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Ian Thal

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Blogs by Ian Thal

Trip to NYC, part I
7/20/2003 7:08:20 AM
Part one of my travel journal detailing Cosmic Spelunker Theater's first NYC gig.

Friday, July 11, 2003:

I catch the Fungwah bus from Boston's Chinatown to New York's Chinatown, buying my ticket at a table in a Chinese pastry shop on Beach Street. While waiting for other passengers to board I observe a seagull flying out of a tunnel with a blue shell crab trapped in its beak, the claws waving in the vortex of the grey wing flapping. We hit the road. I don't like being crowded so much and I am especially protective of my injured left elbow, but for ten bucks I can deal with the slight claustrophobia of the journey. I am headed down for Cosmic Spelunker Theater’s first performance in New Jersey. I am recovering from an injury, Bill is out of commission due to an even worse injury, and James and I haven’t had a chance to rehearse as much as either of us would like.

The route the bus takes is rarely scenic, and at least in Connecticut far less so than the train, but I don't have the $128 for the round trip right now. Though I did enjoy another glance at Bridgeport's industry that inspired a poem of mine back in January. Checking my watch and road markers, I discover that until we hit traffic in Stamford that our cruising speed through Connecticut is 72 miles an hour.

We enter New York through Westchester County but not by way of Portchester as I am accustomed, rather we cross further north, finally coming through New Rochelle before entering the Bronx. Perhaps to avoid tolls, the bus, takes a roundabout route through Queens and Brooklyn as well, causing us to spend an hour of our journey within New York City. Every time I go, I am still amazed at the size of the city. I catch sight of things I have only seen on maps, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard where my grandfather worked during WWII building battleships. He invented a valve that allowed for ship to ship refueling but never received the patent. The government never got the patent either. Some private corporation that didn't do the work got the patent. I see Flatbush where my father grew up.

The bus deposits me on Canal and Bowery. I know nothing of New York's Chinatown, but at least I know where I am, so I start walking up Bowery. I pass by Broome Street where my grandfather is said to have been born, “swept in on a Broome” the family tales say. After ten minutes, I find the Bowery Poetry Club and say hello to the manager who is out front. Her name is Lindsey and she recognizes me from the poster in the window. I confess to getting a thrill of going somewhere I've never been to and seeing my face on a poster. Out walks Jason Eisenberg, whom I know from Massachusetts. I opened for him back in 2000 during a Lord Buckley tribute at Bad Girrls Studios. We had stayed in touch via email and other path crossings. He's doing his Lord Buckley Reincarnation act later that evening. Jason and I sit down at a table over coffee and peacan bar and play catch up and free association about the international intergenerational bohemian subculture. We have a lovely time but soon I need to go on to see my Aunt and Uncle. I get directions from one of the staff people as far as the nearest train station and I am on my way, with my wheeled suitcase trailing behind me and my payas flowing from beneath my cap. I must look really confusing-- sort of a punk Hasid. Boston is such that very few folk in the neighborhoods I am seen in see my new hair style and my general appearance as a bizarre incongruity. Maybe it's best I am not in Brooklyn. So I take the R to the 1 and soon I am at the apartment on the upper west side that had been my second home since childhood.

Gerry and Howard are easily my favorite relatives. I never have to have my guard up around them or worry about their issues. They're older than my parents yet they're also the sort who recommend that I see all five films of the Cremaster series, and insist that it is something I need to see twice. They've an intense appreciation for all the arts and for adventure in general and seem far more content and less neurotic than my parents-- perhaps why their own kids have been able to go out on their own paths with confidence.

They knew of my injured arm and give me a good place to rest with a full stomach in preparation for the next day's gig.


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More Blogs by Ian Thal
• September 2007 Blog - Saturday, October 06, 2007
• August 2007 Blog Index - Sunday, September 02, 2007
• July 2007 Blog Index: - Wednesday, August 01, 2007
• June 2007 Blog Index - Monday, July 02, 2007
• May 2007 Blog Index - Wednesday, May 30, 2007
• The Adventures of CMYK - Tuesday, May 01, 2007
• April Madness - Tuesday, May 01, 2007
• Walt Whitman and I - Friday, April 20, 2007
• Breaking with Bread and Puppet - Thursday, April 12, 2007
• American Dissident Outs Stalinist Clown! - Saturday, February 24, 2007
• The Last Days of Judas Iscariot - Wednesday, January 03, 2007
• My First Feature Film Shoot - Monday, September 04, 2006
• Into the Station” at Boston City Hall - Saturday, July 08, 2006
• Becoming Fire - Friday, June 09, 2006
• Bill and Ian See Blue Man Group - Monday, April 17, 2006
• An Open Letter to Stephen Schwartz - Monday, April 03, 2006
• My Quarrel with The Weekly Standard's Stephen Schwartz - Saturday, March 04, 2006
• Bread & Puppet Journal, 2005 - Thursday, December 29, 2005
• Teaching mime with Open Air Circus - Friday, August 05, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VIII - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VII - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VI - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part V - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part IV - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part III - Friday, December 24, 2004
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part II - Friday, December 24, 2004
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part I - Friday, December 24, 2004
• The Dresden Dolls show - Tuesday, November 09, 2004
• Waltzing to War @ Out of the Blue - Tuesday, November 09, 2004
• Word Play on SCAT - Tuesday, November 09, 2004
• Autographs & Interviews - Tuesday, November 09, 2004
• Beacon Hill Panorama @ All Asia Café - Monday, October 04, 2004
• Trip to Providence - Monday, October 04, 2004
• Interview in Providence Phoenix - Thursday, September 02, 2004
• Activists Vs. Artists - Friday, July 30, 2004
• James Van Looy Interview - Thursday, May 20, 2004
• The Perils of a Political Humorist - Wednesday, May 05, 2004
• On Display - Wednesday, May 05, 2004
• Whimsy: 4/29/2004 - Wednesday, May 05, 2004
• Self Criticism - Wednesday, May 05, 2004
• From The Archives: A Misreading - Tuesday, March 09, 2004
• Our National Anthem/Back in the USA - Friday, January 30, 2004
• Notes on the Confederacy/Back in the USA - Friday, January 30, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Epilogue - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part XVII - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part XVI - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part XV - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater, Part XIV - Tuesday, January 20, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater, Part XIII - Monday, January 12, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater, Part XII - Monday, January 12, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part XI - Monday, January 12, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part X - Friday, January 02, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part IX - Friday, January 02, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VIII - Friday, January 02, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VII - Saturday, December 20, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VI - Tuesday, December 16, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part V - Tuesday, December 16, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part IV - Monday, December 15, 2003
• Two Weeks With Bread & Puppet Theater: Part III - Sunday, December 14, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part II - Friday, December 12, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part I - Friday, December 12, 2003
• Flux Concert & Lunar Eclipse - Friday, November 28, 2003
• Squawkings, Hexings and Sonny Holiday - Sunday, November 02, 2003
• On Groupies and Bloggers: Part II: The Blogger - Monday, October 27, 2003
• On Groupies and Bloggers: Part I: The Groupie - Monday, October 27, 2003
• First Ballet Lesson - Sunday, October 26, 2003
• Economics of Art - Wednesday, August 13, 2003
• An artist at work - Tuesday, August 05, 2003
• Performance @ Large - Tuesday, August 05, 2003
• Friday, July 18th, 2003: - Sunday, July 27, 2003
• Trip to NYC, part II - Sunday, July 20, 2003
•  Trip to NYC, part I - Sunday, July 20, 2003  


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