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Thursday, December 29, 2016


Artists and “the gays” – we're  pioneers – a lot of us anyway. We find new, untamed, cheap (or relatively cheap) neighborhoods, move in and, over time, terraform. We bring a hod and a half of cool and, just generally, spiff up the joint. The areas eventually become fab-ola, all the rage and majorly à la mode. Think Williamsburg in Brooklyn, SoHo, the South End of Boston, Bisbee and Jerome, Arizona, the Paseo in Oklahoma City. And then, inevitably, these places become unaffordable to all but the Money Patch Kids.

I knew a woman who,  though not an artist of any sort. bought a condo in a loft building. This was back in the late '80s, before open floor plans, BIG airy, floor to ceiling/wall to wall windows and exposed brick spaces were de rigueur for the slick set. Tina was a research librarian for a publishing house – made serious bucks. She could've had a Back Bay townhouse but, like a lot of suit wearing 9-5ers, she had a yen to live amongst art types. Was this a rebellion against her 1%-er parents? Was she purchasing the fantasy, freewheeling, artist youth that she never had? //shrugs//

Williamsburg Street Art
So many, like her, snatched up these awesome spaces – artists of the not-quite-starving-but-certainly-struggling-to-get-by variety were priced out. Granted, there still are real, actual artists, designers, writers, musicians living in these enviable cribs but, more often than not, no. They're inhabited by folks like Tina who, when asked what sort of art she created, proclaimed that she, herself was her work of art. Yes, yes she did. Was she thoroughly pretentious or desperately insecure? Mebbe both. Mind you, she had interesting and exquisite taste in clothes though her make up and choice of hairstyle could be best described as kabuki-esque. So yeah, true, she was def an art project of sorts.

When The Amazing Bob, Jen, Oni and I moved to Valhalla, were we pioneering? Fuck no. TAB made it abundantly clear from the get-go that he did NOT want to live in a dicey area that may or may not  come up during his lifetime. He wanted a SAFE, quiet side street with trees.

Randomly, if I was Todd Fisher, I’d check into
I’d check into Cedars-Sinai NOW. Ya
know, just to be ahead of the curve. Kee-rist!
Cool, cool. Home was wherever TAB was. So I set our search parameters on that. I knew I’d found Valhalla the minute the real estate dude turned the corner of Edgewater Drive.

With my beloved now gone am I thinking about trailblazing into to some fresh, not yet up-and-coming artist-type neighborhood? Eh, who knows what the future will bring BUT Jen and Oni are here and they too are my home.

And home is where the New Year is greeted.

Saturday is New Year’s Eve, AKA Amateur Night on the Town. No, I don’t go out on this BIG, BIG party night. Eons ago, on rare occasion, I would. One year, I saw Morphine play downstairs at the Middle East. On another, I saw a brill Tower of Power-esque, horn heavy fan-fucking-tastic group (whose name I forget – of course) at Harpers Ferry (now it’s called the Brighton Music Hall). Most of the revelers brittle gaiety annoyed the fuck outta me so I generally chose to stay home. TAB, Jen, Oni and I would make dinner together, play Scrabble and watch movies. TAB and I were, invariably, asleep before midnight and that was fine and ducky.

What will I do this year? Will it feel too weird to do the same old/same old? That is, will TAB’s absence be too overwhelming for me? Should I do something wildly different so’s I’m not a lake of sad that night?

I don’t know. I just don’t. I suspect though, that I’d be in high mourning no matter what so I’m better off here at home with J&O, all the cats and the memories of my beloved.

I wonder what Todd Fisher’s got planned for the night.

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