Ok, so what is it about traveling from Jersey to NYC that my friend Jamie and I find so difficult? We're on our way to the C-Note to see the musical stylings of the lovely and uber-talented Karen Schleifer and before we even reach the Holland Tunnel, it begins. Traffic for about 45 minutes; ok, we can handle this. Finally WE MAKE IT into the city. I would have known had Jamie blindfolded me and belted me in the trunk; the smell of the air is like opium for any of my harbored stresses. Once in Alphabet City, we realize there is NO PARKING anywhere to be found; and only did we realize this until after scouting the street for an hour.
Finally, we decide to cop out and fork out the cash for a garage, but to our delight we learn there are no garages in the vicinity. Enter stage right: onslaught of the bladder. We're at a red light at the intersection of Avenue B and 12th and Jamie, after squirming for the past 45 minutes, can withstand it no longer! "Jam, take that wheel!" And, assuming she was asking me to drive so she may sit in the passenger seat and concentrate on NOT peeing on herself, I exit the passenger side and the next thing I see is Jamie squealing down Avenue B something along the lines of, "I'm gonna find a bathroom, I'll call your cell!"
OK...light is still red. I immediately slam the passenger door shut, run to the driver door, already ajar, and steal a glance to see the occupants in the vehicle directly behind me hysterical...glad someone was having fun. I hopped in the car and slammed the door shut. Just as the light turned green and I'd finished adjusting her seat, which, by the way, had been set to size just in case a five year old might want to take the wheel, and began scouting for spots while awaiting her relieved and rejuvinated phone call for pickup. Five minutes later I picked Jamie up from the scene of the original abandoment and we finally found a spot about 16 blocks away from the C-Note. Not to fear as Jamie, an expert cab-hailer, was already on her game with one hand in the air while exiting the car. Ah, but to no avail...we proceeded to the corner where we were sure to find a cab or a BIKE for that matter. Yes, while standing on the edge of the curb watching my friend work her magic, a french man on a bicycle with a carriage attached to the back pulls up and ...... yes, a french man on a bicycle with a carriage attached to the back, no need to backtrack - I'd presumed your confusion....asks me where I am going and then proceeds to tell me in his french accent that he is the best bicyclist in NYC and he will take us uptown, downtown, whereever we'd like AND he added, "It will be fun!"
Still in my state of shock and speechlessness I realize that Mr. Bicycle is now blocking my 4'10 Jamie from being seen by anything, let alone a cabbie. We graciously decline his offer and walk further down the street, so as Jamie can be seen better by oncoming traffic, and finally, finally, hop into a cab. Once we exit the cab I give him a 50% tip for rescuing us from Mr. Bicycle and we're on our way to the C-Note. One problem, the usual blue banner depicting the logo is nowhere in sight and we are now confused and 40 minutes into Karen's one hour set. We spot a bar on the corner across the street with a red, lighted "C" and presume this MUST be the C-Note; maybe they're over the blue flag or it was too "Blue Note", who the hell knows. Anyway, we walk up to the bar and as Jamie is entering I catch a glimpse of the chalkboard sign located next to the steps. "Welcome to the Clubhouse" I read as Jamie stopped dead in her tracks.
We again cross the street and stopped exactly where our yellow knight, the cabbie, had dropped us off. We stand there pondering the location of the C-Note and, ever so faintly, I can hear her. We turn to look at the bar of which our backs have been turned and realize, with a simultaneous release of frustration and relief, Karen was inside. I asked a gentlemen near the door, taking a pull on a Red, how long she'd been singing. "She already finished her set, but she's up again for an encore", he replied. And with a sigh of relief, Jamie and I entered the C-Note and enjoyed our first, and Karen's last, song of the night....
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