New York I Love You: Pics From Last Weekend

 

Atop Hotel Indigo in Chelsea

Caroline Atop Hotel Indigo in Chelsea

Rain coming down on Caroline inside Hotel Indigo

 

Anyone care for a piece of Ugly Fruit?

Mmmm....Grilled Porcini Rubbed Shell Steak @Blu

Caroline Pre-LCD. Post-Three Olives Chocolate Vodka Cocktails

Saw lots of panda costumes, but only one Twister get-up.

Proof that I was pre-drinking – I held my phone the wrong direction to record. Oops.

 

Nearly 4 hours later, LCD Soundsystem was over and Madison Square Garden was a ghost town

LCD Garden Party

James Murphy (no it's not Chris Moyles) from L...

Image via Wikipedia

From the moment I first heard James Murphy telling me how he was losing his edge, I wanted to see him do his thing with LCD Soundsystem and Saturday night – thanks to Ken – it happened.  At a sold-out Madison Square Garden show, I witnessed the show dubbed, “The Long Goodbye”.  It was epic.

Excerpts and Edits from the email I wrote Ken on the Bolt Bus heading home from NYC.

Thanks again for an amazing weekend.  Your thoughtfulness is remarkable.  The hotel was so nice.  Caroline and I had a room on the, 17th floor, overlooking a 12-story building with a beautiful rooftop garden.  The bed was nice – it of course would have been infinitely nicer with you in it, but Caroline and I had fun jumping on it and when we finally made it back to the room this morning at 5:30, it proved to be a fantastic place to pass out…(yes, we stayed out until after 5am. It was that good of a night)

Walking around, I was constantly impressed with the fashion and the architecture.  Being there offered renewed awareness that Boston is a city of people with no fashion sense.  They may be smart and practical, but no one has clued them in that taking a few minutes getting dressed in the morning can lead to that combination actually looking appealing.  The architecture.  One famous building I had never seen before was the Flatiron Building .  The way the clouds were moving as I stood at the crosswalk waiting for the signal to change to “walk”, made it  look as though the building was swaying to and fro in the wind.  I could have stood watching the building for a lot longer.

Flatiron Building

I would love to have a weekend in New York with Ken.  To go on an architecture tour of New York with him. We would grab food from street vendors and sip coffee with Bailey’s as we walked the city for hours watching people, holding hands and taking in the architecture in one of the most amazing cities in the world.

The first time I went to New York, I was maybe 22 and a buyer at Treehouse Boutique.  It was January.  After a flight cancellation due to snow in Cincinnati, my boss and I finally made it.  That was the trip that I got stopped at market and asked if I was Toni Collette.  It happened more than once.  The bars. The food. The people.  Then, I think it was too much for me to take in almost.  I was overwhelmed.  Maybe it was my age and having never traveled to a city that large, but focusing on work in the midst of the complete sensory overload that New York City can bring was definitely overwhelming.  I wanted to go back.

And, I did. Since then, I’ve been back 5 or 6 times.  This trip will be remembered as my favorite.  My favorite because I was seeing LCD Soundsystem with my bff Caroline, and all the while I was thinking of Ken.  Damn, he is great.

Before heading to the Garden for the show, Caroline and I had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel, Blu.  We started with the a simple caprese` appetizer  – the Caprese con Bufala e Olio di Pesto and then got super indulgent with the Bistecca ai Porcini con Cipolline alla Griglia e Asparagi which is grilled porcini- rubbed shell steak served with scallions and grilled asparagus.  We liked it. A lot.  Following our steak we got our dessert to go- an amazing chocolate cake (this dessert is not currently on their online menu so what I can tell you is that it was served with pistachio ice cream and tasted heavenly at 5:30am).  The dessert went into the hotel fridge and we journeyed a few blocks over to see LCD.

We cleaned our plates - as a reward we went to see LCD

We arrived at about 8:15 and Liquid Liquid had already played.  We got to what we thought were our seats – we ended up moving twice, as it is difficult to find section row and seat numbers in the dark with a smoke haze and tens of thousands of people anxiously mulling about ready to see the concert of a lifetime.  LCD began playing a little before 9 and played until nearly 1 am. They played everything I wanted to hear (except Disco Infiltrator).   The end of LCD is bittersweet, LCD definitely stopped while on top and will be forever considered a seminal dance-punk band. I could write about the show and the set – which kept blowing me away – and the people, but there is a Village Voice blog that did a fantastic job saying everything I would have said and more in a much more eloquent manner.  So, if you care, read this:  Live: LCD Soundsystem Say Goodbye, For Once and For All .  Also, if you want a timeline not of the songs but the actual happenings of the show, Time Magazine’s Claire Suddath did a pretty great job explaining the amazing weirdness that went on inside the Garden.  This story also has a few relevant links.

After the nearly 4 hour show.  Caroline and I went to the Tribeca Grand Hotel for an afterparty.  The energy was intense.  Everyone was still excited from the show and there were so many pretty hipsters.  While many people are annoyed by hipster’s self-importance and nearly-guaranteed pretentiousness,  I actually have an affinity for them.  I was in dudes in skinny jeans heaven.  Caroline and I each had one of the most expensive vodka drinks I’ve ever had at $13 each – it was just an Absolut (not my choice of vodkas either – that’s just what they were pouring at the dancefloor bar) and soda   It was refreshing though and dancing and checking out the fashion was a blast.  If it weren’t for the reality that Caroline had a flight to catch the next morning and that my feet were a bit achey, I would have stayed until the sun came up.  I like dance parties even more than I like hipsters (fortunately they often go together).  Note:  NBC’s Parks and Recreation cast member and all around funny guy, Aziz Ansari, was at this party.

We made it to the hotel. Ate our chocolate cake – so glad we got it to go. Passed out. Caroline left at 10 for the airport.  I gathered myself enough to make it to the restaurant, grab a New York times, drink a lot of oj and coffee and eat more carbs than I’d had in months. Following this I attempted to get ready to walk around the city.  Everything is so much harder with 3 1/2 hours of sleep and a hangover (Until now I have failed to mention the pre-partying Caroline and I did.  We don’t get together that often, so when we do, it’s as though we need to drink like we’re in college again.)

I think it took me an hour and a half to shower, get dressed and make it out the door from my next near 2 mile excursion to East Village, where I was to meet up with a friend.  I walked through the Union Square Artist Market.  I think I could have spent an hour just taking in all the creations. When I finally got to my friend Chris’s neighborhood I told him I needed a bloody mary.  He said we should walk to St. Dymphna’s.  I love this bar.  It was quiet and small and the bloody mary was really good.  I learned from Chris that Jeff Buckley recorded a live e.p. there.

After my bloody I walked back to the hotel, grabbed my things and headed to the grab my bus back to Boston.  I proceeded to intermittently sleep and write for the next 4 1/2 hours.  Okay, mostly sleep.

I will be posting a few pics and video from the trip soon and will update blog with that info.

Ken, thank you.

This was a weekend I will surely never forget.  You are, without a doubt, the love of my life.

One year down, 60+ to go…

Dry Erase Boards & Bikes Named James Murphy

Today, around 2 pm I heard a thud and the slam of the front porch door.  I rose from the computer just in time to catch a glimpse of a fella in all brown duds climbing into his delivery vehicle.  A package!!!  I am such a sucker for surprises, but who isn’t, right?

I went out the front door and there on the enclosed front porch was a very large package.  Not only was it large but flat.  I thought it was probably something boring like an air filter and that it had to be for my roommate, Alan.  But there printed in bold, black ink was my name on the address label.  Then, I looked over to other flap of the box and saw a description of what was inside.  The tears started flowing.

Ken's incredibly thoughtful gift for me and my new business venture

While on the phone last week, I told Ken about the large dry erase board at Revolution Fitness that I really liked.  I said that I thought I could use one to map out marketing strategies, etc.

Not only did he listen to me (we have a joke that he’s allowed not to listen to me 10% of the time, but I often think he stretches that to a much higher percentage), he got me one.

Yep, that’s right, I was on my front porch crying, holding a large box that I knew contained a dry erase board.

Now, there are a few reasons that a dry erase board brought me to tears.

1.  I miss Ken tremendously and more and more his sweet gestures and loving words make me cry.

2.  I know that Ken believes in me, but somehow seeing my new dry erase board hanging on the wall is a constant reminder that he is cheering for me to succeed.  And, I don’t know about you, but there are days that knowing I have a fan club pushes me to work harder.

3.  I am a woman and some women cry a lot.  I am a crier.  Recently, I read an article in Women’s Health Magazine explaining why women cry more than men and why they should cry whenever they felt the need.  Apparently, you don’t gain as much weight if you cry. So, ladies, stop fighting back those tears – let ’em roll down your cheeks and melt away a pound or two.

Tickets to LCD Soundsystem! Watch out James Murphy!!!

On a related note … I’m going to NYC in less than 2 weeks to see my favorite band ever play their last show at Madison Square Garden!!  That’s right, me and my BFF, Caroline, are going to see lead man James Murphy and his crew rock out courtesy of none other than Ken Herringdine – it’s my anniversary gift. How is this related, you may ask.  Well, when I received the tickets, you guessed it – I cried.

About the band…I started listening to LCD Soundsystem back in 2005.  I remember the first time I heard the song “Losing My Edge” and listening to it again and again and again, Googling all the bands Murphy was namedropping but I didn’t know.  From then on I was hooked.  I like it all; From the catchy stuff like “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” that hit some charts to the slightly more somber “Movement”, I don’t think they have released anything that I don’t like.  Murphy and his DFA Record label are brilliant.

So you get it.  I like them.  Last year, I had tickets to  Pitchfork Music Festival , the annual festival put on by oh- so-clever-when-it-comes-to-anything-music0related (semi-facetious comment) people at www.pitchfork.com that I bought mostly because I was going to be able to see LCD.

But, I bought those before I knew that I would fall totally in love with Ken and he would move to Boston and that if I went to Chicago for the festival, I wouldn’t get to see him.  I chose Ken over LCD Soundsystem and had an amazing weekend in Minneapolis instead.  Absolutely no regrets there.

From the very beginning of our relationship, I think Ken knew of my adoration of LCD Soundsystem.  He probably found out when I referred to “James Murphy” as my mode of transportation – as in, “No need to pick me up, I’ll ride James Murphy.”  In Memphis, I rode my bike everywhere.  I even went over a month without driving at all.  At one point I mentioned to Ken that maybe I should sell James Murphy (James Murphy is a vintage English commuter bike – a 1969 Raleigh Folder to be exact) and buy a bike that would be a bit more practical for commuting here in Boston.  Ken told me that he viewed James as part of our relationship, so he is still my two-wheeled supa-star and plan to keep ’em with me always.

Me on James Murphy in my apartment in Memphis

Back to work.  I think I’ll map out my tomorrow on my dry erase board.