Adventures in Brooklyn, Lower East Side, and…Jersey

Yesterday I wandered around Brooklyn with various guitar stores marked on my map to sort of belay my otherwise loose path. I found some great surprises, like the sad robot and the down-and-out Pooh. I walked up Flatbush Avenue, where I found a great Hamer guitar for $119 that I DID NOT BUY. I’m proud of myself. Of course, what I haven’t told many people is that I bought yet another guitar last month when Sigler Music went out of business. My old student Fred gave me an Eric Johnson signature Fender stratocaster at COST. Still more than I usually like to spend on a guitar, but this was an offer I couldn’t refuse. And if I don’t like it, I could easily flip it and make $300 or more. Here’s the guitar it’s patterned after, and the man himself.

But I digress. At the end of Flatbush avenue is Manhattan Bridge, so I went down to the river[1] and found a great little bookstore. I picked up some bargains – a photo journal of 50 years of living in New York, a graphic design annual, and Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body in hardcover. The former two I’ll slice up and make wallpaper out of eventually. From there I walked the promenade to the Brooklyn Bridge. Then back to the flat to prepare for a night at Arlene’s Grocery where my friend Mandy from Nashville played a show. We went to Piano’s afterward for rock trivia. The group I played with won, naturally. Who else would know that the bass player who co-wrote much of Blizzard of Ozz was Bob Daisley? Or that the original rhythm guitarist for Oasis was named “Bonehead”? I think I may have found my calling in life. Afterward we had sushi. Good times.

Today. Today was complex. I knew that getting to Ikea in Elizabeth, New Jersey, was going to be tricky, but I didn’t realize it was going to be an odyssey. I took a wrong turn when I got to New Jersey and ended up in Sayreville, hometown of Bon Jovi. My trusty road atlas told me that I wasn’t too far from Leonardo, which is where Clerks was filmed. I knew from previous research that the Quick Stop was easy to find, and sure enough it was. So that made the adversity worthwhile. Because Ikea was hard to find. It’s on Exit 13A, and when I saw the sign for Exit 13, it said that the next exit would be 3 miles. So logically the next exit would be called “Exit 14” or perhaps some higher number, right? Nope. New Jersey LIED to me. Never trust New Jersey. I didn’t trust New Jersey so I took Exit 13, which as you rise up above the freeway gives you a lovely view of Exit 13A. Jersey will punk a b*tch. If you need further proof, I got home and assembled one of my items only to discover that I apparently grabbed a box from the wrong bin. Oh well.

Also, for no reason at all…more windfarms! Naturally David Gallagher always goes everywhere before me, and gets the shots I never have the time or talent to get. These are the windfarms outside Palm Springs of which I didn’t get any decent pictures.

1.) A neighborhood referred to as “DUMBO,” for “Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass.”

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Brooklyn, Lower East Side, and…Jersey”

  1. i feel so out of the loop…. NYC sounds like its fitting you well… are you job-hunting?
    we are moving to ATL and i am Scared of 16 lane freeways in town. Terrified, quite actually….

  2. I’m glad your soul is doing well in NYC. Mine probably wouldn’t be. That’s what Texas is for. Cheers and thanks for the tip about not trusting NJ.

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