This old song from The Wallflowers expresses my melancholy mood.
Less than a week after returning home from New York, my heart still aches for the city. I REALLY didn’t want to leave. Even as the plane sat on the tarmac bound for Toronto, I wanted to rush the cockpit and tell the pilot to let me out.
It’s hard to believe the pulse of a city can beat at the same rate as my heart, but that’s how it feels. I’ve been to NYC numerous times, even lived there for a year in the late nineties, and it never feels right to leave. Maybe one day I’ll return for good and make it my home. I know if I were there today, I’d be in lockdown with the impending storm—stuck—unable to fly out. Damn … I’ve got to plan better next time.
To friends and family on the east coast of the U.S. and Canada in the path of Hurricane Sandy—I’m keeping you in my thoughts.
Here were some of the favorite moments of my trip.
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I finally met acclaimed American poet, Steven Marty Grant. I’ve devoured his poetry for the past couple of years and have begged him for personalized copies of his book, Another Hotel Room. Receiving his signed books was truly a highlight of my trip. He’s an amazing poet and an even more amazing person. I’m so looking forward to his next collection Chasing Moriarty releasing later this year.
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I blogged about the the wonderful Mike Geffner in a recent post. His series, The Inspired Word is a great event for any city but especially for New York. There are so many talented people who are not afraid to express themselves, and I’ve already connected to many of them just by attending the event once. Further to the Monday night open mic session, Mike even asked me to help judge a comedy slam later that week. So much fun!
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Jim Campilongo, a regular act at The Living Room Monday nights was the next stop after my open mic session, but I almost didn’t get in. The doorman asked for ID, which I didn’t have. The only thing I had to offer was my newly printed business card. I said, “You know I must be of age if I write erotica.”
He stared at my card and said, “You’ve got to be kidding.” He was a big guy. He looked mean, not easy to persuade.
“How do I know you’re not just a horny teenager?” he asked.
“Ha,” I replied. “Horny teenagers would have nothing to write about.”
I dug in my heels for a battle of words, but then something incredible happened. He revealed he also writes erotic literature. What?! That’s New York for you, nobody is just doing a job—everyone has other aspirations. He asked, “Do you have anything I can read?” Considering I’d just come from reading my book, I gave him my copy. I knew my book was worth something but never thought I could use it to get into a NY club. ;)
After watching Jim’s fabulous show, I spoke with the doorman whose name is Mark K. He’d already read my first story, and we had a discussion about writing and have been in touch since. He sent me a piece of his work for an opinion, and the man can write—really well, in fact. I couldn’t be happier to connect to him in this serendipitous way.
So, if you’re in NYC on a Monday night, drop by The Living Room and say ‘hi’ to Mark, bring some ID, and don’t miss Jim Campilongo. He’s an amazing guitarist with a smokin’ hot band. Connect to him on Twitter @JimCampilongo.
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I gained major poundage during my ten days in the city, and it’s mainly due to a great Italian eatery in Hell’s Kitchen called Stecchino. The service was friendly, the food amazing, and they had FREE WIFI. I’m still dreaming about their garlic, rosemary fries, and I don’t even like potatoes! Connect to them on Twitter @StecchinoNYC.
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Bryant Park is one of many beautiful open spaces in the city. On a bright day, I soaked up the sun on a park bench and a stranger tried to pick me up. I love the men in this city—they’re fearless. What was great about the incident was our exchange sparked a poem, which I will share in a collection later this year. Poems don’t come easily to me, so I take inspiration whenever it hits.
I was actually in the area to meet NYU professor and Forbes writer, David Vinjamuri. I’d interviewed him recently, and we exchanged writing tips and talked marketing strategy. Of course, he was just as nice in person as he is online. He also gave me some excellent promotion advice, which I’ll put into practice shortly.
Connect to him on Twitter @dvinjamuri.
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I reconnected with a wonderful couple whom I met while in Barbados last year. Linda and Bob are vibrant New Yorkers who introduced me to an area completely new to me—The Seaport. We had a great dinner, met new friends, and capped off the evening at one of their favorite haunts – Nelson Blue, fully decorated for Halloween.
It was also this area where I returned to the next day in a final quest for boots. I love wearing boots in the fall and had ruined my favorite pair several months ago. As luck would have it, I found them! I also learned you don’t pay tax for individual clothing items under $110, so of course I had to pick up a few more things. It only makes sense, right?
Until next time, New York. I can’t wait to come back.
Stay safe, everyone.