Tag Archives: NYC

The Debut of Mr. Blue: Live at Washington Square

It was Thursday, July 22, 2010, around 6 p.m.

We had just left The Silversmith on West 4th, where we got the most fantabulous Mr. Blue and Jo’s amber ring to celebrate our 5th anniversary.

The vibes were good. We were oozing happiness. It was a beautiful day, not too hot with a little breeze. And — oh, man! — we love playing in the park!

We found a park bench and spread out a bit. Black squirrels greeted, acoustic guitar tuned, H2 recorder ready.

The whole band was there, minus Josephine, of course (no electricity in the park). ;)

The full show (minus encore, below) with all our crazy chatter and everything:
[audio:jo&kevin-2010-07-22/2010_07_22_washsq-fullshow.mp3]

Since we haven’t edited out individual songs yet, here’s a set list with approximate start times:
What Else Can I Say* (0:32)
All Around the World* (6:17)
Music Man* (12:01)
Every Second of Every Day* (18:08)
Baby, What Do You Want Me to Do (23:46)
I Don’t Need No Doctor (27:22)
Amazing Grace: test (37:07)
Amazing Grace: full (39:37)
Danglin’* (42:42)
Johnny LV* (49:50)
Summertime (56:19)

The encore, Going Down the Road Feeling Bad:
[audio: jo&kevin-2010-07-22/2010_07_22_washsq-encore.mp3]

*original ESoED songs

Remembering NYC: 2007

Our third NYC trip together, July 2007, was the year we first visited the Shanghai Cafe in Chinatown.

As you can see by Kevin’s perfect expression above, some of the food’s a little hot. :P

Sure, none of the people who work there speak much English; they only bring you a fork if you ask for it, and they don’t take credit cards, but they have the best chicken fried rice we have ever tasted. Ever.

Some other things we remember about our action-packed 2007 trip:

Remembering NYC: 2006

As you can see, I was very pregnant by the time our second trip to NYC rolled around. Just two months later, our Atticus was born. :)

The picture’s bad, taken with a cell phone, and recaptured by my Droid tonight from a print. (What happened to those files?!)

Here are some things we remember about this trip:

  • We were only there two nights, July 26-28, the shortest stay so far.
  • We saw “Rent” at the Nederlander Theatre. Awesome production!
  • We stayed at the New Yorker, which was nice enough, but way too far away from any subway stops.
  • We stopped in St. Bartholomew’s on the way to St. Patrick’s. Remember, I was pregnant and it was late July…hot!! This stop changed our lives … long story (to come)!

NYC Wedding Trip :)

This year marks the first in many that we won’t be spending the end of July in New York City.

Usually, we save up all year long to take a few days alone, Kevin and I, exploring the city. This year, however, all savings went toward a downpayment on our new home. Totally worth it, yes, but we’re still in #miss mode.

We decided to take this week, when we’d originally planned to make the trip, and document the years we’ve enjoyed.

Six years ago next week, we sold whatever we could — jewelry, a guitar, a knife collection, etc. — and scraped together the money to spend a few days in Manhattan … and get married!

We left Danville on Monday, July 25, 2005.

Although I’d been twice (once with students to Columbia’s journalism camp and once to sing with a band at the Hard Rock Cafe), it was Kevin’s first time in New York. You should’ve seen his widened eyes and dropped jaw! Or his panicked look when we rushed onto the first subway car at the last minute. So precious! :)

That first train ride took us from near the Howard Johnson’s on 8th Avenue, where we stayed that trip (it’s another hotel chain now) downtown to City Hall, where we waited in line sweating like crazy in the heat to get our marriage license.

After we explained their marriage code to them (long story! :P), we finally left with that license, but it was so late by then that we had to wait until Wednesday to get married…

At 10:20 a.m., on Wednesday, July 27, 2005, we were married in the Manhattan City Clerk’s office. Our witness was a lady who lived in Harlem and got married just before us.

When we left City Hall, we walked right into a “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” set.

We headed up to Times Square, had lunch at TGI Fridays, and experienced “Phantom of the Opera” for the first time!!

After crashing for hours at the hotel, we rushed down to the Empire State Building, getting in line just before 11. We knew they took the last elevators up at 11:15, and we wanted to be up there on the night we were married, so we’d bought our tickets in advance.

So when the guy in charge of the line, already on a major power trip, told us they were closing early, I got pretty upset to say the least. I got on the phone, called directory assistance (no smart phones at the time), and called the manager of the Empire State Building to complain. :P

Within five minutes, that manager had come down personally to escort us to the elevator!

We spent the final 15 minutes of the day we got married on top of the world. :)

And then we ran uptown to Central Park and found the last carriage ride of the night.

It was definitely a day we will never forget. :)

Village Murals

We were headed toward Washington Square Park, guitar in tow, ready to play some music for our favorite black squirrels.

Or at least we meant to be headed that way. Even after six NYC visits together (and two before that for me), we still find it quite easy to find things we never meant to see on the way to someplace we think we’re headed but really aren’t.

And then, we saw this awesome trio of murals, which were painted by Rico Fonseca, “the artist of Greenwich Village.” (It’s on West 3rd Street at MacDougal. Here’s a picture of the whole set.)

Here are the other two:

And here’s a video about the artist:

Don’t Start Nothin’, Won’t Be Nothin’ (Kevin and the Hulk)

We’d walked blocks and blocks and blocks and blocks and blocks.

We could’ve taken the subway, but *somebody* didn’t like the subway. And, really, it’s always much more interesting to stumble across places we never would’ve made our destination or even our stops along the way than to sit in the swelteringly smelly subway.

But when we finally arrived at the Chelsea Theater, the showing of The Dark Knight we’d planned on was sold out. Sigh.

So we bought tickets for the late-late show and walked down to Jake’s Saloon for drinks and hors d’oeuvres to pass the hours. We talked and I drew on all the napkins, if our collective memory serves.

A little while later, we went back to the theater to find our seats. Somewhere on the way up the three flights between the theater lobby and our seats, Kevin met up with the Hulk. As you can see, they were kindred spirits at the time. (A lot has changed since the summer of 2008, but that green tattoo on the inside of Kevin’s upper right arm won’t be washing off any time soon. ;)

After the epic movie (epic because it was reeaaalllly long, not epic because it was that awesome of a movie … because it wasn’t really, although at least one actor — who’s no longer with us — gave an amazing performance), we walked down to the other corner to catch the train.

It was well after midnight and the Chelsea streets were pretty much deserted. Imagine my surprise when the newspapers and bags piled up around the corner there moved! No matter how many times we visit New York, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks and park benches.

Thank God my Hulk was there to get me safely back to Midtown. :D

Cheap Dreams? Nope.

It was getting late, pouring down rain, and we still had quite a few blocks to go. Ducking in and around awnings, we got a very different view of New York than our usual.

At one stop, with no next shelter in sight, the store sign hit me as strangely funny: “99¢ Dreams.”

Cheap dreams, small ones: a little ole hat or umbrella: just a bit o’ shelter; that’s all.

Nope. All closed. Gate down. None for you.

Tonight’s your night to get soaked.

(Taken July 2010)

Amber Is Forever

It was Wednesday night, July 21st of last year, during our annual NYC pilgrimage.

We’d just left Zinc Bar on West 3rd, where we got to know (part-time) bartender and photographer Jacob Murphy while the Alex Stein/Matt Brown Quintet played.

As we headed back westward and along West 4th toward the Christopher Street station, we came across the smallest shop in the Village at 184-3/4 West 4th: The Silversmith. We had to take a look.

The SilversmithOwner Ruth Kuzub didn’t warm up to us immediately, but she suffered us to ooh and aah at her jewelry, and by the next afternoon when we returned with cash to purchase the two rings we’d fallen in love with, this amber and Kevin’s turquoise Mr. Blue, she was definitely opening up to us a bit.

She told us that she’d been in the original Broadway cast of Fanny in 1954 (with Florence Henderson in the lead role), which was why she’d come to New York in the first place. She told us about working for The Silversmith since 1960 and eventually buying the store later that decade. She told us about living in the Village through the decades, the changes she’d witnessed.

And she told us about this amber ring.

Amber is petrified tree sap; this particular piece is from Poland. The dual tones of the stone, darker and lighter, are extremely unusual, and the whitish pieces inside the stone are seeds that were trapped in the sap as it hardened millions of years ago.

Millions. Whoa!

We left Ruth’s shop that day, the 22nd, and went over to Washington Square to hang out and play some music for an hour or so before heading uptown to Radio City to see Widespread Panic.

As usual in the City, it was a day to remember.

I took this picture with the Retro Camera for Android app by Urbian.