Moving Day. 2/1/2013

Last night was our final night as residents of NYC. We were invited to a book release party. It was held at the home of a very important network television executive for two very important television producers. We’re all about the same age. Within a decade of each other at least. Most of the guest list was too. And most of the guest list spent most of their twenties like I did – going out in NYC.

Annnnd…here we all were again in one room. You can see pictures of everyone here. Linda Simpson – who gave Aqua her first ever mention in a real live New York City party rag. Lady Bunny, too. When Bunny invited me to perform in Wigstock (as a background dancer) I thought I was one step away from superstardom. There were also editors from uber-cool periodicals like Paper Magazine – in which I appeared in one party picture exactly one time. And a lot of other writers, artists, and personalities whom I knew from somewhere, who knew me from someplace. Usually somewhere-someplace long ago.

And there was also Robin Byrd.

If you don’t know Robin Byrd, she’s kinda hard to explain.  She’s hosted several cable Public Access shows in NYC since 1977 which feature live strippers, both male and female. She was taken to court several times, but ultimately won the right to show nudity on television because Public Access laws declared that any and all viewpoints were allowed to be aired that fell within community standards.

Robin argued that the community standards of New York City allowed full nudity, phone sex commercials, and other fun dirty stuff. And, well, in my experience, that’s certainly true. So she won her cases and her shows have been airing ever since. In fact, during the 1980’s, the ratings for her half hour stripper shows sometimes equaled Dallas’ in the New York market.

For many gay young men arriving in New York City, including myself, Robin Byrd’s Men for Men show was the first time they saw gay sexuality addressed in a (very) public forum. She also began every show reminding people to wear condoms. In an era where staying alive in NYC meant either wearing condoms or sitting at home masturbating, Robin Byrd had you covered for both options. She should be sainted.

Anyway, at this party on my last night in NYC, Robin “Baby Won’t You Bang My Box” Byrd congratulated Brent and I on our Amazing Race win. I hadn’t pegged her as a fan of CBS Sunday Night Family-Friendly Shows. But she is. And she’s also seen every episode of Fabulous Beekman Boys. Which is only fair because I watched every episode of Men for Men. Many, many times.

Spending my last evening in NYC chatting about goat cheese with Robin Byrd is about absurdly poetic as life can get. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from NYC.

I’m sorry. I digressed. That’s what happens when you’ve ingested a lot of illicit substances. Where was I?

Oh yeah….not in New York.

So, I may take an hour or so to mourn my youth tonight. Just a little. Probably between 2 and 3 am when I always wake up because I’m getting to that age where I don’t sleep well. Tonight is Friday. I’ll listen for coyotes and think about some kid who moved to New York City this very day and is out at a bar having one of the best and/or worst nights of his life.

Mostly what I hope for that kid is that eventually he meets his Brent. Because, as it turns out, even though most of the glittery dreams I had for my New York City self came true in some form…the only true treasure I’m packing up and carting away is Brent.

My road in life has gone from living alone on Avenue A to a gravel driveway built for two.

Tonight I may be an ex-New Yorker.

But tomorrow we’ll be locals.

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  • By: ConnieW

    Just had to come back and read this again. Really touches me, the love you share for each other, the joy you share, and the life you share. God has blessed you, and may He continue to do so.

  • By: Centralia Heart

    Enjoy the peace and quiet of farm life. Our first night on our almost a farm after moving from the small city of Kingston was a dream come true. Instead of street noise, car doors slamming, people yelling at each other and arguing, all we heard were two owls. It was wonderful. And the people in our hamlet of Olive Bridge are wonderful too. I have never met such welcoming, kind and caring people anywhere before. Life in small towns is wonderful. Enjoy it every day. Steve has even joined our local fire dept. and we both take line dance lessons. Country life is great! Centralia

  • By: James Ellis

    Oh how sweet .. the lament of a city boy gone country! I love it!.. I also remember the first time I set foot in NYC.. my life dream to work in the “city”.. from the west coast where we think we are sooo cool! NOT.. LOL small town boy learned the W.Village ways very quickly! LOL It was back in the mid 70’s.. oh boy!.. LOL Hell’s Kitchen was a baaad(good) place. .Haystack.. the Ramrod.. oh my! LOL Great story evoked memories from this ..now small town .. country boy.. love your story. .so much of me! Or who I thought I was! LOL hugs

  • By: Kacy Romano

    Simply beautiful. I think all of us about this age (I am 41) have felt the different chapters of life open and close and open again. I can relate:)

  • By: Susan Elwood

    Your Feb 1st post has me in tears. New beginnings and changes are how we grow and live this beautiful journey we are on. You have found someone in which in do it with. It will be worth it.

    I Love your book, I laughed and could relate, especially to the goats pooping: on the way to the commercial. Best of luck to you, both of you.

  • By: Lance and Rhonda Lincoln

    Hello Josh. I read your book, “Bucolic Plague”, last week. I love, love, love, your writing. The honest, no fluf, story is comfort food to me. I am a recent city slicker / farmer. My husband is a Dr. We have a lot of stuff to in common !!!! We have dairy goats, and raised bed, heirloom flower and vegetable gardens. I milk twice per day. my does supply fresh milk for my family, as well as cheese, and soap. Congratulations on moving to your farm, full time !! We did that three years ago.

  • By: Kathleen Donlin

    You are going to do fine. I have moved from Ohio to California , to Chicago,Boston and Orlando , and survived!! As long as you are with those you love all is good!

  • By: Frank

    I’m so happy for the both of y’all, tallest wishes from Houston.

  • By: starrling

    Born in Los Angeles, I spent much of my life trying to get out of it. It took me about 47 years but I’m finally in Oregon (with my soul mate, the man it took me almost as long to find) . I’m not a city girl but I’m not really farmer material either. I just prefer the quiet and the less populated. Do I miss the city? Not really. I miss certain aspects of it but when I think of them, I mentally give myself a shake and say “are you NUTS?!” Congrats to both of you. I’ve been pulling for you since the beginning of The Fabulous Beekman Boys. Spending your lives together doing what you love is definitely the road to happiness. ♥

  • By: Michelle

    I am so happy that the two of you are now together fulltime on the farm..Keep writing Josh, you are so talented and make me laugh constantly.

    Love always to you both…..xoxoxo

  • By: Maureen

    This is beautifully written. Once upon a time I was a kid who came to NYC and had all of those glittery dreams that kids have. Now I live in Nebraska and teach young adults. Funny how the location may change but that city glitter stays the same even on corn husks. Thank you so much for visiting Omaha, being kind and signing a picture for two of my students and the ‘Cancer is a Drag’ fundraiser we are having in my little town. I can’t even begin to explain to you what having role models like you and Brent means to some of my students. You tell them it’s okay and that someday they might find a place in the world or maybe even a person who will make them happy.

  • By: Christine

    So glad you finally get to live the dream and that you and Brent can finally be together!

  • By: Leah Williams

    I sincerely hope that the both of you live happily ever after at the farm and that you prosper and adopt a baby!!! Yes… Please do that!!! You would be wonderful parents!!!

  • By: Sabino Escobedo

    Josh and Brent,

    You are the greatest friends I’ve met in New York City. I’ve learned a lot from you guys and I admire you both for who you are and for what you have achieved in life, in good and in bad times.
    Thanks for sharing many great things with me but I am most thankful for having you as my dear friends!

    Josh, you have made it to The Farm full-time. Congrats! It was worth the sacrifice for both of you! Now, enjoy life to the fullest, as you have always done!

    Your friend,
    SABINO

  • By: Ans Klijn

    I would love to see your show again. However here in Sweden you are not on the tv.
    Being born in Holland and lived there for over 50 years it is nice to see the heritage of your house. I like to read about your DUTCH recipes and there history. Wish you all the best and lots of love.
    Ans

  • By: Cinthia Yesitis

    Dear Josh,
    I have to honest, my mother is fond of your show and got me hooked. Some of us are still searching for that perfect gravel driveway for two! Enjoy all the beauty and serenity the farm gives you, embrace the quiet countryside with Brent. As us city dwellers know, there is little quiet to be found here (okay, maybe at the library).
    Cinthia (from SF)

  • By: Jude

    Josh, thanks for sharing! I love your writing too, and I’m so glad you can be with Brent full time. Enjoy upstate!

  • By: lupe Yvonne Burke

    awww, so happy that you get to stay at your farm! Happy for both of you guys.. Keep the good spirit going you guy!! ♥

  • By: Dani

    JKP, what an amazing journey you have been on! Congratulations on the move, I can’t wait to come and see the Beekman one day.

  • By: Jennifer

    Dearest Josh,
    as a former gal about town in NYC, who spent many a very late night in clubs, some of the same as named in your excellent memoir, and who now leads a quiet life in upstate NY, i understand this post perfectly. there are times when i mourn the loss of that time in my life, but the present is better. i know that when i am spending a friday night at home with my husband and daughter, when i now wake up in the morning at a time i used to be just walking in the door from a long night out. Manhattan was a wonderous place to spend our late teens and twenties, dancing, partying and doing all sorts of recreational activity into the wee hours of the night. but for all things, there is a season, right? i certainly cherish that time, but i wouldn’t go back.
    love your updates, loved your show, loved your books.
    please continue to keep your adoring public informed of how life treats you and your brent in this new stage of your life.

  • By: CK

    That was quite touching. It has been great watching your dream unfold as you’ve shared it with the world. Amazing Race was, well, amazing. And I thought your “hand-crafted thank- you’s” were so smart and classy. I’ve tried and enjoyed some of your products, and will continue to follow your newsletter and this site, and someday, I might even be able to visit the Springs! Health, happiness and prosperity to you both.

  • By: Denise

    Dear Josh,
    Welcome home……………………… always enjoy getting your life updates. You and Brent are soooo extremely talented, creative, and gifted! I’m really in awe of the impact you’ve had on Sharon Springs and the life you’ve created on your farm. God bless you both—and John, too!

  • By: Lori

    Josh – I love the way you write! It warms the cockles of my heart!

  • By: Louis Fattorusso

    Hi Josh and Brent. Congratulations on winning “The Amazing Race”. Watched you both preserver through much difficulty. Especially poor Brent during the synchronized swimming.
    Josh, I’m happy that you were able to live in “The Springs” full time. Best of luck to you both. Lou

  • By: cblauer

    I just have tears thats all. Growing up is hard no matter where you are. I wish you both the best- can’t wait to hear the next chapters- please write them. Caught the Plague- on the Cape in a blizzard! You guys are the best- Love,C

  • By: Sue Turowski

    God ~ I think Josh, that I have read almost everything you have written. Well, that has been meant for public eyes! I even read the cookbook (a lot).
    I have heard through the WI grapevine that you may have another book in the works?! I hope that is true, I love the way you write.
    Thank you for sharing your very charming, colorful life with the rest of the world. You know that their are people you hear of or meet in your life that are just meant to be shared and I believe you are one of them.
    Thank you Brent, for sharing the love of your life with the world!
    Sue Turowski
    Grafton, WI

  • By: Karen Pursley

    I am so happy to hear that your goal of having Josh move to Sharon Springs has been accomplished. You both are an inspiration. Love your show (and Josh, your books). Watching with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been a challenge though due to the goats and the llama with a whole lot of drama! He goes crazy watching on tv! Must be that LED tv that is so clear it looks live!

  • By: Deborah Costa

    Congrats on moving to a new stage of your life. I have never lived in NYC but my son has, fell in love there, married there and has 2 beautiful children. The struggling economy and wanting a more affordable lifestyle has not deterred he and his wife. Living in NYC, succeeding in NYC and THRIVING in NYC as he continually does and you and Brent have done is something of which to be truly proud. And now when it’s time to move on you are doing so with the knowledge and fond memories that you are both strong enough to return when you want to on your own terms. I have been a fan from the beginning, have been a customer and follower and I wish you both the best of everything…I’m still going to get to you from VT one of these days.

  • By: Ellen Durant

    I would have loved to see Josh actually come home. What amazing things you both have accomplished. Congrats on the Race. Best of luck to you both.

  • By: Dennis Hage

    My other half has now been together almost 36 years. I love him just as much as I did 36 years ago. Our togetherness went slowly. We were introduced at his home on W17th Str. by what we found out a mutual friend.
    I don’t know what to get him for Valentine. I am thinking about the Chocolate Hearts at Hallmark Cards. I also am now thinking of maybe one from your place. I don’t know yet.
    We let the City in 1993 and moved to our weekend home (that is winterized properly). The place we live in, on the Delaware, midway between Port Jervis and Hancock, NY is very G. and G friendly. At least four stores are G-owned.
    In three years we may relocate to South Carolina where we have many friends. AND it is warmer and cheaper to live.
    We will see.
    Be well Dennis

    PS I follow your adventures religiously and the coming summer I will make a trip to Sharon Springs and enjoy the place that has been so nicely been described.

  • By: ConnieW.

    So, so happy for you! I can feel the joy coming right through my iPad! My favorite part is what you said near the end about Brent. It is obvious how much you appreciate sharing your life with him, and I know he feels the same. You are both so special, it only makes sense that you had to find each other. Warms my heart in this day and age when there is so much coldness. God bless you both.

  • By: Helen Christ

    Josh,
    I rejoice that you are now living in a place that gives you peace, joy, and a full life together with Brent. Long time coming…long time of happiness!

    HC

  • By: Sean M from Dorloo

    hey, i grew up around the corner from you, just a country mile or two, and I still consider myself a NEW YORKER!
    Always and Forever…you are not an EX-NY’er, just new digs.

    ok ok i get the City Mouse v. Country Mouse dichotomy, Upstate v. Downstate (where IS that line anyway? Westchester Co.?)
    but anybody from anywhere else thinks all Ny’ers are from the city (which burns me up and amuses me at the same time!) or that the state is one huge Megalopolis.
    I really get a kick out of telling people here in Florence, SC that i’m more country than this southern ‘city’. Ha! Cows and Plows, Baby!

    …and i miss The Snow. really.

  • By: curiouscathy

    Even when we’re ready to leave NYC, we always leave parts of ourselves there. (I let 15 years go by before venturing back for a visit, but I still found the pieces of me that live there.) This is a big transition. Joy to you both!

  • By: eastcoastdandy

    Marvelous. Delighted to hear it. You’ve had enough for two memoirs and I am hoping you have enough for three. Would love to read another, even if it’s just about how to age gracefully.

  • By: gangstapigsWendy

    I’m reminded that no experience ever truly has the precise result we envision, but each is exactly what it should be. Life wouldn’t be worth it if there were no surprises. I’m glad that Brent is your surprise ‘ending’ to this life you’ve had in NYC. I could say that you have been blessed, but it’s more than that. You have both worked hard for your dreams. I hope they are what you envision, but with lots of surprises included!

  • By: Heather

    Josh… this is still your youth… maybe not the beginning of your youth, but not the end of your youth either. Time travel to your 95 year old self and ask him if this isn’t so. So glad that you and Brent have each other. Welcome, welcome to upstate NY.

  • By: Lisa

    This is very nice. It makes me think of a Buddhist quote: “Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.”

    Or maybe that’s a quote from The Matrix? I don’t know. But I think it’s wise.

  • By: Catherine C. Adams

    As one from NYC who has chosen to make her home here in beautiful Schoharie County. Thanks for choosing us.

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