ILMX018 Two Blocks Down 49th Street

Illustration by Ciro Romero   Website | Tumblr | Instagram

i’m at the height of my vagrancy right now. i’m sitting in central park, with all my worldly possessions unable to move around because this dastardly town does not offer storage solutions ANYWHERE and because i am a little delicate from last night’s proceedings anyway so i have camped out here, and its ok because i got food and drink and my many readings by jack to keep me company and i figure its good to live the life of a hobo in america if i’m going to read about it as well (more on the road than big sur though). i sit in one of those enclosed parks for kids, and i’m sure all the nannies think i’m nuts but at this stage i don’t care and i can’t move anyway.

so last night was kinda fun. i go to see a book reading in west village, friend of a friend whose moment in the spotlight i actually only see the tail-end of. nevermind. meet up with my hosts for the next two nights, john and johanna and we go to dinner to this nice lil vegan/vegetarian restaurant, which seems to really enjoy tempting vegetarians with fake meat dishes, like soy chicken nuggets and soy beef stew and soy pork chops. seems a little wrong to me, but i go with it because its good and the ginger fried rice is pretty tasty, though not as memorable as our sf experience. i think that ginger rice will be the thing i try and every restaurant now if its on the menu, it has replaced hainan or broiled chicken and rice (which funnily enough also comes with the ginger/shallot sauce that we so love) which is what i usually go for as a measure of a food joints greatness.

after dinner i head home, and the lady in the apartment block next door starts singing show tunes. quietly at first and i thought it was the family singing hour so i’m digging it, and at times i even want to join in, but then she really starts belting them out and the piano kinda stops and starts and i realise she’s singing the same songs over and over again, so i guess she must have been practising for something. it could be next off-off-broadway production that i’m previewing here!!

in any case it starts to drive me crazy after a while and i resolve the internal debate of whether i should go out to see dan’s midnight show. i’m really fucking glad i did! i get to the venue, the rockwood music hall, whose name makes the place sound far grander and larger than what it really is, and gingerly enter the room because the door is right next to the stage and before my eyes adjust, i thought i was entering into a room full of people. but no, it turns its just dan and his two travelling flatmates (same situation as me and thu and lu in a sublet, except theirs in williamsburg sounds far more impressive) and my mere arrival almost doubles his audience, according to dan. so i’m feeling good already. with no one new to play to, dan starts off with a cover and to be honest, it only gets better from here on in. no more funny stories to introduce the songs, and he’s taking requests! in fact i get a surprise dedication/request (a town called sadness) and then i yell out for river o tears and by this stage i’m whooping and cheering because frankly i have never heard these live and have always been too shy to ask for. i yell again out for another song (all on my lonesome) and it is noted by may (dan’s friend) that i like all the sad songs which is true so instead i go how about brains on fire? so it gets played and i dig it.

after a sadly truncated set, we have a quick drink and head off to williamsburg to the union pool, which i thought was a pool hall but turns out to be just a bar with hipsters (makes me feel a little socially awkward) but at least they have a beer garden. margaritas are ordered and this is the drink for the night and though nice as it is, i have come to the conclusion that tequila, or at least the combination of tequila and beer (and also red wine) does not agree with me and i really ought to stop drinking it. because i finally stumble home once hugs are exchanged, farewells and promises to catch up in london are made, and after jumping out of the taxi and running like a mad woman two blocks down 49th street for no reason other than i like running with the wind in my hair, and sway like a willow when i close my eyes and i feel violently ill when i wake up, and pretty much the entire morning until right about now after a good nap in the park and i finally feel like eating and i drink my pepsi (just like i did at the baseball but even more gingerly) and after reading about jack and cody pomeroy and lawrence ferlinghetti and little arthur ma who are currently visiting the cabin in big sur. which probably explains why i am writing like this because frankly i’ve decided (and you may have noticed by the ten thousandth mention of him in these pages) that i think jack k is just the topsest thing i’ve ever laid eyes on (in a wordy sense i mean).

Tracklist

  1. Cat Power – Manhattan
  2. Hospitality – Eighth Avenue
  3. The Magnetic Fields – The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
  4. Dark Dark Dark – New York Song
  5. Fog – 10th Avenue Freakout
  6. Toy Balloon – Kids / New York
  7. Teen Daze – Brooklyn Sunburn
  8. The Emergency – Holland Tunnel Dive
  9. Blockhead – Central Park – Instrumental
  10. Slow Magic – Manhattan
  11. Teebs – NY Pt. 2
  12. Have A Nice Life – Guggenheim Wax Museum
  13. Slow Six – The Night You Left New York

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Artist Bio

  • Ciro W Romero is a freelance artist and illustrator working out of the New York City area. He is inspired by the rainy days of late autumn coupled with cups of café con leche (espresso with milk).
  • On his free time he enjoys playing banjo, sketching, reading, and going for long bike rides.
  • To see more of his work check out his website.

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