At long last, Old Man Winter has shown his haggard face in New York. The guy plain sucks. He sucks the air right out of your chest, he sucks the fun out of the city. Saturday’s low was 0 degrees. Amanda and I, in the deepest throes of cabin fever, stepped out for a smoke, regretted it instantly. The wind made the plastic tarps lining the half-built high-rise across the street balloon out like sails. The sound was awful. We spent Sunday, Valentine’s Day, apart, recalibrating from 24 hours of togetherness, then reconvened in the evening at Pencil Factory for a drink and to fill a moleskine with fun things we’d like to do together—a weekday trip to Coney Island, a group outing to Spa Castle, dim sum in Flushing, cigars on a downtown rooftop. We are now exclusive and so must occupy ourselves with activities to elongate the time it takes to grow sick of each other. When we couldn’t think of any more ideas, we met up with her sister Sarah and Sarah’s boyfriend Drew in the East Village for more drinks and dinner at Nicoletta, the only restaurant we could get into without a wait.
Here’s what I got up to this week, Old Man Winter be damned:
– Attended the monthly Franklin Park Reading Series in Crown Heights with Dan. It was a cool, crowded scene. The readers were good; one guy, Tony Tulathimutte, read from his debut novel, Private Citizens, which officially came out the next day. I dug it—a Franzen-esque take on being a young person in 2007 in and around the Bay Area.
After the reading, in the Franklin Ave. subway, a man approached me just as I was boarding a train home—literally one foot in the door—and handed me my cellphone. It had fallen out of my pocket running down the stairs, I think. Monumentally lucky. I was sort of in shock about the whole thing, didn’t even thank him. Just said, “Oh, fuck,” and the doors shut. So thanks a bunch, kind stranger.
– For her Valentine’s Day present, I let Amanda do my makeup, which she has been asking about forever. I did not particularly enjoy the eyelash clamps. The end result was pretty and strange.
– I got a drink with Taryn at Cello Wine Bar in the east 50s. She and I were junior high schoolmates. She was top-tier popular back then, part of the P.H.A.T.T. (Pretty Hot and Terribly Tempting) Five. I was not. She provided some pretty good insights into her life at the time, which, it turns out, was less perfect than I’d privately believed. Then we swapped gossip and rumors about other kids we grew up with. It was fun and good to see her again after all these years.