Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New York, Just Like I Pictured it....

I'm now in New York getting ready for Yale Strom's A Great Day on Eldridge Street Klezmer Tour. I'll be in the US for a couple of months... Getting to the US is best done carrying absolutely nothing at all, preferably stark naked, for reasons of security. At Ferihegy Airport in Budapest I was relieved of the cimbalom tuning key in my computer bag, which was deemed a possible weapon... "Do exactly as I say or this C# will be flat in relation to the A in the bass... now!" This has unexpected positive attributes as well - now I won't have to play on the Rushevsky's borrowed cimbalom on the Klezmer tour which brought me here. If you can't tune it, you can't play it.
Having been relieved of my only tuning device, I was free to travel... of course, at London Heathrow security measures are even tighter than at Ferihegy, but at leats it is Jolly Olde Blighty, mustn't grumble...Leave your liquids and lighters at the desk please, no Shoe Bombing nutcases allowed on the flight. With four hours to spend in travel limbo I scoured Terminal four for something approaching an affordable lunch. I passed on the Seafood Bar, knowing that if I ever travel through here with Fumie (who hates Heathrow Airport) I would, as punishment, have to mortgage my Moldavian bagpipes to feed her...But smack dab in the middle of the Terminal was what seemed to be a real London style pub... dirty tables, footer on the telly, barkeeps who can't pronounce consonants, and beer on tap at normal London pub prices, which is to say about 2 Pounds 25p a pint. Pub Grub in transit! If you have ever watched Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares you will know that the English are attempting to reform their bad reputation for cooking. They try using Mediterranean ingredients and "Asian influences" and pretty soon nobody eats any of it at all and they have to call Gordon Ramsey in to scream at them and call them wankers and teach them how to make simple, decent English pub food. Like Fish and Chips...
Big fat "chips" drenched in malt vinegar... and since they know a New York accent when they hear one they kindly served the peas in the non-mushy style. Given that BA's dinner offering was "Shepherd's Pie" (ground beef in a light slime sauce covered with indelicately microwaved mashed potato) I am glad I wolfed this down when I had the chance. Other offerings in Heathrow are more attuned to the average Saudi Sheik than to Klezmer musicians on a budget... how about some caviar at 99 Pounds a tin? (Pounds are like dollars used to be... i.e., money. Just multiply by two to reach a heartbreaking dollar amount.)So now I am comfortably enthroned at my parent's home in Teaneck New Jersey, located a mere seven kilometers outside of Manhatten and historically famous for its role in the American Revolution.Teaneck is the New York exurb most accurately described by the term "Hymietown" which was made popular by the Reverend Jesse Jackson during his suicidal 1984 presidential run. As seen here in an old Saturday Night Live clip played by Eddie Murphy... a neighbor who lives about five miles away in Englewood...

2 comments:

barmaljova said...

leave it to the one and only Dumneazu to find the greasiest shmaltziest grub in Heathrow... see you in the city!

Andrea said...

"Do exactly as I say or this C# will be flat in relation to the A in the bass... now!"

You acoustical terrorist, you :)))