Our plan evolved thusly: On Monday I would drive to Richard's house in Northampton, MA, and spend the night. That's a good 4-hour drive. Then, we would get up early Tuesday morning and Richard would drive us to the train station in Darien, CT, about a two-hour drive. It's about an hour train ride from Darien to Grand Central Station in NYC. Richard found us a reasonably priced Airbnb apartment for Tuesday night at 341 West 30th Street (Chelsea).
When I got to Richard's house on Monday, an adult beverage awaited me.
That's Michelle pouring herself some wine, and behind her is the grill that caught on fire as Richard cooked delicious hamburgers and hot dogs (no harm done -- I did the same thing over Memorial Day at our house -- it was just grease on the catch tray). After dinner Richard and I took a walk around Northampton, especially making our way past the new house he and Michelle are buying (congratulations, Richard and Michelle!). Richard and I had a beer at Joe's Cafe, his regular haunt, where I met some of his friends including Roisin, who was born in Ireland. Then we made our way back to his house for some conversation and a little catching up on politics given the big primary the next day (my addiction, not Richard's).
We caught a night's sleep and were up early Tuesday. After an uneventful drive and train ride, we made our way to the East Village. I can't remember if we walked or took the subway, but I think it was the latter.
We encountered a unique spelling of Bleecker Street as we walked in the village.
We were planning to catch the noon showing of a film by Chris Felver's, but we walked the wrong way on Bowery looking for the Howl! arts center and ended up cabbing back (it was hot!) and being late enough that we decided to grab lunch. We ate at Slainte, an Irish pub at 304 Bowery where we met bartender Conor who was born in Galway and still has the fantastic Irish brogue.
We wanted to see the Poetry Jukebox we'd read about on-line that is installed in the alley behind the former CBGB, so we checked out the amazing CBGB memorabilia and then walked 3/4 of the way around the block to find the jukebox (it's a one-way alley). It has a single button you push and it begins to play various "beat" writers reading their work. It was at Corso reading "Marriage" when we hit the button. I put beat in quotations because the line-up included Bukowski, who, while I love his work, was most definitely not a beat writer.
We had time for a bit more walking in the village and then made our way to the Howl! Happening arts center. It's a bright space and artist Mark Turgeon was working on a two-wall mural during the event. It was impressive and I wish I had a way of showing you all of it (of course, you could make a trip there and see it for yourself).
The 2 and 3 PM events were panel discussions. They were very informal and I wish there had been a facilitator to give introductions and keep things a bit more focused. All through the event, a slide show of beat generation pictures played. Here are a couple of pictures of the panels.