One month ago I moved out of my NYC apartment.
It was a sad day for me. I must say, though, that I wasn’t nearly as emotional as I thought I would be. This may or may not have anything to do with the way the night before went.
I decided that I was going to spend my last full day roaming around my neighborhood, taking photos of all of my favorite things. By the way, I hated doing this, because I hate taking photos of things and being obvious about it.
(I also ran around looking for boxes, and ended up walking up to Chelsea, getting myself a donut, and lugging home a huge package of boxes from uHaul. I am way too little for that.)
A month or two prior, I made plans to go see Simon Townshend at Joe’s Pub with some friends I made after his show back in February. On my birthday, actually. So, it was a jam packed day. His show started at 7, and there was a free preview of the NYC Ben and Jerry’s Flavor happening starting at 5. Living in the Village was amazing because I was within walking distance to a lot of things. I walked everywhere that day. So, I found myself walking over to the Hudson River at 15th Street and hung out for awhile. On my walk back to the apartment, I stayed on the path along the River for a bit, when I noticed some music playing from the other side.
I glanced over and saw a pavilion of sorts, and smiled to myself. I called my sister and jokingly said “hey, I think I can hear the AmericanaramA tour starting up” because I knew Bob Dylan was playing in Hoboken that night.
Of course, I never actually for a moment considered going to Hoboken. Instead, I drove up to my sister’s in Massachusetts the weekend before, and stopped along the way home in Saratoga Springs to see him. Having siblings who live in these areas has proved to be mighty convenient when it comes to tours that don’t stop in the city. Also, I love road trips.
I got home and looked on my computer, and found out that where he was playing was no more than four miles from my apartment. It was just a quick PATH train ride away. I lived two blocks from the 9th Street station.
I showered and headed out for Joe’s Pub, talking to my sister again along the way. I walked over to 5th Avenue before heading south, because I didn’t want to walk by the PATH station. My sister laughed and said she wasn’t getting involved with the decision making process this time.
I got to Joe’s Pub after SImon started. I sat in my seat and felt bad because all I could think about was how I was probably, definitely heading to Jersey as soon as his set was done. I could see my friends already seated, and felt bad again because I was going to have to leave without stopping for anything, even a quick hello. I tried to look up tickets on my phone, to no avail.
After his set, I ran outside and called the only number I could find, and they told me to go to the gate and I should be able to get a ticket.
For some idiotic reason, I hopped in a cab because I didn’t think I had time to get back to 9th Street, and I had no idea how the PATH train worked. I couldn’t get the time table to load on my phone. It was after 8:30 and Bob went on at 9:30. I had to get going.
This cab ride, let me tell you. It took forever. He didn’t run the meter, of course. We were stuck in traffic. I was antsy and talking to my sister (again) about how I had chugged down rum and cokes like I always do when I’m nervous/anxious, but hadn’t eaten much of anything. I planned to eat after I got home, which I thought would be no later than 9:30 because I wanted to get some packing done.
I didn’t get to Hoboken until 9:15 or so. It might have been later, because I remember being incredibly frantic. The driver dropped me a few blocks away. I spent a fortune on that cab ride.
I asked a security guard if I was heading the right way for Bob Dylan, and he looked at me with a dumbfounded expression on his face. I kept going because I knew the Hudson was ahead. I ran along a row of bars to where one of the ticket people told me to go to get a ticket. I heard the guitar start strumming, providing the intro to “Things Have Changed” and fidgeted because I wasn’t anywhere close to seeing anything. The lady at the table swiped my card. The machine was slow. It didn’t go through. I tried another card. Nothing worked. I had spent all of my cash on the cab ride. I ran into the bar across the street and asked the bartender if she would give me cash back. She couldn’t, but they had an ATM. I never use ATM’s, because my PIN number won’t work. I kicked myself again for not fixing this sooner.
I went back outside and called my bank. They couldn’t help me. I called my sister, almost in tears. I just blew $80 on a cab ride for nothing. At least the driver gave me a package of peanuts as he ate his own dinner, probably feeling pity for me because he overheard the earlier conversation. She asked if she could give me her card number over the phone, and I could just pay her back later. I asked the people at the table.
A nice guy came over and said that he believed me, but it wasn’t secure so they couldn’t do it. I think I asked if there was anything I could do. He walked away as I talked to the girl, then came back and placed a piece of paper in front of me. I reached in my purse for my pen, thinking he was letting me write down the card number. I flipped it open and saw a ticket, and looked at him quizzically.
“What…” I started to say.
“It’s a free ticket. Take it. Go in.”
I thanked him profusely and started to walk out, feeling like I was on cloud nine. I probably yelled to my sister, who was still on the phone “He gave me a free ticket! I’m going in!” I was turned around because I walked the wrong way. Some lady stopped and asked me if I just got the ticket. I said yes. She asked if I could show her who gave it to me. I pointed to the ticket booth. The security guard said “she just bought it” and I skipped merrily along, paying no thought to any of them. I got off the phone and practically ran. The show was GA, which was a first for me at a Bob Dylan concert. I cursed myself for being short, and started to edge my way in, somewhere. I couldn’t see anything and everyone around me was drunk and bored.
My teenage years of concert-going helped me. I slithered over to the other side of the stage, using my size to my advantage because I can slip through small spaces. I followed anyone else who was cutting through the crowd. Any small opening was filled by me. Within a few songs I was up to the barrier.
The concert was, of course, incredible. I thought it was. I know some people are haters. That’s okay. I got hit on a few times. Some guy after the concert asked if he could take a photo of me. He asked where I lived. He too, he claimed, lived in the Village. He asked if we should get a drink here or there. I laughed and said I had to get home and pack. He held my hands, and said something about how I was a special person and I was going to do great things. We parted ways. I finally bought my niece a Bob Dylan sticker; she had been asking me for one since November.
I was heading to the PATH station when I noticed a long row of buses. I stopped, curiously. I ended up talking to two girls and paying no mind to the buses for the next three hours. I got home around 4AM. Slept for three hours.
Then I packed up my life and headed for my next chapter.
I didn’t spend that last night in the city, not completely. But it was still very much a summation of what my life in the city looked like.