New York City, 2010

Abney Park tried to line up a Boston all ages show but when it fell through, they got a caravan organised from Boston to the NYC show. I borrowed Cris's car (thank you!!!) and drove four people down to NYC and got into the night for free. It was a concert followed by a Tim Burton Wonderland Ball, and it was awesome.

A few pictures.


Friday Feb 26, 2010

I ended up taking the day off work so I could sleep in a bit before beginning the drive. That would have worked a lot better if there hadn't been an insane rain storm the night before so I couldn't clear out the car and so woke up at 7:30 or so with my brain racing with all I had to get done. I took the bike and ski rack off the car and cleared everything but the GPS and the car paperwork out of the back and trunk. Got my stuff in, stopped for gas, and was at Alewife just a tiny bit late to pick up Carol and the other two I was going to drive. I'd gotten to know Carol just before she moved to SF, so it was nice to share the ride with her. The two guys in the back were TJ and Matt (I think), who knew each other and were really friendly. The day started off sunny and clear, and after about half an hour the weather started to go haywire. We got sleet, heavy snow, and clear skies alternating about 10 times through the drive. At one point I could only see about two cars ahead, and then the sun would come out. The road was mostly okay, though a slush berm gave me a bit of worry when I was changing lanes once. The snow was light when we made it into NYC, and the GPS managed to lead me down Henry Hudson Pkway to SoHo with no trouble. Finding parking was another issue, the streets were only partially plowed and the turn around at the Hampton Inn Manhattan-Soho hotel wasn't cleared out at all. I tucked the car in front of a snow bank, the guys took off to find their hotel and Carol waited for me to see where the hotel parking garage was (she couldn't get into her hotel or the venue just yet). I checked in no problems (should have taken at least my tote bag in at that point, but ah well), got directions to the garage and left the car there. I had to leave Carol and her wheeled bag on a corner while I went up to my room and dropped my stuff and then came back to help her carry it over snow banks and ice/water puddles. It was around 5pm at this point. The hotel room was quite nice, and cheapish for NYC. I'd just done a search on google maps around the venue and the Hampton Inn came up as the only not 400+ a night option. Bonus: breakfast was included, and they had tea/coffe/juice on offer for free when we got there. There was also an exercise room that I didn't have time to use, and everyone was really friendly. I was a bit worried when I saw the ear plugs by the bed, but I only heard voices once for a short time, otherwise it was dead quiet. I was above the glassed in breakfast nook though, so no street noise was coming near my windows.

We dropped our stuff in my room, and then headed out to find food. Carol had looked up nearby restaurants on her phone during the drive up, and confirmed that L'Orange Bleu was within walking distance. They opened at 5 and we were the first to arrive, we got a seat near a window and the contrast between the warm colours inside and the snow and dark outside was a strong on. I saw when we sat down that they only took AmEx and cash, so I ended up covering Carol's meal, which wasn't a problem as I had about twice as much as she did. :) The house salad was great (arugula, blue cheese, toasted almonds, blood orange), and the duck confit with lentils was amazing. The creme brulee was a bit too burnt, and upset my stomach briefly but that was the only off note. Back out into the snow and slush, to the hotel, where I set out my clothes for the evening while Carol took a shower. I gave up on the long skirt option, the sidewalks were a mess, going instead with a cream tiered lace mini skirt, brown pvc bustier, and a cream lace knee length jacket, plus a Velvet Mechanism choker and my patent leather flat soled boots to keep my feet dry, no way was I risking the nice leather high heeled boots to the salt and slush, plus the heel would be too much over the course of the night. I also clipped in the hair ornament that I bought at C15, and it stayed rock solid the whole night.

I had a quick wash, dressed, managed to apply makeup correctly the first time, and we were out the door to the venue at around 7:30 or so, getting there in time for Abney Park's first set at 8pm. It was awesome. :) I grabbed the three CDs they had on sale that I didn't own yet and just barely got them into my purse. Had a moment of seeing Alaric instead of Captain Robert, they're doppelgangers! I spotted TJ and Matt and said hi, and was at the right of the stage when the band came on, one row back, so I held onto my spot and revelled in the musical goodness coming at me. I'd grabbed the ear plugs from the hotel and was grateful for them! The band members are lovely, the venue was pretty small, and it felt very intimate. There was a new female vocalist, Jody, she had awesome stripped bloomers on. She wasn't a belly dancer like the former vocalist, but it was fun to watch her dance around on stage. There were a lot of neat outfits in the audience as well, and I was kicking myself for forgetting my camera. Nathaniel gets this incredibly happy look on his face when he's playing, it always draws a smile from me as well. I was on the side of the stage where Dan, the bassist, was hanging out, and I got to see all the tiny details on his bass and of his outfit (military steampunk is sexy!). Christina was mostly hidden by the awesome keyboard (dials! gears! flashy lights!), but I loved her stripy stockings + white fishnets. It was nice to see her get the spotlight when they played Victoria. Capt'n Robert, as always, was a joy to watch, he brought people up on stage to hold Nathaniel's violin when the song called for both guitar and violin. The organisers didn't end up kicking us out after that set, though I'd reclaimed my coat from coat check in anticipation of hanging out at a pub for the 45 minute break. I ended up just leaving it on a bench where we were sitting. Brian from SwingGoth California and his dance partner gave swing dance lessons to the crowd, but I didn't join in, watching the couples try to find space to move was entertaining enough. :) There were a few Alice in Wonderland and other Burton movie costumes, but it wasn't as crowded as I was expecting (guess the weather kept people away). There were a couple of performances based on Burton movies, and then Abney Park took the stage again and rocked out. They did some songs again but I didn't care, I loved them all. :) During Herr Drosselmeyer's Doll, Captain Robert asked everyone to waltz, so after couples formed up and I saw a pretty cybergoth without anyone to dance with, I asked her. Neither of us was very good, and it was crowded, but we had fun. :) At another point in the evening, I was dancing by myself and felt a tap on my shoulder, Brian from SwingGoth was holding out his hand for me to come dance with him. With some trepidation, I went, and he twirled, dipped, and lifted me in the space between the DJ booth and the sound booth. It was a lot of fun, the dips felt rock solid even though I'm sure my head came close to the floor - it makes a difference when the dipper knows what they're doing! The DJ(s) were spinning old school goth and some Burton soundtrack picks, I danced myself to dehydration, knee pain and exhaustion, it was great. :) Nathaniel and Christina and Jody were pretty tipsy and joined us on the dance floor for a while. At around 2am or so, Carol borrowed my room card and went to get her stuff from the hotel, and food. At around 3am I was about to tip over and so got ready to leave and find her when she returned and I got my room key back. Managed to not get eaten by any slush puddles on the way back, and took a quick shower before falling into bed at close to 4am.

Saturday Feb 27, 2010

Up way too early at 9:30, packed my stuff, caught the tail end of my free breakfast downstairs. Checked out, left my luggage and was on the 1 at Canal by 10:15 or so, and made it to Alice's Teacup just after 11. Carla had beat me there, but we were still in for a 30-40 minute wait once we put our names in. We wandered over to the river, walking along FDR and back again when our table was ready. We shared the Mad Hatter's tea for two, it's a better deal than the single one, and we couldn't finish it. The Monk's Blend tea was a bit bitter for me, could have used a titch of milk, but sugar was enough. I got the remnants boxed up to go, then Carla went off to run and errand and I walked from 81st and 2nd to 54th and 5th via Central Park. The snow was falling off of the tree branches, and splatted on my camera when I stopped to take a picture of people sledding and making snow forts.

I found the SwingGoth contingent, checked my coat (omg crowds), got my ticket, Carla arrived and got her ticket and we went into the Burton exhibit (omg crowds). I think we headed off the wrong way around the exhibit rooms, but that ended up being a bit easier on us as we could just squeeze in to see thing without having to move in the line. The headless horseman's cape from Sleepy Hollow was incredibly detailed. Got to see larger versions of the Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy figures. Saw Jack Skellington and his heads, and Oogie boogie. Also some large black monster sculputres. Made it down to the basement to see Burton's polaroid prints (pretty!). From there, I said goodbye to Carla and made my way back to the subway to head down to Canal. Picked up my luggage, got a bottle of water, and got the car packed up. The GPS sent me along the parkways all the way to CT (very pretty with the snow covered trees) until I got sick of the shoulder construction and got onto 95. Weather was clear as a bell. Stopped at Tim Horton's for dinner, tea, and also filled up the car (omg expensive), and was home at around 9:30. I'm amazed that I wasn't losing focus on the drive, I think it helped that I loaded up the CD player with all 5 of my Abney Park cds and sang along the whole way. :) I was very glad that no one wanted to go skiing with me the next day, I fell into bed at 11pm and slept for 11 hours.


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