I unloaded my cabinets by noon on Monday then caught a bus for NYC. I was very nervous the entire time because, I decided to take all my loot from the big pay day at the casino with me to have money orders made and mail them out. I have a checking account, but there were none of my branches back east. I've only bought money orders a few times in my life, so I wasn't really sure where to start. I figured the simplest thing to do would be to find a bank once I got to Manhattan. That seemed reasonably simple enough. I finally found one a few blocks up from the bus station. They informed me it would be seven dollars per money order and that the maximum amount of any one money order was $1000. This would mean $50 in money order fees! Yikes. Luckily, they also informed that I had to have an account with them, which I did not. They kindly directed me to a post office on 38th street between 7th and 8th avenues.
I found the post office and after waiting in line was finally able to get all of this cash out of my possession. Imagine how you would feel walking around New York with 5 grand in cash on you. I got all the money orders I needed and mailed them out. I was so relived.
So now, I'm poor again, but, I've got some debt off of my back, which feels good. My walk back to Times Square took my through the clothing district of New York, which was new for me. Every where you looked there were fabric and tailoring shops. I walked back up to Times Square to the internet cafe and got online for a few moments to check email, but more importantly, to find out exactly where Eyejammie is located. According to the website, the Ricky Powell exhibit would be on display through September and they were located on West 25th Street. I called them and found out that they would be open until 6pm, giving me plenty of time.
I hopped on a train, but for some reason, I was having a problem deducing east from west. I don't know why this is, but for some reason, I took a train on the yellow line, down to 23rd Street. The yellow line basically follows Broadway through Manhattan. Broadway is also the dividing line for "east" and "west". I was trying to locate an address in the 500 block of west 25th street, so needless to say, this put me 5 very long blocks from where I was going. I should have taken one of the blue lines down 8th avenue and saved myself from walking, but, it's not so bad, I love walking through New York. I might add that, unlike a lot of my trips to NYC, it was a b-yoo-tee-ful day: mid 70's, sunny and breezy. You couldn't ask for more.
My walk basically took me all the way to the west side, right down by Chelsea Piers. There seems to be a rebirth of this district going on. The 500 block of 25th Street was full of brand new galleries and some still being renovated. I made a mental note to revisit this in the future, when I had more time to do some perusing. It was almost 5pm by now, and I figured I would barely have time for Eyejammie.
I finally found the place and entered the building. It was a plain hallway with plain stairwells. I followed the signs to the third floor and entered, a room. A very small room, in fact, my bedroom in the last place I lived was bigger than this room. There was a desk on the far wall in front of the room's only window, behind which sat Bill Adler, who runs the gallery. I had spoken with him on the phone earlier about the hours of the gallery. He was yakking away on the telephone as I entered the room and he motioned for me to enter. I guess I expected something - more. The room had very high ceiling and nice hard wood floors with plain white walls. Adorning the walls were a few dozen photos all taken and hand-signed by Ricky Powell in Sharpie with brief explanations and dates of the photographs. The name of the exhibit was Frozade Moments which apparently is a reference to the fact that Ricky Powell used to run a Frozade stand somewhere in the city.
The collection was ok. A few were actually interesting photographs, but most looked more or less like pictures that I or anyone I know could've taken except that most of them were of famous people in the hip-hop business. To name a few: LL Cool J, Run DMC, Flava Flav, Kool Keith, KRS-One, Russell Simmons, Biz Markie, Method Man. Sadly, not a single picture of the Beastie Boys. I guess that would've been too obvious given their connection. My favorite of the bunch was a picture of a whino on the Bowery sometime in the late '80's. He was holding a cardboard box that had the following inscription on the side of it: "Trying to collect $1,000,00.50 for Wine research". The one with Method Man was a black and white of him talking to a bum on a stoop. Powell wrote at the bottom of the picture : "Method Man and Stank Breath Joe debate who has had the greater influence - RZA or Lawrence Welk." Some of the other more interesting ones: Andy Warhol with Keith Haring at an AIDS fund raiser and the one of Kool Keith sitting on the toilet seat in Ricky Powel''s bathroom primping in front of a hand held mirror.
All in all I was somewhat disappointed, not only in the photographs but in the gallery itself. I left and Adler waved at me while he continued to chat away on the phone. I walked back down to 9th avenue then began strolling north toward midtown. I got back up into the lower 30's and the Empire State Building began to loom over me. I cut down 32nd street toward Madison Square Garden. I don't know where all the subway stations are in the city, but I know one is there. I located it and caught a train down to Little Italy and had dinner at Il Fornaio. Of course I had the mussels and I tried the ravioloi stuffed with ricotta and spinach. All was delicious.
I walked off dinner by taking the short trip down Bowery to CBGB. As usual, nothing going on that I would be interested in. While reading some of the stuff posted in the windows I learned what CBGB stands for. I'm sure this is readily available on the internet somewhere, but it's not something that had ever occured to me an look up. There was a clipping of an article talking about the CBGB music hall next door to the original establishment. It mentioned the variety of artists who play there, including country, blues etc. as opposed to the good ol' punk you get next door. The article said "Blasphemy you say?" then went on to point out that previous to 1977, CBGB was primarily a country, bluegrass, and blues</b> venue.
I went across the street to the coffee shop/poetry club. I had seen it the last time I was down there but never really paid any attention to it. Apparently, Bob Holman owns and runs the place. I don't know much about Bob Holman except the recorded material he put out spordically during the 1990's. All of it I have heard though, I have liked. Before I made any decisions on what to do with the rest of my evening, I thought I had better check in with dispatch. When I headed for the city, they still hadn't found a load for me yet. So I had been calling them every couple of hours all afternoon. Turns out they finally had something for me, and I had to go get my load in Pennsylvania up near Scranton sometime after 3am and have it down in southern New Jersey by 11am. Thjs kinda nixed doing anything else for the evening so I began the trek back to my truck. I walked down Bleecker to the station and caught the 6 up to Grand Central, the shuttle over to Times Square and walked to the Port Authority Bus Station.
I got some good news earlier that afternoon, though. My friend Robin has been wanting to make a trip with me to NYC for sometime, but due to the fact that she's a working stiff like the rest of us, is tied down to a job. The original plan was for her to take some vacation time and do it, however, with her boyfriend's unfortunate incarceration, she now plans to save that vacation time for when he gets out, hopefully, on probation later in the winter. I had made her an offer earlier in the week she couldn't refuse. Since I had all of this extra money, I offered to pay her the equivalent of a week's pay so she could take the time off from her job without pay.
She has it worked out with her boss for the weekend of October 11th, with the entire following week off. I have it worked out with my boss to get the load a little early the week prior so that we can make the trip up there and have the whole weekend in the city. It should be a blast, I can't wait. Then, two weeks after that, I'm planning on doing the same when justamy and her beau go to the Big Apple. Whew, and I even have some plans on the back burner to try and meet Agnes up there too. Which reminds me, I need to call her. I should probably do that tomorrow.