You would think from all the previous posts that my trip to NYC was all about Blogher. It really wasn't, just 3 of 7 days were spent traveling to and from the Hilton in the City. It was the traveling that my trip was really about. That and the sounds of the City.
It all started on the plane ride out when two funky cool kids sat down next to me for the cross country flight. I noticed him on his Macbook playing with Flickr and Twitter and was intrigued. We eventually talked for a few minutes and he invited me to see him play with his counterpart Sam. Friday night in the Lower East Side, my old neighborhood. It seemed like a good way to get back down there and he left me with a CD to check out.
I think I listened to it 10 times Thursday morning while trying to screw up the courage to venture out into the City... it was that good to me (and the City seemed that foreign). His name is Jim Hanft and he sings with Samantha Yonack and they really do make some alchemical magic up on stage.
It was really really good. The show was intimate and lovely and I am sad because they are headed to Sweden to record their next album. But I am happy because that means more of his music and an eventual return to L.A. where I can hear them again.
And then they were followed by a female Tom Waits/sex bomb who played some rocking good tunes with her Daddy playing harmonica and mandolin and an upright bassist named Ben who is a new Daddy himself.
They are Julia Haltigan and the Hooligans and they are NY based and you can find out more about her here. Her voice kills it.
So the music part fell into place and then I started looking for it everywhere.
There was just so much of it around; the street drummers and the African dance class I took in Chelsea, the people all around with their ear buds, insulated from the screeching of the city, the Mason Jennings I silently mouthed words to on the train. It was a balm and gift that I totally did not expect from this trip.
And the traveling? Ah, the trains.
(This is my scowling subway look waiting for the F train)
I spent half my trip on the subway, not the most pleasant of places when the city is steaming. If the outside temp is 95 you can safely jack up the underground temp 20 degrees or so and add some smells and wa-lah....you have the Metro transit in summer. I rarely rode the trains when I lived in the City, preferring the totally free option of walking. But this time I was way out in Brooklyn and the places I needed to be were a good 45 minute train ride in and the cars are air-conditioned so I spent a lot of time there. I actually liked it for the first 6 days. It is a great place to people watch.
On the 7th day I had a nightmare train day where we got stuck on a bridge for awhile, then underground for a longer while, then my train went express to 125th when I needed to get off at 72nd and then the train down took forever and stopped totally local...you get the idea. A 45 minute ride turned into 2 hours during which I felt like I would have a panic attack and I was done. Which was perfect because so was my 7 day Metro card. It cost 27 bucks and got me to every corner of NYC. I don't think you could catch a cab from the L.E.S. back to the Hilton for that price.
And how did the music and the train meet? A few times...
In the form of a gypsy seeking some coin...
And another time in the chanteur of the sax (right there at 42nd Street where I thought all the magic had gone)...
Ah, New York. You are making me miss you now. At least I brought a bit of you home in my Itunes.
My L.E.S. solo night on Flickr.