I am a lazy bastard.
I pretty much slept all day today. It was beautiful out there, too. And now I’m at work but only for internet access purposes. My DSL at home is still down. Verizon, you better not even try to charge for me this. I think we need to have words again. Poor Leika. She looks so bored. Every time I shift in my chair she sits up, hoping that it’s time to go.
I suppose I really did need to recover today. My body is thanking me. Sorry to Kenny Kaiser that I missed you in Baltimore. I was preparing for my excursion to New York.
Spent Friday night at my grandmother’s. Up early Saturday morning to catch the bus at the Baltimore Travel Plaza. It was painless aside from being too early. I arrived in New York about three hours and forty five minutes later at the Port Authority. Talked to James WW as he was trying to get his flight to CA. Met up with Tim Bulkley and the ultimate NYC sherpa, Art Hirahara.
Tim, by the way, is a long time California friend and he’s the drummer on the “Visceral” recording — the instrumental “complicated jazz” one — I did in 2002 to mark my imminent and impending exodus. Art lives in NYC now and is a CA friend also that I met through Kirk Abe. Art’s an amazing pianist and composer. Check out “Edge of the Earth”.
It was actually a very relaxing day. It’s the first time that I’ve been to New York and felt relaxed. I guess it was pretty laid back company. An oasis of laid back west coast attitude in the Big Apple. We started out by hiking (via subway) over to Queens to a unique and dang good Indian-Chinese restaurant named Tangra Masala. They have the best hot & sour soup that I’ve ever tasted. The Vegetable Tangra Masala and the Manchurian Fish — try it.
Then we headed back to Central Park to look for some ice cream. Found a patch of grass to park ourselves on for a while. Laid out in the shade. There were a lot of people and families and dogs out enjoying the day. Then we moved on to continue the ice cream search. Walked past Sheep’s Meadow or whatever it’s called. Found a spot near the pond where they rent out remote control sail boats and chilled out there for a while. Art the Eagle Scout showed us how to make a whistle out of a blade of grass and your hands. Sounds like a duck call. Played with a tiny little shaggy puppy to the delightful sounds of young bikini clad sunbathers cooing, “Awwww, so cute!” Walked past Taven on the Green and ran into Bay Area bassist, Aaron Markowitz.
We did get some ice cream eventually but they didn’t have the chocolate eclair that I was looking for. We walked around the Upper East Side looking for libations and then hopped a crosstown bus down to the East Village — Alphabet City to be exact. On the way we saw “Hot and Crusty”, a pizza shop. They had a neon sign on the window that said — from the vantage point of the bus — “pizza smoothies”.
“I’d like a meat lover’s pizza smoothie please. With pan crust. And extra cheese. Can I get anchovies in that? Thanks.”
I forgot where we ate but wherever it was the lemonade excellent and the tuna melt with avocado hit the spot. Then we headed over to the West Village to see a little music before I had to head back to the Port Authority. We stopped by the 55 Bar and saw Roz Plater with Ben Monder and Ben Street.
Man, New York. Amazing. As were standing outside looking at the sign, a very attractive woman grabbed me by the elbow and dragged me inside saying, “Come inside. It’s free.”
So in we went. It was cool., No drummer, though. I always miss it when there’s no drummer. And I wish I could have caught Ben Monder’s show the previous night with his group. Tim told me later that the woman who pulled me inside was Kim Thompson, who is a jazz drummer and she’s played with … everyone. Stefon Harris, Kenny Barron, Mike Stern, etc.
After about half an hour, Tim and Art escorted me back to the Port Authority. The bus wait and ride back made me feel a bit postal but the rest of the day … it was a good day.
Got back to the Travel Plaza, drove to my grandmother’s, picked up Leika and then came home to Alexandria, arriving at about 3am. Thus, the lazy bastarding today. And after a good night’s sleep and then excessive mid-day sleep my knees feel fine again. Go go gadget circulation! That’s a good thing because I will be mountain biking tomorrow. We’ll see if my workouts and intervals have been helping me.
And I will say this about New York in the Spring/Summer. I can sum it up in two words. T*tties everywhere. Good … lord. Flowers in bloom and on display. It’s torturous, lemme tell you. Magnificently torturous.