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AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Time Since Reboot

  • 1177 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes, 58 seconds ago

Those Were the Reasons, and That Was New York

 

For those among my readership who may have questioned the reasonableness of paying for such NYC related expenses as airline tickets, an expensive 2-night Manhattan hotel stay, pricey meals – all to see a concert… allow me to direct you to the video above.  This, alas, is not footage from the Radio City show that I saw, but from the Beacon Theatre concert a few months back.  He gave the exact same recital of this gorgeous poem, though, and if I find a video of the RCMH version I shall update appropriately. 

Allow me, too, to post the set list from Saturday night – if only for the benefit of my own memory.  The list is from an anonymous commenter at BrooklynVegan.com, which has its own review of the Radio City shows as well as other info, pictures, etcetera.

 

Dance Me to the End of Love
The Future
Ain’t No Cure for Love
Bird on the Wire
Everybody Knows
In My Secret Life
Who By Fire
Chelsea Hotel
Waiting for the Miracle
Anthem

 

–intermission–

 

Tower of Song
Suzanne
Sisters of Mercy
Take This Waltz
Boogie Street
Hallelujah
I’m Your Man
(Poem)
Democracy

 

–1st Encore–

So Long, Marianne
First We Take Manhattan

 

–2nd Encore–

Famous Blue Raincoat
If It Be Your Will
Closing Time

 

–3rd Encore–

I Tried to Leave You
Whither Thou Goest

This might have been, quite simply, the best concert I have ever attended.  Was it worth the trip and the expense?  Yes.  In fact, in the long record of the reckless, impulsive decisions I have made over the years, this one was by far the most successful.

A side effect, it should be mentioned, appears to have reared its head.  As a consequence of Mr. Cohen’s concert, I am now – perhaps hopelessly – in love with New York City.  It is not pretty or picturesque.  It has no deep sense of history – not that I care anything about.  It is a gargantuan, undulating city; ugly as sin.  But it is the hub of everything.  The heart of the world.  Now there’s a metaphor we probably shouldn’t explore too deeply, eh?  I want to be there.  I want to be a part of that energy.  If you asked me why, beautiful reader, I could not give you an answer.

Spectacular Views

1_003

1_018

1_027

 

All taken from my hotel room balcony on the Lower East Side; Friday, after midnight.

Faronel’s Ground

my hand
    hangs
        beside your little hand
    our heads up
                   side
                   down in the wind
our laughter                     accelerates
into the sky
    and plum
        mets
        like
        rain
            to our skin

you say
    I play — a lost little boy
and I tell you
    I will never grow old
and I tell you
    I will never be found(little girl)
I am         lost     in the stories
we told
        to each other across all our distances
crossed — pale electrons
    spinningandfree
now I peer through my hair to make sure you are there
        and you peek back
            through your hair
                        at me

past lives we have led are now
    twis-ted rust-red
    mere reminders of places we’ve been —
the remainders of long-ago love’s long / divisions
    scratched out
        with invisible pens.

the sunlight retreats
                down cruel fiery streets
    and the twilight takes over the skies
little stars flicker on
    in hotel rooms
    and bar rooms
    and galaxies
    highways
    and eyes

as we cast little games
with our words
with our names
with our what-ifs
    and
what-could-have-beens
    so we fade with the night
        and the lines that we write
    scratched out with invisible pens

(untitled)

There are plenty of ideas rolling around in this scattered, smothered and chunked brain of mine, but I seem to be suffering from some sort of creative exhaustion.  I felt one of those thin rays of inspiration hit me for the briefest of moments a couple of days ago, but it has fluttered away.  I cannot make the words flow.  So here’s a survey question instead. 

If you only had one full day in New York City, what are some of the things you would do and some of the places you would go?  No tourist destinations, please.  I’ve seen the statue of liberty.  Give me a slap and send me a comment. 

Also, if anyone has seen my motivation, I would love to have that back.

Back To Reality

I leave the country for a week and a half and all hell breaks loose.  A swine flu is unleashed, friends get laid off, Chrysler declares bankruptcy and Bea Arthur dies.  Please accept my apologies.  I am back, so everything ought to start getting back to normal now.  Right.  Right?

What with doing mounds of laundry, catching up at work, and struggling against what I am pretty sure was simple jet-lag and not the onset of aforementioned formerly pork-monikered illness, I have not updated this page in quite some time.  So allow me to rectify that.  To kick off what I’m sure will be many, many vacation-themed posts, what follows is a simple, non-comprehensive, unordered list, made on the airplane, of personal highlights from the trip to Eastern Europe.

  • walking across the wide, bustling, beautiful (if not quite blue) Danube river
  • making the trek up Gellert Hill and enjoying the panoramic views of Budapest below
  • driving through the rolling hills of rural Slovenia
  • enjoying the slow food (Gostlina AS) and cognac (at Cafe Romeo) in Ljubljana 
  • photographing the war-damaged buildings in Croatia and Bosnia 
  • being treated like millionaires in Tucepi
  • strolling beside the clearest, cleanest water I have ever seen on spotless pebble beaches in absolutely perfect weather
  • getting a dose of reality in Sarajevo and at Dubrovnik’s war photo exhibition
  • slowly circling the city atop Dubrovnik’s ancient walls 
  • exploring and photographing the ruined castle at Mali Ston
  • the six-course straight-from-sea-to-kitchen-to-plate all-oyster dinner on night 1, and
  • the freshest red snapper I’ve ever eaten on night 2 in a little Croatian fishing village
  • dining on baby-lobster-sized shrimp all down the Balkan coastline
  • the red wines of the Peljesac peninsula (Dignac, Postup and Plavac varietals)
  • the top-notch customer service on Lufthansa Airlines
  • the late-night conversation with a Croatian bartender regarding cigarette politics, football graffiti, tourism and olive farming
  • every hotel we stayed in, from the simple to the luxurious 
  • stumbling upon a local folk art festival in Pest
  • lying on our backs in the middle of Budapest’s city park
  • sipping espresso at Cafe Gerbeaud and watching the corny street-saxophonist entertain children
  • the people-watching… everywhere
  • getting lost in the Budapest post-communist ghettos trying to find our hotel
  • getting lost (and staying lost for 2 hours) along the Croatian/Slovenian border
  • eating great ice cream every day in Dubrovnik
  • google-maps sending us down a one-car-wide dirt road in the middle of a Slovenian forest, us turning around, and then discovering that the dirt road was, indeed, the correct path… awesome.

A wonderful experience.  I cannot recommend Slovenia and Croatia highly enough.  Please go before all the tourists figure out what a great vacation this is.  Like I said, more to come.  Watch the ol’ fotoblog for pictures.  Ta-ta.