Our Trip to New York …..

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hobbyWe said our “goodbyes” to the puppies and headed out the door for Hobby to hop on the company jet for a quick trip to NYC. Before we left, I promised Lola that if she kept watch over her brother while we were gone I would ask our Southwest pilot to dip the wings in salute as we flew over the house on our way to New York.  She was sitting at attention when we left.

We were bummed that SWA no longer has a non-stop to Newark airport because our only other non-stop choice was LaGuardia and we had read that they are getting a makeover. That’s for sure! So much construction…… It was tough getting transport from the airport since the renovations make it difficult for the taxis, Ubers and Junos to make their way past the construction to the pick up area.  This time we ended up taking a gypsy cab who assured us that he was our best bet since the traffic was so backed up. We have always heard that it is a big mistake to take the gypsy cabs, but both times we’ve done it we have lucked o2016-10-15-17-49-39ut. The first time the driver pulled out a microphone and sang old Temptations songs and this time we got a guided tour of Queens. It was actually a pretty nice ride, our driver was knowledgeable about the area and pointed out some Greek diners that we should try out during our stay.  It was cool going under the elevated, it reminded me of “The French Connection.”

When we arrived at citizenM, we found Mr and Mrs Chicken Boy in the lobby awaiting our arrival. They were as hungry as we were so we dashed up to our room on floor 8, “the most prosperous floor” toroof stow our bags.  I wickewindowwas overruled when I suggested dinner from the food truck outside the hotel. No street meat for me!

We found a quiet little Italian place with homemade pizza and pasta which turned out to be really nice and reasonably priced which is always a nice surprise in New York.

After dinner we made our way to “Wicked” at the Gershwin Theater located across the street from our hotel. Handy!

I must say that after seeing “Wicked” I may be over my aversion to musicals.

I think my bad memories of musicals came about because at an early age I was taken to see “Oklahoma” and I’ve never quite gotten over it.

I’d like to tell you that we went out for late night drinks after the theater, but my editor only lets me stretch the truth a little and since we were up at TCOD and needed to save energy for Sunday we retired to our most prosperous floor for a good night’s sleep.

Perhaps you have heard that tdelihe venerable Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue is closing after almost 80 years. We were going to stop in for one last  “mile-high” pastrami on rye with a side of “attitude” before the closing, but with mile long line of pastrami lovers waiting outside the Deli we decided that we could just live with our memories of sandwiches past.

We enjoyed a delizioso Sunday brunch with the Trooper family at Quality Italian Steakhouse.

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House made Battenkill Ricotta + Sicilian Oregano Flower Honey + Pinenuts + Smoked Salmon & Chive

familydinnerWho would have thought that a dish made with buckwheat spaghetti alla chitarra, braised bacon, and poached egg would be one of the best things we’ve ever eaten? Fantastic food. Even better company.  After brunch we headed off to Central Park to walk off the 9ooo calories we consumed at brunch. At least that was the plan.  A purple plume on a sweet faced horse caught TWWNCNBUIP’s eye and before we knew it we were taking a carriage ride through the park.

We had no trouble getting plenty of steps in after our carriage ride IMG_1856.JPGwhen we made our way to the High Line, an elevated rail line along the Hudson River side of Manhattan. It has been transformed into a green space worthy of an afternoonimg_1841 walk – with lots of art and interesting people watching.

Walking along the space one is only a few feet from the surrounding  buildings. On this Sunday, the entire “line” was filled with citizens. Most were live, some only appeared to be. Along the flowering rail line we also found some unusual birds pecking at the ground.

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We finished the High Line walk with just enough time to dash over to the St. Regis for a very quick drink at our favorite bar, The King Cole and then off to the Eugene O’Neill Theater for the excellent “Book of Mormon.” The theater was beautiful and the play was as great as we had heard it would be.

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2016-10-17-16-58-42TCON. Slept in today, took a trip Brooklyn to visit Chicken Boy’s friend who runs DriveByPress, an art concept that involves the artists traveling around the country with a printing press in a van, printing tee shirts and posters for public or private events.

While the artists compared notes of fiber, color and techniques we were joined by Weezer who helped us search the interweb for a great restaurant experience for our final night. And we found one!  Roberta’s in Bushwick. The restaurant plan made and accepted, we asked Uber for a ride to the famed Roberta’s.

robertasAfter an afternoon of art talk and and an evening of great Italian food we called it a night and headed back to citizenM to rest for our flight to Las Vegas in the morning.

If I forgot to include the last leg of this trip, let me expand upon it now. By luck, good fortune,  and a great friend, we had come upon free tickets to see the Rolling Stones in Las Vegas. Now, who’s gonna pass that up? Not me, even if it meant a 5 hour flight across the country.  I don’t envy the movie stars that have to make that flight, we could have flown to Europe in that amount of time. Well, maybe not, but it seemed like it.

All was good until Mick Jagger (or maybe someone on his behalf) Tweeted me Wednesday before TCON to say that he had lost his voice and would be unable to perform that night.

So, instead of the concert of the year, TWWNCBUIP and I had room service and watched the 3rd of 3 debates by those would like to be ruler of the free world.

Still not a bad trip.

 

 

 

 

 

AmericanaFest – Nashville 2016

Nashville, home of the Grand Old Opry, fried green tomatoes, everything pimento cheese and once a year, Americanafest.

couponWe made our way to AmericanaFest 2016 on the company jet, enjoying our usual first class service with free drinks and all the peanuts we could eat for the one hour and thirty minute flight to Nashville.

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Hermitage Hotel

As much as we appreciated the luv’ly peanuts we were starving by the time we pulled up in front of our favorite place to stay, the beautiful Hermitage Hotel. We were curious about whose shiny new tour bus was parked across the street but I was anxious to get inside for “happy hour” so I didn’t spend much time thinking about the bus.  Imagine how sad I was when I found out that we had just missed one of my favorite things at the Hermitage, the cookie and lemonade happy hour. All I got was an apple.

We were all starving and an apple wasn’t going to cut it,

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Husk Restaurant

so we dropped the luggage and headed out for some home cooking at Husk. Crispy Chicken Skins, Alabama White Sauce, Johnny Cake, Pimento Cheese, Chipped Beef, Pickled Jalapeños, Hot Water Cornbread, Sliced Cucumbers and Raw Onion, Benne and Honey Lacquered Duck with Pickled Blueberries and Chanterelles and Crispy Pork Collar paired with Cornbread Purée and Greasy Beans awaited us at this restaurant located in a historic building on a hill overlooking the Titan’s stadium.

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Electric Nashville

During dinner we downloaded the Americana app to make our showcase planning easier, well as easy as it can be with showcases spread out all over town with one artist at the Mercy Lounge, one over at the Station Inn and one more at the Basement, all starting within thirty minutes of each other.  We did our best to get to as many  showcases as we could but would have done better if we could have gotten around more quickly. Reminder for next year, get jetpacks instead of a rent car.

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Jim Lauderdale & George Strait

 

The awards show was pretty terrific with appearances by everyone from Bonnie Raitt to George Strait to John Prine. The awards show ran three hours so we didn’t get to the first showcase until ten o’clock.

We decided that it would be best to hang out at the Cannery Ballroom since it has three venues in one spot. Very handy indeed for seeing as many artists in as short an amount of time as possible.  We didn’t get back to the hotel until after midnight but as I mentioned it is my favorite hotel so I like finishing my evening in the lobby, it smells like summer flowers and it’s the perfect place to wind down after a long day. Great people-watching too. Usually at leastwineglass one group will come weaving up the stairs after a very happy night out, those are the one who come over and ask us where we got our wine gunsbecause they can’t find anyplace open.  (We come prepared.)

Anyway, we like to spend the last hour or so in the lobby figuring it all out.

TCON the next day we made our way past the “Nashville” set that was being filmed on the same street as the Six Shooter Records party. Those Canadians put out an appropriate lunch (Nashville “hot chicken” sandwiches and Yazoo beer) for the listening party on the rooftop of the George Jones Museum. We got to see Ms. Whitney Rose who was as usual, delightful. Also got my first live listen to another Canadian – Amelia Curren, who I’ve been trying to get to Houston for several years. Thanks Six Shooter, we had fun.

peglegAfter a little nap we headed out for the music happy hour parties. We tried to make it to New West but got caught in a traffic circle so Siri changed our direction and took us to Razor and Tie Publishing instead.  We bumped into Steve Poltz as we were going in but lost sight of him in the crowd.  We decided to grab a bite before the next bout of shows so we walked around the block and tried out Peg Leg Porker for some great barbecue.

Again, we finished off our evening in the lobby of the beautiful Hermitage Hotel, Shane and TWWNCNBUIP with a bottle of wine and me with a bottle of Basil Hayden. I enjoy our midnight sippin’ parties.

We finally figured out who had the fancy shiny tour bus out front when we saw the Lumineers come home to the Hermitage after their gig.

All in all it was a great trip,  we got to visit with lots of new acts that we hope to bring to the Duck…(hint-keep your eyes and ears open for an Irishman.)

We heard the puppies really missed us..or maybe it’s that we really missed them, no matter who did the missin’ it’s really good to be home.

 

 

Two bottles of wine in the hotel lobby …

and it being 3am made for a late start today.

The seminar at 2 was about Youtube. I learned that if you have a YouTube site (which we do), if you can have 500,000 views of your video people will advertise on your video. I am told that for every 100,000 views you receive 35 cents in ad revenue. How’s that for an afternoon well spent.

Would you please visit my site 100,000 times?  Thanks!

I am going down to the Oak Bar for a Jack Mule, then back to work

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Creamed chicken and cornbread …

at the Hermitage, and a social media lesson hosted  BJ Barham, Amy Black and others at the Americana Boondoggle. Got a goodie bag with a beer opener to use at the Beerery, headphones and a home made cookie. More music at the Tin Roof. A nap. Back to my favorite bar in Nashville for more fried green tomatoes. Then we head to the Cannery for music til we drop.