Thursday, July 07, 2005

If I can ('t) make it here...

New York chewed me up and spit me out last night. Hoo boy.

I had a gig at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn last night, the second in a string of 8 shows I'm playing around the Northeast over the first two weeks of July. I've never been on the road with my music before, and I booked the shows last minute when it looked like I was going to be out of work for a couple weeks, so I'm really winging it. For instance, it's 7:30 p.m. and I just now lined up a place to stay for tonight in Boston.

Anyway, I was frazzled before I even stepped foot in the most nerve-wracking city in the world. It turns out I'm not out of work, so I had to finish work for a midnight deadline before playing a gig at 11 p.m. Plus, I was hosting a French friend who's in town, and neither of us had cell phones--a little difficult to coordinate his following me from Baltimore to Brooklyn.

Somehow, we had no problems getting from Hampden to Brooklyn. Minimal traffic, and he was able to follow me the whole way, even as we threaded through the Holland Tunnel, Canal St., Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, alighting safe, sound, and ensemble in Williamsburg.

We parked in front of a cafe a half-mile from the club and had lunch. After lunch, he left his car there and took the subway to Manhattan, and I eventually drove over to the club. He made it to the club just in time for the show, and afterwards I asked him if he wanted a ride to his car. "No, no, it's fine, I walk," he said.

I drove the half mile to his car, and as soon as I put it in park, KABOOM! One of the most vicious thunderstorms I've ever experienced starts out of nowhere. It took him two hours to find his car. He was drenched, and so was his bag, which contained his passport and ticket for his flight home.

So we get going. Down Metropolitan Ave., creep along the BQE, over Manhattan Bridge, onto Canal St. Everything's going fine. I see the sign for the Holland Tunnel and West Side Highway. Since we're staying with a friend in Jersey, I move to the right to take the West Si--WHAM! I hit the curb at about 30 mph and my hubcap went flying.

I pulled around to a side street to inspect the damage, and he followed me. It didn't look like anything was wrong. He says, "I think you lose your, um, how you say..."



"Hubcap. I know. I lost my effing hubcap."

"We can find it?"

"No, don't worry about it."

"No, I saw where it went. We can find it."


I put my glasses in my front pocket so they wouldn't get soaked, and we walked out onto Canal Street. It was pouring, absolutely pouring, and there were puddles and cars flying by and we came upon a huge puddle, so we jumped. My glasses flew out of my pocket into a huge puddle.


My friend took off his sandal and pushed his foot around in the puddle trying to find them. "Don't do that!" I told him. Gross, gross, gross. I looked--well, squinted--around near the puddle, retraced my steps, nothing doing.

And now we had to get out to Jersey.

I drove very slow up the West Side Highway with my friend following. I could not see any signs through the rain and my own blurriness. We made it out to Jersey okay, but it took us an hour driving around Ridgewood before we even found my friend's neighborhood.

Remember that episode of the Simpsons when Homer went to New York? Remember the look on his face as he was leaving town? That was my look the rest of the night.

Anyway, it should be fun driving from New York to Providence to Boston to York to Baltimore to Philly to New York and back to Baltimore without my glasses! I'll have to take a stage name. Maybe Squint Eastwood.