New York City 2006 : A Travelogue
Saturday, October 28
I flew out to Chicago and then to NYC on American Airlines. For both flights I traveled in one of their tiny little three-seats-per-row Embraers. Queasiness abounded. My traveling companions from Austin, Tara and Joe, had their flights delayed out of Austin, so they arrived after I did. I only had to hang out at JFK for an hour or so, then we split a cab to the St. Mark’s Hotel. This establishment, I later found out, used to rent by the hour. And it showed: they were cash only. Conveniently located across from the front desk was a non-bank-branded ATM. Yeah, like I’m going to withdraw $140 every damn day from your shady ATM machine to pay for our room - a room which has a sink so small that washing your face means splashing your feet. We knew we were going to try to find a new place to stay but we procrastinated on that. But not for very long.
Our first order of business was getting to New Brunswick, NJ, to catch Spiraling’s HallowQueen show at Court Tavern. An hour of all Queen tunes. Rock on. We made our way up to Penn Station and found the 10:57 to New Brunswick. We got into town around midnight and found the venue, conveniently located around the corner from the station, and just as we arrived the guys were setting up.
The tunes included “Flash Gordon,” (a misty nostalgic favorite for me, it was my first 45) “Bicycle,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and of course “Bohemian Rhapsody” with all vocal harmonies and harmonized guitar parts intact. The show ended around 1:15, just in time for us to jet back to the station for the last train the Penn at 1:30. Whew. We had to get some food, though, and thankfully Around the Clock was there for us, just a block or so from our hotel.
Sunday, October 29
We ran some errands at K-Mart, and set out in search of food. Joe went off to meet some long lost family members and Tara and I wandered aimlessly around Greenwich Village. We eventualy landed at the Risotteria, where I had the greatest panini of my whole life and it’s killing me just thinking about it right now. It’s on Bleecker Street, the street that has the best of everything you could ever need: bread, produce, cheese, wine, guitars.... and then we walked by the former CBGB's.
And we were sad.
And then we found Chumley's, an historic writer's bar hidden behind a vaguely Medieval, yet unlabelled door.
The walls are covered with the photographs and dust jackets of the writers who have visited there. It's my new favorite place. Afterward we walked through Washington Square Park, and under the famous arch where Harry Met Sally. That night it was the famous arch where Will Smith met post-apocalyptic vampire zombies in the forthcoming I Am Legend. There were burnt out cars strewn about the place and gaffers aplenty, but this was the only picture that turned out decent: