It has been ages since my last post, but only because it's been ages since I last traveled.
I arrived in the city on 13 October. Before even leaving Detroit, I had an encounter worth sharing. After going through security, I noticed a man with a Yamaha trumpet case, so I struck up conversation. Turns out he's played with Wynton Marsalis/Jazz at Lincoln Center and Maynard Ferguson. Check out www.walterwhite.com
Fresh off the bus in the city, I did some light shopping on 125th St. Yes, in Harlem. From there, I ended up in a Columbia U building sipping coffee and eating a scone. Little did I know my friend, Phil, was working in the building directly across the street. Upon realization, I found him, waited until he was off work, and went to yet another coffeeshop to catch up with him. Still with time to kill before another friend returned home to where I would be staying the first few nights, I sat in on Phil's masters/doctoral education class at Columbia.
The evening was spent lounging at Betty's apartment until I heard from Karl, my reason for visiting before the LSO arrives, called me to meet up. We ended up with 2 friends of his in an Irish pub way up on 181st Street.
Friday, Karl and I met up, then walked through Central Park to the Neue Gallerie (German/Austrian Expressionist art gallery) for lunch. As one of Karl's zen locations in the city, I can see why special trips have been made - lovely room, tasty German food, and a nice atmosphere, to say the least. From there, we sauntered to the Metropolitan Club at 5th Ave./60th St. for drinks.
The best way for me to describe the beauty of this building - club founded and built by JP Morgan - is to ask you to look at the slideshow on their homepage: http://www.metropolitanclubnyc.org/
Back to the Met. Club for drinks Saturday at lunchtime. We had the entire penthouse bar to ourselves as we sat on the rooftop overlooking Central Park. Photos of the view will come after I'm home later in the week. Lunch followed at a restaurant next to Lincoln Center, where I had to make the difficult choice between bread pudding or cheesecake for dessert.
Karl was off to the airport Sat. afternoon, so I returned "home" and changed for a social dance at the 92nd St. Y. Once there, I joined the intermediate lesson (foxtrot/rhumba) before the dance began at 8. As the first tune began to play, I asked someone to dance. Turns out he is a dance instructor for the event and at the studio that hosts it. Over the course of the night, he taught me some tango moves, the marengue, some new swing steps, and some other tips. He also invited me to a tango class Tuesday night at his studio. Wine, cheese, dancing, company...why not?
NOTE: if you didn't know, I've been (mostly ballroom) dancing for 13 years.
After the dance, new friend Alex (introduced via Karl), who also came to the dance, and I made our way by foot from 92nd St. down 5th Ave. to 60th St. We popped into the Met. Club (he's also a member) at 1 AM as a wedding reception let out, with the intention of only using their restroom. While washing my hands, a woman complimented my shoes. Making small talk, she shared that she had put together the music for the reception. Upon giving me her card, she told me to give her a call and she'd give me a trumpet gig in the city.
It's now 3 PM and I'm yet to leave the apartment. All this walking/dancing has left my feet in quite a state. No matter, I'll soon be off to visit some 5th Ave. shops and Roxy's Deli for cheesecake before heading to 92nd St. (W, not E, this time) for some jazz and lovely company.
I could get used to this place.