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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Governor's Island and live music...

On Sunday, I finally got a chance to go to Governor's Island, a place I'd seen from the window of the train on the Manhattan Bridge just about every day for the past year and a half I've lived here, but never went to. It's so incredibly easy to get to, I almost could have swum there...just wanted to use the word swum in a sentence.

Best of Governor's Island

Anyway, the ferry leaves from right next to the station where the Staten Island Ferry docks and the boat arrives in under five minutes. (I actually remembered, upon arriving on the island, that there is also a ferry from Governor's Island to Brooklyn as well, which leaves from another dock on Governor's Island and lands at Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of Atlantic Avenue). We went to Governor's Island half to see the island and walk around and half to check out the Meatopia barbecue festival that was happening that weekend. However, being late risers that day, my friend and I ended up missing out, as they were only selling beer tickets when we arrived at the tents. The food was starting to run out.

So, beer it was. And we headed back to the one restaurant on the island, Water Taxi beach, a kitschy little joint that featured fake palm trees and a sandy court yard but also a quintessential view of Manhattan. At that point it was starting to drizzle a bit despite also being sunny. But we weathered it, finished our food and walked back to the festival to get the other two beers that our tickets allowed. From there, we walked clear across the island, finding a bench to sit on, only to get rained on again, this time pretty heavily, with the sun still out on the other side of the island. Strange weather that day. It was worth the rainbow we saw afterward, though.

The island itself has a bit of a spooky air to it. No one, that I know of, lives there, though there are houses, apartment buildings (some of them burnt out with weeds growing in the parking lots), historical buildings and even bus stops, though I never saw a vehicle on the island short of golf carts, bikes and these little pedal cars being manned by Orthodox Jews that were also visiting the island. I got some great pictures of the desolation but also the views of the surrounding harbor and some of the "wildlife" on the island (look for the picture of the bird who just walked up to us looking for a handout...still don't know what kind it was). The views from the southern tip of the island were the best but my pictures came out pretty bad because of the sun being right on us. The Statue of Liberty was nothing but a silhouette.

After being rounded up by security guards on golf carts, telling us the last ferry would be leaving soon (by soon, they meant in an hour!), we cut across the middle of the island and came upon all manner of playground equipment and art installations in a court yard, a massive field with more outdoor art, a compound of old Victorian houses with wrap-around porches and even an old stone chapel. I'm thirsting to know more about the history of this island.

We landed in Brooklyn at the end of Atlantic Avenue in a newly built park and walked the length of Atlantic Avenue to the LIRR terminal where we would split up, stopping for Blue Marble ice cream on the way, a Brooklyn based ice cream shop. Great stuff. Then, I went home to get ready for the stupid overnight shift sans nap.

Work's going okay though. I'm working a lot of overtime in preparation for taking my vacation. It's helping a lot because of the extra expenses I've had lately too and will have in the coming months getting ready for my voice over business. But, I might just go insane. Nah, I'm good. I've done stretches like this before. It's all about taking it one day at a time and making sure you do enough things that are not work, along with finding time to relax, which I did tonight for the first time in a while. I've been gone so many nights seeing music this week, or otherwise staying out late, that the cat was mad enough to pee on my bed. So that was a pain to take care of.

Monday night, a friend invited me to a show in Williamsburg at Zebulon. It was a guitarist named Sir Richard Bishop. He played solo, with a loop station and rattled off some of the queerest stuff but it was amazing. According to his site he's playing a few more shows at Zebulon throughout July.

Wednesday night, another friend and I went to see The Heartless Bastards at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Another night spent in Williamsburg and I'm really starting to feel like I like the place, though I don't think I could live there...maybe I could have like five years ago but it's not for me now. The Heartless Bastards were great though. Very bluesy and soulful but also pretty hard rockin'. My friend introduced me to them a few weeks ago and I was eager to see this show. We got their a little late due to my work schedule but we caught the last half of one of the openers, Peter Wolf Crier. These guys were pretty awesome too.

This is the kind of stuff I wished I was doing when I first moved here and was spending so many nights sitting at home in Sunset Park wondering why I had to pick the rowdiest block to move to and why I had to pick the most boring neighborhood to live in. I'm sure there are things about Sunset Park that some people appreciate but I had my sights on live music and a different bar scene and those things were just too few and too far between to satisfy me. Now I'm much more comfortable in my digs and with my social life. It does take time to get comfortable after moving to a new city (and a new state), and that was the advice I was given last year from multiple sources, but it still is nice to see it come true with patience.

So, anyway, I'm enjoying myself and now that I'm sans music project (see below for the mp3 of what I just finished...copyright Tim Daoust 2010) for the time being, I'll think I'll take some time to relax and refocus. Tomorrow night, I'm going to see some films in Fort Greene Park and having a picnic with a friend. Should be fun. Next time I have some time off though, I'm doing a fresh reinstall on my computer and seeing if I can't isolate my problem by only installing certain
programs. Wish me luck!

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