Today on Alphabet City: A stranger introduces Jon Paul to a new Big Apple holiday captured in an excerpt from Episode 3

Thanksgiving aftermath is really about the creative use of leftovers.  So in case you missed some of last week’s turkey-themed postings, I recommend you reheat a few of these gems: Theme Week & Spit List which sets up a two new excerpts, and Thanksgiving Superpower, a sweet little tale of a little boy’s love for the dishwasher.

My own experience with leftovers continued even after I scraped out the last bits of buttermilk pie, and waved goodbye to the few remaining out-of-town guests.  Chef Juan Pablo had accepted an invitation from a client to an “Annual Thanksgiving Party” that happened on the Saturday after the holiday—the invitation promised a full feast including bird, dressing, pies, the works.  Who wants to eat another Thanksgiving meal after cooking one for 12?  Sounds like just the kind of thing I’d hate, right?  Wrong.  We were both thrilled with the prospect.

Why?  Because when your partner is a chef, you rarely get invited to eat dinner at anyone’s home—people are too nervous and embarrassed about possibly serving anything subpar.  With dinner invites few and far between, who am I to be picky?  Chef had taught a series of cooking classes for our hosts, an investment banker and his new bride.  I was pretty impressed that the student would invite the teacher, and like a true New Yorker, always intrigued with the opportunity to see a new apartment.

It’s been a long time since Chef and I have been to a party where we are so obviously the only gay guys in the room.  And believe me, we stood out.  While most male guests were in banker casual chic jeans and untucked button down shirts, I sported a brightly patterned Paul Smith shirt, tightly cut Parke & Ronen trousers and my favorite flashy brown patent leather Neil Barrett loafers.  Gay as a goose.

Chef and I stood off to the corner asking each other typical gay party questions like, “How would you redecorate this apartment?”  A sweet young couple took pity on us, made eye contact, and asked the go-to party ice-breaker question, “So how do you know the host?”

Once they heard the answer, they signed up for cooking classes with Chef, and asked how we met.  They didn’t blink an eye when I told them the Gay.com story, although I edited out the well-endowed part (CLICK HERE to read that post/excerpt).  Then I asked how they had met, and the answer excited me.

“I was out celebrating my New York Move anniversary,” the young woman named Monet (or Monay?) began.  “I had lived in New York for a year and decided to celebrate.  So I took myself to a neighborhood taco place, sat at the bar, and he was there with friends.  Turns out he lived just down the block from me.”

I’d never heard of celebrating the date of your move to the Big Apple, but I immediately fell in love with the idea.  We spent the next 30 minutes telling each other war stories about the good ‘ole days.  And now I have a new event to look forward to on my calendar.

Thanks to Monet, the party served up more than just leftovers.  And here’s a special serving for you—an excerpt from Alphabet City’s Episode 3: Summering, about my first few weeks in Manhattan.  Something I’ll celebrate at my next New York Move anniversary.

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