Friday night after work I met up with my friend David and we went to go see the Christer Strömholm exhibit Les Amies de Place Blanche at the International Center for Photography.
The exhibit is a collection of photos of what would now be called trans sex workers, in Paris in the 1960s. And it's really gorgeous. I don't know. It seemed sort of oddly topical, too, with regard to the current vogues (pun intended) for drag, gender, etc. Of course in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Paris, many of the girls who worked in the hotels downtown were pied-noir, of course the context was totally different, but there was a lot that seemed to speak to some of the... tensions of contemporary gender politics. This was an context in which it was unsafe for anyone but men to be out alone at night. Or even during the daylight, in some neighborhoods. And yet so many of the photos (posed as they certainly were) were of the women out in public, kissing each other, holding hands, playfully flirting with each other in front of the camera. It did not look 100% fake and it was sort of gorgeous and comforting and inspiring. It was a fun way to leave the work week: to do go a museum. The Strömholm show is up until September in NYC so please go see it.
I went home and got a burrito and then went to take the bus, which I am all about for Summer 2012: the Bus. It's such a stupid idea, I can't believe I never thought of it sooner. Waiting for the bus, I stared up at the sky and I could barely see the Moon, it was like a yellow smudge buried in the clouds, like a bruise, I thought. I went to a fun rooftop surprise birthday party for a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend (seriously) in the East Village. But the birthday boy's name was Max, so I felt pretty okay about being on his rooftop, drinking his friend's wine. Happy birthday to We.
You guys it's almost my birthday. I have just over a month. What should I do for my birthday? Fuck.
Last year I sang a cover of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" at the JUDY party and the guy from Mugler was there and also so were all my friends. I was wasted, it sucked, I bombed, and I had the best fucking time. So. I'm gonna have to top that, somehow.
Right, so then after the birthday party I went to CHAUD LAPIN that fun new dance party at Nowhere bar. I shouldn't say "new" since it had it's one year anniversary on Friday, but I hadn't been in a long time, and it was really fun. Lots of cute queer people, and JD from Le Tigre was DJing, and playing that Kelly Clarkson song "Since U Been Gone" and the girls were actually living for it, it was amazing. I kind of thought, like, it was almost as if these cute babyqueers had never heard that Kelly Clarkson song before, and I was kind of taller than a lot of the people there (what's new pussycat?) but I had this paranoid drunken fantasy that I was taller and older than everybody there and it was like: maybe they're dancing like they've never heard this song before, because they really haven't ever heard this song before? Or, for them, it's retro. But then it's like: I guess that song is really old.
I guess everybody has a song that came out when they were in high school and is for them a special and timeless dance jam. For me, one of those songs would be Kelly Osborne's cover of "Papa, Don't Preach".
I woke up early on Saturday morning and sort of cleaned my room, then got lunch at Vanessa Williamsburg's Dumplings, then went to the city to have a meeting about an upcoming reading which I am very excited to be part of, reading the work of Roy Garrett. More on that very soon. I'm actually doing a bunch of readings, and some of them are RSVP ONLY and some of them are totally public and fun. More details soon! So a fun meeting and I'm excited for this project.
I went to the CdG BLACK store and bought my much-coveted pair of dyed black denim shorts. I had another pair of BLACK shorts, made out of wool, and if you know me you know I wore them all the time, and they're kind of falling apart, so I wanted some new ones. And I got them! And they're cute and I sort of need to break them in, because the denim is way stiff.
I hustled home to water the houseplants, go to the gym, meditate, and then zoom back to the city to see Caroline Contillo perform at the Dixon Place lounge with Joe Mauricio. It was so funny, and deep, and great. I was so glad I went! I wish the show had been longer, maybe, and that I had shown up more on time so that I could have gotten a seat right in front of Caroline, but it was pretty rad nonetheless. Deer heart Thain was bartending, and I remembered that I once heard him bragging about making the best dark and stormy in NYC. And so it turns out: he's totally right, he does.
Went back to Brooklyn, deep Bushwick, to go meet Tommy and Paps on a rooftop, for another bday party. It was a gigantic house, and we were sitting on astroturf and drinking a lot of beer. The moon was huge and clear and almost blue. It was incredibly hot out, and sort of... the only word I can think of for Saturday night is delicious. I've been reading Colette, like I did last summer and the one before, and it's just as much of a bad idea now as it is then, because it makes me extra sensual. All I want is fresh fruit and drugs and cats and to pull the shades down. So, to me, the night air felt positively delicious and I did stay up too too late kiki-ing with the girls and drinking mad beers, son. Mad fucking beers.
Sunday I woke up and installed my air conditioner and went grocery shopping and did laundry and I'm serious, I was like a fucking machine. I wanted everybody to come meet me at the Metropolitan BBQ but no one wanted to go right at six when I wanted to go, so humbug or whatever. I still had a fantastically productive day. Not the least because the new Chanel F/W nail polish colors came out.
There was also this weird glittery-brown one that I thought about, but this seems somehow more put-together. I get so much shit for wearing nail polish. I gotta say. I get a ton of comments, both good and bad. I like wearing nail polish, though, and often Chanel makes the best colors. The girls at, say, my dermatologist's office, are impressed. Men on the street, on the subway, will be vocally upset at how out of place it is on my hands. Like, I made the wrong choice and perhaps did not understand, maybe they should clear it up for me. I think sometimes, guys who I think are cute and would make a pass at, they'll sometimes be grossed out by the fact that I have painted nails, and this is actually a really good thing to know, early on: that we're not a match. Sometimes guys will be grossed out by my nail polish but will still want to make out with me, and I don't blame them. but it's funny (to me). The lady cashier at the restaurant where I eat lunch, who sees me often, will stop me to say "You know, I was thinking, Do you like to paint your nails?" I reply that I do, and she says "Because other men they don't do it." And I do feel compelled to correct her "SOME men don't." But when I spring for a manicure, the nail salon is always almost half filled with men. I've seen other young hip boys, maybe wearing gladiator sandals, waiting for their turn, clutching bottles of Chanel polish. I know that I am not the only one. So painted nails: it's a really heavy trip, a surprisingly heavy trip. Is it fucked up to live your life in a way where you feel resentful of the attention you get? What a deep question.
Hey speaking of, the new COMME des GARÇONS HOMME PLUS S/S 2013 collection. The theme is "Poor King":
I had originally, when I saw the red hair and the headbands and the long graceful silhouette, thought, of course, of Mx Justin Vivian Bond. It does seem more than conceivable that Rei would know about JVB and use v's iconic look as an inspiration. I don't know. But the theme, at least as far as it's been publicly revealed, is "Poor King". Which, I know it's translated, but makes me think of PORKING. I like that it's a look about poorness, for one, as well as royalty. An interesting combination. I'm totally obsessed with the headbands, which are made by Fleet Ilya.
The only useful application of studs, or spikes, I realize, could be this one. It's like the logical conclusion of this whole studded story: a crown, right? A pauper's crown.
I never wear headwear. I'm a Leo, I have a beautiful head of hair and a very engaging and attractive face/head/body, so it never occurs to me to adorn myself in that way, BUT these are cute, right? I could do this.
The whole thing of a poor king is about, you know, losing power. Like, being the king but not having anything, so then are you really the king? A kind of inexact cognitive dissonance: royalty and wealth are not mutually exclusive, you realize. It could be secret royalty.
Listening all morning to the Haggard's first album, A Bike City Called Greasy. God, speaking of records you lived in high school.
I feel like I saw them perform a lot. One of the perks of living on the west coast. I remember, specifically, seeing them perform at the Thekla in Olympia, WA during the first Ladyfest, and this emo boy, this cute androgynous queer kid with slicked, dyed-black hair and polyester pants and eye makeup, was in the mosh pit, wearing these gigantic heavy creepers, and he stepped on my foot, and I didn't mind because I thought it was cool that gay people looked like that, and that they were into hardcore music like the Haggard. I wanna go get their second album, which I guess I've never heard.
On Sunday afternoon I went record shopping, and ran into my old buddy from Alameda at he record store where he works. It was such a nice surprise. Kinda funny, too, because I had been wearing this t-shirt from my middle school, Lincoln, with a picture of our school mascot, the Lincoln Lions. And all day people around Brooklyn had seen me in the shirt and assumed I just got it at some thrift store without any knowledge of the Lincoln Lions of Alameda California and were making fun of me. Like the bouncer at Metro, was like "Where'd you get that?" to my shirt, and it's like: I'm not faking. This is my middle school mascot. Step off. So nice to run into another Alameda soul, who understood. At the record store I found a beautiful vinyl copy of this Grace Jones record:
And, like, all her albums, they're all weird records, right? But this one might be the weird-est. I think it's the first one which she co-produced? It's a little bit disconnected from reality, it's so pop, so mass-culture, that it ended up being about and from the future and the world still has not caught up with whatever she was thinking when she made it. I'm not kidding.
Of course you know my favorite song off the record, my favorite song in the world and personal power anthem, "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect For You)":