Sunday, March 15, 2009

NYC Trip

Weekend in New early birthday present from Randy (REALLY early, but what's time got to do with it when it's this great?!) We haven't been there together since the night Saddam Hussein was captured, so we were WELL overdue.

I'm a huge Allman Brothers the music, love what it represents to me - great fun in the summertime and great times with my friends in bands past.

The Holy Grail of Allman Brothers concerts is their annual run at the Beacon Theater in New York City. This year marks the 40th anniversary of this band. Yeah you might think Gregg Allman Marries Cher from the 70's and all that stuff, but these guys play freestyle, always mixing up the tunes and bringing in guests and just awesome on the stage.
Anyway, Randy scored tickets (at face value no less), got us tickets for the Acela train, and a free stay at the Waldorf Astoria thanks to all his Hilton points.
Pictures anyone?

Local bar for dinner and beers before the show. I love the little bars in NY. Seems like in Boston every bar needs a theme and are 30-and-under from 9pm on. These NY places just need to pay rent, feel casual, sell beer and cheap food, and have a real neighborhood feel to them haven't felt that in Boston or in lots of other places since the old days in my hometown.

The scene outside the Beacon Theater. The cops couldn't arrest the scalpers, 'cause even they didn't have tix to sell. Unbeknownst to us, we walked part of the way with the hardest working man in rock-n-roll, Warren Haynes, current guitarist for ABB. I got in his way, separating him from the folks he was walking with, thinking "there's another 50 yr old fan," until someone says "Hey Warren!" and the cameras started clicking. Whoa. (Of course, even on the streets of NY, I'd be the chick that says, "Hey, that looks like Madonna!" "Hey that looks like Donald Trump!" But not believing that it is, when it really is, and I'd miss those opportunities too.)

Inside the Beacon Theater. Which, after its remodel, is gorgeous. Oh, and you wouldn't believe the amount of illegal activity we witnessed inside the theater. Holy moly, bold as the lights went down. All around us. We stuck to $20 rounds at the bar, thankyouverymuch.

They've been bringing guests. Friday's guests were the Asbury Jukes Horns - the guys from Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (you can't believe what they'd add to a jam band, holy moly! Also Bruce Willis (yep, the one you think it is!) on harmonica, and Boz Scaggs on guitar and vocals. Very cool.

With The Asbury Jukes on horns. Boz Scaggs is center left on the guitar. You might remember his songs from the 70's, Miss Sun, Lido Shuffle, Lowdown, Love Look What You've Done to Me, etc etc. I forgot a bunch of them till I bought them from Itunes just now. One of those awesome singer/songwriters you are happy to rediscover.

Film shoot for "Salt" starring Angelina Jolie. Right outside out hotel. Ask me how I felt about the bagpipes when they started at 8AM on Saturday morning? Still, at 11 it was cool to walk through the scene. Did you know makeup artists carry sunscreen even in the winter? We also saw an extras handler barking out orders to the extras playing photographers, as she was lighting a butt the middle of the shut-down street.

Church on Park? Or Madison? Or 5th? Can't remember, but it's pretty.

Views from the windows at the Museum of Modern Art.

Randy at Battery Park. Too hazy to see the Statue of Liberty in this pic. It always blows me away to see it though. Someday I'm gonna make it to Ellis Island too.
The Woolworth Building
City Hall

A blues bar on Bleeker Street, Greenwich Village
The band was from Boston, of all places

So much more that we didn't get pics of. Spent all day Saturday pounding the pavement, enjoying the vibe, checking everything out. Home safe now. Love the train. Go Amtrak! Took the same amount of time as flying and no trip to the airport. I love New York. Gotta make it a more frequent trip. (Thank you, sweetie!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Things that are making me laugh today

U2 is playing the 900-seat Somerville Theater tonight - for free - as part of a promotion for their album and tour. They're expected to play 4-6 songs and do a short Q&A with the fans. It's not officially even announced that the Somerville Theater is where they're playing but the "secret" is out. It's "invitation-only" and some radio stations have been giving away guest passes, which aren't printed with the location on them. How cool is that?

Some gems from Craigslist that are keeping me laughing this morning:

Looking For U2 Tix/Guest - $1000 (Somerville)
Reply to: Date: 2009-03-10, 2:23PM EDT
Looking for 1 generous person to offer to take me to U2 Event tommorrow. Normal guy, just a big fan. I will pay you $1,000 cash.
Location: Somerville

Reply to:Date: 2009-03-06, 8:59PM EST

And my personal favorite:
Desperate for U2 Tickets - Willing to give up my ass - $20 (Boston)
Reply to: Date: 2009-03-05, 9:08AM EST
Huge U2 Fan willing to do just about anything for tix to the show next week. I am a straight guy but willing to give up my ass for tix. Let me know!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A foot of snow and some warm-weather pics

March came in like a lion! We got a foot of snow yesterday (that jerk Punxatawney Phil was RIGHT!)...which means a perfect time to reflect on the trip to Puerto Rico we took a couple weeks ago!

Click here for the full photo album, if you want to see it. Hope you do! We have lots of great pics. Otherwise, here are a few for a taste of the Caribbean in winter:

Rincon, Puerto Rico. Apparently a world famous surfing beach, though you can't tell how big the waves are. There were 20 or so surfers out there.

View to cemetary at El Morro fort, built by the Spanish. PR was "discovered" by Columbus in 1493.

View to the port from the old city walls

Camuy Cave Park in PR

Our private beach at the Caribe Hilton

El Yunque...the only rainforest in the US Nat'l Park system. Great hike in the pouring rain. Hey, when it's raining, why not hike in the rainforest?!

We had amazing dinners every night. This is DragonFly, Latin-Asian fusion, whatever that means, but it was AWESOME, delicious, not as expensive as Boston, and we met a couple from Chicago, who'd never been to a beach but booked a cruise for their honeymoon. Wow. Never been to a beach! At 45 years old or so. Wild.

Randy at Condado

Street in Old San Juan

Street in Old San Juan

Cathedral in Old San Juan