For two weekends in a row, I made a trip to New York. That’s usually the extent of my travels to that not-quite-fair city in a year, but I’m coming around to its appeal after quite some time of general antipathy. It still fatigues me, it still wears on my nerves, and it still wreaks havoc with my social anxiety (it’s not exactly the place one can avoid people), but if I can seek out quieter spots and safe havens, as well as the escape of a Broadway show, I can usually enjoy it.
For the first weekend, I stayed at the rather atrocious Marmara Hotel. The less said about it the better, but I’ll reveal a contradictory complaint to whet your appetite. As some of you may know, I’m not shy about showing almost everything here and getting completely naked at the drop of a hat and/or outfit. I have no hang-ups about nudity or such, but I like to be in control of how it’s done, and how much is actually revealed, and I’m never naked in public in person. (You won’t see me parading around Times Square a la the naked cowboy or that frightening over-size adult baby.) In person, I’m rather shy, and almost always fully-clothed. (There are notable party exceptions, but there’s never full-on nudity of any sort.) So it was with shock and dismay when, in the midst of my changing for dinner, housekeeping barged into the room unannounced and saw me in all my middle-aged paunchy glory. My hands instinctively cupped my cock before I gave up the ghost and shrieked that someone was in the room, but the first woman likely got a full-frontal eyeful. Good for her, I guess, but who enters a room at 5 PM right after a guest has just checked in, and without knocking first? You can find the rest of my hotel review on Trip Advisor, but dirty carpet and sticky balcony doors won’t win anybody over.
Thankfully the rest of my first trip was rather wonderful. The main impetus was to try Tom Ford’s Ultra-Limited Private Blend “Fucking Fabulous” – as first reported here. I’d uncovered hints that Andy might be working on that as a Christmas gift, but its hefty price tag demanded an in-person test for confirmation that it was as exciting as its cheeky moniker. On Saturday morning I made my way up the plush, carpeted circular staircase leading to the fragrance room of the Madison Ave flagship store, and promptly sprayed my arm with the new scent. Happily, it’s exquisite. While it’s described as an Oriental Chypre, I got a much lighter feel from it. Softer than expected, it floats around one rather than stomping about like ‘Tuscan Leather’ or ‘Amber Absolute’ – the perfect bit of subtle sparkle and pizzazz for the upcoming holidays.
With my Tom Ford mission accomplished, I had time to take in a preview of ‘The Band’s Visit’ – the new Broadway musical that got rave reviews when it first opened in Connecticut last year. Those reviews were largely correct – it’s an enchanting little show with two lead performances that are lock-ins for Tony nominations. The music was glorious, the storyline quirky and unexpected, and despite a relatively stark and drab set (intentionally-so to fit the storyline) I was completely transported to another world. Initially and outwardly it appears as a dreary stop on a way to better places, but soon reveals itself rich in the wonder and beauty of the human experience. To be taken away from our own demons for a couple of hours is the greatest gift of a Broadway show.
The next weekend, Suzie would join me for another one…