Saturday, July 14, 2007

new york city

I flew back into Salt Lake City last night from New York after an exhausting three day trip out east. I've been fortunate in all of my travels thus far to have largely avoided airlines headaches such as flight cancellations and delays. I guess the odds were against me for keeping that record. Stephanie and I played a show in the Tetons of Idaho Tuesday night, drove all night to make it to the airport in SLC for our 6:00 flight to NY, and hopped on the plane. We had a plane change in Atlanta, which seemed to be an easy enough switch. The weather in Atlanta was a little cloudy but didn't seem all that threatening. We were sitting in the terminal waiting for the flight when an announcement over the PA informed us that due to weather, our flight to Long Island had been canceled. After a nightmarish experience dealing with Delta airlines (whose customer service, I am convinced, is the worst out there), we had to reschedule our flight for the next morning...but not to Long Island. The only available flight was to the LaGuardia airport, which is about an hour away from Long Island. Which means not only were we going to miss our show that night, someone was going to have to drive two hours to pick us up. We asked Delta if we could get our bags. They wouldn't release them to us. They were continuing on to Long Island even if we weren't. (Our baggage consisted of my guitar and all of our merchandise.) We asked them to put us up in a hotel for the night. They gave us a discount voucher for a Best Western that had no rooms available. We had to find our own hotel, catch a shuttle from the airport, miss our show and instead spend the evening in a hotel in Atlanta, and then catch the shuttle for the red eye flight the next morning. We arrived in LaGuardia and our hero arrived in the form of Dave Dircks...the founder of the Acoustic Long Island podcast. (The show we would have played the night before.) Dave picked us up at LaGuardia and then drove us all the way out to the LI airport to fetch our bags, which Delta assured us would have arrived by then. Of course, they hadn't. We were informed that they would be arriving that hour before we needed to leave for our show in Manhattan. Dave took us to lunch, took us to buy the supplies we were missing, took us to his house to freshen up for the show...and pretty much saved the day. He drove us back to the LI airport at the time Delta told us the plane would be coming. No...of course had been delayed an hour. So...we waited...and an hour later FINALLY had our luggage (but not before the conveyor belt broke causing further delays. Oddly enough all this happened on Thursday the 12th, not Friday the 13th.) Dave then proceeded to drive us all the way out to Manhattan for our show, missing his dinner appointment in the process. Dave is our hero.

The show was great. Stephanie and I shared the stage with a great performer/songwriter named Andy Mac at a swanky little club on 34th Avenue called Mo Pitkin's. A big thanks to Lena Chen of Chilen Music for putting on the show and inviting us out to play. And the biggest thanks of all to Dave Dircks. Holy Hannah. What would we have done without you? Despite the craziness of it all, I still had a great time. Yesterday we got to go to a pizza place in Brooklyn that everyone is always raving about. Grimaldi's. It was excellent. New York City is a crazy place.

So, now I'm home again and I've got a few hours of down time before I head out to play my show at the Sandy Amphitheater tonight. Monday Steph and I head out to Seattle for more traveling fun. I'm looking forward to that. I think Seattle is my favorite city in the U.S.