Recently, my friend Jason from my New Paltz days (read: a long ass time ago) came to visit New York. Unbelievably it had been 10 years since we saw each other in the flesh, almost entirely because he lives in Austin and I live here, on the longest island in the known universe. Also, since we got to know each other in college, he's always just been one of those people with whom I can just pick up where I left off. I get the sense that since we first started conversing, we've just been having one long, uninterrupted conversation. Friendships like that are the best.
Anyway, his visit coincided with the exitmusic show at the Mercury Lounge that I had gotten tickets to a few weeks back. It also coincided with a few days I had off before the new fiscal year at my full time job started and I had to take them. (Side note: one of my favorite things in the absurd world of work is the notion that one HAS to take time off before the days expire. I always picture days turning in the way that milk turns sour. It makes the time I am forced to take off all the better because, well, because I got them in just before the cutoff. I know. I'm a thrill seeker.) So I made plans to pick him up at Port Authority, spend some time catching up and then go to the show. Lauren was putting us up for the night and coming to the show too. Oh and yet another coincidence of Jason's visit was the sweltering heat wave that makes New York City just disgusting enough to be unpleasant, no matter what it is you are doing, but we made the best of it. Here are some highlights of the visit, bullety:
- We stopped at a temporary storage place in midtown so Jason could store his guitar and some of his bags and not have to lug them all around all day. This place was run by a woman named Belky (sp?) and she was high as a kite. I know this because the smell of weed wafted in from the hallway immediately outside the storage facility. The Perfect Strangers theme song was in my head for awhile after that.
- Even with the "Standin' tall, on the wings of our dreams"song in my head, the true theme song of the visit had to be the fake Wings song from the movie Role Models and in fact, as I type this, the song is taking root in my brain slowly but surely inserting long and deep roots right near my ear and...yep there it is.
- Day drinking is just a thing I do now. Granted, it is only when I'm doing something out of the ordinary like vacationing or getting a visit from a vacationer but seriously? Is there anything better than a cocktail? Yes. A cocktail in a dark, cool bar in the middle of a day so hot it throbs outside. T-Rex was on the jukebox and all along the bar was a veritable gaggle of career day drinkers. What struck me as odd (likely because I don't do much consecutive afternoon drinking in NYC anymore) is that they still do the buy back thing where you get a token and cash it in.
- Lauren and Jason are two of my favorite people, ever. Having us hang out together at the same time reinforced my desire to have one really big and long vacation involving all of my favorite people in one house on a beach or in a mountain somewhere. I need to make this happen.
- The concert was good, albeit muddled by too much vodka. If I had any doubts that day drinking will inevitably catch up to you, they were assuaged when Jason unwittingly dropped his cell phone out of the cab, realized it at that moment that is usually way too late to do anything about it, and then was promptly reunited with it when Lauren unbelievably saw it in the middle of 1st avenue and picked it up.Of course a cab had run over it but it still worked. And did I mention that Lauren just looked for it and saw it in the middle of 1st avenue in Manhattan? Because shit like that never happens.
- The weather the next day was again, akin to stepping inside someone's mouth. After taking care of some business in the morning involving a stop to the apple store and a never ending search for a Kinko's, we went to the MOMA. My visits to the MOMA are usually peppered with both fascination and annoyance. The fascination is that I can stand so close to an original Jackson Pollock painting that I can feel its gravity threatening to overwhelm me. My annoyance usually arrives at some of the more obtuse installations, the kind that involves, say, an empty shoe box on the floor. I just don't get that.
- After the museum, we had lunch at one my favorite restaurants in midtown, Havana Central. It was the afternoon so naturally I had to have a mojito. Before I knew it, it was time to part ways. But like I said, with some friends, it is always to be continued.
Seems like a good way to end this post too. To be continued.