Well, its been about 3 weeks since I arrived in New York City. I must say I have had major moments of missing the simple life at Mountain Hollow Farm…especially when I started working part-time for shit wages at a flower shop. As I lifted, dumped, and filled little trash bins of water for hours and hours and then broke down carboard boxes for more hours, my mood plummeted and I began thinking about my time. My precious time! Why have I traded almost complete freedom, peace, and space for close quarters, work, and stress. Oh yeah, for the tap dancing…ok, fine. Good trade.
So far I’ve gone to a couple tap shows. One at the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem to see my tap dance buddy Naomi Funaki compete at the Amateur Night Semifinals (video link embedded in her name above).
She did not make the cut, which was a tragic sign of the times, seeing as she placed 4th after a hokey Michael Jackson impersonator in sequins. Upsetting. The only other contestant who rivalled her was an old man with a harmonica, who won the competition that night.
Cant remember who came in second, but Naomi was better in my humble, old soul opinion. Actually, the experience at the Apollo was noteworthy. It reminded me how stupid and excitable a large mass of people can be. Sorry…not sorry. It reminded me of Idiocracy. I wondered if I had a stick up my butt that night, since I was not at all tickled by the host’s lame jokes and commentary, or if the audience was just real dumb. I think it was the latter. There’s no other explaination for why a huge crowd of people would be laughing hysterically at this supposedly renowned comedians aweful jokes. I will give him props for being able to rile up a crowd and for making a statement about solidarity amongst all humans. If your curious, the host was “Capone.”
The second tap show was at the 92Y theatre, which I think is considered to be in the Upper East Side of Manhatten. The show was performed by Kazu Kumagai, a renowned fast-footed Japanese tap dancer who I had seen once before at last year’s Rhythm in Motion showcase, where I think I could smell his feet while he stomped and hopped and tapped around. Eew.
He was great in both performances nevertheless. And in both shows he played alongside Alex Blake, a stand up bass player, also a very high quality improvisational musician. Here’s a photo I took at the show. I was too scurrrd to take a photo during the show, but here you can see the mic’d tap platform and the bass player in the back.
Other than working and going to shows, I have been settling in at the homestead. My bunkbed is working out quite nicely and I like the apartment. There was a minor bed bug scare, but I think we are in the clear after steam-cleaning the hell out of the wooden bunkbed frame. Luckily, my housemate has a carpet/upholstry cleaning business, so we had the necessary equipment. If you’re curious about that company, (its interesting because its an eco-friendly company), here’s that website: Pristine Green. Also, the refrigerator was CRAZY when I got here.
The situation: 5 people in their 20s living together with one fridge and a lot of take-out dinners. It looked like a garbage can, but its much better now that we’ve done some Fall cleaning. Phew.
Anyway, today I got the day off from the flower shop, thank goodness. I am no stranger to manual labor and long hours, but this job is tough. Its kicking my butt (arms, actually), so I am really appreciating this day off.
Hope everyone is doing well. Sending you good vibes from the big city.
Forgot to write about the Jane Gooddall movie Jane, which was great and I highly recommend. Also, getting locked out on the roof for a few hours with my roommate, Anna. More to come next time.
Thank you for reading!