You brought your guitar to the beach?
Yes, I’ve been trying to improve, especially since I’ve been home. I closed my strip club in October for non-pandemic reasons. I’ve worked in clubs for a long time — I ran Chris Noth from Sex and the City’s place, worked at the strip club featured in Hustlers.
Have you been home alone?
No, my son and I share a small apartment. We’re having a beach day together today. He’s 23 and takes up a lot of room, but we get along well. It’s a long story, how we ended up together, but a good one. He’s not my biological son; my ex-girlfriend ran around on me and got pregnant. I threw her out, and she came back crying. I ended up taking the baby because she was going to medical school. He bounced around, spent a while in Belgium, then moved in with me when he turned 18. If I didn’t bring him up, I’d still look for him to be my friend.
Who are you here with?
My friends. This is an adult, mommies-only beach day. It’s been a gift, though, getting to be with my daughter more. She’s 11. I went back to work when she was 3 months old and felt like I missed out on something. Early on, I told her, “I truly enjoy this time I get to spend with you.”
What’d you bring?
Cherries. They’re such a lively color, and who doesn’t like a nice color? And a book called Freshwater, which I’m reading for my queer book club, the Pink Triangle Club.
Do you Hula-Hoop often?
Just since quarantine started. I live in an apartment building and needed something to get outside, so I’d take it out to the alleyway, put on some Bob Marley, and Hoop. There was a hairless rat who’d run through. Poor thing was probably having struggles like the rest of us.
Have you been socializing often?
This is the first time I’ve left the house in a long time. I certainly didn’t celebrate the Fourth of July — I don’t feel like American independence has anything to do with Black people. I’m just hoping to get some sun today, get a bit brown. Last winter is the lightest I’ve been my entire life.
Special thanks to Riis Park Beach Bazaar.
*This article appears in the July 20, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!