Thursday, June 16, 2011

New York City

I left Silver Bay with my mom and sister about three days ago and and we all headed on a train that took us south alongside the Hudson River. For two hours we rode with the river to our right, and tree to our left, and big river estates on either side that turned into towering skyscrapers as we approached Manhattan. When we came out of the Subway, not so near to our hotel, it was raining, and the top of the buildings had been lost in the clouds. We got to our hotel soaking wet from the rain and tired from the traveling, only to head out shortly after to walk the busy street of New York City.

That night we saw a broadway show called Mephis, about underground Jazz artists who are discovered by a crackerboy Tennessee local. It was a phenominal show with great music and dancing and some of the best acting in New York, and even won the show the 2010 Tony Award. The next day, we went to the Hillsong church NYC, which was not my favorite, but it drew a huge crowd and I guess thats generally a good thing. Afterwards we had pizza for lunch at Palumbos, the best in little italy, and therfore all of Manhattan. That night, my last with my mom an sister, I took us to an underground jazz club in Harlem, which is one home to a deep and historical jazz culture that is still flourishing today. I will never forget that night, so authentic and real. We ordered a few glasses of wine and a good southern dinner, fried chicken, meat loaf, callard greens, cabbage, and potatoe salad all served on a plastic plate. I ate standing up half the time because the venue was so small, literally the basement of a residential flat. I wouldn't call it crowded if it weren't for how small this place was. A band of three played, as thier friends and even other visitors who brought in thier saxaphones and trumpets would chime in throughout the set.

The night before we had seen a broadway reinactment of the very thing happening right in front of us. Jazz and improvation inspired by the night, that very night, that very audience, and no other. That night I learned that jazz is all about feeling and it's expression in the present moment, it is about the here and now. It was perfect as the last night with my family, a memory, perfect as the begginning of this summer where I will be in the here and now of every moment.

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