Entries from November 2004 ↓


Im back from my trip upstate for Thanksgiving, a day earlier than usual because Ive got homework to tackle and a busy week ahead.

Im completely over any alleged or presumed stigma attached with being a 44 year old man who still goes home for the holidays. Hell, I have no family here in the city and mom and dad still maintain the house I grew up in. Why shouldnt I go? Frankly, I think youd find me riding the subway babbling incoherently to myself if I were stuck in the city, left to eat alone. Holiday dinner in a restaurant is nothing to be thankful for as far as Im concerned.

Besides, I like my family and enjoy going home, and with my new hecticisms, dont get to do it nearly enough. And did I mention Mom lays out a great spread?

Mr. Culinary School Student here had some crazy idea hed help the woman who taught him most of what he knows about cooking. Ha! She didnt need my help, thank you, beyond cutting one onion, one stalk of celery and one carrot, typing up and printing out the dinner menu (yes, at Moms restaurant there is a menu for guests to view), and setting the table. This kitchen wasnt taking on any holiday staff apparently.

Now I come from a large family, and in past years, extended family showed up and there were a lot of people to be fed. But this year, my brothers with families of their own stayed at their homes for dinner. There were only four of us, but Mom has always had difficulty cooking for small groups, so we had lots of leftovers. I did my best to make up for absent siblings.

For the curious, dinner at Chez Tarver began with a chilled fruit cup, followed by the chefs famous Shrimp Gumbo appetizer. The main entree was Rosemary Roasted Chicken, Honey-baked Ham, Butternut Squash, String bean Casserole, Cornbread Dressing and Gravy, and Cranberry Sauce. For dessert, a choice of Apple, Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie. We had pretty much finished off the last of the leftovers when I departed.

I was walking down the street and a rock concert broke out

So I took an extended lunch break today to go get a haircut and a shave, a most relaxing ritual I treat myself to on a regular basis. As I headed back towards the subway station at 7th Avenue and 40th Street, I could hear loud screams and cheers, with occasional whoops of a police siren. I looked north up 7th and there was a large crowd of people on the west side sidewalk who seemed to be following a big truck in the middle of the street.

A closer look and I could see police on motorcycles leading the truck, and behind them jeeps and vans with still photographers, and video and film cameramen hanging off. I could also hear the faint strains of some kind of rock music. Ok, Im thinking, Im in no hurry to go back to the office anyway. Lets see whats up.

The truck was now right up on me but I was on the wrong side of the street. It was a tractor-trailer hauling a flatbed, with musicians, mic stands and speakers, and still more photographers and video crews. Whoever it was, was playing to the opposite side. So, I hurried down the block and crossed over in front of them.

By now the crowd was building in size and intensity like a tornado whipping through Kansas. Usually jaded New Yorkers were either stopped dead in their tracks staring with amazement, or jumping, screaming and running along side like an MTV audience. And that was the adults! Cops and security guards worked hard to keep them back.

Now pardon me for being stupid, over the hill and/or unmoved by pop culture, but one White rock musician looks like any other to me. I couldnt make out who it was, although his face did seem vaguely familiar. But all around me, grown men and women in business suits were going gaga over this guy. Wonderful age we live in, picture phones and digital cameras were everywhere (except for mine, back in my briefcase at the office). One man rushed past me to a corner newsstand to buy one of those disposable ones.

A little careful evesdropping on cell phone conversations solved the mystery for me.

The band was U2, and the familiar face was lead singer Bono. (When I got back to the office, I found out they were apparently promoting the release of their new CD How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and a free concert this afternoon at Fulton Ferry State Park, just north of the Brooklyn Bridge.)

Once it all became clear, the whole thing seemed like a great way to break up the day. Imagine, a rock concert, with a major star, just spontaneously took over midtown Manhattan, and with absolutely no planning on my part, I got to see it. And it didnt cost me a dime.

As they rolled passed Macys and Madison Square Garden–where a brotha holding a bible over his head shouted, Idolatry! Idolatry!–stunned shoppers, tourists, Penn Station commuters and office workers did more gawking and gagging.

Around 29th Street, a young Black couple caught up in the swell, who seemed more the Jay-Z crowd, asked me who it was. As if Id known all along, I said with smug certainty, Oh, thats Bono from the group U2. They were similarly under-impressed.

Another one of those only in New York moments.

Love (Dis)connection

I suppose if I had anything substantive to say on the subject, I would have written something myself. But I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. Oh, Ive always been good at assessing other peoples situations and offering up advice, but I cant get out of my own way.

A sampling of my fellow bloggerss recent entries shows some common themes, all related to the elusive search for love and companionship; the need to be understood; what happens when the love you give isnt returned; measuring up to others, missing out on opportunities, and gettin yo swole on so somebody will notice.

Karsh, and Clay, our newest member of the blog community, share some similar problems with unavailable men. The LoveHater (whose name just says it all) laments the inability to take a close relationship to the next level. Will also missed out on an opportunity, which frankly, may have been for the best in my opinion.

Because a good man is hard to find whether gay or straight, Elle makes some amusing observations, as only she can, from a straight Black female perspective.

Kenneth has found his man and marks a short-term milestone. Ryan sees the value of loving himself first, while Clay wonders about the me nobody knows. And while Steven wonders if some people date out of their league, Kevin suggests a way to get attention.

Finally, this article has some tips for those who find themselves dateless in the city.

Getting My Goat

You are 80% Capricorn

How much do you match your zodiac sign?

Frankly, I’m surprised I’m that high. I’ve been working on my Cap issues over the years.

A New Starr in the Blogosphere

A long-time reader, first-time blogger. Welcome my friend Clay.

He’s a sweetheart offline.