Day 4, Friday June 18th. Baltimore to New Jersey. A Day of Driving.
Driving to New York today was pretty smooth. We were shocked by how much we had to pay in road tolls and glad we didn't hit much traffic. We dropped Loren off in Brooklyn since he had another gig that night. We drove around the old hood a little, past our old apt. building and ended up having a great lunch at the V spot on 5th Avenue. It's a totally vegan place that was playing Ella Fitzgerald and we even got a parking space right in front. After that we stopped at Cafe Grumpy for some coffee to go for the guys. (It is supposedly the best coffee in Brooklyn and you can even get a $15 cup). Then we headed out to New Jersey.
Scott, Dan and I used to all go to William Paterson College back in the days so this was like revisiting old stomping grounds. We were playing trio at Trumpets in Montclare. I had heard music there quite often when I was studying at Paterson. The club looked nice. I checked out the piano which honestly could use a little TLC and maybe more than a little. I adjusted the bench and got the set list ready. The first people to arrive were a couple that I had met thru Twitter and they drove all the way out from PA. Margaret is a mosaic artist and she had brought on my request some of her wearable art. It looked beautiful and I bought three necklaces. Check out their work here. Then we got ready to play and much to my surprise the bench was way too low. I played the first tune anyway but decided then to try to raise the bench again. I turned and turned and eventually got it up but it just sank back down as we were playing the next tune. Oh well, what can you do. It was nice to see some old friends at the show but otherwise the attendance was rather poor. I felt that the owner sort of dropped the ball on promoting the gig. I think that if I had handled the promotion I would have sold it the papers… 3 William Paterson graduates returning to their stomping grounds.
The drive back to Brooklyn was horrendous. Serious traffic jam at the Lincoln Tunnel, then bumper to bumper traffic through Manhattan and the same traffic jam on the Brooklyn Bridge. It took us 3 hours to get to Park Slope, Brooklyn from Montclair NJ in the middle of the night. It took us 3.5 to get to Brooklyn from Baltimore. Crazy! This was sort of a reality check, reminding me why we really left Brooklyn. I was thinking that if we were still living there with our two daughters, someone unrelated to us would be babysitting until we got home at 3am, then we would be waking up at 6am with the girls. It would really have been extremely difficult life. We were staying with a friend of ours, a bassist named Alexis Cuadrado and his wife who had the rare NY luxury of a spare bedroom. Loren had brought the keys to his place to Baltimore so we were going to let our selves in. The problem was we couldn't remember which house was his. Totally cross eyed from fatigue I was trying to read the tiny names on the buzzers with little success. Scott eventually found their door and ironically it was the first door that I had looked at but misread the name tags. Our room was small and the mattress took up the whole floor space. So, in order to lay it down we had to both be in the room, close the door, stand up against the wall and let the mattress drop. It was nice to lay down for a few hours before having to get up at 8am to move the car for street cleaning.
On average we drove 28 miles per hour that day.
Eggs and sauteed green beans w/ ginger for breakfast. Lunch was Salad and Black Beans at the V spot in Brooklyn. Awesome vegan little place. Snacked on sunflower seeds and pecans. For dinner I had sauteed veggies at Trumpets.
239 miles/ 384 km
DRIVING TIME: 3.5 to Brooklyn, 2 hours from Brooklyn to New Jersey, 3 hours from NJ to Brooklyn.
STOPS: 1 at a Rest stop in NJ, few in Brooklyn.
PLAYLIST in car
Bill Frisell – The Sweetest Punch
Lee Konitz with Chet Baker and Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett – Backhand
Tomazs Stanko – Soul of Things