And how goddamn beautiful is that? I get a little high just looking at that clip, remembering what it was like to sit on those metal steps a hundred floors above the ground and look down between my feet through glass, to lean my head on the glass just lightly, to feel the cool of it against my skin as everything spun a little with vertigo. It was an amazing thing. I used to go there sometimes just to sit, right there in the clouds, higher than most birds even flew, like Jack on a concrete beanstalk.
What we forget is that we, as humans, are capable of doing things for the sheer fucking beauty of them, for the joy, for the accomplishment, for the divine, for the proof that despite what we believe, impossible things are possible. We do things to feel like we are the stuff of dreams, that we invent our own restrictions with fear and no magic. That observation deck was magic. It was hard to even feel like there was a building under you when you were up there because you couldn’t see any of the thing, like you were standing on a floor that was magically staying aloft. In a good wind the buildings would “sway back and forth up to 12 inches at the top.” So you really could move a foot in the air just standing up there.
Or, as John Dos Passos once wrote about New York City: “This city is full of people wanting inconceivable things. Look at it.” But they say no one reads him anymore. Well, they should. & Manhattan Transfer, where that quote is from, is a good enough place to start.
Remember the beauty, the aspiration, the dreamers, the sinners. That’s the stuff terror wants us to forget.
Eric Garner had just broken up a fight. The details are still unclear but he asks the police to please leave him alone several times, and reacts with frustration when they want to cuff him. To me, he did nothing that looked dangerous or even threatening – frustrated, yes. But I can’t see any intent to harm anyone.
Four of them were on him, and I assume they justify that because he was 350 lbs.
Oh god, it’s heartbreaking, and he was only 43. He had 6 kids.
He’d been arrested previously for selling untaxed cigarettes, and says at the start that they’re always messing with him and asks them to stop and to leave him alone.
This punishment does not fit the crime.We have got to stop treating people who commit minor crimes like they’re animals. We have to break down this stereotype of black men as a constant, physical, violent threat.
Love to his wife and children and everyone who loved him.
So we were just in New York, and one of the awesome things we did was meet the cast and crew of Harvey Fierstein’s new play Casa Valentina.
We didn’t get to see the whole thing – just a few key scenes – but I am so looking forward to seeing the whole of it.
And it opens to audiences tonight. I have no doubt the reception will be great.
But here’s the thing: we were invited to come see a rehearsal to advise. One of the actors contacted me a few weeks back – when I was already scheduled to be in NYC – and asked that we come because a bunch of the cast were reading or had read my books.
& Mare Winningham – who plays the wife of one of the crossdressers – said really nice things about them. She was so welcoming and cool to us.
Anyway, it was an awesome experience all around, & I only wish I could have stayed in town a day longer to catch the first night of previews tonight, but alas, the class I’m teaching started today, too.
I’m hoping to get a group together to go see it when we’re next in town, because from what I can tell, this is a gorgeous play – honest (maybe in ways some people won’t like) but compassionate, by which I mean: the wife is a real person.
I have a friend who gives me awesome haircuts, like this one, when I’m in NYC, and I realized recently I’ve never mentioned his work here on my blog, and should. Why? He’s about as trans friendly as trans friendly gets, having done drag himself for a gazillion years. And he really really really loves making people look fantastic.
<< And this is his card, which really explains his whole thing on its own without me blathering on, but of course, do let him know I sent you: alexandercolby(at)gmail(dot)com.
(if you’re wondering about the post’s title, you really need to watch this.)
An old friend I went to high school with got married in NYC today, and he posted this awesome photo of him & his groom. It made me smile every time it came across my Facebook feed, so I thought I’d share it withall of you.
The famous (and also now gone) Lee’s Mardi Gras was nearby, too. But eventually, Sex & the City and new high rents
helped bring a flood of Carrie Bradshaw wannabes to the area, bobble-headed young women tottering over the cobblestones in their Manolos and Jimmy Choos, slipping in the blood and fat.
The neighborhood didn’t change very quickly in the 90s, since Florent and Monster and Hogs were all still there in the late 90s, but they’re all gone now, along with the women who worked those streets. I was impressed by the respect shown them in this piece, evident in that description of that ridiculous Sex & the City episode (which was, by the way, the first one I happened to see, and so was the last, too), but moreso in the last paragraph:
Where did they go, all those working girls? Some no doubt were murdered, as marginalized transwomen too often are. Others found other strolls, in more dangerous neighborhoods. And some, I’m sure, went “legit.” It’s impossible to say.