It was a day off yesterday and I spent it with my good friend Rocky Schnaars and his wife Alisa. They moved to New York a couple of years ago after spending most of their lives in Nashville, Rocky as a successful recording engineer and Alisa working for Barnes and Noble. When a book buyer position opened up at the corporate headquarters in Manhattan, Alisa interviewed, got the job and away they went to their new lives. Had a late breakfast and sauntered through Central Park and the city for the afternoon then met Alisa at 5 o'clock for cocktails and an early dinner at Victor's Cafe. I've written before about Victor's, the brilliant Cuban restaurant on 52nd St. W. just off Broadway. The food is magnificent, the vibe is like a Cuban veranda and there's a cozy little bar just off the dining room. It was a hot, muggy day yesterday and after wandering around all afternoon I was pretty dehydrated when we hit Victor's bar, so I began with three glasses of ice cold water followed by a couple of Presidente beers from the Dominican Republic. For dinner it was braised ox tail, mashed plantain, black beans and rice. We all had a leisurely stroll back to my hotel and they caught the train back to their home in New Jersey. I was back in my room by 8 o'clock and feeling like a quiet early night was in order.
The problem with the early, quiet night is that I can never get to sleep due to the schedule we've been keeping until 2 or 3 in the morning. I often wake up around 5 or 6 after only a few hours sleep. So it was this morning, up at 5:30. After about an hour I realised my day had begun so I got dressed and fell out into the street. A couple of blocks from the hotel is a great little greasy spoon diner called New Morning Restaurant on 57th and Ninth. The windows were open and it was still mild so a nice breeze was blowing through the place, great breakfast, pancakes, eggs, coffee that scarcely came to $10. Back to the hotel and a swing in the gym then back to the room where I finally got back down for a couple more hours of sleep.
Tonight's gig was the ever popular Wolf Trap Performing Centre. We played here in 2005, loved it and were looking forward to being here again. It was a sold out crowd of over 7,000. Just a great gig, venue and audience...a relaxed show with great sounding acoustics.
A runner back to Teterboro, New Jersey airport and a short drive into Manhattan where we will play Central Park tomorrow.