Heartache Blvd is paved with successful first dates


April 16, 1993

The actress I met last week is a real tomato. I think I’m smitten. I took her to The Public to see the Irish Rep’s production of ‘Seconds Out,’ which was fantastic. I got choked-up and teary but I don’t think she saw, thank God. The Irish are masters of the written word and I love their music. Just keep them out of the kitchen.

I waited in the lobby and wasn’t exactly sure what to look for. We’d only met once, briefly. All I had was a vague recollection. But I recognized her right away when she arrived. So beautiful! An angelic face nestled inside a cloud of sandy-brown hair. She introduced me to some acting friends who work at The Public.

Afterwards, we walked over to Acme on Lafayette and Great Jones. We sat at the bar and drank. We’d lean forward and touch each other’s arm or hand to make a point and the more we drank, the longer the touch would linger. After we were properly pickled, we saw that, sitting on the last bar stool, was George Wendt, the actor who plays Norm on Cheers. He was drinking a mug of beer, holding it the same way his character does. Art imitates life. Or life imitates art. God we laughed!

She offered to pay for drinks, which was sweet, but I know she’s a broke-assed actor so I paid. It was midnight and I told her to use her money for a cab ride and stay the hell out of the subway. She showed me a can of mace she keeps in her purse. It took her a minute to dig it out. She would’ve been beaten over her head several times by the time she found it.

We walked out to Lafayette and I whistled for a cab. One pulled up. I opened the door and before she got in she kissed me. She reached up, put her hand on the back of my head and gently pulled me towards her. She smelled nice. While we were kissing another cab pulled up next to us for me. So we were kissing between two waiting cabs at midnight on Lafayette Street. A wonderful evening. Seeing her next Thursday.

Lauren and I are leaving for the Bahamas Saturday morning. Her friends at work are making fun of her for going to the Caribbean with ‘just a friend’ but that’s exactly how it is. Them bitches at Donna Karan are a mean bunch. I called her and said I met a delightful girl and would she mind coming down with the flu or tuberculosis so I could take her instead. She laughed.

I called Oscar and told him about the Laura/Lauren dichotomy. He asked me how much Lauren has paid towards the ticket to the Prince concert at Radio City last month. I told him she didn’t have to pay me anything because she’s broke. He said if I was gay there’d be men crawling all over each other to get to me. Too bad for the gay community.


I had time to kill before the theater and did a couple of quick gallery hops. Kevin Francis Gray has some of the most unusual sculptures I’ve ever seen at Pace’s 24th St. Gallery. An ugly beauty, if there’s such a thing.

These are marble. Until you’re standing just a foot or two away, you’d swear they were clay.

HOW did he accomplish these intricate folds and crevices in marble. I didn’t think it was that malleable a medium.

It looks like it was a soft material that was molded with hands. HOW?

Pace Gallery doing it AGAIN, this time on 25th St. with Yoshitomo Nara’s Thinker exhibit. You might be familiar with Nara’s moody adolescent girl.

The exhibit included sculptures and drawings but its primary focus is this image that he has worked over the course of his career.

I don’t find the work repetitive at all. Maybe it’s because I have a house full of moody adolescent girls.


After Pace Gallery x2 I saw Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper in A Doll’s House, Part 2 on Broadway. It’s a terrible title and a terrible marketing campaign for a hilarious comedy/drama. Metcalf and Cooper are pros who can convincingly pivot from comedic banter to serious drama. Deservingly nominated for Best New Play in 2017, but they should shoot whoever thought up that title. I needed TWO personal recommendations before I even considered going.

I felt bad for such a long time about not attending college. If you’d told me when I was a kid that I’d spend a random Thursday evening gallery-hopping in Chelsea before attending a great Broadway comedy/drama, I’d have felt a lot better about the future. All that wasted time fretting. What a shame.

40 thoughts on “Heartache Blvd is paved with successful first dates

  1. That was a nice change of pace. I would have been fine with the same pace as normal, but that was unexpected and felt on a different level. Loved the title too. And to know it’s destined to bust, but unsaid.

  2. The Public Theater and ACME are still there today. Was it safe walking around there back then? You always amaze me with these Art pics. Regarding Norm on the bar stool, today the celeb couldn’t do it. They would be accosted with selfies.

    • ACME is kind of a fancy restaurant now. At that time, it was Southern cuisine. BBQ and greens and fried chicken. Good stuff. Now it’s expensive crap. Good on you for spelling it with ALL CAPS. That’s correct.

      I don’t recall it being terribly dangerous at the time but you sure as hell didn’t want to be caught on the subway at that hour.

      Remember: those art galleries are FREE. Just stroll on in.

  3. Wasn’t anyone tempted to shout “Norm!” when they saw George Wendt? Maybe he would have smiled…or maybe not.

    You should have let her see you teary – she might have fallen in love with you. How did the second date go?

    • We try to act like we’ve seen a celebrity before. Doesn’t always work. Plus, there was no social media at the time.

      Oh, there were many dates. The relationship was like s supernova. It burned hot and bright but imploded quickly.

  4. I think the expression you’re looking for to describe those very strange sculptures might be “jolie laide”. At the risk of being pedantic, it means ” pretty, ugly.” Probably best exemplified by Barbra Streisand. I think Streisand is strikingly beautiful and at the same time incredibly plain. It depends on how the light strikes her and where the camera is. I’ve said enough, I’ll see myself out.

    • That’s a hell of an analogy. Emma Stone is another example. She has an odd face but is quite beautiful. I don’t think I’ve seen you in these parts for a long, long time. Where’ve you been?

  5. “They seek him here they seek him there” and you know the rest. Always following you but not always commenting. But now my Irishness has to take the front seat.What the hell do you mean by ” keep them out of the kitchen” ??? I’ll tell you now, that I am a dab hand at the ould cooking and baking. And my three daughters will attest to that. When they’re in my squalid hovel I have to cater to one vegetarian, one vegan with coeliac issues and one who I think, if the other two weren’t around would eat anything I put on her plate. So walk a kilometer in my espadrilles. ( Espadrilles are shoes, aren’t they). All this just to say, blog oftener. Slainte.

    • These rantings are over 20 years old. I would hope that I have evolved since then so that I no longer reduce everyone to a cultural stereotype. I wasn’t proud of the way I treated some women in these journals, either. I put them out there warts and all.

      • Ah yes, I sometimes get mixed up and forget that the diary entries are 20 years old.

      • It’s potatoes. We have potatoes in ‘Murca. Cook for E.P.S. but not fecking potatoes. You’re a “dab hand” in the kitchen? So I’ve learned new vernacular from the Other Side of the Pond. Luv it.

  6. The marble sculptures are amazing. I would have wanted to touch them as well.

    Your date sounds like a Hollywood (and maybe someone already said something like that – I confess that I only read some of the comments) movie. Let’s see – you would be … hummmm … George Clooney (he’s got great hair too), and she would be Renee Zellweger. (Did I do all right?)

    • Who reads all the comments?! I only have the time to comb through every single comment on my own space. I answer everyone of them because it’s the respectful thing to do.

      Yes, EXACTLY like George Clooney. Except for the dashing good looks. And talent. And wealth. And home in Lake Como Italy. Other than that an exact replica.

    • It seems the moody teen doesn’t resonate with anyone. Perhaps it’s different if you’re standing in a room full of them. Perhaps not.

      Oh, it went somewhere, alright. It went right over a cliff. Took me a good, long while to recover, too. That one counted.

  7. I’m late to the party. The best people are. A tomato with an angelic face? That sounds like a beautiful love story…

    Those marble sculptures are incredible. The girls’ faces, not so much. They make me depressed.

    • I am late to reply. I was on a little holiday. Mighty disrespectful to let your comment lay unanswered for almost a week. So sorry. The marble statues begged to be touched. Caressed. Smoothed. Completely interactive art.

  8. I dig all the art in this post, the sculptures are mind blowing and i am quite fond of Nara’s girl… and did you see your boy Jean-Michel’s skull painting just sold for 110 million?

    • Yes, I saw the Sotheby’s train wreck. I visited that piece and I liked it a lot more than most of Basquiat’s crap but it sure as shit isn’t worth no $100M. No way, no how. He’s up there with Picasso and Monet? I don’t think so.

    • This comment was buried in my approval folder. I was NOT ignoring you. It’s more my negligence than anything else. I think I might have been babe a long time ago but that was, as I say, a long time ago.

  9. Hope we can hear a bit more about the “tomato” — what a bizarre word! American English never stops baffling and amusing me.

    It’s just fantastic to read about a successful first date, and I’m curious to know how it imploded eventually. For some reason I always assume first dates aren’t going to be that great, what with the hopes that we ladle onto them.

    On my first date with Donna, I was a bit crestfallen when I laid eyes on her, thinking her not a looker at all. A few days later we spent a couple of days enthusiastically enjoying each others’ unclothed company in a hotel in Glasgow.

    And I at least skim-read all the comments, stopping to read properly the ones I find interesting.

    • I’ve been reading deeper into my journals and to be perfectly honest, it brings me down a bit. I’m having to relive all the unpleasantness that followed the great times. She never took me as seriously as I took her. I was her fling is all.

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