Greetings out there in blog-reading-land! Thanks for taking the time to read over my trek to New York City. Keep in mind. I was there for 8 days... so it might be a tad lengthy.
I thought my trip was doomed from the get go. I was supposed to fly from KC to Chicago, for a small layover, and then off to New York. Well... seemed I couldn't do that 'cause all flights to Chi-Town were cancelled because of flooding. Inside my brain you can imagine the yell of "Nooooooooo" that I was hearing. Luckily I was able to fly into Dallas, then NYC. So all was not lost as I still got to New York in a decent time. I stayed with F'Em Up Chuck and his wife. We had dinner and then Chuck and I rolled out to throw back a couple few beers. Some years back, five almost six, my friend Amy moved to NYC. When I got in on Saturday we texted each other about meeting up. She was out to dinner with some friends and wasn't gonna be able to make it. "No worries" we said to one another and promised to meet up later on that week. About 11:00 PM or so inside of a bar called Solider McGee's Amy and her friends roll in. Total happenstance. Total coincidence. We were both pretty dumbfounded how it all went down as you can clearly see from this photo! And yes, that's my hat.
The next day was pretty chill with Chuck, his wife and I having ourselves a nice little breakfast before he and I went down to Chinatown to do some shopping. If you've ever been to Chinatown you know the one thing you do every time is haggle. When they say $20 you say $10 and usually you'll win or meet somewhere in the middle. This year was different man. Those cheap bastards down there were not having any of it. $20 meant $20. $10 meant $10. $20 and why don't you throw in a pair of $5 sunglasses? NO! $25 total! And we wonder why China's owning everything in America right now. That night was pretty chill. A few drinks with friends at Broadway Dive and a call to end the night early.
On Monday I went with Chuck into his work at Citadel. He's not on air up there, like he was here, rather he's the Head of their Digital Department. That afternoon I met up with a friend of mine Jennie Mae who lives here in KC but was visiting NYC too. After snacking a bit we decided upon seeing the movie Inception. I won't spoil it for you, but I will say if you're a Christopher Nolan fan (The rebooting of the Batman franchise. Memento) you'll wanna see this flick. I, for one, think Leonardo DiCaprio is really turning into an amazing actor and the kid from 3rd Rock From The Sun Joseph Gordon-Levitt was pretty slamming as well. After a taco dinner at Casa de Armstrong (F'Em Up's) Chuck and I went to a swanky Asian Bistro to meet up with Roxy Myzal, Lou Brutus's producer for Hard Drive. Chuck and I both walked out two hours later just mesmerized by the stories she had to tell and the people she's known in her thirty or so years in Rock Radio. We both felt pretty lucky for getting the opportunity to hang with her.
Tuesday morning I met up with Sleepy, a former sales dude for us here in Kansas City, who's now selling radio in NYC at CBS. We snagged a quick bite and made plans for that evening for all of us to do dinner. That afternoon I audited a acting class at the Stella Adler School of Acting from Antonio Merenda. In the "it's a small world" category his brother is our General Sales Manager at the Rock, Nic Merenda. After all of us had dinner and hung for a bit; Chuck, his wife, and I made our way back to their next of the woods on the Upper West Side. A friend of mine, Tico, from grade school got in touch with me and I met him, his fiance and their friend, a woman with a man's name-Martie, at a smokey old Jazz Club called Merchants. In New York City, like Kansas City, you can't smoke in bars but some how this place got Grandfathered in to be able to. We all had a blast and called it quits only when Tico and I realized his wife-to-be and her friend were plowed!
I got some much needed rest and slept in on Wednesday. My breakfast, which was around 1:30 in the afternoon, was in SoHo at a place called Boom. It was spaghetti... which is what I ate most of while in New York. After feasting I ventured out to do some shopping. Picked up 2 super dope jackets for $100 and toured the Highline, which is an old rail line convered into a park with spectacular views of the city.
After a couple few hours downtown I made my way back to Chuck's and we got ready for Tom Petty at Madison Square Garden with Buddy Guy. Show was phenomenal and the seats were pretty solid. I hadn't seen Petty since 1994 but I will say the guy's still got it. And Buddy Guy... Seriously, the voice of God!!
Slept in again on Thursday before venturing back down, again, into Chinatown and SoHo. Picked up a couple of New York sweatshirts for $10 a pop, some cool t-shirts from Yellow Rat Bastard and had lunch at a bar started in 1847! The bartender was a dude named Johnny, from England, thus I dubbed him "English Johnny". Real cool cat who'd been all over the world slinging drinks but has aspirations of being in radio. That evening Chuck and I caught Steve Earle at City Winery. Oh, before I forget we ate at a joint prior to called The Ear Inn. A house built prior to 1812 that's been many things and is now a pub. Talk about character! Earle was amazing. Chuck got his autograph. The night ended well.
Friday; Chuck and I ventured to Bryant Park with Roxy, after seeing a 3 piece Mariachi band on the subway, to have lunch with her and Mark Abrams of Road Runner Records. Had a blast with them, talking rock music, life in the city, and taking in a serene setting for two hours. Oh, I also met Lou Dobbs who works in the same place as Roxy. Much taller than I expected. That evening Chuck and I met up with Sleepy in the West Village. F'Em Up took off early and Sleepy bailed out shortly after. By this time it was just a little after midnight and there was no way in hell I was gonna call it! I ventured not too far from where Nick (Sleepy) resides to an area off Stone Street and into a pub called Ulysses. Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind was playing as I walked in. Figured it'd suffice for the night, and it did.
Woke about 10:30 on Saturday, after watching the sun rise over the buildings of lower Manhattan while smoking a cigarette. To say I might have still been a bit drunk or was mildly hungover would be an understatement! None the less, Sleepy and I had a great breakfast, at Cercle Rouge in Tribecca, before I ventured back to Chuck's to organize my stuff, stroll around Central Park, and wait for a call from my buddy from earlier in the week; Tico. After saying my goodbyes to Chuck and his wife I climbed in a taxi and headed to Queens/Astoria. Went out with Tico, his soon-to-be wife Jen and her roommate. After some dinner and drinks at a Mexican joint, we stepped in for a brief moment to a place called Dillinger's for one more before calling it a night.
I crashed out on their futon, boarded my plane on time in NYC and made my way back to KC with no fuss or muss. As much as I tried to hold the seconds at bay while in NYC, the eventual end had to come and bring me back home to you Kansas City. All in all, I'd say this was one of my best vacations ever!