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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Beer, Dumplings, and a Concert in Alphabet City

Exploding Cans

My fridge’s been acting up again; this time, it gets waaaaaay too cold in the regular area.

Late the other night, the Firecracker and I heard this loud but muffled bang. Couldn’t figure it out until the next morning when I opened the fridge and found the below.

It froze two cans of soda both of which burst open but this one had the top blown clear off.

The Surgeon’s wife is actually a musician and she was part of a concert in Tompkins Square Park the other day.

Me: It’s in Alphabet City.
Boy: What’s Alphabet City?
Me: It was a place that was super dangerous when I was a kid but I guess we’re going to a concert there now.

It’s true. When I was a kid, there were places you went to get killed: Alphabet City and Long Island City were two of those places.

But the Surgeon’s kids were there and they just had a grand time.

Although, the boy and I ended up getting eaten alive by mosquitos.

Her: I’ve never had it happen when I wasn’t the one that was bitten the most.
Me: Great. (thinking) Maybe they were just in the mood for Chinese.
Her: (laughing) Maybe.

Afterward, we were all in the mood for Chinese, so I walked to Dumpling Man and ordered like $60 worth of dumplings.

It was a nice family run restaurant.

We also got a ton of beer.

Me: Shoot, we don’t have a bottle opener.
Steel: (laughing) I’m wearing Reefs, so I always have a bottle opener.
Firecracker: That’s wild!

Can’t tell you how nice it was to be in park on a sunny with friends, the kids, great food, and beer opened by a sandal.

You can’t put a price on things like that.

Afterward, we took the long walk back to Union Square.

Along the way, we walked past the first place Alison and I had dinner together, Horus Cafe.

It was the one where she teased and called me dumb.

Me: I went with your mommy.
Son: Really?
Me: It was a long time ago.
Him: Where was I?
Me: Not yet here. It was before you were born.
Him: Oh. We can come back here someday.
Me: I’d like that, kid.

Location: A street fair on Amsterdam and 79th
Mood: beat-down
Music: The truth in all my lies, the blue to all my skies (Spotify)
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Dinner at Iris’ and then a walk

40-60 Hours?!

Me: Hey, it’s Restaurant Week again.
Her: We should go out…oh, wait, that should be our thing!

Last week was pretty roasting so this week is a welcome respite from the heat.

Having said that, it was the last week we had without our kids so we went out to eat at Iris Restaurant in midtown.

The cuisine was Mediterranean, which is amongst my faves.

Pretty much everything was killer.

Afterward, we ended up walking home and stopping by The Shops at Columbus Circle, particularly Williams-Sonoma.

Me: I like looking at all the stuff I can’t afford, and can’t fit into my tiny apartment.
Her: But it’s still nice to look. (later) Hey – F for Firecracker!

The boy came back not soon afterward, as did her son.

It’s nice to have a bit of time off from being parents but we both missed our kids a lot.

I think the boy’s starting to realize that the effects of a vacation are quickly forgotten once you return to your real life.

Him: Wait, when did I come back from grandma’s?
Me: (puzzled) What? You came back yesterday.
Him: (incredulous) I did?! It feels like so long ago.
Me: (laughing) You’re not gonna enjoy working 40-60 hours a week.
Him: 40-60 HOURS?!
Me: (laughing more)

Location: Staples in the UWS, recycling lithium batteries
Mood: beat
Music: Was it all that easy? (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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I’m not an activist

The Dragon Combat Club

Last Thursday was hot and steamy in the city. If I had the option, I woulda stayed home all day.

But I didn’t have that option because my buddy Hen Z – who’s a Paxibellum student of both kali and BJJ – invited me to come to the premier of a short video about a group that he started, called the:

“Dragon Combat Club, a grassroots self-defense organization formed in the wake of brutal anti-Asian attacks. The film they made explores community solidarity, self-expression, and the fundamental right to be safe.”

So, at 7PM last week, made my way down to 87 Lafayette St, which actually turned out to be an abandoned Fire Station, number 31.

There, I ran into my buddies Katrina and Prin – both of whom take kali and BJJ at Paxibellum as well.

It was weird, I felt like a mini-celebrity because I met so many people that knew me from Scenic Fights.

Him: Hi! Are you…?
Me: (holding out hand) Logan, nice to meet you.
Him: I’ve seen all your videos!

Which makes sense because Scenic Fights and I were part of the germination of the concept of using weapons for self-defense.

I’d been watching Hen and his group grow from an idea to its current status as a community-based organization and I’m glad he’s doing it to try and be a positive influence for the Asian-American community.

The video itself was pretty cool, and relatively short – I’ve linked to it below and think it’s worth the 10 minutes that it runs.

For some reason, though, the organizers cut the fans for a solid 15 minutes or so in the beginning and the air conditioners weren’t doing much at all.

I was melting during that time and couldn’t really cool down much, even after they turned the fans back on.

Still, it was a good experience and one I’m glad to have been a part of, however ancillarily.

Speaking of Scenic Fights, this is a wild thing to wrap my head around, but it turns out that, just on YouTube, we’ve had over 101 million – 101 MILLION – views.

That’s full-on nuts.

Then again, I really do believe what I wrote below in my IG account:

Location: home, trying to hook up an eGPU via thunderbolt and a G29 steering wheel via that to a NUC for the boy
Mood: exhausted but fulla tacos
Music: woke up knowing where I am, if just a little bit (Spotify)
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Times Square to home

Two miles in Summer

Her: It’s a nice night – we should walk home.
Me: That’s like two miles!
Her: Cm’on, you said you didn’t go to the gym today…

After we left the theatre, we she decided to walk home – I figured I’d walk up with her as well.

It was a madhouse.

Her: Once we make it past 50th, it’ll be better.
Me: I know, I used to live here.
Her: Then you know!

It was actually busy until about 52nd, but it definitely got better.

We walked by some outdoor vendors selling goods.

Me: Man, that’s gotta be miserable.
Her: (nods)

We walked past the Ed Sulivan Theatre, which I always did when I went to Fordham but lived in Times Square. I told her some stories about that time.

What little I could remember, anywho.

After a while, we got to Lincoln Center, which was having a dance party of some sort.

But we were too hot to linger for too long.

After we got back, she had to go pick up her kid and I had to toss out a buncha things for recycling.

It was a nice ending to a nice night out.

The kid’s back this weekend. I cannot wait to see him.

Location: the LES, watching the premiere of I’m Not An Activist at DCTV
Mood: troubled
Music: I’m right back where I started (Spotify)
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Once Upon a One More Time

Everybody needs a RE Mike

First mentioned RE Mike to you some 15 years ago, where he floated me and my buddy Sheridan into a private party with James Lipton, Richard Kind, David Zaikin, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.

Since then, he’s gotten me into more parties and events than I can possibly count including some grand openings, model parties, private concerts, private concerts with donut bars, ship launches, whatever the hell was happening in the picture below, dinners, real estate events (of course), and roof parties.

This is from the really weird party we went to in 2019.

He even set up one of the wedding parties that Alison and I had, and the only one in Manhattan, at a joint he owned.

He and my friends around the way were some of the first people I saw after everything went down.

I shoulda had a donut from the donut wall that night.

I’m honestly not sure why he’s always so nice to me, but – heck – who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Everyone should have a RE Mike in their lives.

RE Mike: [Sent you an invite to the Britney Spears musical.]
Me: Thanks! When are you going?
Him: Went last week enjoy! It’s silly but fun.
Me: Cooooooool, thanks!

The Firecracker and I were trying to figure out what to do last weekend when he got us two tickets to a new show with Britney Spears songs called Once Upon a One More Time.

Honestly, while I liked a few songs from her – like Work Bitch, which, before everything went down, coulda been my theme song – I wouldn’t really call myself a fan of hers.

Having said that, The Firecracker loves musicals so I figured I’d take one for the team and go with her.

Not counting the musicals on the cruises I go on, the last time I went to a Broadway musical was with Alison some 14 years ago.

But, I gotta admit, it was a lot more fun than I was expecting, and the story wasn’t bad at all.

I’d never been to the Marquis Theatre, which is in the New York Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square.

The layout was a bit odd as you walk downstairs and immediately are facing the concession/bar area. Weird/bad feng shui.

Her: Do you want a drink?
Me: I’ll just have some of yours.
Her: Why don’t I just get you one?
Me: Because I’ll just keep running to the bathroom.

Outside, there were a buncha booths where people to take selfies with some of the songs as themes.

The Firecracker had a blast and it was fun doing something completely different for a change. If you get a chance to go, you should.

Afterward, we took a long walk-up Broadway, about two miles north to my pad.

I’ll tell you about that in my next post.

Until then, below is the encore from the show, which they were cool enough to let us record.

Location: the gym, for the first time in a while
Mood: missing the kid like crazy
Music: You want a Maserati? You better work (Spotify)
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