...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NEW CONTEST: So that next time you're in New York you know what the heck you're craning your neck at

It's New York Week next week on the History Channel. That means when you decide to take a break from your relentless rock and roll lifestyle, you'll have something better to watch than Cash Cab (lovin it like I do) as you sink into your couch.

Since I am feeling fond of all things New York-related lately, I am going to TiVo this action (it starts November 19th). There's a big contest going on over at their website where you can get whisked off for a 4 day history-themed tour of NYC, including cool stuff like a private tour of The Met, a tour of the Top Of The Rock on the GE Building/"30 Rock", tickets to Les Mis, a shopping spree at Macy's, lodging at the Roosevelt, and dinner at Ruby Foo's, etc. Not bad.

Enter the sweepstakes by Nov 22nd at the History Channel NYC site.

FUEL/FRIENDS CONTEST: I thought we'd also set up a consolation prize pack here since your chances are like a billion-to-one on that biggie trip:

I have one box set of DVDs from the History Channel on Landmarks of New York to give away. It will school you on the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building.

To win this educational diversion, leave me a comment. If you are feeling inspired, please tell me an NYC story. It can be an anecdote or vignette that actually happened to you (like when I saw Vanessa Williams brunching, that was fun). Or tell me a fun music-related tale you heard that took place in New York. Either way; I'll consider you entered. Leave me a way to get a hold of you if you win, and I'll pick a victor this weekend.

If This City Never Sleeps - Rosie Thomas
Hard Times In New York Town - Bob Dylan
Chicago New York - Scrabbel
New York City Cops - The Strokes
Chelsea - Counting Crows
Wake Up In New York (with Evan Dando) - Craig Armstrong
New York Girls - Mooney Suzuki
Train Under Water - Bright Eyes
I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City - Harry Nilsson



At November 13, 2007 5:01 PM, Blogger lucy said...

i've yet to make it to new york, though it is one of those destinations that burn in my soul in that before i die kind of way. one of my closest friends lived there for nine years, and my first love lives there still. i suppose a part of me feels as if a part of me has walked those streets already.

i always have leonard cohen's famous blue raincoat playing somewhere in the back of my mind when i think of new york. and, sometimes i think that i will see jane waiting at a subway stop for a man to get off with a rose in his teeth, that he will then hand to her, with a jaded smile.

to reach me: laurastarlite@gmail.com

At November 13, 2007 7:00 PM, Blogger fairest said...

New York City Cops really is just the greatest New York song ever.

At November 13, 2007 7:02 PM, Blogger fairest said...

Train Under Water is also up there, yeah. "Sorry I couldn't meet you in Brooklyn last night" was in my Draft Text Messages when I lived there.

At November 13, 2007 7:03 PM, Blogger aikin said...

My first time in NYC was sometime in the early '90s. My ex-wife and I took the elevator to the top of the WTC, where we had what was (up to that time) one of the most expensive Heinekens I've ever had.

Somewhere I've got some pictures of that trip. It was SO very weird after 9/11 to look at those pictures again.

e0a8198 at yahoo.com

At November 13, 2007 7:57 PM, Anonymous John C said...

Knowing your such a Pearl Jam fan I'll tell the story of the first time I seen Pearl Jam in the torential downpour on Randall's Island. 9-28-96. Living in Philly I never had the chance to see them live ever. I went with my friend Manute (nicknamed after Manute Bol)who was as diehard as they come for PJ fans. After Ben Harper's set we got separated and this was before the day of cell phones. I remember how awesome it was to see Pj in the conditions...by myself. The whole show was great, the encore with Popper on Alive was a suprise but the ending with Indifference...how should I say made the difference.

With all the fans there and the elements I was able to find my friend Manute afterwards..he was 6'7"

Great blog Heather!

At November 13, 2007 9:04 PM, Blogger sandra said...

I went to New York for the New Yorker Festival and stayed with friends. But during the day, I did my own activities, like visit the Strand, go running in Central Park and go to the Conan show. It was one of my best trips ever and I think the city is one of the most exciting places ever.

At November 13, 2007 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am originally from upstate NY but am now married to a Marine so we move around a great deal. The first time our daughter saw New York City, it was the sky line from New Jersey. She was about 5 years old and we were visiting my husband's family after having lived in Okinawa, Japan for 3 years. Our daughter, a big fan of Powerpuff girls, looked out at the New York sky line and said "Is that the City of Townsville?" I still can't look at the skyline without thinking of that question.

--Annie Van
Fort Worth, TX (for now)

At November 13, 2007 9:56 PM, Anonymous Brianna said...

Being a child of a small town in the Midwest, New York was a dream come true for me. I couldn't get enough of staring up, up, up; of cab drivers who spoke in accents I had never heard before; of people, more people I have ever seen in my entire life.

Since then, I have visited the City ten times, going on eleven this coming November. I'm going with my friends from college. It's another Midwest girl's dream, to roadtrip up the East Coast with three funny boys and a pragmatic girl.

contact me: brianna.mcpherson@otterbein.edu

At November 13, 2007 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the few things I remember about New York is the damn pigeon pooping all over my arm up on the Empire State Building. And the woman who thought it was the funniest thing she had ever seen. Because nothing is funnier than bird shit!

At November 13, 2007 11:07 PM, Anonymous annulla said...

Hope you don't mind if I link to the story instead of telling it right here.

A New York City story.

At November 14, 2007 12:57 AM, Anonymous Kevin said...

So, we were in New York in early September for a wedding. On the Friday night before the wedding, we go to a bar in the east village (Mo Pitkins) for a wedding party get-together.

On the way, we stop at a market to pick up a cake (it was my birthday). On the way out, I see Franz Nicolay of the Hold Steady drawing cash from an ATM. And I'm pretty sure this is My New York Moment.

Now, I have a pretty deep voice and have been told more than once that I "should be in radio." As my wife follows me out of the market, I attempt to whisper: "Hey, he's in the Hold Steady", as if I'm the first person in the East Village to ever notice this.

My wife: "Yeah, I think he heard you."

Sigh. Totally worth it, though.

At November 14, 2007 5:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, the food. We got up early one morning (4 am) and made it down to the Doughnut Plant, located in the middle of nowhere, for some of the world's greatest donuts. Still hot, mind you. Chocolate, filled with cherries and covered with a thick bath of Valhrona and the orange, which had slivers of orange zest in the glaze, were my favorite. Best $10 we ever spent for breakfast.

Then there's the bone marrow at Blue Ribbon and the amazing gyros by the guy in front of the Hilton...it goes on and on.

jumperkb at yahoo.com

At November 14, 2007 6:32 AM, Anonymous Eric said...

NYC has always been at the top of my list of places I'd love to visit, but I've yet to make it happen. I've been reading the New Yorker for 24 years, and continue to salivate. Maybe someday.

witchnose at comcast dot net

At November 14, 2007 9:19 AM, Blogger squirrel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At November 14, 2007 9:21 AM, Blogger squirrel said...

Love your blog, Heather.

The greatest New York song ever is Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.

With an honorable mention to Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues, which is noteworthy for not really even being about New York, yet laying it out that everybody and everything else is just doesn't quite measure up and is a drag. Seeing him perform that song at Madison Square Garden is one of my favorite live music moments ever, Jerry. Ever.

At November 14, 2007 9:32 AM, Blogger lucy said...

i just wanted to second the mention of mona lisas and mad hatters as one of the best new york songs ever.

i'm also quite fond of bright eyes' lua, and lou reed's dirty blvd.

At November 14, 2007 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish i had an anecdote, but i don't as I have yet to visit NY and am at work so I can't make one up and I am at work, so I have to be quick. I guess my sister visited NY with the Luther League (lutheran youth group) in the 70's. They had very lassaiz faire (sp?) sponsers, however, who pretty much let them run wild all over the city unsupervised. And these were small town south dakota kids. Not sure they would get away with that these days.


At November 14, 2007 10:18 AM, Blogger woolgathering... said...

last time i was in new york was february last year and i really need to get back.

our celebrity sighting for that trip was: me and my wife were walking down 5th avenue near the plaza hotel, and michael imperioli [christopher moltisanti, the sopranos] and his family were out on a walk and we all crossed central park south together in the crosswalk. afterwards [i'm an incredible sopranos fan] i was like a ten year- old girl at a hannah montana concert, and called my father to brag.

on a personal note, if you're interested, i've started a blog and you can read it at www.woolgathering-sf.blogspot.com and contact me at leehenderson.sf@gmail.com to let me know if i've won.

thanks, as always.


At November 14, 2007 5:58 PM, Anonymous BTM said...

When I was a boy I would spend the summers in NYC with my grandparents. Gramps and I went to all the sights. We made it to the crown of the Statue of Liberty (closed now), the muesems, The Bronx Zoo, The Empire State building and of course The World Trade Center. These were great places and I do miss them but when I think of NYC different things immediatley come to mind; Smelling hot pretzels in the subway, the whoosh of the trains in a crowded station, discovering Yoo Hoo ('Chocolate Flavored Action Drink' I've always called it) and Joe Strummer saying that New York was so good that they named it twice.


At November 14, 2007 9:37 PM, Blogger Derryl Murphy said...

I just got back from my first-ever visit, two measly days before a conference upstate, and after my first day there I phoned home and told my wife "Screw Disneyland. We're gonna bring the kids here." Everything about the city was wonderful, dirty and smelly and noisy and crowded and wonderful. Hard to pin down a highlight, but I'd have to say wandering through the Met and thinking it's time to leave and then turning a corner and finding some other marvel.

derrylm AT gmail dot com

At November 15, 2007 12:53 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Technically a NY State moment, on the way back from NYC... the classic road-trip with the parents and us in the back-seat of the station wagon with Gn'R on the headphones. Just outside the city, for some unknown reason we stopped at a road-side Cracker Barrel for lunch. All of a sudden, my Dad goes all white and whispers to us in a terrible stage whisper... 'Oh my god... That's Hank Snow!!!'...

Blank stares all around... 'HANK SNOW!'... nothing... 'Wabash Cannonball!!!???'... nothing...

My dad was so start-struck in his NYC moment he could barely get the fork to his mouth, and my sister and I, über-cool as we were, could have suffered permanent damage from eye-rolling. A million NYC moments happen a day, and none of them have anything to do with the others.

My fav NYC song not yet listed... PJ Harvey - Good Fortune

At November 15, 2007 7:06 AM, Anonymous Sébastien Pessey said...

The first time i went to NY was in 1987 and i was like ten years old.
As a little french guy living in Paris, you can imagine how amazed i was. Eventhough i didn't speak english at this time, i was already quite aware of the way of the world.
I remember walkind down 5th avenue with my familly when sudenly we saw a lot of people just standing on the sideway,chearing and screaming.
My mother asked my father to go and check what this was all about.
While my father was struggling his way into the crowd, i just noticed a "blonde platine" in a big car, cheering and kissing everybody.
As my father went back, he just told us :"I don't know, they're just screaming about some girl they call "La madonne". "
My sister (who was round 8 years old) and I just looked at him, disapointed and shamefull, and went on : "Oh come on dad, this was Madonna !!!"
And he just went on : "Madonna What ?"
So that's how i've seen Madonna on a "Who's that girl?" shooting. I don't wanna win anything but even if my english is not so good, i just wanted to share this with you all fans of good music.
Heater rules !!!
to reach me: spessey@yahoo.fr

At November 15, 2007 10:17 AM, Blogger squirrel said...

Other favorite NYC moments:

Meeting Trent Reznor in the basilica at the Riverside Church Spiritualized show in 2001.

U2's first show at the Garden after 9/11...transcendant doesn't begin to scratch the surface...that was a special tour and a special time for many reasons. The Spz and U2 shows were on back to back nights, fwiw.

Meeting PJ Harvey at the White Stripes show at the Mercury Lounge in early 2001. That was a kill-me-now moment.

Meeting Michael Imperioli at Guided by Voices at Irving Plaza in 2004.

Standing next to, and I mean directly next to, Conor Oberst behind the soundboard the prior night while Bob Pollard ripped into Bright Eyes in a stage rant, having no idea that he was in the crowd. Matt Sweeney, in a panic, jumped to the board mic and told Bob to shut up, to which Bob responded by then laying into Sweeney. Hilarious.

Spending 30 minutes in National Car Rental on E. 12th with Matt Damon while their computers were down. Great, down to earth guy, as far as I could tell. He made me a fan.

Running into Mike Gordon from Phish at the same car rental place a few months later. I was a shameless Phish fan in the early 90s...it's true. Anyway, he'd lost his wallet and couldn't get a car, so my girlfriend and I drove him up to Providence where he had a rehearsal with Scott Murowski from Max Creek.

Liz Phair in a very short skirt back(side)stage at Sonic Youth/Wilco in Central Park. There was a lot of drool on the floor.

And far and away my greatest NYC moment was pulling into the Hollard Tunnel with a friend who had driven cross-country with me when I moved from San Francisco to New York...4:30 in the morning...high as Hunter S. Thompson in Vegas...with Neutral Milk's On Avery Island playing. The air was crackling. It was an incredibly thrilling moment.

Okay...lunchtime's over. Thanks for reading.

At November 15, 2007 10:24 AM, Blogger Pete P. said...

Wake Up In New York is a fantastic New York song. There are so many great ones, U2's New York is pretty decent as well.

I've been to NYC twice but I'd really love to live there at some point, that's my dream.

Last time I was there I heard once of the best sentences ever:

Me and my friends were standing around on a nearly deserted parking lot: there was only one car there. But this car had been parked so that it really obstructed the entrance into the parking lot.

Unfortunately for the owner of that car, a UPS truck arrived and wanted to get into the area but couldn't. The UPS driver got really really angry and asked us whether it was our car. We just said no and shrugged our shoulders.

The UPS guy then walked into a nearby office and after a minute or so came out with another man, presumably the owner of the problematic car. This must have been slightly embarrassing for the man anyway, but the UPS dude made it even more so by shouting to him very very angrily: "Nice job, you piece of shit!"

(Me and my mates just fell about laughing. "Nice job, you piece of shit"? That's really a sentence you hear only in movies... or only in New York. It became our catchphrase for the rest of our trip!)

[Just wanted to tell this, I'm not entering the competition, thanks!]

At November 15, 2007 10:44 AM, Anonymous petepizza said...

I was at Penn station, about to see the Chili Peppers play Madison Square Garden in 2002. I had some time to kill while I waited for my friends so I decided to grab a beer at this pizza place (I forget the name of it but you can get a 22 oz. Fosters for $2).

I was sitting next to a weird-looking dude in a black leather jacket, with long black hair in a ponytail. He started talking to me, and it came out that I was in a band. He started dispensing advice, including how you need to leave your home turf in order for anyone to give a damn about you (in NJ there are a million bands, but if you play farther away you can get billed as "All the Way From New Jersey!") He then gave me his business card.

Stupid me, I didn't look at it until later that night... it was David Peel! (Namechecked in John Lennon's "New York City" and produced by John and Yoko.) Beleive me, if I knew who he was at the time I would most DEFINITELY have had a few questions about New York, the 70s and John. Every time I'm there I poke my head in that pizza place to see if he's there, but that was my moment.

Another memorable time was seeing U2 at MSG, on Oct. 25, 2001. This was my first time returning to the city after September 11, and the show was just transcendentally great. Every song was hand-picked for the occasion, and was so uplifting- and seeing Bono perform the encore in an FDNY t-shirt just made you feel so damn good to be home again. There's actually a soundboard recording of the show that recently surfaced, I could hook you up with it if you want.

pete at petepizza dot com

At November 15, 2007 3:21 PM, Blogger Kegan said...

The first time I was ever in NYC was on tour. It was like Disneyland. The first night, Fri, we played Piano's in the Village, and then had the next night off. I was so broke on that tour that I literally had $8 to my name, but somehow I stayed out all night on Saturday, drinking and hanging out in the East Village, eventually meeting some cool folks from Brooklyn. After last call, I ended up taking them up on the invite back to Brooklyn for a few hours before the sun came up. The band didn't like this because we had to leave Manhattan at about 9am because we had a show in Columbus, OH. I went back to Brooklyn with new friends, hung out, somehow made my way back to the F train and back to midtown, with enough time to spare to grab some Starbucks before we disembarked.

We had to pick up the rest of the band in Hoboken, so we were trying to catch a cab to NJ, but no cab's would take us, or they didn't even know what "Hoboken" was. We'd hail a cab, get in, drive for a few blocks down 2nd Ave. and then we'd get out because the cab driver wouldn't take us to Hoboken. We ended up going about 12 blocks this way.

Eventually we got in this one cab, asked to go to Hoboken, he didn't know where it was, so he called his brother (who I guess worked for the cab co?) and the brother said to me "just get out of the cab because he doesn't know where to go". So we got out. Now maybe I was a little frustrated at this point, but the cabbie thought I slammed the door. I don't think I closed it that hard, but maybe I did. He proceeded to yell at me. Mind you, it's 9am on 2 ave. in midtown. Mom's are walking their babies in strollers etc. I've been up for 24 hours...so I start yelling back. In the meantime, the other guys in the band hail another cab, and the angry cabbie starts yelling at the new cabbie not to pick us up. The new cab driver got scared and drove off. We eventually took the subway to Hoboken. I slept all the way through NJ and PA, waking up as we were loading out in front of the club in Columbus.

The end.


At November 15, 2007 6:23 PM, Anonymous Lauren said...

That building is so awesome! We went to Radio City Music Hall to see the Dahli Lama speak, and had to stop and look up at it. It makes me dizzy.

At November 16, 2007 10:40 AM, Blogger Jules said...

I went to NY for the first time the summer of 2006 in the middle of a driving trip from Arizona. We spent the day checking out the Statue of Liberty. When the ferry brought us back we decided to go to Little Italy for dinner. Italy had just won the World Cup and the streets were packed. You could barely move. We found a little place, had an amazing dinner and carried our little ones on our shoulders through the estatic crowd. I LOVE NEW YORK :-)

At November 16, 2007 12:17 PM, Anonymous Sal said...

In early, early '06 I used to walk around Hell's Kitchen, aimlessly and unemployed in the bitter cold, listening to "Dear Chicago".

These days I finally like New York but David Ackles' "Subway to the Country" still says it best, no matter how much you love the place:

Central Park is not a place to watch the sunrise
or to look for redskin writings in a cave
or even find the kind of frogs you like to save
hey, wish we had a subway to the country.

New York City is a town too big for children
where there's so much dirt they think snow is gray
and you have to watch their childhoods waste away
Hey, I got to find a subway to the country.

bluesrungame at ya hoo dot com

At November 17, 2007 3:35 AM, Blogger Jenna said...

New York has been on my mind so much lately - I'll be spending four months there, starting in January, and it's getting hard to believe that it's coming up so soon. As a young teenager I was obsessed with the idea of "New York" - early Dylan, beatnik poets, romantic images of city streets. Later, I read Jonathan Lethem and Michael Chabon and became enamored with another side of the city. Now I'm less idealistic - it's a city, and I've lived in lots of cities - how different can it be? I don't know, but for me New York is still mythological. I'm getting ready.

Leave me a line here if you care to:

At November 17, 2007 9:58 AM, Blogger jen said...

brooklyn love story, circa 1992

So in spite of the bird flu, I had to drag myself out to the shop. on the way back, i’m trudging along, laden with groceries. it’s just stopped raining and there’s a fresh breeze blowing across my face, lifting my spirits as dusk descends and the city lights emerge. ipod snugly in my ears, suddenly an old skool “de la soul” track comes on…

and i’m transported to a brooklyn rooftop in 1992, and it’s a thick summer evening with a film of smog hanging over manhattan in the background. the bulwark of the brooklyn-queens expressway overpass separates us from the glow of downtown manhattan, where *everything* happens, all we can hear and see are the cars and horns and rumble of trucks, but it’s magic just knowing it’s there on the other side. it’s me and garnett, shelly and dre - friends who chose each other to stick together and became family. and we’ve got a dime bag of weed, a cheap cigar, and a 40 oz. bottle of malt liquor (which we probably bought with subway tokens at the corner bodega, because we bought a lot of things with subway tokens in those days). that and a portable radio is our only entertainment, but it suits us just fine. we’re broke and tired from working long hours for no pay, but there’s something exhilarating about it all anyway, so we don’t mind so much. and we spend our summer evenings hearing police sirens mingled with the music and getting drunk and high and running our mouths and thinking about what we can’t see on the other side of that overpass. we spend those summer evenings being family in the way only friends who’ve fallen in love can be, and sitting on the dark rooftop in a haze, bone weary and busted, but it’s all good. because we’re high on a rooftop in new york with friends who are family.

and we’re on top of the world.

At November 17, 2007 7:17 PM, Blogger Chuckles said...

Coming from Australia NYC had always been a mythical place for me, somewhere I was desperate to visit and wondered if I ever would. Finally got there, two years ago in march, bit of now, very cold but the sun was shining. Having been there, having seen the landmarks and experienced the people I finally understand why there are so many songs written about this awesome city. Can't go past New York, New York by Mr Ryan Adams.

I miss you New York. I want the noise, the action, the sights and the just ok food.

At November 18, 2007 8:56 PM, Anonymous Jay Busbee said...

Okay, I'm probably late, but what the hell...my wife and I got engaged at Rockefeller Plaza, went to Tavern on the Green to celebrate, and the next morning at our hotel she wakes up with agonizing pain (uh...we were in separate rooms, mom). Anyway, we get to the hospital--did I mention this is New Year's Eve?--and it turns out that it's some very very very bad female-type problems. So we make an awful lot of phone calls that go like this: "Well, we're engaged, but..." Anyway, after twelve hours in an NYC emergency room on New Year's Eve--enough material for a dozen novels there--she goes under the knife, and I'm left alone in the cafeteria to hear the bang and pop of fireworks at Times Square.

Turns out she ended up fine, but NYC's always held a special spot for us as a result. (We live in Atlanta.) Music connection? Hmmm...that hospital was the same one they took John Lennon to...so, you know, not the best omen there.

Great blog, Heather! Keep it up! (jbusbeemail@comcast.net)

At November 21, 2007 2:10 AM, Anonymous Hope Morrisson said...

I'm from London. England.
I sort of desire to be walking down Broadway, and i'd be listening to NYC by Interpol...and yeah. I thought that would make me v.happy indeed.
I'm coming to New York at Christmas, New Year...new year in new york. I think that will be the best thing i've ever done. But i'm only 18. So maybe it won't. We'll see. Thanks



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