NYC Diary Pt. 3: Sweet Home Chicago

Talk about your whirlwind tours.  This weekend had more whirls and twirls than a flagger at a circuit party.
I’m safe and sound back home in Chicago; back at my desk at work, where I shouldn’t be blogging, but I just have to, because there’s so much to say, and if I don’t get it out now, I’ll be too tired to do it later.

Yesterday was pretty low-key, which was just perfect.  We started off walking through Central Park, which is literally steps away from Patrick’s front door, and is something I had always wanted to do, but never had the chance.  We walked around the Great Circle, watched softball being played on the Great Lawn, wandered through the Ramble, visited Belvedere Castle and the Nature Observatory, and finally visited the famed Bethesda Fountain, where I nearly launched into my rendition of “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord” from the opening scene of the 1973 movie “Godspell”.  Thankfully, Patrick and Karen were there so I couldn’t possibly embarrass myself so greatly… although I have a feeling that, given the inclination, Patrick might just have jumped into the pond behind the fountain and shouted “Hey!  I wanna get washed up!”

From Central Park we headed out for an aborted trip to Queens for “Queens Pride” with Matthew and Kevin, who live there… aborted only because Matthew called and said he had had fallen ill and wasn’t going to make it.  So instead, we rerouted and went straight to the gayborhood (note the dichotomy of that statement)– Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.  We wandered up and down the street, stopping a leather shop here, a funny t-shirt shop there, and checking out the boys EVERYWHERE.  At the end of the block was a pier, where, Patrick says, a lot of cruising happens.  We walked out and took some pictures– of us and the boys– and walked back.
At that point, Patrick had to leave for work, so Karen and I headed back to Patrick’s apartment.  She rested while I blogged while Patrick was at work, then met him toward the end of his shift, had a couple drinks and treats there, and then headed over to Marie’s Crisis, a legendary piano bar in Greenwich Village.  A few drinks, some drunken queens, and a sad song or two later, it was time to go home.
My flight out of New York was at 7:30 in the morning, so I set my cell phone for 4:00 and 4:30 with the most annoying possible alarms I could find.  Patrick set his phone as well.
I woke up at 5:30.  Of course!

My exit was so rushed I barely had time to say “goodbye” and “thank you” to Patrick and Karen for all of their warmth, hospitality, and wonderful friendship all weekend long.  What was, on paper, a whirlwind weekend; was, in reality, a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable time spent making new friends and lasting, treasured memories.
So… I think it’s fitting to say it here:  Thank you, Patrick.  Thank you, Karen.  Thank you for everything.  You are very dear to me in so many ways, and I’m proud to call you my friends.

Thank you, Mark, for organizing the event.  It was so wonderful to finally meet you after all this time.  I think it’s time for a GB:CHICAGO: My Kinda Town… (and of course you’re all invited. :))

And thanks to all the other bloggers I met– some I knew, some I didn’t: Brian, Matthew, David, Jase, Scott, Joe, Glenn, Sean, and other bloggers who I probably met once or twice, but whose blogs I can at least can link to. 🙂
Finally, I leave you with a little snippet of the New York action. I’ll add some photos to ‘accentuate’ this story in the VERY near future, but I just had to share this.

Is it 5:00 yet?