Newark, New Jersey
Yesterday was a day off in Manhattan. Got up early and knocked out the gym. The temp in the gym felt like 80 degrees and the girl at the desk said they'd shut down the AC due to the rain outside, apparently there's an odour that circulated when things are wet. Sheer hell of a work out, completely fatigued and drenched by the end, just kept drinking gallons of water. Got a shower and met up with my good friend Rocky who moved here from Nashville a couple of years ago. We had a quick Mexican lunch and made a bee line for Rudy's Music Stop. Great seeing Rudy again and drooling over all the brilliant guitars in his stock. I played a 1946 Martin 000-28 that I swear was the very best flat-top acoustic guitar I've every had my hands on...the very best. It is worth every penny he's asking, but is out of my price range. After Rudy's we went round the corner to Steve Maxwell's Manhattan drum shop. Steve is the Rudy of drums and has many vintage kits set up in his shop for sale. My credit card began vibrating like a pager in my back pocket and I don't even PLAY drums! Fortunately I walked out of both Rudy's and Steve's without having to take out a second mortgage.
Rocky and I grabbed a cab to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where there's a wonderful Turner exhibit on, both paintings and water colours. It is my second eyeful of Turner this tour as the Tate Britain holds the largest collection of his works. Indeed a great deal of the NY exhibit was from the Tate but also from other museums around the world. Stayed for about an hour then headed off to meet Rocky's wife, Alisa, for an early and wonderful Italian dinner. I decided to walk back to the hotel which ended up being a serious hike from 19th St. E. and 4th Ave. all the way to 60th W. and Columbus Circle. It was well over an hour and took me through Times Square which was teeming with humanity. Finally made it back and had a quiet night off reading and watching a bit of TV, a rarity for me.
Tonight's gig was the New Jersey Performing Arts Centre. We drove through the Lincoln Tunnel and arrived a couple of hours prior to the show. The Centre has four balconies and the tip top is really the nose bleed section. A full house with the exception of the very last rows of the upper tier. I suspect oxygen would be required at that altitude. A fabulous gig and audience. We were all very relaxed yet confident after the day off and are now cherishing every last show. The count down is on with only five shows remaining before we fold up the tent and say good-bye.