Tag Archives: Thornton Park

2 cities, 2 dresses, 2 affairs… and now we dance. grits and gravy baby… grits and gravy.

Sooo it’s literally been three weeks since my New York rendezvous… Ah Manhattan… it certainly was magical.  This summer has been a blast and my globe-trotting isn’t over…  I’ve been to Miami twice, Cocoa Beach, New York City, Atlantic City…today I leave for Chicago, back to NYC in two weeks, tentatively hitting Miami again for some quality sister time and possible Hurricane’s game, then LA in November.  I’m thinking next year – stay put? nah. 

My last weekend to Miami – came out of nowhere – My parents were heading down for my mom’s 40th high school reunion (which blow’s my mind – I thought most people didn’t live that long…)  I didn’t realize they were planning such a trip until the Wednesday before, but I jumped at the opportunity to get down to the famous vacation destination – and why not? Especially when you will be staying in swanky hotel room, overlooking the sparkling and yacht covered Biscayne Bay.  Exactly.  My new motto as of late is to say “yes” (with a few exceptions) – when  opportunities arise.  I’m glad I went to Miami – not to the Reunion – that part of the mini getaway I knew to avoid.  Instead I made plans to have dinner with friends, Dan and the two ‘loveturds’ Judy & Chris.   We ended up at Ceviche 105, downtown and it was mediocre.  To describe the food that night as “less than great”, would be a complete overstatement.  It was lame.  I’m not a ceviche connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be massive, hacked-up strips of fish swimming in lime juice, and the only good thing about the sangria, garnished with canned fruit cocktail, which (I’m not gonna lie) I ate, was that it contained alchohol.  The company, on the other hand was more than excellent.  After dinner, Dan and I joined the rents for gelato – a most delicious treat…  I know I’ve been on an intense Mochi Froyo kick – but that almond and chocolate Gelato was special… I ate all of it.  As always, being in Miami kind of makes me miss living there, and of course it becomes increasingly difficult to say goodbye each time… but I’ll be back.

Being that I had been away for the weekend – my goal was to re-focus, and get back to my seemingly never-ending list of ‘to dos’  – not sure if I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but it seems that lately the only way for me to function, is to maintain an ongoing check list.  It’s not as a bad as it sounds, it does have its rewards, like the rush of feel good chemicals I get when crossing items off… and better yet, the excitement I experience  when I can finally tear it up and begin the cycle all over again.  (If you are still reading at this point, I commend you for staying with me.  Kudos to you.)  But of course along with the mundane and my busy schedule I still found time to get out of the apartment other than for work.  My beaUtiful friend Wendy, invited me out Tuesday night for a little dancing at an Independent Bar Party, warmly refered to as “Grits & Gravy”.  What a blast!  We both needed to get our dance on, and I’m so glad she invited me.  It was all 50’s Do-Wop – 70’s Disco – into the 80’s, and it was fantastic!  There were some really hardcore dancers – cutting up the rug, and I was the “Devil With The Blue Dress On”.  Wendy and I both wore adorable dresses and boots – sipped on pineapple juice with our mutual friend Michael – and made obnoxious faces to each other every time a creepy, grease ball tried to dance with either one of us.  The catch phrase of the evening became, “oh look!  It’s your boyfriend again!” bah ha.  Too much fun – way more FUN than TAKEOVR – well at least in my opinion.

In other news… I was asked to participate in another CREATIVE MIND EXPERIMENT (the same “experiment” that sparked DOG POWERED ROBOT – ah luv… only this time I am one of the creators.  I’m not saying anything else about it other than the fact that I will be performing my creative piece next week, Friday, Sept. 10th, and possibly Saturday, Sept. 11th @ the Cameo Theatre off East Colonial.  To soon to tell if it’s going to be good because I’m still working on it…definitely not going to be anything like DPR, but it’s sure to be entertaining.  I think.

Last Friday, I finally got to spend some quality time with Sarah, it had been six weeks – we’d both been extremely busy and we kept missing each other.  ‘Dragon’ as I lovingly now refer to her as, has been filming  a reality TV pilot called Thornton Park, which follows a group of good-looking gay men who live in – yep, Thornton Park, where I also happen to work.   Sarah is the loveable, quirky, female, fashionista on the show.  I don’t know much else about it, but it sounds hilarious, and she is loving it, so much so, that she constantly refers to one of her fellow cast members as her ‘gay husband’.   It seems both Sarah and I are trying to make a name for ourselves, I with music, and she via reality TV.  I will be making T-shirts – “Not Famous, but willing to try.”  Thanks for that Sarah.

Ok… Back to our FRIDAY night of destruction…

We made an appearance at The Hideaway for the Worst Music Party!  And it was exactly that.  DJ Tommy Mot was spinning everything from “What Is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)” to “Vogue”, and I enjoyed every second of it – of course it was a plus that Sarah has the hookup and Tommy whom I’ve met a few times now snuck us past the ‘Cover Nazis’.  FREE is always better.  We did a shot with Mot (bonus point for rhyme) and took a ridiculous amount of photos.  We’re such hipsters.  

After we’d had enough of the throwback 90’s Dance/Pop marathon – we decided to hit Downtown and try our luck at I-Bar.  My 31 year – old uncle John Paul was also out and about so we met up with him… He’s probably going to kill me for saying so, but he thought Sarah was pretty hot, and he’s not wrong there, lucky him – he had a pretty woman on his arm all night and she had cute boy to help ward off the d-bags.  Several shots later and a severe Pizza burn on the roof of my mouth we went home.  I’m not sure we did any ‘damage’ – but we had fun ‘La Sarah Style’ and WE LUUUUUUV it.

Aside from sleeping in, I spent all day Saturday in the studio with Chris before rushing back to get ready for the big ‘artsy fartsy’ to do.  The Red Chair Affair is THE kickoff to the arts and cultural season in Central Florida.  It’s a great ‘one stop’ to get a sneak preview of many of the up and coming performances around town, and it’s the best excuse to go out and buy a red dress that you have no intention of wearing again… guess you could wear it at the next RCA, but if you’re like me, probably not, because you think someone will probably recognize it and ridicule you.  Pfft.   

I attended the event with the fabulous Migas and their beautiful French friends, and Wendy as my date.  We all looked great and had a great time commenting on the presentation.  My favorite piece was the Orlando Ballet’s performance… the male dancer was yummy; so much so that I let out an audible, “uhm yeeeaaaahh”, when he entered the stage wearing black tights and a smile.  Magnificent! 

After the event, Wendy and I hopped in a ‘bicycle carriage’ (for lack of a better term), and rode downtown for sushi, mochi, and people watching.  We were joined by her buddy John and my Uncle John Paul over at BBQ Bar – and we hit the photo booth.   We parted ways and JP and I walked across the street to meet up with an old friend of mine from junior high.  It was strange seeing him after so many years.  He looked good all grown up.   

But this was when things got sort of strange, almost ‘movie like’.  Apparently ‘Junior High’s’ recent ex-girlfriend showed up, and well, simply having me around was awkward for him.  I wasn’t sure why – I mean what’s so awkward about a guy hanging out with another girl right after…. Oh…ok I get it now.  He was torn – he wanted to hang out with me, but he also didn’t want to come off like some kind of jerk.  I didn’t even know he was into me until… and this is where the “movie” comparison comes into play.  He walked with me outside, explained that he felt like a jerk – and that I would probably never want to talk to him again.  I told him not to worry about it, that I was fine.  I asked him (jokingly), “what now? Are you going to put me in a cab and send me home”?  And with slight hesitation he answered, “Yes”, walked me down Orange Avenue straight to a cab, put enough cash in my hand for two fares, pulled me towards him, and stole a kiss, before placing me behind the driver’s side.  I wasn’t mad at all, slightly confused, but certainly not upset… It was sort of a rush, almost romantic… (I’m cringing at the fact that I just used the word, but I’ll own it.) Yes it was romantic, in a weird way… and If he’s still interested – I’ll let him make it up to me over breakfast.

PS … I’ve arrived in Chi-Town…

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a 4th minus explosives, Bastille Day sans the French and Pho Ga!… independence week.

Ah yes it was 4th of July weekend and I was going to be kickin’ it in Cocoa with the rents.  We hit the Florida Coast on Saturday and set up camp at the Hilton.  The weather was perfect for my fair skin, the company, pleasant, and the schedule, non stressful – heaven.  I had my fair share of partying the previous week and I figured why not spend a quiet, carefree weekend with mom and dad?  We had good, clean, relaxing fun – both on the beach, and at the pool bar.  We even made an appearance at the Cocoa Beach Pier and some crazy bar near the port I can’t recall the name of.  I did however, consume  my weight’s worth of delicious tropical drinks – mainly margaritas, but there were a few other drinks worth mentioning – they were delightful and definitely worth having one or two or… whatever, I don’t judge. 

They are listed here in order of YUMINESS:

  • # 3 The Paloma – Refreshing and thirst quenching – (if you can call an alcoholic beverage thirst quenching) It’s made with Herradura Tequila, grapefruit juice, a splash of soda, lime juice, Agave Nectar and a salted rim……….
  • #2 Italian Spritzer – a glorified white Sangria with lots of fresh fruit

and…. My new signature drink (drum roll please)

  • #1 Cool As A Cucumber also refered to as The Helen of Troy (so good I will probably buy the exotic ingredients and attempt to recreate it at home….
    This gem of a cocktail consists of: Hendrick’s Gin (made with cucumber),  St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Agave Nectar, Fresh Cucumber and awesomeness.

On our first night at the beach, after having dinner, drinks, and dancing to a live band on the Pier,  my mom and I (much to wired to retire for the evening) hit the bar at our hotel and ended up chatting with a lovely young couple.  She was a cute tan blonde and he was a very handsome Jersey boy of Palestinian heritage.  I liked them so much I invited them to hang  at the pool the next day… and well at least one half of the couple did.  Ha ha!  There I was sitting at the pool bar with my dad when ‘cute ethnic guy – who shall remain nameless’  walks over alone!?!  Obviously not the kind of guy you would want to be in a long-term relationship with, but I thought it was sort of funny, because he seemed super nervous and confused…. Probably more so than I,  probably because he was not counting on my Dad being in the mix.  Needless to say he left after about 15 minutes of small talk… but it didn’t stop him from texting me later…  gee, I wonder where his blonde girlfriend went?

For our 4th of July, Sunday evening we grabbed dinner at a BBQ joint I would never revisit, headed back to the hotel thinking there might be some kind of festivities for the holiday, but found the place crawling with little kids and their families, so I opted to go up stairs and charge my phone, missing the pier fireworks show completely.  My mom of course made a big deal out of the fact that both my Dad and I missed the fireworks  (which I honestly could care less about) but calmed down again once we told her we would find something else entertaining to do for the evening.

And we found it!  We were told to head towards Port Canaveral because there is a strip of bars and restaurants… so we headed that way, and everything was dead except for the last restaurant with outdoor tiki bar included, Milliken’s Reef Tiki Bar (I just remembered the name).  It was a “happenin’ place” according to my mom, Dad was happy to be hanging out with the “young crowd” and I was happy because every drink was $2.  Not just wells, or domestics, but everything.  My eyes lit up when the cute bartender said, “I’ll make you whatever you want sweetheart.”, so I asked, “May I have a top shelf Margarita on the rocks with Patron Silver for $2?” and then my heart melted, when he sad, “you got it! salt?”  mmmmmm hmmmm.  “I love You” was my next response.  I had a few really good drinks that night, met a couple of guys (who were surprisingly not afraid to approach me as a sat with my parents at a high-top), ran into a blast from the past , someone I hadn’t seen in over a decade, hit the dance floor, and was asked the following from a man who had to be at least 65, “Would you mind dancing with an older gentleman?”  – Not at all!  and besides the DJ was playing my favorite new ghetto hip-hop track “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris.  Oh yes, and I specifically requested it.

It was a fun weekend followed by a chill week that lead into a very random Saturday.  And by random, I mean awesome. I live for random experiences, especially when friends and funny photos are involved.  That day my friend Nick and I gathered a group of friends together to check out the Audubon Park Society’s 2nd Annual Bastille Day in the Garden District located off Corrine Drive near Stardust Coffee and Video.  The event though small in both size and numbers, consisted of a few points of interest and a fair amount of hippies.  It was also incredibly hot that day, but I am not a stranger to florida hot and humid summers, so I was a trooper. 

There was live fencing, fashion and jewelry booths, a poodle race, french wine and beer, a medieval reenactment courtesy of a large group of players from the Society of Creative Anachronism – Barony of Darkwater, and my personal favorite, hippie mime dunking.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and even ran into a few people I know.  This event definitely has potential, but next year I want to see a reenactment of an execution via guillotine.  Je plaisante!

After our Bastille Day experience, we did what most sensible  people would have done and went for Vietnamese food at Little Saigon.  It was soooo good, and now I can cross off another to do on my “foodie bucket list” for Downtown Orlando.   I had the Pho Ga, which is basically Vietnamese chicken noodle, but better, and healthier tasting for sure.  I think next time I’m sick, I will order some, yeah, something to look forward to when I get sick.  I have to say, I was so proud of myself for nailing the pronunciation of the delicious dish, that I must have said it at least five times that night, “Pho Ga”  (fo ga). 

After that we went for a glass of wine at Aroma in Thornton Park.  We sat outside enjoying the warm breeze, good wine (I had the Jam Jar, and it’s excellent if you like a hint of berries), live music, good conversation, and good friends.  It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday.

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