The Incident at Corner Bistro: A Response

imageI’m not sure how best to respond to my initial post about the events that transpired at Corner Bistro last Friday night, but I’ve been asked to write a follow-up. Since going live with the entry, the reaction from readers has been one of concern, outrage and, yes, disbelief. My Facebook account has been bombarded with messages, along with my e-mail account. And while a part of me would like to crawl under a heavy rock, safe from Internet speculation, I’m happy that I wrote the thing in the first place.

It hadn’t been an easy decision: I’m a young editor, and as most of us know, our capital is based on equal parts talent and first impressions. I questioned myself from the beginning: “The weekend had just started and I had been drinking — was I then unfit to write down what happened? Was I somehow wrong? We had to have done something terrible to warrant such outrage from a guy who, I’m sure, meets assholes on a nightly basis. Had I blown the whole thing out of proportion in my head?” These thoughts are almost exactly the same as the reactions that followed my first story. But, after many serious conversations about how best to proceed, I decided to write.

I’m well aware that online attention breeds instant backlash, and that by telling my story, I was inviting a total clusterfuck of mixed responses. Here, an attempt at clarification:

Five of you sat at a four-top? Three of us, actually — our two other friends came on the scene exactly when things flared up.

Were you assholes? Probably. We’d been to Corner Bistro many times and, although we weren’t regulars, it was odd to be told we couldn’t sit down. If there was a misunderstanding about food ordering or table availability, though, it certainly could have been cleared up by talking about it.

There were no marks to show the cops? The police were outside as soon as we left Bistro. The next morning, we both woke up with bruises.

Why didn’t a group of gay men stand up for themselves? Of the five of us, only two were gay. Two were straight men, and one was a woman. The fact that we didn’t fight back says less about sexuality, and more about an aversion to violence.

I’m sure there will be other questions. And I’m sure most of the people who run and maintain the restaurant are nice people — I’ve never once had a problem in the past. And while I’m sorry that things have escalated to the point where I’ve found myself dealing with a private matter in a public forum, I’m also sort of proud: we may not have fought back at the time, but consider this response — which will be my last on the matter — my left hook.

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