Dear friend Fredly Bronson returned to NYC once again as the writer for ABC-TV’s “New Year’s Eve With Ryan Seabreast,” and tonight brought together a fab posse of his pals for dinner at NYC’s iconic Sardi’s… including “American Idol” finalists Diana DeGarmo and her fiance Ace Young, and my beloved Kimberley Locke. Can you imagine a more festive way to usher in 2013? *
Man, New Year’s Eve can be such a fussy affair, can’t it? This year, my pal Alex came up from Washington, D.C., and we joined my NYC extended family for what turned out to be an absolutely perfecto event. Met many friends at East Village dive rock bar Manitoba’s and hung… complete with seating, no overtly unnecessarily loud mayhem and an ideal festive welcome to a new year. That felt oh so right! *
Ayhan hosted a festive gathering in the East Village Friday night for longtime friend Ulf, who was an Ambassador to Sweden in Turkey when Ayhan first composed his musical “Swedish Style.” Ultimately, their connection led to Ayhan meeting Bjorn & Benny from ABBA, one of the highlights of his career.
Ironically, his equally long-lived pals Emrah and wife Punar from Turkey were simultaneously in NYC… It was, in fact, Emrah who collaborated with Ayhan to connect with the Swedish Embassy at the time… Quite a reunion, complete with a spread of combination Swedish & Turkish culinary delights. *
There was certainly no mistaking that Saturday, December 15, was New York’s annual Santacon celebration, as I moseyed through Times Square. The “non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason” packed NYC’s densest neighborhood with thousands of twentysomething Santas, elves and other Christmas disciples of every shape and size.
I was incorrect in believing that Santacon is a bar crawl. Its webbie notes that “every time you call it that, a sugarplum fairy dies.” Whoops. It’s actually, in part, a food drive, with designated stop where, yes, you eat and imbibe. In 2011, Santacon raised $10,000 for Toys for Tots and donated more than 6,000 pounds of food to Manhattan and Brooklyn food banks.
The route this year began at 10 a.m. at Pier 84 on the very West side of 42nd Street, then made its way through Midtown, the East Village and into Brooklyn, with sponsored stops along the way.
Some 20,000 Santas participated in Santacon last year… along with such celebrations around the world. It originated in 1974 in Copenhagen; spread to Austin, Texas in 1978; San Fran in 1994; and since… has become a national event in cities worldwide.
Despite my ongoing apartment renovation that just tipped into its eighth week (albeit, with delays from Hurricane Sandy, a gas crisis, and a hasty snowstorm), I have been able to get out and about now and again.
Here’s the week’s catch-up on socializing with my peeps. Thank god I’ve had them throughout this. Sanity is on the brink, given the fact that wifi is intermittent and dust continues to prevail. The good news: Finale is Monday! *
Above: Happy Hour Friday in the Lower East Side; below, book release party with Leo…
On Monday, friend excursion 2.0, as I met Trix Moose, son Jack and sis Chris for the traditional Ruby Tuesday outing—always a highlight, since a kickin’ salad bar just ain’t to be had in NYC. Didn’t hurt a bit that our waiter Eric was a fetching fellow.
After din din, I was invited to join Trix and Jack—who has suddenly evolved into a high school senior and a handsome 17 year old (I remember when the critter was a roly-poly 9 year old) at their home to decorate the Christmas tree!
That was a spectacular event for meese, since I no longer fix up my apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Now that I’m a bachelor, it’s just not the same to decorate for the holidays for the sake of Abby & Spencer. They’d probably view the tree as a relief post, anyway.
A lovely family holiday celebration, as good as any of the seasonal Hallmark Channel flicks I watched over the past week with my mama. *
While my trips home to Virginia usually comprise staying putting with the parents, fortunately there’s time for a couple escapes from the Big House… On Sunday, I hooked up with Donna Mae Moose for supper at the parents’ complex, then a shopping excursion to Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s… Once again, like Black Friday in Lynchburg, we sailed through the stores with no lines, no mobs, no madness… *
A couple weeks ago—before bitch Hurricane Sandy took her swipe at NYC—I joined pal Paulie at Boxer’s NYC in Chelsea… which just happens to be bud Leo’s fave hang… and so there were the three of us. Also in attendance: long-lived drag fave Hedda Lettuce… and hot bartender Josh Monrad, who The Smoking Nun profiled in our regular Model Perfect feature last November.
I’ve never been much of a newshound, instead combing the headlines online like most of us… that is, until this Presidential election has persistently (and inexplicably) become closer and closer between our Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama and his flip-flopping foe Mitt-Wit Romney.
For the past couple months, I have Tivo’d Anderson Cooper’s 360 on CNN every single night, as well as Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and then back to CNN for Piers Morgan… watching obsessively as the truth continues to be revealed that the Republican candidate leans toward whatever the polls drive him to say in a given week… or whatever the given state he’s visiting stands for. That is, of course, except for social issues, where his point of view is clear: women and gays should be second-class citizens, backing up the nation’s civil rights and social agenda a good 40+ years.
I gather that in the coming week, I’m likely to remain sequestered in Brooklyn as NYC subways continue to work their way back post-Hurricane Sandy (currently, there’s no service between Brooklyn and Manhattan), so Friday night I began exploring options. Thankfully, there’s a joint just up the street from my apartment that will be airing election results all night long… Custom House, an Irish bar that’s open until 4 a.m.
I hope to god Obama adds up his 270 electoral votes long before the bitter end, but as the results come in state by state, I’ll at least be amid a crowd of New Yorkers to celebrate—or commiserate—through the long haul. My pal Jimmy who works there has already reserved a table for me at 7 p.m. Tuesday. I’ll be sitting tight as the first states roll in…
I’d love to think it’s going to be a short, precise evening… but so many U.S. states still seem to be potentially duped by the Mitt-Wit… and god, it could be close. Or it might not. Or this nation could decide to take a frightening step decades into the past. In any case, I will fueled by plenty of gin to endure the drama.
Hopefully, I’ll be skipping home… and not crawling on my knees, drowning in tears. *