Sunday, November 12, 2006

Too Much in NYC

The kids and I saw Death Cab for Cutie Thursday night at the Theater in Madison Square Garden. Ben Gibbard the lead guitarist and singer couldn't contain his joy over the election results. He made a couple of remarks about living in rosier days and predicted that in a couple of years the troops would be home and Barak Obama would be president.

I was blown away by Ben's drumming in the middle of We Looked Like Giants. He put down his guitar and walked over to a second drum set that they brought out for him. Bright white lights filled the stage and he let go, shining as if that were his one moment to be totally on.

I missed Transatlanticism--I need you so much closer. Maybe they played it for the encore, but I couldn't stay for that. Conor had fallen asleep and I knew I had to get them back to the hotel.

The Hotel Chelsea...when we checked in before the concert, we had to wait in the lobby for the bellman to show us to our room. Conor sat on one side, playing his Game-boy and Chloe and I on the opposite side. An older man sat down next to Conor. He had a carved, wooden monkey head in his hands, and he was putting things into the hollow bottom of it. Conor looked over at me with a question of concern. I assured him that he was OK with a hand gesture and he settled into his curious observation mode just in time to catch the story of the head. The man in possession of the monkey head told another resident of the lobby that this head had belonged to him at one time. He had owned it about 15 years ago and then someone stole it from him. He said he found it today in a store and stole it back. The head was from East Africa and was quite attractive, I could see how someone would become attached to something like this.

When we got back to the hotel after the concert and arrived on the 7th floor where our room was, we could see bright lights beyond the door in the direction of our room. We tried going the other way, because we weren't sure exactly which way to go, but then realized we did have to go toward what we then realized was a photo shoot of...a woman wearing a corset. It was about 11 PM. We opened the door and the photographer apologized to us. No, we said, we're sorry to interrupt. Conor claims he didn't see anything other then the leopard print chair that was turned over on its side on the floor.

Our trip the next day to the Brooklyn Museum included a scene with the NYPD. When we sat down in the car, a man lay across from us spread out over 5 or 6 seats. He was passed out and no one paid much attention to him. A man a couple of seats down from me asked us where we were headed, I guess because he saw me looking at the list of stops. I told him the Museum and he said that we should get off the stop after him. We had a long ride ahead of us and I settled back in my seat to relax. At one of the stops, a uniformed policeman got on the car and walked right over to the guy who was passed out. He told him to sit up and nothing happened. Then he grabbed the guy's belt and started shaking his body to wake him up. The guy looked up at the cop and the cop said sit up, you can't lay down on the train like that. The guy said I was looking for something, and the cop said no you weren't, you were passed out. Right, the guy said, I was sleeping, but after you woke me up, I started to look for something.

He sat up and the cop stood there, a big guy with his gun and stick. He put his hat on, down over his eyes the way they do that to look tougher. Then something happened at another stop. The cop yelled something, got off the train, and then back on again. At the next stop, he told the guy who had been passed out, to get off the train. The cop seemed really angry, as if whatever had happened at the last stop now had to discharge and this guy was going to have to pay. He did get off and we saw the cop put handcuffs on him.

The rest of us on the train shook our collective head at the abuse of power. And our friend who was going to get off at the stop ahead of us, grabbed a bottle of whiskey out of his duffel bag, filled his Sprite bottle and then shared it with another guy across the aisle from him.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a typical Hotel Chelsea stay. Keep in touch with daily life at the famed hotel via the non-corporate blog, Living with Legends.

Kim Barke said...

Thanks for the link. I didn't say how blown away we were by the Hotel. Everything about it, from the people at the front desk, to all the art on the walls, to the stories we now have made it the best hotel we've ever stayed at in NY. We'll be back. Just wish it was a little more affordable.