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October 31, 2023

Well, I’ve been back in my NYC apartment for slightly over two weeks, and man - just when you think you’ve mastered the art of being the hard-working-but-chill island guy on Martha’s Vineyard, the fact that a second, well-established set of routines awaits hits hard and feels surreal.

The tan fades and the Big Apple time crunch awakens.

Almost immediately.

I took a wrong turn somewhere off the Merritt Turnpike and barely avoided the George Washington Bridge amidst heavy traffic in the pouring rain (one doesn’t want or need a car here on the Upper West Side, but well - I now have one). I managed to double-park on West 87th Street in order to unload all the summer possessions to the lobby of my fifth floor walk-up (yes, we still haven’t magically created an elevator) and somehow managed to survive the twelve or so trips up and down to my top-floor studio. I then spent the rest of this initial day and night back doing my best to get stuff out of storage and find a home for everything in the roughly 450 square feet of space I call home.

The very next morning I was up to take the subway to my Sunday job in Tribeca (a great little neighborhood place called “Bar 135”), where I might hopefully remember all the computer and menu details from what seemed like ages ago. And the next two nights saw me back at “The Triad Theater” (an off-Broadway spot on West 72nd with shows running the gamut from dazzling to truly questionable) for rough rounds of service-bartending. After a day off spent reconnecting with neighborhood people, another two nights of work awaited (the highlight for me was the late Friday night show, when I happened to bump into my niece Lindsay outdoors while lugging a large bin of ice from a neighboring restaurant).

Finally, that Saturday was set to greet me with my first complete day and night off.

But no…

I’d almost forgotten we’d scheduled our Annual Shareholder Meeting for early the next week (ah - the joys of being the Co-op President…) and there was an incredible amount of paperwork to go through. So ALL of Saturday was spent reading one year’s worth of emails and minutes to get myself prepared. And after a LONG return to Sundays at Bar 135 (my hours on this occasion were 11am to twenty minutes past midnight…), my free Monday was spent in the same manner. (And then we were able to hold our well-attended meeting on Tuesday night - to generally positive reviews.)

I was rewarded with another Triad night on Wednesday, an actual day off on Thursday, and then my first “Jazz at Lincoln Center” session on Friday. Then another Triad shift on Saturday was followed by my third Bar 135 Sunday shift of this new season (thankfully with fewer hours than the week before). And finally, yesterday I had another free day; much of it was spent writing Minutes to that recent annual meeting for the Co-op records.

Which brings us to today…

So - as you can imagine, this hasn’t been the perfectly-conducive start of a fall-winter season I’d promised would be dedicated to more fiction-writing and music. In fact, there has barely been enough free time to get this monthly blog out before the month is actually over. (Happy Halloween to everyone, by the way!) BUT - I’ve survived these past two weeks and hopefully will be successful in paring down all this non-art-related work dramatically - starting soon! (Although, well - I’m doing a Triad shift both tonight and tomorrow… but THREE FREE NIGHTS are scheduled to follow!)

In any case, good, fun and surprising NYC moments are bound to happen these next thirty days, whether I’m busy or not. I’ll keep you all apprised of my progress this time next month!


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