Sandy Hook Memories, Brunch at Yotel, and Everything at Bedlam

I had a lot to write about today. People have holiday events they want to tell people about and I have a zillion e-mails to sift through. The news of the shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut has put most of this on the back burner. I spent the summers of my youth in Sandy Hook. When school started the Lewis clan would return to the city and we’d only go up on weekends. Eventually the winter snows and extreme cold had us close the house up until the thaw. On warm summer days my younger brother and I would hike the 2 miles to town without fear, without much thought except for the grass and wind and trees and birds. There were farms back then, and deep woods.

Some days were spent doing archeological digs in ancient stone foundations. We’d find pottery shards and rusted tools and such and these treasures mixed with the natural treasures all around made for an idyllic childhood. We’d steal some corn, we’d harass a bull, pet cows, identify the names of the birds and trees. We’d get in trouble with bees. We’d get lost and somehow always find our way home. Our cat often came with us on our ventures. Sometimes we’d swing on vines into the great Lake Zoar.

The town itself was a couple hundred feet long. There was a small stable back then and a hardware store and places to buy household things. Not much else. A small fast stream with a little bridge over it split the burg. We’d sit on rocks in the middle and try to catch fish with aquarium nets. We never did. Once a copperhead came up next to me and my cousin Ron chased it away.

Sandy Hook is a little town next to Newtown another mile or so up the road. In Newtown the main drag is lined with beautiful ancient home s and centuries-old trees. The police station, the mayor, and all the municipality offices are in a big building called Town Hall. They still show movies there. In my youth it was a quarter or 35 cents and offered up family fare. One kid might pay the ticket price and open up a side door to let the gang in. The whole town would show up on a Saturday night for a picture of note and there would be shorts and previews and lots of small and big talk before and after.

Sandy Hook/Newtown is a place that can’t make the news. It’s designed not to. I go back every year to have a look. I’ll stop by the old house and smell the forest and have a pizza at Lorenzo’s, where buckets still collect the drips from a leaky roof . It’s right by the big lake and smells of rotting leaves and the creatures that live in them. The food isn’t too great and the service a little slow but it’s just perfect. We’d hike down there most evenings to get a Slim Jim or Sugar Daddy. Bad things, bad people never reached our neck of the woods. But here we are with lots of dead people and the tranquility gone forever. Anyway, just rambling on as I try to wrap myself around this. My thoughts and prayers to those in harm’s way.

I promised a few mentions. Tomrrow brunch at Yotel (570 10th Avenue) which is celebrating Hollardazed with music by AndrewAndrew, performances by The Glamazons with hosts Epiphany and Chris Torres. The shindig is brought to you by the dapper Errickson Wilcox and the seductive Roxy Cottontail. There’s going to be balloon art and a blind contour artist. Tonight Frankie Sharp that man about town is bringing back for one night only Everything at Bedlam (40 Avenue C). There will be live shows by the House of Ladosha. The soiree is hosted by Patricia Fields and Jordan Fox. I highly recommend checking out Murray Hill’s A MURRAY LITTLE CHRISTMAS tomorrow night December 15th at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street). Murray is the real deal and this is a can’t-miss event.

I must note that tomorrow marks the birthday of my dearly departed friend Arthur Weinstein. Arthur was a club owner, a lighting designer, a photographer, an artist, a father, a husband, and a friend. He was a rogue warrior of a glorious downtown era. He taught me everything I know but not everything he knew. He was a mentor and a mensch. I miss him every day.

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