Monday, April 30, 2007

Pimped out friends

I have been given a couple of list of people to meet and place to visit while here in NY, with about 6 names underlined as people I really must meet while I’m in amongst the big city lights. Some of them even came with a short description so I knew what to expect and who to contact for what. I make a plan with Betsy (one of Audra’s mates), to check out MoMa and catch a couple of other things. A plan is formed and we arrange to meet up in front of the gallery at 11am. Friday comes, Aurda takes off to Memphis for the weekend and I make my way through the pouring rain to the Museum of Modern Art. Not having a mobile (sorry… cell), and going by Audra’s “you’ll know her when you see her” description made the long line and the soggy cats and dogs. I didn’t a clue who I was looking for, but the name Betsy conjured up images of a 1950s burger joint waitress with a little paper hat and roller skates. I make a phone call, we find each other (no roller skates), and her membership card jumps us in front of the cue (like a British passport when immigrating to Australia does when faced with a “bunch of illegals” from Afghanistan), and we’re in. The place is pretty amazing, with a nice collection of photography on the top floor, a fancy lot of 1920-1950 surrealist, post-modern art and an entire floor devoted to industrial design (with an exhibit reflecting on design influences). All the while, Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi scribbled a huge variety of cartoons on the inside walls of the museum, with the help of a cherry picker. We grab food and then we headed for our next adventure: Zombie TV show pilot screening.

Betsy (and/or some of her mates), worked on developing a new TV series where in the first episode all of America’s dead people come back to life and try to fit back into the life they had before they died. The premise was an interesting one, as the idea approached the zombie genre from a different angle: Zombies with feelings. Rather than just a eat brains, shotgun heads gore fest, this pilot approached to the undead walking amongst us with a humility, humour and empathy not shown in any other production I’ve seen. The zombies.. .sorry… Returnees™ interact with the living and each other in a almost playful, slightly sinister way.

After that, Betsy and I headed for food and drinks at her favourite Mexican place. Good food and rather spicy margaritas. Outside the restaurant, a homeless guy got cleaned up in a hit and run. After watching the ambos sort the guy out, we met up with some of Betsy’s friends and found our way to the 2007 NYC Ukefest, a festival devoted entirely to Ukuleles. There were so many different types of little guitars there, ranging from those made of old cigar boxes that come in kit form for $40 to little Fender Stratocaster replicas at $1,700 a pop. There were performances by a few solo acts and little bands, with a performance by The Moonlighters as my highlight. After a couple of bevies I called it a night and headed back to the apartment, completely buggered from the day’s activities. I get an email from Audra saying she’ll be back in town in a couple of days and that she’ll give me a guided tour of her favourite place in New York: Central Park.


Adam Mares said...

Hey Dan. Looks like things are going well. Just wanted to say peace before I take off for Africa. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your stories. Especially your rant about gun control and some kid stealing your bike....

Bliss Blood said...

Hi Dan,

Thanks for coming to the Ukefest and mentioning the Moonlighters in your blog. Glad we were the highlight for you!

Our website is at BLISS BLOOD.COM where you can get cds, download songs for free, and hear music by my other groups and link to my Myspace page for more info and contacts with other friends and uke fans!

Bliss Blood