Day 5, Saturday June 19th. New York to CT
We thought we were giving ourselves plenty of time when we left NY at 3pm but apparently everybody else in New York decided to leave the city at the same time and head up to Maine. Traffic was insane…. like a continuation from the previous night where it took us 3 hours to get from just outside the Lincoln Tunnel to Brooklyn.We were headed to Middletown CT where we were going to play a duo bill with pianist Noah Baerman at the Buttonwood Tree. Noah had courageously offered to cook dinner for us and insisted on putting on a lavished menu that met my dietary restrictions of no sugar of any kind, vinegar or fungi (see part 1). Unfortunately due to the heavy traffic we only had a brief time to enjoy his incredible cooking. His vegan "cream of spinach" soup was awesome and you must check out his recipe. While there, also read his post on Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which he suffers from.
We had a great write up in the Hartford Courant and the show was sold out. After the gig we went to hang at a local bar and I made a few attempts at ordering something from the menu but eventually gave up when even their hummus had sugar in it. Dan and Loren were staying with Noah and Scott and I were crashing at a little cottage nearby. The road, if you can call it that, to the cottage reminded me of a scene from Blair Witch or something similar. It was totally dark and I couldn't see anything but when I woke the next morning I discovered the beautiful lakeside scenery surrounding the cottage. Another nice discovery later that day was a review of our concert in the Middletown Eye.
Salad for brunch. Cucumber, sunflower and pumpkin seeds for snacks. For dinner I had Noah's awesome lentil loaf and cream of spinach soup.
110 miles/ 177 km
DRIVING TIME: 3.5 to Middletown
PLAYLIST in car
Knights on Earth – Bishops and Beefeaters
Miles Davis in Paris 1963
Duke Ellington / Johnny Hodges – Side by Side
Day 6, Sunday June 20th. Middletown CT to Cambridge MA to New York.
Scott, Loren and Dan are all really nice guys. So although they would have rather gone to a mexican or indian restaurant they all accompanied me to a vegetarian place called "It's Only Natural" in Middletown. I was blown away when I saw the menu, They even had gluten-free beer… oh crap! I can't do yeast! I'll have to come back later for the beer. The food was great and the waitress very understanding of my needs.
The drive was smooth and we got to the Lily Pad in Cambridge around 6pm. Our gig wasn't until 9:30 so we went exploring. If you happened to walk by a minivan around 9pm and saw 3 guys undressing that was my band changing clothes for the gig. I wish I had gotten a picture of them. It was a sight to see. The Lily Pad had several sets of music that night and the pianist playing the set before us had broken a string. What a coincidence. When we had arrived at An Die Musik in Baltimore the piano had a broken string which got fixed before we played. So there at The Lily Pad the owner was working hard at replacing the string I was glad that the audience, a total of 8 people, didn't leave. We chatted a bit and had a great set. It was my favorite night musically of the tour and it was too bad that it was the last one.
We left Boston at midnight and drove straight to NY, stopping once to switch drivers, almost hit a deer once and made it to Brooklyn in 4 hours. The whole trip we had been trying to figure out how to give the guys in the back control over their AC. The moment Loren closed the door and said goodbye I figured it out. Typical! It was nice to lay down at Alexis Cuadrado's house… only to have to get up to move the car for street cleaning a few hours later.
Lentil loaf for breakfast. Sauteed spinach and veggies with hummus for lunch. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds for snacks. Green salad for dinner.
351 miles/565 km
DRIVING TIME: 2.5 + 4
PLAYLIST in car
Paul Bley – Fragments
Bill Frisell / Elvin Jones / Dave Holland
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Well, I'm glad to know that I fall into the nice-guy category in your book. And, just so you know, even though I agree that the cottage in CT looked like a scene from Blair Witch, I wasn't scared at all… even when we turned out the lights. The choir of bullfrogs lulled me to sleep.