August 24, 2005

Runneth Over

Big Cup, the seminal (hehe, I said 'seminal') gay coffee shop in Chelsea, is closing.
Much happier to walk past and eyeball the queens inside, I've never been one to spend a lot of time in "Big Slut".

Its closing does, however, spur one of my very first New York memories.
Roughly 7 years ago (holy shit 7 years) my brother spent a year living on Long Island in Med School. He later transferred to Syracuse to be with his then-fiance, but his living on Long Island was the genesis of my first visit to Manhattan, my falling in love with the City and pretty much the rest of my life to date.
My parents and I came down with him to help him move in. It was my first ever visit to New York.
My mother loved Manhattan, and my brother loved the idea of having my mother far, far away while he set up his apartment, so she and I hopped the LIRR to spend the day in the City.
Long story short (too late) we ended up in Chelsea. Mostly because I wanted to go to Old Navy on 6th and subsequently got lost. I had spent my entire life in Rochester. The whole "streets are numbered on a grid" thing hadn't quite sunk in yet.

It was mid-August. We had no idea where we were. As it turns out, we were on 8th Avenue between 14th and 23rd (affectionately known to gay New York as "The Catwalk" or "The B.Q.E. (Big Queens Expressway)".
I realized we were in Chelsea when I saw the sign on the Chelsea Fire Station (I was much sharper in my college days), but neither my mother nor I really knew what Chelsea was about. I remembered a friend from college saying something about it, but couldn't quite remember what she said the neighborhood was known for.
As we continued up 8th, I started to notice a lot of barely clad muscle queens. Still closeted, I tried not to gawk as it became apparent to me what type of person hung out in Chelsea.

And... cue Mom:
Mom (peering into window of a store called "Rainbow and Triangle"): Let's stop and get something for your little sister in here.! She loves rainbows.
Dan (pausing to look over gay porn rags hung in window and ads inside door for HIV trials and escorts): Um... I dont think they have anything for her in here, Mom.
Mom: But she loves rainbows!
Dan (trying to avoid awkward situation with Mom at any cost): Let's just keep moving. I'm tired. Let's get back to Long Island.
Mom (Moving one doorway up to Big Cup and looking in Window): Well if you're tired let's stop for coffee. This place looks cute! It's all pink inside!
Dan (Now noticing all male couples inside, several holding hands): Nah. Don't want coffee.
Mom: I do. Let's go in.
Dan: Mom. Look inside. Really look inside.
Mom: Look at what? It's cute. A little crowded... wow, there's a lot of men inside... those two are - oh. Oh! Ooooooh.

And...Scene.

1 Comments:

Blogger d2ana said...

Cute story. Laughing. So how is your mom with it now?

8:35 AM  

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