Ghandi, John Prine, and the Guy Drinking From a Paper Bag

John Prince and Rosanne Cash at the Beacon Theatre

The day started with a trip to Union Square dog park were Mordecai had some competition for the big-crazy-dog-trying-to-fit-in-the-wading-pool award. I think we may have a new champion. Such is the fleeting nature of New York fame. Wish I had a picture of both of them trying to fit at the same time, but I was laughing too much.

A couple of tourists told me they’d been through the entire park, but couldn’t find the statue of Ghandi. Being a damn-near-native New Yorker, I pointed to where they could find it. Gill was a little impressed, I think.

There was a farmer’s market in the Square, so we picked up some fresh bread and took Mordecai home.

We rented a couple bikes and rode down to check out the Freedom Tower – the new World Trade Centre. When I was last here, it was just a hole in the ground, and now its nearing completion. Make me feel all kinds of good inside.

Next up was a ride down to Battery Park to get on a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. We learned tours of the crown are booked ’til November, but we booked Sunday for a visit half way up. Maybe her knees. Still under Liberty’s dress though, so I’m excited.

Got back on the bikes and headed for Greenwich Village for some lunch. Along the way we found some ginger salt at Sullivan Street Tea & Spices. Ginger salt is a key ingredient in ginger margaritas, and it has eluded me in Oakville. Same great taste, no Spice Market dance music required.

Further down Sullivan Street, we found the Sullivan Street Bistro. It was nearly empty, but had happy hour mojitos for $5, so we had no choice. Very fine mojitos, and the meal was the tastiest I’ve had in NYC.

On our way home we stopped to pick up our clothes from the Chinese Laundry (no really, it’s on their sign). Just four doors down from our apartment. I’ve never had folded underwear before. Love this town.

Being the thrill seekers that we are, Gill and I decided it was a good idea to ride bikes up 8th Avenue during Friday night rush hour on our way to see John Prine. We made a lot of new friends, pedestrians and drivers mostly, but some other cyclists too. I couldn’t hear exactly what they were yelling (there were a lot of car horns), but I knew from their enthusiasm that we made quite an impression.

We parked our bikes at Broadway and 60th Street, then walked up to the Beacon Theatre at 74th.

Around 72nd Street we saw David Steinberg out for an evening stroll with his wife. He looked very dignified, very Upper West Side.

The Beacon feels like some weird, ancient Egyptian temple for the performing arts. Spectacular. Even our premium seating (2nd balcony, 2nd last row, off to the right) had great sight lines. Very intimate.

Rosanne Cash played a short set accompanied by her husband John Leventhal. He is a masterful player, seldom front and centre, just making everything around him better.

John Prine remains an eminently likeable, singularly gifted songwriter. All the previous times we’d seen him, he played solo. This time he brought along some friends on guitar/mandolin/harmonica and bass who added another dimension. The old bastard played for over 2 hours, and held us in the palm of his hand the whole set.

Rode our bikes home down 7th Avenue through Times Square and parked them on 15th Street, then took Mordecai out of his evening constitutional. We were standing at the corner of 7th Avenue and 17th Street when out of nowhere, a black car rolled up to the corner and stopped in front of us. Two cops got out, and we assumed our bicycle crimes had finally caught up with us. Turns out there’s a guy standing beside us drinking out of a brown paper bag, and they’re there to tell him that’s against the law. Of all the things I’ve seen today, that’s way down the list of inappropriate.