Uptown Kingston Crawl
Friday, January 24 2003
I had a computer housecall gig down near Accord today. For those who have forgotten, Accord (pronounced "AK-ord") is the strange little alternative universe town where the New Paltz skyline runs backwards (much as Hoboken was to Brooklyn back when there was still a World Trade Center). I'd allotted myself about ten minutes too much time, and no one came as I kept knocking on the large wooden jaguar-engraved door. Somebody drove by in a car and stopped to asked me if the thusandsos still lived here, and what had ever become of the whatstherenames. I pleaded ignorance, that I was just someone coming out to do some work. "You are carpenter?" he asked. "No, computers," I said. As I was walking around the house in search of another door to knock on, the one with the jaguar on it swung open.
Tonight Gretchen and I undertook what I jokingly referred to as "the Uptown Kingston Crawl." We had dinner at an uptown Mexican restaurant, beginning our merriment with a half-caraff of sangria. (I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit how small it was.) Then we went to a hip little music venue called The Uptown Café and indulged in glasses of port while a jazz band set up. Given its sorry economic plight, Gretchen feels such empathy for Kingston. Tonight she kept rooting for people to come into the Uptowner as we sat there. She didn't want to leave until a crowd had assembled. Happily of her, a crowd did assemble, sort of. It wasn't a big crowd, but it was respectable by the feeble standards of Kingston in January.
Last on our "crawl," we went to Le Canard. Steve, the guy whose computer I'd fixed earlier today, played mandolin and guitar in the live band featured tonight. With him were three other guys. Aside from the relatively-youthful drummer, all of the musicians looked to be in their fifties.
Le Canard had crowd tonight. In addition to the washed-up old folks with an appreciation for Otis Redding covers, there were also a few hip young people and one single older woman dressed up in an elegant flamenco outfit. Most interesting of all, a surprisingly large fraction of the Le Canard crowd consisted of gay couples. Contrary to what the religious right would have you believe, this was a positive indicator. Instead of implying moral decay and the temptation of our precious children to the joys of buggery, the presence of gay couples indicates a climate of tolerance, and tolerance implies fresh ideas. Where there are fresh ideas there is usually good food and risk-taking business ventures. And good food and risk-taking business ventures leads to rising real estate values. Basically, there's a ray of economic hope for any town where gay people feel comfortable being gay in public.
My last drink of the evening was a $6 glass of Jack Daniels on the rocks. I could have drunk a lot more tonight, but the little we'd had already was giving Gretchen digestive complaints. She doesn't really get drunk, she gets indigestion instead.
After we got home and climbed into bed, I made the claim that I hadn't remembered how we'd gotten home and that there was a dim memory of jumping into the frigid Rondout at some point. Alas, what ever happened to the good old days of getting drunk with real drinkers?
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