Every city has sex. London is unmistakably male, Paris is a woman, and Manhattan is bi-sexual. Their personalities weave into the houndstooth, through the curve of a door handle, and hang like flour over the bakery at dawn.
Paris is extended pinkies, espresso, and cursive letters on bakery windows. She’s air kisses and strategically places her birthmarks, giving birthrights to puff out the air in short bursts between suffixes. The city feels as if she’s teetering on fainting, puts her head between her knees and lifts only for a drag, or word of a killer sample sale. She’s soft as confectioner’s sugar and oozes cheese; Paris is a whole lotta luscious. She even smells fem. Click to view my Paris photos >>
Manhattan is always open. It’s fearless and phobic at once and smells of aftershave, ripe scalp, and let’s just say it now, piss. There are no baths; Manhattan showers and pees standing up. Manhattan is provocatively dirty. It’s so hurried it can’t make up its mind when to walk, to shave, who it wants to be. It will decide later, there’s too much to do now. Lunch at Ciprianis, drinks at the MObar, dry cleaning, power yoga, a PDA repair, and a manicure all before 5. Don’t get me started with the shoes. Despite the small and the busy, Manhattan is home. Click to view my Manhattan Photos >>
Can you think of anything more masculine sounding than MEWS? London is full ’em. He’s also filled with lanterns, glowing like candles, a stack of them, like prayers. Beneath them, awnings glow orange–butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, the smell of brass polish. London’s shoes are buffed; its scarf suits its overcoat, hand-stitched leather gloves included. Lines of topiaries in tall windows, vertical brass mailbox slots centered in weighty wooden doors, black painted fencing–glass milk bottles nestle welcome mats, waiting. The brownstone lined cobblestone streets are tidy and vertical. Formal spacious taxicabs, window boxes, kerchiefs tucked into blazer pockets, and yes, rimmed hats. The air smells of wood and cloves. Each small shop looks as if it smells of pine and wraps its goods in brown paper with red ribbons. Click to view my London photos >>
Traffic lights are decorative ornaments to drivers, who one might imagine are named Jeeves, but who is instead named Ralph and spits when he talks. Clotted cream, strawberry jam, scones and cucumber sandwiches, a spot of Darjeeling; London is edible. You can’t get more masculine than Curry. Food served in crocks, butter in a covered dish. Coach & Horses, Churchill Arms, Crocker’s Folly-real pubs. The kind with thick Ales who wince when asked for ketchup to their malt vinegar. Double handled umbrellas linked with soft brown leather open to form chairs, upon which their owners sit, watching what one must imagine to be cricket or petanque. Bamboo walking canes and knobbed sticks should be left in Edinburgh; Burberry umbrellas and waders suit London. Never mind about falling bridges. London’s a man who can stand on his own.
What, it’s some big surprise I have more to say about men? Pahleeze. London has a crush on me, and I’m always up for a little flirting.