Thursday, July 2, 2009

Debauchery and Divinity in Downtown Manhattan

There was something i felt I needed to blog about... but i think that can wait a bit, and I want to write about the past few days of mine. Well on Thursday night the JCC in Manhattan held a Pride County Fair. After all it is pride weekend/week/month culminating in the pride parade on sunday. I hadn't been feeling the best throughout the week but i wasn't gonna miss this for anything. Got my ticket beforehand and headed into Manhattan. I planned to arrive JMT (jewish mean time) about 45 mins after the scheduled start. Of course knowing my luck I got there to find I didn't know a single person there at the time. Great timing as usual, lol. Wasn't much to do but get a drink and begin schmoozing, which I did, and eventually people I recognized began to show up. There was a whole spread set up, food, drinks, a couple of bars, live music and some carnival games.

It was a lot of fun, meeting new people, hanging out with my friends, the music could've been better though lol. It was a really great social event. Unfortunately it ended early, yeah it was after its scheduled end time but 10.40 or so is still early! The party moved downstairs until people actually decided what to do. And Splash it was! I'm sure you remember my last experience there, which gave birth to the name I gave my friend Mr Splash. Being a few days before Pride Sunday the place was packed! The dancefloor was full and pumping. And of course there was a bit of a tribute to Michael Jackson (and Beyonce... all the single ladies lol). At one point one guy came over and started dancing behind me. I did get a glance at who it was but didn't turn around just yet, i did reach around and held his hands, dancing with him getting closer and closer. Then I turned around and we continued dancing, and then we kissed. He was cute :) . He lived nearby so after a bit of that we headed back to his place, and continued what we started on the dancefloor. The kissing, not the dancing, lol. Of course the kissing led to other stuff, clothes being thrown all over the place, it was hot! Turns out he wasn't that experienced as a bottom and couldn't quite 'accomodate' me, lol. My experience was even less, but we still managed to make it interesting, and sexy and fun. I slept the night and then made my getaway early the following morning. And by getaway i don't mean the walk of shame ;) .

Now i've got a question for you people. If you meet someone in a bar or club or wherever, how do you know if you're sexually compatible? What if you end up at his place only to find out that you're both tops or both bottoms? Do you actually ask? Or just hope that one of you is versatile? And what about the morning after? Or the days after. Should you call him or text him? To say thanks or anything or just let things be. Who makes the first move? Ok too many questions!

Onto the rest of my weekend. Friday was planned earlier in the week. I wanted to attend CBST - Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, aka the gay shule (synagogue) at their Chelsea location. Mr Splash had someone staying at his place so even though I could have stayed there too, I crashed at someone else's place, somewhere lower down and more convenient to where I was going to be hanging over the weekend. So thats how I ended up on the LES - definitely not as Jewish as it used to be. Mr Splash complained that I never end up at CBST when he's there, so maybe we might meet up there sometime in the future, who knows. Now I need to come up with names for people. I stayed with a guy I'll call Reuvi, and then there's PhD (who also asked about going to CBST that week) who I met for coffee not long ago. And no that doesn't stand for pretty huge dick, I haven't met it in person so I can't comment on that ;) . I went with Oliver to CBST and got absolutely drenched on the walk from the subway to the shule (which is funnily enough held in a church). I absolutely hate getting caught in the rain. It messes up my clothes, my hair, everything. It looked like I hadn't bothered to wear an ironed shirt for services.

So Oliver and I got there, and it was starting to fill up, pride weekend and all. We took a couple seats on the side and waited for everything to begin. I notice PhD sitting in the row behind us so I told him to come forward. He was dressed to the nines, with a white shirt, tie, and smart vest. I went for the more smart casual look. The first thing was the blast of a shofar, followed by the choir boogying it up to the front from the back singing and clapping as they went along. There was the lighting of the Shabbat candles, singing various parts of the shabbat prayers, accompanied by music, someone played a clarinet (I think, or maybe it was an oboe). There were 2 women who translated everything into American Sign Language. There were the usual cantors, rabbi and assistant rabbi (or should that be rebbitzens because they were women? lol). It ended up being a full house. One song the choir sang ended up being from the musical La Cage aux Folles (trust Oliver to recognize it).

Some other interesting things were saying Hallel and Al Hanisim for gay pride. For those unaware, hallel is a prayer that is said on Jewish holidays, Rosh Chodesh (the beginnings of the new month) and in some communities on Israeli Independence Day and Yom Yerushalayim, the day that commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. Al Hanisim (literally 'for the miracles') is a prayer that is added on the festivals of Hannukah and Purim, because the there was a miracle that happened on both days. Coming from a religious background, it was definitely interesting to see these added in. As a side note, I wonder if one has to go back and repeat the shmoneh esrei/amidah if one forgot to add in these special prayers (and if you don't get the joke, just move on, lol). There was also a speaker who ended off that we should all do a mitzvah and go online after services and make a donation toward a campaign for gay marriage. Of course, going online on shabbat is technically more of an aveirah (sin) than a mitzvah, but i've done worse ;) . Throughout the services more and more of my friends showed up. Unfortunately I had to turn down a couple of dinner invitations that night. Not that I wasn't going to enjoy myself, but with a bunch of friends that you'd love to hang out with, you never want to turn anything down. After the services there was supposed to be some kind of kiddush, snack time, but that never eventuated, so it became a social mingling thing. I was going back to Oliver who was hosting a Shabbat dinner with some guys, and had to turn down PhD who was going out to eat with a friend, and had to say no to some other JQY boys who were going with the CBST 20s and 30s out for Japanese.

We took 2 cabs back, one guy was nice enough to offer to walk with me if I didn't want to take a cab on shabbat. I took the cab. We made it back home and had a non traditional shabbat dinner. It was dairy, not meat. Was it kosher, not exactly. But we did start with kiddush (a blessing over a cup of wine to sanctify the sabbath). It was actually quite funny to hear the person who volunteered to say the kiddush to announce before he began that he doesn't believe in god. We then made hamotzi. And onto the food. Tzatziki, pasta, a bunch of different cheeses, Moroccan carrot salad and some nice wine. Of course with the great dinner came some great discussion. Jewish topics of course, there was a shiur (lesson) on Purim (a jewish holiday). Good food, good discussion, with a bunch of friends. What more could one ask for? The night ended with a showing of the Triplets of Belleville before we both fell asleep.

The next day we both slept in. The sun was shining, everyone was tweeting, and we got ready to go to the gay shabbat lunch in central park. Under the usual gay tree, of course. Food there was plenty of. Blankets to avoid wet asses, not so much. The weather was great, the sun was out, what more could one ask for? Perfect day to walk around the park with sunglasses on and just look at all the hot shirtless boys just lying there getting some sun. Oh the humanity! I had a discussion with a friend about some kind of service he was looking at starting up. I won't go into any detail here but it sounds quite interesting and was glad he asked for my perspective. Eventually we made it back home before the rain began.

The next morning I had to work so no partying with the boys on Saturday night, but Sunday night that was a different story. A friend of mine from London, B. was in town with his boyfriend, and I'd been sick most of the week so hadn't managed to catch up with them. We decided to meet at the G Lounge, and then David who you may recall from earlier posts saw my fb status update and said he would meet us there too. Of course the place was packed and the queue was moving very slowly, so we decided to head elsewhere. We began with a drink at a place called Room Service on 8th Ave, and then followed that with a few drinks at the View Bar, also on 8th. We had a fun time, the streets were packed being Pride weekend and all. I may have missed the parade, but at least I was enjoying the afterparties. Eventually the Londoners left and David and I walked around, heading towards the village before I said goodbye to him too. I went back to Chelsea just because I just enjoy walking the streets of Chelsea, full of hot guys, lol.

And that was my gay fun weekend :)


David said...

You didn't mention ANYTHING about your Splash adventure when we were hanging out on Sunday. I had to read it here first? Sheesh.

Chava87 said...

That shabbos sounds really rough. I have been in places that are less religious than I am, and even though I totally respect that, it's constantly uncomfortable for me. We need to start a gay (or gay friendly) orthodox shul!!

Jay said...

D: sorry i didn't mention anything, it must've slipped my mind.

And C: It actually wasn't rough at all. While different, i must say i enjoyed it, even if things they did were very different. That being said it would be nice if we didn't have to make a gay shul in order to be accepted.

Anonymous said...

JMT-jewish mean time-that is so cute :)

these saturday jewish lunch/dinner you guys have are so interesting.
thank you for the explanatory part of the prayers -for a non-jewish folks like me its very educational.

mpdim :)

Jay said...

no prob