Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fog's rollin' in off the East River bank...

...well, not quite - it really is rather warm and sunny. But I thought I should have as the title of this particular blog entry, the first line from the wonderful S & G's 'Bleeker St'.
Why ? This was to be my first port of call in my first visit to New York City in over 2 years.
It was an obvious beginning, for me, this time. A last minute trip to stay with friends in New Jersey happened just days ago, and within the timeframe of my little holiday, will be at least 4 visits into the city. Bleeker St holds a certain atmosphere for me, the streets, the people, the Record Shops (you were waiting for that bit, weren't you ?).
After deciding to decorate my hosts front porch in NJ with Scottish Flags to announce my arrival (much better than actually telling them I'm coming to visit, of course) and a day or two to let that damnable time difference / jet lag phenomenon sort itself and my bodyclock out, I was ready to pound the pavements (sorry, sidewalks).
Much hadn't changed, I was thankful for that. Rebel Rebel is a great little shop, their reputation enhanced in my little brain by their window display of the new tribute Serge Gainsbourg Album, right in the centre. Inside, too much to look through in the time I had, and too much to buy unless I hit big on the NJ Lottery, but a nice browse through nonetheless. Further on up Bleeker St, another Record / CD store which I won't name as it gets very low points in the helpful staff stakes, but merits a mention here only because they were playing T.Rex as I walked in. My favourite haunt was, as it always has been, a great store called Generation Records on Thompson St.
A veritable treasure trove of the normal to strange to bizarre, to promos and bootlegs and T-shirts to Vinyl to, oh, everything else in between. Even more popular now, it seemed, amongst many young and not so young lads because of the rather striking beauty of the girl who worked in the upstairs part of the shop. She had an audience of guys hanging round pretending to be interested in what she was saying about music whilst not being able to take their eyes off her. It really was very, very entertaining. I was one of them.
A trip too, to the Diner I usually now haunt on my trips Stateside, up near 34th St. This was the place frequented my myself and my Roxy buddies at various times in the Summer of 2001 when going to see Roxy Music just across the road at Madison Sq Garden. Old habits die hard.
A satisfying day pounding those sidewalks left me pretty damn tired, and I headed off back with the commuters into the Garden State, and the wonderful hospitality of my hosts.
On the music front a day or two later, Rich Phoenix and I visited Vintage Vinyl in Edison, NJ, a haunt of some years back, though, these days, their Vinyl section is rather small compared to the DVD and CD sections - a sign of the times. Great store though.
In days to come, visits to Lambertville, a fave little town of mine in deepest NJ, and a further visit to New York City this Wednesday, to take some pics, be a tourist, the usual thing.
Planned trips otherwise include the Guggenheim, Strawberry Fields, and Coney Island.
Meanwhile, back at AZ towers in the UK, Mr Lloyd holds the fortress until next week.
Have a nice day, y'all...

Johnny Reece