Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

Is what you’ve been given, A thousand times before? Just more more, More of that jazz….

Last night Joey and I headed to smalls, a well good jazz club way down on 1oth Street West in the Village.  Joey is a big Jazz fan while I have an interest, although a largely uniformed interest, an interest none the less.  The name very much suited the place.  It’s street side appearance is just a doorway and a small staircase leads you down to a room that is 20% stage with the rest of it filled with a bar, about 40 odd mixed and matched chairs and a variety of different things hanging from the walls and positioned on shelves.  It is small.  It is also really cool.  If I had to describe it in any way I would probably call it a dingy jazz dive…but in the good way.  For our US$20 entry fee we were hopefully going to get some good Jazz.

First up we had a duo of Piano and Trumpet dudes.  An interesting comparison of young, fresh faced guy on Piano and the old veteran on the trumpet.  They worked well together.  They freely admitted they hadn’t played together before and although they were not perfect, they certainly enjoyed themselves and you had to just enjoy listening to them as we rested our tired legs.  They were talented individuals, doing what they did best and it certainly was something I could never do.  I have played instruments for a large part of my life but these guys had proper skills.  After a short break we had a quartet of Piano, Bass, Drums with the lead playing Alto Sax.  These guys may have been more skilled than the first line up and slightly more polished but they were lacking something at times.  The Sax player was great (as a former Alto Sax player I got sore from purely watching him play haha), but never really seemed to be enjoying himself.  It seemed as if playing was a chore and every time he took a break he looked somewhat suicidal.  They got better the more they played though.  It was an awesome way to spend a night in New York though.  The perfect setting for a chilled night in the city that never sleeps…

This morning we woke up after walking more than 150 blocks yesterday (even without counting the walking around the museum and through Central Park) expecting to do a lot more walking.  However, we were greeted with a sky full of rain and a prediction for it to stay that way all day with it clearing up for tomorrow.  We went back to that diner for breakfast and ate pancakes while we decided what to do.  We hadn’t left anything we wanted to do that would be unaffected by the rain so our plans for today got switched for the clear skies of tomorrow and we were making up the rest of the day on the fly.  The first thing that caught our attention was the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium…it was just around the corner from us in Times Square and although a bit pricey seemed pretty cool so off we went.

Ripley’s was a very fun place.  There were amazing records, unusual things from all around the globe and a vast variety of things that really just shouldn’t have existed.    You couldn’t help to feel a little sorry for those people of the past who made a living as circus freaks, but their stories were interesting.  There was also a variety of things that you think really should be in a museum such as hair of JFK, George Washington and Lincoln, a variety of fossils and part of Nelson’s ship HMS Victory.  Some of the coolest things came towards the end of the tour though.  There was  the biggest collection of shrunken heads, there was a “black hole tunnel” that was the weirdest feeling imaginable and after 4 times walking through it (we are big kids after all) I was still feeling ‘drunk and dizzy’ for about 30 mins afterwards.  Finally there was the ability to see our poor acting as we recreated the famous, and well used tourist photo in NYC, of the blokes on the steel girder while building the Rockefeller Centre and make fun of people using the “can you twist or roll your tongue mirror”  that turned out to be a one way window.

As the rain continued we grabbed another “slice”, one of the MANY pizza slices we have had in New York and decided what to do next.  In the end we decided on going to see a film in a proper American Cinema.  With the vast array of films to choose from we went with Will Ferrell’s “Land of the Lost.”  The cinema experience was not too different to that back in Australia.  There was no ice cream which seems to be an english-only awesome thing.  There were the similar lengths of advertisements and trailers before hand and the movie screen seemed the same size.  The only noticeable difference was that the seats had a built in recline function which was comfy but would have been better if you could manually adjust it.

How was the movie though?  Well for a comedy it did the main job of making you laugh.  Many comedies fail to do that these days so that was a good start.  Pretty much it was  just a quirky film that made little to no sense as a logical story but was really enjoyable.  Stupid jokes were a plenty and Will Ferrell just riffing a variety of funny things made the film as good as it was.  Definitely the kind of cheer up movie you want to see on a somewhat grimey and rainy day.

After a slower, more relaxed day we will be hitting the ground running in our tour of North America tomorrow…


June 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. dropping my hunt for the word RAFT and now playing spot the ‘well good’… everywhere is ‘well good’ with u these days hahahaha so jealous of the ‘jazz dive’ haha.. grabbed a slice? man u are becoming a ‘nu-yowr-ker’

    Comment by 'bethy' | June 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. Not only have I picked up way too many British-ism as it is but Joey was just persuading me to the brilliance of “Prat” as an insult!

    Comment by casaboy69 | June 8, 2009 | Reply

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