Thursday, May 13, 2010

Downstate New York

Today I write you from Syracuse, NY. We played in Watertown earlier today, all I know about Watertown (because I have a bootleg of the show) is that Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue played there in 1975. It's good, the sound is not bad.

More pressing, we had 3 days off and went down to New York City to kill the time. Well, we killed it. I feel like I must have walked 85 miles in those 3 days. The first night we got in around 6, and Panther and I felt like going out, so I led him around on what I have to say was a pretty epic night for his first time in New York City. Well, first...we stayed at James' mom's place, which is an unbelievable little condominium at 43rd & 2nd - 28th floor with a panoramic view of midtown manhatten, the east river, and my old neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens. James' mom is very kind and sweet, and let us stay with them while her husband was in the hospital undergoing some very serious surgery. We hardly saw her - she spent all her days there tending to him, but I'm happy to report that as of our leaving town, his health was very stable and he was slated for release Tuesday or Wednesday.

Anyway, Zach and I started by walking past Sparks Steakhouse, which I told him was where John Gotti had Paul Castellano gunned down in order to consolidate his power in the Gambino crime family. A classic New York tale if there ever was one. We then walked northwestwarly up to 59th St. By that point it was getting dark, so we walked through Central Park, eventually getting kind of lost trying to find out exit on the west side. Not the best predicament to be in if you're in 1983, but hey, we're post Giuliani-Time, it's on! So we walked all the way up to McAleer's, and not one of my old alcoholics was there. So sad... My buddy Driss in the kitchen was working though, and eventually I even got to break up a fight outside. Was like old times! We had a few rounds and headed down to Bleeker St to get pizza, then headed over to this bar Sway that my friend Altogether Steve was bartending at (at one point in my life I had worked there, too). Steve hooked us up, and we stumbled out of there like...well like you'd notice us on a galloping horse. (see Natalie's Blog)

The we decided we weren't done, so we hit the bodega and grabbed a couple each for the road, and ended up sitting in Washington Square Park at about 4 am - completely alone - trying to open, then drinking, our imports. I tried to explain how David Lee Roth had got busted for buying pot there on a night just like this. Finally we hit another store, headed to Union Square for the subway, and eventually made our way back. Except now the sun was coming up, so we couldn't just ignore it, we had to go sit on the banks of the east river and watch it fight its way through the clouds as we stared at Queens. Throw in The Baseball Furies and a DJ with bright red lips, and we basically had a mini version of "The Warriors" on ZP's first night.

"You Warriors are good. Real good"

"The Best"

The rest of the weekend was a blur of walking, eating pizza, watching jazz, watching rock and roll, meeting up with old friends...including a wonderful ex-girlfriend Denise, who wouldn't speak of me for 10 years and who I hadn't seen in 12. She now goes out with my friend Rob, and it was the first time the three of us were together since I used to date her and he was the wheel. It was also the first time since before anyone thought about Y2K and the computers. It was an excellent reunion, though, and would certainly not have been as special if we hadn't have gone thought so much to get to it. Thanks, Denise!

So now we're in Lima, Peru, er....Lima, Ohio, where in 5 hours we get up for our final gig with Matt, and indeed our final gig for awhile. I'll miss the shows, but I'll enjoy the sleep. Not to mention Kim and Alaska.

Oh, and the last morning, I went to my favorite Indian grocery store and bought all the primaries for the ridiculous Indian curry I used to make all the time. Ridiculous because it's so freaking blow-your-head-off hot...and good! Kim's excited and is inviting some friends over, but I told her to warm them I'm not pussifying it up just to appease any children..

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