I was on the Upper West Side last night and walked through my father's old neighborhood. It's funny how quiet Broadway can get in spots in the high 80s and 90s. It almost feels desolate at times. But when the traffic has ceased temporarily, there is a stillness that falls over the streets, that is welcoming. You can still hear a hum of noise, and then a stray siren in the distance or a horn from the upper floors of a nearby apartment building.
I thought I heard a familiar tune as I crossed 96th street but wasn't aware of it until I got to the next block and saw a man in a beret and an overcoat playing a flute. Just outside of what used to be the Wiz. And now--I didn't notice--I still don' think anything is in that spot, making it even more isolated. There was a Beatles songbook on a music stand in front of him. The flute case was open at his feet (red velvet) and he was playing "And I Love Her," almost painfully slowly; the mournful sound of his instrument echoed throughout the vicinity. I could still hear him playing, faintly, fading, several blocks away.
I stopped in at Sal and Carmine's on 101rst street for a couple of slices. Sal and Carmine's is my childhood pizza jernt--though they used to be in another spot---and I still go back when I can. Sal and Carmine are both old, wrinkled and cranky, but they warm up to you if they know you a little bit. The pizza is too salty but I love it. I prefer my slices lukewarm when I'm on the go. I finished one of them when I got the 103rd street subway station and then started to dog the second one as I waited on the platform for an uptown train. I was thinking of you guys. Dag, I better house this slice, I can't get on a train with food after my rant this morning. The slices didn't give off any smell becaue they were cold, but that made the dough doughier and harder to chew. When the train came, I was down to the crust, but my jaw was killing me (only one other thing I can think of can make your jaw ache like that--think Shelley Duvall and Woody in Annie Hall).
Yo, Royals fans must be pleased, huh? And why not? Their team has handled the slow, old guys from New York for two consecutive days and they are going for the sweep tonight. Andy Pettitte is sure to hear it but good from them. He'll need to get used to it, of course but I doubt he'll be bothered by it.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I feel good about the bats tonight. Something's gotta give.