Down to Earth Dave’s Post of the Day–September 9

Salutations, Gentle Reader,

Greetings from eastern NC–Ayden, NC, to be precise. Ayden is the town of my adolescence, teen years, and early adulthood. To borrow from Harper Lee, Ayden is rather like Macomb, Alabama in To Kill A Mockingbird, or at least among many of the long-term citizens here. There has been some influx of artists, and that’s a positive thing. Ayden’s downtown, while not dead, is in ICU–and perhaps that’s where this NYC-loving, out and proud vegan gay dad, might just be able to offer some service to this town. Maybe I can be a catalyst or spark to generate new life into downtown Ayden.

Maybe not. But I am trying.

Leaving New York was tough.  Very tough.

Leaving New York was tough. Very tough. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that Milton Glaser could easily have been writing for me when he came up with the “I (heart) NY” logo. The truth was, though, that I missed my daughter. She missed me. My visions of romance with the Captain went unfulfilled, and in all honesty–I stopped trying to truly succeed at real estate rentals. I was diving headfirst into the lake of self-pity and resentment. For someone who also has compulsive tendencies, self-pity and resentment are gigantic no-no’s.

Moving back hasn’t been easy. I’m in my childhood home, which has stood unoccupied for seven years. I just had to have the entire plumbing system replaced–the old galvanized pipes were 80 years old and too small to accommodate a new tankless water heater. Yes, the old water heater had gone kaput, and for about a month, I took cold showers unless I was visiting my sister or niece. (That wasn’t so bad–those cold showers–since there are no immediate prospects for platonic dates, much less romantic ones.) My mom is a collector. The problem is, she has few boundaries on what she collects but some serious boundaries on what she’ll release–even though she doesn’t live here. I have had to get behind the wheel again. Oh, I ride my bicycle as much as possible, but beyond that, I’m enslaved to driving. Give me the crowded, smelly subways of NYC any day.

But, Heidi and JonJon enjoy going outside in their own yard, not restricted to a leash.Poms Mom’s grapevines produced a bounty of Concord grapes this summer, and a good crop of Scuppernongs is ripening now. As I grew hot from work in the yard or inside, I could take a break, go pick a couple of handfuls of grapes, and savor that sweet gift that tasted so good and also restored my energy. I ride my bike a lot more here. I’m getting to have fun of scrambling the minds of people who have never even heard the word “vegan”, much less considered the possibility of not consuming animals or their secretions. I am reconnecting with friends. I’m making my way back into town–attending at least part of Ayden’s Small Town Main Street meeting tonight (a task force of the Chamber of Commerce that seeks to revitalize downtown) and audition for a part in an upcoming production of Proof, presented by the Ayden Community Theatre.

And I see Noelle often. Do I really need anything else?On top of Ayden

Down to Earth Dave’s Post of the Day–July 11

Salutations, Gentle Reader,

No, I haven’t been in a coma or worse.  I have been living mindfully and have truly been busy.  Still, I’ve said often that I would like to resume my blog.Today is one entry, completely whimsical, and offered for nothing more than the opportunity to offer you some humour.  I call it…

The NYC Gay Man’s Guide to the World Cup Finals

Don’t talk about statistics or the fact that Germany annihilated World Cup Host Brazil, while Argentina eliminated The Netherlands on penalty kicks.  If you want to know who to support for the World Cup finals, go to the three L’s:  lyrics, legs, and loftiness.

If you want to know who to support for the World Cup finals, go to the three L’s:  lyrics, legs, and loftiness.

Lyrics:  Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita captured the hearts of a generation of theatre goers, and despite Madonna’s tragic film adaptation of it, every self-respecting patron of Marie’s Crisis Cafe can sing “Don’t Cry for me, Argentina” and “Rainbow Tour” in his or her sleep.  Germany fared okay in Cabaret, but for the most part, Germany just doesn’t fare too well in musicals, unless you’re watching Springtime for Hitler.  The true deciding factor, though, goes to Casablanca.  What NYC gay man will ever forget that scene when Paul Henreid as Viktor Laszlo marched down the stairs past the German soldiers singing “Die Wacht am Rhein” and called in the support of the band to drown them out with “La Marseillaise”?

Lyrics:  Advantage –  Argentina

Legs:  Let’s face it, soccer players have some of the best legs in the world.  While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, my eye is beholding to “The Fatherland.”

http://www.dw.de/image/0,,2066546_4,00.jpgGermany

http://sportsjacks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Top-best-argentina-soccer-players-now-featured-300x267.jpgArgentina

 

Hmmmm, too close to call.  Let’s check some more.ArgentinaGermany

 

This one is close, about as close as Argentina’s victory over The Netherlands.  I’m going on initial impression here.

Legs:  Advantage – Germany

Loftiness:  What the hell is “loftiness”, you ask?  Loftiness refers to culture.  Germany has unbeatable beer and crisp Rieslings.  Argentina has…What does Argentina have?  The German flag isn’t too grand…

http://www.german-flag.org/german-640.gif

But check out this festive flag from Argentina!

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120819045232/conworld/images/e/e9/Flag_of_Argentina_(2).png

While neither teams uniforms would catch the eye of either of the Brooks Brothers, they’re pretty fair.  http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/mediafile/201103/04/P201103040927351355455843.jpg  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3721/10821648765_5763ca354a_m.jpg

So Germany wins on beer and wine, Argentina wins on the flags, and the uniforms are a tie.

Loftininess:  EVEN

In the end, I think the Unofficial NYC Gay Man’s Guide to the World Cup Finals comes down to this:  Mercedes.  Let’s go, Germany!

 

Remain calm, and speak well.

Be kind to yourself.  Be kind to the planet and the future.  Cause no suffering.  Go Vegan!

David!

 

 

 

 

Down to Earth Dave’s Post of the Day–May 19

Salutations, Gentle Reader,

 I’ve shared with you before how much I admire those who recover from various addictions and compulsions through 12-Step Programs. While I don’t know this to be factual, I’m confident in saying that most, if not all, 12-Step meetings begin with the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

(Intrusion; my morning commute is making local stops instead of running express. Um, God, grant me the serenity to accept the MTA.)

Gentle Reader, I discovered long ago that truth and wisdom are often found in simplicity. I think the Serenity Prayer represents such an example. On the surface, this petition is simple. Let me accept serenely things I cannot change. Let me boldly change things I can. Let me know the difference. As my dad, a US Marine for over two decades, advised, “David!, choose your battles wisely.”

Please indulge me as I take this to a personal level. I’ve shared with you the challenge I face in trying to choose between remaining in this City I love so much and from which I draw strength and identity or returning to my family in NC, where I could enjoy a proximal closeness with my daughter as well as my aging mother. As I descended from my apartment this morning, I was saying the Serenity Prayer and pondered whether the courage to change meant that I should have the courage to change my residence or the courage to change aspects of living in NYC. Maybe I need to consider whether my personal skills are best aligned with my professional endeavours. Or maybe moving is inevitable and I just need the serenity to accept it.

Image

 

Today, I’m really concentrating on that third component: God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference.

 

Questions of the mind

Gallop as valiant steeds

Trampling serenity

 

Rising skyward, Ho!

Bustling sidewalks, crowded streets

My epitome.

 

Running, arms flung wide!

Daddy!!!! Lookers on smiling.

He blinks tears of joy.

 

Remain calm, and speak well.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the planet and the future. Cause no suffering. Go Vegan!

 David!

Down to Earth Dave’s Post of the Day–May 9

Salutations, Gentle Reader,

Alas, the Post of the Day has been sporadic lately!  Please accept my apologies and my pledge to return to regular posts as soon as possible.  As I was riding the D-Train down to Herald Square this morning, I saw three people in particular work their way onto the train at 145th Street and immediately thought, “Parents are visiting daughter.”  Even with Billie Holiday singing into my ears, I could hear enough of their conversation to confirm my suspicion.  The daughter was en route to work, and the ol’ P & M were en route to a day out and about Gotham.  Their daughter, like me, has come to NYC to be who she can be here.  For seven and a half years, I’ve been able to actually call New York home, and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to fully explain its draw.  I do know this:  I am merely one of legions of people who have come to New York in search of…

I’ll allow you to end that last sentence.

Gentle Reader, in my mind I know that I’ll always be a New Yorker.  Recently, I shared with you the struggle I’m having about remaining here or returning to NC.  Interestingly, my family (including my ex-wife) have been the ones to say, “Come back.”  None of my friends have said that.  My friends, including the ones in NC, have all advised staying here.  Maybe they “get” the truth of the first sentence of my professional bio:

When Milton Glaser designed the iconic I Love NY logo and ad campaign in 1977, he likely was unaware that he was capturing David “David!” Webb’s feelings, but he was. Image

Sometimes, I wish I didn’t love NY so much.  In ways, life would likely be easier, but perhaps the apostle John had it right. As he was imprisoned on Patmos, he wrote of how restriction leads to freedom for the dedicated heart, mind, and soul.  What I find in NYC is the simultaneous union of challenge and freedom, of responsibility and bon vivance, of distinguished culture and sheer bohemianism.

Gentle Reader, I’m at this point:  I’ve told my family that I’m not ready to choose between staying here or returning to NC.  I’ve moved my deadline to make my choice from May to June.  Am I delaying the inevitable?  I don’t think so.  I’ve been tapped by my leaders at work to become a designated recruiter for the firm.  I’ve begun dedicating more time to St. Luke’s, as it is in a period of transition in its parish administrator’s position.  I’ve begun a specific program for personal growth.  I continue to meet new people of intrigue.  (May I confess that I had quite the ego boost Wednesday evening at Sommerlyn’s client & partner appreciation wine tasting?  A very dapper agent from another brokerage approached and reminded me that we had met early last summer, when I brought a client to an apartment he had listed.  I apologized for not recalling his name and complimented him on his own ability to recall.  He smiled and said, “You’re quite a memorable person, David!.”  Hmmmm, There’s a potential friendship and…    Again, I’ll let you finish that last sentence!)

Gentle Reader, I’m going to close today’s post with a poem (or two), a link to the immortal Bobby Short singing at the Carlyle Hotel, offering his rendition of one of his signature songs:  “I Happen to Like New York“, and my own Doppelganger, Billy Joel singing “New York State of Mind“.

Lunch Hour in New York

Trees, each with a shape,

However seldom noticed and related

To other shapes,

But there,

Sway in the wind

In Uptown Central Park

In early afternoon

In bright July.

Grass, green, with a fragrance,

With a softness,

Moves a little

And people are there on it or on benches.

It is lunch hour in New York;

The milk from containers, cool, is drunk,

The sandwiches and fruit are eaten;

The inertia feeling,

The full feeling, comes over the people

And they sit around and walk around

And lie around,

Their shapes in their clothing containing

Meaning in middle afternoon

In bright July.

Louis Dienes

Mannahatta

I WAS asking for something specific and perfect for my city,

Whereupon, lo! upsprang the aboriginal name!

Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly, musical, self-sufficient;

I see that the word of my city is that word up there,

Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb, with tall and wonderful spires,           5

Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and steamships—an island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,

Numberless crowded streets—high growths of iron, slender, strong, light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies;

Tide swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown,

The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining islands, the heights, the villas,

The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters, the ferry-boats, the black sea-steamers well-model’d;        10

The down-town streets, the jobbers’ houses of business—the houses of business of the ship-merchants, and money-brokers—the river-streets;

Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week;

The carts hauling goods—the manly race of drivers of horses—the brown-faced sailors;

The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing clouds aloft;

The winter snows, the sleigh-bells—the broken ice in the river, passing along, up or down, with the flood tide or ebb-tide;                  15

The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-form’d, beautiful-faced, looking you straight in the eyes;

Trottoirs throng’d—vehicles—Broadway—the women—the shops and shows,

The parades, processions, bugles playing, flags flying, drums beating;

A million people—manners free and superb—open voices—hospitality—the most courageous and friendly young men;

The free city! no slaves! no owners of slaves!       20

The beautiful city, the city of hurried and sparkling waters! the city of spires and masts!

The city nested in bays! my city!

The city of such women, I am mad to be with them! I will return after death to be with them!

The city of such young men, I swear I cannot live happy, without I often go talk, walk, eat, drink, sleep, with them!

Walt Whitman

 

Remain calm, and speak well.

Be kind to yourself.  Be kind to the planet and the future.  Cause no suffering.  Go Vegan!

David!

 

 

Down to Earth Dave’s Post of the Day–May 2

FOREWORD:  Gentle Reader, this blog continues to evolve, and its evolution is moving well past considerable emphasis on real estate.  In fairness and a dedication to authenticity, I’m severing any official association between these writings and the real estate profession, as well as with my brokerage of affiliation, Sommerlyn Associates, LLC.  I’m still a real estate professional, and I’ll still comment on that aspect of my life, but it would be disingenuous to present this as a real estate blog.

 

Salutations, Gentle Reader,

You may have noticed that I enjoy reading, writing, and discussing poetry.  In the verdant days of college I discovered this love.  I still remember an instructor in my freshman year, Mr. Ron Rash, whose teaching style was unlike any other I’d experienced.  He ignited a spark that has never been extinguished.  To consider poetry is to consider language.  To consider language is to consider interaction.  To consider interaction is to consider life itself.

The sports world–and to an extent, even the greater culture regardless of its affinity or lack thereof for sport–has been rocked this past week by the revelation of racist remarks by Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling.  The National Basketball Association responded by suspending him from the NBA for life and assessing him a $2.5M fine.  NBA commissioner Adam Silver cites irreparable harm by the league’s longest tenured owner.  Sterling has indicated he’ll appeal.

Aside from my love of the irony of the two principals in the saga being named Sterling and Silver, this whole situation makes me sick.  Sterling’s attitude is indicative of most of what I find distasteful in society, ultimately attitudes that are grounded in the concepts of fear and exclusion.  However, as much as I disagree with Sterling’s attitude, he was allegedly recorded without being informed (illegal in the state of California) and was holding a private conversation with his girlfriend.  As NBA great Kareem Abdul Jabaar pointed out, we Americans have been excoriating the federal government, particularly the National Security Administration, for its eavesdropping practices lately.  How, then, can we accept the same of Sterling?

Segue with me to tomorrow’s running of the Kentucky Derby.  In those same college days, my friends and I would hold Derby Day parties–really an excuse to celebrate the ending semester and drink mint juleps.  In my jovial manner, I’d predict the winner solely based on the colours of the jockey or the name of the horse.  I hit the jackpot when Spend-A-Buck won!  (Incidentally, so as not to be accused of pulling a Sterling, the jockey’s colours refer to the actual colour and pattern of the silks he wears, not his ethnicity.)  Prior to the running of the Derby, we would join in singing the Bluegrass State’s official song, “My Old Kentucky Home”, written by the famous American songster Stephen Foster, who actually spent much more time in New York than he ever did in Kentucky.  Foster evolved from being complacent about slavery into being an abolitionist, and the lyrics of “My Old Kentucky Home” actually were intended to draw attention to the plight of slaves and move towards abolition, a motivation that was recognized and acknowledged by Frederick Douglass.

My Old Kentuck Home

Verse 1: 
The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home 
’tis summer, the darkies are gay, 
the corn top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom 
while the birds make music all the day. 
The young folks roll on the little cabin floor 
all merry, all happy, and bright. 
By’n by hard times comes a-knocking at the door, 
then my old Kentucky home, good night. 

Chorus: 
Weep no more, my lady, 
oh weep no more today. 
We will sing on song for the old Kentucky home, 
for the old Kentucky home far away. 

 

ImageYet that isn’t what will be sung tomorrow in Louisville at Churchill Downs.  The second line will be sung thus:  “…’tis summer, the people are gay…”  In 1986, a group of visiting Japanese students were in the gallery of the Kentucky House and began to sing the song, which was adopted as the state’s official song in 1928.  Everyone stood, but when the students sang “darkeyes”, Represent Carl Hines, the assembly’s lone black representative, sat down.  Within days, he sponsored House Resolution 159, which amended the lyrics for any occasion in which the song was to be sung at any official state function.

The result was the removal of an offensive word.  The secondary result was that Foster’s abolitionist intent was diminished, if not totally removed.  The image of people being gay–and not in the way with which I may be rightfully associated–leads to grand thoughts of the antebellum Old South, an idyll captured at the beginning of Gone With the Wind.  Or as I like to say, the “good ol’ days” were only good if you were one of the majority, because after all, history is recorded by the victors.

Language.  Powerful stuff.  Respect it.

Remain calm, and speak well.

Be kind to yourself.  Be kind to the planet and the future.  Cause no suffering.  Go Vegan!

David!

the last poem

David! Webb, Real Estate Professional, Vegan, and Nice Man:

Please enjoy this beautifully crafted poem posted on a blog I follow.

David!

Originally posted on the tenth muse:

pipeline in flood

at the end,
i don’t know that we are any better off.

the rains have stopped
and everything green
is growing, but we still don’t
have travel plans,
and tomorrow is anyone’s guess.

the squirrels got the first
strawberries, and the red
rose is set
to open its first blooms
any day now.

i got through without owing in taxes.
i can hear church bells
with the front door open.
sometimes you return my texts.
some nights we sleep like lovers.

it is the first of May,
and the river calls.
you told me yesterday: three
cars tumbled in, spilling
crude somewhere

upstream. i don’t know
if it was a result
of the storms, or
our negligence.
it will reach here,

they say, but not when.

View original