I have sat quietly (!) here in recent weeks enduring dear ol' Engine Room extolling the virtues of NYC - accompanied by a speeded up film, which could be of anywhere on earth, and allusion to a flea market, examples of which are in every city in the world. All these seem to indicate an overt lovesickness for a city which, although it never sleeps, for me has very different memories!
The best 'pretty' song for New York is Odyssey, but for me, the steamy manhole covers in November, the high humidity and temperatures of August, skating in the open air, manic people rushing everywhere with no time to say hello gave a 'darker' view!
Granted, all the live music (at the time) 'boites' in the Village, wonderful seafood and pretty girls were great, but paled when faced with the almost best Christmas record ever made hit the streets:
This not only brilliant, it makes me remember the time when I was lucky enough to be in NYC every 10 days for 3 days.
Yes, diablog, for a brief but sparkling period of my life I was a Purser on the Queen Elizabeth - not 2, or even 3 (which is very new!) but the original, one and only, QE. The pride of the Cunard fleet.
This, by definition, makes my recollections of times there out of date - but vivid all the same. The Market Diner, Radio City, Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall, concerts at Madison Gardens, my 21st birthday in a club called My Grandfather's Moustache where, as only possible in America, I was refused entry until one minute after midnight and therefore certain to be over 21!!!! Ok, rules is rules - but my friends had been in there for 3 hours whilst I kicked my heels - and the receptionist was 24 stone and 6'5".
Maybe more another time, but two things from those days. First, my experience of the NYPD at just after 3am...
When, having 'done a must' and gone to the Peppermint Lounge for the first time (when I read now who owned it and remember who I saw there I still can't believe it) I stumbled out onto an empty street at a cross roads (it was on a corner). Unbelieveably, one of New York's finest was on the other side. 'Excuse me, which way to 42nd street' - 'Up ten blocks'. Ok, it was late and I had a penchant for whisky sours at the time. But as an out of towner, having four direction choices, I thought I could save time by asking the obvious question:
'Which way is up?' - er, the inside of a police Chevvy is not great (!), but what I had seen was:
followed, two trips later, by an encounter on Deck Z, Cabin 20092 with a hero - Jesse 'Lone Cat' Fuller, who played, between 'roll ups' (!!!!), all the way over the Atlantic, and just for us:
Bizzarely, when we got to Southampton, he was refused entry into the UK, so we had him all the way back to NYC! But that's another story....
yours, diablog, reflectively,