>Upalooza, Volume 7: Go

>Hello, Philadelphia! 

Er, Ardmore.  Or maybe Bryn Mawr.  I’m not sure where I am, but I’m almost positive it’s Pennsylvania.  I paid somewhere between two and fifty dollars on the Jersey turnpike getting here.  So, I won’t lie to you, Philly: this better be good.  Thankfully we’re off to a great start: sunny skies, a friendly Starbucks, and Bryn Mawr sounds like a Star Wars city. 

While I kill time before rocking the Mainline tonight, let’s recap NYC’s highs, mediums, and subterranean lows.

NYC Favorite Moment:
This right here.  I’ve never driven to the city before, much less entered from Jersey, so the whole “park-and-ferry” experience was brand new to me.  At 4PM Sunday–after a long day of driving–I finally parked at Weehawken’s Port Imperial, toted my bags through the heat, boarded the ferry, and boom!  There she was.  Right where I left her. 

Maybe it was just fatigue from a long week of traveling, maybe I’d missed New York, maybe I was excited for the show and anxious to see friends, maybe I was high on Jersey fever (catch it!)–either way, that skyline never looked so good. 

Other Favorite Moment (I know “favorite” doesn’t work this way):
Playing a benefit concert for Nashville flood relief in Brooklyn meant, for a night anyway, NY’s Tennessee contingent came out in full force.  First, it was great to see so many people raising money for Nashville.  But second, it was a nice dosage of home far away from home.  Just a really fun night.

NYC Least Favorite Moment:
Getting from that ferry to my friend’s place in Brooklyn took another three failed subway rides, two cab rides, and cumulative two hours in the heat and rain.  If I was spent at 4PM, I was officially useless at 6.  I aged a year in those two hours, and (I think) grew a beard.  Fine, mustache.  Fine, stubble.

Unfun.

Road Weirdness:
Post-show bowling.  For the folks outside NY, Brooklyn Bowl is a new-ish venue in Brooklyn that’s half swank music hall, half campy bowling alley.  The venue’s really remarkable (awesome sound, cool staff, nice atmosphere, etc.)–but I caught myself trying to pick up spares minutes after I finished my own set and thought, “this is a little bizarre.”  When you hear the phrase “Lane 9 wants some CDs,” you know it’ll be a good night.

And to answer your question, I bowled somewhere between a four and a four-hundred.

More Road Weirdness/Funsies:
I camped out at the Park Slope Starbucks on Monday to catch up on email, per usual.  I put my headphones in, pulled up some Tom Petty, hit shuffle, and got to work.  About an hour (alright, three hours) later, I felt a tap on the shoulder: a woman stood next to me, arm in arm with a woman in scrubs (i.e., her nurse).  The woman said, “you like Tom Petty?”  Forgetting that I was listening to Petty at that moment, I gave her a puzzled, “yes…?”  She smiled, and said, “I heard your headphones and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it–he’s my favorite.  Have a great day.”

In case anyone was wondering, Tom Petty crosses all divides/heals all wounds/takes all cakes. 

In the Rearview:
New Yawk.  Typically, having time to kill in New York is one of my favorite things.  But in the last week I got used to the “drive six hours, play a show, wake up, do it again” daily routine.  Having a few days to stop and settle in New York was fun, but it kinda slowed my momentum.  Turns out I’m a fan of “one-show-one-state-per-day” schedules.  Turns out I love “breakneck paces.” 

Holy hell–I just realized something.  Combine the “grueling pace” preference and my “meager” rations, and I know what this trip has become: the Oregon Trail.  The video game, that is.  I’m playing as myself in a real life, musical, East-coast version of the Oregon Trail.  If I shoot twelve buffalo, ford a river, and get typhoid, the circle will be complete.

Up Ahead:
Philly tonight, DC after, then on to God’s country.  I’ve hit my northern-most point.  From here, it’s all south-bound.  Which is to say, it’s all downhill.

Oh so swiftly,
CM

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>Upalooza, Volume 7: Go

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