Viewing: NYC - View all posts

My Spotify "Starred" List - Ep. 2 

Is there anyone out there like me that has an obsession (A healthy one, I hope-lol) with New York City? This is the first of quite a few tracks I've saved about that very place. "Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" by Alicia Keys


Starting in 2012, I began collecting songs in a custom Spotify playlist I simply called "Starred". Currently there are 404 tunes, and I continue to add to it. When I don't know what I want to listen to, I just put on the Starred list. 

Book Quotes - The Monuments Men 

Sub-heading: Books I've read. 

This installment of "Book Quotes" is brought to you by "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History"  by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter

Ever since reading that George Patton book, I suddenly find myself with somewhat of an interest in WW2 history. The basic gist of this book: soldiers on a mission to save the great works of art stolen by the Nazis.


"It is amazing how the world can change, he thought, during the life span of a fruitcake."

"I believe that all this loveliness showing through the rubble and wreck are just foreshadowings of the joys we were made for.”


"During the Bulge, Posey told him, the Germans had parachuted troops behind Allied lines dressed in American uniforms. The only way to find them out was to ask questions on strictly American topics, like baseball. The Germans were always clueless."

New York City:

"To see a painting of this quality leaning against the wall of a command post amid the bullets and the grime was to understand that great works of art were part of the world. They were objects. They were fragile. They were lonely, small, unprotected. A child on a playground looks strong, but a child wandering alone down Madison Avenue in New York City—that’s terrifying."

It was so cool reading this book and THEN taking a trip to Paris, staying in the Latin Quarter! :

"First Lieutenant James Rorimer rode his bicycle to Rose Valland’s apartment in the fifth arrondissement, an ancient section of Paris known as the Latin Quarter. The quarter had been popular with tourists before the war, but few tourists, Rorimer suspected, had ever visited Valland’s middle-class residential area, a lonely and secluded stretch just beyond the site of a massive fire started by German bombardment in August 1944."


"Sometimes, Rose Valland thought as the snows of December 1944 floated down around her, your destiny is thrust upon you." (Photo on left - Translation: "Hero of the Arts")


"Destiny is not one push, she thought as she waited to cross a quiet street on that cold Paris evening years later, but a thousand small moments that through insight and hard work you line up in the right direction, like a magnet does with metal shavings."

ThrowBackThursday - What A Night For "Promises, Promises"! 

ThrowBackThursday Post- Looking back on a blog post of recent yesteryear (and bringing it over from the old website for further reference). 2009.

On a whim, I "splurged" and procured for myself a seat to see, Krisitin Chenoweth in "Promise, Promises" at the Broadway Theatre this past week.
I am both a fan of Kristin's (since discovering her from "Wicked") AND the tunes of Burt Bacharach/Hal David.  To hear them both at the same time was indeed a treat for me!
Of course, a trip to the stage door after the show was in order!  Something that is so easy to do on Broadway since the venues' stage doors spill right out onto the street.  Now, here's a tip (and reminder for me next time) if you want to do the same for an autograph:
Get by the back-stage door earlier right after the show and get right up against the barricade.  I was approximately 2 & 1/2 people behind (not far at all actually).  I was close enough to see Kristin's gracious, smiling face and her perfectly crafted eyebrows, but not close enough for her to reach my Playbill for a quick black-sharpie squiggle of acknowledgement and thanks.
Now I could have been rude and lowered it into the faces of fans in front of me, but that didn't seem right.  And Kristin is quite tiny and I supposed reaching up would have been a little difficult and, quite possibly, a little unsafe for her.  So a gaze upon her presence amidst the hoopla that goes with it will have to suffice.
She signed just enough momentos before being whisked away in a black Audi sedan which sequence of events went like this:
1. All the actors, ensemble, main characters (Sean Hayes being one of them - but hey, I'm a guy, and Kristien's better lookin') exit the theatre.
SIDE NOTE: It's interesting, maybe a little sad, that the amazingly talented ensemble players just kind of saunter out one-by-one in their sweats or whatever street clothes and everyone pretty much just watches them walk out into the late-night NYC city streets.
2. Tall serious-looking guy enters black Audi parked in front of the stage door and starts car, lights on, and goes back into the theatre back-stage door.
3. Out comes KC to fan cheers, with said body guard and another guy carrying her small dog who stands by the car in waiting while she proceeds to sign various sized paper and cardstock items.

There she is next to bodyguard with assistant in background holding her Maltese, "Maddie"

4. Then off she goes "whisked away in a black Audi sedan."

So there you have it.  An inspiring night at the theatre for me!  On broadway, no less!
Next thing on my list,  buy the soundtrack.

ThrowBackThursday - Adventures in NYC 2009 

ThrowBackThursday Post- Looking back on a blog post of recent yesteryear (and bringing it over from the old website for further reference). 

A fast-paced slide show of my visit to NYC in the Summer of 2009. I've already been again (2010) so guess I'm a little behind! This may be boring to you. unless you're a family member, but I'll post it anyway for posterity! If you like Wicked, Sinatra, Disney, you'll like the music!

As is my habit all photos were taken with my simple phone camera. I shot numerous angles of some of the same shots and ended up putting them all in, to make it even more boring for you!  Some are blurry, dark, and even backwards, but there ya have it.

I really, really "heart" NYC!

One-liners, Life Skills From Baseball 

One thing I picked up from the beginning of summer is watching NY Mets baseball. 
Do to my reminder from songwriter bootcamp to "Think Like A Writer" - lots of one-liners written down from this new past time, that either relate to the "game" of songwriting, life, or could be actual song content down the road, such as:

"They've had coffee, room service, they're ready to go."

"It's a funny game. You can be gangbusters one day and then suddenly be on the skids."

"It doesn't matter what happened the day before, we come out ready to play." [Phillies quote]

"Powered that ball over the head of God."

"Anytime you get the barrel on the ball, good things can happen." [Branden Nimmo, Mets rookie]

Terry Collins on Harvey's (starting pitcher) struggles: "There are two kinds of players in this league - ones who have been humbled and ones who will be. When it's your turn, it's tough to take sometimes. You got to adjust and got to learn how to bounce back from it."

"This game will get you talking to yourself."

"You're judged at rock bottom and how you pull yourself up from your bootstraps."

"Right where he likes to put his pots and pans."

With special thanks mostly to Mets announcers: Gary Collins, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling.

ThrowBackThursday - On being inches away from Picasso and others 

A quick photo before melting in the 102 degree NYC heat

ThrowBackThursday Post- Looking back on a blog post of recent yesteryear (and bringing it over from the old website for further reference).

Reflecting on my recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, it reminded me of a game I used to play with the kids that used as playing pieces little cardboard squares with tiny prints of world famous paintings.  They were merely just that - nice, little cardboard replicas.

Well, it was a different story being just inches away from such works of art. Suddenly, this was the real thing, close enough to touch (though I dare not!!) .  It gave me the chills.   I Never thought I would enjoy it so much!
"Good artists borrow, great artists steal" ~ Picasso
The majority of the time I spent in the special Picasso exhibit and paid for the audio headphone tour (which I highly recommend-I got tired of reading, especially because it was really crowded and hence distracting) (Did you just see that?  The beginnings of art-snobbish-ness).  When it came closing time, there was sooo much I DIDN'T see!
I'm definitely going back and when I get home I'm going to have to pay a visit to some of those museums in LA.
Do you enjoy art musems?  Can't stand'em?  Share your thoughts below.

TBT- Colossal "Tourist Moment" Meeting A Wall Street Celeb 

ThrowBackThursday - Looking back on a blog post of recent yesteryear (and bringing it over from the old website for further reference). Sadly, i have learned that Larry McCarthy has since passed:
Finally got the time to edit & post this story from 2009 below:

Talk about timing! We had a show scheduled in Hackensack, NJ on a Tuesday in July 2009, but the weather decided not to cooperate whatsoever. So, being that the New Jersey-ites are the great forecasters of impending outdoor event-failure-due-to-rain, the concert was postponed until the following month. This was somewhat great news in disguise for some of us boys in the band (Hotel California-A Salute To The Eagles), being that our base of operations for the week was in the Meadowlands, NJ area, and only a short New Jersey Transit/under-the-Lincoln-Tunnel ride away from the Big Apple. A day off so close to NYC? Are you kidding? So what if It's raining! Fugettabouddit! So, off three of us went into Town. That's, "town" with a capital "T".

After a full afternoon of exploring, my walking compadre, Scotty "V" (see photo), and I had a little time to kill before we caught a cab from the Broadway district of New York City to meet up with our cohorts for dinner down in Little Italy. We decided to find a place to plant it for a beer, and since we were by the Gershwin Theatre, home of the Broadway favorite "Wicked" (which I love and did end up seeing a number of weeks later - but that's another blog), I made the call of portage and we temporarily anchored ourselves just east of there on 50th Ave. at Emmet O'Lunney's (yes, an Irish bar/grill), and got off of our tired feet for a few (that's minute's, not beers!) and a brew.

Very shortly after, a guy in a plaid shirt and baseball cap carrying a box of books proceeds to walk in with his devoted woman by his side. He sits next to us at the bar, and starts enthusiastically talking to the barmaid (whom actually DOES have an Irish accent, by the way-gotta love this town!) and hands her a book from his cardboard "carrying case". This was obviously a place he'd been before and at this moment he was obviously very proud. "Wow, we were sitting next to a famous author in the heart of New York City!" thought us "wayward traveling musician/tourists only in need of a place to get off our feet."

Striking up a real, neighborly NYC conversation in a real NYC kinda good-natured way, we learned that a very good friend of his, Lawrence McDonald was actually the author of the book and, smiling, he removes one of is treasures from his box of A Colossal Failure Of Common Sense - The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers, opens to a page, and has us read one of his adventures in the book with one sentence catching my attention which read, "...later in fall 2005 we decided to go up to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut for a couple of days." (You'll have to get the book and read the rest for yourself. This is a long blog already)
Okay, so we learn we are sitting next to and conversing with a major player in the book, Larry McCarthy, which we later ascertained after taking in the story in full, that we were actually in the presence of a Wall Street celebrity! But wait, need I say...."there's more!" ?

What immediately caught my attention right at the start (and I told Larry so) was the particular location of the narrative he was now having us read. My eyes flew open (cliche', but true), because coincidentally we had just performed at that same Mohegan Sun Casino of Larry's described adventures only 2 DAYS BEFORE! Holy Serendipity, Batman!

After further conversation, and one including talk of a possible performance opportunity in the future for Hotel California at one of the parties he hosts, he signs a copy for us, and give's it to us along with his card.

His brief visit coincided with our need to hit the streets once again and wave ourselves down a cab for our rendezvous with all good and tasty things Italian-NYC style, so we all sauntered out together on that late Tuesday afternoon, eastward along the sidewalk of 50th Ave., with Larry eventually pointing out what once use to be the actual Lehman Bros. Building where he worked. (Making millions at a time makes "worked" seem like an understatement!) I took this photo on a street corner and we parted ways.

Scott and I talked about this chance encounter for weeks (and still do), reading the book and making comments about it as we went on down the road to wondrous adventures. What will top this?

Just a highlight of that trip for me, and I'm sure for Scott as well. Yes, we met a financial celebrity indeed, but more notable than that, is the privilege, Lord willing, of just living life in all it's unexpectedness and to experience some warm generosity from a local (well, sort of - he told us he commutes from Florida) boy who didn't know us from Adam! That's the stuff that life is made of. I love New York!

Mini-book review: I find I'm fascinated with the world of finance. Maybe it's because I try to stay so in-step with my right-brain awareness of the world, always on the hunt, my "songwriter radar" being tuned into sights, sounds, words, conversations, emotions, etc. It was a fun, imaginative escape to envision myself a part of the fast-paced, high-pressure atmosphere of Wall Street. And this book really gives you an excellent feel for that (not to mention the incredible inside-story of the Lehman Brothers debacle).

And by the way, you can find the Lawrence McDonald, the author, on Twitter at: @Convertbond.

Jam at the Bitter End, NYC 

What a hoot singing a few songs at the legendary Bitter End in Greenwich Village, New York City last Monday. Richie Cannata (Billy Joel Sax) hosts a jam every Monday night 11:30 that goes into Tuesday morning.

What a thrill playing with him and a stellar bunch of players from the Big Apple. No guitar needed! (Which was kind of fun in it's own right-what to do with my hands?!) My songs were "Before You Accuse Me" ~ Eric Clapton; "Drift Away" ~ Dobie Gray; "I Can't Tell You Why" ~ Eagles.

Thanks to my friend Jacki for capturing the night in some photos.

Joe Cocker face!



"Do you sing Seven Bridges Road?" 

Last summer of 2013 I was enjoying two slices of mega-size pizza with some good friends in Bryant Park, one of my favorite green spots in all of NYC.  A stranger walks up to our green metal table and asks me:

"Do you sing Seven Bridges Road?"

Strange question.  I answer, "Whatzit to ya?"  (kidding)

I answer yes, of course. 

Turns out he recognized me from back in December of 2012 at a show we (Hotel California - A Salute to the Eagles) did and he attended at the Mohegan Sun Casino all the way in Uncasville, CT!  I just thought, "What are the odds of this happening?!"

It just amazed me that our paths would cross within this city of 8,405,837 million Of course it's nice to be appreciated for what one does, but what was really wonderful was the whole serendipitous aspect of that sweet but brief moment in the middle of the Big Apple.

"Give me such shows - give me the streets of Manhattan!" ~ Walt Whitman

P.S. We're playing there again July 20 ,2014

P.P.S And sometime in July you'll find me back at Bryant Park. Pizza anyone?