Sunday, 27 June 2010

So Far Around the Bend

Late April, I went to New York City. This is what it looks like from one of Greenpoint's industrial beaches. New York City was a lot and nothing like what people say it was. Growing up Northwestern, I've always had this sort of idea that I don't like "big cities"; it's only within the last ten or so years that Seattle has committed itself (or really felt at all like) a Big City with Lots of Stuff.
And I've just started living in it now.
But the lesson is, I actually like Big Cities. Or, I think I do. I'm not sure. I liked Brooklyn, anyway, and parts of Manhattan. There were definitely some rows and rows of tall buildings full of things I don't care about, but all in all it was good.
and people were friendly. yes, they moved quickly, had places to be, clearly spent more time than NWers do on their hair, shirt and skirt, but when I was catching a bus from a predominantly Spanish part of Queens, a girl came up to me and told me that "if you're going to the airport, you actually need to wait over there."

(this was useful.)
when Lailey left her phone in a bar, a couple came out with it, yelling at us not to forget our stuff. I saw loads of people on the subway give up seats for the elderly, disabled or overweight. In a McDonalds in Manhattan I was looking for the bathroom and a girl (looked about twelve) waved at me-- "naw, naw, it's downstairs." Same spot, someone ran out to catch up with someone who'd left their wallet.

Lailey and i went to Coney Island. It was awesome. Some parts of it were super cheesy, some genuinely cool, other parts were really fucked up ("Shoot the Freak" you can pay money to simply shoot a "freak"-- in this case just some really ripped black dude in a do-rag-- with paintball pellets) and you had to wait forever for Hot Dogs. I had hot dogs. They were delicious. The sense of American History there was great too; a far less obscured vision of Old-World connections and how those cultures and individuals have shaped what we think of as "american."

This is a view from the rooftop Highline Park in Manhattan. Its new and kinda posh, but open to everyone and a great view. I wrote something close to a love poem there.

Some people have asked me if I'm "going to move to New York now," in a near-accusing tone, like, hey asshole, don't think you can just live anywhere, you had your time away.
I dunno man. I am too deep in debt and obligations, some short term, some long, to make promises. But I'm gonna go again, that's for sure.

Monday, 7 June 2010

More rockers for the pile

Stuart Cable, who played drums for the Stereophonics, was found dead this morning.

I was never a fan of said Welsh band who often sounded like an unholy mix of Nirvana and U2 (or at least, the vocals had that going on) but thanks to my regulars at the Rhyddings and that perverse thing musos have where they talk as often about the stuff they don't like as the stuff they do, the Stereophonics were as big a part of my Wales musical landscape as anything else.

Below is one of their songs that I actually grew to like over time.