Austin City Limits Music Festival 2010

November 1, 2010

What a great time we had this year at the 2010 Austin City Limits Music Festival!  We went this year with my drummer, Brent Burgess and his wife Hannah.  My only complaint would be that the secret is out and Zilker Park cannot hold the amount of people trying to hear good music… MUSE day (Saturday) was crazy!  It was like one big swarm of sweaty bodies and smells… some of them legal, some of them not so legal. 😉

ACL Main Entrance

ACL Main Entrance

This huge orb would glow at night -- beautiful.

The Calm before the Storm - early morning before the gates opened

Some of the highlights:

Ryan Bingham, writer of the Oscar-winning song, “The Weary Kind” from the movie Crazy Heart.  What a talent!  I loved his sound.  Americana with a bit o’ soul.

Phish (Bryan’s favorite) was as usual a great jam.  Amazing musicianship.  Their cover of Eumir Deodato’sAlso Sprach Zarathrusta” caused Bryan to wig out — his Dad was a huge Deodato fan in the 70s and Bryan has vivid memories of this song playing on the 8-track deck on family vacations. 🙂

Amos Lee!  Fun to think about the first time I saw him opening for Norah Jones years ago.  He’s got such a great sound — acoustic soul + full jam band/strong BGVs.  Still love his song, “Over the Rainbow.”  Good stuff.

Ryan Bingham


Phish's Trey Anastasio

Phish's amazing light show

Ah, the beach balls...

Amos Lee

Norah Jones was just as good as she always is.  I love that she doesn’t put limits on herself and is not afraid to try new things.  She played quite a few songs on electric guitar and her sound is reminiscent to me of T-Bone Burnett’s producing — lots of ambient electric and very tasty drums.  HOWEVER, with the amount of slow mellow songs she played in the Austin heat, I found myself nodding off.  I need a bit more variance in songs. But still very vibey.  Music that you could chill to.   I was pretty inspired by her sound — I just think I would add a bit more soul to it for myself. 🙂

Flaming Lips gets an A+ for shock and awe.  I’ll leave it at that. 🙂

Fun seeing Oklahoma City’s own Sugar Free All Stars at the kiddy tent 🙂

I was looking forward to seeing The Dough Rollers (Harrison Ford’s son, Malcolm, and Gabriel Byrne’s son, Jack), but was disappointed that the person they call the “glue” that keeps their trio together, Julia, was not there.  I don’t know if she’s in the band any more or not — it seemed like Malcolm’s voice was not there for the show and he was bright red trying to sing; however, maybe that’s his thing.  It just hurt to watch him.  I really thought he might explode.  But if you close your eyes, they sound like old south.  Very interesting throwback — a dead ringer for that old sound. Check it out!

MUSE was amazing.  What a stage show.  Creative!  And innovative!  Just what you’d expect from them.

Norah Jones

Norah Jones & her band

Wayne Coyne in his Space Bubble!

Muse's Matthew Bellamy

"I need one of those!!" -Bryan

The INSANE crowd on "Muse Day"

Caroline Wonderland was solid blues player and vocals!

The Eagles ended the festival Sunday night and they sang all their hits.  I forget how many they have!  They had great humor and a warmth towards the audience that I really enjoyed.  Didn’t seem like they had egos….and they certainly have reason to.

The Black Keys were a band I wanted to see but really couldn’t hear because there were too many people around the stage — sad 😦

The food was overpriced and not too good, but that’s expected.  However, we ate/had coffee at amazing places in town, including Home Slice Pizza (twice!), 24 Diner, Progress Coffee, Magnolia Cafe, Blue Dahlia Bistro….

Carolyn Wonderland

Timothy, Don, Glenn, Joe - The Eagles

Our central rendezvous point whenever we got separated. 🙂

Beautiful Zilker Park & Downtown Austin

See you again in 2011!

Lots more good music, but I’ve talked enough for now.  Loved being in Austin!  Always do!


Spring in New York City – Day 6

October 2, 2010

We had to check out really early in the morning — 8am — so that we could make it over to the Brooklyn Tabernacle service by 9am.  Gave the hotel desk our bags and set off for the subway station.

We got to the Brooklyn Tabernacle minutes before the service started, and I was thinking, “OK, we’ll be up high in the back somewhere…” but when we walked up, the usher said, “Follow me, there are some seats in the front.”  What!?! And away we went, to the FRONT ROW!  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir was already singing (they are AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING!) and I was already crying — overwhelmed by blessings and grateful for what God had done.  The music was heavenly.  Their sound is as amazing as the church’s story.  You have to check it out.  So inspiring.  The pastor got up and just moved me again to tears.  The whole morning was so moving.  We went over to their bookstore afterward and bought some messages and a few CDs & gifts for family.


The Brooklyn Tabernacle



Inside the Brooklyn Tabernacle


We thought we’d try to get over to Grimaldi’s one more time for that amazing pizza, but when we got there, the line was already down the street.  Bryan was sad, but stood in line anyway — we were gonna risk it.  When the restaurant opened at Noon, an ENTIRE BUS of people got to go in first, before any of us in line (some tour group) — we were bummed!  But then, when all seemed lost, a group of about 15 people in front of us got discouraged and left the line!! And I am pretty sure they regretted that decision right after they made it, because the restaurant wasn’t full yet and we made it in with the first wave of people — there were just 4 seats left after we sat down!!  Thank you Lord! We ordered immediately, but when everyone around us got their food, we realized that our order was misplaced — or actually, we found out somebody else got our pizza!  Ha.  Well, we eventually got ours and once again ate it all!

With our bellies and hearts full, we headed out for our last subway ride home back to Manhattan.  We were sitting in the subway station in Brooklyn and I remembered, “Oh, man, I was gonna buy a hoodie I saw in a shop by the pizza place…” but when I looked up, standing there was a friend from high school, Jordan Ballard!  I said, “Jordan?” and she turns around — sure enough, it was her!  I gave her a big hug and we got to ride the subway back to Manhattan with her, catching up on all her adventures — she’s now co-starring in a new Broadway play, Enron with “President Logan” from the TV series 24!  How fun!  So happy for her, and great to see her!  I had been thinking about how I wished we could have gotten together on this trip — and then, look what God did.  Turned out she had never used that subway station before that day, but the subway station near her apartment was shut down. So fun!  After she got off the subway Bryan said, “If you had stopped to get that hoodie, you’d have missed her completely.” Wow.


Final photo in the Ace Hotel


And like that, we were back at the hotel, grabbing bags, and catching a cab to JFK airport.

What a trip.  What amazing memories.  Thank you Lord!

P.S. Bryan is not only an amazing husband, but an incredible trip planner.  He should start a business.  I’m serious!  Thank you, Bryan, for making this trip so special! I LOVE YOU!

Spring in New York City – Day 5

October 2, 2010

Saturday we hit the street at 10am — first stop: H&M Customer Service.  Yes, to return the one thing I bought the day before.  I KNOW I KNOW.  (I did have some hair accessories that I kept).  We then set off for Rockefeller Center & NBC Studios.  So fun!  A beautiful, crisp morning.  Not too cold — just right!  We walked down Fifth Avenue and stopped at Takashimaya (local tea hot-spot), Tiffany’s, Trump Tower, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Rockefeller Center

Marcy in front of NBC Studios

Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

Trump Tower

St. Patrick's Cathedral

We walked into FAO Schwarz (like many do) to see “THE BIG PIANO” from the movie Big.  So funny to see these signs upon entering — I felt like a lemming — and of course they keep that sucker at the very back corner of the store.  Well, we saw it.  Check!  Right out front of FAO Schwartz is The Apple Store, and it really is an amazing piece of art, just the building itself!

The famous "Big Piano" in FAO Schwarz

The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue

Next we walked right into Central Park (the southern-most part we hadn’t seen yet) and enjoyed all the things you HOPE to see in Central Park.  Men’s softball games, boys little league games, the Mall, the boats on the Lake, buskers — it’s truly picturesque.  However, I must say, my feet were KILLING ME and I was more than ready to sit down — which we did shortly after when we returned to 42nd street for Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theater!  Bryan and I had great seats for the 2pm matinee, but we are short people, so they let us have booster seats!  HA!!  I LOVED THAT!  It made all the difference – SO SO SO AMAZING!!  I can sum this up by saying if you loved the magic of the movie you will not be disappointed by the live show.  I don’t know how they do it, but the magic is all in there!  And Laura Michelle Kelly is just WOW.  So good.  The only sad moment was the 20 minutes after intermission when the ladies behind us decided to eat like they were at the dollar movie — LOUD, LONG, AND OBNOXIOUS.  Their chip bag seemed like it was 12 feet deep.  Thankfully they finished and didn’t interrupt any major scenes!  I was teary-eyed at the end.  So grateful!!

Central Park

An afternoon baseball game in Central Park

The Mall in Central Park

The lovely benches lining The Mall

Beethoven's bust in Central Park

"Mary Poppins" at the New Amsterdam Theater

At some point earlier in the day, Bryan realized he left his cell phone at Celeste’s the night before, so we needed to take time to retrieve it.  We took a train to the Upper East Side to get to Serendipity first to try to secure a spot on the waiting list for a table (it’s at least an hour wait for dessert).  Then we headed over to the Upper West Side, got Bryan’s phone, and ate at Big Nick’s Burgers (recommended!).  It was so fun and sooooo good.  I got the Burger with sweet potato fries.  YUM!  They were so nice too.  There are little signs up everywhere inside the tiny place.  It’s not for the claustrophobic, that’s for sure. But the food is dynamite.

Upper East Side at sunset

After deciding I could do Serendipity another trip (didn’t want to waste time waiting), we headed down Central Park West Avenue to catch a train back to Broadway to see CHRISTOPHER WALKEN in “A Behanding in Spokane” co-starring Sam Rockwell (Moon), Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), and Zoe Kazan (Revolutionary Road)!  This show’s cast consists of only these four actors, but is a dark comedy that holds your attention!  We had front row Mezzanine seats — the theater is so shallow, we felt so close!  It was great! One great moment was when Kazan and Mackie were handcuffed to a heating pipe in a hotel room and are trying to put out a candle that’s sitting in a gas can (a trap Walken’s character had setup).  They were supposed to throw their shoes and MISS the can, but Mackie’s shoe flies over the can and blows the candle OUT!  He is not sure what to do, because this changes the story completely, so the audience and them are laughing hysterically and a stage hand quickly and as inconspicuously as possible jumps out from stage right and re-lights the candle.  SO great!

Waiting for "A Behanding in Spokane" to begin

The final scene & aftermath of the play

After the show we joined the crowd waiting by the stage door for the actors to exit, hoping for a photo and an autograph.  WE HIT THE JACKPOT!  Christopher Walken was the last to leave, and he came around to my side and signed my program!  I said, “Thank you”, he said, “Thank you” — so cool!  Right before that we saw Liza Manelli stroll past and enter the theater through the stage door!  And to my left I saw Ginnifer Goodwin, from “He’s Just Not That Into You” — she was trying to casually pass by unnoticed with her friend, but I caught a side pic of her (she looked thrilled!).  After the throngs of people left, we heard rumors that Liza was still inside the theater, because it turns out that she, Carol Burnett, and Jane Krakowski (from 30 Rock) were all in the audience that night!  Wish I had seen Carol Burnett!  We stayed and waited just in case, but after a while we gave up — but what A GREAT NIGHT!

Ginnifer Goodwin walking by!

Anthony Mackie signing autographs

Sam Rockwell leaving the theater

Christopher Walken signing our Playbill!

The Schoenfeld Theater

Thinking we were done with celebrities for the night, at around 11pm we headed back to the Ace Hotel and decided to get some dessert up in the bar area of the restaurant, The Breslin.  I told our waitress of our adventures, and she reported to us that at that very moment at a table a few yards away was sitting Chelsea Clinton with some friends!  Wow!  What a night.  I caught a bit of her face on the way out, but her friends flanked her pretty good.


Spring in New York City – Day 4

June 19, 2010

We hit the street at 9:30am.  This was the only overcast day of the trip.  A little cooler outside — we wore light jackets.  We started out at the Flatiron building for some photos.  Then one of my favorite things — the Union Square Greenmarket for fresh breakfast!  YUMM!  How many movies have I seen this market in??  Crazy!  After MUCH deliberation (which wears Bryan out every time) I picked a cranberry orange loaf and a blueberry scone (no, I didn’t eat both of them alone :)) and grabbed some Starbucks coffee for the walk to the building used for the album cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti.” From there, we decided to split up (our only time this trip) – Bryan took some stuff back to the hotel to lighten his load, and I stayed on the subway train to 42nd street to buy tix for Mary Poppins on Saturday afternoon. I was in a train car with a weirdo, so I moved to the next car over, and sat down next to the sweetest girl, Crystal Rivera.  She lives in New Jersey, but comes into town for acting school.  So fun! Another new Facebook friend!  We walked up to 42nd street together, then parted ways.  I ended up having no luck at the ticket counter, but called Ticketmaster and got tix!  Bryan and I met back up at the Hard Rock Café then set off for the subway train to Soho.

Flatiron Building

Marcy enjoying the Union Square Greenmarket

Fresh Pears!

Bryan & I

Cute little train of preschoolers in Union Square

Original album cover of Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti"

Bryan's reenactment in front of the actual building on St. Marks Place

In Soho, we made a reservation at Balthazzar, which is a wonderful French Café (also known for a bit of celebrity-sighting).  No such luck this day; however, we did eat an amazing lunch!  Those authentic French fries… hallelujah!  Then, we met up with my sweet friend Lisa Brown at H&M (my fav!) for a little talking/shopping.  We headed down the street, walking a bit of Chinatown (buying some inexpensive NYC garb) but quickly decided it wasn’t our thing — no offense.  We turned a corner, and WOW!  Little Italy took our breath away.  Just like the movies.  LOVED LOVED LOVED it.  Lisa stayed with us long enough to grab some fresh canolis at a local shop (yes, Bryan said “leave the gun, take the canoli”).  Then, Bryan and I set off down Mulberry Street to find the former meeting place of famed mobster John Gotti and the real Gambino crime family (thank you Bryan for freaking me out).  Then we found the shooting location (pun!) of the famed Godfather “Don Corleone assassination”  Very cool.  I was still scared that the mobsters were going to get us… lol.

One of the many beautiful buildings in SoHo

Shopping in SoHo

My good friend Lisa Brown

Mulberry St. in Little Italy (Empire State Building in the background)

If you think we used every moment possible on this trip, you’d be correct — Bryan made sure we got a taste of it all.  So cool.  We headed to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) around 6pm.  It’s free on Fridays after 4pm!  So cool!  There was an exhibit by Tim Burton there but it was packed out and we couldn’t get in.  Still, there was plenty to see… NAMELY this:

Marina Abramović, "The Artist Is Present"

I know it’s a bit fuzzy… but look close and you’ll see that there are two people sitting at a table staring at each other silently.  Yes. That’s it.  For hours and hours. Just staring.  The artist, Marina Abramović, is the one in red.  The other person is just a volunteering museum-goer.  The artist sits there all day and stares and if anyone wants to sit and stare back at her they can. Very interesting.  After seeing the other art she had upstairs (which included videos of previous live exhibits she’s done — one of which was her completely naked whipping herself and yelling while a cross of fire burned at her feet) — I can tell you THIS LADY IS THE LAST PERSON I’D LOCK EYES WITH.  Who knows what she transferred over to that poor unsuspecting soul.. YIKES.  But I get it that she’s pushing the envelope, and making statements with art. I get it.

On other floors (yes, lets get past THAT 🙂 I’m trying to…) we experienced really amazing art from throughout the years past.  So many great moments where artists had invented new ways to express/create.  Loved it!  There were many Picasso and Jackson Pollack originals.

One installation of the Tim Burton exhibit

A Shattered Chandelier at MOMA

Jackson Pollock's "Stenographic Figure" (1942)

We left there and headed over to the IAM (International Arts Movement) Art Exhibit happening at their space. Great to meet up with Christy Tennant.  And to meet some new friends, including Pennsylvania photographer Beth Altrogge (check her out on my Facebook/Twitter!).  Very talented people/art represented.

Hooking up with Christy Tennant at IAM

When most people would be too tired to move on, we got on the subway and headed to the Upper West Side where we ate dinner at Celeste’s (Lisa Brown’s suggestion) and it was amazing.  HOWEVER, the place is tiny, and this couple right next to us were talking very loudly the entire time about soccer and arguing about boys vs. girls sports.  They were flirt/fighting the whole time… I almost hit them. Almost. 🙂  The chick was soooo loud! (note to self. :))  Food/Dessert/Cappuccino was phenomenal.  I had salmon and Bryan had pasta.

Late night on the subway

We had about 1/16th a tank left of energy, just enough to trek over to Lisa Brown’s apartment for some late-late-night hanging.  How fun!  She’s got a backyard! (hot commodity in NYC!) We laughed till my eyes were slits… and then we caught a cab back to the hotel… whew!  What a cool day!

Spring in New York City – Day 3

May 21, 2010

Wow — so at this point, we’re a little tired, but still wide-eyed and back for more!  We went to Central Park in the morning and began walking through the south part of the park.  Once again, my 4th time to NYC, yet my first time to see Central Park.  I know I know… I just love Broadway shows a lot, ok people. 😉  But now I’ve fallen in love with so much more of NYC!  WOW!

The Great Lawn in Central Park

Atop Belvedere Castle

View of the Upper East Side from Belvedere Castle

The Lake

The Guggenheim Museum

We walked past Belvedere Castle, the Great Lawn, the Obelisk, the Ramble, the Lake, the Guggenheim Museum, and along Madison Avenue.  We came to The Dakota, on the Upper West Side, where John Lennon was shot and killed and where Yoko Ono still lives.  We thought it was so sad that she has to enter through the very gate where her husband was killed!  Bryan said there are more famous people who live there, but they have to get permission by some committee, and that BILLY JOEL was actually refused! Seriously?  Anyway, the security guard wouldn’t tell me any other famous people that live there…what a drag. 🙂  Across the street in the park is Strawberry Fields, and it’s not what I thought.  It’s a big circle mosaic that says, “IMAGINE”.  Very cool.  There’s a “Mayor of Strawberry Fields” who tells the story of Lennon multiple times a day.  I think he’s homeless… but he’s gotten TV time, so he feels good about his job. 🙂  He makes the peace sign every day on the circle using something (usually but not limited to flowers).  Interesting!

The Dakota Entrance where John Lennon was shot

The Dakota - John & Yoko owned the entire top floor of apartments

The "Imagine" mural in Strawberry Fields, Central Park

The Mayor of Strawberry Fields

We took the subway to the Theater District to get discount tickets for Broadway shows (at the TKTS booth) around 2:15pm.  However, I looked and didn’t want tix to any of those shows, while Bryan ate and subsequently fell in love with street-vendor hot dogs.  We headed to the Hard Rock Café so Bryan could get his NYC guitar pin. (love the hustle and bustle of 42nd street BTW!)  Saw the Naked Cowboy (not all it’s hyped up to be :))  We then walked to Seeda Thai for a late lunch, but after the waitress seated us and went to her own table and started eating, I figured they weren’t that desperate for our money, so we left.  We were pretty hungry!  Ended up at a recommended Mexican place, Toloache!  So so good.  But no free chips/salsa… whaaaa!?  Fish Tacos were awesome!

The Fish Tacos at Toloache!

After lunch, we walked to Sam Ash music store (formerly the famous Manny’s Music) another famous spot, where Bryan foamed at the mouth a bit, and tried a Fulltone Catalyst pedal.  There were a lot of pics of famous folks on the wall.

The entrance to the site of the former Manny's Music

Bryan drooling over all the pedals

Bryan having some fun!

We heard that a department store named Century 21 in the Financial District is where all the locals go for good deals, so we thought we’d see for ourselves.  I had no luck, but Bryan got some ties. 🙂  Right across the street was the World Trade Center site, so we sat on some nearby steps just taking a moment to reflect.  Beyond words.  They are just now building up from the ground a few stories (Because there are about 20 stories below ground, I hear) of the new Freedom Tower.  Very cool!

The World Trade Center site

We took the subway to Union Square where we got a snack at Whole Foods and ate it in the park.  Once again, it was as if EVERYONE was thrilled about the amazing weather, because they were all out at the park.  Someone told me it had been really cold the week before.  I noticed that there are a whole lot of people in one place, but little circles of 2 or 3 or 5, so it looks like they are all together, but really, they are still separate.  Just an observation.  Maybe gives the false-feeling of community?  Or maybe people branch out and talk to each other?  Who knows.

One tiny corner of Strand Bookstore

We walked past some interesting stores until we arrived at the famous Strand Bookstore.  We got lost in all the used books… killing time. Great place!  Left around 9pm, took the subway to the West Village, and walked to The Blue Note to hear The Bad Plus (I had discovered them on TV late one night and showed them to Bryan — he remembers this, I do not. :))  They were fascinating.  SO creative.  And the drummer is animated and joyful when he plays.  It’s not your typical jazz, for sure.  I wouldn’t call it “relaxing” — you gotta be engaged to appreciate it.  We had great dessert while we were there!  I had an apple-something, and Bryan had a pear-something… but it was a lot more than that!  I wish I had a pick.  That was our dinner/dessert 🙂  We took the subway home, and crashed into bed… going going gone.

Ethan Iverson (piano) & Reid Anderson (bass) of The Bad Plus

The Amazing Dave King

The end of an excellent evening at The Blue Note!

To be continued…

Spring in New York City – Day 2

May 2, 2010

So we woke up (after a MUCH needed first night’s sleep after Day 1) and were greeted to an AMAZING day of weather — grabbed Starbucks and some breakfast and headed out to get on the Staten Island Ferry for a (free!) ride past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (my 4th time to NYC and first time to go see these — HA!).  Very meaningful!  Loved seeing Manhattan from a distance also — beautiful!  Upon arriving at Staten Island we immediately boarded for the return ferry back to Manhattan.  Next up: Battery Park, at the lower tip of Manhattan.  Saw some cool street vending/performing.  Walked through some of the Financial District, looking for a hat to block me from the sun (because I have no pigmentation in my skin :)) for our next adventure.

View looking North on Broadway from our hotel building - Beautiful day!

The Staten Island Ferry

Lower Manhattan from the Ferry -- the Twin Towers are sadly missed

Statue of Liberty

Battery Park

Majestic architecture of the Financial District

We walked to the entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge and from there began my small I-Haven’t-Had-Enough-Sleep meltdown — LOL.  It was so beautiful on the bridge, but I was beginning to feel that I might not have enough energy for my afternoon vocal session I was looking forward to.  I got over myself halfway over the bridge :), took a picture 🙂 and basked in the beauty!  We walked across into Brooklyn and began the search for the renowned pizza place Grimaldi’s.  We had heard there’s always a line, and for good reason.  It was already around 2pm, so we lapped up that pizza fast!!  It’s rumored that Frank Sinatra loved eating there, and that he even flew their pizza to Las Vegas when he performed there! 🙂  Deeee-lish!!  Thankfully we did so much walking on this trip I think it helped to cancel out all our eating.  So. Much. Walking.  But great weather, so good trade. 🙂

Looking back on Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge

We loved the wood planks along the bridge!

The Perfect Lunch - Grimaldi's in Brooklyn

We then took the High Street train to West (Greenwich) Village.  Once there, we walked up and down Bleecker Street, stopped at ‘sNice (a great coffee shop), buying time until my 4:30pm voice appointment with Wendy Parr.  Living in West Village (in a great 4th floor studio apartment), she is a Level 5 voice teacher for SLS (Speech Level Singing) and head coach over the NYC area.  She has worked with artists like Regina Spektor, and she actually wrote lyrics to a song for the movie Slumdog Millionaire!  So to get to pick her brain for an hour was a thrill for someone like me. 🙂  She’s honest, but encouraging.  So grateful!  Such a memory!  (Bryan enjoyed the scenery and people-watching in Abingdon Square Park while he waited).

Bleecker Street in West Village

View in Abingdon Square Park


After my lesson, we walked down to Magnolia Bakery (YUM!) where it was only fitting that I have a cupcake, which I ate in a cozy corner park.  We then headed to Matt Umanov Guitars (a famous shop that Bob Dylan loved) for Bryan.  Then we walked down to a great local jazz spot called The Bar Next Door to reserve our seats for guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg’s set later than evening (a recommendation by our friend Mitch Bell).  I found an awesome tea shop next door called The Tea Spot and I had a FABULOUS loose leaf green coconut tea and checked some email. 🙂  Afterward, we walked the very short walk to Washington Square Park and watched some artists playing piano/sax for the hundreds of locals hanging out near NYU.  Such a great place to sit and relax.

Inside Matt Umanov Guitars - John Scofield's favorite store in NYC!

The Tea Spot

The arch in Washington Square Park

We met up with our friend Ed again for the Kreisberg show and enjoyed some dinner.  The show was outstanding!  He allows NO audible talking during his performance!  There were only a handful of tables in there, and (again, due to planning ahead) we got to sit literally right by the band in front! (this kind of thing was becoming a continued theme of this trip…)  Kreisberg announced that his good friend was in the crowd, famed singer/guitar player Raúl Midón.  He let us know Raúl would be singing with them during the next set!  Oh, my soul.  It was just… well, YouTube him and see for your self.  His talent is not hindered by his lack of sight — just astounding to the ear.

Jonathan Kreisberg

Jonathan Kreisberg with Raúl Midón

We finally got back to our hotel about 12:30am (another continuing theme of this trip) and the lobby was bumpin’ with loud music and tons of twenty- and thirty-somethings mingling about.  We had no time (mainly energy) to enjoy the hotel until our last night… but when we return to NYC we’ll add that in ’cause it’s the place to be in NYC at night!  Celebrity watching galore, I hear.  🙂

Bryan had a stomach ache from hell all night long (“…I don’t care how much  pizza I ate!”) so once again, not a lot of sleep! 🙂 But what a great second day it was.  To be continued…

Spring in New York City – Day 1

April 30, 2010

Woke up at 4am for our 6am flight! 🙂  Flew to Detroit and caught a flight from there to New York City — arrived at JFK airport around 12:20pm.  We grabbed a taxi with a very friendly driver.  He told us some of the famous people he’s driven around (Tom Brady and his model wife, Gisele What’s-Her-Name) and Barbara Walters to name a few (he said Barbara was a small tipper…and that she doesn’t talk to the cab driver).  We headed into Manhattan and got to the Ace Hotel by 1:45pm.  Our hotel was amazing!!

Our welcome at the Ace Hotel

We had to be in line for the David Letterman show by 3pm, so we threw our bags in the room and caught another cab — we made it just in time!  Someone in line next to me said, “When they ask you if you’re excited about the show, be very excited, and they might pull you to the front.”  So, with that in mind, we got to the front of the line and the staffer says, “Are you excited about tonight’s show?”  I say, “WE’REFFFRRREEEEEAKINGOUT!!!” and it’s so jumbled and loud, he’s not sure what I said, but he likes my enthusiasm 🙂 so we end up with an early call back time, meaning we’re with the group that is seated in FRONT!!  WOOOOHOOO!  Turns out this was the LAST taping of the season, so we were super blessed.

Standing in line at the Ed Sullivan Theater

Marcy with Rupert Jee at Hello Deli around the corner from Letterman

The Letterman show started at 4:30pm.  We were seated on the end of the second row, center, right in front of Dave’s desk.  YES!  So cool.  The guests were STEVE CARRELL (!), the cast of the Addams Family Broadway show (Nathan Lane, Bebe Neuwirth!), and Didi Benami, the chick with guitar from American Idol who’d just been kicked off the show.  Dave was fun, came out at the beginning, and said a few words.  He was hoarse, so he was not too wordy 🙂 but EXACTLY as I pictured him (quirky, lanky, the whole bit :)).  He did a Top 10 List for the Mets. The guests didn’t chat with the audience, but Steve Carrell did give us all a look and wave as he left during the commercial.  It was so so fun.  Great live music between sets, BTW.

Here we are - right in front!

Ok, I gotta move it along, right? 🙂  We went to Carmine’s for dinner afterward — that was amazing.  Their food is family style HUMONGOUS portions, and the price reflected it.  We got a salad and lasagna that could have fed about 4 more people easily.  The desserts looked amazing too, but we were too full.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  I made our gig setlist while eating dinner.  My mind works well under pressure and while consuming food.  LOL  🙂

Carmine's Lasagna! (nom nom nom)

The Setlist

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel to rest a moment and get ourselves together for the gig that night at Googie’s Lounge.  We entered the subway in plenty of time, but since it had been a few years, it took a couple of minutes to figure out which train to get on (even though Bryan had done such a good job planning & preparing…we got the hang of it by day 2).  We got to Googie’s in time to hear the group before us, Lord and Lady Destroyer.  I think they were from the Midwest.  Catchy!  Our friend, Ed Garcia, met us there to play upright bass with us.  HE’S AWESOME!  We were so blessed by those that took the time to be there for our first NYC gig!  It went well and felt good!  Loved seeing my flyers up in the windows.  We’d like to team up with a couple of other local artists next time and try to pull in a bigger crowd for the downstairs venue at The Living Room.  Such a dream come true to play in NYC! 🙂

Bryan walking the streets of NYC with his guitar

Googie's lineup for the evening

Marcy performing "Enough"

Marcy performing "House of Mourning"

Marcy & Bryan

A flyer in the window...

Bryan & Ed after the gig

We were the last show of the night, so afterward we headed down to the subway again.  Bummer — the uptown F train was under construction, which meant we had to find another train home — after midnight.  Thankfully, we met a new friend in the subway, a model and actor named Marco Jones from Michigan who helped us navigate to a different train.  However, we ended up having to wait forever for that one — but Marco kept us entertained.  And for that, we gave him a CD. 🙂  Crazy thing — we actually ended up seeing Marco in a completely different subway station across town the very next night!  Can you believe that!?!  Amazing.  Anyway, we finally made it back to the ACE about 2am.  We. Were. Exhausted.  Up since 4:00am remember!!  So that’s Day 1 of our adventures in NYC…and there’s more to come…

Home Sweet Home - finally at 2am!