8.03.2008

Queer Eye for the Gay Guy

Since it seems OK for me to now post blogs that are almost a month old, i guess i will writ e a little bit about my relatively recent trip to NYC to visit robert. the purpose of this trip was hatched one drunken night during my gaycation in key west, robert having informed that he was finally moving out of that shoebox he was living in in the upper east side. now, robert would be a denizen of the more colorful neighborhood of SpaHa ... or Spanish Harlem. i'll give him definite props for moving to a more characteristic neighborhood for sure. so in the month between the end of gaycation and the actual new york trip to queer eye a fag, robert and i exchange quite a number of phone conversation and emails working out various details of how to decorate his new place.
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i took it as a real "job"... one of my sort of freelance interior design efforts ... and overall, it was fun. i think we both walked away from it a little frayed at the edges, but it was fun nonetheless to see a good friend and to share in this momentous in his life ... that is finally getting a "more" grown-up place.
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eventhough i had seen pictures of the place before going, walking into robert's new place still was an eye-opener. the neighborhood was definitely more colorful, having a "walk-thru" mcdonald's on the same street and colorful latin american street food vendors everywhere (that robert refuses to patronize ... haha). however the signs of gentrification are obvious ... a very nearby shee shee bistro where you can get a great lamb shank! anyways, inside robert's apartment ... my first impression was ... hmm, good bones ... this place has potential ... but in its nakedness and slight delapidation i was thinking ... hmmm... color ... we need color.
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i think one of the tense points during my visit with robert to help him with his place, was my constant insistance on color and using lots of it. i think in the end we came to various compromises. for instance i would have loved to see every room painted ... but realistically i don't think we had the time, and we also went back and forth on some color choices. ultimately i think we were both satisfied ... robert did love the light blue in his bedroom and the tan we painted in his study/ guest bedroom he fell in love with. we had a slight tiff on the color of the dining room, but it was mostly egged on by robert's growing reluctance under stress meets my growing impatience when under stress ... i wanted some thing to be done, robert wanted to widdle waddle. but we got a color up there ... personally not the most dramatic i would say for a dining room ... but still nice ... sort of builder's beige ... you can't go wrong can you?
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other than painting, one whole day of our time was spent at IKEA. robert dropped $1000 on various knick knacks. funny, in the end, you think, god ... that was $1000, what did we spend it on! our big ticket items were mostly the guest loft bed frame (that I put together) a wardrobe (that i put together) and in addition to that various IKEA shelves and two fabulous lamps, some basic end tables ... and a swanky mirror (that in the last 10 minutes before my taxi came, we tried to hang ... but to no avail ... i hope robert has some friends who are a bit braver in DIY than he is!). seriously ... where did all that money go? it would have been nice to get a dining table, chairs, cupboards, and a dresser ... part of the "plan"... but i understand budgetary constraints ... so c'est la vie ... till the next paycheck.
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like mentioned before, a big chunk of our time was spent putting the IKEA furniture together and of course, going to the holiest of DIY places ... the Home Depot ... New York style ... in a high rise building ... no lumbar department mind you but still a good selection of various things any urbane DIY'er would be expected to undertake ... i.e... no heavy construction or installation. I think the most showy piece of work at the end of the three day endeavor ... were the new light fixtures i am SO GLAF I convinced robert to get .... they are SO MUCH an improvement from the well .... crap that emited light before. robert called them antiquish and historically interesting ... they were typical crack hotel lights .... haha. i can only cross my fingers and toes that he will jump on the ball and actually order that special order chandelier we identified at home depot ... because seriously ... THAT makes the dining room!
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i did do a tad of carpentry surprisingly ... installing a chair rail to robert's dining room wall. i knew the jig saw i brought would be handy! so basically that was about it ... a full day of shopping, lots of painting, lots of putting IKEA funriture together, installing new lights (robert did one actually ... wooo wooo!), and just in general setting up a new furniture arrangement (please do not bring in that ridiculously over-sized cofee table back into the living room robert!), and in the last hour going to see some new curtains for the bedroom (at the store he was reluctant, a day later, he told me he went back and got them ... uh... i told you so ... trust the professional! haha) ... that rounded out an actually busy visit to my friend.
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now we did do some "fun" stuff of course. robert was an excellent host paying basically for everything during my stay so props for him for that. but on the same note, thats why i felt the need to be so pyscho insistent on getting stuff done. at times it was like dragging around a kid, but thats to be expected i guess. all in all it was fun and we were able to have a relaxing dinner, and also a night visiting jay and hunter's new place in w-burg ... which is ultra new and ergo ultra conventionally "new york" style noveau riche. whatever ... it was a nice place ... lacking in any crusty old character and individuality but still nice and shiny ... to each his own. we went to this trendy w-burg gay bar where the crwod made me feel old and fat ... but that is williamsburg for you where male anorexia is chic and 25 is geriatric.
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i wonder what his place looks like now, almost a month after my weekend warrior style make-over? at the very least i hope the furniture hasn't broken or the wall shelves i installed fallen down ... and maybe with any luck ... there is a sparkly new chandelier in the dining room ... all that's missing is a table and some chairs. haha.
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1 Comments:

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Hi Alex! Thank you again! My apartment looks fantastic! It's coming along...slowly but surely. It will get there thanks to you!

 

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