no sleep til brooklyn
by pieces of moments
Happy labor day weekend.
That means that the summer is “ending”. Whatever. As if I don’t carry it in my SOUL all year long to survive the cold, thoughtless, Boston winter.
Comme ça, c’est la vie, etc.
The end of summer around here is evidenced more by the disappearance of tourists and sudden invasion of the city’s massive student population. It happened to me last week sometime, just as it does every fall. There is one day – one moment in one day, really – when you suddenly realize the increased human traffic congestion. The T is jam packed. The bus labors under the weight of everyone packed in without regard to personal space. Coffee is also harder to obtain without the patience to stand in line for twice as long as it took you in the summertime. Not to mention September 1 itself, where virtually 3/4ths of the city literally packs it up, picks it up, and moves into a new apartment. It always makes me feel like I’m living on a turntable.
So, I ran away from the student invasion here to hang out in NYC with Mark Klinski a good friend and good human who is currently, I suppose in some irony, a newly moved in grad student himself. We spent the day bashing around in Brooklyn, getting pleasantly lost here and there as we dodged all the hipster traffic on Bedford Ave. that has leaked over there from the Lower East Side, which is getting more and more strangely posh all the time.
I confess that I don’t spend much time in Brooklyn, generally. I’m more of a straight up Manhattan person. Before today I had only been over to DUMBO and Coney Island. But hanging out today in Williamsburg/Greenpoint was pretty great. Mark’s family is Polish, and since we were in Greenpoint he was kind enough to pick out the best Polish restaurant option, choose the food, and order – in Polish – for us. After we were pleasantly full with good authentic (he tells me it’s as authentic as can be, which I was very glad for since I hate being served “Americanized” versions of things) Polish delights we wandered to Earwax where I giddily poked about in the Avant Garde cd/record section. They had more Charlemagne Palestine there than I have ever seen before in my life. Amazing.That afforded me the opportunity to remember my own Charlemagne Palestine concert experience from couple of years ago when he performed at my Alma Mater. Attending a CP concert is someone like eating some scary food product – you didn’t necessarily “enjoy” it, but you are sure glad you had the experience. But, I digress.
I nearly bought a couple of different things, namely a Marcel Duchamp disc, and the “lost tapes” of Clara Rockmore, theremin virtuoso that she was, but ended up purchasing only “The Eye” (1984) from KUKL (if you aren’t familiar, KUKL was a band that Bjork was in baaaaaaack in the day).
After saying goodbye to Mark in the beautiful Grand Central Terminal I walked out back into the Manhattan streets to grab some goodies at Bouchon Bakery for myself and my peeps back here in the Bean. If you haven’t been, GO (that’s a run-don’t-walk command). Best. Pastries. I will dream of their chocolate bouchons tonight. I promise.
The rest of the weekend will be spent in further lamentations regarding the end of summer. I will be helped along in this process by continuing to listen to lots of holiday music as I finish up the program note copy I have due for the Washington Bach Consort. They’re having a great holiday show. If you are in DC in December, be sure to catch it.
Well, if I can’t have the beach, as least I can look forward to twinkle lights, right?
Returning to the topic of Brooklyn…it always reminds me of the Beastie’s song “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” (I relate everything to Beastie Boys lyrics, if you don’t know already) and also reminds me of this killer performance on the Late Show that itself is a reminder of why New York is amazing: you never know what might be comin’ atcha down the street. (Also note at :32 the lyric “mutual of omaha”…you knew I was gonna point that out to you, kids…)