I flew back to NYC from Portland,OR. in under six hours, took a taxi and headed from Newark to Manhattan. After being away, isn’t it a thrill to see the jagged skyline? The old beauties were there: the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building; the newer, less lovely Citigroup Center and MetLife Building and the newest, Bloomberg Tower and New York Times Building. What a hodgepodge! Gotham City, Big Apple, Megalopolis: home.
The latitudes of Rome and of NYC are about 40 degrees north. Having lived in both cities, I concur with the Italian saying, autumn begins in August. NYC harkens back to pre-WWII images of women in dresses, hats and gloves and men in suits and fedoras, all because of the slanting light I associate with 30’s movies and NYC in August. And jazz.
On Tuesday, a friend and I attended the Baha’i Center at 53 East 11th Street, dedicated to Dizzy Gillespie who became a Baha’i in 1968 soon after Martin Luther King’s death. It is a small auditorium that sponsors, on a shoestring, wonderful Jazz Tuesdays. Mike Longo, the jazz pianist and composer who played with Gillespie, and the tireless Dorothy Longo, run it. For more about Jazz Tuesdays visit the website: www.jazzbeat.com.
That evening we heard The Makanda Project, a Boston jazz group. 14 – Fourteen members -14 on that tiny stage. The place burst with the compositions of the late Makanda Ken McIntyre. Some members of the audience, knowing the players, cheered them on.
What a way to come back to NYC : supper in a nearby Italian restaurant, a jazz session and then a stroll home in the balmy evening.