New Yorkers are not, generally, a very sexy species. Well some of the blue collar ones are. I leched at a number of cops, security guards and the like, especially those blue-chinned and glowering Italian types and those descended of German/Irish stock who’ve got that blue-eyed, slow-witted thing going on. But the suit-wearing Manhattanites were pretty gruesome – all small eyes, Clark Kent haircuts, and gym-structured bodies. N.b. when it comes to actual fucking, and the stamina to do it well and often, a gym structured body is of no use to man – work hardened muscles built on a diet of beer, kebabs and doughnuts, with a bit of a belly for storage works much better – either that or being the kind of slacker who sleeps all day.
The same is true of the well-heeled women really – as well groomed as Parisians but nowhere near as sexy. So many of them looked thin-lipped and fractious and had a faint aura of vaginal deodorant about them. Do they even sell vaginal deodorant in the UK? There were shelves and shelves of it there – one promised to make your snatch smell of mountain air! Mountain air? Smells of sheep shit doesn’t it? The waitress in one of the diners we went to was about the sexiest woman I saw there – lots of brassy grey blonde hair faling out of its bun, slightly scatty, bit of middle-aged spread, wry smile – warmer, more human and sexier in her naff uniform than any tight-arsed sex-in-the-city wannabe could be in $300 of Victoria’s Secret silk.
Gav and I went to a few gay bars and I noticed something rather odd about the black men in the gay bars. In London gay black men dress just like white gay men – tight tops, low slung jeans, blokey handbags, Deisel, Energie, DKNY. In NY gay black men dress just like…other black men, hoodies and baggies, Phat Farm, Sean John, Rocawear. Now if a black guy was dressed like that in a gay bar in London it would be to signal, loud and clear, “I am here because I have drugs to sell /desperate faghags to shag and don’t even think about trying anything.” But it’s as though in the card game of identities in NY, skin colour trumps any other consideration. I caught a bit of The Weakest Link where the first one to get voted off was the only black guy who had got all his questions right – but all of the other players seemed to think he had got them wrong – scary.
Everyone, everywhere we went seemed to think I was Hispanic, especially Hispanic people who kept speaking soft Latin American Spanish to me and then were really bewildered when Gav answered in fluent nasal Castilian which they couldn’t understand. I felt like I wanted to get a teeshirt printed with “I’m not refusing to speak Spanish because I am stroppy or because I have a white boyfriend. I cannot speak Spanish because I am English, and he is not my boyfriend he is gay, and he is also English but learnt Spanish in Spain.”
Most irritating were the two fat-faced good ‘ole boys in the Virgin in Time Square who spotted me looking confused in the Bluegrass section and thought they were really witty when they shouted “you’re in the wrong place - the Latin section is upstairs”. Oh to have recorded the look of confusion on their faces when I snapped back (and bear in mind my accent turns pure Queen Mother circa 1943 when I’m in the States) “why don’t you just save your breath for blowing up your inflatable sisters?” (This is actually an adaptation of a Courtney Love heckler put down, but it seemed apposite). Somebody called out “you go girl!” at me, which was rather disturbing.
Well I’ve written loads and seemed to have done nothing but criticise, but that’s what it means to be British – the empire wasn’t built on mindless enthusiasm you know. I’ll write something more positive when I have slept off my jetlag.