Posts Tagged Bryant Park

Was that a Date?

I first downloaded Grindr as I was pushing back from the gate on my flight to San Francisco for business. Upon my return, I often played around with it at work. Early in my Grindr experience, I found a VERY sexy torso to strike up a chat with. The guy seemed very level-headed and not simply interested in hooking up. I also discovered he worked across the street from me.

But, when I asked him to hang out, he got very shy. He told me he was very picky and wasn’t that interested in meeting someone. I asked if he would grab a drink after work sometime, and he kinda let me down easy. Periodically, I messaged him after that just to say hi, but I never got much of a response. It was disappointing. Finally, I gave up.

Then one day, out of the blue, he messaged me. He asked if I had just been in Bryant Park sitting on a park bench for lunch. I was impressed and thrilled he recognized me without having met me. Ironically enough, I was on a lunch date with someone from adam4adam.com.

We chatted about the chances of him picking me out of a crowd in the city. I brought up the idea of getting a drink together. A month passed by since the last time I asked him. This time he was ready to play ball, maybe since he saw me in person? Not exactly sure. Either way, I convinced him to send me both his number and a picture of his face. At this point, I’ve had so many guys’ numbers in my phone, I needed some way to keep them straight (the first sign I was becoming a whore). My strategy was to get pictures of them to attach to their contact profile. I’m much better with faces than names.

A week later, on a whim, I sent him a text asking if he would be interested in grabbing lunch that very afternoon. I knew it was a long shot since it was such short notice, but why the hell not. Much to my surprise, he agreed. I had to run into a meeting, but would be able to meet immediately following since my work for the day was pretty much over. I told him to pick a spot. He told me he’d get right on it.

We met in the square between our offices and walked to KyoChon for some excellent wings. I had never been there before, so he explained all the ins and outs to the place. We took our food and grabbed a table upstairs.

He was great company. The conversation started immediately when I met him. The whole walk over we chatted about careers and how we got where we are today. The conversation still flowed while we ate. There were no awkward pauses or hiccups. I was very comfortable with him. He also had a great smile, something I’m coming to find is a weak spot for me. Ironically enough, he looked like Boston, had the same name as him, and he recently moved to NYC from Boston. The resemblance was a little uncanny, but I moved past it quickly.

I had a lot of respect for him. He left a very successful job at a law firm to come to NYC to find himself. He wanted a new job, but didn’t know what he wanted to do. He just knew he wasn’t going to find himself in Boston. Right now he was working in marketing, but that also wasn’t exactly what he wanted to be doing. He was still on the path to clarity.

We also talked about therapy. He was seeing a psychologist from time to time to talk through issues. He told me most people don’t realize it’s covered by most insurance companies to go for periodic sessions. He explained how it’s been a good outlet for him to get his head straight. I didn’t see him as a crazy person. I actually saw him as more sane for having such a healthy respect for it. I began to entertain the idea myself. My friends are my therapist. I have abused many of my friends in this respect and turned to writing a blog to alleviate some of that burden. Maybe a therapist was what I needed.

This was truly a quality guy. A guy I really wanted to get to know. I knew I would need to take it slow with this one. I didn’t want to come on too strong and turn him off right off the bat. We walked back towards our offices and said goodbye with a nice handshake. He turned and said, “This was good. We should definitely do it again!” I was very happy. I passed the test. Also, was this a successful “date?” It didn’t quite feel like it was a date going in, but maybe it was a lunch date by the time we were done. I was looking forward to our next.

As time passed, I didn’t push the issue of a second “date.” I also became distracted with other guys, but one day, while going through my contacts, I discovered him again. I shot him a text asking if he’d want to grab lunch again soon. He told me he was out-of-town for the week, but we would touch base when he got back the following week. Only time would tell if we’d figure it out…

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Lunch on Broadway

Broadway and I have been civil since our breakup. Periodically, he messages me, mainly after he reads a misconstrued or particularly positive Facebook status update. He always messages me to make sure everything is okay or to congratulate me. It’s very nice to know he still cares enough about me to reach out with concern/praise.

When he asked me to find time for the two of us to meet up, I graciously agreed. Over two months had passed. And, it had been a while since we fully caught up with each other’s lives, and I hadn’t seen him since we broke up (with the exception of his profile on adam4adam.com and Grindr). A little part of me missed him too.

I really enjoyed the lunch I had from Cosi when I met “The Wild Card” in Bryant park, so I suggested we do that. We met in front of Cosi. He warned me on the phone beforehand he injured his ankle and was wearing a boot. When he hobbled up to me, I couldn’t help but smile. It truly was good to see him. The feelings of a relationship did not come rushing back. I didn’t miss him like an ex. I missed him like a friend who moved away and I hadn’t seen in a while. We kissed each other on the lips and gave each other a hug.

I have seen so many gay men kiss their friends on the lips, especially when San Francisco came to visit, and I have always felt slightly uneasy about it. I could not put myself in that position. I have just a few gay friends, and we do not greet each other in this way. I also don’t kiss my female friends in this way when we greet each other. I don’t know if all the men I’ve seen were in previous relationships with each other, or that’s just a gay culture norm. But, it felt right to kiss Broadway on the lips. We’d done it so many times before, not doing it would feel strange.

After our hug and peck, we went in to Cosi. Broadway and I have a bit of history with Cosi. We’d eaten there many times, and he even used to work at one when he first moved to NYC from California. It felt a bit like old times, but once again, not like we were simply picking back up where we left off. We got our food, and we made our way into the park to find a table to sit and chat. I helped him get settled in since he was slightly immobilized.

He immediately started with, “So, what’s new?”

I began to tell him about work, and how things were goingin my life. I avoided discussing the dates I had gone on, as well as the fact that I was on a4a.

I asked about what was new in his life. He told me about his new roommate situation and how the dynamic between his friends deteriorated. He told me about how he was possibly pitching a pilot to the L.O.G.O. Network from one of his college courses. He told me how he injured his foot, and what that meant as far as his show was concerned. He always joked about wanting to get injured in the summer so he could live on Fire Island during his recovery. I said, “Well, you got what you always wanted!” All in all, he seemed very happy with life.

As the conversation progressed, I could tell he was pressing to see if I was dating anyone. I decided to tell him about San Francisco, especially since I was beginning to have serious doubts about any possibility of us continuing our relationship anyway. After I told him about all those doubts, I could see it in his face. He looked at me with this “get out now” look. And, it wasn’t a jealous look. It was a “just lookin’ out for ya” kind of exchange.

We both finished our sandwich/salad, and it was time for me to head back to work. My hour was up. As we began to leave the park, I realized how easygoing our lunch date was. I was slightly worried early on it might be awkward but not the case. The conversation flowed smoothly, and I don’t think anyone got their feelings hurt. It was good progress.

I expressed my pleasure with the lunch, and I suggested we do it again and more often. We obviously got along well and enjoyed each other’s company. There is no reason why we shouldn’t spend more time together. I expressed this sentiment, and he agreed happily. And, with that, we head our separate ways.

That reminds me. I think I owe him a phone call…

 

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The Wild Card

WednesGAY lunch in the park…

Of the four dates I set up for the week, this one scared me the most. He was truly a wild card. He was gorgeous in his pictures — like model hot — but we only scratched the surface the few times we spoke on adam4adam.com.

When he told me his name, I was quite confused. In his pictures, he looked white, but his name sounded Middle Eastern. Only now, from googling the origin of his name, did I find it is of Spanish origin and not very popular.

I asked him for his number and if we could grab a drink sometime after work. He told me he doesn’t drink. Normally, this may have been a deal breaker for me, but I was beginning to enjoy my new dating adventures. Good or bad, they were experiences and something interesting to talk about with friends (Again, this is also when I thought I had an idea to start a blog). So I decided to be open-minded. I asked him where he worked, and he told me from home, by Bryant Park. So, I asked if we could do lunch one day. He suggested Cosi for lunch since it was nearby my office, his apartment and the park.

It was a gorgeous Wednesday after many days of cold and clouds. I was happy to be spending time outside. I walked to Cosi, texting him on my way. I wasn’t getting a response. Finally, after standing on the street for about 5 minutes, he texted me explaining he was en route and would arrive shortly.

When he arrived, I could tell he was quite flustered and sweating. Even through all that, I could see a beautiful man standing in front of me with flowing curly hair. Very dreamy. Also a bit intimidating. Towering over me, he was about 6’4″ or 6’5″ (I’m 6’2″ and intimidated by people taller than me since it happens so rarely). He apologized profusely for being late in an accent I was not able to place. He told me he would explain his tardiness when we sat down to eat. We hopped in line, ordered our lunch and walked across the street to the park. Ironically, I would later find out weeks later I was spotted while eating lunch by a fellow Grindr I was courting.

He told me he was on the upper west side on his scooter and was pulled over for not having the proper decals on his plate. It all clicked in my head why I wasn’t getting a phone call or text explaining why he was running late. Luckily, the cop let him off, but not before giving him a hard time. I then asked him what he did that allowed him to work from home every day. He gave me an awkward smile, and said, “Well I don’t work. I’m a landlord.”

I replied, “Not a bad gig. I’d kill to do that!”

He then explained he is originally from Miami and owns a few rental properties there. This was his source of income and allowed him to live a life of daily freedom. After he asked, I explained what I do for a living.

We started talking candidly about dating in NYC and in general. We talked about the challenges and pitfalls of trying to find someone to spend time with. Too many people are just simply looking for sex. He said, “We all have sexual needs, but it’s really challenging when you’re trying to find a meaningful relationship.”

At this point, between his pleasant disposition and his amazing looks, I was very interested. He also had an innocence about him that was very intriguing. On top of that, I couldn’t help myself. I was staring at his sexy jawline, his dreamy eyes and the flowing hair he continuously pushed behind his ear.

We talked about being from Miami and why he moved to NYC. He did it alone because he’s always wanted to live here and wanted a challenge. I admired this greatly. I myself have always considered moving to California, but don’t have the guts to start over. His courage was admirable and sexy. He elaborated. He told me about the man he left in Miami. They had been together for almost 10 years. “Pretty much husband and husband,” as he put it. He left him behind because he was not willing to move to New York. He needed to do this for himself — to find himself, so he left.

This was a bit of a curveball I wasn’t expecting. I tried to change the subject to something lighter. I asked him where he lives. He pointed out his apartment from where we were sitting. An apartment overlooking Bryant park is more than impressive. I asked him what he does for fun in his free time. I learned he lives a very European lifestyle. Grocery shopping all over the city on a daily basis, cooking meals, reading, traveling… He then went on to tell me he has a house in the mountains and loves to ski. And when he’s not there, he’s traveling out to his new LA apartment to get that in shape.

And all of a sudden, the dream came crashing down. We were not compatible. We came from different worlds. I admired his lifestyle and aspired to it, but I would not be someone’s kept man. He had so much freedom, a relationship with me would hold him back and create resentment. On top of that, my lunch hour was over.

We were both headed in the same direction, so we started to walk. The date ended without even a hug. I figured he wasn’t interested in me, and I lost interest when I realized how different our lives are. He suggested we do lunch again sometime, and I agreed. At this point, I considered putting him in the “friend zone.”

Sadly, we have not kept in touch since then, and I don’t know how well it would be received if I attempted to reach out to him now…

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