Main | Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Doing

Fifth in a series dedicated to proving I am undatable.

I am the Worst. New Yorker. Ever.

In March I will have been here for five years, and folks I'm totally serious when I tell you that I have never been outside of Manhattan. Never been to Brooklyn. Never been to The Bronx. I've certainly never been to Staten Island and never to Queens either, unless you count taxi rides to JFK and LaGuardia. I am Outer Borough Free.

I've never been to Coney Island or the Bronx Zoo. No Yankee Stadium, no Mermaid Parade. I have taken the Staten Island Ferry, but only to ride past the Statue of Liberty and I never got off in Staten Island.

I wasn't always like this. I used to do stuff. "Joe, what do you wanna do today?" "I dunno, let's just get in the car and see what looks fun!" - Seriously, I used to be like that. But now....now an afternoon spent on the couch, surfing 200 channels, seems a lot more appealing than the huge chore of putting on pants and shoes and leaving the house. Maybe it's the whole no-car-having thing and that I'm always weighing going someplace against how far that place is from the subway.

I know what you're all saying. You're all sitting there in your cubicles in Duluth and Des Moines and Diebougou and you're crying out, "Hello? Joe? You live in New York Fuckin' City! The most exciting place on Earth! Get outta the damn house!" And you are right, you are completely right.

Did I mention that I live in Manhattan and I've never seen the George Washington Bridge? Cuz, it's like TEN MILES AWAY and I don't know anybody who lives in Washington Heights, so I've never been up there. In truth, I haven't seen much of Upper Manhattan, despite living on the Upper East Side. Aside from a couple of trips to Harlem, I haven't really gone above 90th Street.

Part of the problem with doing stuff is that I don't like to do what a lot of what people like to do.

I'm not a big fan of museums. I live about a dozen blocks from one of the most famous and ginormous museums in the world, the Metropolitan Museum Of Art. Never been. I have been to the MOMA a couple of times, to placate visiting friends, but I spent most of those visits sitting on benches, waiting while my friends cooed and woo-hoo'd over paintings of soup cans. I think my personal museum record has to be my 22 minute visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London, I mean, how many thousands of paintings called Madonna And Child can a person withstand?

I should mention that I live three blocks away from Central Park and I've been in there twice in the last year, both times to see Christo's The Gates, because friends wanted to see the display. Naturally, I thought it was kinda dumb.

I'm also not a big fan of Broadway. Oh, I've seen the odd show here and there, when friends have had extra tickets and I was unable to creatively weasel out of attending. But as is typical with me, by halftime I'd be checking my watch and tapping my foot and spending more time looking around at the audience and admiring the theatre than watching the stage.

It's an embarrassment to me, considering how much I love my people, but I am completely tortured by musicals. Searing white hot pain unto my soul, do I endure when confronted by Sondheim or Webber. Remember how Beethoven's 9th affected Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange? Such is my reaction to Into The Woods. I try hard to mask this when around my theatre friends. I smile and nod my head while they excitedly recount the triumphs of the Sunset Boulevard or Phantom Of The Opera, while I try to think of puppies and rainbows.

To recap, doing stuff with me means no shopping (we've covered that), no Broadway, and no museums, and probably nothing outside of Manhattan, unless you have a car. In my defense I should mention that I am adventurous, really. If you find something unusual or nutty, I'm down for it. Still, see why I'm alone?

(previously: The Watching)
(next: The Fucking)

EDIT: Before y'all begin to doubt my homosexuousity, I should reveal that I just got back from buying this.
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