Update + New York

 Hi folks,

It's been awhile. I'm very behind on my blogging. I've had a hell of adventure over the past few months. California, New York, Nashville, a Western Canadian Tour, Stampede and now I have two weeks off before it starts all over again. I haven't filled you in on anything past California. I'm going to catch you up over the next two weeks and try to do a better job blogging more up-to-date in August.

So here's the New York adventure...

When I left my parents farm for the second chapter of my adventure I mad a last minute decision to ride the greyhound. I was sick of driving and I was concerned about driving in New York, where I was headed prior to Nashville.

First off, I should clarify that I met some really pretty Australian girls in the beer gardens at Coachella and they had mentioned they were going to New York. I drunkenly told them Nashville was close (it’s not) and that I would come meet them. It seems pretty irrational to go meet two girls on the other side of the country that I met when I was drunk, but I always wanted to go to New York anyways.

I drove my car across the border and the border guard asked me where I was going, I told him Nashville and he looked at me like I was a moron. He asked me how I was getting there and I told him via the greyhound bus. He just laughed and shook his head.

I parked my car in the Billings Montana airport lot and got a cab to the greyhound. I bought a ticket from Billings to New York for $200 and some odd dollars.

I waited for the midnight bus and was shocked at how rough all the people looked. There was definitely a recession in America and the lower class people at the greyhound station reflected that. I realized from conversing and eavesdropping on conversations that many people were out of work and traveling major distances out of desperation. It felt like an urban Steinbeck novel.

I got on the bus and slept straight from midnight to nine am. Not a bad sleep for a greyhound. I ended up spending three nights and two days on the bus, meeting the craziest people in America. 

One gentleman sat next to me and talked about the need to start exterminating people, the necessity of the NRA, world peace and how the Ninja Turtles were positive role models for kids in the 70’s (I’m pretty sure the show didn’t air until the late 80’s).

I did meet one cool cat in Minneapolis. He had a handwritten slogan on his backpack that said, “100% young, live the dream”. I told him that was my mission statement too and we chatted all the way to Chicago. His name was Titus and he was a fellow musician who moved to New York blindly after a simultaneous band break up and divorce. He scored indie films for a living and had been loving Brooklyn for the past year.

I arrived in New York City at 6 a.m. and hadn’t showered or changed my clothes in three days. I felt lost in the world so I walked into a pub and had two pints of local NYC beers. I chatted with the bartender Mike and an old guy about sports and gentrification.

I stepped out of the pub with a suitcase and guitar in tow, feeling better about life. Realizing that Manhattan is an expensive part of town, I jumped in a cab and told him to bring me to a nice hotel in a shady part of town. He did just that and we found a reasonable place in Queens off the subway line.

 I went for a run, watched No Country For Old Men and took a well deserved shower.

Early that evening I met up with Liberty and Chelsea, the Aussie girls from Coachella. It kind of hit me that I didn’t really know them at all as I was on my way to meet them.

Luckily for me, we got along really well. We had a couple drinks and shared stories before my new pal, Titus, sent me a text and invited us to a party in Brooklyn. We had dinner at this cool little basement Italian joint before I introduced Chels and Lib to the art of the tall can. I’ve become a bit of a pro at budget drinking in alleys, on public transit and just drinking from paper bags in general.

We headed to the party on the train. It was in a real sketchy area of Brooklyn, but in a real cool, artsy building. It felt like the entire complex was on board for a party. We headed up the rooftop and enjoyed the New York skyline and some mediocre-at-best domestic beers.

We spent the better part of the next day on a leisurely stroll of Central park. It truly is a one of a kind place. It is far more enjoyable walking the pathways with pretty girls, laughing at my jokes.

We headed over to Greenwich afterwards. It was Cinco De Mayo so everywhere was bustling. Greenwich is a such a perfect place and we found a nice little lounge to sit and drink at. We sat by an open window and I enjoyed some craft Brooklyn beers. The girls drank Margaritas because they are more culturally aware than I am.

We found a dining establishment that scored a 2.5 out of a possible 5 stars. I had a messy sea-food concoction with shrimp, oysters, crab and coconut curry. The conversation and good stories bumped the overall dining experience to closer to a 3.5 stars.

After dinner we went to a unique basement bar that centered around ping-pong, hipster beer and live, smooth, jazz. I kicked Chelsea’s ass and was dominated by Lib at our ping pong tourney.

I cranked a few PBR’s and the girls decided to call it a night. I was sad to see them go. It was a strangely pleasant experience. I took the train back to Queens and heard a homeless sing the most beautiful hymn on the subway. I gave her five bucks and exited in the quiet neighborhood I was staying at.

It’s probably a horrible career move at this point but I’ll probably try real hard to head to Australia at some point. I’m a sucker for a pretty face.

The next day I boarded the bus for the city of music, Nashville TN.