloaded New York City cellular networks, or if our software really sucks that hard.