With the rest of the family on their way to Death Valley for a week of dehydration, N. and I ducked down to New York City. We went straight from Cooperstown to Bleecker St. A quick stop into Bleecker Records resulted in a nice find - a Speedy Keen (he of Thunderclap Newman fame) solo album for only $1.99. Then across the street to John's Pizza to meet friend/author/guru Michael D'Antonio for pizza and advice.
From there, we checked into the Hilton, just south of Central Park, and laid around watching cartoons until we headed back down to Murray Hill to meet our cousin J. and his girlfriend B. at Baby Bo's Cantina. Great food, the type so missing from our life upstate. I can tell you, having dinner with a 24 year old makes you feel a bit ancient.
Much to my surprise and delight, Paul Lukas of UniWatch became suddenly available to hang out and quickly made his way across the bridge from Brooklyn to meet us upstairs at Old Town. Paul is a great writer, effortless storyteller and completely revealing. I need to keep that in mind as I work on a book proposal about N.
Next day was the focal point of the trip - the Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA. It's a must see. The amount of art work that director Burton has produced is overwhelming. He's a sick fuck, let me tell you. Of course, some well known props were given front and center exposure - Batman cowls, Edward Scissorhands costume, Mars Attacks! posters (my fave).
Searching for a good burger, N. and I returned to the Village to Stand4. Amazingly good food and shakes to die for. Remember the $5 shake from Pulp Fiction? Stand4's regular size is $6. Travolta would've stormed out of the joint.
With time to kill before we headed for our overnight in Staten Island, I asked N. if he would go to a record store in Williamsburg for an hour. He consented and off we went to Academy Records Annex. Thank God for the iPhone! We found Stand4 through its magical powers, as well as Academy Records.
Readers know my idea of heaven is to be surrounded by LPs. To walk into Academy Records and encounter a full house was unreal. Imagine, a crowd of people browsing, listening and buying albums. It was like walking into a time warp. Got some good stuff too - Eddie Cochran, early Roger McGuinn, Sammy Davis and Count Basie together.
The best part of the S.I. trip was plowing through my cousin's collection of 45's. I was impressed that he had so many and, though he is technologically-averse, he actually plugged in his turntable and we listened to his singles. We even put on my new copy of Leapy Lee's "Little Arrows."
Now we're back. Lots to do, again, things to write, doorbells to ring. But I wanted to say hi while I had the chance.