Tuesday, April 30, 2013

He's leaving' on a jet plane...

Like fine wine...
Few things get better with age. Yet after 18 years my partnership with Frank is deeper, richer, and stronger than ever. If nothing else, we are balanced. His "yin" to my "yang" has helped us to survive good and bad times. Give and take are essential elements to our successful relationship.

Works for us!
We both have passions beyond each other. My career takes us far away from Montana. Given I'm at work at least 12 hours a day, living with me can be lonely at best. That's why we "reciprocate" so that Frank can be where he's happiest.

Spring Fever!
For eight years Frank has cultivated a garden on his family's land just outside of Lewistown. A family tradition, my city boy took over the task after his father tended that same plot for many, many years. This means that Frank departs where ever we're living (and working) late April only to return late September. I'm not going to lie, being separated is hard on both of us. However, enabling Frank to do something that he truly loves is well worth a few months of loneliness in Manhattan.
Call me.
While Frank tends tomatoes, I fill my summer dance card with business cocktails, dinners, and commitments. Focusing on work is not a problem for this workaholic! Plus a constant stream of friends in/out of town means I'm booked solid! Weekends alone are the hardest, yet somehow the months fly by!
See you in September!
Throughout the summer we try to see each other every 3-4 weeks. While absence makes the heart grow fonder, it also seems to reignite the relationship. Therefore we'll continue to deal with it until the day I can retire. Bon voyage mon amour!

Monday, April 29, 2013


Sunday afternoon we saw Bette Midler in "I'll Eat You Last". A matinee you might ask? Well, it's the hottest ticket in town so you grab what you can get.
The divine Miss M was beyond divine. Her one woman show was all about uber agent, Sue Mengers, the ultimate Hollywood power broker. Sue ruled tinsel town and all of the "sparkles" throughout the seventies till nineties.
On Sunday Bette ruled that stage!
Afternoon Delight
I'd ever been to a matinee before. From the looks of the audience, Long Island and Chelsea must have been completely empty. That said, I must admit I enjoyed the timing. As Frank pointed out, I stayed awake the entire performance! A miracle!
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy!
Like every gay man, I adore all things Bette. Bette rose to prominence only after she started to perform at The Continental Baths on the upper west side. My introduction was when I purchased her first album in 1972. Ethel had a total stroke when she saw my Bette purchase. She took the album away! Was my Mother worried that I might be musically wooed to frequent a bath house myself some day? Therefore could my Bette compulsion be an omen of things to come? Divine intervention?
From a distance...
It's hard to imagine that the decadent broad of the seventies became a main stream icon. Yet Bette overcame a series of cinematic highs and lows (who can forget Jinxed?) to become
a mainstream grande dame.
A class act.
Bette's commitment to making this
city a beautiful place has had a
major impact on Manhattan. The
divine Miss M's charity cleans up
parks and builds gardens. She
gone from bathhouse broad to
community doyen, and all it took
was the desire to make a difference.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Whatever happened to whimsy?
At some point we lost the thrill of dining in a derby
or sleeping in the bowels of an elephant.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The end of the line...

Turn Right.
Yesterday I took you down Fifth Avenue. At 42nd Street I turn west at the Public Library.
Opened in 1911, this edifice of learning sits on land that previously held Manhattan's water supply within the neo Egyptian Croton Reservoir.
Walk down 42nd.
My mother loved a bargain and for years
Stern Brothers was her secret weapon.
Sitting on the north side of 42nd, this mid tier
department store served New Yorkers until
1969. Then sadly it met the wrecking ball.
Shortly thereafter the new and curvacious
Grace Building arose upon the same spot.
Stern's final move was into the former
Gimbels on Herald Square, previously
occupied by Abraham & Strauss. In 2001
they finally closed their doors forever.

Cross Mid Block.
Directly behind the Library is Bryant Park. When I was a young man that was one place you did not dare to go into. Known as "Needle Park", it was a den of iniquity and frankly quite dangerous.

Stop and Linger.
In the late eighties a group of citizens
took over the park. They transformed it
into the verdant and vibrant oasis it is
today. Under it's spreading branches -
Cafes, Restaurants, Summer Film Festival,
Free Reading Library, Bocce Ball, and
more await all. What's most amazing are
the flowers. Everyday I tip toe through
thousands upon thousands of tulips,
daffodils, and hyacinth on my way to the
office. What could be better than that?
Pause and Remember.
Our final stop on my commute
is 1411 Broadway. In my
youth this was the address of
the Metropolitan Opera House.
Long the home of Manhattan
high society, my grande dame
Great Grandmother Sadie had
a box on the golden horseshoe.
It's final curtain was 1966 and all
ended as a pile of ruble in 1967.
Start Anew.
Everyday I now spend the bulk
of my hours at 1411 Broadway.
No longer a venue of culture,
it is home to the Jones Group a
conglomerate of fashion brands.
What Sadie would think of that?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ghosts... lots and lots of ghosts...

On the Avenue
In case I haven't mentioned it,
I adore my daily "commute".
The majority of my stroll is
a thirteen block stroll along
Fifth Avenue. This boulevard
of dreams is filled lined with
many old memories.

Violets are blue...
When I first started working, the chicest store in Manhattan was Bonwit Teller on the corner of Fifth and 56th. In those days nobody cared about the windows at Bergdorf's. Bonwit's windows were renowned for wit, whimsey, and inspiration. Sadly over the years, the violets slowly faded until the flagship was torn down to erect Trump Tower. A new store was briefly opened on 57th street only to be quickly replaced by Galleries Lafayette and ultimately Nike Town. Elegant ain't it?

Behind the Red Door...
For over eighty years the Elizabeth Arden store and Red Door Salon resided in the Aeolian Building at 54th. All things beautiful age and Elizabeth Arden is now only considered appropriate for blue hairs. Today that same shop is home to the ultra hip MAC.

What the Peck?
One of my Mother's favorite stores was Peck & Peck at 53rd Street. A genteel refuge of "tasteful" twin sets and frocks, Ethel always said it was the only place to purchase gloves.

Only the best.
For most of my childhood I wore togs from Best & Co. This a venerable shop sat on the corner of 51st. I got my first haircut at Best's while sitting atop an elephant and peering at a fish tank embeded in the wall. At one time there were Best & Co's across the country. Sadly, as with many elegant institutions, the chain failed and it's flagship was destroyed in the early seventies and replaced by the Olympic Tower.

Once upon a time
In our age of Amazon, few can recall that once there were bookstores. Bilbliophile heaven was Scribners on Fifth at 48th. It's facade and interior remain as designated landmarks and within Sephora adds a dash of color.

Take it to the bank.
My Dad worked his entire career for Manufacturers Hanover Trust, the blue blood of banks. In 1953 they had Skidmore and Owings design this jewel box branch at Fifth and 43rd. Now, Joe Fresh brings in the money.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I hear voices...

Everyday as I walk to/from work in
Manhattan I catch brief snippets of
conversations as I pass people on
the street. For that moment, you're
part of the dialogue. Then they pass
and you both move on. I can't help
but wonder what was really going on.
So, let's play a game today.
We'll guess the answers together!
"I'm telling you 
 she's a lousy whore!"

Obviously the lady ain't the lady
we thought she was... WHY?
a) "She cheated on her man."
b) "She has lice."
c) "She's better at it than I am."
d) Skip to question four.

"The moment I get in
 I'm telling them..."

What thrilling revelation will
be unveiled at the water cooler?
a) "I quit."
b) "I'm pregnant."
c) "I won Power Ball!"
d) Not Applicable
"He may be old
 but he's worth millions!"

What happened after she
embraced the gentleman's
flaws and net worth?
a) "So... I slept with him."
b) "He took me to Bergdorfs."
c) "The pig made me pay!"
d) None of the above.

"I was as surprised 
 as you wuz. Could 
 you believe it?!"

Fact is often stranger than fiction.
Once again, was the lady not the lady
everybody thought she was. WHY?
a) "She wuz a he!"
b) "He slept with my Mother!"
c) "Isn't that my hat she's wearing?"
d) Go back to question one.
"Really? I never would 
 have thought that."

What amazing revelation
was just shared?
a) "It's 100% Naugahyde."
b) "Something's stuck up there."
c) "I quit biting my nails."
d) All of the above.