Blue Note Cafe, NYC
Yesterday I blipped my first NYC shot which Ian noticed and asked if I fancied a pint. Upon checking his blip I realised he was also in NYC (unfortunately his visit is bidniz). He's working up near Times Square, so I said I'd head up that way, grab some lunch and meet him after work. Manhattan island ain't so big and I like walking so I set off in the light rain (no Fox News sponsored armageddon blizzard as yet). The rain was OK until I hit 6th Avenue. That's when the rain became hard & painful. I'd been walking about 15 minutes by this stage and thought I was making great progress until I realised that I was on 14th Street and I needed to get up to 47th.
No more travails to speak of, just the fact that due to holding my hood down, my right hand was numb and I had problems typing anything into my phone.
I walked just off Times Square to a Belgian bar, ordered a pint. The food looked great but I was still feeling sick. I hummed & hawed but eventually ordered a sandwich. The portions here are just plain stoopid at the best of times but when your stomach is feeling all pathetic and fragile it's never going to be a good idea. I ate about 6 french fries, half the sandwich and some salad. I was feeling shit so thought the best option would be to move onto rum.
This did help especially as they do that free pour thing.
I watched Reading vs. Sunderland, was funny seeing Steven Fletcher formerly of Hibs on the telly in NYC. He was probably one of the best of that golden generation that we unceremoniously dismantled and sold off before they could really do anything.
Anyhoo, Ian turned up at around 4pm saying he didn't really fancy a drink (ha! we sorted that out for you, didn't we?) to which I chortled. The snow had been increasing steadily as the afternoon wore on, we had a couple drinks, walked down to Moma where one is not allowed in with one's backpack so I told Ian to go in and i'd look after the bags (there was a cloak/backpack room but the queue was over an hour long, fuck that). I bought a Lonely Planet guide to NYC (not sure why I didn't already have one, twat) and then we headed along to the Blue Note Cafe. It wasn't open at this stage and Ian fancied a bite to eat so we had pizza in an authentic looking NYC place, don't remember the name but there was a wee pic of Jonny Depp on the wall with the owners, many other pics too. The pizza was amazing, managed to eat half. Blue Note still not open, we went for a drink, I had a cocktail called Green Monster with 3 shots of tequila and something else and some creme de menthe. Well tasty.
Now it was time for the Blue Note. I'm glad Ian suggested it, I have to admit I knew nothing of Ron Carter, obviously I know Miles David well and have unknowingly heard Ron play but I didn't know anything about him.
We got a table, and I'm glad we did, right at the front $35 each. The gig was amazing; piano, bass, drums, percussion. Tight as fuck. At one stage, Ron did a solo, it was that old tune 'You Are My Sunshine'. Maybe it was the Vesper but I found this quite moving, the notes he incorporated were beautiful but more than that; my mum used to sing that to me when I was a kid. It's such a melancholy song.
Anyhoo, we set off again, into the freezing night, the snow now driving down thickly and carpeting the streets white. we got a taxi back across town and as we got to Broadway / Times square the effect of the snow was mind-blowing; the neon & advert light reflected back up by the white was otherworldly. I wish we'd been walking at that stage as the shots would have been amazing.
Checked out Ian's hotel on the 44th floor, pretty cool views then we went to an Irish bar where I had a Guinness and Ian had a Jamesons. Stepped out, hailed a cab, some lovely lassies stepped out of said cab and needed help to get from it to the kerb, I offered my hand, they smiled and said thanks. I immediately wanted to say fuck off to the taxi and follow the lassies back into the Irish bar but with a slight resignation I knew it was time to call it quits.
Taxi driver was from Egypt. He originally wanted to go to Germany, somehow ended up in NYC. He was an IBM developer. Not sure how he ended up in his situation but he seemed like he would really rather be somewhere else. Hope shit works out for him.