5am touchdown, Logan International.
I fumble with my wristwatch to jump 3 hours into the future as we wait curbside for the Rental Car Shuttle to arrive.
It is dark. It is cold.
We’ve done this route before, the thought being we can save a few measly bucks & the early morning airport rush by taking that slutty stepsister of modern flight: The Red Eye.
But when the blast of cold air hits you (19 degrees?! Is there such a thing?) leaving the terminal you curse your former thrifty self. And then the unsmiling hotel clerk informs you the rooms will not be ready til 3pm, thank you very much.
Ah but this trip, to save us the usual humiliation of laying about the lobby like shattered refugees, we have the bright idea to use trendy Air BnB to see if we can salvage some of our dignity.
After rousing Anthony from his apneaed slumber, we make our way downtown for lunch at McGreevy’s with our pals Brian and Irene from SF:
A quick walk down Newbury street to visit the usual spots, and the sun is already surrendering to the icy dark. We report to the Middle East and meet up with our mates in F.U.’s and Silver Screams.
The show goes off well, a surprising amount of hardy locals braving the chill to cheer us on.
It is a rare treat to sleep in without the maids pounding on the door at 10 am, and we lounge about in pajamas sipping coffee before getting back in the minivan and heading South.
The Fall colors do not disappoint, and we stop at charming little towns along the way for the multiple urination stops befitting our age.
One little town square looks so artificially quaint I half expect the giant hand of a 10 year old girl to swoop down and grab us out of her play set.
No such luck.
We arrive in Brooklyn and check into the next AirBnB, following the owners’ specific instructions on where to park, where to go, and with whom not to make eye contact. It’s fine, and get this, parking is free out on the rat infested streets of Bushwick!
With plenty of time to slum around, we head over to Williamsburg to see what the crazy kids are up to these days.
I am threatened with bodily harm for snapping a pic of a trendoid Supreme pop up store; they apparently do not need the publicity to sell their 75 dollar Hanes Tee shirts.
We wander down Grand til we find a bar with a decent bathroom, and are soon shamed into ordering outrageously priced craft cocktails.
We have surrendered completely to the hipster neighborhood now, all scarves and V necks and we sip at spiced hot ciders served in miniature pounded copper spittoons.
We must leave this strange place before our hair climbs unbeckoned into tidy buns atop our heads.
Showtime at Goldsounds Bushwick, and the joint is packed. We have the treat of playing with our brothers in The Krays , who in turn bring up Davey Gunner to rip out Kraut’s Unemployed!
It is just great, once again to catch up with all our NY pals. We’re out at a decent 1am, but the night is not over yet.
Nick has spent the day with neck craned, spying the skyscrapers of Manhattan from a distance.
Nick admits he has never done the goofy loop of Mid Town, so we load up the van and head to Times Square and become the gawking tourists we were meant to be!
Sunday comes to us way too early but this is matinee day-back up the 95 to New Haven CT and our beloved Cafe 9.
On our way out of Brooklyn we stumble across the diner used in Good Fellas and proceed to have a hearty breakfast while coughing up lines from the classic. The waitress rolls her eyes and sighs, as apparently we are not the first clever boys to geek out thus:
We knew we were never going to come back from Florida alive.
The shine box, it was got.
We get to New Haven in time to catch Damn Broads setting up for the matinee set. The rip through the afternoon as do The Ratz before we get and do the thing one more time.
There maybe 30 people in the room, that’s counting the bartenders, other band members and the 2 guys fixing the walk in freezer.
It is of no concern, though, as these people have sacrificed a fine Sunday of couch and football to come meet us. We do it once again:
This room always leaves us smiling, a rare and warm little cove, and we get off stage and hang with the locals as long as possible.
Loaded up and back on the road, we have a quick stop at JFK to drop off Ant and Nick as they have foolishly agreed to work Monday morning.
Kimm and I, however, have other plans of the bovine variety in mind:
We sit there at 11pm Sunday night, chewing thoughtfully at hunks of cow, charred and basted of butter.
It is a momentary and shocking lack of movement, to be sitting here amid the butcher block and surly waiters, chairs being stacked as we are among the last of the diners.
It seems we have come to the end of another one of these brief adventures.
We stab toward the windows looking out at the city with stocky steaknives, as we tell each other stories we both know by heart.
We can’t help but reminisce on this city and what it has meant to us.
Dessert comes with coffee, then we push chairs back in submission.
Woozy from too much red meat and tired – finally, admittedly, tired – we allow ourselves to act our age and look forward to sleep and home.