A New York Moment
So, as I am watching my morning pop pop on the networks with at least 3 mugs of strong, bitter, bold blend of java, and of course squeezing the Charmin as post cafe drip, I had a reminiscent moment of NYC, as I use to be. Of course, I love my nyc, as it was the best adult experience of my life. Will always cherish it, and the condo/apt I lived in by the park. Luv, luv.
After the morning national style morning pop pop, of NBC Today, GMA, CBS morn, comes the 9am shows, but only ABC's Kelly/Ryan tune into a more hyper local zone, which brings me into a nyc state of mind on this June st. Finally sunny and pleasant there, except for the notorious nasty subways, which Ryan mentions and will not take , as he is new to the nyc scene morning show. [He is a transplanted LAer doing American Idol, Kardashians, etc. But a mid-western boy by nature and birth.].
They discuss the roof top patios in summer, which are the best places to wine and dine, as it it above the smog and morning fog, which usually smells like hog. I miss those warm roof top cocktail hours, from hotels, to motels, but not Holiday Inns, say whaaat.
Yes, yearning to go back, and I will with a show in hand, and will only visit til then, but know that it is always there. Luv my nyc.
And yes, I do love my space and peace and quiet here in Toronto, as it is a perfect base with lots of space to spread my waste.
I reminisced about the second last day of my fabby 2 year stay in nyc last July of '16. I had to return all of my Verizon equipment and Kurts' too. 2 massive heavy bags of electronics, as I shvitched thru an uber hot afternoon in light cotton pants and shirt, Euro style to match my hair doo. The only place to hand deliver all this shit by this mega company was to drop it off to a specific Verizon wireless store in the west village. I had no time to have it sent via carriers etc. So, I ventured out, big plastic bags in hand, down the drecky hot, smelly, filthy F train subway to W 4th station. ewwww. The subway was packed and I was dripping in my own Eurotrash cologne dominating the regular b.o. stench of the normal people in the subway car. I got my own pole to hang off of, as my aura pushed away the folk. Except for this lovely older 80 year woman and middle aged man like myself sitting with bags themselves. She asked me if I would like to sit down as they made some room for me next to them. I was stunned. A vibrant elegant beauty with this 'younger' man. The only other 2 civilized looking humans of New York in the car. she said a few words to me, all smiles and pleasant, as I responded politely and thankfully for the seat, without looking directly at her. I was too self engaged in my world and time was short as was my temperament. She got that.
As she her her male companion got up to exit on 14th st stop, she waved to say goodbye, as I did too, and finally looked to her to thank her, and this polite male , and noticed it was none other than tv's character, 'Alice'. Ms Linda Lavin . I was stunned. That lovely, unforgettable smile at 83 yrs yet.
I had seen her perform twice at both Birdland and 54 Below, and had taken a photo with her too. She was perfect a cabaret performer. On key, and on time. I believe she remembered me from those shows as I did come up to her twice, and feel she wondered why I didn't mention it during our subway NYC moment. Her male companion was her musical director as I recognized him standing up. It made the sweat stains under my big Greek hairy armpits worth the permanent dark circles worth it. Kept the vetements as a stained memory now.
I was ready to get off on the next stop and approach Verizon with vengeance now for over charging and having this one store to deleiver the goods. And it summed up my live theater experience in NYC for me, to end it off sitting next to this legendary American pop pop icon.
Live theater, cabarets, jazz clubs, ballets, and some sachez as it were, was always a NYC moment for me, and bumping into these joyous live performers on many occasions in NYC felt so live.
It was nice to exit the city, as it will keep me coming back as the pop peep that I am.
Ranting Over the NYC Renos
So, yes, now signed onto my lease in 16G, and loving it. All amenities, and conveniences within a mile of the Gallery House. Everything I mentioned in my babble rants before this one. Getting on track to refresh my thoughts of that magical time in N-Y-C. Something everyone should experience if you can afford it, and enjoy it. I have no regrets about it at all. Though some nasty shit came and went. The over all living life in NYC was just what the doctor ordered. Culture crusade.
However, the doctor did not spread caution to my door when it came to reno-ing my place.He did not prescribe meds for this. It was not in my SAG medical plan. Had no clue how tough it would be. It was just a 750 sq ft 1 bedroom after all. I was to redo the w/c in full, floors, doors, became the chores. lighting was a challenge and unaccomplished in the end. Painting concrete walls was out of price range, and back splash became a financial luxury. New closets by design were not designed.
I figured, I had already done 7 houses of mine in Toronto over many years, and that drew blood out of me, literally. Let alone the infections, exhaustion, dirt, dust, swelling up from stress, and fast food on the site, and of course the weather. Just knocked me out each time. But was flipping my places for a while as my main income.
But, I thought I would just hire the building's maintenance guy with his side renovating team, since they are on site, and work regular hours and be done in a month at most. Wrong!!!!!!!
I was naive about the these corrupt and nasty blue collar bastards. Soft spoken and carried a big stick, which wasn't lubed, and make it up my crack virtually a few times during the cuntractor special I received. Ruthless rodents I called them. The head ring rider, was the Peruvian peasant, Luiths. A lizard looking lazy lad to match his expressionless face, like the slimy lizard that he was. Only, he was round and short, like a stuffed reptile after too many clients he dined on.
His team of illegals, all approved by the corrupt condo board, who get their renos done on time, and without a fee, cause it is added onto the other customers like me, in surcharges. So, the board says nothing of the boat boys who slither around the square footage of the apt quietly, as instructed by the Michelin man.
He rarely showed up, and his boys came and went undoing the floors, doors, like little whores. And back out the door, peepless, and fluffed with drywall dust. Back again, and bringing materials in, now working half days, and some no days, as I came to watch. They kept shushing me out the door, again , like quiet Asian whores. They needed to work and not twerk, as I was their distraction.
Of course, soon I left , when bringing them their daily diner double doubles, they slithered away, in either way, but not to stay.
Those bitches were onto other yobs in the building, and were now juggling 3-4 units at a time. Each unit received a couple of hours of attention, with mixed up materials, and paints, and called it a day.
The days turned to weeks, and finally just shy of 3 months to complete this one bedroom, 750 sq ft endoit.
The charges added up to much much more, again like an exfoliating whore. The stick I felt, like a seasoned prison peep by now, but needed to have my apt fixed. So, I paid and paid, and still lubeless, but enduring the financial pain. These guys were bonified whores with multiple chores.
They were now affectionately known to me and the patrons of the building as cunts to the core.
The only ones who thought differently were the beneficiaries of the free bees. That would be the condo board, which kept Luiths, with a secure yobbie for life. So far 22 years as I heard. Slithering, slimming away, with tips at bay , as he rolled around in his hay. I received the 'cuntractor special' without ordering it. It was the only thing on the menu , no matter what I ordered, and signed for.
The back splash was left over from another unit. Not the one I picked out at Homeless Depot. So, he pocketed that expense.
The w/c tiles all around the tub, and walls were not even ceramic, more like the 'Flushings' special. I ordered porcelain for durability. Wasn't allowed in as they were cutting away and the dust was in the way. So, I said ok. The finished product tile was shinier than my hairdoo.
The floors were not plank walnut hardwood, but poisonous laminate from 'Liquidators' , who were being sued for this across the US. My eyes were bleary in there for 2 full years, as I am hyper sensitive to chemicals and other cleaning products.
The paint was a darker, different shade of taupe, that was taken from the basement storage room, and then became a mixture, so I could not match it, when I had to cover up the holes after I left the building. I had to re-paint it as per my lease. Of course, they claimed not the case, and pocketed the forked over money again from my bottomless pockets, and bruised bottom.
The cuntractors contract was not super detailed to the item and skew number, or color, so they could never be sued, and would take me an eternity in NYC to go thru that process. So, I took the stick myself, and did a self serve at this time. It was easier than their version.
Once they completed their cuntiness, I moved into to 16G with some glee, as it really was for me. This esthetic cleanse, so to speak. I needed it all nice and new, but truly, who knew. Still, the price to pay and play in NYC, and a harsh lesson learned. Blue collar bastards with union status and favors for flavors were the norm.
Ranting over renos in NYC was a way of life, unless you are a board member.
Corrupt to the core.
Yep, still loved my NYC. The stick, I got use to. Yes, part of life in NYC.
The Settlement of 16G, Part Deux...
Yes, 16G was a winner for my N-Y-C adventure. Right in the smack of midtown. I could see Central Park just north of me, and the flow of one way traffic coming upwards from the south on 6th Ave.
A grocery store/market right below me, open early n late to feed us masses. You will never starve in NYC. Bars and pubs, and cafes oh my! And again, that was just on my block of 55th st.
At least 70 hotels within a 5 minute walk from me offering nice loungy spaces to lounge in over a scotchie poo and even some with a view. Most were cool chill spots to hide in with a friend for those intimate conversations when desired, and maybe a little ba-ba-boo.
The Carnegie Room was a special place for smokers and cigar aficionados. It has a grand fathered smoking allowed license, and so it was always smokin in there.
The after work crowd packed it up, and puffed it out. Weekends, they even had big bands reminiscing of the Rat pack years. This was just behind the Carnegie hall on 56th st.
Of course, a Starfucks on every corner by me. No fewer than a dozen of them. Indie cafeterias and fancy steak houses too. Even a Nobu, jus for you.
Wholefoods by Columbus circle jerk, where the lines ups at the 45 check out counters in the lower level of the complex exceeded Kennedy airports' line up to immigration. And always a shopping adventure there, including all of the designer shops over several levels too. Not to mention, but I will, the restaurants and jazz bars with views of the Park. Fabou all around. This being a 10 minute walk from 16G. The stroll to get there along Central park South is breath taking, gazing into this historic park. Massive majestic residential towers from the previous century make it all magical, even if only going to be picking up some fruit.
The horse carriages along this street and up thru the park also bring us back to the 1900's. Slowly trotting along the pavement. Tours and tourists abound. Thousands of people taking in the sites and sounds of N-Y-C. They'll have a good time.
And just north of Columbus circus is Lincoln Center, hosting the finest in opera, ballet, and symphony. 3, 1960's architectural buildings holding true to that era today. Without a nite off, the thousands of performers belt it out in their genre. Master pieces in motion really. Perfectly performed.
Also, more Trumpet towers too. The signature nouveau riche, tacky gold, with green and black marble, reminds us of the 1980's as does his hair doo and attitude.
And just further down Broadway, and parallel to7th Ave in the low 50's and all of the 40's , are the theaters the world has come to embrace. 40 Broadway theaters at last count and endless off Broadway theaters too. Live orchestras, and live talent on stage nightly like no other place in the world. 12 months a year, they entertain us with their brilliant performances of various kinds. That to me was the ticket. To see a show any day of the week and knowing the actors/dancers/singers/musicians were the best the world had to offer. Again, just a 10 minute walk from 16G. Loved it so, and never a disappointment.
I breathed in American culture past n present. It truly is what makes America great!.
The icy on the pop culture cake at 16G was that every Thanksgiving Day, the Macy's parade paraded down 6th Ave, right in front of my vindow. It was such a fantasy to watch it live! I mean really live. I ran up to the huge roof top patio we had with my frappy happy cappy to watch and video tape it all. Too surreal to believe, but it was. From my vindow, I had eye to eye contact with Snoopy. Feel in love again like a child.
Such a moment of childhood dreams coming to me like I remember in 'Miracle on 34th street'. And as a wanna be boy in my 50's and living in the 50's street, it was pure pleasure. I knew it was time to now enjoy it all as an adult.
Midtown Manhattan made a man out of me in many ways.
To be continued next week of my Settlement in 16G, where iz be.
Thanks for settling in with me. Cheers.
Ranting Back to My NYC Settlement...
Yes, working backwards a bit like a classic greasy Greek that I be, for a fee.
This is actually continuing some from the summer of '16 in N-Y-C.......
Looking at my settlement in the 16G apt of the Gallery House compound in midtown, by the Park, I realized how good I had it. Right where all of the tourist action occurs. Lots of selfie's of the sites. Right in front of the pop iconic sign 'LOVE' , where every tourist on earth has slipped through the letters and ended up, into the garbage bins behind it. Always a better selfie than just the pose like a posse on letter 'L'.
' iheart ' media group off my condo corner. As you can tell, a very liberal arrondisment. And that was just the start of the entertainment.....
I had the City Center theatre steps from my condo. A wonderful artistic venue to enjoy nightly, with everything from pre-Broadway plays, and local dance troupes, to international cultural dance extravaganzas. Such an eye opening cultural experience for me, who has only seen things on PBS or on video tapes. For most of us, I think, it lusts us for the arts once you get a glimpse of that world.
Also, Carnegie Hall, just around the corner. What can anyone say about this American treasure of acoustic sound. It breathes history and talent world wide. Thousands of musicians and singers and dancers have made their debut there, and continue to perform there year round. Something to really look up and a must visit, even the tour is worth it. The building alone is majestic looking at it from across the street from the north side of 57th and 7th Ave. The lights at nite illuminating it's character like a well preserved older person.
Just down 6Ave from me is the famous Rockettes performing house during Christmas and Easter; The Radio City Music Hall. What a wonderful place to be with family or friends. This theatre too is historic, but modern with special effects built into it for a variety of shows, including the Tony awards, Grammys, and traditional pop musical performers like Aretha, and Adelle. The back stage tour is a must my people.! it is all a part of the Rockefeller Center , and NBC, where the Today Show is hosted. It is 'all things pop American style, like me n you'. Soooo lovely to walk around the grounds and the skating rink in the winter. What a family treat. Plus all of the cafes and shops in and around the building. Even the Saks Fifth Ave store is en face du ca. Shop it if you can. And next to that is the St Patrick's cathedral. Even if you are not religious, as I am not, the space will invite you to be. Build like no other I see in NYC. Please spend time quietly strolling through it . Easy to respect the intricate details of the craftsmanship of these artists who spent years carving into the stone. An 'awe' effect at each visit, and there have been many. A serious spiritual palace.
The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and etc ,etc.
So many flagship designer mega stores on this 5th Ave in the 50's streets. Again, all just around the corner from my 16G apt. A quick turn to my right, or left and boom boom boom I can go back to my room.
The Tiffany , Gucci, pouchie, and smoochies , and all the hoochies sachez along the Ave there with their blingy bags, biggie bucks and bitchie boys. Ohhh the visual is simply awesome any day of the week. Still can't get enuf. And of course, the biggest bling, bang bong there on 5th Ave n 56th is Mr Bigly himself, Trumpet Tower. Ta-ta-raaaa. Gold plated like himself, and wrapped in black granite, like His heart. It was always a spectacle, maybe a true blue miracle, booop.
And on my block of 55th st, it is locally known as 'restaurant row'. So many places to nosh. Some with a high end hooker price, some low key, as is for many with the dollar they be. But, a good variety. Never missing a meal for me. Too good I had it, and truly appreciated it, paying for it, NYC style.
Next week's will continue on this hood, as so much more to explore like a whore. mmm mmm good.
Be well, and thanks for reading backwards with me. hugggies.
Picking it Back Up
So, here it is, almost mid March in 2017. How time flies for us all. I keep thinking it can only be me who is constantly falling behind in work projects, and house duties and social living. But it is all of us.
It makes me crazy to think of how the world became so busy. How our lives and ambitions have taken over the simple things we all yearn for. I do try to just catch up on Sundays and clean, and then prep for this new adventure I am calling for. A social media commentary with pickie poos and a few bababoos. In a place of yes, fluff n fold. Bloggies n vloggies to come.
I can be such a light n lofty airy, n hairy homo at times.
It comes with much past experience in life on the road, while in the mode, riding it rough with just enuf fluff. Life comes full circle it seems by a certain age. I feel I am approaching that time. Just shy by a few years, but on the right track, and even working it like a hack.
Again, I credit those young buckaroos who believe in me and guide me through my insecurities. When I slip and slide, as I would on a slurpy ramp , they send me notes to pick up and keep on writing and telling stories of my Cage Wage world.
Those ten years of working on 20 feature films have really caught their interest, and so many more as they tell me. There are thousands of young art, film, production, writing students, and professionals that are quite intrigued that some one like myself would spend all of those years with Cage A mega Hollywood star of Hollywood royalty, as The 'stand in' without trying to break through on his own as an actor, or ask for help to become noticed as one, while on set. Though, I was thrown a few parts in a few films as a token thanks by the directors, for my hard work as his 'stand in' . They were quite awesome with that gracious perk. Cage wasn't so thrilled about me popping in with cameos, as I call them now. He thought I was trying to 'become' an actor on his time clock, but not so my..... It just happened, and luckily so, as I financially benefited with huuuugge residuals to keep me a float in between films and more.
The truth was, I was never really a dedicated studying actor, and believe I was more of a wanna be movie star without truly working for it. It doesn't work that way as I found out, and as others too found out. You cannot fake your way into the biz or onto a set. That's a reality tv moment, and most of those patrons become fucked up, after their year on some silly show, as they think they will get a Netflix show signed on the spot after that. A great fantasy, but that short reality show would be the top fantasy for them, and need to know.
Actors work very hard to be noticed. They read and study and rehearse to get to where they are in the biz. No short cuts, or bj's, or suckie fuckie's bring you to the front of the line.
It really is hard work and serious dedication on the performers part to achieve success. And I realized prior to 'standing in ' for Cage, I wasn't that committed to the art or craft of the biz. I thought initially with a little talent and a nice look that maybe I could squeeze into that Hollywood club. But, no no no signour. It doesn't go go go.
Yes, some people are connected through family and are given a chance to work from the get go without a struggle, but they also must be able to produce the character, and be aware of their surroundings. So, some work it well, and others never make it up the family tree, and fall to their knee. The bottom line here is, you need to have the goods whether you are connected or not. And yes, Cage is a Coppola and has succeeded in the industry, as studio execs were aware of who he was, but his 2 brothers did not shine as bright. So, it's not always who you know, and definitely not who you blow, cause you are just thought of as a hoe.
Bring the talent to the table, and tap dance to the top.
So, I kept me feet grounded as 'The stand in' and yes took it seriously in what was expected of me working for such a Hollywood heavy weight, but kept my humor in tact and saw how these movies were run. I picked up on it quickly to insure me a long spot on the trail of my training films.
I learned so much of how the mechanics on a movie work from a day to day operation. 12-15 hours door to door and more, became such a chore, no time to be a whore, but a bore.
So tiring it was, months on end for one film , and 5 days a week felt like 15 days of what would be an office job. I didn't know how people worked that long and in natural weather conditions. These were durable humans, that out lasted durable batteries. It took me a while to keep up physically as I actually slept standing up and standing in. No yoke. They had to nudge me while standing and snoring on set on the first film. I got really good after I settled in, and worked Cage's character to a tee, with the directors' compliments. But, it was going to be a one shot deal for me I thought, cause it was unbearable to meet these working conditions. One night, Cage asked me over to his trailer with his assistant to see if I would like to be the traveling 'stand in 'for him after just one month of doing it, cause they thought I was the best 'stand in' they had ever worked with. That winter of '94, and in -25C at Niagara On The lake, in the middle of the night, and I was so taken back by it, I said yes on the spot, without knowing really what it entailed. Boy, was I about to find out in the next film in NYC that same summer in record heat, and definitely no funky beat......
I have so much to say on this subject, and the insane stories that evolved with this adventure. I will be unfolding it, jumping back and forth on it between my crazy 'rants', which will be back now on that regular weekly basis.
My 'Rants' I am quite fond of as they are of my NYC adventure for the last 2 years, and whatever you can think of could happen , did happen to me. So, I will let it rip n roar, and some times it will soar.
Plus, so many relevant current 'rants' on these crazy and current times.
Til next week, signing my face offffff.
The Last Six Months
The last six months of life have been in a tail spin. Leaving 'the city that never sleeps' to my city which 'allows me to sleep'. Not terribly exciting in Toronto for middle aged wanna bees in the high life like myself, but ohhh so soothing and quiet and clean. I can sleep at night in my contemporary townhouse in the film studio district of the city. 4 levels of comfort with views of the 'CN Tower'. Canada's Empire State building. 2 decks for lounging, and 2 thousand square feet for living. Not roomy enuf for a self imposed gap like myself. [Jap is the Jewish equal]. But will do for now. I am a space whore to lounge around the floor. I had to evict my American tenants so as to move back into my house. I still feel terrible about it, as they are lovely people with the sweetest little girl. They have yet to forgive me. Luckily they found a quint place. Such is life though. I needed more room to regroup again after my NYC cultural cock crusade of 2 years+. Such a fabby town New York is. And sooo happy to have had the chance to live it up as a NYC resident just off Central Park in a lovely condo, adjacent to all amenities and entertainment. But I will always be back and perhaps a pied a terre into my retirement.
So, my place in Civiland is situated in a sort of industrial meets commercial and residential. Much like Chicago's River West area. With grunge cafes, to Starfucks, to organic eateries, to fast food, to a multitude of gyms for those new hipsters and hoodies descending in this east end hood labeled 'Leslieville'. I call it 'Loserville', as these young trenders and baby carriage gentrifiers live it like it's Brooklyn. Even a street name, blocks from me is called that. Too coincidental.
Yes, pretentious enough in a down to earth manner that justifies a bit of swagger. Lots of bearded buds. Hip homos and and an abundance of limousine liberals. All thinking they hit the spot in a barely affordable area close to the core, but not in the core. Far enough for soft walks and talks, and the jogging and bike paths off the lake.
Too cool to mention that there are 4 film studios here and several recording ones too. I happen to be on a popular block around it all. So, it became easy for me to recruit young tech monkeys to continue my new adventure as a pod peep and blogger to be, and of course a vlogger by late spring, early summer. Yes Q&A's to follow. Some great kids I was fortunate to score via my mini me nephew here in the ad agency world.
A full on media shit show to be, like the one in the White House come Jan 20th. Ohhhh the fun SNL will have as Baldwin becomes the new hero of that dwindling show. I, of course will become relevant in this reality life style that will take over the US in it's entirety, and will feed on that 'Babble, Bullshit and Beyond' as per my poddie. Idiots like me will now be the norm.
My tech boy in NYC who has inspired me. [Yes for real. No ball licking yet], is still on board for some reason despite my over the top ragging rants on him when I am caffeined out. He is my posting boy on the website, and creator too, and my rant posting boy too.
My witty, and wonderful white boys here in TO. [Toronto for you Yankers], are my new editing and media managing monkeys. Great kids too, all in their mid 20's with a lively future for them all, as they themselves are a talented group in music, acting, writing. I feel truly fortunate to have these kids on board to discuss my has been life style in the Cage wage world. But, we are creating a fun filled fluffy poddie and vloggie here in Toronto. It will cross boarders, with no wall interference, as I am a dual citizen, and despite Americans thinking we are 'white Mexicans', as I have been referred to over 30 years.
So, over these last six months of moving and trying to settle into my house, and to renovate it as well. It has been a bigger challenge that I ever imagined. With movers and cuntractors, one after the next, as they never fulfill their duties, I keep on moving on to the next one until I am done and satisfied. My ambition is to complete my town house as a home/media office with room for meetings and cocktail parties, while brain storming media and tv show ideas coming to life. A full on fantasy I have had while working for NC. I have written many short treatments on shows to produce, but never had the balls to speak about them, or even write them in story form. Hopefully, will do in ’17 & ’18.
NYC opened me up to a certain confidence I never thought I had thru my young assistants there. Two tighie whities from the bible belt. Both creative and writers as well, but far more advanced than I, despite their young ages.
They have pushed me to write and exfoliate all my thoughts sur le papier. So, I am doing so now. Grazie.
But, the reality of getting all together with weather in the way, and a month long stay in LA, has pushed me back to the new year of 2017. So, my wanna be fans, I am now here, not so queer, but to adhere to what will become this new year. Yes, a cross over. [Not cross dressing-yet], of Andy Cohen meets David Sedaris meets Phil DeFranco meets Tucker Max. Straight and gay, and all that lies in between. All subjects on board. Lots of controversy, but with thought and compassion. A life well lived from the streets to the heights. It’s been a long road, and loving it. Just a clear common sense individual working his way up the ladder like many others.
I, again apologize for this long awaited blog. Six months is far too long, but I am relaunching it all now. Once a week a 'Relavant Rant, with fotos too, and a podcast every three weeks during winter. I have several that I am working on now as well.
I will do Reddit too once I release more Cage wage info, and will be ready for their AMA via my tech kids.
I am thrilled to come on board as I ease into my comfort zone back home, but always on the road in the US and yes will continue to write my memoirs and the tv show too. Will keep you posted on it all.
Thank you for reading up on this. Stay tuned as we release a new poddie and many more of course.
Many cheers to you all for 2017.
Huggies from Maaaaaarco.
Here I was, standing among all the boxes and wrapped up furniture, with barely enough room to move about in either the bedroom or the living room. I realized I had brought more than I needed in this vintage 60's condo unit, complete with old school heating and air that had a motor to match the noise of the mac trucks barreling up 6th Avenue. I was unable to see thru the windows due to dirt build up over the years. Yellowish grime on the window sills and sides from smokers and dopers before me. Plastic, white, broken blinds. The Walmart special covering the windows, falling apart and filthy. It’s a given, even before I take a look and almost gag.
The washroom still had the original tiles and toilet, complete with pissin and poopin stains. mmm, mmm, ugh.The tub was, yes you guessed it, original. A useless spout above layers of rings like a roller rink around its dirty collar. The rest of the fixtures were equally pathetic and falling apart, not to even mention, but I will, the endless amount of black hairs stuck to the oil paint on the powder blue walls, and even more on the floor laid about in the corners; a display of head hair and pubic hair. A nasty combo to the gager that I am. One big ‘oiy' I say.
The other walls were asylum white. Classic bullshit in NYC. With holes from hangings. I assume pictures. No ceiling lighting, as the ceilings were built with concrete back then. Again, no vision, just built and move on. So, we can't add any pot lights or tracks. I guess lots of Ikea side lamps were to be purchased.
The closets were lined with particle boards for shelving, and the rusted silver hangers were cracked. How, I have no idea. I wouldn't hang a used condom on these, let alone a pressed shirt. Ewww.
The floors, from what I could see through the dirt, were also the typical cheesy New York style parquet from 1963, the builder’s special back then. Landlords never change them, or at least not in any building unit I have seen. Black dirt filled the cracks between these wooden floor-tiles, with nails bent upwards to cut your feet. So shoe wearing was a must on this floor; and I am a shoes off kind of guy in my home always. To be clean is to be keen I say. And yes those 3 " baseboards were still attached to the walls like shit on a stick. I am a base board snob and cannot deal with these. uh uh uh.
The kitchen was upgraded to a Home Depot level a few years back with plenty of cupboards and counter space. It needed a few extra things to make it livable, but I was pleasantly surprised over, except for the plastic cover over the florescent lighting. One big no-no.
You see, I am an esthetic snob and need to feel my complete comfort zone, like a hotel suite. I was accustomed to living that way, having traveled on Cage Wage in hotels and condos around the world. I enjoyed that zone. So, I bought and built that for myself in Toronto as well. To keep it all in this continuous luxury life of 'the stand in'. Since I couldn't find something descent to rent in NYC for even 3k a month, I made this deal with the owner; He pays, I play. 30k was on the table for a 3 month reno job. I hoped to satisfy his wishes, and my taste. I needed to live like the self imposed diva that I became over the years. A Gap. [Greek American Prince]. Not sure if I was worthy of it, but I liked, like Mikey says.
Now came the daunting task of doing a renovation in NYC during the schivtsy summer heat. I was kind of regretting this now, but committed, so I had to deliver. I was fortunate to be able to spend those renovating months at my buddy's condo at 53rd and 1st Ave. He was away in Greece for the summer. But, there was cunstruction next door. It faced my bedroom window that was also just above all the garbage bins towards the back of the second floor. At 7:01am, the drilling began till 4:59pm 6 days a week. They had a special summer permit to do so. Not happy.
I was beginning to realize how tough New Yorkers have it, with all of the noise, and cunstruction, and traffic, and filth. They have tough skin. I only have tough hair products and cover up.
So, up I be on the cuntractors time clock, no matter when I slept. Usually shakin, not stirred out of bed. Sundays I cherished, as you can imagine. At least I had some comfort in discovering midtown east. A bit quieter than midtown proper, where my new living space was to be. The center of the universe for tourism. Central Park, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, 57th st. designer shops to be met with 5th Ave ones as well. From Tiffany's to Bergdorf, to Saks, and St Patricks' cathedral. Just like in the movies. All so glamorous. And I was taking it all in from my roof top deck on 6th Ave and 55th st. Just up from MOMA to boot.
It truly was a Zsa Zsa moment of 'New York is where I'd rather be. Darling I love you, but keep me on 6th Avenue. ". I was feeling it, and reeling in it. This was where I will grow, and yes, feel like a hoe. I just needed to know. But, the reno needed to commence in the midst of all the excitement. I was like a child, but in an adult Disneyland. It was perfect despite the flaws.
Entering the 'Cuntry' of NYC
Having moved to NYC 2 years ago was a cultural passion of mine for many years in the making. I never thought I could achieve it, as the logistics were not in my favor. Firstly, I had no yobbie in da USofA. Secondly, I had no real income here either, other than some resids from my Yids in LA films, and my spending money from my Floridian rental units. Even though my credit was excellent (cause I am an anal bastard about all payments being on time for bills) I could not support myself on paper and rent a condo in the pretentious liberal cuntry of NYC. This was to be a huge challenge. So, I spent 3 months in NYC in 2013 over a harsh winter, subletting a foofoo unit with floor to ceiling glass, fully furnished, Bosch appliances, with even a W/D in it, in Hell's Kitchen. It was thru a friend of a friend [No doubt, a Jap owned it]. . All hush hush as I had to pay it all in US cash at 4k a month. Jeez. And he reminded me that it was a bargain !! That in itself was an eye opener. But, I was selling my loft in Toronto at the time and decided it was a great experience to see if I even wanted to pursue a 2-3 year living term in nyc , so as to discover culture and c - - -
It felt right after that winter, and I decided to make the move for 2014, once I got my act together. Yes, late blooming years in my early 50's, but quite healthy and energetic, and financially mobile, so I committed. Leaving my properties back home to a management company to take over for this period. However, my 3 months in this place that winter, taught me that I need to go through a back door to get into a rental condo, as my income was in Canada, and not 'liquid' and not in the USA per say. So I looked up an old Greek acquaintance of mine in Athens and struck a deal for his 1 bedroom condo rental unit by Central park. I had flopped in this place 20 years prior while passing through. It was old school, but decent. The deal was that I renovate his condo at his expense, and my time, and he pushes me through as his nephew from Canada, who is to move in and work on 'writing projects', and other works from the unit.
The board and management company approved my application after another 3 months of review of their 56 page lease, my credit, etc, and over seen by a realtor. Such an ordeal to get into NYC. You have to pass so many tests of approval , and then all of the move in fees, deposits, application fees, all to move in and out as well. A logistical nightmare and I was disenchanted by it all, but still followed through, and chalked it up as an experience in my late blooming life. Like a divorcee looking for a new adventure in the jungle of Manhattan and eager to explore.
I packed it all up from my other place in Toronto, and loaded up a 24 foot U-haul with a moving company that spring, and drove myself like a Clampett across the Buffalo border with my 2 passports in hand, full on paper work for all of my furnishings packed to the tits in this truck. It was a breeze crossing over, not even checking the inside of the truck. Just, 'come on down' said Mr. Border Patrol, so I did. Talk about smoke and mirrors at the 'security' gates into the Red, White and Blue'. Nada e nada I saw. I could have packed a bunch of bombs or bitches in my truck. And I noticed no one else was checked either, with a long line up of cars and trucks going either way. That is up for discussion another time for all those interested. Hmmmm.
I made it shakily, as I am the Don Knotts of truck driving, not knowing how to shift gears, unless I am sitting on one. All the way through New York state, into the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, and finally into New Jersey with soooo many pissing breaks in between that my little dickie bird hurt from having a river run thru it every so often. The scariest part of my drive was the maniac Soprano type drivers in New Jersey cutting me off, and side swiping me as I freaked in my geeked manner, screaming like a high note from Prince, til I finally pulled over into some shitty white trash town, and into a greasy pizza parking lot on some side road. I begged for my friend Kurt to come take over as I could not continue. I would drive his car, and he the U-haul. A life saving teamster that he is, he drove from Brooklyn that night, in traffic and cunstruction, making his way to this dump that I wouldn't even piss in [but I did on the outside of it; sprayed that brick down with my flow].
We swerved in and out of traffic and cement barriers along the west side highway of Manhattan, and all around, and thru Times Square just as the Broadway theatre goers were exiting the buildings. Oiy vai.! My hair by now was a frosty George Hamilton color and a true Macaulay Culkin of 'ahhhh'. We bull dozed right thru 42nd st without incident.
We made it to a friend's place in midtown east to rest for the night as midnight approached. A trembling chore, like a whore to explore it was. Kurt left, as I graciously thanked him, and locked my U-haul truck to rest for a few hours til 7am moving time from the meter on First Ave.
You see, in NYC, you can't move into a condo without a bonafide and insured moving company.
It is a high end hooker zone of fees to keep the circle jerk of life going for the working class here.
So from this point, I had to hire a moving company in Queens to unload my truck onto their truck, dropping off my truck, and have the movers drive their truck to my new living space in midtown. And unloading it all into this condo that has yet to be renovated. Boxes and bullshit and beyond lay in the living room and bedroom in dust and heat. The beginning of my NYC adventure. It was spring time and I was blooming late in life… and lust.
Stay tuned my people, so many eye popping and pooping experiences. I kept L'oreal hair products [Michelle Obama color] in business for life. po po.
So I am launching my first of several podcasts that are already in the can. Currently being edited by tech boy, cause (for those who know me) you know I can't do that shit. Maybe I can follow in the foot steps of Andy Cohen, or Tucker Max in time. Late bloomers like my self. I feel like I'm a combination of the two, fluffy, not stuffy, a bit flash n' dash , and throw in a little sashay. Conversing with people in my generation (and especially people in the spotlight) feels natural, as I was the maitre'd of the set for 10 years in my "Cage Wage World". Prior to that, I was a legitimate one in several restaurants, in 3 countries and 3 languages. Loving it all the while. But my pop culture fix is coming to the podcast airwaves, as I launch a book, a script, and a tv series based on my fictional and non fictional life as a 'Stand-in". All those by next year. The man in the shadows is coming out, so to speak, and "...more, more, more/ hope-you-will-like-it..." Some will get that reference as I'm a self proclaimed Disco Donny, that thing that has always made me happy, no matter what the circumstances to this day and night. My production company name is 'DoMeRight', as opposed to do me wrong. I only lash back if the latter applies. Tech boy has set up many photos from 20 films from my Hollywood years, and with more to be added as time goes by. Fun, fluff, and fair game with nothing of shock value or disrespect. That will come in my blog of 'Relevant Rants', and my podcastie poo ,' Babble, Bullshit and Beyond'. Though most are interviews, some will be conversations, and over time I hope to speak with many past film colleagues. It will be a new and exciting experience. Very little pc, as I am known for. Trump-esque in my thoughts and delivery without the disrespect to others, but direct comments and questions that will not agree with many main stream people, or friends for that matter. Many will be topics of serious controversy that may turn you off, but all things that I needed to say to exfoliate in my way. Things Americans have issues with, but too polite or afraid to breach. A kind of Howard Sternopoulos if you will. Bab bab boey and beyond. Q&A's should start by the end of the year as well. They'll be held in film oriented universities, discussing the hardships and hard work in the film biz from a perspective of being on sets for 12-14 hours a day per film. So meanwhile, enjoy the fun film pics, and I will have some later on from my disco heydays and my model days for you hard up folk.
Thanks for clicking on, and not clicking off, yet. Huggies, Maaaaaaaarco.
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