Morning Gloryville

Back in August, I went back to my old stomping grounds of San Francisco for a work conference. There, in addition to all the other oddball things that were – let’s be honest – par for the course for the city (10:00 pm runs for banana creme pie, elaborate mini golf in a bar, Japanese karaoke … the usual), I found something truly extraordinary. Prepare, friends, for a gem of the universe called Morning Gloryville.

This (because don’t tell me you’ve guessed what it is — you haven’t) is a sparkle-filled, legging-wearing, high energy dance party. Oh, and one detail: It starts at 6:30 in the morning.

6:30 IN THE MORNING. Normal people are sleeping at this hour. Or at the very least showering and putting on makeup. They are not dancing.

But at Morning Gloryville, they are. My friend Lindsay and I arrived in a cab, stressed and thinking we were late, only to be greeted by a cheery woman in pigtails. “You’re here!” she gleefully exclaimed when we got out of the car. She gave us both hugs. I thought Lindsay knew her. Nope.

Inside, a shirtless man with angel wings checked us in. “You need more glitter,” he said, looking at me. He gave me a sheet of gold stars to stick on to my face.

The interior was a huge warehouse filled with fresh-squeezed juice, homemade muffins, and at least a hundred and quite possibly more people dancing. Everyone is in crazy colors and things like zebra patterns, and everyone is rocking out. Heads nodding, hands jiving, legs pumping. A woman is hula hooping in the corner, and a man has climbed atop a spotlight box in the center of the room and is in his own zone. Everywhere there are balloons, and everywhere there is glitter. It is amazing. It’s not even like a real place.

Morning Gloryville … Pf. Whoever thought of that, serious props. And oh, one other thing: Please come to DC. Government workers need dancing, too.

Tara Trinity and the Beat Beat Beat of the Rain

My friend Tara Trinity is truly one-of-kind. I honestly know no one like her. She’s vivacious, supremely talented, and game for anything. Literally anything. This girl has more fun than anyone I know. She loves her life.

We’re friends because we’re both loud, restless, and high energy. We’re easily bored. We love to dance. We love meeting new people.

Tara called me one Sunday afternoon and asked if I wanted to come with her to the middle of nowhere in Virginia to drop off her son at his father’s. I went. It was a beautiful afternoon. We blasted merengue from the car with the sun roof open. Afterward, I convinced Tara to go to a klezmer dance lesson with me at the DC JCC. Dance lessons are free every Sunday night. This, in my view, is a serious find. I love dancing. I love music. I could even go so far as to say I love klezmer. It’s high energy, it’s emotional … You get to clap and stomp your feet. I mean really this is the ideal activity for someone like me.

In any case, Tara was not especially excited about going, but she went, because that’s exactly how Tara is: She’s never one to turn down an opportunity to do something new. And obviously, being the very talented artist she is, she was far better at it than I was.

Afterward, we found it was raining outside. Tara drove us home. We joke we’re secret best friends because we’re more or less neighbors. We sat in the car talking when we got to my house. “Oh! I have something you should listen to,” said Tara. She had met these English boys in Miami and they had sent her a playlist of a bunch of Euro house (of course – this would happen to Tara). On it was a Zwette remix of a Tom ODell song that would in a span of two weeks garner more plays than any other song I had listened to that year.

“Isn’t it good?” She asked. We sat in the car, listening to the song. The rain pattered quietly against the windshield, like the beat of the music.

I don’t see Tara as often I should, especially given that we live right by each other, but when I do see her, it’s always amazing. There are always magical moments like that. She has such joie de vivre. It’s infectious. I could only be so lucky to live my life to the extent that she lives hers. She is a very special friend.