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Published: 2006/05/18
by Randy Ray

Jammys, Green Apples and the Center of the Island

Prologue – In the beginning, there was the wilderness.

Tuesday, 4/18
American Airlines – #2466 7:05 MST 12:20 CST Phoenix to Chicago
American Airlines – #368 1:20 CST 4:30 EST Chicago to LaGuardia

Murray Hill East Hotel
Midtown Manhattan

Make sure you take care of your shoes: Dr. Martens walkin’ shoes
Tools of the trade: Standards Memo Book, pens (2), tons of water, coffee, whiskey shots
Headphone Symphony: PHISH, Big Cypress, The Show, 12/31/99-1/0/00
Weighty tome: the epic story of Dutch Manhattan and the forgotten colony that shaped America

“Its [17th century] capital was a tiny collection of rough buildings perched on the edge of a limitless wilderness, but its muddy lanes and waterfront were prowled by a Babel of peoplesNorwegians, Germans, Italians, Jews, Africans (slaves and free), Walloons, Bohemians, Munsees, Montauks, Mohawks, and many othersall living on the rim of empire, struggling to find a way of being together, searching for a balance between chaos and order, liberty and oppression. Pirates, prostitutes, smugglers, and business sharks held sway in it. It was Manhattan, in other words, right from the start: a place unlike any other, either in the North American colonies or anywhere else.”The Island at the Center of the World, Russell Shorto

Today is a day of reading, reflection and walking throughout the Greatest City on Earth because tomorrow the games will begin: the Green Apple Music and Arts Festival supporting Earth Day New Yorkan inaugural festival event destined to promote environmental issues that affect us all in the modern world we have created. And, oh yes, lest I forget, the festival features some of the best live music on the planet in numerous intimate venues ranging from CBGBs to the Coda to the Bitter End. I came a day early to get my head together and research the land before ingesting every sort of wonderful sound my head can contain.

Jammy Award co-hosts, the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann play a rare gig as the Rhythm Devils the next day at the smallest club I have ever seen a GD-related gig. I also know that in two days there will be huge quantities of ingenious collaborations as the 6th annual Jammy Awards is taking place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Let’s begin as conducts a bird’s eye tourconsult our good man, Mike Greenhaus for setlists; I’m all about the vibe, babyof the many festival delightsan event that producers Peter Shapiro and Relix hope to expand to other cities as environmental issues continue to hold sway over the the masses who help democratize our country; this land is your land, after all. Woody Guthrie said that. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Dylan said that. Listen to what your ma is trying to tell you. Little ole me said that.

Wednesday, 4/19 The Wetlands Ghost and The Rhythm Devils at the Canal Room

“There it is,” said Relix and writer Mike Greenhaus.

“Where?” I replied.

“Right there, across the street, that furniture store.”

I stared at the Scandinavian store and couldn’t believe my eyes. We walked across the street, looked inside from the windows and walked around the exterior of the building. Wetlands Preserve had been converted into a furniture store due to encroaching gentrification but that knowledge did not deflate the embedded depression as we stood in silence before Mike took a picture of the venue and sent it via cell phone to our site editor, Dean Budnick. We walked back across the street en route to the Canal Room.

The fun always begins with the Grateful Dead in some sort of symbolic spiritual way, doesn’t it? Well, they brought some heady friends with themSteve Kimock on guitar, Mike Gordon on bass, Baaba Maal on vocals, Hart, Kreutzmann and Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction PLUS Hart’s delicious percusso flavor of choice, the Mutaytordrummers, singers and bawdy burlesque dancers to help spin the mind’s eye fantastic.

This was the type of gig where rock critics stood outside the venue on the sidewalk and chatted while Kreutzmann walked around talking up the excited people in line and musicians like Rob Barraco and Reed Mathis wondered amongst the crowdthey, like us, were there as audience members taking in the great music from the two veteran Dead percussionists. The Devils opened with two Santana jams that sounded like a really great band doing a techno jam rehearsal.

Immediately, the connection between Kimock and Gordon was quite apparent as the phrase true blue supergroup’ was bandied about in my head around twenty times. The highlights were Baaba Maal mixing it up with his sublime hip-hop infused vocals and the Devils on a highly energized romp through “The Other One>Jam>Aiko Aiko” that lifted the packed crowd off of the floor as young and old grooved and grinded to this, almost, new type of sound being concocted by Hart, et al.

In the second set, there were numerous dance jams with Mutaytor sprinkling the crowd with dancersmainly, a red-dressed stripper who floated from stage to the crowd to the bar nestled next to the dance floor and then back on stage. Because I never really saw her feet hit the floor, I assumed that she just knew how to fly, understand. Gordo laid down some deep rubbery Bootsy Collins bass on a fantastic “Fire on the Mountain.” I shook hands with fellow scribe, Jesse Jarnow, and headed back to the hotel for some rest. Unfortunately, I missed the drum circle that led from the stage to the street at the show’s coda. But, like another famous New York fixture, I had a strange Zen-like Jerry Seinfeld karmic good luck throughout the festival as I would witness the Devils doing another drum circle off the stage near Grand Central Station a few days later. Such is life when you need rest and you’re grateful for what you’ve had and can only fall asleep with one statement floating above the waves of the bed: “No regrets.”

Thursday, 4/20 The 6th Annual Jammy Awards Thanks, JAMESON, et al!
420get it? Tentative schedule pilfered from the backstage wall and onto the lines of my scribble-laden notebook: 8:05-8:20 Richie Haven, The Mutaytor; 8:23-8:41 Blues Traveler, Betty Lavette, DJ Logic; 8:40-9:07 Bela Fleck, McCoy Tyner, Savion Glover; 9:15-9:33 Steve Kimock, Joe Satriani, Grace Potter; 9:41-9:59 Dweezil Zappa, Napoleon Murphy Brock, 2nd song add: Chick Corea, 3rd song add: Jake Cinninger; 10:07-10:25 Peter Frampton, Guster, Martin Sexton. 10:33-10:51 moe.; 10:59-11:17 Hart, Kreutzmann, Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo, Mike Gordon, Mad Professor; 11:25-11:40 Little Feat, Charlie Musslewhite, 2nd song add: Stephen Marley, Ky-mani Marley and Hubert Sumlin; 11:40-11:50 Little Feat and All-Star jam.

“How are ya doin’?” asked a security guard.

“Fine, but I need to find some water when I’m done writing this schedule,” I replied.

He left his chair and wandered off. Shortly thereafter, he handed me a water bottle.

“Thanks, man, you didn’t need to do that.”

“No problem,” said the security guard. “You’re welcome.”

Such is life

The Jammys. I had never been to one before and the 6th Annual event seemed right up my alley this year. The award ceremony at the Theater at Madison Square Garden was going to celebrate the six-string gunslinger old and new and it certainly did not disappoint. Whereas, the Ghost of PHISH New Year’s Eve still lingered, the kinetic energy on the block was still apparent. I guess it helped to see Mike Gordon backstage to sort of ease concerns of melancholia sitting in; he spoke of his new studio which was 95% completed: “You know,” quipped Gordon. “The last 10% always takes the longest.” He also teased me about my Brad Sands feature, which ran on the site in January and generated hundreds of e-mails to this writer. The consensus was solid but that didn’t keep good ole Cactus from seeing some humor in the piece. Apparently, I may have indicated that Phish’s Road Manager, had been involved in many key decisions in the group’s history and Gordon joked about its implicit message.

Later on I would encounter Sands backstage and I said, “Honest. I’m not stalking you!” He laughed and we nodded goodbye to each other. The backstage area was so packed that to comment upon events seems a little out of place and overwhelming. Watching one of my favorite writers imitating Hendrix burning his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival using one of the Jammy awards created by Gibson was a hilarious peak. I did get a chance to explore a topic or two on Mother Nature while standing next to the real life Dude of The Big Lebowski fame which served as a heady highlight before I ran into legendary rock critic, Anthony DeCurtislongtime Rolling Stone and Relix contributor and a personal favorite. Wiping my glee and drool from my face, I finally left my fleeting hero worship behind me and wandered out front for the avalanche of fantastic jam music. In between musical high points, I found out the Holy Grail of Liquor Knowledge for an American with Irish roots. Jameson Whiskey was one of the Jammy sponsors so Iwell, do you remember that scene in Jaws where Roy Scheider fills a juice glass to the top with red wine? I filled my cup with Jameson and, uhCheers!

There were so many musical highlights for the evening that to say I was a) overwhelmed, b) in jam heaven and c) ecstatic beyond belief even without the euphoric Jameson chaser would be a gross understatement. The peak was without a doubt the Dweezil Zappa set that had locked-in outstanding playing coiled around extremely complex music i.e. “Inca Roads.” Chick Corea, a veteran of the Miles Davis Bitches Brew-era band and many other jazz fusion explorations sat in with Zappa and Napoleon Murphy Brock as did Jake Cinninger who turned in the type of guest performance which solidifies the definition of jam music. This lineup raised an extremely high bar for 2006 live music; hence, its placement at the top of the current poll for Jammy performances.

One of my oldest sisters had been to many legendary 70s concerts, including the Winterland gig where Peter Frampton had recorded portions of his Frampton Comes Alive album. To meet him and hear his version of “Do You Feel Like We Do” bolstered by the awesome Guster and Martin Sexton completely made my evening. However, toss in McCoy Tyneralbeit, with some sound issueswith the always excellent Bela Fleck and Steve Kimock, Joe Satriani, Grace Potter and moe. moe. moe. and you have an evening of spectacular music with very little noticeable glitches. In fact, the rotating bands were both ingeniously selected, diverse and, once again, a great indicator of how well everything in its place echoes the fact that LIFE is here for all of us to mix it up and get alongremember that phrase, it’ll come up again and again as we circle the meaning behind the Green Apple Music Festivalhow organized communities can provide cooperation, support, activism and great art without taking anything away from the Good Earth Mother, herself. That is the key, as well. The festival was billed as an event that would be a no take away’ eventany natural resources used would be returned by the festival and that symbolic ideal became a hard-earned fact.

2006 Jammy Award Winners
Lifetime Achievement: Frank Zappa
Tour of the Year: BIG Summer Classic Tour (String Cheese Incident, Keller Williams, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Yonder Mountain String Band, Umphrey’s McGee, New Monsoon, and Xavier Rudd)
Live Album of the Year: Widespread Panic- Live at Myrtle Beach
Studio Album of the Year: Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon- Sixty Six Steps
Song of the Year: Tea Leaf Green – “Taught To Be Proud”
Live Performance of the Year: moe. Tsunami Relief Benefit, Roseland Ballroom, NYC, 2/10/05 (with Trey Anastasio, Sam Bush, Jennifer Hartswick, John Medeski and Ray Paczkowski)
Archival Album of the Year: PHISH-_Live at Madison Square Garden New Year’s Eve 1995_
DVD of the Year: Bob Dylan – No Direction Home
New Groove: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Global Rhythm World Music Award: Baaba Maal
The Jammy Industry Award: Larry Bloch (founder of Wetlands Preserve)
Green Apple Award: Jack Johnson

Friday, 4/21 From Bleecker Street Havens to the Bowery Boys in a Cave

Richie Havens returned to the Bitter Endthe epitome of the great New York folk venue with the leadoff hitter from the Jammy Awards and the quintessential soul rebel who hasn’t lost even a single step since his 1960s and 70s heyday. Au contraire, Havens’s inspired and goosebump-laced set may have been the highlight of the entire Green Apple Music Festival. This is what the festival was all about for me. No one embodies the pure human spirit and the strength of the soul better than Havens and he, humbly, embodies that age-defying fact. Upon introducing Havens, Peter Shapiro said, “When we first started discussing artists and venues, our first choice was Richie Havens at the Bitter End.”

Indeed, the packed club received the goods, which cemented that wise decision as Havens acknowledged the intimate event with a very solid and upbeat performance. I was in the back of the Bitter End against the sound booth absorbing the entire atmosphere like a little kid at his first professional baseball game; I never wanted this historic moment to end. People were busy buying beers but my eyes never left the stage and my lips would have to wait for alcoholthis was just too much to miss. New Groove of the Month for April, Ryan Mountbleau opened for Havens and played a truly memorable set while recognizing the historical importance of the gig. His candid lyrics linked with potent material and a strong stage presence gave the crowd a full well-rounded introduction to Havens as Mountbleau carried the folk torch and added several modern touches from his own bag of musical tricks.

Havens began the gig with a long opening monologue about his origins from Brooklyn doo wop to folk music to his seven days a week gig at the Bitter End in the 60s on the same stage where the late comedian Richard Pryor also performed. Havens also told an ironic story about billions of American dollars being spent upon deep space exploration when “we already are in deep space.” The man does have a wise and unique grasp on life! Opening with a song that Havens taught Hendrix and written by Dylan “All Along the Watchtower,” he followed later on with a great version of “Love Is Alive” by Gary Wright and featuring Stephanie Winters on cello and Walter Parks on amped acoustic who played with Havens throughout the gig. The highlights were the two closing numbers “Woodstock” by Joni Mitchell and his own famous on-the-spot-Woodstock-improvisatory masterpiece “Freedom”which had opened the Jammys the previous evening and closed his own Woodstock 1969 gig. Both of these pieces also contained the excellent Parks and Winters on cello. By request, he encored with “Follow” and, returning full circle, a beautiful reading of Dylan’s “Just Like A Woman.”

I wandered outside in a bit of a wonderful daze and headed up the street towards Bowery as I tried to assimilate all of the information from the Bitter End. Havens embodies the true legacy of the 1960ssmiles, warmth, community involvement, music, art and a soulful reminder that we are all in this together and one is never alone.

Onwards to my first gig at CBGBs. With the famous club due to be defunct by year’s end, this would prove to be one of only two trips to the venue. But oh what a way to go out. Umphrey’s McGee apparently set a record by selling out the joint in less time than it takes to get a cab in Manhattan and the men from Chicago did not disappoint.

“Believe the Lie” from the new album, Safety in Numbers, kicked things off for the opening set and from there the band completely obliterated the solid line between a notoriously dark and sound-unfriendly joint that favored punk and one of the current front runners for the (gasp) jamband crown. A jamband trashing CBGBs?! Yes. Call me Randy. I, alas, not alone, was with around 250 others, and I am here to report to thee like a musical Melville thatthe band did, indeed, destroy the place.

Between the lines spilled from the bottles of Brooklyn Lager, the writer takes a deep breath. I’ve seen the band many, many times and you may have seen my name under a feature or three about the group from the Windy City. Therefore, I threw the setlist away and just dove deep into the unique vibe that they were laying down; this is when a band knows how to play a venue properly and delivers a matching energy level. Think HUGE buzz of anticipation and energy and the image of Umphrey’s at CBGBs should come to mind. When the Mighty Umpsters weren’t finishing songs with heavy rock codas that indicated a meatier metal groove oriented to the speed-infused CBGBs sound, they were wailin’ on a theme from Primus’s “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” delivering multi-part bipolar, anti-boredom shapeshifting, a reggae opening to “Nemo,” with a great vocal by guitarist Brendan Bayliss leading into a jazz workouttaut yet elastic to a driving riff before cooldown into a (!) Talking Heads number before Rob Marscher from Addison Groove Project sat in on keys with Joel Cummins that led into a driving ascending riff, which segued into a flawless return into the Talking Heads theme. Set I ends at 11:15pm.

At setbreak, Marscher stood next to Jennifer Hartswick from solo and Trey Anastasio Band fame and I introduced myself and chatted about her upcoming solo project and the summer tour led by Anastasio. She was very friendly and forthcoming and I enjoyed meeting her after missing the opportunity in the past. “Oh, yeah,” said Hartswick. “I always see you.” “Yes,” I replied. “I always wanted to introduce myself but I was always working on something. I’m sorry. How are you?”

Set II began with a slippery hard Zeppelinesque jam and Umphrey’s really took off from there. If I appear to be exaggerating, let’s just say that the band blew out the P.A. reminding one and all that, after all, jambands play ROCK music, too. I have never been more proud as I saw the horrified looks of a few CBGB staffers. Hippies invented heavy music, brah. Anyway, when I wasn’t bouncin’ next to’s stalwart scribe, Benjy Eisen and juggling pints of Brooklyn’s finest lagerenough reason to relocate to NYCI was spinning to “Back in Black” teases and “Jimmy Stewart” high energy staccato riffs but it was all merely a prelude to the mother of all breakouts. Guitarist extraordinaire and UM co-conspirator (heady, eh?) Jake Cinninger had mentioned to me in the month prior that he was going to teach the band Television’s “Marquee Moon,” and Umphrey’s nailed the sinewy masterpiece with a mind-melting performance that served as a prelude in its own right to the PA catastrophe. Somehow, late at night, I was back out on Bowery, caught a cab and ended at my hotel up north in midtown after yet another day of fantastic music.

Friday, 4/21 and Saturday, 4/22 The Grand Conduit to the Great Beyond

“How do you like the adult version of Shakedown Street?” quipped Mike Greenhaus as we wandered past the many environmental activism/Green Apple/Earth Day New York tents outside of Grand Central Station on a warm and gorgeous Friday afternoon. The crowd beside the tents lined the street and gathered green material and heady conversation before Grace Potter and the Nocturnalsthe newly crowned New Groove of the Yeartook the stage for their raucous take on rhythm, blues and lusty soul-laced vocals from Potter. Umphrey’s McGee came up next and they ripped through their own set of 45 minutes of monstrous Rubik’s Cube melodies. At 1:30 with 15 minutes left in their set, the band took a lone and final momentary break. “We’ve got time for one more,” said guitarist and vocalist, Brendan Bayliss, “because we’re a jamband.” And off they went for 15 minutes into maze-y improv utopia. The crowd was loud and receptive as I was humored by a couple of jumpin’ suits taking their lunch break who both asked me on separate occasions who the band was“Oh, they’re really good.” Yesh, they be. The Grand Central Station setting reminded me of an urban version of the great acoustic stage in the middle of Centeroo at Bonnaroo. It also reminded me of those photos of the Rolling Stones when they played atop a flatbed truck around the bewildered streets of New York to announce their 1975 North American tour. Regardless the clever comparisons, this Takin’ It To the People and the Streets’ vibe went down very well, as the crowds were a strange yet appropriate mixture of suits, hippies and music lovers.

Mickey Hart returned with Mutaytor, Mike Gordon and Baaba Maal for a another set of crowd-pleasing rhythm and heavy techno percussion before engaging the crowd in a bit of drum circle magic. Indeed, I got my drum circle mojo back and this time, I wasn’t back at the hotel chasin’ sheep. Martin Sexton completed the Friday Grand Central Station extravaganza with his own brand of sincere passion before joining Assembly of Dust later that evening at the Cutting Room. Ironically, Reid Genauer and AOD would close out Saturday’s GCS event, albeit in a slightly different atmospheric setting.

On Saturday, the weather gods finally gave into the cold rain (minus the “and snow”) after two fine sets from Jonah Smith and Ben Taylor. “Thanks for coming out to see us on this lovely day,” said Bela Fleck as the Flecktones denied the cold and delivered a very hot and exploratory take on their own fluid brand of modern jazz. “How’s that for global warming?” Victor Wooten on bass and electronic effects, as usual, provided a funky mirror image to Fleck and his purple and white electric banjo. The rain that had been slightly sprinkling during Fleck’s set finally gave into a downpour as Assembly of Dust hit the stage but none of that mattered as everyone either took shelter under buildings or danced with reckless abandon in the streets. This sight was in stark contrast to the prior day’s fun in the sun but, then again, when a festival is centered on environmental awareness and activism, one feels the rain was orchestrated to near perfection by the jam gods overhead. Either that or Shapiro has some kind of cosmic pull (more on his remarkable timing later on).

Saturday, 4/22 Taught to be Proud and Loud

Madison House held a meet and greet with bands, publicists, managers, magazine editors and writers. Somehow, I was there, too and I drank some beers while chatting up Matt Butler from Everyone Orchestra, Ryan Stasik from Umphrey’s McGee, Trevor Garrod (who I knew) and Josh Clark (who I didn’t) from Tea Leaf Green. Clark and I had a hilarious conversation about the time TLG played a former cave/bar/dive called The Sail Inn in Tempe, Arizona. The pirate venue is now closed but I had seen many barnstormer gigs there and TLG’s was one of the most legendaryMarch 2005, to be precise. “You were there?!” asked a shocked Clark. “Yeah,” I replied while sampling the free booze to make sure that none of the jam stars get sick on bad alcohol. I earn my keep, ya see. “You’d be surprised at how many weird places I’ve seen bands over the years,” I continued in my mindless chatter. “I saw Blue Oyster Cult in a bar that held a hundred in Sacramento when they were prepping new material. You do what ya gotta do.”

Tea Leaf Green at CBGBs. Apparently, they sold out the joint in a timeframe that almost matched Umphrey’s prior eve record. And who said that this music is dying out? Two cheers for the conquering jambands! TLG made sure they left their own fingerprints on the dying venue as they pulled out everything they had for nearly five hours from smokin’ jams to heady Allman Brothers-type atmospherics to transcendent juggernauts that left the entire place in a shambles. Perhaps, CBGBs should just close its doors now; everything else could be perceived as a wee bit anti-climatic.

The Slip at the Codasame night, somewhere in Manhattanthe brain reels

The aforementioned rock crit overlord, Benjy Eisen, told me that The Slip might put on the best show of the year on this night so I had some lofty expectations. Nevertheless, The Slip put on one of the best shows of the year at the Coda with an amazing trio that somehow doesn’t sound like anyone elseyou can throw out names like the Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Eno, Methany and Radiohead, but The Slip make three instruments sound like ten and properly peeled all of the paint from every backroom in my mind. I suggest you check them out wherever and whenever you can. My feeble scribbling does not do their sonic out-of-body explorations a damn bit of good. Let’s just say that writing about The Slip is like describing that incredible feeling one gets when transported from normal space through a wormhole and onto a black hole which transforms into an eleven dimension universe where everything is inside out and topsy-turvy and bleeding colors that breed life and consume molecules that are too miniature to see.

Sunday, 4/23 Wetlands Preserved

“the basic aim and function of montage is connected and sequential exposition of the theme, the material, the plot, the actionthe simple matter of telling a connected storythus montage is conflict. The basis of every art is always conflict.”Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict, Ronald Bergan

“THOMAS!” – Quinn Budnick at the premiere of his father’s film which was not about tank engines

And this is where it all began, eh? Larry Bloch who received a 2006 Jammy Industry Award for his work in environmental and community activism in the music scene founded the Tribeca club based on the notion that his left of center ideals and love of live music were not dead issues in the Era of post-Reaganomics and George W. Bush, Sr. conservatism. The club, which featured everyone from Phish to Blues Traveler to Pearl Jam to moe. to Ani DiFranco to Agnostic Front arguably cemented the first stones in the jamband foundation. Peter Shapiro took over the club from Bloch and continued the Wetlands activism and helped usher in a new innovative area of musical collaboration. Hence, the link between Wetlands and the sometimes extraordinary leaps of logic in the Jammy pairings. They always seem to work but one just doesn’t know why!

Relix Senior Editor and Site Editor, Dean Budnick, directed Wetlands Preserved, which documents the story of the activist rock club in an equally innovative manner that echoes the influences of numerous documentaries from skateboard films to Russian silent film montages. Perhaps, most impressively, the visuals are animated in a way to breathe life into still photography with design and editing that is selected for each performer. Whereas most filmmakers only offer one or two stylistic choices within a film, Budnick is able to juggle many different motifs which help showcase the wide diversity of Wetlands Preserve, its activity, community and rich banquet of live music.

The premiere of the eagerly anticipated documentary took place at the old and beautifully regal Ziegfeld Theatre and was extremely well received, positioning the film as an important document in the continuing story of the important relationship between art, community and the life of a city and its citizens. The film also proved to be quite a profound statement about the continuing proverbial circle of life’ because just as the credits rolled, in a feat of impeccable timing, Peter Shapiro, Jammys, Green Apple and Wetlands Preserved Producer, got the call he had been waiting for all weekend while tirelessly racing from venue to venue to venue throughout the city to catch as much of the festival as humanly possible. His wife was due with their first child and after the call was made, he raced up the aisle and into a cab to head to the hospital for the event.

And so we begin again.

Epilogue – In the end, there is the desert. The choice is yours.

Monday, 4/24-
“All of this paints a picture of Manhattan in its Dutch phase very different from the haggard, inept settlement we get in traditional tellings. But while trade and shipping details suggest that the region was thriving, they aren’t what most mattered about the place. Who was there, how they got along, how they mixedthat is the colony’s unheralded legacy.”
The Island at the Center of the World, Russell Shorto

Yellow taxi cab runs red light while green tourist gapes at the New World
400-story skyscrapers loom like manmade giant gothic vultures
Every race, color, strange dialect yap non-stop 24hoursaday7dazeaweak
Wonderful mental and visceral amplification electrify eye and ear; CENTRAL PARK!!
Scary mentally ill angry poorblack and yellow, white and brown, young and old
DepressedMeanViciousInsanelike L.A.: wealthy share terrain with the destitute
Smart loud talking street vendors; always friendly and full of witty opinions
Another subway-towering neon after neon selling strange friendship
Broadway! Lurking ghostly gawkerseverything in its place and
LIFE is here for all of us to mix it up and get along as I sadly gaze at the airline ticket

American Airlines – #2155 10:30 EST 1:20 CST La Guardia to Dallas
American Airlines – #2066 2:30 CST 3:05 MST Dallas to Phoenix

The wandering nomad returns to his current home.
Northern Phoenix.

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