Monday, November 07, 2005

what i did with my extra hour

amie and me, looking alike
Originally uploaded by queenesther.
this was taken at a salon on the upper west side that was thrown a day or so before halloween by pianist/composer patrick soluri. (i'm not sure what his twin brother andre does but they're both excellent swing dancers.) somehow with all the makeup that amie is wearing and all the makeup i'm not wearing, we can make the same face and look very much alike. trippy.

the party was fun. everyone was dressed up in elaborate costumes and hairdos, and there were musicians playing and sitting in and there was poetry that was read. amie sat in on french horn. in spite of the small space and the restrictive outfits, there was swing dancing. patrick and andre's parents were there, drifting amongst the guests and enjoying themselves. whatever anyone wanted to do was fair game. lots of cheeses and varietals, lovely things to nibble on and of course a gigantic pitcher of the authentic honest-to-goodness sweet tea that he promised me. patrick has a huge box of luzerne tea from new orleans that's like contraband up here, if you're a southerner. he brews it the old-fashioned way, God bless him. it made me so unbelievably happy, to sit around sipping that sweet tea all night. i have no idea why. i didn't sit in. it was enough, just to get out of the house.

i brought a still-warm pound cake that went pretty quickly, even though the party was about to find its second wind. there were a bunch of people on the landing outside when ralph and i arrived because the apartment was too crowded and heated, and a lot of them said that were on their way to nora's, whereever that was. but they came back eventually. it was all so relaxed and chatty and cool.

so there i was, on the couch catching up with vibes player nick mancini who lives in harlem now. i did a russian-jewish wedding reception at the top of the world trade center about two weeks before the towers were decimated. i remember it well because it was so beautiful up there. bright, clear, sunny. i recall that i sang whatever standards i wanted and the wedding party fed all of us. it was just delicious. roast beef au jus with mashed potatoes, carrots and asparagus. they put us in a little room with its own bar, right next to those impossibly high floor to ceiling windows that made me feel as though i were floating in midair. it gives me vertigo just thinking about it. so i have sweet lasting memories of that top floor and of nick and my last gig there. that gig is also when i met andy sanesi, drummer extraordinaire and band whore. but that's another story.

nick and i are laughing so much, i don't even realize that the extra hour has passed but it was a great way to flip it, with him telling me stories about music and girls and the wierd things that happen to him. and me, totally forgetting about all the pain in my jaw to chime in with my own gunk when i can. God knows i've got plenty.

what am i usually doing when the extra hour and everything falls backwards? somehow, i'm never asleep.

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