Terrence - flying standby - didn't arrive today. All the flights from Atlanta to New York were full (courtesy of Memorial Day) so I'm blogging to pass the time before I call it a night and to provide a little weekend recap.
In an impromptu battle Sunday night between me and a cockroach, who startled me suddenly from under some plates in my kitchen sink while I was preparing a bowl of ice cream, I accidentally grazed the open box of Breyer's butter pecan on the counter with a stream of Raid bug spray in my haste to kill the little twerp. I was eventually victorious in the assassination of the infamous New York City inhabitant - second only in disdain to the rat, but I am still mourning the subsequent discarding of an entire box of butter pecan.
Aside from entomological homicide, my weekend was fun. A lot of firsts. Some good, some not so smart. But no regrets.
First ride on the MetroNorth.
First visit to Scarsdale.
First BBQ with authentic pinky-ring, velour-suit, gold-chain Italians.
First time in an exclusive New York club.
First Memorial Day in New York City.
But my favorite first was a fun game that I learned in Tenjune with a new friend Nazar. From our booth overlooking the dance floor, Nazar proposed an interesting challenge: "You pick any girl in here and give me any line, and I'll go say it to her."
"Interesting," I said. Then he added, "Then I get to do the same for you with any guy of my choice."
"It's a bet," I replied. This game went on sporadically over a span of three hours between dancing, drinking and bobbing to the beat in the booth. Some of the lines I gave him included:
"My favorite animal is a liger. What's yours?"
"Hey ... I like your moves."
"Why don't we get out of here?"
"You come here often?"
He gave me equaling lame lines to say to random men he selected, and I have to say that this is my new favorite game.
Sunday night I had dinner at a french restaurant on the Upper West Side with friends-of-a-friend from Charlotte, North Carolina. We were going to hit up my favorite Caribbean food spot in Harlem, but they were a little late getting up here from Brooklyn. Both of them are from Trinidad. Alvin currently lives in Charlotte, but plans to move to New York soon, and Miguel stays in Brooklyn.
I'm glad Alvin didn't judge me by our first phone conversation. Monique introduced us via email following a mass message she had sent regarding my blog and a recent post about our trip to Miami. But the first time we spoke was when he called to let me know that he had arrived in the city on Saturday. As soon as I heard his accent, I blurted out, "Are you from Jamaica, too?"
Monique was raised in the United States, but one can still catch twinges of her accent from time to time, and to the inexperienced ear (like mine), Alvin pronounces a lot of his vowels similarly to Monique.
In response to my momentary ignorance, Alvin replied politely, "No, I'm from Trinidad."
I immediately felt stupid and made a mental note to apologize later. Having spent most of my life explaining to people that I am not Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian, Native American or even Chinese, I am usually sensitive to not assuming ethnic backgrounds, but I also have the tendency to say random things without thinking first.
I've never actually taken offense to the incorrect assumptions of others, and I was relieved to learn later that Alvin hadn't been offended in this particular instance. Though I did call Monique immediately after speaking to Alvin the first time and asked her, "How offensive is it to ask someone from Trinidad if they're from Jamaica?"
"Well," she replied laughing, "We're all pretty proud of our own islands."
In any case, it was a weekend of a lot of firsts and new friends. And the holiday marks the coming of my first summer in New York City.