This was indeed a weekend of NEW New York experiences... For years and years, I've always wanted to try staying at a hotstel, rather than a hotel, B&B or friend's home. Although there was a learning curve, and the check-in was slightly "bumpy", for $52.00 for two nights of accommodations is a GREAT DEAL in New York City! It was unusual sleeping in bunk beds with seven strangers speaking different languages in the room, but overall, the experience was enjoyable. F.Y.I. there was evidence of late-night cruising in the washrooms (grafitti), but no hanky-panky in the all-male dorm rooms. Interested in trying a hostel? Visit www.hostels.com for more information.
After checking in and changing into my garage jumpsuit (you know the one!!), I took the 1/2/3/9 line to 14th street and walked over to the Dugout for Metrobears Barnight. The place was packed with woofy men and live BEAR & LEATHERMAN entertainment on stage! Singing, bagpipes, all sorts of fun! I hooked up with my buddy Joe Doyle and my newly found friend Joe Hayden! It was to be an early evening, so I had a few cocktails, found a dark corner to make out with Joe and left by 12:30am -- even though they made an announcement that they were running a special for $3 Jack Daniels shots!!! :-(
I slept like a baby, although I was all horny from the frolicking with the bears at the bar! Who knew? I woke up without an alarm clock at 7:30am!!! I wasn't expected at the LBGT Community Centre until 11am. Well, I didn't risk going back to sleep and missing it -- so I got dressed, had a leisurely breakfast and headed downtown... I arrived at 9:30 am. Sigh, damn it Mother, being early all the time is the one habit you DID manage to get burned into my brain... What was I going to do for the next 90 minutes? Drink coffee!! I helped set up the room (which was a mess when we arrived) with one of Jeff's workmates from Peerless Importers. Members of ECMC started showing up thereafter and everything was in place well before the 1:00pm start time. It was standing room only... This is only the second memorial service (the other was Paul Pape's) that every seat in the house was filled. Jeff and Paul both were great people and someone that many people called their "best friend." The wake, which was held at Raymond's Cafe (the same place they hold Toys for Tots) was also packed! After the wake was over, Joe Hayden met up with me at Raymond's and we headed to Brooklyn (his place) to hang out, have dinner and tool around his neighbourhood. Joe and I were like brothers separated at birth when it came to our views of politics, love of electronics and belief that monogamy is unnatural!! We got along swimmingly!
On Sunday, after a VERY late start and getting my luggage from the hostel, Joe and I headed to Bear Cafe (also at the LGBT Community Center) for their 2nd annual bear bake-off! (See photos in the Boston Bears Yahoo Group in the Photos area, in the folder "Bear Cafe") -- I hung out there until the event was over -- and took the subway to Chinatown to grab the $15 bus back to Boston...
Lessons learned frm this trip:
November 20th, 2004 -- Rochester Rams Toys for Tots (the Rich Richards memorial toy drive) at The Bachelour Forum, 670 University Avenue, Rochester, NY -- 9pm - 2am (to benefit the Roosevelt Children's Center)
December 3rd - 5th, 2004 -- E.C.M.C. Toys for Tots (in memory of Jeff Arnold) to benefit the Leake & Watts Specialized Foster Care Program
If you're one of the folks planning on going to Toys For Tots with me, here is my full agenda. Please let me know if you intend on staying with me at the hostel's dorm room so we can put our reservations in together. Note: The dorm can only accommodate up to eight persons.
If you're one of my buddies in New York City, I hope to see you at one or more of the events I will be at!
12/03/2004 15:20 Depart Boston for New York City via Amtrak Acela Express #2171 ($99.00 one way)
12/03/2004 18:42 Arrive in NYC Penn Station
12/03/2004 19:30 Take 1/2/3/9 (Red Line) Subway uptown to 103 St. Walk one block east to Amsterdam.
12/03/2004 20:00 Check in at Hostelling International New York, 891 Amsterdam Avenue, NY 10025-4403
12/03/2004 22:00 Metrobears barnight at the Dugout?
12/04/2004 10:00 Breakfast & Shopping in NYC -- Remember to pick up toy(s) for the party!
12/04/2004 19:00 ECMC Toys For Tots (Raymond's Cafe - 88 7th Ave at 15th St)
12/04/2004 22:30 Eagle NYC for some cocktails http://www.eagle-ny.com/
12/05/2004 02:00 Sex Party at Expose? (250 W 26th @ 7th/8th) http://www.paddlesnyc.com/expose/
12/05/2004 11:00 Check out from Hostelling International
12/05/2004 13:00 Brunch (unknown location)
12/05/2004 17:00 Depart on Chinatown Bus (B/D Subway line to Grand St)
December 18th, 2005 -- The Boston Bears welcome Ron Suresha at The Alley Bar - 14 Pi Alley, Boston, MA -- 8pm - 2am
The Boston Bears invite you to come early to Bear Barnight at the Alley on December 18th and get all horned up for an evening of fun, fur and frolic at eight o'clock with a reading from BEAR LUST, Ron Suresha's newest book! Meet Ron in person! Q&A, Book Signing and more!