A Better Way To Shop
A brisk walk across Central Park with Eddie and we arrived at the Farmboyz' Upper West Side pied-a-terre shortly after noon. Farmboy C served several rounds of his famously spicy and potent Bloody Marys and then we headed out to tour midtown's mad crush of holiday destinations in the condition in which they are best experienced.
First, a stroll through the plaza at Lincoln Center, where we all expressed dismay and wonderment at its continual decay and generally decrepit condition. Farmboy C impressed me by volunteering the names of the architects responsible for each of the three Lincoln Center buildings. Father Tony remarked that prior to Lincoln Center's arrival, the site had been the location of the filming of West Side Story. These guys know their city.
Next stop, Starbucks, so that all could purchase a warm place to keep their whiskey. 'Cept me, a'course. I loathe coffee, therefore I was rocking a to-go container of Farmboy C's Bloody Mary potion, smartly concealed in a Jamba Juice bottle that we'd rescued from his kitchen trashcan.
At the Bryant Park rink, we watched the skaters hold hands as they spun around the ice. At the corner of 6th Avenue, we watched a crying handsome man hold hands with his icy girlfriend. Then we were standing before the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, which we all agreed was as flaccid and disappointing as Shopgirl.
Over to 5th Avenue for some window shopping and people watching. We spotted a leather queen striding up the sidewalk and carrying a bag from J.R. Cigars. He was smoking the longest, most ridiculous looking cigar I'd ever seen. A few minutes later we found Lady Cigar standing transfixed before one of the Bergdorf windows, his eyes glazing over at the over-the-top art deco display of mirror balls and feathers. I love my people.
The Farmboyz insisted on showing us the new Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store, despite our universal loathing of the brand, because they'd been blown away by the murals over the store's interior staircases. It was the right call, the store was impressive, a towering thundering chundering pean to Peter Pan syndrome, with pretty boys this close to manhood working the counters, and gay men this close to creaming, working the aisles. The sound system was as sophisticated as any nightclub, only MUCH MUCH LOUDER. So loud, that when a customer asked this guy why the store was selling the opportunity to have a photo taken with him at the low price of $1.00, I couldn't hear his answer.
Back outside Abercrombie, I drew our attention to a foursome of shoppers that I'd just spotted. All of them in ankle-length minks. All of them with Virginia Slims perched between flawlessly manicured nails on hands laden with massive diamond rings. Thousand-dollar frost jobs and thousand-dollar Botoxes. They stood facing each other, toe-to-Manolo'd toe, emitting an occasional shriek of laughter with a tossed back head. They were mesmerizing. Father Tony took me by the elbow and murmured, "I know what you're thinking, Joe. There's four of them, there's four of us....."
With the darkness, Dugout, where we ran into Mark, the former president of the SF bear club, touring NYC with his husband. We kidnapped Mark, sans husband, to the Eagle, where I was blown away by their hot new poster from even hotter photographer Joe Oppedisano. The new Eagle poster features current employees in a...group pose. Go browse through the work on Joe's site, you will not be bored.
Some quality conversation with a few local blogger hotties, and we were back home, a mere 11 hours after we left the house "to go shopping". Now, that was the kind of shopping I can deal with.
UPDATE: Photographer Joe Oppedisano was kind enough to contact me this morning and email me the photo used in the 2006 Eagle poster. With his permission, I am posting it here. Thanks, Joe! Enjoy, people!