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East Coast Tour ’08: Final Stretch-NYC

August 16, 2008

Kind of silly I should be writing this post back in LA. But I suppose I can’t go back to NYC and write this post. Anyhoo…


After an extremely slow morning (thanks to the lemonchello shots and late night tequila shot no doubt) I made my way out onto the streets to walk to South Station to catch my train to NYC. I made a quick stop by a local deli to get an Italian sub, which was recommended by my friend. One cool thing about the Northend is that it’s pretty much little Italy. All around the neighborhood you see Italian flags flying at all hours and old Italian men coupled off on outdoor benches. Even the winding cobbled streets and red brick buildings are more reminiscent of an European town than an American capital. The little shop I got my sandwich in even offered olive oil in a gigantic drum, where you could bring your own receptacle and fill it up for your personal use at home.

Walking towards the bus station the sky began to open up with a summer shower. I accepted the rain, I missed it. I strolled along as others ran by me with umbrellas and tented newspapers. I was completely content with getting wet, literally soaking in the weather changes I miss so much being out west. I hopped on my train (no lateness this time!) and sped off towards the Big Apple. Upon arriving I met my good friend at a bar and we caught up. It’s always a little awkward when I don’t have time to stash my gigantic rolling bag at a friends place when I go out. I feel like a hobo strolling about. But at the same time I love the freedom I have. It’s like I could venture anywhere and still have enough to wear that I could attend any occasion, play any game, or even hunker in and do some reading/writing. So after more drinks with another friend I ventured to my new home/couch at my friends place downtown in Stuyvesant Plaza. Even though it was a school night for her she stayed up with me and we caught up.

The next day I met up with two friends and we went to check out the Met. It had been sometime since I visited, so it was nice to get reacquainted with it. I had been going to the Museum for class trips ever since I was a wee pup, so it’s almost like an old friend at this point. It was under renovation, so it had some blemishes, but it was still as beautiful as ever. I think you appreciate art and culture so much more when you’re older, so it was great to be able to revisit all of the exhibits. Afterwards we ventured into central park and wandered about its lush grounds. My brother and I had wandered about the same section about a year or so ago, so it was nice to see the development of the park. An area called “The Brambles” (I am 80% sure), where winding paths stitch through the thickest parts of the park. Tall trees and shrubs hide unseen wildlife at every corner. There were also a few boulders and rocks calling to be climbed. I love central park. I think if I lived in the city I would probably visit it every day. It’s the perfect kind of Northeast nature that I grew up in. Climbing it’s trees, walking over fallen leaves and listening to the twigs snap under my feet. I love it.

I then followed my friend back to his home in Queens, and we hung out for a bit. For all of the bad things you hear about Queens I love it. He lives in the Northern part, called Astoria. It’s a cute little brick-house lined neighborhood occupied mostly by Greek inhabitants. After spending a bit of time in Queens I ventured back into Manhattan and went out with my friends. Pretty much your typical Manhattan night: a lot of fun. I’m sure the fact you can hail a taxi anywhere helps, but people in New York go out much harder than their Western counter-parts.

The next morning I woke up and prepared myself for the three-day music festival I was about to partake in. I was a bit late getting to the festival (for some reason I was not feeling 100% that morning…), but I still got to see the main bands I had highlighted on my schedule. These included CSS (Cansei De Ser Sexy, an amazingly energetic Brazilian band who’s name means “tired of being so sexy”), Underworld, and Radiohead. CSS was as awesome as ever. They had two fluorescent clad back-up dancers this time around. While they seemed more like throw-backs from an eighties work-out video, they added a lot of fun and energy to an already dynamic performance. Underworld was good, they played a lot more songs that I knew than I thought they would. Of course they played ‘Born Slippy’ (which everyone in the audience called ‘that song from Trainspotting‘), but they also played ‘King of Snake’ which I loved as a kid. And then Radiohead of course rocked out. They’re an incredible experience live. I can’t even explain, you just have to see them. Even though I was exhausted from dancing and festivaling I soldiered up and headed back into town to see my friends in Manhattan. I good friend from high-school was leaving town the next day, so I felt somewhat obligated to go and hang out.

The next day I head back out into the festival, this time seeking out the Felice Brothers, The Kings of Leon, The Roots, and Radiohead. The Felice Brothers might have been my favorite of the day. You may have remembered I wrote about them not so long ago, so I was pumped to see them live, and they didn’t disappoint. Their fiddle-player went back and for from fiddle to wash board. Their keyboard player from organ to accordion, and their drummer from single drum in hand to a three-drum two-cymbal drum kit. And they all played with same energy of us dancing in the audience. Their studio album certainly doesn’t do their live show justice, and I once again urge you to check them out. Kings of Leon again rocked it. Still one of my favorite bands. They played the three songs I really wanted to hear (‘Taperjean Girl’, ‘Milk’, and ‘Fans’), along with some new tracks which is always nice. Aside from it being incredibly crowded it was a great show, another band you need to see live before you die. Afterwards I again headed into the city.

The last day of the show I went with some friends of mine, which made the whole show much more fun. I’m completely fine going to shows by myself, but it’s always more fun when you can share experiences with others. After some bloody marys on the mainland we got onto the ferry and headed over. It was sprinkling as we boarded, so we all got a bit damp. The energy from the storm also caused a bit of static electricity, so all of the girls hair began to stick straight up into the air, it was pretty crazy. As we walked towards the venue the sky opened up, and the warm summer rain came down, and again I welcomed it with open arms. Getting onto the grounds it certainly added an element of Woddstockism to the venue. The rains washed away the crowds, and we sprinted over to see Rodrgio y Gabriela, who were AMAZING. While they were only two guitar players, they blew my mind away. Definitely someone you need to see live (to get an idea check out this video). After them we spent a lot of wet time in the beer garden chatting and being silly. We then ventured back out to see Ben Harper, a lil’ bit of Trey Anestasio (who pulled out two Phish songs, ‘First Tube’ and ‘Farmhouse’), and Jack Johnson. All pretty amazing. It was a very successful show all in all.

So my last few days I met up with my cousin, checked out the Museum of Sex, saw a Mets game with my friend, and had some final drinks with some of my friends. Sorry to rush through the last parts here, but I know you are all probably done reading about my adventures, if you’re still reading this.

Anyhow, so here I am. Back in Californi-A. I’ll have to blog some more thoughts at a later time. And get back to normal blogging. I’m not sure how I like blogging about my travels. I’m sure it’s good to have my friends and family see my ventures, and it’ll be nice to be able to reminisce at some point down the line. But I’m not sure this is why I’ve started blogging.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. .breakmedown. permalink
    August 17, 2008 3:59 pm

    ooohhh i went to the musuem of sex… do they still have the talking pussy lips? LOL

  2. Eric permalink
    August 20, 2008 2:42 pm

    Hey Chris,
    That part of the park is called the Ramble, and its such a great place! Sorry I missed meeting up with you in nyc. Its rough for me to get out on a school night.
    I checked out some of your posts and you have some great stuff up here. Glad to see you are still writing

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