Sept 12th, 2003.

New York, NY
New York, NY

It’s been sort of busy in New York. Lots of moving the car so we avoid the street cleaners, lots of walking and figuring out the subway and avoiding the really good-smelling food that I want so much. I think when this trip is over, it will somehow have managed to ruin grilled cheese and nori soup for me. That’s been lunch for two days and will likely be lunch today as well. I can’t believe I’m obsessing this much about food.

We played Tobacco Road in Hell’s Kitchen the other night and might be able to get a gig there, which is pretty cool. Meanwhile I could do nothing but go, “Oh, my god, we’re in Hell’s Kitchen!!!! That’s where Sleepers takes place. This is a real Hell’s Kitchen bar! I want to run out and find that book again right now!!!!” Because, you know, with me, I can have the real bar right in front of me and it just makes me want to book more.

New York, NY
New York, NY

Oh, and with current New York law, it’s illegal to smoke at Tobacco Road. This cracked me up for some time.

Jayson nabbed the camera LONG before we were ready.
Jayson nabbed the camera LONG before we were ready.

Seeing and talking to Jayson again is great. He’s much more open now. We talk for hours, long after rob has gone to bed, about our undying love for journalism despite our alternate career choices, about old teachers. He signed his book contract this week and was inundated with phone calls, and then there were articles in Variety, the Post, etc the next day. I forget sometimes the noteriety of our host

But despite his pariah status, his apartment suggests irreverance, sarcasm, mixed with a concerted desire for self-betterment. I open a magazine and a bookmark falls out that reads: “Every exit is an entry somewhere. – Tom Stoppard.” As if posted by a proud parent like their child’s A paper, Jayson has placed, under a Care Bear magnet on his refrigerator, a recent clean drug test. I am amused when, flipping through his coffee table books I happen upon a truly arresting photo book from controversial, congressionally condemned artist Andres Cerrano with the post-scandal inscription: “To Jayson, from one good guy to another. AC.”

Heather is a pants stealer.
Heather is a pants stealer.

Today he cracked me up. I rounded a corner in Strand, a labrynthine book store that boasts 8 miles of books, to find Jayson, all five-foot-one of him, still atop a gray milk crate he’d used to pull a book from an upper rough-wood shelf, reading a volume about the New York Times and framed in the doorway of the little room under its red directory sign: JOURNALISM.

New rule, the third Heather rule of the trip by my count (rule one, established pre-departure, was no hot dogs. Rule 2, established after a very unpleasant morning-after in Phillie, was no mushroom cheeseburgers):

ALWAYS carry a camera.

October 14, 2003.

No real luck at Tobacco Road. Gig went well, good sound, and Dan as always, kicksĀ ass. Unfortunately, Sharif got the flu and couldn’t make it. But Brennan came up with Dan, and that was excellent. We wandered Times square and got some excellent Thai food (unfortunately, it treated Heather poorly the next day).

Also, a bizarre parking contraption - actually a series of pulleys and elevator thingies and one of the most amazing parallel parking car maneuvering critters I've ever seen.
Also, a bizarre parking contraption – actually a series of pulleys and elevator thingies and one of the most amazing parallel parking car maneuvering critters I’ve ever seen.

We also got to hang out with my friend Zak for a couple of hours. His artwork has become spectacular – beautiful work. His floors are covered in clothes and discarded unidentifiable pieces of… stuff… there are photo lenses and art and stuffed animals duct taped to every flat surface. But his portfolio really is incredible, and he’s doing graphic novels… really cool stuff.

Heather keeps me going.
Heather keeps me going.

I need to start doing some really serious thinking on how to bring these artists together. Tomorrow I’ll prolly spend the day arting, and then maybe do some wandering of Providence (did I mention we’re in Providence? But I really need to find out what I do with all these things and people that I’m encountering. I feel like on top of everything else, I’d like to be DISTRIBUTING these things. Will’s little colouring books, Zak’s graphic novels, Shane’s wisdom, Sonny’s drawings… sigh. What to do, what to do?

Tonight finds us in Providence, RI – staying in the apartment of Sonny Roelle – one of my artist friends from college. The apartment is actually a small room on the upper floor of some sort of artist’s commune/co-op. It’s a really cool cafe/artist’s space/apartment building/gallery space/practice space/performance space/studio space. At the moment, there’s two different bands performing in different parts of the building. Filtering and bouncing off of brick walls. The only other noises are the tapping of our computers and the running water in the turtle tank. Yeah, it’s time for pictures, I guess.

Yup, gotta go photograph the turtles...
Yup, gotta go photograph the turtles…
Zak Smith - friend from high school - working on top secret art stuff that I can't talk about .... really. His tattoos are actually really cool too, though you can't tell in the picture. It sort of just looks like he's been dipped in paint. Admitably, when we caught up with one another at the Orange Bear in NYC, I licked a finger and tried to rub them off. But nope, they're all real. I mean, the one on his hand definately is, the rest - well, once he caught on to what was going on, he wouldn't let my moistened finger near his skin anymore.
Zak Smith – friend from high school – working on top secret art stuff that I can’t talk about …. really. His tattoos are actually really cool too, though you can’t tell in the picture. It sort of just looks like he’s been dipped in paint. Admitably, when we caught up with one another at the Orange Bear in NYC, I licked a finger and tried to rub them off. But nope, they’re all real. I mean, the one on his hand definitely is, the rest – well, once he caught on to what was going on, he wouldn’t let my moistened finger near his skin anymore.
Heather screaming at Jayson to get off our car. Everything you read about him is true: He IS crazy! Well, or at least - I don't know, he's sort of like a damned black leprachaun - however you spell that. He needs to dance around in a little clover ring w. a hat on and do really obnoxious things like sit on your car while you're trying to leave the state. We drive Heather crazy.
Heather screaming at Jayson to get off our car. Everything you read about him is true: He IS crazy! Well, or at least – I don’t know, he’s sort of like a damned black leprechaun – however you spell that. He needs to dance around in a little clover ring w. a hat on and do really obnoxious things like sit on your car while you’re trying to leave the state. We drive Heather crazy.
Heather demanded Muppet Toe Theatre. Oedipus was a flop. Here they were headbanding... MASTER! MASTER!!! MASTER OF MUPPETS IS PULLING MY STRINGS!!!!
Heather demanded Muppet Toe Theatre. Oedipus was a flop. Here they were headbanding… MASTER! MASTER!!! MASTER OF MUPPETS IS PULLING MY STRINGS!!!!
Sonny's room. At the moment, a cello filters up from the band downstairs. Stained glass and toys Star Wars toys. Many a Falcon. (The one on the right was mine till I sold it to Sonny to help him start up a toy store). And turtles..
Sonny’s room. At the moment, a cello filters up from the band downstairs. Stained glass and toys Star Wars toys. Many a Falcon. (The one on the right was mine till I sold it to Sonny to help him start up a toy store). And turtles..
DCF 1.0
DCF 1.0
Heather at Sonny's. She's finally posting stuff! So without further ado...
Heather at Sonny’s. She’s finally posting stuff! So without further ado…