Category Archives: Musings

May 21

Yesterday was GAAAAALORIOUS! It was a stunning spring day. I took a nice long walk by the river, chattering to my mom the entire time. I did my “indoor exercises.” I put on HARD PANTS! (And, yes, managed to zip them up.) I made a trip to the drug store, which was surprisingly not stressful. (Well, their plexi shields were a bit…offputting, as were the piled plastic crates designed to keep customers from, I dunno, I guess pressing their faces against the plexi?) I met friends for a couple cocktails, hanging out on a tailgate, since someone else had commandeered “the Lucky steps.” And before heading home, I capped off the afternoon with a delicious Mexican Cuban sammich from Barnyard! The city definitely feels like it’s stirring a smidge from its slumber.
 
What does today hold in store? Well, I’ve scheduled myself for an antibody test in Long Island City. (It’s the closest of all the locations.) Getting there should be an adventure involving a sunny ferry ride. If that turns out to be fun, I may make other waterborne plans. Seems safer than going subterranean…
 
We’ve got a holiday weekend coming up. And I have a birthday coming up as well! Our Mayor is telling us we’re allowed to have safely social gatherings of 10 people or less so stay tuned for info about a celebration, if you’re up for that sort of thing. It will be a double birthday, sharing the festivities with Ron Herczig. Hopefully you can stop by the park for an hour!
 
And tonight is Pinky’s weekly Virtual Lucky Happy Hour! Stop in and say hello sometime between 6 and 8.
Meeting ID: 829 7474 9972
Password: 030313
We’d love to see you!
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May 20

I’m not quite sure how you all managed to get through your day yesterday without my witticisms. But apparently you did. I slipped back down my depression rabbit hole. My birthday is a week from today. You all know how much I enjoy a party. We’ve now missed St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Passover, and Cinco de Mayo, along with the birthdays of many friends. The idea of celebrating in a fucking Zoom meeting is causing me much distress. Thank heavens this year isn’t a big one. If all my planning for last year’s party had been cancelled by a virus, I would’ve been VERY sad. Now I’m just mostly sad… I will likely be doing some safely-distanced celebrating over this weekend, so please get in touch if you’d be game to join me. It could be a one-to-one masked adventure or, if you’re game, something with a few more people (also masked, obviously).
 
As an irrepressible planner, I’m also working on a few other “events.” One is a Zoom meeting with our “nightlife mayor,” Ariel Palitz. If you are a NYC bar owner or manager, please private message me. I’ve been busy compiling my “guest list” but could use some assistance. The meeting can accommodate up to 100 people and I want a “packed room.” I’m also conspiring with my fellow crone, Mari Gustafson, on a safely distanced Summer Solstice celebration, so stay tuned for more on that soon.
 
I’ve been getting outside every day for almost two weeks now, attempting to walk for at least an hour. It’s been easier with better weather and is a much-needed mood elevator. My next step toward being — and feeling — more “normal,” whatever that means, is to try and buy something on every trip. I need to go to the drug store soon. I’d like to get back to a once a week trip to Key Food instead of stockpiling. And I’m eagerly awaiting the first “iced coffee day.” Maybe I’ll treat myself to a cocktail hour today! Let me know if you’d like to meet up! Cheers!
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Pretty tree photo from Monday’s stroll along the river.

May 18

I just got off the phone with the (federal) Small Business Association people, who’ve let me know that my request for aid has been denied because “1.Your economic injury is less than the amount you received from the EIDL.” Since I haven’t gotten ANY money from the EIDL, I’m not sure how that could be. They tell me that what I WILL be getting $1000. I’m not sure how they arrived at that number but I don’t need to tell you that it’s a drop in the bucket. Whatever. I never expected the government to help me one bit, so I’m not surprised. I was also on the phone with one of Yelp’s “customer success” representatives. I was accused of being “passive aggressive” after being asked when I will be able to open. I responded that perhaps the rep would like to speak with Governor Cuomo about that date. It’s bad enough being OUT OF WORK, with my business CLOSED by the government, but being given a hard time by some Yelp employee really added insult to injury. Anyway, that was my morning. I’m totally pumped for my afternoon.

Moments after those less than successful phone calls, I received a lovely email from an old friend and Lucky regular. Reading it made me burst into tears. I can’t tell you just how gratifying it is to hear how much people appreciate my little bar. It turned out EXACTLY the way I’d envisioned and the fact that other people “get it” is the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced in my long and crazy life! His note:

“Growing up in NJ, my trips into Manhattan were for clubs, concerts and sporting events, so I never really had a neighborhood bar that I frequented in the city. I would go to a couple in Hells Kitchen BITD and the Blarney Stone around the corner from MSG before any event. I have literally gone to that bar before every game or concert at the Garden since I was 17 years old. They replaced the old Irish bartenders with young attractive females over the years, but who am I to stand in the way of progress? They still pour a nice drink. Being busy with work and school, as well as getting married and having the kids so young, cut down on bar life and when it was time to re-emerge in the late 80’s, it was for NYC club life. I guess the Mission Bar between A & B on 5th was the closest to a real bar as opposed to a nightclub. So, after the club years were past their heyday, we wound up frequenting the Beauty Bar and Double Down more than any other of the bars “downtown.” They were always fun, but could get to be a bit much at times. When you opened Lucky, that all changed. For me, you had the perfect spot: a small old school bar with no video screens. It was exciting watching it be born, nourished and grow into what it has become. I have met many wonderful, fun people at Lucky and run into many old acquaintances as well. And I love your bar staff. Pinky, Cara, Tracie, Zofia, Donovan, Zero, et al, have all treated Blair and me so well. It was always great to get out of midtown and head down to Lucky after a day in a place/neighborhood I didn’t want to be. It made the day and my mood so much better. 30 of my 63 Instagram posts are pics taken at Lucky. I miss it and I miss you. There’s still a retirement party to be had, as well as many more memorable times. Can’t wait to get back onto Avenue B. I don’t drink at home much. It took me two months to drink a 750ml bottle of vodka. One drink a week on Friday evening. I am now down to 25 unopened bottles of vodka. At the same rate I guess it’s about enough for four years. Hopefully, it will only be down to 24 the next time I can sit at your bar. I’m looking forward to that wonderful feeling, as well as seeing you.”

Thank you, Ivan! I miss you too!
Cheers to the day we can all toast together again!

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May 16

Sigh….Yesterday was sort of a repeat of the previous day: nice weather, long walk by the river. But I rewarded myself with one of my “life-changing sandwiches” from Sunny & Annie’s afterward. It was DEEEEEELICIOUS! Then I came home and, instead of spectating at the Scavenger Hunt Smackdown, I wound up being a participant! It was SO FUN! Nar and Linguini did SUCH a great job creating an entertaining, distracting game for us! I wasn’t the champ but we were ALL winners! Now, to move on to the political and controversial segment of my psyche:

I’m feeling distressed by all the scolding. One friend is concerned about her neighbor’s kids playing basketball. Another is worried about a bar crawl. Since I’m about to embark on a bar crawl of my own, with adult friends who are well-informed and who’ve been VERY careful, you can guess where my opinions lie on that topic. If something seems dangerous to you, don’t do it. And please don’t tell me about whose lives I’m endangering by ordering a to-go drink. I’m not coughing or breathing on anyone. And while I can’t be 100% certain, I am pretty fucking sure that I’m not an asymptomatic carrier. I will be comporting myself like a responsible citizen.

I responded to my bar-crawl-concerned friend’s post: “There already are bar crawls. Since we aren’t allowed to sit on the curb six feet from each other and drink our now-legal to-go drinks, because they’re supposed to be taken home, people have to keep moving. I’ve seen super drunk 20-something girls weaving down Avenue B. But I suppose it’s better than being packed into a crowded bar. I dunno. I’m getting exhausted trying to decide, from one moment to another, what I’m willing to tolerate, what is pissing me off, and what could actually kill me. It’s a situation I never expected. If bombs were falling I’d be in a bomb shelter. This menace is far more stealth.”

When I considered those last few lines, specifically the incredibly stressful LABOR of having to decide, every day, what might KILL ME, I wanted to cry. Yesterday I asked what levels of danger you, my friends, are experiencing. Turns out, most of you — or at least those wiling to respond publicly — are VERY afraid. You have limited your behavior –and exposure — to an extreme degree. Many of you have real reason to be afraid. But do ALL of you? Do you truly, TRULY, believe that a trip to the grocery store MIGHT kill you? Because if you do, we are doomed. All our hunkering down will not defeat this virus. It is still out there. Are you willing to be doing what you’re doing a full year from now, if that’s what it takes? I know one friend absolutely is. I’m not. I’m just not.

Okay. I’m sure people are gonna have a LOT to say about this one. Me? I’m heading out to buy to-go drinks from a couple local watering holes. Hopefully I won’t get into trouble! But if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, it’ll be because I’m in jail, where it will be FAR less safe! Hmmm….

Photos from last night’s hilarity!

May 17

Okay! So yesterday didn’t wind up being the bar crawl I’d anticipated. We more or less stayed put (see panorama by Amy Shapiro). It is SO GREAT to see friends, to hang out and talk, to NOT be sitting on my couch. It’s great to see some sky, sit outdoors and feel almost normal. Stacie Joy stopped by to capture a new “masked Abby” (see my profile photo) and chat about local businesses. All in all, a truly wonderful day. Now to spend the next two weeks trying not to worry.

Today being Sunday, you’re invited to the Mighty Daring Lucky Virtual Happy Hour, starring Sandy and Joe! We open the virtual bar at 5 and hang out till at least 7. Join us!
Meeting ID: 832 4239 6978
Password: 696008

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May 15

Oh dear…I have finally slipped down the “deep cleaning” rabbit hole. While doing my “exercises” on my apartment floor, I have involuntarily become one with some of my…uh, more long-standing filth. I am a “collector,” which is really just a nicer word for “curated hoarder.” Much of what I “collect” is ephemera, added, layer upon layer, to my shelves. So they never get dusted. I am moving said ephemera, along with their accompanying dust, and attempting a minor purge. Aaaahhhhchoooo! It’s going to be a long process, because even tackling one small shelf requires a crap-ton of energy. I’m about halfway through one “set” of shelves. Thoughts and prayers?
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Yesterday was another long walk, but this time back by the water. I’ve felt buoyed enough by other recent forays to not require the emotional nourishment of seeing businesses up and running. Apparently MANY of you have not ventured out for anything beyond necessities. And even those trips have been speedy, well-protected and panic-stricken. So my question for you all, dear readers, is: How far have YOU traveled? Yes, we’ve seen the “how brave are you” scale of 0 to 5. And we’ve also seen the cell phone tracking maps that show that, each day, people are leaving their homes and traveling more and further afield. Tell me where you’ve been and how safe you felt. Just the grocery store, as necessary, and terrified? Valid. Everywhere, all the time, and not scared at all? Also valid. I’m sure most of you will fall somewhere in the middle. Please let me know where you LIVE so I have an idea of what you actually have access to. (Suburbia? Car? Big box stores? Or in a city? Not even a bicycle? A dozen bodegas and coffee shops but not much more besides grocery stores?) I’m genuinely curious because I think it more accurately answers the question, “How ready ARE people to actually “reopen?”
 
No Virtual Lucky Happy Hour today, folks. I’m gonna try and get outside again and then attend the Scavenger Hunt Smackdown my friends are producing. Have a lovely Friday! Yes, Friday!

May 14

OHMIGOD! SO MUCH NOISE!

No, I don’t want to join your group. I’m already in a million other ridiculous groups. I can’t keep up with them all. I am most especially not interested in any cooking groups. Because I don’t cook. I also don’t sew… Please don’t take it personally.

WHY am I wasting my time arguing with people on the interwebz? It is SUCH an energy suck. I know…we have nothing else to do…

Masks? Yes, masks. But you can be sure that there will be people out there who are very much, “No, no masks.” For any one of a million reasons. It doesn’t matter how wrong they are. There is NO shortage of stupidity out there, friends. Do what you need to do to maintain your health and your sanity. Trying to convince a stranger that they should be doing what you’re doing is probably not gonna help you with either.

Okay! On to better and brighter things! Firstly, I went out yesterday and it was glorious! The sky was a vivid blue and the sun was warm, as it is again today. There was more traffic, more “bustle,” and there seemed to be more places opening, bars and bodegas that weren’t open before appeared to be testing the waters. Overall it felt like people are gearing up for SOME sort of relaxation. SAFELY! YES SAFELY!

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I went to the bank and the tellers were so happy to see me! I was just as happy to see them! I spent over an hour safely socializing with a friend. It almost felt like a normal day, whatever that means. I had a conversation with our Nightlife Mayor that gave me some much-needed hope. (Stay tuned for more on that soon.) And did any of you see who popped into my little Facebook world last night? I don’t want to mention his name again because I’ll sound like a crazy fangirl, but check the responses to my Tuesday night post about a certain channel 7 news anchor and his hair! Squee! So yesterday was a good day.

Now to make today a good one as well! One way it will be fun is Pinky’s weekly Virtual Lucky Happy Hour. Join us at 6pm for the gigglefest. It goes till at least 8pm and likely longer.
Meeting ID: 827 5643 9503
Password: 747772
Cheers!