Posts Tagged uptown

A Colombian Night

After a very nice date Wednesday, I was pretty happy. It had been a while since I had a good first date. I spent a lot of time having strings of bad first dates or finding guys to simply have fun with and send on their way. Nothing was fulfilling, but for the first time since PR, I was hopeful.

Thursday nights are always my volleyball nights. It’s the one night of the week I get to fulfill my competitive edge and work out some of the frustrations that have built up over the week. I always look forward to it, and I almost always commence the night at my favorite watering hole, McSwiggans.

Before riding home on the motorcycle from volleyball, I checked Grindr to see if I had any messages. A few started flowing in as soon as I opened the application. Where I play volleyball is a hotbed for Hispanic Grindrs and it seems they flock to me like a moth to the flame.

When I got home, I started chatting with one guy who seemed nice enough. When I told him where I lived, he was confused why I showed up so much closer. I explained to him why I was in his neighborhood. He was disappointed to hear I’d already left the area. “We could have grabbed a drink or something.” I told him it wouldn’t have worked out since I had the motorcycle and was disgusting from playing three games.

I did, however, invite him to come to Hoboken and join my friends and I at the bar. I had already texted a few friends and told them to meet me there. Two of my friends were already in the process of getting ready to meet me.

He entertained the idea for a few minutes before finally accepting my offer and dragging his roommate along for the ride. I was going into this arrangement mainly thinking this would be a friendly drink. I made it clear I had friends with me so he wouldn’t think I was asking him out on a date.

I arrived at the bar at the same time my friends did. We grabbed beers and sat at one of the tables. I informed both my friends a guy and his roommate would be coming by to hang out. My male friend looked very leery, but I told him this was just a friendly drink thing. I think he was worried he was basically going to sit through one of my dates. After some time passed, my Hispanic Grindr friend and I started texting. He arrived and was sitting at the bar. I had walked up and ordered right next to him without noticing him there.

I immediately walked over and said hi to him and his roommate and introduced myself. I called my two friends over to introduce them as well.

It wasn’t long before my male friend’s comfort level dropped, and he decided to meet other friends at another bar. My female friend, P, was hitting it off with the guy I met through Grindr. They are both Colombian and were sharing a few stories. The other guys seemed very nice and decently cool. We started with the small talk and then got into more of a discussion. It was nice, but I wasn’t really attracted to this guy at all. This was purely going to be a friendly drink. We talked for at least another hour, and more than a few rounds later, we decided to head out.

He was a really nice guy, and we all left at the same time. P lived uptown and in the direction they were heading to go home, so they offered to give her a ride home. They were parked in the direction of my apartment, so I agreed to walk them to their car at the least before heading home. As we got closer, the convinced me to hop in and let them drop me off. I finally agreed.

When we got to my apartment, it was slightly awkward because I could tell this guy wanted a moment alone with me. Maybe he wanted a kiss out of the night. I don’t know. I reached up and tapped his shoulder and said, “Thanks for coming down here. It was fun. We should connect again sometime soon.” He smiled and agreed. It was my subtle way of letting him down easy without getting his hopes up for a “date.”

Finally, I was making gay friends without overcomplicating things with hookups or sex. I needed to do more of this. I had one local gay friend, and he was all but married with a serious boyfriend, an apartment, a shared dog and a shared car. This was something I looked forward to, but maybe I needed to find a wingman to help me find the right guy first.

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Winding Down

Although things didn’t exactly end the way I would have hoped, I had a really great time with my new uptown Grindr friend. He was a very down-to-earth, sexy man whose body I found irresistible.

I made my way home on my motorcycle only to find my apartment full of my friends and my roommates’ friends. They apparently noticed my Irish exit, but I was shocked to find none of them texted me to find out where I’d gone. They didn’t seem to care much. They were all drunk and about to smoke.

I put my helmet in my room and joined in the fun. D pulled me aside and asked if I’d gone to hook up, and I didn’t lie. I nodded my head in agreement, and he said, “I knew it!” with a smile.

My roommate immediately mentioned breaking my glass planter that sits in the window, but failed to apologize for the act. She simply pushed it into a pile, plants and all, and left it there on the floor. After sitting in the room a solid ten minutes, my friend K announces, “Where’s [One Gay At A Time]?” I responded, “Really K! How many have you had!?” We all laughed.

The previous night, I talked to a guy on OKCupid who was quite an athlete. He seemed like a really fun guy, and I was anxious to meet him. We’d emailed a few times back and forth, and I learned he would be coming to Hoboken for the festivities in the evening. Ironically enough, he would be in the apartment across the street. The same apartment my roommate and I scoped out on numerous occasions, noticing a gay couple lives there. I texted him to see if he was there, but he told me he decided to stay home after not feeling well.

This, of course turned my attention to the apartment across the way. My roommate and I had scoped out this apartment many times starting on New Year’s Eve when we presumed two mo’s lived there. This night, they were having a party. We noticed many men, and we tried to make a sign with a sharpie and the inside of a paper bag. It was no use. Anyone’s attention that was looking out the window was drawn to our neighbors upstairs. They too were having a raucous party.

I decided to use technology to find a way to make friends with the mo’s across the street. I pulled up Grindr and tried to find anyone very close. When I finally got in touch with someone nearby and asked him if they were at that address, I came to learn that person had left the party already. I made many more futile attempts to reach out to the party. A few of us watched with curiosity when people moved into the bedroom, but nothing exciting happened. Our front window became a version of “Rear Window.”

When I grew tired of my new entertainment, I made my way to bed. It was a long day, but a fun day. I was beat.

The next day, I returned the favor of a friend for helping me move. I rode my motorcycle over to his new apartment and dug in moving bags and boxes. When we drove to his old place, I realized we were in the same neighborhood as Indiana Jones lived. I pulled out my phone and texted him to see if he was around. It’d been months since I last saw him, and I was anxious to see him again. We were due for a catch-up. I didn’t hear back from him that day, but I wouldn’t give up at that.

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Breaking Through

Saturday night, we had a special celebration planned. Every year, to commemorate another year of my father being on the planet, my parents come visit, and we go out to dinner in New York City. Afterwards, we take in all the Christmas sights around town.

Even though I recently moved and invited my parents into town to help me move in, this year would be no different.

With a closet built and an entire chest of drawers assembled, we prepared to go out for dinner. My parents wanted to have dinner in Hoboken, so I decided to take them to my favorite restaurant I go to every year for my birthday, Piri Piri. I coordinated with my sister to meet her there to celebrate my father’s birthday.

We sat down for dinner and placed our appetizer orders. Somewhere along the way, we started to talk about me and the guy I was dating. For the first time, they didn’t change the subject to who my sister was dating at the time. I was shocked when my mother brought it up. I think they got the hint this was more than just a fling when I went into the city to spend the night. They were finally taking an interest in my dating life, and I loved it. They asked questions about what he did for a living and where he grew up. It was great. I was happy to talk about him.

Both my father and my mother were showing a vested interest. I wonder if my sister spoke to them about my unhappiness. It seems like a night-and-day shift from past history. I don’t care how the change came about. I’m just happy it happened. My dating life is a LARGE part of who I am, and for them to not share that with me was painful (However, I don’t share everything. I don’t quite know how to tell them I write a blog).

Our food arrived, and we had a very pleasant meal. My sister wasn’t feeling well, so when we were ready to make our way into the city, she went home instead to rest.

I took my parents to a cute shop in Hoboken, Michaelangela’s. They had the store decked out wall-to-wall with Christmas decorations and ornaments. We continued to the PATH as I asked them what they’d like to see. We have all grown tired of the standard Macy’s windows and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. One of our favorite displays, the Sak’s snowflake window show, was discontinued. I proposed a new set of sights. We’d never done the Union Square shops, so I proposed we start there.

When we got off the PATH, we walked to Union Square. It wasn’t too cold out, so the walk wasn’t too bad. When we arrived, all the shops were closed for the night. I apologized, and we hopped into a cab to head uptown to Bloomingdale’s. This was another part of the city we never usually visited. The cab ride was cramped, and he was a very bad driver. I’ve never gotten so many red lights in the city in my life!

Bloomingdale’s was less than thrilling, so I suggested we head over towards Fifth Avenue. My mom kept commenting on how impressed she was. She couldn’t believe how quickly I could learn to navigate the city coming from a the farm life out in the country. I explained how easy it was. As I was showing them new landmarks they’d never visited before, my mother commented on how many she’d seen on her Sex in the City tour of New York City. (I found it ironic that subject came up. Even though I’ve only seen the show twice, I aspire to maintain my blog in the Sex in the City fashion).

She was finally piecing parts of the city she’d been to before together on a map in her mind. It was all starting to make sense to her. Who knew Sex in the City could teach you geography. We window shopped as we walked because many stores were closed. I took them to The Plaza Hotel. They were happy to see the inside since they’ve never been.

Afterwards, we walked past the Bergdorf Goodman window displays. These are some of my favorites since they are not childish and are often done tastefully. My parents took pictures in front of them and of each and every window. They really enjoyed them. I was happy to be sharing the joy with my parents after they spent the weekend substantially helping me settle in to my new apartment.

A small part of me wished Smiles joined us on our little adventure. It would have been nice for him to meet my parents and spend a little time with them, but we weren’t there yet. I also wanted him there because I love spending Christmas in the city with someone I care about. Last year, Broadway and I made a point to take in the Christmas sights. He even treated me The Plaza Hotel to my first drink ever bought for me by another man at. I wanted to share such happy times with someone else I cared about. However, this wasn’t possible or realistic. We weren’t at the meet the parents stage yet, and Smiles was home in bed recovering.

We continued to stroll down Fifth Avenue, but by this time, we were searching for some kind of dessert. We were striking out because it was around 11:00 at night. Most things had closed for the night. On top of that, I was walking around the city on a freshly sprained ankle — Probably not the best idea. My parents were starting to grow weary as well, so I suggested we head towards my office for a pit stop before hopping on the PATH home.

I realized we’d be passing McDonald’s, so I suggested we get hot fudge sundaes, cookies, and fries for dessert. My parents agreed. It would also eliminate the stop at my office because I could use the restrooms there.

I checked the PATH schedule. The next train was leaving in eight minutes, and the following one was another fifteen minutes after that. I urged them to hurry and bring our dessert with us. We hustled to the train, making it there with a little time to spare.

Luckily, we all got seats and relaxed on our ride home. I was really happy to do something nice for my parents in return for what they do for me. It was nice spending some quality time with them as well. I was also still on a high from their newfound interest in my love-life. It removed a big roadblock in our relationship. I could go to bed a happy man.

It was a long day, and we were all tuckered out. We would all surely sleep well the minute our heads touched the pillow.

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