Friday, April 27, 2012

The Bronx is up but the Battery's down

We didn't get to the Bronx, but Battery Park, yes - on our last full day in New York, passing through on route to the Staten Island Ferry for a sail-by sighting of the Statue of Liberty.

So what was New York like? Everything we'd hoped for at twice the scale. An all-absorbing, truly incredible metropolis - a clean, friendly and super-safe city (we were strolling around the back streets at 11 pm, riding the subways and mooching Central Park as dusk turned to dark – and felt perfectly fine and unrattled). Instantly familiar from films, TV (and comics) we were immediately installed, settled and at home from the first footsteps into Fifth Avenue.
  At last: the lengthy wait since Record Breakers is over 

So what sights were seen - Harlem and Spanish Harlem (by night), Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, the Dakota Building, Central Park, the Chelsea Hotel, the Flat Iron building, West Village, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Times Square, Union Square, Washington Square, Brooklyn (both DUMBO and Williamsburg by way of two visits), a panoramic spread from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building (with 25 miles visibility).

 86 floors straight down

 And take note any future trip-takers some of the finest views to be had came from: the East River Ferry and its skyline commuter cruise - followed by the hair-tingling walk back across Brooklyn Bridge, the High Line and its newly-landscaped elevated railway aspect and finally gliding/hovering across East River riding the Roosevelt Island Tramway.

 Manhattan from the East River Ferry

 Under the Brooklyn Bridge on the East River Ferry

Walking the High Line to Greenwich Village

 Roosevelt Island Tramway (as seen in Spider-Man 1) - yes we did brave a ride

For eats Sarge’s Deli is the place to park up (where I had my first Reuben) and my recommendation for a chow down  – 24 hour service, on the premises prepared meats and home-made corn beef without any of the rush and bustle of Carnegie Deli or the NY's higher profile eateries - and is almost exclusively non-touristy. For shops J J’s Hat Centre will fit all your get ahead needs.

I've never returned from any holiday - anywhere! unable to shake off the sparkle of a visit like our trip to New York.

Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building

Central Park and city

If you do get the chance to go - jump at it! I'm already prepping a tick-list for round two... while listening to New York's finest jazz station WBGO, which has given jazz a new and panoramic extra dimension after hearing it soundtracking the city of hootin'-tootin' cabs, steaming manholes and endlessly stretching skyscrapers

 Looking south Brooklyn on the left and New Jersey on the right - Flat Iron in the middle

Should you fancy a squint at the full set of New York Pics have a peep hereabouts.

Only a couple of trips to record shops: Rebel Rebel in Greenwich Village where a Fania comp and Joe Batann were bagged, and Earwax in Brooklyn for DJ Shadow and Sharon Jones...

Joe Batann - Subway Joe

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - The Reason

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

K is for…

Keyboard kings and legends - as tonight we're joined by Southender and newly signed Blow Up label artist Dave Woodcock for live tunes and chat. Playlist-wise I'll be winging in Wynder K Frog, Jackie Mittoo, Keith Mansfield and this new beauty from Blow Up records…(available as free download here)

We're live from 9 come on over to Chance Radio and lend us your ears

If you missed last weeks edition - dig in below, or via iTunes

  Podrophenia: Before or After They Were Famous

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Sunday Sessions: West Weston

If you happen to be round or about near Southend's Railway Hotel on Sunday - drop in to hear the hootin', tootin' Wes Weston - one of the UK's premier harpists - as he brings his own band the Bluesonics to Southend for a rare hometown gig. While they're setting up and between the bands - I'll be spinning some tunes from the CD box marked 'Rockadoodledoo'.

Expect to hear Freddie King, Little Walter, Fania Latin releases, Lowell Fulsom and suchlike

We're there from 4:30, so come on in and shake a leg.. West Weston - Jumping at Deke's