Long Island/NYC -Day Off #2

Second day off here on LI. It was supposed to rain all day, but I get up to sunshine and mild temps. Spend the morning/afternoon in my room repacking, surfing the net, etc basically killing time. Why I don't know. Finally get motivated and head into the city around 2pm.

Decide to get some culture and head straight for the main branch of the New York Public Library. The inside of the library is amazing, all marble and ornate wood, with intricate ceiling murals, etc. Finally find the room I'm looking for, I've been researching modern furniture books from the early 50's, and they happen to have copies at this library. Can't just go to a shelf and grab a book, as they have too many books for the shelves, so I fill out a slip of paper and wait 40 minutes or so for my books to show up. The books don't disappoint, I'll be trying to find used copies on the internet very soon.

After the library, I head for the newish Apple Store on Madison Ave. This is the mecca for all Apple geeks like me. It's further uptown than I thought, almost to Central Park, so it's a long walk. The entrance is a glass cube above ground, and the entire store is below, underground. The store is packed,and I really don't need to buy anything, just wanted to see the place. Head back downtown and east, thinking about catching a movie later.

Walk by a Barnes and Noble, and grab a new paperback, as I just finished my last book. Head towards my favorite Thai place on 34th St., but decide to try a Vietnamese place about a block West of the Thai place. Have some Pho Bo soup, not bad, but not great. Make my way over to the Loews Kips Bay Theaters on 2nd Ave to see 'Hollywoodland', a movie about the suspicious death of 'Superman' actor George Reeves. Ben Affleck does a great job playing Reeves, and Diane Lane is also great.

Catch the train back to the hotel.

Long Island/NYC -Day Off

Wake up in the hotel parking lot around 8am. Pouring rain. Great. Hotel is on Long Island, right next to the Nassau Colesium. Grab my key and head in.

Rain breaks about 11am. Decide to head into Manhattan. Grab a cab to the train station to catch the LIRR into Penn Station. Aim for a 12:30 train, but read the schedule for another station online, so have to wait an extra 30 minutes.

Run into Lammy and Rob, two of the new guys on my bus. They are headed in to grab some electronic and guitar parts to fix something for the band. I have no agenda, except to meet friends Steve and Morgan for a late dinner, so I decide to hang with them.

We arrive at Penn Station, which is under Madison Square Garden. Stop at the Starbucks, and run into a few of the carp/lighting guys from our crew. No one wants to be stuck out on Long Island, even if it is raining in the city. Grab the subway downtown, headed for Canal St. As we come out of the subway, it is pouring rain again. Stop at the first store on Canal we see selling umbrellas. Rob and Lammy each buy an umbrella, I stick with my REI raincoat. We head to see Mr. Wong, who is an electronic parts guy that Rob's friend recommended. Find Mr. Wong's shop in the back of one of those places selling fake purses and Rolexes. He has the parts we need and soon we're back out in the rain and headed for Ludlow Guitars.

Ludlow is a great little guitar shop just south of Katz's Deli on Houston. We spend an hour or so checking out some guitars and chatting with the staff. They don't have the guitar part needed, so Rob and I jump in a cab and head up to 30th Street Guitars. Arriving at 30th St., I chat up the owner and find out we have a mutual friend (Jimmy Archey formerly of Gibson Guitars, now with First Act), who he proceeds to get on the phone for me. I spy a vintage pedal that I've been trying to find for the boss. I may come back and get it on Monday, after I get his approval to buy it. This place also has a ton of cool old guitars, I could have bought quite a few, but since I've procured 3 guitars in the last few weeks, that's out of the question. Rob finds his guitar part finally. I bid Rob farewell as it's getting close to 6pm, so I head down 3 blocks to meet Steve at his office.

Hang around at Steve's office for an hour or so, as he finishes up work. We eventually head downtown for our traditional 6th Street Indian dinner. Steve's wife Morgan has Tae Kwon Do class tonight (she's a 4th degree black belt), and is running late, so we kill time at the Virgin Megastore in Union Square. I buy Alfred Hitchcock's 'Frenzy' DVD, as I've been searching for it for a year or more. Steve and I walk the remainder of the 8 blocks to 6th Street and meet up with Morgan. We don't always eat at the same place as 6th Street is full of Indian restaurants. We just look at the menus and select a place (they all look the same) that has Banana Pakora and Vegetable Samosa.

Seated at our table we all order Shrimp Vindaloo to go with our Pakora and Samosas. We spend the meal catching up on our various lives. It's after 10pm when we finish dinner. Walking to the subway station, Steve and I get ice cream, while Morgan plays with a puppy outside the ice cream place. We go our separate ways at the train staion, as they head to Brooklyn, and I head across town to Penn Station. I get the 11:30 train back out to the island, arriving back in my room around 1am.

Albany, NY to Holdel, NJ

Finished my last show with the duo last nite. Said a pleasant 'see you later' to everyone. Off to bed.

Up at 6am for a 7am lobby call to go to the airport in Albany. I'm flying to Newark, then driving down to Holmdel, NJ to join my regular tour which is 'all ready in progress'. Breeze through the Albany airport, which is the size of RDU, but WAY LESS crowded. Fast flight. Get picked up by a runner at baggage claim to make the 30 min trip down to the gig. It's raining cats and dogs, and this is one of the worst load-in gigs.

Get to the gig around 11am, backline is already loaded in, as we have a 1pm band soundcheck. Say hello to all the old gang, and some of the new blood on the tour. Bobby, who has been subbing for me, was gracious enough to stay for an overlap day (makes things easier). We even do the ceremonial 'passing of the snake'... Thanks Bobby, you da man.

Band comes in for soundcheck, minus the singer. They do their thing, and get finished early, so Motley can take the stage. Meet Adam from Floyd Rose Guitars, he's brought us a couple of new ones to try. Spend the rest of the afternoon trying to get a laminate and misc stuff from production.

Watch some of Motley's show from backstage, they have more pyro than any band I've seen (including KISS). My wife will LOVE it!!

Show goes well, great to be back, comfortable here (like an old shoe). Load-out is the worst ever, takes twice as long... Out to the bus to say goodbye to Bobby, then off to bed.

Wow, a new post!!!

OK, OK, so still no posts to the blog... I was informed by my accountant Foy, that he cannot live vicariously through me if I don't post. I apologize. It's just been particularly boring lately. Show days go by quickly and are relatively uneventful (the show is fun though). Days off consist of the internet, sleeping, and reading mostly. I did tour Mark Twain's house in Hartford, CT on Saturday with my friend Ossie. Definitely a house of cool and unusual architecture and interior. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me. Ossie and I of course, ate Thai food for dinner.

As this tour draws to a close (2 more shows), I'll be sad to leave, but excited to get back to my other gig (already in progress). I may even get to go home next week for a few hours, before we play in Charlotte.

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