Sunday, March 21, 2010

New York, New York - Part 2

Hi! Rather than posting a poem tonight I shall write about my New York adventure and post a new illustration I created instead. I just finished researching the year I went to New York, and I am amazed that it was so long ago - 2003. It seems like yesterday. I went to New York to participate in The Global Entertainment and Media Summit created by Steve Zuckerman.
It was located at the famous Le Bar Bat bar - now closed after much controversy. It took place at the beginning of March and I remember it was very cold and there was a lot of snow on the streets. The drummer from Hall & Oates, Mike Braun, hooked me up to stay at his old apartment in the Upper West side which was still unoccupied since his move to Seattle.
The owner of the apartment, a music composer, and his wife, a concert pianist, were incredibly kind to me during my stay.

I started my adventure every afternoon/evening by going to the conference. At the conference bar I usually met someone unique within an hour, and then we would go on an adventure.
The first night I met a couple from Staten Island. The man actually owned the club where the Wu-Tang Clan first began in Staten Island. I stayed with them at their house in Staten Island. He had a studio in his basement, and he introduced me to a drummer who had played with David Bowie and Lou Reed.
The next evening I sang karaoke at Winnie's in Chinatown with a lady who looked like Gilda Radner. It was very humorous. We were the only two caucasian people in the bar, and we were the only two singing karaoke. She would sing a Barbara Streisand song and then I would get up and sing a Joan Jett or Blondie song.
We played an authentic chinese dice game with the patrons and then my friend left and I hung out with the owners till I took a taxi home. Taking a taxi is how you get around in New York.
The following night I met a guy who at the time was Lou Reed's bass tech. We went to a bar in Hell's Kitchen. It was very scary. Very large polish mafia men hung out at the bar. Kindof like being in a club with the Hells Angels surrounding you. I was dressed in a sexy revealing dress. Did I say I was nervous? Yeah, I was. We then went to his place and listened to Primus. Okay, my very kind and generous apartment landlords gave me a lecture about calling them if I wasn't coming home that night. Alright already.
The next evening I went with a really cool reggae guy - huge 6'7" 300 lbs. all muscle, to an underground hip hop club. Okay, another scary scenario. I was the only white girl in a black club, and I'm not even sure what part of New York city I was in. The club was huge with a modern design. No one checked IDs or patted you down. Scary. Ganja smoke permeated the air. Heads of gangs with their crews would sit at a table and then whip out $500.00 for a bottle of Grey Goose. I remember them sharing their vodka with us. Sean Paul like music dominated the airwaves. I remember it was a strange scene because the guys were so cool they would just stand and move to the beat. I made it home alive, but I was a little concerned. Angels must have been watching out for me.
The following night I met a great couple who I'm still friends with, Johnny Young and his wife Michelle. Johnny was performing at the conference. It was the first time I hung at the conference for more than an hour. Johnny is a great guitar player, keyboardist, composer, and singer. He is also blind. Johnny has played with many notable artist. We went to Johnny's apartment studio in Brooklyn (I think?), and had a great jam. We recorded some funny song that we made up on the spot. Their apartment was a little dirty, and I spotted a trophy looking thing on a shelf. What is that I asked Johnny? Oh that is an Emmy. He had won an Emmy for music he composed for one of those soap operas? Guiding Light? One Life to Live? Oh, you get the point.
Since the conference was ending, I had made arrangements online before coming to New York to meet a music promoter with whom I had scheduled a gig with. We met at the famous Hogs & Heifers Saloon - bras hang from the ceiling. They were having a jam night there. I sat in and played the bass. They loved me and five people wanted me to join their bands (long commute from Seattle.) Anyway, the music promoter was young, cool, famous father, and good looking. Did I tell you that the bars stay open till 6 am. Okay, I was seriously suffering from alcohol poisoning at this point in my New York journey. We went to about three or four bars and then he drove me to his house (I don't know where? - I remember him pointing out that Bjork lived over there.) There was about four feet of snow on the ground and when we got to his house I lay down in it and I made snow angels. He had the most awesome Lou Reed collection so we blasted it on his stereo and jammed awhile to it. I remember playing an acoustic gig somewhere near New York city the next day. Not sure where I was? Lost in New York. I think I stayed another day till I flew home to Seattle. Made it home in one piece. I'm still alive to tell my tale. I thought the people of New York were incredibly kind, generous, and hospitable.
New York, New York.

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