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Matt Levine

Matt Levine

Despite a passionate childhood love affair with iceberg lettuce and anything sugary, Matt Levine has worked the last 27 years in the natural and organic foods business.Born in Stamford, Connecticut, he lived in some of the grungier areas of New York City before moving to the Elysian Fields of San Francisco in 1989.

Despite graduating from college with honors, he drove a taxicab in Manhattan, a decision he credits with his father's refusal to co-sign a loan to open a natural foods store in his hometown.Matt tries to make those who would listen believe that said store of his dreams would have sold to Whole Foods for millions of dollars.Regardless, his love for his father remained and he is only occasionally bitter, mainly for dramatic effect.

He currently works as a freelance research analyst and publishes the much–loved but under–visited Natural Business News. In his free time, he mentors at-risk youth and follows his beloved New York Mets and New York Giants with more passion than is advisable. 

Jun02

Gearing up for a good year

Monday, 02 June 2014 Categories // Gay Men, Fitness and Exercise, Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Matt Levine

On health and fitness, San Francisco’s Matt Levine says three months of driving a pedicab have made him a new man. Now if he could just find another one

Gearing up for a good year

It’s been a good spring. Three months since driving a pedicab and I’ve put on muscle, lost fat and thanks to the fact that I’m no longer an on-call cater waiter (aka catering bitch) I’ve got a social life once again.  I get to set my own work schedule these days.   

At first that last fact had me more than a bit freaked out. Since these days I’m the boss of me, set my own schedule, take days off when I want (I lease the cabs and don’t work for the company) what if I’m still an unhappy gay camper? No more blaming my peace of mind on the shitty economy or my work schedule. 

Yet that existential moment was short-lived. Until recently my social circle was mostly limited to my bong, the sofa, the remote control and vanilla soy ice cream. The era of “I can’t, I’m working” or “let me get back to you when I know if I’m working”  is officially over. I’m hanging out with friends I’ve missed, scheduling things down the road and even taking a few hours off in the middle of a shift if there is something I want to do. 

Last weekend I spent a glorious day with six friends in Tomales Bay,  part of the Point Reyes National Seashore We ate oysters and drank beer.  It had been a long time since I had I laughed so much with friends.

Working harder, looking better 

Three months into the job and it's clear my fears about whether I was strong enough to haul folks of various girths around on a bike taxi were equally short-lived. 

Nowadays the harder part is knowing when to head back to the garage and quit. Riding ten hours a shift doesn’t make sense even if there’s still money on the street, especially if like me, you’re out there five times a week.  I’ve given up my pedicab imitiations of a manic sewer rat scurrying through the night in search of more cheese.  Instead I’m learning to respect my body, as well as my relationship to money and rest.  

On the vanity side of the street not only have I lost my gut and developed muscles I didn’t know even existed but despite the sun and wind in my face eight hours a day, I’m looking younger than ever.   

Thirty years ago, when driving a taxicab in Manhattan the effect was the opposite. I was healthy but looked gaunt, like a junkie without the heroin or the chic. 

During that time I attended my family’s ‘Cousins Club’ family reunion, arriving in the afternoon after a late night working with a shaved head  (punk style) and too little sleep. Uncle Joe, who helped Jewish refugees immediately after the Nazi surrender, privately told my Mom I reminded him of the survivors he helped after the war.  (You can read his recollections in Studs Terkel’s oral history, The Good War.) 

GWP Seeks Men for Fun, Dating and Possibly LTR 

But these days, to paraphrase an old dog food ad, I’m sporting a ‘high pro glow.”   Instead of sitting on my sweaty ass battling inertia, gravity and traffic I’m pedaling hours every day, manufacturing endorphins and muscles along the way.  

So now that I’ve got control over my work schedule and am hanging out with friends its gotta be time to add romance to my game. 

Persistence is the lesson when riding into a heavy head wind.  It’s time to bring that along with my new attitude to the dating game.  Cruising while pedicabbing is hard to do. People think you’re just selling a ride, not wondering what they’d look like naked bringing me coffee in bed. 

I’ve offered the straight guys I work with a ‘bonus’ if they ‘refer’ any horny gay guys that hit on them to me but that hasn’t yielded any results either. So while some Gay German Tourist may wonder why I’m smiling at him and looking over my shoulder as he passes me by, odds are he thinks I’m selling a ride that doesn’t involve any bed sheets. 

Its clear that I need to take things into my own hands so I don’t have to handle my thing with my own hands when the lights go down. 

Looks like its time to get back on Scruff.  And maybe put a sign on the pedidcab that spells things out. 

GWP (Gay White Pedicabber) seeks men for fun, dating and possible long term relationship).  INQUIRE with driver.  . ,

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