It has been said that the New Yorker’s ability to live in the city and stay sane hinges on the having the means to get out of town when things get too hectic, too hot, too cold, too intense, too much… The fact that I’ve endured some of the darkest most painful moments in my life with New York City as my backdrop and still can’t stay away when I have the chance to visit, is a testament to the truth of this statement. Sure there are 8 million people in the naked city, but it’s the dozen or so friends who have anointed my life with their fairy dust that give me cause to call New York City my home, no matter where I am.
In truth I am no longer a permanent resident of New York City, or anywhere else for the moment. The first time I planted myself here was right after college back in the 80’s, joining forces with fellow alumni, in communes of two, three and four to a one-bedroom apartment. At that time in our lives we all aspired more or less to the same Body Electric dream of being a professional actor/singer/dancer/movie star.
The past two decades have taken us down varied professional paths. Many of my friends have become successful performers, while others have channeled their talents into teaching, writing, producing, design, and most astoundingly, orthopedic medicine. I feel proud to know these resilient, versatile, FABULOUS humans, and to have had the chance to catch up with many of them at The Blanks concert on my most recent trip to New York. The Blanks, aka “Ted’s Band,” are an a cappella group that appeared regularly on the TV show Scrubs. Comprised of former classmates Sam, George and Paul, it was a thrill to reunite in celebration of their New York debut at ComixNYC.
An equally charmed evening was spent at the home of my dear friend, Betsy Hirsch. Betsy is an accomplished pianist and songwriter who uses my New York homecomings as the opportunity to throw outrageous dinner parties. Betsy likes to leave musical instruments strewn about for her guests’ merriment – no musical background necessary. An accordion, 2 guitars, a mandolin and a couple of tambourines are passed around and played with varying, mostly negligible degrees of skill, creating waves of hysteria. Meanwhile, Betsy jumps from her guitar to her Steinway Baby Grand to her Roland E-Piano which she has decided to set on “Doo-wop” mode, for a hearty rendition of the Fats Waller classic, “Ain’t Misbehavin.” A hell-uv-a time was had by all…
Till next we meet great City of Dreams, watch over my friends with care.