after a recording session deep in the heart of queens, a wedding gig in the lower east side and an interview on air america radio with jc hopkins and vincent chancey and flip barnes, i ended up at michael ingbar's libra love boat party at the frying pan last night. frankly, i wouldn't have gone if jc hadn't promised that he would give me a ride home. it was cold and the rain was relentless -- sometimes a drizzle, sometimes a downpour but all day coming down all around me, like the city streets were becoming little rivers. believe it or not, i forgot my umbrella. everytime i turned around, i had someplace else to be as soon as i finished up where ever i was, so i was in constant motion until the radio interview was over and done with and everyone was leaving. i promised that we wouldn't stay that long. i just wanted to put in an appearance and make myself scarce.
i had been hearing about this party for months. the weekly emails that detailed the particulars gave the party quite a build-up. costumes were optional but highly suggested. one thing was certain: to get into the festivities, you had to bring chocolate cake. there was no way i could carry one around all day, what with everything i had to do. thankfully, shell put a small tasty one from a brooklyn bakery near their place in ft. greene in the back of jc's volvo.
what a cool place the frying pan is! i'd heard about it but i'd never been there before. it's an old boat that's docked at chelsea piers. wonderful space, historic and cool, with just the right amount of rust. it felt haunted yet welcoming, somehow. i liked it immediately. there were tiny rooms labeled with the names and duties of the shipmates who slept there once upon a time. bunkbeds here, with a sink in the corner, a small framed mirror above it. a single bed in this one, with a nightstand and a solitary round window to peek out into the world. there were more -- each room clean, each bed made. perfect to make out in, if the mood happened to strike you just so. there was a perch at the front, plenty of couches and a well-lit ladies room with more than one toilet. downstairs in the belly of the little beast, there was a performance space/dance floor, packed to the gills with couples dancing to gut-bucket blues music that a dj poured on thick. i forgot -- after midnight, it turned into a blues dance. at one point, i remember hearing blood singing "ghetto child" from his sun records session and bristling with a kind of secret glee.
in spite of the lousy weather, there were about 400 people there, easily. it would have been a lot more fun for me if i weren't so exhausted but it's hard not to have a good time anywhere when there's such a great vibe and everyone is so enthusiastic and friendly and upbeat.
my only real regret is that i didn't have any chocolate cake.