Our tour of the US is going great. We've been so busy that we haven't had a moment to post updates but here are the 1st 3 days.
16 Berkeley CA
Scott had forgotten his shoes in VA so the first order of business was to hunt down a Camper store and get the boy some shoes. We took the bus in and felt like we were in China. The bus reeked of ammonia and people were covering their face with their hands and clothes. Looking around I noticed a homeless guy who looked like someone had puked over his hair. The bus driver eventually kicked him off. A brutal reminder that some people are less fortunate than others. The guys got all shoed up at the camper store and we're going to petition for a "camper tour support."
We tried to hunt down supposedly one of San Francisco's best coffee houses SightGlass but couldn't find it. As soon as you wear off the main street it smells like urine. What happened to street cleaning or just peeing in a toilet? Before we knew it it was time to get the rental car and head over to Berkeley where our first gig was. Of course we got stuck in traffic, had to change our pre-gig dinner plans to after-gig dinner, but got there in enough time to set up. The Steinway Grand Piano was gorgeous. Jon, A friend of a friend had brought his drums and we were good to go. Jet lag was catching up with us so the trio had round 3 of coffee that day.
When we started to play at the Hillside Club it was 3am in Iceland the next day. We had a lovely crowd and a wonderful 1st gig. Twitter buddies Artemis and Tracy Shaun came out and Tracy posted a really nice picture of the stage on Facebook. After chatting and mingling for a while after the gig we headed to a Korean restaurant with friends from our Brooklyn days. I learned that when you order a spicy dish without the rice… it becomes extra spicy. I tried to cool it with kimchi but that was spicy too. I was starting to see visions of ice cream and on the way out of the restaurant there was a freezer with corn and fish ice cream…. well, after all I wasn't that desperate.
I think my eyes had closed before my head hit the pillow.
17 San Francisco, CA
We woke up at 10:30. Wow! I picked up some coconut water, almond butter and fresh berries at the store next door and fixed chia breakfast for everybody. Turned out that was going to sustain us 'til evening. We drove into town to try to cover some tourist activities. We had just enough time to run up and down the Filbert Street stairs to the Coit Tower. Then it was time to head back to Chez Hanny and set up. We surrendered to Starbucks due to lack of time. People started to show up 40 minutes before the concert and it felt like a friendly party. By 4 o'clock the place was packed with people from Indian to California to Iceland. Not a bad mix. It was a super nice scene with everybody hanging out afterwards. An old friend from my "Pratt" days in NY came with her parents. She did amazing sketches of us which you can see on her blog. An old roommate of mine from my Paterson days Jeff Burr stopped by and twitter buddies Darin Wilson and Artemis.
After the hang we went out to dinner with friends from Iceland who had been staying at a monastery close by for a few months. We were leaving the next day so we had to return the drums back to Jon in Berkeley. We tugged Toggi in who had not quite recovered from the jetlag. We hit the highway, but in the wrong direction. Shit! Suddenly we were at the San Francisco airport. We corrected this minor error and made it back before midnight.
18 Driving, driving, driving up north
This day seemed like more than just one day. We got up at 8:30, had Chia seeds w delux toppings for breakfast then drove to KCSM where I was the guest of Desert Island Jazz, an award winning radio show. It was really nice to meet Alisa Clancy and Michael Burman. Scott and Toggi had the task to plan our drive up north to Eugene OR while I was playing my favorite tunes with Alisha [soon to be posted online]. We drove back into town where we meet our friend saxophonist Jason Gillenwater. He took us to Blue Bottle for lunch and kick-ass cappuccinos. Drove over the Golden Gate bridge and were blown away by the scenery north of San Francisco.
At 3:30 my time it was time to call Michael Foster at WVUD-FM. We talked on air for about 30 minutes and he was delighted that we will be making a stop in Newark DE for a concert. On Jason's recommendations we stopped at Moustache Muffin in Healdsburg and went into sugar shock. Balanced it with some nice cappuccinos then headed out to do some wine tasting but they had closed. So back in town we stumbled into Hawley's tasting room. They had this beautiful giant upright player piano. So of course I played a tune and we made plans to do a "room concert" next time we come thru.
Eugene is a long distance a way so we drove straight thru some dark Redwood forest to Eureka where we spent the night. I drove and Scott was on "bambi" watch.