“I’m the new James Baldwin. Without the angst.”

Metropolitan Musuem of Art

New York City Part III

A few last photos up on Flickr.

The whole set is here.

Saturday we slept in a little and then after a series of miscues on the subway, managed to find the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As we walked up the stairs to the entrance you know what I was thinking?

Damn! Why didn’t I re-read From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler before the trip. I loved that book. They should have a Claudia and Jamie Kincaid tour of the museum. Maybe they do, we were too busy with our own agenda.

As you go into the museum on a Saturday morning, about 10 trillion people are right there with you. I thought this predicted future awfulness. Thankfully, I was wrong. It’s so big that everybody is spread out. A couple of times we found ourselves all alone in a room.

The museum is gigantic and holds about 3 lifetimes worth of treasure. I was sorry I didn’t prepare better so I could make sure I saw everything I wanted. We spent a huge amount of time in the museum completely lost. (Grade for signage: C+. Lots of room for improvement.) But there’s cool stuff everywhere so even as we were wandering around to find one thing, I’d see 10 other things that we’d have to remember to go back to. That armor looked really cool.

We stopped to eat at noon and I expected to be elbow to elbow with other visitors fighting for the last soggy ham sandwich.

Wrong again. Nice, big and well run cafe. I had a yummy salad and a walnut-raisin wheat roll that I talked about for two days. I need to find a recipe. Bob had a grilled chicken sandwich. After lunch we went for the modern stuff.

Overheard one security guard to the other: “I’m a literary writer. I’m the new James Baldwin. Without the angst.”

By the end of the museum day I was majorly dragging ass. It took awhile to find the right subway. Inside some soul singers played. The next train took forever while the train platform steadily filled with people. I hopped around whining my anxiety about the crowd and Bob reminded me of something I say to him about worrying about things that aren’t happening yet. Touche.

The train finally arrived already packed. We all crammed on. I’ve never been so crowded in my life. The guy whose chest was pressed into my forehead says that this wasn’t as bad a Tokyo at rush hour. I made a mental note never to go on the subway in Tokyo.

Bob knew this was taking 10 years off my life so we got off three stations later. It was still cold but not bad and not raining. We returned to the apartment and I took an epic nap. We had a show to go to Saturday night.

Allman Brothers at the Beacon
Corey’s friends had a restaurant not far from our apartment so we met him there and had a yummy dinner. Corey ran into another friend on the way to dinner and brought her along so it was a nice little group of people for our meal.

Corey wanted to check out the scene at the Beacon Theatre so he took the subway with us and taught us a bunch of subway tricks that would have been useful earlier. Sadly, there was no “scene” like you’d have at a Portland show so Corey left and we hung out in the lobby and had some adult beverages.

The crowd was mostly Bob-like people (gray haired and not spring chicken-ish). Also a lot of what I am going to call hip NY young people with hair and products. Not like the happy hippy crowd making grilled cheese in the parking lot that you’d find in say, Eugene. I found them a bit squirrely. The people in front of us had at least 6 rounds of $9 beers which meant a lot of back and forth. During the set break I caught up on notes in my little notebook and they told me I was making them nervous writing all those notes.

Bob wrote the second set list in my notebook: Come into my Kitchen Dreams, Elizabeth Reed, All kinds of jammy stuff (my characterization of the entire show), Mountain Jam, Dazed and Confused, Mountain Jam. Encore: Whipping Post.

They had three drummers and at one point Bob said that the drummer was so-and-so’s son and I said, “Which one?” He laughed until tears came out of his eyes.

The Dakota After the show the people in charge opened these side doors and we all headed down an endless ramp (our seats were in the upper balcony) where all the paint was peeling and after a minute of this, a bunch of guys headed back toward us and said we couldn’t go that way. Most people keep going forward and we stuck with them. At the bottom a security guy held the door open and complained no one else could come out that way. Like it was our idea. Also, a number of the Beacon security people thanked us for coming and told us to have a safe journey home.

We found the correct subway right away thanks to Corey and headed back.

I want to explain why we were confused. All the trains said Brooklyn-Downtown. In the places I’ve always lived downtown was the city center so I thought Brooklyn and Downtown were two different things and couldn’t understand what train to take. I’ve never lived anywhere that had an uptown. Priscilla tells me that Vancouver has an uptown but I’ve lived here 10+ years and I’ve never heard anyone refer to uptown. Also, it would take about 10 minutes to walk through the entire up/downtown so in my mind, it doesn’t count. In NYC uptown and downtown is like uptown towards Central Park or downtown is like lower Manhattan. Maybe this sounds stupid but you ride around on the subway in NYC for the first time and tell me how you do.

After the show we were all keyed up and decided to have a drink and something to eat. We found a funny restaurant on 9th near our hotel and I had a piece of pie and a glass of wine and Bob had a giant plate of noodles with crabcakes and “healthshake” with cow milk instead of soy. Great day.

(That last photo is The Dakota if you didn’t recognize it. We ran into a John Lennon love-fest in Central Park and had to pause for the cause.)

This entry was posted in doing it wrong. Bookmark the permalink.