Monday, October 29, 2012

Jetlagged and Muddleheaded

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So here I am, still jetlagged and feeling muddleheaded, adjusting once again to being back in Adelaide, Australia after my latest three month extended travels through America.

The route map above, plots out my trip from New York City to Los Angeles, California, although the map doesn’t show my day trips out of Flagstaff, Arizona, from where I headed out each day in my hire car to the Grand Canyon (twice), Sedona and environs, and up to Monument Valley, Utah.

This completes my third visit to the United States in six years, and I’m delighted to say that once again, I had a great trip, during which I met many friendly locals, and spent more time in hotels than I have ever had the dubious pleasure of doing so before now. However, just to be clear, I did not drive myself across America. The route outlined above was shared between several Greyhound Bus rides, and what is left of the great Amtrak rail network, as well as the afore mentioned car hire.

Over the coming weeks and months I will begin to process the encounters, the highlights (and low-lights), and the hotel stays, and try to encapsulate my experiences via this blog. I have thousands of photographs to sort through, discard or enhance and utilise here, and more hours of video footage than I can ever hope to examine, edit, shape and put to good use in some way, shape or form. But what’s a traveller to do? The answer I guess, is to take each story as it comes and try to extract the heart out of each experience, and write about it in a way that will be of interest and use to readers who stumble on this blog.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Bitter End, Again

I have written about the famous New York music venue, The Bitter End before, and somehow I think I will write about it again and again. I visited the venue on the night of Sunday, August 12, 2012 during my third visit to New York City.

The club has become a firm favourite of mine, and I know I will continue to visit on any future trips to New York. My top Bitter End night continues to be the fortnightly Sunday night Bitter End All Star Jams. Mark Greenberg, the drummer for the house band, and co-ordinator of the night manages to pull together a great mixed gig featuring some of the best musicians you are likely to see anywhere.

While my favourite house band line up (consisting of Mark on drums, Brett Bass on bass, and Dave Fields on lead guitar and vocals) were not present - apart from Mark of course, an equally great line up consisted of Bat-Or Kalo on lead guitar/vocals, and Tony Tino on bass.

I had never heard of Bat-Or Kalo before Sunday night, but I was mightily impressed by her guitar playing skills and with the passion and enthusiasm she put into her performance. Talking with her at the end of the night, I was delighted to learn that she currently has a Kickstarter campaign underway to raise money for her second album. I have also written about Kickstarter before, so I won't repeat myself here. Suffice to say that I have jumped onboard the project by pledging financial support, and I am confident she will reach her target and I will have the pleasure of receiving her album in the not too distant future.

As always, I took my camera along and recorded Kalo, Mark Greenberg and Tony Tino during the night. Below you can see the trio performing the song, Dear John.


More Information 
The Bitter End...
Bat-or Kalo...  
Mark Greenberg...

More Videos 
Bitter End Jam...  
You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)... 
A Winner Never Quits...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back in the USA

5:00am: Arrived as scheduled at JFK after an overnight flight from Los Angeles. By the time I got out of the plane and the terminal and onto an 'A' train, it was almost 6am. Just over an hour later the train pulled into the 181st Street station, and I was walking 'home' like I had never left. It was a great feeling, and it was all I could do to suppress an open smile. Let me tell you though, smiling openly on a 6am 'A' train full of sleepy New Yorkers heading into Manhattan for the start of the working day is probably not a good idea.

Yes, dear reader, I am finally back on the road and again visiting New York City during August, before taking an extended jaunt across other parts of the country.

After making sure I could log on to the wifi service, and checking emails, and Facebook messages, I headed out for breakfast at the little Greek owned diner around the corner in 187th Street. From there I went for a walk into Fort Tryon Park for an hour or so, which seemed like an appropriate thing to do on my first day back in New York. After all, my last activity on my final night in New York City back in 2010, was an evening walk in the same park.

I have prebooked a number of activities already, including a Hidden Harbor tour of the North River, a Roller Derby double-header at Coney Island, a major league baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers, and booked a visit to the National September 11 Memorial. I will be in New York for just over three weeks, and want to make the most of my time here.

It is good to be traveling again (what an understatement!), and it's good to be writing again.
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