Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poly goes international

Just a quick post about a very fun night at Poly Cocktail Hour Monday night. I went directly from Princeton and drove to China 1 Restaurant in the city - luckily, the traffic was not very heavy because of the Columbus Day holiday.

There were only a few people there, including my friend Kyle, but I recognized one face from Saturday's picnic in Central Park, a fellow named Rob who had been sitting with Polina most of the afternoon. He's from southern Australia, and he's been on holiday in New York for the past week, but only by chance stumbled upon the Poly Pride event. He actually came to the rally all by himself, which is a pretty gutsy thing to do. However, Polina helped to make him feel welcome enough to show up at PCH two nights later. I only met him briefly, so it was a good chance for me to get to know him better, and he's a delightful fellow and very supportive of the polyamory movement. It's too bad that he lives so far away - he's probably the first guy I've met that might actually have been someone we could have both dated (he's one year younger than me).

Aussie Rob at an Australian cafe on St. Marks

I also met a first-time visitor named John and got to know him a bit. There was also a guy named Tommy, who lives in Buenos Aires and is working on a documentary about how true monogamy (one mate for your entire life) is actually a small minority among human relationships. There was Anton, a Mensa fan who talked with Leon when he showed up with Pauline, a Teutonic teenager (she's 19) he met in Italy who came all the way from Germany to visit him. Barbara and Joe also came, and Ken, the guy I dated briefly late last year around the time I first met Polina. He's now getting married to a woman who lives in India whom he met online.

I did my best to introduce everybody around, and keep people engaged with each other. Karaoke Rob showed up, as well as Jeremy, and a few other people I've seen at past events. Reid was there, but spent all his time talking with someone, so I didn't get to talk to him except to say hi. I also met another woman named Barbara who is on my bisexual Yahoo group who was there for the first time.

I noted that I started going to PCH back in April of this year when Polina was in Argentina, and then we started going together throughout the summer ("Busy start of the week" - April 14, 2009) so I'm on a seven-PCH streak right now. When you go to an event this regularly, even a natural introvert like me starts getting comfortable and playing hostess. I'm never better at it than when I'm with Polina ("Baby kitten rescue" - May 12, 2009) but a couple of the new people mistook me for the organizer of the event and couldn't believe that I wasn't, since I seemed to know everybody.

It got to about 10 pm and I was thinking about going home, but K-Rob and Aussie Rob started talking about a hot dog place called Crif's Dogs on nearby St. Marks so we decided to go get a bite to eat. I invited Leon and Pauline along, and they said they would be 10 minutes behind us.

Leon and Pauline

Crif's Dogs is a very interesting place. Not only do they have an extensive lineup of deep-fried hot dogs with all sorts of toppings, but there is a secret speakeasy bar that is accessed through a fake phone booth in the middle of the room. Leon, Pauline and I all squeezed into the booth, Leon picked up the phone and the entire back wall of the phone booth opens up and we walked into the bar to have a look. It's a very posh bar compared to the humble hot dog joint we walked through to get there. The whole set up reminded us of the old TV show Get Smart, or the visitor's entrance to the Ministry of Magic from Harry Potter.

We all ate and talked until it was about midnight, which is way past my bedtime. Aussie Rob and Pauline both were due to fly back the very next day to Australia and Germany respectively, so this is one gathering that will not be replicated for a long time, if ever. Which is a pity because if Polina had only been there, we'd have had two Robs, and teens Pauline and Polina.

K-Rob and me at Crif's Dogs

All in all, it was a very good night, and very encouraging that polyamory has fans beyond the U.S. I gave Pauline a DVD with a copy of the MTV True Life "I'm Polyamorous" episode on it as a souvenir. Leon and I talked a bit about Open Love NY and getting that ship moving again. Polina and I have been talking today about what we can do together along that line, so we might have some movement on it this week. Stay tuned.