Like most 20-something singles in New York, I’ve dabbled with online dating. It’s so easy, I figured, why not? Well, I never got exactly what I was looking for. A couple decent dates, a score of boring ones, some interesting people, many drinks, a few good stories: this more or less sums up my experience.
I did meet one guy with whom I had a ton in common- both actors who use their bikes as a main form a transportation, we love walks in the park, and have been called hippies more times than we can count. Each a self-proclaimed goof with no greater joy than putting smiles on people’s faces. Spontaneous. Even our physical descriptions are humorously the same: dark blonde, blue-green eyes, relatively tall, fit, great smile.
The old saying goes “opposites attract” and like most clichés, it carries some truth. On the computer screen, he looked like my perfect match. But once we were face to face it soon became apparent we were meant to be friends not lovers. So we became friends and that friendship? It’s the best thing I’ve gotten out of my entire experience of internet dating. We see plays together and he always helps the women to men ratio when I throw parties. He’s easily the sweetest, most passionate, optimistic, and inspiring guy I know. To top it off, he’s this week’s featured Other New York cliché! Sage, I pass you the torch!
Name/preferred pseudonym: Sage Suppa
Borough and neighborhood: Manhattan, Harlem (Hamilton Heights if you know the area)
How are you a New York cliché?
1. Now, I’ve read a good deal on Buddhism and am a big believer in peace and positivity amongst our fellow-man. I would consider myself to be very far from a violent person. Still, every time I get stuck behind a 20-person group of tourists taking up the entire sidewalk, walking along at a pace that would make a turtle go “Come on!”, I have flashes of ripping off all my clothes, turning completely green, and going on a rampage.
It only lasts a second or two.
2. Where I live in Harlem, artist and creative types always talk about the hustle. I try to take part in this by doing my “art” and having six part-time jobs to stay afloat. My “art” being an actor, writer, director, producer, editor, teacher and acting coach.
They say no one who lives in New York is actually from New York. Where are you from? I’m from the suburbs- Stamford, Connecticut.
Bloomberg is banishing you from NYC. You have 24 hours before you have to pack up and leave for ever. How do you spend them? I’d start my morning off by doing something I’ve always wanted: I’d finally go up to the top of my building and look out over my neighborhood.
Then it would be a bike ride from under the George Washington Bridge to Central Park, where breakfast would be served under my favorite tree. After breakfast, I’d give that tree one last good climb, then take a stroll down through Times Square. I’d take a hard look at everything there, and try to sketch it even more permanently into my mind. After that I’d sneak into an empty Broadway theater where I’d walk on to the stage and probably start to cry. I’ve dreamed of being on a Broadway since I first discovered the magic of theater at age 13. The thought of being banished from a city I really love, along with where I’ve always hoped that love would take me, would be very difficult to handle.
After my tears dried up I’d to do some Romeo lines to the empty seats.
Lunch would be found in Tompkins Square park where all my friends in the Free Arts Society (an NYC arts collective I’m part of) would be throwing “a happening.” I’d want it to be something like the Mad Hatters Tea Party that we threw last summer. It was a huge party to encourage kids to be creative. We had all the characters from the story (even some made up ones), a long table, tea, tons of music and creativity in the air. The best part? I got to be Alice. I still have the dress.
The magic of that day would be the send off I would have with that group of friends. They’re very dear to my heart. I always felt “right in my bones”, as the saying goes, around them.
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From there, a trip to Governors Island. It would be one last peaceful stroll away from the chaos of the city; one last look at, the way immigrants on ships would have seen, the Statue of Liberty. I’d also have one last very delicious jerk chicken wrap from the Jamaican cart that’s always station on the far end of the Island.
Then it would be night.
I’ve had on my bucket list since I moved to NYC to play a rock and roll gig on the main stage at Rockwood Music Hall. My guitars and harmonicas would be set up and every musician I know would be there, along with my father (who’s a drummer. I don’t get to play music with him that often because he and my mother live out in the suburbs, but man I love playing with him). I’d put on my bandana and we would jam out on Johnny B Good, Stevie Wonder, the Blues, Stone Temple Pilots, John Legend and any other song called out from the crowd. After hours of this, after I was drenched in sweat, and the lights had changed for the 300th time, and I’d almost lost my voice, I’d close the set with a song I wrote (I’ve written a few songs here and there, but I’ve never played any of them out in public).
After much celebration I would take a long walk, all alone, over the Brooklyn Bridge. I’d get some ice cream from that little shop right underneath the bridge on the Brooklyn side, and then I would go into the park that’s there, eat my ice cream, and as my time ran out sit and start at downtown Manhattan all lit up against the night sky.
I’d think about all the wonders I’d had. All the people I’d met. All my hopes and dreams. I’d smile a little and think:
“Man, how can anywhere else on earth ever compare?”
Then the smile would fade. Because deep down, I’d know, just as many other fellow New Yorkers do: there is nowhere else in the world that even comes close.
As I reached my last minutes, and then seconds, I would stay, sitting in Brooklyn Bridge Park, trying to be Zen. Trying to live in the moment. That’s all I’ve ever tried to do while living here in New York. It’s all I’ve ever tried to do with my life.
I would sit there. They would have to drag me away. Because I, most certainly, would never leave this place by my own accord.
What restaurant/bar you keep going back to, even though you’ve been meaning to try a dozen others? Honestly? Chipotle. I can’t help myself.
Hot dogs or pizza? Oh, pizza. Hands down. I’ve eaten if for breakfast, lunch and dinner… all in the same day. For some strange reason hotdogs make me burp.
I saw the plaque and stopped. I didn’t even care that the person behind me ran into me and cursed loudly asking “What are you? A @#@ing tourist?” I had walked this street countless times before and never knew, that for music, it was hallowed ground.
I don’t know if that’s touristy, but I like learning about stuff like that.
What is your favorite fictionalized New York? How does it compare with reality? My favorite fictionalized New York can be seen in the movie The Naked City. It’s an old black and white, “who done it?” film. In it you see what the city was like back in the 40s and 50s. It’s a fun film because, along with the plot, the writers make the city and its people a character. You see what Queens looked liked when all the brick housing developments where first made. I was overjoyed to see the final scenes in the Lower East Side because it’s one of the places I work. I know those streets, in the present times, like the back of my hand. In the film you see what it looked like back in the day. It’s pretty fun.
The film plays the city very real and close to the chest. In terms of comparison, the only big difference is the times. And buildings that have been torn down.
Plug something! Be it something you are involved in, your significant other/roommate/cat is involved in, or just something you think is extra-special going on in NYC.
For five years now I’ve been working on a web series called Copying Life. It’s about art imitating life. Without consent. The characters are in their twenties, dealing with what they are trying to be. And what that’s like in New York City. Each character has their own vlog and Facebook page where they talk about themselves and their art.
Here’s the intro to the show: http://youtu.be/lpf0bs85_ZY
And one of the “Making Of” videos http://youtu.be/c-9i4_0hGQM
Devoted readers of this series may have realized two questions were neglected: Ever had a run-in with a celebrity (A-D List)? and You totally saw something weird on the subway or street today (you may not have registered it was weird because you are jaded), what did you see? Sage had such good stories for each of these questions, I decided to give them their own posts. Look for one tomorrow and another next week!
Thanks so much, Sage, for being part of my Other New York clichés feature! Looking forward to the next episode of Copying Life and very much hoping to catch Into the Woods with you later in the month!
What do you think of this series? Love it so much you want featured? Fabulous! Email NewYorkCliche@yahoo.com.