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Gay Abandon?

October 20, 2015

He had not realised the potential importance, or perhaps I should say the implications of booking “The Out Hotel” for his stay in New York. We were visiting this sexually enlightened city as the result of the hubris of rather too many bottles of wine at another epic boys lunch at the Auberge St Donat. “Steely Dan are playing some theatre shows in New York. We should go” said The Wingco.

To my surprise, he did not forget and suddenly flights were booked and hotels sought. I would like to have said that this was when the trouble started, but actually it started at the airport, however I am not permitted to go into details, save to say beware of pre booking valet parking.

The enormity of his hotel booking disaster only became clear to him after several strange experiences. Firstly, he had noted that there seemed to be no women (other than his wife) staying at this very chic Boutique Hotel.  Then a couple of episodes aroused his suspicions. He was enjoying a jacuzzi when he espied two chaps kissing. Very shortly after that he came across (can I say that?) a very well endowed and clearly gay chap, who was looking at him strangely and was having trouble keeping his towel securely in place over his semi. It was at this stage that it occurred to The Wingco that The Out Hotel may in fact be a haven for the gay fraternity. Indeed a simple Trip Advisor search would have elicited this review; “an ultra-hip and gay centric boutique hotel…”

I had elected to stay at The Marriott Marquis on Times Square as I had stayed there in the past and had been fascinated by the revolving restaurant and wanted That Nice Lady Decorator to see it on her first ever visit to New York. I was reasonably certain that much of its clientele would be heterosexual.

From the 25th floor of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, New York

Nope, cant see any gays in the jacuzzi

After arriving at this wonderfully crass American slice of excess, and having secured a Times Square view room on the 25th floor, from where I took today’s picture, we went to have what the Australians call a “Sticky Beak”, a look around. And that was where the Decorating Operative made arguably her most important discovery of the trip; a bar offering a jalapeño margarita for $5 (just over £3 at today’s wonderful Currencies Direct exchange rates). It was later in the evening when The Wingco revealed how his booking had turned err… “Out”.

He is an accomplished musician but like many muso’s has this peculiar penchant for that most irritating genre of music, Jazz. Indeed several evenings were set aside for visits to famous New York Jazz clubs, but as it transpired, we never managed to get into either of his “must visit” choices for the simple reason that he is always late. The Blue Note was the first catastrophe. He had wanted to see some crusty old jazz legend called John Scofield and had booked a table, however we were denied entry after getting tangled up with rather too many gins and tonic at our hotel. No matter he said, we will go to the Village Vanguard. Again, too late to be allowed in and thus the first two gigs of the tour ended in catastrophe. Whilst secretly delighted that I did have to endure two episodes of endless self indulgent noodling from some senile musicians, I consoled him with the fact that we would be seeing another of his heroes, Steely Dan, the following evening.

I should state here that I am not really a fan of the group. I have a nodding acquaintance with some of their hits, but the idea of a frantic weekend in the Big Apple with him, that Nice Lady Decorator and Maryse, aka Mrs Wingco seemed a great idea at the time.

Now, did I mention self indulgent noodling? What great pile of poo Steely Dan were. My open mind on the group was slammed firmly shut during the first number at the delightful Beacon Theatre. With zero attempt at performance, a crap sound, a diabolically unrehearsed gaggle of girly backing singers, a stage light directed into the eyes of the audience and a load of old decrepit musicians hobbling around the stage, I took to the bar after 5 songs, and guess who joined me two songs later? “Reelin in the years, throwing away the time” indeed…

Chris France

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