Life in the Lowcountry

November 11, 2010, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Life


First, let me address NYC. Hello, NYC! No, really, last Thursday Mom, Dad, my bro and I went to New York to play. Thursday was Bloomie’s (for Mom and I) and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Friday was Paul Stuart (for Dad) and Le Bernadin for dinner before WHOOPI GOLDBERG in ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum’. All of these things in these two days have been most excellent. Saturday we hit Sak’s 5th Avenue and Macy’s for some more good shopping for the whole family but had a bit of an adventure getting to Macy’s.

Apparently, when one ‘hails’ a cab from the Millenium Hotel in Times Square, one expects safe transport to one’s destination. Our cabbie was in such a hurry to get us out of the cab and into Macy’s for their ‘One Day Sale’ that he rear-ended another taxi just blocks from the hotel. My Dad, the lawyer and resident NYC taxi drivers’ worst nightmare (he’s from the deep South and no one in New York (and sometimes at home, in the drive-thru) can understand him, American or Foreign Nationals alike…) screams to us to “GET OUT OF THE FUCKING TAXI! WE CANNOT BE A PART OF THIS!! JUST GO, GO, GO! GET OUT! GET OOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTT!  WE CANNOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THIS! LET THEM HANDLE IT!” – not really a direct quote from my Dad. I’m paraphrasing. I’m sure that if what I paraphrased there had actually been heard by any cabbie (National or Foreign National) in NYC it may have sounded something like this: “Get awwwwt thee tacksah. Sheeat, we cain’t bee apahty to this axedint. jess go, git now, go get awwt! WE CANNOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THIS! Let ’em hannel it.”

I re-read that and NO, my dad isn’t African-American(not that there’s a stereotype here). He’s (again) deeply rooted in the South. Of North Carolina.

So this all takes us (and thanks for remaining with me…) to the reason we’re in NYC to begin with. Mom and Dad believed that the best form of education is travel. God Bless them for that because I am a Traveller.  I love to see new places and experience new things. Every time I get the chance, I’m the first one to jump in the car and say, “Where to now?” Having said that, they also believed that families should have at least two meals together, EVERYDAY. Breakfast and dinner. Lunch, optional. Breakfast and dinner were not an option. We always ate together. ALWAYS.  Ok, Mom cooked both meals, but she was such a diva that she rarely ate. But boy, was she a good cook! She’s all Gourmet and shit. I think she ate while cooking and that’s why she didn’t eat much at dinner but that’s purely speculation. I have no inside knowledge. Yet I digress.  My brother and I had the auspicious and delightful pleasure of being able to set the tone for the meal by choosing the ambient music that would be playing whilst we dined.  We would fight over it and in retrospect, this is inherently funny. I, being the older sibling would choose something suited to the mood of Mom. If she was in a good mood, I’d choose Neil Diamond, Tom Jones or perhaps Pavarotti. My brother, on the other hand, chose what he and Mom loved, ABBA. Every time he got to pick, that freaking ‘Fernando’ was the song choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘Dancing Queen’  and other ABBA songs as much as the next gal but ABBA at dinner? ‘Super Trooper’ is going through my mind as I type this. And it’s not helping me at all. The point being that ultimately, Mom agreed with my song choices more often than not. So we bonded over Pavarotti. And more importantly we bonded over the ‘Three Tenors’ when it came to dinner song selections. Secretly, I hold to this day that my mom and brother share an ABBA connection.

So, back to the story, we’re in NYC because the ‘Tenors’ are making some kind of commotion and we want to see them in concert. This is a birthday gift to Mom (and me, since I’m a month and 34 years apart, born) to go to this concert at the Giants Stadium. Mom and I head to the concert, Dad and my brother head to dinner and we could not have had two more different experiences, had we had two more different stories.  EVEN. Mom and I go to the concert in a bus. It lets us off at the ‘doors’ of the venue. It’s July. It’s supposed to be SUMMER but we get there and it’s fucking COLD! We buy sweatshirts, we climb to the top of the Giant’s Stadium, to our affordable seats, to see the THREE TENORS, in New Jersey, who were billed to be in New York. Come see the Tenors in New York and they’re in Secaucus. NEW FUCKING JERSEY. Don’t get me wrong, I love NJ because of Bruce and The Sopranos. But this happened WAY before the Sopranos. NJ was still the butt of every NY joke. Come to think of it, New Jersey still is. But I digress… SO… this ‘fuckin’ guy climbs over us and says, “What the fuck? Could we be more closer to Jesus in these seats?” And then he drops this pearl…”If I were anywhere closer to Jesus, I think I’d be…CLOSER TO JESUS.” I shit you not, dear reader. He was drunker than hell, at a Three Tenors concert. I think he thought he was going to see a Monday Night Football Game of the NY Giants, but it was Wednesday night! In all fairness, he was a season ticket-holder. He didn’t care as much for Placido Domingo as he did for  Jose Carreras. But when Pavarotti sang the opening to ‘O sole a mio’ he wept like a baby. LIKE A BABY. Or maybe that was just me and my mom. The sound reverberated with the dulcet tones of three masters of their voices while we watched, perched upon our high-rise seats, with binoculars trained to the big-screen live version concert footage. We were freezing our asses off. And loving every minute of it. I cried, Mom cried, we cryogenically froze the whole row we were sitting in from our tears.

I know why I cried. I’m so emotionally raw. I feel too much. I’ve always been very sensitive and intuitive. I don’t pride myself on this, I just accept that this is the way I am. Why my mother cried is another matter. I don’t know for sure why she cried. I know she was moved by the music, the atmosphere, (or lack thereof since our seats were so fucking high up in the stadium…) but I think it may have been a bit of nostalgia that made her tear up during the concert. A bit of “Amazing Grace”, which is Mom’s Achille’s Heel in the music department. She cries every time that “Amazing Grace” is played. Which differs from me only in that I cry every time it’s played on the bagpipes.  She’s part Native American, I’m part Scottish. Love the kilts and bagpipes. Takes me back to a time I’ve only known through travel. Good times, good times.

So I’ve digressed and need to get back on point but somethings need to be covered, in order to get ‘back on point.’ Shit, just realized I need an editor. Is there such a thing as a blog editor?

The concert was great…Epic, etc. And enjoyed the hell out of my time in NYC with my family. I love my family. They, apparently love me as well and tolerate my idiosyncratic-ness. We were walking, and I promise this is the last story tonight, away from the hotel and I see this guy in the crosswalk and I just stopped. In the middle of the street! And  my parents and bro were behind me, fastly approaching where I was standing, and I stood there…slack-jawed. I was completely gob-smacked, I’d just ‘rubbed elbows’ with a celebrity in the street! So my folks and my bro were coming up behind me, pushing me along to get me out of the street when I come out with the following: (please stay with me.)

Me: “Oh my God, did you see that?”

My bro: “Huh, wah?”

My Dad: “Was it a cabbie looking for us? Duck! Hide your face!”

My Mom: “I knew Luciano saw us. He’s been looking for me, no? Did he find me? Yes. Hahahaha.” (this was the time before LOL.)

Me: “NO!!! Damnit, did you see the one-armed man I just ran into? He’s the drummer for Def Leppard! I just ran into the drummer for Def Leppard! That guy in the cross-walk, with the one arm!”

My Mom and Dad look at me like I have two heads. My brother gives me the high-five with his hand tucked into his sleeve, not as a ‘DIS to the Def Leppard drummer, but as a ‘DIS to me. But it was funny. I called my best friend Tom that night to tell him of this brush with fame. He’s the guy from high school who always remembers the stupid stuff you’ve ever done in your life and will remind you of it. I don’t think I’d exist if he didn’t exist. Having said that, I call him up to say, “Guess who I just ran into on a NYC street?” Tom says, “Who?” I say, “The drummer from Def Leppard!” Tom laughs and says, “Are you sure it was him?” I said, “Who else would have that hair (mullet-like) and only one arm and still be so fucking angry at meeting a fan in a crosswalk in New York City?” Tom said, “Anyone with a mullet and one arm.” Me, responding, “But with a British accent? Come on, this was HIM, man.” Tom, responding, “How did the people around you respond?” Me: “um, well no one noticed.”

So I actually started to doubt that I’d had my celebrity-sighting until we got back to the hotel and I looked up what was going on in the city for the weekend. Found out that at some venue, Def Leppard was playing. Would be cool if I could say it was Giant’s Stadium, but frankly can’t remember and I don’t pay a fact checker just yet. But all of the proceeding paragraph is true.

On another note I had an “A-HA” moment today. I was catching up on my Late Night with Jimmy Fallon watching and who do I see on the show, playing with the Roots but the guitarist from Def Leppard?!? Wait, what? Phil something was on LNJF the day I was typing the blog about running into Ric something from the same band. I wish I could remember their names right now and I’m too lazy to Google them just at this moment but will look it all up later. I’ll pay myself to fact-check. So what was the “A-HA” moment? I found it very comforting to see this come full circle in my mind. Raw, emotional, intuitive…that and the fact that Tom once said to me that every time he turns on the radio it seems as though there is a Def Leppard song playing. Personally, I think he’s left a CD in and doesn’t realize it’s not the radio but who am I to judge?


1 Comment so far
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I like that you have a NYC story from back in the day. Keep ’em coming love.

Comment by Timmy

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