A Night at the MOMA, DUMBO, and Solas Pt3

Being a world-class jerk

It was a pretty hot night for alla our activities but the Firecracker’s kid and my own were starting school soon, so we figured we’d make the most of our last summer weekend sans kids.

After our tiff at the Time Out Market, we probably were a little more subdued than we woulda preferred but it was what it was.

Leaving DUMBO was a maze; we ended up going several blocks outta our way in the wrong direction before we finally made it back on track.

We finally hopped the train, but it was the wrong one. Still, it meant that we could talk a bit.

Her: You can be a world-class jerk sometimes.
Me: Sorry about that.

We had everything sorted out by the time we got to where we needed to be, though.

It’d been a while since I saw my buddy at his bar; he was one of the first of my friends to ever meet the Firecracker.

It’s always nice catching up with the people there. Kimo, the bouncer, just came back from Egypt.

Her: It’s one of my dreams to visit there.
Him: You two should go there; you’d live like kings.
Me: What about the political climate?
Him: (shrugging) You’d never notice anything was off. You’re tourists; the country lives on tourists. You’ll be fine…

We ordered a few drinks but the Firecracker’s always pretty popular with bartenders, who got her some free drinks.

And, it seems she’s pretty popular with the patrons too – every time I walked away, I came back and some new guy was hitting on her.

Her: I love this place – I feel like a queen!
Me: (grumble)

The bartender poured us a round of tequila shots, which was super nice of him, BUT the Firecracker and tequila didn’t really get along, so I took her shot.

Then my buddy showed up and gave us both big hugs and we caught up.

Me: How are the dating apps treating you?
Him: They keep crashing! I’m fine in real life.
Me: You can do both!

Afterward, he got us a few rounds of shots as well. By the end of the night, I was two sheets to the wind.

We finally started home late – well, late for us, anywho.

Thus ended our summer.

The kids both started school that week but that’s a wholly different entry, entirely.

Location: the kid’s school, waiting on line for him and getting devoured by mosquitoes
Mood: ridonk busy
Music: All night long, went to every bar, underneath the stars (Spotify)
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A Night at the MOMA, DUMBO, and Solas Pt2

Spending the kids’ college funds

As much as we wanted to stay at the MOMA all night, we had other things to do.

RE Mike sent us an invite to head to Time Out Market but he wasn’t gonna be able to join.

Her: One of these days, I’ll actually meet him.
Me: If you’re lucky!

We walked over to Rockefeller Center to hop the train there down to DUMO.

But not before first getting the Firecracker a bottle of water.

Her: Guess how much this bottle was, Lo. $4!
Me: Well, there goes the kid’s college fund.

It wasn’t long before we made our way there, though.

The walls were lined with more modern pop art than we’d seen at the MOMA, so that was a nice artistic addenda to our evening.

Neither she nor I had ever been to the Time Out Market.

We just got some drinks and sat down to enjoy the weather and the night.

Didn’t realize I captured two helicopters at once in this shot.

Which is not to say things were perfect, as we found ourselves in an argument over something totally random.

I think both of us were probably equally at fault here.

She might disagree.

Now, we had planned to end the night in the East Village by Solas but we were thinking that maybe we were just both hangry.

So, we went downstairs and ordered the first thing we both agreed on.

Her: What did you think?
Me: It was good. Not $50 good, but good.

We were both kinda beat but I hadn’t seen my buddy from Solas in a while so we headed there next.

Location: a wet playground with two tired boys
Mood: hangry, again
Music: Cheap wine in public places, good friends and bad locations (Spotify)
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A Night at the MOMA, DUMBO, and Solas Pt1: Running into a Starry Night

We could spend all day here

Me: You wanna do [the MOMA on] Friday?
Her: Definitely! MOMA is on my list of places to go. I’ve never been.

RE Mike reminded me that the MOMA had UNIQLO NYC Nights on Fridays and also invited us to a thingy in DUMBO right afterward.

Couldn’t remember the last time I’d been there, so I was looking forward to going.

Mainly wanted to see any Lichtensteins they had since I like pop art.

There’s a story there, but I’ll save it for some other time.

Unfortunately, they only had one small piece, but it was still nice.

I also wanted to check out the Mondrian pieces.

Me: In the 60s, people used to wear Mondrian dresses.
Her: Ah, when you were a kid. I can picture it.
Me: (grumble)

She was thrilled to see some of the Picasso pieces they had…

…and we both really liked the Warhol.

And, we were both really happy to see Monet’s Water Lillies in real life.

Her: Whoa! I had no idea how big it was.
Me: Me neither – that thing’s huge!
Her: I could spend all day here.

This isn’t Water Lillies – that’s a series of paintings and they are HUGE.

Unfortunately, we had to run to head out to DUMBO and started to look for the exit.

But, along the way, we saw a huge crowd of people.

Me: Wait…is that Starry Night?
Her: It is! We’ve got to see it!

I’d never seen a real Van Gogh up close and Starry Night was always my fave of alla his pieces.

Plus, it was the centerpiece of my lecture in Paris, and it was while discussing that, that someone stood up and started haranguing me in the middle of my lecutre.

But that’s really neither here nor there.

It was really wild to see the actual painting that I’d seen my entire life and in my studies.

We left the MOMA feeling pretty glad we went.

But we had an entire night ahead of us.

I’ll tell you all about it in the next couplea entries.

Location: the gym for the first time in a few days
Mood: busy waiting for the new school year
Music: Now I think I know, what you tried to say to me (Spotify)
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My idea of a perfect night

Met up with her cousin

Her: Do you wanna meet her?
Me: Sure! What about Chinese food in Chinatown?

The Firecracker’s cousin was in town for a few days so we decided to meet up with her.

Ever since the cruise, I’ve been wanting nuthin but Asian food. Don’t get me wrong – unlimited gyros and shrimp will always be a winner for me, but I just can’t go that long without having some real Asian food.

So, she agreed to meet us downtown at Golden Unicorn.

Firecracker: Should Logan just order?
Cousin: Sure, I’ll eat anything.
Me: Sweeet! OK, where to begin…

Ended up ordering all the classics, including Beef with Broccoli, which is not at all an authentic Chinese dish but it’s still something that I love.

Afterward, we headed to Whiskey Tavern for a drink but it was packed and super loud.

Me: I know – there’s a new bar south of us that I’ve been dying to try out: The Wallace Lounge.
Firecracker: Oh yeah! Let’s do that.
Cousin: I’m down for anything.

Before we knew it, we were in the oak-walled bar when the singer walked by in a slinky red dress.

Me: I think I know her.

It turns out, it was my friend Isabel, whom I’ve seen all up and down the Upper West Side.

Her cousin seemed to really enjoy being out and about in a laid-back kinda joint. We ended up just chatting for the rest of the evening before calling it a night.

Her: Did you have a good time?
Me: Sure! You cousin was nice and now we’re back at a reasonable hour.
Her: You’re so old, Lo.
Me: A nice night out with nice people, good food, great drinks, a live singer, and in bed and asleep before 11PM? That’s my idea of a perfect night.

Location: the gym for the first time in a few days
Mood: busy waiting for the new school year
Music: It’s so good to see you, you look very nice (Spotify)
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A dive-y birtday in the UWS

Anchoring in the aways

It was the ABFF’s birthday the other day so I invited her and the Firecracker to a local dive bar because I’m classy like that.

It started off normal enough, with just some burgers, chips, and guac…

…and some boardgames.

Things started to go sideways – at least for me – when I got the table some jello shots.

Her: Oh man, I can’t remember the last time I had one of these.
Me: I think it was around the turn of the century for me.

Again, I’m nuthin if not classy.

And the waiter comped us some really gross fireball shots.

That’s when the carbs started happening.

Something about greasy carbs when I’m drinking makes me feel particularly gross and this was no exception.

I didn’t last too much longer after that.

While we did stay out for some four hours, the Firecracker was happy that we got home at a reasonable hour – although, based on our conversations, we probably shoulda ended earlier.

Firecracker: That’s one good thing about your being so old, we have early nights.
Me: Who are you calling old?!
Her: You, old man. (later) Look, if you want your anchor in my away, you’re gonna have to make sure my boat is floating.
Me: What does that even mean?!
Her: See, you’re old.

Location: home, surrounded by the kid and his friend, who kept tripping on stuff
Mood: still hungry after four tacos, two turkey sandwiches, three oranges, and a baga chips. I want more.
Music: joy up on my face. Oh, sunshine in an empty place (Spotify)
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The 4th of July weekend, Pt 2

Catching fireworks with the Firecracker

Her: I’ve been here all this time and I’ve never seen the fireworks.
Me: Well, it’s not my thing but I’m sure we can figure something out.
Her: Fireworks for the Firecracker – we’ve gotta do it, Lo!

My cousin, Ras, just moved in LIC and had an outdoor space so the Firecracker and I were supposed to head there after dinner but Ras cancelled last minute.

But it was fine, we were in LIC anywho so just scouted around for a place to watch the fireworks.

For those of you not in NYC, Long Island City in Queens and Midtown East in Manhattan are the two best places to catch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks because they’re held on the east side.

As a native New Yorker, I’ve spent my life trying to avoid going to these things but the Firecracker’s not originally from around here, so I figured I’d take her.

First, we went to a tiny, tiny, tiny, restaurant called Carla.

Afterward, we walked around looking for a spot to catch the fireworks.

We walked for a looooooong time.

Because not every place was suitable.

Her: No, Logan Lo.
Me: Now, hear me out…

We did not go there.

We did, however, do our civic duty and killed a lanternfly nymph that we saw – first one for 2023.

We ended up walking past the gym I’d gone to while the lockdown was in place.

The streets were already insanely crowded and the Firecracker was getting a headache, so we just popped into a Thai restaurant and ordered a few drinks as well as more food.

They had paper umbrellas in their drinks.

While there, the fireworks started and everyone left the restaurant.

We were the only people there.

So, I quickly grabbed a corner table that actually had a good view of the fireworks.

It was like we had a private room.

After a bit, we decided to leave a bit early to avoid the rush.

Which was near impossible because of the crush of people around us.

But it was fine because that meant that we could watch more of the fireworks, anywho.

A friend of mine once told me that the 4th of July was for family.

This was the first 4th in a while that I’d spent with anyone in years but it definitely felt right.

Me: Maybe next year, we can just watch them at home on the television, yeah?
Her: Sure, Lo. Next year. Maybe.
Me: (nodding) I’ll take maybe.

Location: home with COVID, still
Mood: a bit less COVIDy
Music: there’s a spark in you, you just gotta ignite the light (Spotify)
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Oh, how I wish you were here

Proud of ourselves

The Firecracker was busy for most of the following day but we met up for a walk to the pier near my pad when she was free.

There was a salsa party going on so we had to fight our way through that to make it to the edge of the pier, but it was worth it.

Me: What are you thinking?
Her: These are the times where I think, I can’t believe that I live here.

This fella named Richard Ford once said, The more we see our parents fully, see them as the world does, the better our chances to see the world as it is.

The boy just got his first red stripe in BJJ, which is kinda a big deal – certainly to him, if nuthin else.

Him: LOOK, LOOK! (shows me) Are you proud of me?
Me: Of course. But that’s not as important as if you’re proud of yourself. Are you proud of yourself?
Him: (beaming) Yes!
Me: That’s the most important thing, kid. Do things that make yourself proud of yourself, not me or anyone else.

Finding that I miss my dad the most when I want to ask him things about me when I was the kid’s age.

I mean, my mom’s still around and she and I talk about these things but I wonder what my dad was thinking when I was the kid’s age and doing similar things.

Realize all the times that my dad was right – and wrong – about things. I so wish he was here to talk about it all.

If he was, I wish I could tell him that I understand now, so much more about him than I ever did.

Wish I could tell him that I loved him, still do, and always will.

I wonder if he’d be proud of me. Then again, I think I did the best I could with everything I was given.

In that sense, then, I’m proud of myself.

Still, I wish he was here.

Although, truthfully, I always wish the people I loved were here with me.

Him: You looked like this again (makes face). Were you thinking of mommy again?
Me: (smiling, shaking head) I always think of her, but at that moment, I was thinking of my papa.
Him: (hugs me) I’m sorry, daddy.
Me: Thanks, kid. You’re my faves.
Me: (laughing, hoping that I’ll stay in his top 10 forever)

Location: getting a second free soda at a street party because the person wanted a pic of me
Mood: hollowed
Music: how I wish you were here (Spotify)
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Last min trip to NJ, then Koreatown

Thinking about my dad with girlie drinks

In a last-minute decision, I decided to bring the boy out to NJ to spend the weekend with his grandparents so that the Firecracker and I could work on a personal project of ours.

To that end, I was scheduled to head out to NJ, drop the kid off, and come right back, for an approximately 180-minute, round-trip excursion.

Welp, my luck held ever to form. Because I dropped the kid off without issue but the return trip was delayed a solid hour, so my three-hour round trip took four hours.

Once I made it back into the city, I ran to the restaurant where the Firecracker was waiting for me.

Me: I’m so sorry I’m late.
Her: It’s fine. I’m just happy to see you.

We were gonna go to a restaurant that Pac had suggested to us but the wait on that was an hour, so we just ended up going to my regular joint, Jongro – the last time I was there was with my buddy Bridget.

The Firecracker actually wasn’t all that hungry cause I was so late so it was mostly me that ate all the food.

Even that wasn’t enough, so I ordered a pancake that feeds 2-3 people and ate almost alla that myself.

Afterward, we went to a rooftop bar called K-32, right across the street.

There were only a handful of other people there because it was supposed to rain (but didn’t) so it just me and her.

Since it was just us, I ordered my fave drinks: Oversweet girly drinks made of rum.

Me: Don’t judge me for my drink. I like them like I like my women: Sweet and with fruit. Wait…
Her: (shaking head and turning to the bartender) Can you do something to make it more manly? Like put a tool belt around it or something.
Bartender: (nods) I’ll fix ya up!

There were no umbrellas.

But there was a drink in a tiki mug.

Her: Hey, these are like the mugs at your place.
Me: Yeah. They’re tiki mugs. They’re my fathers’.

We struck up a conversation with the bartender and the waiter and got onto the topic of Scenic Fights.

Me: You should subscribe.
Waiter: Wait, Scenic Fights? I’m already a subscriber!

Turns out he was already a fan and that’s why he thought I looked familiar.

The bartender was young and, because it was just the two of us, really spent a lotta time getting the drinks just right.

We actually left as the bar started filling up and were home and in bed by 11PM.

Location: 8:15 PM, with the kid, catching a train at Penn Station
Mood: hungry
Music: Now my dark days don’t phase me even a little bit (Spotify)
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A celebration and then karaoke

So funny and great

After the Hudson Yards, the Firecracker invited my brother and his girl to a celebration that she was having.

I got there first, where I met a whole buncha her friends, including another lawyer.

Him: …Yale. You?
Me: Cornell. Which, in the original Algonquin, I believe means, “Couldn’t make it into Yale.”

It was a pretty low-key thing at a local bar that I’d been to tons of times before.

Had my fill of bar food. Well, I had bar food. I coulda eaten more.

The Egyptian boyfriend of one of her friends and I got to talking about food.

Him: It’s not Egyptian but if you like shawarmas the best places are in Astoria.
Me: Way ahead of you, man.

I would honestly go to Europe just to eat shawarmas/gyros everywhere.

It was fun and everyone was nice but then it was time for us to leave.

I expected to head home afterward but my brother and his girl wanted to go to karaoke so who was I to tell them not to?

Brother: Wait, do you wanna come?
Me: Well, I don’t *want* to come but…
Firecracker: Karaoke!
Me: Yes?

So, the Firecracker and I went with them to midtown.

After just a few minutes, we found ourselves at a joint called Duet 53 where everyone sang a song and I tried to finish a huge bottle of sake.

Couldn’t do it.

My brother and his girl hung out until 6AM – hoo-boy – but the Firecracker and I called it by 1AM.

Although, she would probably had stayed out if given the option.

Her: Ready to go home, old man?
Me: God, yes…

Interestingly, on the way back home – in the middle of the night – met another couple who saw my cousin’s show on Broadway, Shucked.

She raved about it.

Woman: You have to see it now, before it wins a buncha awards and tickets are sold out everywhere.
Me: Oh, that’s high praise, I’ll definitely need to tell my cousin.
Her: And watch it! It’s so funny and great.
Firecracker: We should go see it!
Me: (laughing) Ok, ok, I’ll try to get us some tickets.

Like I always say, New York City’s like a small town a lot.

Location: Janovic paints, buying new paint for my apartment.
Mood: grateful I survived another May
Music: I’ve never lived a simple life (Spotify)
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The lady in green’s bday

A stop by a local bistro

Me: (laughing) Good god, that’s the kinda pushcart my grandma would wheel around.
Her: Look, I’m dating a grandpa, I might as well have a grandma cart.
Me: So mean!
Her: You started it! Plus, someone’s gotta get your ego down a notch.

The dinner the other night after the theme park was really just a spur-of-the moment kinda thing.

I actually planned out the Firecracker’s birthday to a French bistro around the way

Me: What do you want for dinner?
Her: Well, I love salmon. So, any place that offers that?

It turns out that she’d been to the place I picked out but she came right after COVID so they only had a tasting menu.

This was the first time that she was trying out something from the full menu.

Whenever I’m in a French bistro, I always order the mussels if they’re available – pure protein if I skip the bread (which I should do, but never do).

Her: Give me your camera, I want to take a picture with all of the steam coming off of it.

It was pretty good, I’ve gotta say.

Man, I miss Paris.

The vegetable sides were great; think I’m gonna try and make some carrot purée next time, because theirs was killer.

The Firecracker would probably agree.

Afterward, we went to the second bar that we went to on our first date.

We ordered two drinks and a dessert.

Purely by coincidence, she wore a green dress, I wore a green suit, and one of our two drinks were green.

Because it was a school night, I had to leave pretty early but it was nice to celebrate her bday with her.

Me: Technically speaking, you’re probably the oldest woman I’ve ever been serious relationship with.
Her: You’re kidding me, right?! So, you keep getting older, but the girls always stay the same age? That’s messed up, Lo.
Me: (laughing) Yeah. It’s a wonderful thing.
Her: (rolls eyes) Are you done dating children, Logan?
Me: Evidently.

Location: earlier today, making the last of Steel’s tuna
Mood: hungry – what’s new?
Music: Hey there, baby, now ain’t it the life? (Spotify)
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