Er, Ardmore. Or maybe Bryn Mawr. I'm not sure where I am, but I'm almost positive it's Pennsylvania. I paid somewhere between two and fifty dollars on the Jersey turnpike getting here. So, I won't lie to you, Philly: this better be good. Thankfully we're off to a great start: sunny skies, a friendly Starbucks, and Bryn Mawr sounds like a Star Wars city.
While I kill time before rocking the Mainline tonight, let's recap NYC's highs, mediums, and subterranean lows.
This right here. I've never driven to the city before, much less entered from Jersey, so the whole "park-and-ferry" experience was brand new to me. At 4PM Sunday--after a long day of driving--I finally parked at Weehawken's Port Imperial, toted my bags through the heat, boarded the ferry, and boom! There she was. Right where I left her.
Maybe it was just fatigue from a long week of traveling, maybe I'd missed New York, maybe I was excited for the show and anxious to see friends, maybe I was high on Jersey fever (catch it!)--either way, that skyline never looked so good.
Other Favorite Moment (I know "favorite" doesn't work this way):
Playing a benefit concert for Nashville flood relief in Brooklyn meant, for a night anyway, NY's Tennessee contingent came out in full force. First, it was great to see so many people raising money for Nashville. But second, it was a nice dosage of home far away from home. Just a really fun night.
NYC Least Favorite Moment:
Getting from that ferry to my friend's place in Brooklyn took another three failed subway rides, two cab rides, and cumulative two hours in the heat and rain. If I was spent at 4PM, I was officially useless at 6. I aged a year in those two hours, and (I think) grew a beard. Fine, mustache. Fine, stubble.
Post-show bowling. For the folks outside NY, Brooklyn Bowl is a new-ish venue in Brooklyn that's half swank music hall, half campy bowling alley. The venue's really remarkable (awesome sound, cool staff, nice atmosphere, etc.)--but I caught myself trying to pick up spares minutes after I finished my own set and thought, "this is a little bizarre." When you hear the phrase "Lane 9 wants some CDs," you know it'll be a good night.
And to answer your question, I bowled somewhere between a four and a four-hundred.
I camped out at the Park Slope Starbucks on Monday to catch up on email, per usual. I put my headphones in, pulled up some Tom Petty, hit shuffle, and got to work. About an hour (alright, three hours) later, I felt a tap on the shoulder: a woman stood next to me, arm in arm with a woman in scrubs (i.e., her nurse). The woman said, "you like Tom Petty?" Forgetting that I was listening to Petty at that moment, I gave her a puzzled, "yes...?" She smiled, and said, "I heard your headphones and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it--he's my favorite. Have a great day."
In case anyone was wondering, Tom Petty crosses all divides/heals all wounds/takes all cakes.
In the Rearview:
New Yawk. Typically, having time to kill in New York is one of my favorite things. But in the last week I got used to the "drive six hours, play a show, wake up, do it again" daily routine. Having a few days to stop and settle in New York was fun, but it kinda slowed my momentum. Turns out I'm a fan of "one-show-one-state-per-day" schedules. Turns out I love "breakneck paces."
Holy hell--I just realized something. Combine the "grueling pace" preference and my "meager" rations, and I know what this trip has become: the Oregon Trail. The video game, that is. I'm playing as myself in a real life, musical, East-coast version of the Oregon Trail. If I shoot twelve buffalo, ford a river, and get typhoid, the circle will be complete.
Philly tonight, DC after, then on to God's country. I've hit my northern-most point. From here, it's all south-bound. Which is to say, it's all downhill.
Oh so swiftly,