Good Night Mr. Lewis: Hey, Thanks

I take tomorrow seriously, and not just ’cause I can forget the constant battle of my bulge and chow down on holiday fixin’s. I’ve been through a few battles over the years; I’ve lost some and won some, and I‘ve learned to reflect, take a deep breath on Thanksgiving, and appreciate the things that are actually important to me. Life so often distracts me with the mediocre and unimportant. Today I saw hundreds of cool people standing in line to apply for a handful of jobs at Webster Hall, and I’m thankful to be able to provide for myself and mine.

I’m really thankful for my optimistic nature, which is telling me that it’s all going to be all right; I just feel it. When I’m on a job site pitching some half-baked idea to a client about a design element, I’m often asked, “Is it possible? Can we do that?” People around me are used to my standard response, which is offered in stereo by those who hear it every day. I say, “Why not? They put a guy on the moon in 1969.” I remember them doing it, and I’m thankful to have that memory and the ones of the Jimmy Carter era, of the gas lines and other insurmountable problems that somehow where surmounted. I think with hard work, an optimistic attitude, and feet firmly on the ground, we’ll get over this recession thing before you can say Barack Obama.

I’m real thankful for Barack, and I’m not trying to be funny when I ask how his election will affect door policies in this town. I swear on my puppies that the next doorperson or owner who tells me “off the record,” “on the DL,” “hush hush,” or super-secret like that there’s too many black people in this or that joint is going to get embarrassed or maybe even worse. I’m thankful for the irony of that. I’m thankful for all the peeps at BlackBook who allow me to babble. I’m thankful for you who support my obsessions. I’m thankful for my friends, Facebook or real. I’m thankful for the trust owners give me to build their joints. I’m thankful for the opportunities and those who have helped them along. I thank my gal who deserves more than I can offer, my little friends, my partner, and my enemies who keep me focused. I am most thankful to be spending this holiday with my parents and my best New York City friends, I’m happy for the Internet that facilitates happy holidays between me and my friends far away.

For many, this recession thingy is hurting, hitting real deep and hard, but for most it’s an inconvenience. It’s one less pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, one less dinner at Per Se, or maybe the Hummer becomes a Mercedes or the Aston Martin a Porsche. Maybe it’s a $3,000-a-month one-bedroom instead of an $8,000-a-month one-bedroom. Maybe some take the subway instead of cab a few times a week, maybe it’s Scott bathroom tissue instead of that squishy Charmin.

For most of us, the American Dream has been under-appreciated. I’ve always felt it disgusting that a jerk who can hit a curve ball or block some kick gets paid ten million bucks while teachers eat Chef Boyardee. I have little sympathy for the broke-ass brokers who finally are really broke. There are many of us who live creative lives and work in this club industry who won’t notice the downturn at all. Are you more broke in a downturn than in an upturn? Creative people are used to being poor. We’ll bum a cheaper brand cigarette off a more flush friend or walk a couple blocks for the cheaper pizza. I have been there and survived, and most will get by as well with a few adjustments and the loss of a few items that the rest of the planet can only dream of. I’m thankful for what I have, and I’m thankful that after all these years I’ve finally learned that lesson.

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