A Queens Kind of Party

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A friend asked what Franco and I do these days.

I said, “Nothing really. Just read and drink coffee. Sometimes we see other humans, but mostly we just read and drink coffee.”

Gone are the days of drinking until 4 a.m. (though we’ve had nights like that). Or lying around recovering from nights like that (I guess one can’t exist without the other). Or riding planes, trains and buses en route to and from each other (because, hey, we live together now. WOO.).

Which means we have more time to do the things we do by ourselves, together.

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re in New York! Aren’t you supposed to have lofts and go to parties in lofts and know people who know people who have parties in lofts?

Sorry, my friend. It’s not that kind of story. This is a Queens kind of story. An I’m-livin’-in-the-same-apartment-as-my-invisible-Greek-landlord-who-lives-next-to-some-gruff-but-nice-older-Greek-Italian-gentlemen-who-hang-out-on-the-stoop-all-day-talking-all-kinds-of-politics-and-societal-situations-but-still-remember-to-say-hi kind of story.

And in my story, we party, all right. We just do them alone. Or with one other person. Preferably somewhere quiet. Definitely air-conditioned.

At our parties, instead of drugs, we got sandwiches. Instead of kegs, we got coffee.

And for entertainment, we got them all. Fiction! Nonfiction! Sometimes with pictures.

So, hang onto your trousers. I’m about to show you a weekend in the life of us.

It doesn’t get any more exciting than this.

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After two years of writing, I’m in a period of consumption.

Often, it involves super important current events. Like, did you know Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen are dating? And Andy and April got married? And Miguel exists?

What a hoot.

When it comes to writing non-work-related stuff, though, I’ve totally hit a wall.

Hence, the DSLR.

It makes me feel like I’m making stuff.

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On this day, we’re about to watch Guardians of the Galaxy.

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After growing up reading 800-page books about dragons and saving his lunch money for comic books, Franco’s 11-year-old self is finally vindicated.

Take that, super cool classmates with your super cool social lives! When you’re 30, you too will enjoy these delightful works without all the angst.

Hm. Well.

Moving on.

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After buying tickets, we sat across Kaufman Studios.

We sipped coffee. We people-watched.

Then we lined up 30 minutes early.

At 3 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, I thought it was excessive.

gotgI was wrong.

In a distant theater, my brother was also watching the movie.

The following conversation took place some days before, but it gives you an idea of just how big a deal this was.

(He’s in grey.)

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The movie, by the way, was awesome.

I loved it. So did Franco.

We wanted to discuss.

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IMG_0247We Yelped.

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But ended up stumbling upon a quiet bar on a quiet street, and decided to go inside.

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With a name like Snowdonia, how could we not?

IMG_0271We had a table by the window I didn’t want to leave.

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So we stayed until the sun went down.

IMG_0274The next morning, we walked by the swankiest laundromat on the block.

IMG_0276And waited for a very special person.

The lady at the counter told us she’d be there at 1. Maybe.

It was 12:50.

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Eventually, she did roll in. The maker of delicious sandwiches.

“You look 18!” she told me.

“You must get carded all the time!”

If she weren’t so damn delightful, I’d still eat her banh mi.

But I wouldn’t be happy about it.

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OK, I’d still be happy.

Because look at that banh mi.

Just look at it.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

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The one not defining thing I love about New York

The thing I love about New York, or should I say one of the things since this thing isn’t necessarily the one defining thing I love about it, is that it’s full of surprises.

Last night I had one of those hellish nights in which nothing really went my way. My body, ragged from four hours of sleep, was against me. Sunday not caring it was Sunday, and me having to work through it, was against me. And the subway, perpetually under construction and leading a rousing game of “Let’s see how many times we can make Karen transfer in what should be a 30-minute trip,” was against me.

In the morning, I fared no better. I had more work at the office and laundry (one of those frustrating New York things you can’t do on weekdays unless you don’t mind spending your post-work fatigue watching telenovelas or an extra $25 or so having someone else do it for you).

I carried the cart and its me-sized bags down three flights of stairs before stopping at the lobby long enough to think: It’s Labor Day. Which is kind of a holiday in some circles. Is the laundromat even open?

Fumbling through my always frozen BlackBerry, I tried to find the phone number for my usual local laundromat.

But which one was it? There are like, I don’t know, 30 in a five-block radius. No matter. I picked the first one that came up in search results, convinced its comrades kept a similar schedule.

Irregular hours, said the automated voice.

And the others?

BlackBerry. Ever frozen.

Fudgefudgetyfudge.

I lugged the cart and its me-sized contents back up three flights of stairs, stormed through the apartment, searched for the number on my laptop to no avail, resolved to walk the three or four blocks to see for myself, maybe grab a cup of coffee just to soothe my soul, perhaps some breakfast too, and hopefully stumble upon a laundromat open long enough for me to cross off one thing on my to-do list.

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

Four. letter. words.

Scowl scowl scowl.

And then I found this. I never did do my laundry.