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sledding

Greetings from New York, New York (1)

No Catamount Community Radio today, for the obvious reason that I'm in NEW F%^&ing YORK.

After a somewhat stressful week of work, I flew into LaGuardia airport Friday evening to start my little adventure. On the plane, the steward didn't charge me for my mini-bottle of wine. That wine hit the spot and I took the fact of not being charged as a good sign. Maybe it's bad luck to talk about how well things are going, but who cares? I've had a couple of great days in the city.

Mid-day Saturday or so we headed down to Chinatown for some freakin' awesome Chinese food. A certain type of pork dumpling with broth on the inside along with the pork. Snow pea greens, something I've never had in my life. They have a pleasant bitterness. Shrimp lo mein, that was maybe the best I've had, certainly the thickest noodles. The restaurant was packed and noisy, cash only. The fiery lady charged with seating us: "How many, two? Five minute!" "Almost finish. One minute!" "Everybody! Five minute!" I love the energy of places like that, not to mention the food.

After lunch my host here headed back home and I stayed in Chinatown to visit the Museum of Chinese in America. Great museum. Had a guided tour which highlighted the experience of the Chinese people in this great country of ours, their trials and tribulations and the discrimination they've suffered.

Then I decided to walk down to the Brooklyn Bridge. My stroll corresponded with a march for compassion, organized, seemingly, by black churches. Between the lines, I think this might have been an anti-gun march, but this was never overtly expressed. It was all about peace love and understanding: "Keep calm and get your love on," "free hugs." Singing "give me that old time religion!" It was kinda cool to be in the middle of it, and on the Brooklyn Bridge no less.

From there I walked north, into the SoHo neighborhood. At the corner of 8th and Lafayette there was a couple of buskers making some amazing music: a bagpiper and a cat on the drum kit. They were getting their funk on. Damn! I never realized a bagpipe could be some freakin' funky.

After watching those guys jam for awhile (even cover Hendrix) I kept walking until I got to Small's Jazz Club, at 183 W. 10th Street. 4-7 Jazz jam session, $10 dollar cover, no minimum. I watched the second set, the band was led by a bari-sax player. The rhythm section, especially the pianist, was fine. Everybody who sat in was good, some better than others. I drank a manhattan (rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, a dash of bitters and a cherry) and enjoyed the music.

In the evening we went to a Japanese restaurant of a type I haven't been to before. I'm used to izakayas and sushi places. This place served mostly chicken on a stick. I had chicken wings on a stick, pork belly on a stick with miso, and shitaki mushrooms on a stick. Washed down by a couple of shots of shochu (barley liquor - a nice alternative to saki).

Today it was over to Jersey City to the WFMU studios to witness live and in person the Glen Jones Radio Programme featuring X.Ray Burns. The repartee of these guys, in my opinion, is comic genius. I was there a couple of years ago, but Glen Jones had a day off. And while X.Ray was a gracious host and great on the air, it was like Costello with no Abbot, or Desi with no Lucy. Or Page without Plant, or Mick without Keith or ... you get the idea. Today I witnessed the real thing. It was uncanny: to see live a radio show that you're used to experiencing through the speakers of your computer. I even had a moment of vertigo during the third hour ... although that may have been the shot of scotch that Mark L poured for me.

After the show, down to the waterfront, to look at the Manhattan skyline from the Jersey side and watch the helicopters fly by. Then back to Manhattan. I took the PATH train to the World Trade Center, then the subway up to 4th Street. I just got off there randomly, with no plan. There was a jazz quartet playing in the subway there that was freakin' making it happen: keys, alto sax, drums and bass. I spent a half hour listening to those guys. What are they doing playing in the subway?

Then up to ground level to satisfy my mild hunger. I found a Spanish restaurant just down the street. Why not? I started with "sopa de ajo" (garlic soup ... made with croutons and an egg) and then "gambas al ajillo" (shrimp in garlic sauce ... to keep the garlic theme going), a couple of glasses of wine and a shot of espresso. Nice lunch.

I cooked dinner for my host this evening: pork chops, boiled potatoes and salad.

Tomorrow, the adventure continues...


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November 2017

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