Friday, 1 April 2011

Wednesday - Day 5 NYC

We were a bit late on the go this morning, and it was just after  mid-day when we headed out across to 30th Street Guitars for The Beeb to have another browse.  The shop was filled with classic used guitars from the 60’s and 70’s and it was obvious some of them had been round the block, including the old Gibson in the front window, covered in black paint, which had a $7,000 price tag!

Charlie Parker Way

On our itinerary today was Greenwich Village, and The Beeb picked up a copy of The Voice on the way down. First stop was the house Mark Twain stayed in and then we walked through to Alphabet City to see where that well known Sax player with The Rolling Stones (!), Charlie Parker stayed.

A quick hop in a cab took us to MacDougall and Bleeker Street, where we went into Bleeker Bob’s record store and the first thing we saw was a 7” single from 1982 by non other than Mari Wilson (she of beehive hairdo in the 80’s and a great singer, songwriter and raconteur today ). It had to be bought, and although the guy behind the counter was reluctant, he did allow The Beeb to take a photo of Minty buying it!

Minty buys Mari
We toured a few more records stores and also found another guitar shop. This one has been a supplier of Gretsch for many years, and sure enough, hanging up and tempting The Beeb was another White Falcon guitar! Fate is telling us that he will own one, one day!

Kenny's Castaways
Looking for a watering hole, we stumbled quite accidentally on Kenny's Castaways, the venue David Bash uses to host the New York IPO every year. We stopped for a couple of beers and had a look around the stuff hanging up on the walls, including some Smithereens silver discs and a few signed guitars. We had a chat with the barman who told us he sees over 300 bands a year in the bar! He also told us that The Smithereens started their musical career there and indeed, 2 of the band had worked at the bar before hitting the road to fame and fortune.

Time was running short, so a quick dash in a cab up to 34th Street and The Beeb bought a couple of pairs of Levi jeans he had his eye on, before we had a quick bite to eat in Choc O’ Nuts. Here we ordered side dishes but they would have counted as mains in the UK – it was another “Welcome to New York” moment.

We met our Beat Rat friend Frank in the hotel lobby in order to have the chance to spend a couple more hours together. At $17 for 2 beers in the hotel bar, it seemed like a wise decision to move on to another bar – and we ended up in Reservoir in the University area. It wasn’t a bad bar – we found some soft seats in the back. The service was quite inattentive to the point that The Beeb went to the bar to get more drinks and we got told off by the management who informed us we had to order through the waitress (well we would have done had she bothered to serve us!).
We said our farewells to Frank and then headed a bit further South to Botanica on E. Houston Street where we had arranged to meet up once again with Dennis Kelley. Botanica is a blink and you'll miss it type of place. Downstairs from the front street and into a dark world of cool music and hip looking people.

with Dave Amels

Dennis had kindly driven through from New Jersey for our last night. We were later joined by Nancy and Kiki. It looked as if we were in the Lucy Show or something the way the girls were dressed. Half way through the night we were joined by Dave Amels, who co-produced the wonderful Dennis Diken & Bell Sound album, "Late Music".

A brilliant last night in NYC for us, and it was with great reluctance that we left to go back to the hotel and pack - it was going to be an early start for us the next day.

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