Dating New York Part I

It's a tough balance to find. The living life part and then taking time out to write about it. You might have noticed I've been away for a little while, but there has just been too much to cram in lately, places to go, that frankly, no date would take me. 

And it's tough sometimes to remember that life is a one time show. We only get this brief sneeze of time, and unfortunately for a lot of that time we're caught up in the nitty gritty 'it doesn't really matter sweating the small time' stuff. We can forget who we are and what we're really about. 

There are things that you just have to do, because. 

This is a concept us Brits just haven't grasped as guiltlessly as our American or European friends. The idea of pleasure. 

Guilt free, I want so, I do. 

I wanted to go to New York so, I did. 

There really was no further reasoning.

But that wasn't even the hard part. Telling people you want to go to one of the most fascinating, most focused upon city's in the world is fine. A place once believed to make your dreams come true, although now universally acknowledged to more likely steal your dreams before you've had your morning coffee, rebrand them and poster them over Time Square, to sell them back to you at an overpriced tourist 'hasn't got a clue' rate. 

The hard part was explaining why I was going alone.

The simple answer to this was I had no one to go with, the honest answer was I'd been fed up of waiting to have someone to take me.

People didn't like that second part so much. 

Friends suddenly offered to join me, my Mother actually threw an entire pity party, of course after the numerous safety lectures had subsided, which then concluded in her telling me that the Wilson's son, Neil, was in fact still available! 

I told her I couldn't date a guy who's name sounded like an adjective, and I told my friends 'next time' and I set off, optimistic or perhaps naive...

After I unpacked in my tiny little New York Hostel and made my little Hostel bed, (which by the way had wheels! I would later find out you were required to be the soundest of sleepers so as not to succumb to midnight seasickness) I then set off to, what I hoped would not be such hostel streets of New York. 

For the next week I set about doing everything my dwindling bank balance would allow. I took in every gallery, museum and visited every movie location I could remember seeing on the big screen. I think I'm the only tourist to ever have asked the guard at the Met, where the big window was, from When Harry Met Sally. I wondered through a snowy Central Park, running Woody Allen style monologues in my head, and even took my early morning Starbucks to Tiffany's in search for my inner Holly Golightly. 

The day time was fine, better than fine it was a real adventure: I got lost on the subway and ripped off for coffee in the east village. I window shopped and sight saw until my little Carrie Bradshaw shoe boots could carry me no more. 

But evenings were tricky. Sure I could dine out alone behind the armour of a book, but I couldn't go to bed in the 'city that doesn't sleep' at 9pm. 

My late night routine quickly became comedy shows, stand up, Burlesque and Broadway. But on my 5th night returning back to the only free comedy joint I could find, where the two drink minimum wasn't just an insurance policy, I realised that low and behold I missed human company. 

And since it would be trashy and down right unheard of to approach a person in a bar to 'make a friend', god forbid in 2014! I upgraded my data allowance and pulled out Tinder. 

Within minutes it was clear I was a hit with the locals. I reasoned with myself  I was searching for a tour guide, not a holiday romance, I wasn't so desperate that I had taken myself to New York only to hope to fall into the arms of a New Yorker. Or was I? 

An hour or so after chatting to one particularly enthusiastic 'Tour Guide' I took that brave step of propositioning a date. 

I told him I would be at a bar on Bleecker street. I'd be watching comedy there and he could show up and join me, or not show at around 9pm. I turned my phone off feeling liberated and in control. I had nothing to loose and I really didn't mind  whether I watched another show alone or with a stranger with whom I would have to make awkward small talk with, but would perhaps buy me a bud light. 

I went to the bar and did the usual routine of sitting alone, ordering the beer that looked cool rather than the red wine I really wanted to drink and I went to reach for my trusted companion, an over thumbed, dogged eared copy of Lace. 

But then I heard a deep English accent a few stools along, chatting animatedly to the Bar Keep about Brixton and the old Academy venue where I'd spent much of my own pre ID adolescences, jumping around to bands I didn't much like, to get close to the boys that I did. So I couldn't help but pipe up and gate crash the conversation.

For the purpose of the blog we shall call English accent a few stools down, Brixton.

Brixton was pretty damn gorgeous with that great kind of wavy hair that defies gravity and the need for products. Somehow set against the New York bar his South London accent was sexy. We hit it off, perhaps by default as the only Brits in walking distance and he offered to buy me a drink.

I'd almost forgotten about my American Tinder experiment when a tall brunette Yank in a duffle coat taped me on the shoulder and said, 

It's 9:15, am I too late?

I blushed furiously as I felt the awkwardness of an explanation coming on and began faffing over the fact that I had just met Brixton and we were both from London and wasn't that funny how two Londoners had found each other in the Big Apple, wasn't that just really really funny?

For the purpose of the blog we'll call my 9:15, US Tinder

US Tinder didn't find it as funny as me, but luckily the guys shook hands pretty admirably. 

I let US Tinder buy me a drink and apologised to Brixton telling him I'd already agreed to meet this guy but asked if he wanted to join us. I don't know what I was thinking, certainly I didn't suppose that I was capable of bridging the North Atlantic divide and orchestrating some kind of comedy club threesome date! But I didn't want to loose out on an actual organic, non cyber connection. 

Unfortunately Brixton made the decision for me by, possibly quite rightly, declining the weird threesome date. So I embarked on a real life twosome date with a New Yorker. Quickly we fell into the roles I had planned of Tour Guide and Tourist, debating the difference between American and British slang and our quite different mannerisms, and even school systems. We actually got on pretty well, but I couldn't help glancing over at Brixton as we descended into the clubs basement for the show.

 

To Be Continued....