New York City on foot is one of my favorite ways to spend the day. New York City in car is not. I drove down from Rosendale, and after a rough trip into Manhattan, I finally found a place to park. I covered up the keyboard to make it look like a pile of clothes, (albeit a perfectly rectangle semi-believable pile of clothes), shut the door, locked up, and blessedly left the car behind. The city has more gardens than I could imagine. Usually I spend my time in New York people watching, but this time I found myself nature watching. I stopped by the apartment of my old cooking buddy, Shea. We walked the streets of the Upper East Side, grabbed a bite, headed to the park, and checked out some of the classic buildings in the area, including John Lennon’s old digs.
The gig at Cornelia Street Café was great as always. I love to play their piano. The Soul of the Blues series that John runs draws a nice crowd, and the venue itself has a good vibe. Carol Thomas played after me, a blaring set that grooved. I didn’t stick around for Hot Monkey Love, but I hear they were fantastic.
I was lucky enough to spend the night with my cousin Joan in Long Island. After the show in The Village, I headed to her house. Her Swedish relatives were visiting, so Per, Rina, Joan, and I talked into the night, then woke up and stretched out the morning over coffee and eggs the way that you can only do with company you truly enjoy. Today, I’m looking forward to the rest of my days in the city. 89.9 fm is playing all Benny Goodman until early June, which should make any car time more tolerable. Benny Goodman is hands down my favorite clarinet player; his playing reminds me of fresh cracked pepper: it can find its part in just about any dish without taking away from it.