Quick NYC trip

The flight to NYC was pleasantly uneventful, begging the obvious question, “why don’t I always fly Jet Blue?” I left on time, arrived on time, and got to watch HGTV and eat unlimited snack mix along the way. After my recent experiences with American Airlines, this was inordinately pleasant. (I hate you, American Airlines. Yes, I come back to you on occasion, but it’s only to use you, because nobody else flies direct to Dallas. I’ll never love you again. Still, I have needs.)

I checked into the hotel — the Hotel Edison in Midtown. The place was perfectly fine — clean inside, and with surprisingly pleasant staff — and the room size was pretty amusing. It was like, open the door, BED. The room is essentially the size of the bed, and you almost have to walk sidestep to get around. It was kind of charming. I wish I’d taken a picture, just so you could see the art on the wall, circa 1982 pastels.

After a shower, I headed uptown for dinner. I stopped first at Lincoln Center, where I went to school, and where I worked for five years. The Juilliard plaza/bridge has been torn down, and I wanted to see the… well, the mess. Not much to see, granted, but from this spot, you used to see a big ol’ plaza — not the street.

(Sorry to interrupt, but I’m having coffee while I write this. The grocery was out of my usual half-and-half yesterday, so I bought organic heavy whipping cream instead. Good lord, this is delicious.)

I walked by my old apartment and saw that it looked exactly the same, although the building recently sold once again. I walked by the Eddie Bauer to see that it’s now a Banana Republic (good call, because wow, it’s hard to find a Banana Republic these days), and passed one of the old grocery stores to see that it’s now completely vacant.

I arrived at John Corigliano’s place a few minutes early. Mark was running around trying to prepare a package for FedEx before their shipping deadline that night, so John and I hung out and had some wine. This also gave me a chance to take some pictures of his studio. I’d never seen his Pulitzer before…

I had seen the Oscar before, but this time, it looked so large.

That’s a little more normal. I think if I had an Oscar and a Pulitzer, I’d put them side by side, too. Or maybe I’d wear both around my neck all the time.

Why have one Grammy when you can have two? The “table of awards” is pretty awe-inspiring. Two Grammy awards, an Oscar, a Pulitzer, a Grawemeyer, a solid gold medal from Peabody, and several other glass, bronze, and gold awards. I remember when I won an ASCAP Young Composer award, I got a medal roughly the size of a quarter. It was made of aluminum or something, and it said, “Award Winner.” It may as well have said “Very Special Boy.”

I played John the MIDI recording of “Turning,” and he was really kind with his comments, which felt great. I kind of hoped he’d like it, since all of the good parts are big ol’ rip offs of his work. I wasn’t surprised that his favorite parts were the horn and trombone rips. (Can you say “Circus Maximus?”)

We eventually made it to dinner, which was great. The weather was perfect, so we ate outside. I had coq au vin for the first time. Yummy, yummy.

Dessert was a brownie sundae. This picture features said sundae, with John in the background, talking to composer Richard Danielpour, who happened to pass us on the street while we were eating. (Danielpour wasn’t the only person to spot Corigliano on the street and stop to talk to him. People seem to recognize this Corigliano dude.)

On Thursday, I met up with Jonathan Newman for lunch. He took me to a great hot dog place. This is Newman’s hot dog, bacon-wrapped with avocado and something else weird that I’m forgetting. (Mayo?) It sounded scary, but once I smelled it, I kinda wished I’d ordered the same thing.

Don’t get me wrong — my kraut dogs were perfectly delicious.

And why have fries when you can have tater tots?

Dinner that night was at a great sushi place. I LOVE sushi. This was some kind of Brazilian/sushi hybrid place. One of our rolls had eel, avocado, salmon, cream cheese, and banana. Can’t quite describe how yummy this was.

The trip was pretty fast and busy, but fun. It’s good to be home. The weather today is freaky-pleasant. It’s crystal clear, and there’s no wind whatsoever. When it’s like this, the reservoir looks like glass. Here’s a shot I took this morning from the deck.

This afternoon, AEJ and I are going to the USC Wind Ensemble concert. H. Bob is conducting a new Frank Ticheli piece, “Nitro.” Should be a good time.


Newman says

It was sour cream. There's an add-salsa option, but I opted out. 'Cause THAT would be too much. ;-)

The place is called Crif Dogs. Google them and you will find a zillion salivating reviews, one of which I see describes the pictured-above "Chihuahua" dog as "brain-dissolving".

FOSCO says

Wow, now I'm totally obsessed with that sushi roll with the banana in it. I just keep trying to imagine it. Where was this restaurant (for the next time I'm in NYC)?

jim says

I'll put my Hot Doug's up against your Crif Dogs any day of the week...

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