Friday, February 29, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #206] Brunch?

Hi all!

Just want to check in - who would like to do brunch on Sunday? I am gonna make reservations today, so if you would like to, let me know!

But I don't have access to my personal account at work, so if you do, let me know at my work address --> shaun.coley@xxxxx.xxx

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #205] Ouch

I am about to write the most painful thing I have ever written.

First though, I saw David's play tonight - I am so proud of him.  As we were watching I beamed as I would occasionally remember that these hilarious lines I was laughing at were thought up by my friend who was sitting right next to me.  I'm lucky enough to have known David long enough that I have seen just about everything he's done since moving to New York.  I've gotten to laugh at his humour, but most of New York has not.  So there was a slight jarring feeling to suddenly see his work on a "real"* stage and with "real" props - like, a *real* play!  Finally New York has cottoned on to what I have known for years.

Now for the pain.

We went out tonight after the play, of course, and we finally found a good, old school, scrappy New York type of bar, and I loved it.  But.  <sigh>  It was.  In.  Oh, I can't say this, I just can't -- BROOKLYN.  I went to Brooklyn.  And enjoyed it!  I'm voting for Ed Koch in the next election is all I can say; I want tranny hookers back in the Meat Packing District, heterophobic nancies on 8th Avenue, the fun places back in Manhattan again and the East River to resume its role an an impenetrable barrier between Us and Them.  This current paradigm is just a little too Oklahoma is OK unfomfortable for me.

Alright, it's 08:30 and I am shattered as one should be on Sunday morning in New York; guess it's time for bed.

Cheers,
Shaun

*I am a theatre retard; I am sure the more thespianic amongst you can think of a better adjective to convey what I am meaning here
** And get this - Todd Martin (Todd!) was the one who suggested we go there!

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #204] NYC

Friggin' fantastic.  Love it, love it, love it - I should've visited sooner!

Had a great night out last night, though there is a palpable dearth of suitably dark bars East of 5th now - what's with that?  It makes me distinctly uncomfortable in a Disney/baby stroller kind of way.

I've not been above 23rd Street yet, but will have to for David's play tonight, which is one of two acceptable reasons to do so.

Snowed a little today, but the grey slush is mostly gone.  Had Frito Pie and unmeasured frozen margaritas with salt at Cowgirl.  I am a happy boy.

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

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Friday, February 22, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #203] Second island...

I made it to the second destination on my island hopping adventure; though I am not quite sure how!  I was in shorts and a tee yesterday, and landed this morning in 6" of snow, the first Winter storm* of the season.  Up to 10" are expected in the city.  I was upset about my 06:30 flight, but I am sure if I had been any later I would not have made it in - delays are seven hours at EWR now.

OK, off into the streets of Manhattan!

Cheers,
Shaun

*I have to admit, stepping out of the airport into real Winter weather - I kind of miss it!

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #202] Babies, babies, babies!

I saw my fourth niece/nephew today - I am officially babied out!

Nah, it was really nice to see Nikki and Dylan today, but this trip has really been a shock to my system; I have never had such an infusion of little people before - and on holiday no less! I guess this is what happens as (heterosexual) families age, eh? They accumulate children, we accumulate cocktail recipes.

Attached are a few pics from today for the interested parties. Tomorrow we're hanging out at Lara's with the original and newest nephew and niece (and then watching Lost, of course), then it's off to New York on Friday. I'm looking forward to hanging out with some big people again!

Cheers,
Shaun


--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #201] Miami 2008

So I find myself in Miami Beach again - how does this keep happening? No, actually I've had a fine, relatively drama-free, time so far. Russ was in town from Saturday when I arrived until last night, so that kept the social calendar in swing. From today it's all family time, which means two new babies so anything's possible.

I can say that I wouldn't recommend flying Iberia intercontinental; despite the above-average quota of eye candy, its lack of amenities, even in the brand new plane I was on, makes the flight tedious by 2008 standards. (No individual entertainment sets? No plugs? Are you serious?!) Fortunately I am on American for Miami-NYC and NYC-London.

Attaching a few pics from the weekend:

1. P2150002 - Danai, Mihalis and my sister Lisa having cocktails on Lincoln Road
2. P2150004 - Me, Russ and his friend Scott having said cocktails
3. P2150006 - Me, Lisa and Russ after another cocktail
4. P2150009 - Me with Chiara, Lara's new baby

Oh boy, the drama's started up in the time it's taken me to write this eMail. Well, stiff upper lip and all, here we go - it's Coley time!

Cheers,
Shaun


--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #200] US contact info

Hi all!

Mary Keany is going to let me borrow her US cellphone while I am there, so I have my contact info. You can reach me at:

201-###-####.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am going to be a Jersey boy on this trip.

The countdown is on! See many of you soon!

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #199] SIM cards?

Hey all you tech-savvy people,

What to you suggest for me getting a SIM card so I can have a US number while I am over there?  Any suggestions where's good/uncomplicated/affordable?  I really don't know how to do it - I am a mobile retard!

Any help appreciated.

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #198] Miami and New York

Well, they are fast approaching - plans are being made, figurative beds are being made to lie in, and the chattering classes are preparing for a new supply of juicy gossip from the trail of tears, liturgy of mistakes and 80-proof headaches that are the result of any properly done trip to New York.

So, for my week in Miami, I will be seeing the family (including my new niece, Chiara, born today - 10.5 lbs, 22" - home birth, no drugs) and Russ, who's flying in, Sat - Mon.  Then Rankows, we need to plan when I can see you all - when is good for you?

In New York, the weekends are being left open for general debauchery East of 5th (or wherever you locals tell me I can find places I'd be ashamed to tell my mother I went to), with a special highlight "The Play About the Naked Guy" on 23 Feb (Come see it that night if you can, but see it for sure if you can't - it's gonna be fab!).  But for those of you less liver-damage-inclined, I have made/need to make dinner/brunch plans with you, so please be in contact with me if you'd prefer that.  Otherwise, I will see you out one of the weekend nights, I hope!

Also, in the grand tradition, brunch at Lips my last day there, Sunday, 02 Mar - please let me know if you'd like to come so I can make the reservation.

OK, think that's it - can't believe I will be in America again in four days!  I am really looking forward to the break then getting back to London for some rest!

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #197] Sicko

I am sure I am the last one to do so, but I finally saw "Sicko" tonight; it was absolutely abhorrent.  That anyone could be denied medical care in America is ludicrous.  I've been on this side of socialised medicine long enough that I began to forget what it's like there, the fear and stress you have about your healthcare.  It takes seeing that to remember how lucky I am to not have to worry about it.

Actually, no, I am not lucky - that's how it should be.  We're not lucky here - it's just effed up over there.

Anyway, if I am not the last one to see "Sicko", get it.  Be appalled.  Maybe now, with change in November, maybe something can happen.

Happy to be on this little island tonight,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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[The Life of Shaun #196] The Play About the Naked Guy

OK, so slightly off-topic, but it's not every day your friend has his first off-Broadway play, so I am taking up some bandwidth to shamelessly plug it.

I saw it in the original Emerging Artist Theatre space run, and it's great; it's updated and will be even better now, and even hotter guys have been cast in the roles. And it's a play about a naked guy - what more could you ask?

I am going to see it on 23 Feb if anyone would like to come along. Then please join the playwright and me for a night of excessive drinking in the least reputable bars in Manhattan afterwards.

Cheers,
Shaun


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David10567@aol.com <David10567@aol.com>
Date: 5 Feb 2008 17:08
Subject: HOT GUY ALERT SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!
To: undisclosed-recipients

The Hot Guy Alert® committee has written a vehicle for Hot Guys!
The Hot Guy Alert® committee scoured the shrine and auditioned 9 Hot Guy Alerts.
The Hot Guy Alert® committee proudly presents the Off-Broadway premiere of


starring
Jason Schuchman
and
Chad Austin
and introducing our latest Hot Guy Alert,
Dan Amboyer
for more information and tickets please visit
Why does the Hot Guy Alert® committee do this for you?
Because the Hot Guy Alert® committee cares.
xoHGAcommittee




--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #195] Call to Prayer



This is a short video I took during one of the calls to prayer; it's just around the corner from our hotel on the way to the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.

Cheers,
Shaun
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Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Sunday, February 03, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #194] Back in the West

Ah, always such a good feeling to be home! I had, well, we all had, a great time in Istanbul, and I think we were there just the right amount of time. Saw and experienced a good deal without overdoing it, and we were ready to come home without chomping at the bit to leave.

I could very easily go back to Istanbul again. Some cities I visit once and feel like that's enough, that there's nothing more for me to get out of it, really, that I kind of get what the city is, at least to me. But Istanbul is engaging and multifarious - I could easily spend another weekend there trying to figure it out.

Our two nights out in gay Istanbul were pretty cool. There is quite a large scene, at least when considering you're in a Muslim country. There're definitely some bars that cater more to foreigners and the upper echelons of society, and others that are more regular; I enjoyed the latter the most. However, the closestedness of the city was made apparent when we were asked to not take any more pictures inside the clubs as many people do not want to be photographed in a gay establishment. The bars and clubs definitely had a foreign, Middle Eastern feel to them, but overall were open and friendly. We met locals who helped steer us right, and were a bit surprised at the near-London prices of drinks.

Our final night was spent in a traditional meze restaurant with musicians playing Turkish songs that occasionally riled the locals to song and dance. Our neighbouring table talked to us, as best they could, and we had many toasts together. Really, the Turks are a welcoming, friendly people and I hope their new government won't cause them to pull back from their current openness with the West.

Back in London now; flight was good, journey was easy. Now it's the grind for two weeks before heading to Miami on 16 Feb, and New York on 22 Feb.

I'm attaching a few pics from the weekend here; if you'd like to see them all, you can check them ou at share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZOXLJwzcNmLCEA.

1) DSC00019 - the view of the city coming in
2) DSC00023 - a "parked" car on a stairway
3) DSC00026 - our hotel, the Poem
4) DSC00033 - view from the Sultanahmet side to the other
5) DSC00037 - Financial district in the distance, on the ferry to Asia
6) DSC00039 - crowed Taksim on Friday night
7) DSC00047 - Me, Todd and Forest Mallard at Tek Yön
8) DSC00048 - The Blue Mosque
9) DSC00050 - Inside the Grand Bazaar
10) DSC00052 - The Hagia Sophia
11) DSC00060 - Patrons took to dancing at the meze restaurant
12) DSC00063 - The view of the Bosporus from my hotel room; a bit grey that day
13) DSC00064 - Random Istanbul street

Cheers,
Shaun




--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Friday, February 01, 2008

[The Life of Shaun #192] The intercontinental set

Ah! Just came back from a lovely dinner in a very local place in Asia; amazing how far 50p will take you in Istanbul.

So far my impression of Istanbul is very good. It's most definitely a dramatic city, buzzing, vibrant, historic, crumbling; and I feel just a little uncomfortable - it's been quite a while since I've felt that in a new place, and it's a bit intoxicating.

Our hotel's in a great location - we're literally a five-minute walk from the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque. Five times a day we are greeted with competing calls to prayer, which is exotic and exhilarating, apart from the sunrise call, which is just unforgivable. Last night we had a really great dinner at a place called 360 which overlooks the city. I was forewarned about this, but it was still odd - you have to go up past several floors of apartments to get to the restaurants and bars (there were a couple). And the entry of the building belies the existence of commercial premises above, so you feel like you are just tromping through someone's lobby.

Side story: when we got on the plane there was a lady wailing, rather loudly and uncomfortably. The flight staff then explained to use that she was being deported and was not happy to go, but there was appropriate personnel accompanying her, so we need not worry. An auspicious start...

Tonight we're venturing to the bars, which I alternately hear are totally safe or not. I might get pick pocketed - how very exotic indeed!

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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