Okay, I had something totally different planned for today, then I read this post at EV Grieve and those plans went up in the air. Ted Barron was one of the first people I met when I moved here in 1993. He’s a wonderful photographer and supplied photos for one of my first features that got published back in 1993 in New York Newsday about a Puerto Rican All Star Wrestling show that was taking place back in Williamsburg back in those days.
In 2008 Ted and writer Drew Hubner put together a blog called, East of Bowery and that collaboration made it’s way into print via the book, East of Bowery.
I haven’t seen Ted since the Newsday piece came out and he and Drew are hosting a multimedia show/reading from their book at Sidewalk Cafe tonight, and so that’s tonight’s last-minute destination.
It's a nice day, so we'll just walk over to the East Village to Sidewalk Cafe.
As I walk along I turned and saw Cardboard Box Man on a table. He's letting me know he's always there, lurking ... watching ... planning ... Aaaahhhh!
Here we are at Sidewalk Cafe.
Live music and entertainment every night. Sounds good to me, let's go inside!
Of course I'm over an hour early, so the bar's empty. What should I do with this hour to spare? Oh, I know, I'll have a beer or four!
And as I plopped down on a stool, the lovely bartender Katherine serves up an ice cold Budweiser.
Here's a view of the bar from my perch.
Behind the bar is a wall of lit-up booze bottles.
Up front there's large wooden communal tables to sit at.
A photo of a guitar hangs on the brick wall opposite the bar.
Beneath the photo is a long wooden bench that runs along the wall up to the front picture window.
And just in case you've had too many and need a reminder of what you are, they've placed this sign to remind you that you are in a...BAR.
There's a dining room in the space on the other side of the bar.
The stage doors are open, let's get a table.
It's a cozy, wooden-walled room back here.
A neon sign of the Sidewalk logo hangs on the wall above photos and artwork.
They're setting up the stage as people are starting to come in. The room is filling up fast.
My friend's Karen and Jon showed up, which was a pleasant surprise, I didn't know they were going to be here. We last saw them here at the Rodeo Bar, when John's band, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. were playing. Check out their post at Edible Queens.
NYC musician Kurt Wolf is going to be playing live music to accompany the reading tonight.
Writer Drew Hubner gives an introduction for tonight's reading. They were going to have Ted's photos projected behind Drew on the screen, but due to a technical glitch that didn't happen. But, I've decided to have some photos of the reading accompanied with text from one of Drew's stories from the East of Bowery blog and you'll be able to click on the text to see one of Ted's photos, creating our own multimedia show here at TWM. The story is called, Next Stop Times Square and you can read it in its entirety here. Okay, on with the show!
My last morning was like any other. I awakened with my mouth open, in the snow, with no shelter to speak of. Some of us called the empty lots behind the old matzo shop, at the corner of Norfolk and Rivington, the toxic waste dump.
Maybe there were fifty or so of us in the lot that night, none of our mothers when they walked us to kindergarten that first day and left us in the parking lot imagined their lovely child would ever end up in a place like this, even for one night.
The snow had begun sometime in the night as you remember waking up, pissing steam against the brick building side and watching the flakes outlined against the moon’s face like falling keepsakes fashioned by the delicate hands of virgin weavers somewhere who all looked like young Judy Garland and sang as they worked in voices that were plaintive but not yet broken up.
I turned the rest of the money my mother gave me into dope. My actual plan was to cross the Williamsburg Bridge by foot to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway travelling west and hitchhike south from there.
I stayed on the bench watching the headlights careening into the darkness above me one of the coldest nights of the year until I finally shivered onto the subway, looking for the best place to melt away into nothing I remember riding out to Coney Island and walking on the beach to the edge of the shore, I must have got back on the D train because I was awakened by a cop below Times Square, who gently suggested I move on and just thus ended the chronicle of my first life in the East Village.
After the reading people milled around and chatted.
And after about a 17 year gap, I got to say hi to Ted! It was great to see him again!
And as I left, night had fallen on Manhattan. I love it when that happens!
Surprise link, click on it...I dare you! (Photo by Ted Barron)
Bonus Photo by Danny the Freelancer!
After yesterday’s Polaroid trip to Impossible Project Space NYC, TWM commenter, Danny the Freelancer was inspired to dig up this Polaroid. Here’s what he wrote about it: "This is my favorite pic from the Vava Voom Room, Burlesque. That's the world famous BOB on top, I guess I'm the letter O in the middle and that's Dirty Martini on the left.” Classic photo, Danny, thanks for sending it in!