Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thank You Thank You

You've been so kind and 


I don't know how you keep on giving

For your kindness I'm in

Debt to you

I've been trying really hard lately to find a little gratitude in my life.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I've always been one to count my blessings, so to speak, and revel in the life I've built and in those I've had the fortune of knowing.  But this year it's been difficult to find the will to do so. That doesn't mean I stop trying.

Though I may not feel it at the moment, I still have a lot to be thankful for.  I've got plenty of good people around me who care, and that's about all one could ask for in a life, right?  It means I've done something right, after all. So for what it's worth, a very Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you, my friends, my family, and my readers.  Count your blessings each and every day!

I want to thank you thank you, 

thank you thank you,

thank you thank you

Thank you!

Like Strangers in Our Own Place

It's hard to believe that it was just two short years ago that Suffolk County, a place that once was the home of several busy gay bars, saw the promising opening of a new bar in what had become a desolate landscape for the business called Nuts & Bolts in Holbrook.  It was Thanksgiving Eve 2012, and the place was packed.  People came from far and wide to welcome the new establishment, created just for us, with open arms.  Today, NaB's, as we still call it, no longer exists, and in its place is Exclusive Lounge, a supposed 'bar for everyone' that openly hosts our crowd one or two days a week.  Last night, Thanksgiving Eve, a few of us gave it a shot and we all came to the sad, sad realization that the L.I. gay bar scene is decidedly pathetic!

Right after that opening in 2012, I wrote a piece on the new bar for Examiner.  Here's some of what I wrote...

The comments heard throughout the large opening night crowd at Nuts  Bolts on Thanksgiving Eve joined to sing a common chorus:  "This place is fantastic!"  "Beautiful!" "Aw, this was a long time coming."  "We needed this."  "Impressive!"    Indeed, judging by smiles, the animated conversations, the dancing and a whole heck of a lot more, Nuts & Bolts, the brand new men's bar located on Main Street in Holbrook was just what the doctor ordered...

...Nuts & Bolts' opening night was by all accounts a successful one, and hopefully the place will endure.  With all of the talk and reminiscing that went on last night about the good old days of a varied gay nightlife scene on Long Island, many people may have finally found an alternative in today's scene to whet their appetites.  Based on last night's turnout, the future looks good! 

Heading into last night, none of us were too sure of what to expect from the place.  We had asked what was going on there for the big night, whether it was going to be gay, straight, or what, and we were told three different stories in the 24 hours leading into last night.  Oh yeah, it's going to be for you's gonna be a mixed, how bout neither!

The few of us who were planning on going became a little hesitant leading into the night as our friends, who for the last two years have spent this particular evening mixing and mingling at Nuts, there wasn't much buzz about going.  Perhaps they already knew what to expect from the place, and it wasn't people like us. Indeed, ever since the bar reopened under its new pseudonym a few months ago, many have stayed away entirely, as even their 'gay' nights aren't too well attended.   

From the moment we walked in we knew it was trouble.  Scantily clad women stood behind the bar as several patrons stood around the bar area, a decided mix of young, and straight, guys and girls (hmm!), hookahs, and more. Then the hip hop came blaring out of the speakers and we knew our night was gonna be cut short.  The feeling was weird, and sad, as the only four of us who showed up felt like outcasts in what was once our bar.

Yeah, what I had said two years ago looked like a promising future for people like us is completely false now.  In a way I hate talking about the place in this way because I genuinely admire one of the owners, but unfortunately the truth is the truth and I am sure that there are forces going on which I know nothing about, but whatever those forces are, they believe that we're just not as profitable as the young, straight hipsters (?).  And so, once again we're left with little to nothing.  

There were two other places for gay people in Suffolk to go last night, and they probably both had crowds, too.  V.I.P. Lounge in Patchogue had a Luxe Reunion Party and I am sure The Veranda in Bay Shore hosted a nice crowd, too.  For me personally, neither place was desirable...distance and type of crowd are definitely factors for me...but that's exactly my point.  There aren't any real choices. V.I.P. was a one night thing, and so Veranda is now it, and if that's not your kind of place, then you're shit outta luck!  So sad!  

Moving to NYC is definitely something I need to be thinking about again...I miss dancing!



A Happy Birthday Song of the Day #2 - Cry When You Get Older - Robyn

Young boy, by the traffic light
What your daddy never told you
Is love hurts when you do it right
You can cry when you get older

Not only is this Thanksgiving Week, but around these parts it's Birthday Week, as well.  Yesterday was my bestie Rich's birthday and today is the birthday of yet another bestie, Kyle.  Kyle is one of my friends that I know from bowling and we've become pretty close over the past two years or so.  In that short time...well...he and I have gotten to know each other pretty darned well to a point where we stand today.  He is probably the one friend who I spend the most time with and I want to wish him the best of birthdays.

Kyle is a youngin', 25 years old today, and a lot of times I feel like I'm not only his friend, but kinda sort of his mentor, as well.  From what I know of him, Kyle is one of those people who's always found a comfortable spot in hanging around people older and wiser than he, and he not only found myself as one to look up to, but a whole slew of us from bowling, too.  Al, Eric and Rick, Gary, J.C., Eric C., Bobby and Rich, and a whole host of fellow bowlers have all shared in helping to guide this genuine young man through these past few years, and though he doesn't always realize how much he is loved by all of us, he really is a special part of this extended group of friends.


Out of all of us, Kyle, myself and our pal Gary have been among the closest, and the trhee of us have shared plenty of good times together, as well, from our Monday night jaunt to Coney Island this summer, to catching up and teaching Kyle the great, great show, Six Feet Under, to gay nights at Great Adventure, P-Town, parties, bowling and more, the friendship that we share as three is a special one, too!

Anyway, last night Kyle was trying to guess which song I was going to post today for his b'day, and though he made some good guesses, he got it wrong.  I realized that although I've spoken about soundtracks of relationships in the past, it's not only romantic relationships that can have a soundtrack.  One of the things that bind he and I together is our love for music, and though we have some differences in our musical tastes, there are certain tunes that we both love, and today's song is one which I believe introduced him to Robyn (via me!) and one that fits this particular day and week for that matter.  I'm not too sure about him, maybe it's too early, but I am certainly crying cause I got older, lol.  Anyway, for what it's worth, Happy Birthday my friend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Happy Birthday Song of the Day - Unusual Way - Barbra Streisand

Only on a special day like today would I post a song such as this one.  Today is the birthday of my bestest pal, Rich, and so I am posting Barbra Streisand's Unusual Way, a song that I'd never heard before, but one I'm sure he has a myriad of times over, especially for him.  

Rich and I have known each other for years, but we only became close about seven years ago after Joe and I had split up, and I couldn't be more grateful for his presence in my life.  Rich has helped fill up my past seven years with lots of fun, lots of laughs, and plenty of chit chat about this, that and everything else.  He and I share a lot of mutual interests, such as roller coasters, The Amazing Race and Survivor, Madonna, and so much more, and we never ever run out of things to talk about.

In the next few days I'm going to be posting pieces about the people in my life I am thankful for and Rich is an very appropriate start.  He's not a big fan of attention, but I say too bad Mr. Dit!  I'm grateful to have you for a friend and I look forward to knowing you for the rest of my days.  Happy Birthday buddy!