Things I Learned in New York

22 Jul

I just got back from a whirlwind tour of the Grande Pomme – six nights, six different futons/couches, two shows, four massive hangs, one wedding, two amazing bands, and not as much falafel as you’d think.  Along the way, I learned a few things that I thought I’d share.

Virgin Airlines1. Virgin Air is, Indeed, Pretty Great

Speaking of Big Apples, I’ve heard various descriptions of Virgin America Planes, all of them somewhat apple-centric.  My friend Karen mentioned that it’s like “traveling inside of an iPod,” and  Mindy Kaling tweeted that the plane reminded her of a “Douchey iMac.”  Well, the apple comparisons are right on – everything is white and shiny and slick, with cool LEDs lighting up the ceiling like it’s a nightclub and TVs in the seats.  Sure, anything you want will cost money (even snacks!), and the WiFi is ridiculously expensive, but hey, the ticket was cheap!  So, yeah – Virgin Air.

Compass2. The iPhone Compass Rules

From the moment I arrived at JFK, my iPhone was saving my ass right and left – the MTA map I downloaded was incredibly helpful, as was the GPS and google maps.  The most useful feature, however, was the compass, which I did not anticipate. I suppose that in retrospect, it should have been obvious, because how often do you come out of the train in Manhattan thinking “okay, which effing way am I facing now?” A lot, that’s how many. It saved my ass more times than I could count. Also, looking over my recent searches in Google Maps is pretty hilarious.  It’s, like, “CoffeeCoffeeCoffeeDinerCoffeeDinerCoffee.”

Jess Fine at Sullivan Music Hall3. Jess Fine Puts On A Hell of a Show

The night I arrived, I went straight from the Airport to Sullivan Music Hall (rolling suitcase at my side), where I got to see the lovely and talented Jess Fine perform a set – Jess and I went to Miami together, and she plays with a ton of the rest of the UM Gang. She did tunes off of her new EP (which is totally great), and sounded just killer – great hooks, nice piano playing, and the wisdom to allow her killer band stretch out. That band consisted of fellow UM alums Woody Quinn and Tommy Harron on guitar and bass, respectively, and Chris Smith on drums, who I just met this weekend, and who sounds great.  Woody was getting some killer, juicy-ass guitar tone from what turned out to be a little Fender Blues Junior Deluxe amp, and Tommy, well… wow.  I haven’t heard him play in a few years, and he sounded totally ridiculous.  Kenji and I were having fun trying to picture him playing something that wasn’t ridiculously grooving.  Great show, Jess – come to SF on tour!

Trader Joes Three Buck Chuck4. Trader Joe’s Labels Two-Buck Chuck Differently in NY

Interestingly enough, the TJ’s at Union Square labels it’s two-buck chuck quite differently than in SF – no “Charles Shaw” label, and a ton more words – “Trader Joe’s Presents: A Charles Shaw Production: Red Grapes in: WINE.”  Or some such.

Oh, and also, a bottle costs $2.99.  Transport costs are a bitch.

5. Oh, Yeah, and New York is AMAZING

Jeez, it is really the center of everywhere.  Maybe it was the iPhone assist, or the fact that I’ve visited before, but this time around, the city felt both smaller and grander at the same time. It was never too hard to get anywhere (well, discounting a two-train ride to Brooklyn at 3:30 in the morning), and there’s just so much awesome stuff to do, so many fantastic musicians to see and play with, and so much delicious food to eat… and so many old friends to see. And, thanks to Virgin and Southwest, so many affordable ways to get out there!  I’ll be back soon, and I already can’t wait.

NY Via Inbound N Express

I shall return to you soon.

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