Road Blog: Thursday October 20, 2016 - New York, NY
October 20, 2016
Parkside Lounge – New York City
We left Providence, Rhode Island around 11am and headed for the big city. Patty was at the wheel and I was navigating. It was an uneventful drive through the New England fall colors, falling leaves, and sunny skies. We were saddened to see our Facebook feeds fill up with the news that Chris Porter and Mitchell Vandenburg from Porter and The Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes were killed in a highway accident in South Carolina the day before. We didn’t know these dudes personally, but a hell of a lot of our friends did, and they’re basically out there doing what we’re out here doing, and it just felt very real and sad. I don’t really have anything to add to the dozens of things I’ve read from people all over the country in the last day, just be safe out there people. It’s terrifying on the roads.
We stopped at a service plaza and grabbed some road lunch somewhere in Connecticut. Patty got Panda Express, the McDonalds equivalent of Chinese food. He declared it surprisingly excellent and nothing went to waste. Gabe and I went to the grilled cheese stand Cheese Boy and got a couple melts that were pretty good. They had one poor lady running around like the Tasmanian Devil - taking orders, making sandwiches, and cashing people out. We gassed up and headed towards New York/New Jersey.
Our first stop was our AirBB which is an apartment in a high-rise in East Orange, New Jersey. It’s not exactly the ghetto, but it’s not a great area. Fortunately, the parking lot is gated and guarded so we feel fairly confident that the van is safe. We have 2 bedrooms and plenty of space. It’s not as clean as we’d like, but it will do. Options around NYC are few and expensive as hell. We decided to bring in a bunch of gear that we weren’t going to need for the show, as a lot of the stuff would be backlined by the bar. We turned a few heads, carrying up road cases and drums. After that it was off to Manhattan.
A collective gasp was heard in the van as we were told it would be $24 to use the Holland Tunnel. We forked over a Jackson and four Washingtons and went under the Hudson River. God damn, already $24 in the hole and we weren’t even at the club yet. Half an hour later, we made it through lower Manhattan and somehow, by the grace of that same God we asked to damn the tunnel commission, we found a perfect parking spot right next to the The Parkside Lounge. We’ve had crazy luck parking on this trip. We checked out the room, but couldn’t load-in for another 3 hours as there was a burlesque show at 8. We had a couple Michigan beers and set out on foot to explore the Lower-East Side and get some food.
Our first stop was Manitoba's, a punk dive owned by Richard Manitoba of The Dictators. It was a great place, punk rock blasting, amazing photos from NYC punk on the walls, and a colorful, cute, Russian bartender who bantered with us while we drank. From there we went over to Saint Mark’s Place and walked around, found a place to pee, and headed back to check on our van and get some food at the adjacent Mexican joint. Gabe and patty got the chicken-mole specialty and I got a spicy-pork burrito. The guacamole tasted like stale play-doh, but the burrito was excellent. It was a fun couple hours in NYC.
After the burlesque show we loaded in, met a few of the girls, and said hi to the local band The Reign (Feat. Joe Caravella). Their singer Joe is a colorful character who reminded me of a combination of Peter Criss from KISS, Deke DaSilva (Sylvester Stallone’s character in the excellent movie Nighthawks), and my pal C9 ( Robert Stinson ). We played first to a sparse room of a few people, and they followed with a set of powerpop originals and a couple cool covers. We were happy to see a dude we met in Charlotte, NC last year show up in his Cheap Trick tee shirt with a buddy. Made our night man!
We loaded out at 1am, said our farewells to everyone, and headed back towards the Holland Tunnel (no toll to enter New Jersey, just to leave it). Gabe put on Barry White, I drove, and Patty crashed out. Gabe and I watched a little TV before calling a night. New York City is brutal for a band like us. We’ll think long and hard before we do that again.
Today we’re off to Philly for a show at Connie's Ric Rac tonight. The bands we’re playing with – Braddock Station Garrison, Alpha Rabbit, and Only on Weekends - all look killer and we’re ready to play to some people!