FEBRUARY 1, 2002
Once back on the street we made our way to the subway to catch another R(or was it an N?) to Battery Park. We wanted to check out the times for the TKTS booth there. It wasn't the brightest move, but it gave us an idea about how to strategize our next entertainment purchase. After a quick connoiter in front of the TKTS trailer, we made our way to Chinatown. I don't remember how we finessed the trains, but we made it rather quickly. Not knowing where the restaurants were located in Chinatown we implemented an increasing-radius-counter-clockwise-searchpath modality. In other words, we wondered around in circles until we found a decent place to eat. We eventually stumbled on to the motherlode, Mott Street. The decision was difficult. We left it up to chance. The numbers 6 and 66 had been making themselves known on a number of occasions throughout the weekend. When we saw the number 66 was the address of the New Eastern Villa Restaurant, the decision was made. This restaurant wasn't nearly as trafficked as the rest. It was a bit more upscale than the other noodle shops on the street and the fish tanks in the front window gave us something to look at after ordering. Mike went for the General Tso's chicken and I had the sauteed prawns(after a round of soup, of course). As we dined it was interesting to watch the wait staff try to net the live prawns in the tank while I was trying to nab mine. Both sets were amazingly slippery and acrobatic. I blamed the plastic chopsticks. The waitress could have easily blamed the small net. I never knew prawns were such agile critters, stir fried or alive.
Anyway, we noticed the clock and it was approaching 9:00. Victor Wooten was supposed to hit the stage at the Irving Plaza at 9:15. We eventually paid our check, safely stowed our cookie fortunes
and rambled back to Canal and Centre to catch the 6 train to 14th Street. We were at the Irving Plaza by 9:25. After being "wanded" by security, we went inside to find a very full house. After trying to look OVER the crowd on the main floor, we went to the balcony, where, after about an hour, we could look AROUND people. It was a bit frustrating at first, but the music and groove in the room was so good you soon didn't mind. Not to mention that all of Victor's shows are NO SMOKING. What a wonderful thing!
Victor was joined on stage by his brothers Joseph on keyboards and Regi on guitar. Regi played his own 20 minute solo later in the set. His nickname, "Teacher", was more than appropriate. He was, in a word, amazing. Victor came back out and did things to a bass guitar I've never seen or heard done before(then again, I don't get out too much). At times, Mike tells me, Victor would play saxophone using a midi-controller woodwind mouthpiece to control part of the sound and controlled the tone with the bass. JD Blair played drums. James Genus, bass player in his second season with the Saturday Night Live Band, joined the group onstage for some fun. The band played on until 12:30 or so. Wow, what a show!
Mike tried to swap e-mail addresses with a guy that recorded the show. No luck so far in that regard, but stay tuned, ya never know.
From Irving Plaza we weebled over to the East Village. I say weebled because we just stood up for a 3 hr. show and I now had blisters on my blisters. Regardless, we were in search of the Coyote Ugly Saloon, if only to say we walked in front of it. My homing skills aren't what they used to be and there weren't any bodega owners who knew what the hell we were talking about. My feet were about done, so we tried to hole up for a while in an Irish pub not far from the Ukranian Community Center. The Ukranian bouncer at the door was certainly sympathetic to our situation, but the bartender would hear nothing of letting an 18yr. old in. So, we decided to cut our losses and work our way back to the room. Another stop at the bodega near the hotel for a couple of green bottles and it was quickly "lights out" at 2:10.