Tag Archives: NY

NY4: Fulton St Local

1. Washington Square Park
2. Prospect Park
3. Central Park
4. Battery Park
5. Bryant Park

1. Cherry Coke
2. Pepsi Wild Cherry
3. Cherry Zero
4. Coca Cola
5. Dr Pepper Cherry (which does exist for some reason)

Things to buy for a dollar
1. Pizza slice
2. Arizona Fruit Punch
3. Hot Dog
4. Can of mac and cheese
5. The gratitude of a homeless person with a particularly good yarn

Ways to make money
1. Alphabetise, box and move the files of a Korean immigration law firm.
2. Have your brain scanned for the purposes of market research.
3. Promote a new political social networking platform at the Personal Democracy Forum.
4. Hassle people to pay you money for stuff you did before you moved to New York.
5. Empty the coin jar.

Subway lines
1. C
2. F
3. A
4. L
5. G (downgraded due to stabbing)

Semi-famous people encountered
1. Singer in the Dead Weather/Kills, Chelsea Hotel, 23rd Street, Manhattan, getting out of a taxi.
2. Member of White Rabbits, Lorimer St/Metropolitan Av, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, walking home.
3. Ced Gee, Ultramagnetic MCs, producer of Nas, Kool Keith, etc, selling bootleg CDs on 6th Av/4th St.
4. Member of YACHT, Jay St/Borough Hall C stop, Brooklyn
5. Antone Hill, boxing champion 1978-1980, Ludlow St, Manhattan, asking for change.

Block parties that took place directly outside 3 Quincy Street half a decade ago.
1. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

Subtle differences
1. Keys turn the opposite direction.
2. Taxi drivers have no idea where they are going.
3. If you tell someone “I’m here for 3 weeks”, they don’t know if you mean you’ve already been there for 3 weeks, if you’ve got 3 weeks to go, or if you’re there for a total of three weeks, even though Irish people seem to understand automatically from inflection maybe.
4. Flies are confident in their ability to land on you, bite you and fly away before you can swat them.
5. Even the most legitimate businesses are pretty much trying to get extra money out of you either by friendliness or by underhandedness.

Major differences
1. Heat
2. Absurd amount of free stuff to do all the time.
3. Multi-ethnicity
4. Leaving bars before being kicked out of bars.
5. The call to prayer coming from the mosque on Fulton Street on a Friday night, and any deli employee who has ever run at full tilt past me to get to said mosque in time.

Homeless people
1. Pigeon man, Washington Square Park
2. Man with spiel about how Michael Jackson ran New York City even though he had no muscles, Madison Square Park
3. Heinz 57, East Broadway
4. George Clinton-type man, Washington Square Park
5. Guy who lives in the empty lot behind Salvation Army, Brooklyn

Do you guys like comedy?
1. No.
2. No.
3. No.
4. No.
5. No.

What Bedford-Stuyvesant residents do when it’s hot
1. Wait on materials

Groups of people waiting on materials
1. Salvation Army volunteers, who sit outside listening to music and making inexplicable crashing sounds from 4am until 7pm
2. Anyone who has ever sat outside the Putnam Candy Store, which cannot possibly be a legitimate business.
3. The old people who play dominos on Downing Street.
4. The gentlemen who smoke weed in groups of about ten, 24 hours a day, on Grand Av.
5. The stoop rats, who are 15 year old girls who occupy the stoop of the house my flat was in about 60% of the time.

Fulton St/Washington Av Dramatis Personae
1. Guy from Kings Pizza.
2. Guy from Putnam Deli who is apparently there all the time, whether at 3pm for a roll, 5am for a Colt 45 or 8am for an orange juice.
3. DVD Man, who sells pirate DVDs in the laundromat and urinates on Salvation Army when he thinks no-one is watching (caught rapid, DVD man).
4. Chinese guy with the dyed red hair who is way too badass to work in a Chinese restaurant, and knows it well.
5. 8 year old kid who works in the deli on the far side of the street even at 3am.

Completely inappropriate music that has been put on during hangovers
1. Parliament – Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)
2. Erykah Badu – Annie Don’t Wear No Panties
3. Rusko – Woo Boost
4. Sharon Jones & Dap Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights
5. J Dilla feat. Busta Rhymes – Geek Down

Summer jams
1. Best Coast – Boyfriend
2. Wavves – King of the Beach
3. Caribou – Sun
4. Roots Manuva – Witness (One Hope)
5. Devo – Gut Feeling

Amount of times I was asked what my spirit animal was by a go-go dancer that had no reason to be in the apartment after 6am other than drunken ebullience on the part of my friend
2 (it’s an otter)

Free press
1. The Onion
2. Village Voice
3. The Brooklyn Rail
4. The L Magazine
5. Stolen New York Times

Giants players I was 20 feet from having snuck into pitchside seats at the end of the second half of the Jets-Giants preseason game that was also the opening of the New Meadowlands Stadium
1. Justin Tuck
2. Osi Umenyiora
3. Brandon Jacobs
4. Mattias Kiwanuka
5. Mario Manningham (Eli got his head split open and went home early)

Completely redundant/broken pieces of furniture, Apt 4A, 3 Quincy St.
1. Bench press
2. Cooker
3. Television
4. 3 foot stereo speakers
5. Me

Amount of gigs I’ve been to in New York excluding free jazz gigs

Amount I have paid for this privilege

Estimated average daily pizza intake over the three month period
c. 1.8 slices

Quotes from Withnail & I
1. “Matter!”
2. “I am inclined to agree with Withnail. We are drifting into the arena of the unwell.”
3. “You’ve got soup. Why haven’t I got soup?”
4. “Have we got any umbrication?”
5. “Eat some sugar.”

Ways co-inhabitants have tried to defeat the dreaded night sweats
1. Boxers in the freezer
2. Hugging a two-litre bottle of ice.
3. Developing alcoholism.

Reasons none worked
1. Melted too quickly, not cold enough.
2. Left a pool of water in its wake.
3. Alcohol doesn’t actually make you sweat less, it just makes you more likely to fall asleep.

Greatest lies told to the landlord
1. Clearing the remnants of a broken pane of glass out of the frame, leaving the other pane of the double-glazing intact, and acting like nothing happened.
2. Claiming for some reason that he had to come before mid-day if he was coming because we were going to Chicago.
3. “Two people live here.”
4. That the aforementioned two inhabitants were in New York for internships and had enough savings to pay the rent already upon arrival.
5. That we had tried to get the gas connected so we could cook food, but that they had refused to come.

Ways there are of knowing


All I know is that you’re perfect right now.

Coney Island’s great for a lot of reasons. It hosts the world famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, for example, the site of Takeru Kobayashi’s doubling of the original event record in 2001 and his ignominious fall to Joey Chestnutt is 2007 which ultimately led to his non-participation and bizarre Free Kobi campaign on this year’s July 4th event.

There’s other stuff, too. Candy apples. The “subway crowd”, according to a New Yorker who recommended keeping away. And once a year, for free, the Siren festival, put on by the Village Voice. To give a general idea of how great Siren is historically, here’s some examples of bands who’ve played since 2001.

2001: Guided By Voices, Quasi, Superchunk
2002: Sleater-Kinney, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars
2003: !!!, Modest Mouse, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
2004: The Fiery Furnaces, Blonde Redhead, Mission of Burma
2005: Q and Not U, Spoon, Saul Williams
2006: Tapes ‘n’ Tapes, Scissor Sisters, Art Brut
2007: MIA, Dr. Dog, Black Lips
2008: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Islands, Times New Viking, Broken Social Scene, Beach House, Jaguar Love, Annuals (FOR FREE! Fuck sake.)
2009: Built To Spill, Micachu and the Shapes, Future of the Left.

This year was the tenth anniversary and it was pretty great too.

The first band I got to, having had to rouse a household full of hungover delinquents with nothing but bare willpower and a promise that they’d probably like some of the bands, was Surfer Blood.

Surfer Blood are a band I like an awful lot, but live sound got the better of them, and with unwieldily booming subwoofers hiding the guitar melodies and killing the groove, they were only okay, and probably would have been worse than okay for someone without the melodies burnt into their head already.

Ponytail, or the second half of Ponytail’s set, was next. Ponytail are a preposterous and excellent band, and having never seen them live despite being in Dublin at the time of their visit, I was excited to see what they were going to be like.

They were sparser than I expected, and more punk. Whilst on record it comes off as slightly more composed, in a live setting the irrepressible Molly Siegel seems to be pretty much exclusively a really excitable cheerleader for the band’s naive, complex music. It works pretty well, and a moshpit forms. Molly says things like “golly”. Cos she’s Molly.

Show of the day came from the Pains of Being Pure At Heart, up next. I know they’re divisive, but as the all-knowing life judge and stone-tablet opinion hander-downer, that’s ridiculous. They’re great. Their debut album could not be more full of great indie pop songs, and all it takes is not screwing it up to transform that into a live show.

They didn’t screw it up. They played the hits, and plenty of new songs, and seemed genuinely delighted to be playing Siren. Their enthusiasm was contagious, really, and even if a Pains crowd is never going to do more than dance lightly, it was an enjoyable light dance. Highlight, for me, was Come Saturday, but then that’s always been my favourite song of theirs.

The God of Musicians More Respected Than Good will have to forgive me for this one: instead of going to Ted Leo, I brown-bagged it for a while in the carnival, watching an Italian ice-maker make Italian ices grumpily and generally surveying the point at which the hipster Siren crowd meshed with the “subway crowd” (I’m presuming they don’t have subways in Williamsburg. Right? Am I completely right on that point?)

So this sets up Holy Fuck, with the sun going down and the risk of living a week the colour of a cherry slushie just for the sake of seeing a few indie rock bands waning. Safe hands.

If you’ve never seen or encountered Holy Fuck before, you’re missing out. Listening to them on record is something, but not enough. Much like HEALTH but a bit more amenable to normal people (rather than ridiculous people) dancing, they fashion their conceivably programmable beats from real instruments, some conventional, some silly. The drummer is the driving force, taking whole songs up and down with him as he sees fit. Then there’s a bassist and two sets of keyboard/sample self-facilitating media nodes, one of which features a 20 euro Casio keyboard I still have a home, the default beat from which actually forms the basis for a Holy Fuck song.

On Coney Island at dusk beside the beach and boardwalk surrounded by people looking happy, a rollercoaster and a carnival in the summer, pretty much everything was great, but Lovely Allen, with its swells and forget-your-troubles-esque euphoric moments, was always going to be the high point of the day.

As they finished, I got another beer (in another brown bag) and headed towards the beach, passing a man in a Fermanagh GAA jersey who turned out to be from Queens and was found immediately out of his depth after he walked foolishly into the trap of asking my GAA fundamentalist (and Nordy) companion if he’d watched the World Cup.

He hadn’t. We continued on our path to night beach drinking.


Who knows what she’s going to say?

So here’s the scene. I’m at South Street Seaport, where I have been every Friday for the last four Fridays. So Cow ends. A choice presents itself. Stay for Golden Triangle and Thee Oh Sees, or take a risk on being allowed over to Governor’s Island for an evening of fake beaching, electric palm trees and mathematical adept/facemelting tune chef Caribou.

I chose Caribou. It was surprisingly easy, sorry to make it sound dramatic. The queue for the ferry took about ten minutes even though my friends who had gone earlier waited a solid two hours. This is evidence that God loves So Cow (but not Ireland).

Quick breeze through the opening acts. Chain Gang of 1974: terrible. 1/10. Super-calculated rock ‘n’ roll post-Rapture stuff with the most annoying, obtrusive frontman of all time. At one he shouted (presumably) “You two are fucking awesome” at two members of the crowd. Not beyond the realms of possibility that he actually did say what I initially thought, though, and he just wanted to declare his love for U2 mid-set. Anyway, fuck Chain Gang of 1974.

Phantogram were less offensive but their oblique, abstract electronic rock didn’t exactly induce the right type of mood for the occasion. Guess who did.

This bad picture brought to you by low lighting and "Iso Mode".

So Dan Snaith emerges. You might remember him from his 2005 doctoral thesis on Overconvergent Siegel Modular Symbols, completed at Imperial College London. More likely you know him as Caribou, former progressive intricate guitar-led psychtronica artist and current Four Tet-esque club speaker-murderer.

They play as a four-piece with two drum-kits set up at the front of the stage, putting the sensational drummer at the centre of attention and highlighting the bits where Snaith has finished his vocal part, rolled up his sleeves and sat down to play equally complex drums himself. There are triggered sequencer tracks, definitely, but still, they’re an impressive proposition for a band that makes mostly electronic music.

Things kick off relatively slowly, but by the time Melody Day hits about three songs in, the crowd’s reaching its peak in size and energy. Andorra songs are met with some of the most enthusiastic shuffles I’ve seen en masse.

But it’s the Swim songs, when they drop (and they do drop, on festival sized bass-bins), that own the plastic beach. Odessa comes halfway through the set, creates a bleary reverie in its wake and send a lot of the attendees towards the ferry happy, being eager to get back to whatever investment banking they have to do in Manhattan but not without getting their time’s worth.

Those who stayed got flawless, driving, intricate electronic music from on high. The end of the regular set comes, Snaith thanks the crowd in a totally unassuming I-have-a-PhD-in-Overconvergent-Siegel-Modular-Symbols type of way, taps on some heavy delay and says “Sun!”

It is what it says it is, undeniably one of the tracks of the year, and enough to inspire a space-caked (but no worse) companion into claiming unselfawarely that he was genuinely experiencing euphoria.

The encore was a ten minute psychedelic instrumental showpiece full of builds, drops, washes and turns, taunting the ferry-hurriers with ever twist. A seriously impressive set of musicians, as I said, with proper bombs up their sleeve.

Hard to think of a more perfect gig, even if I’m clearly not expressing it that well.


Got the spirit, but lose the feeling.

Falling behind here, but between the shoddy service of Time Warner Cable (NAMED AND SHAMED) and a cycle of daily recreation spiralling quickly into Dali-esque ridiculousness, I can’t really help that.

This gig, though, is the first one I’ve been to at the Williamsburg Waterfront. The Waterfront gigs seem to be Important to the People of Williamsburg in some discernable but slightly nebulous way. I gather that they were under threat from something, possibly the recession, but that they were saved. More on that later.

The line-up is amazing. Deerhoof & Xiu Xiu combined, performing Unknown Pleasures in its entirety. Why? I don’t know why. But wait, the last support was also called Why? You might know and love Why? already, but if you don’t, maybe reading me yammer incorrigibly about their live shows and their album will help. Also on the bill were Pictureplane and Fang Island.

I showed up early enough to catch the start of the show, but Pictureplane were horrifyingly bad the last time I saw them, so I got a slice of pizza and watched some of the World Cup final, which was on that day. I got into one of my favourite types of conversation with the other pizza eaters – the kind where Americans don’t know what they’re talking about regarding football and I friendlily inform them of the actual state of affairs. Examples of some claims: “that was definitely offsides” accompanied by an attempt to explain the offside rule incorrectly, when what had actually happened was a foul, and the pizza man claiming that Brazil were playing when, in fact, they were not playing.

I got to the place and sat around for a bit while Fang Island emo’d out on stage. Guess what you can’t buy at Williamsburg Waterfront? Coke. As in Coca Cola. Can’t be had. Your choices are Brooklyn Lager, water or Vitamin Water. Which is ridiculous. I got a crab juice.

Here’s where it starts getting good though.

Organ fades up with Yoni still not on the stage. He strolls out in a retro shirt and a pair of Kappa shorts with hair so short at the sides it’s essentially a mohawk, and does the Fall of Mr. Fifths, potentially my favourite ever Why? song. It’s a good start.

The rest of the set flies by. He does some Eskimo Snow stuff, and the crowd reaction is noticeably more muted, but for the most part he sticks to the Alopecia hits – no Crushed Bones or Rubber Traits, but plenty of other great songs and of course the opportunity to actually look at a man while he tells you about getting stuck into his therapist or failing to mate or taking loads of cocaine or having syphilis or weaving anger into a gadzai to bring to an alma mater’s holiday fundraiser boutique thing.

He also did the Do The Right Thing dance. Which was a highlight.

There are more highlights. The organiser/outdoor MC/shouter of the word Brooklyn emerges after Why? and thanks the corporate sponsors or whoever else needs to be thanked. Then he says this:

“People always ask me why the Senior State Senator of New York State cares so much about keeping these events at the Waterfront. You know what I tell them? It’s because the Senior State Senator of New York State is FUCKING AWESOME!”

Uh oh… they’re not going to…

And there he is, the Senior State Senator of New York State, a cleanly, white-haired Jewish-looking man in his 70s, standing on the stage about to give a speech. Bad taste in the mouth already. But wait, a challenger appears. A long-haired guy of about 25, two rows from the front:


The Senator tries to speak.

Senator’s confused. But he’s a Senator, and the two ways to become an elected representative are being smart and knowing how to manipulate large amounts of people. So he pulls it back.


Crowd cheers. Guess what he shouts next. Guess.


Yeah, he shouted Brooklyn. It always works.


It is pretty good actually. Free gig, great bands, Waterfront.


Um… if you insist, elected political representative who is clearly on the stage to remind people that he is their buddy and they should vote for him…


He exits. Bizarre, bizarre stuff. Point 1: get off the stage, state senator. This is a rock show. It doesn’t even fit. Point 2: even if you want Palestine freed, maybe shout it twice or hold up a flag and refuse to cheer even when the senator shouts the word Brooklyn, but it gets a little awkward if you’re shouting over him. Luckily, Greg Saunier shows up and starts setting up his drums.

So, Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu combining their significant forces to cover Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division. We know they’re friends. Greg Saunier, Deerhoof’s drummer and primary compositional genius, produced The Air Force by Xiu Xiu, and they’re both based in San Francisco. But putting them together was the best drunken idea anyone ever had. Line-up as follows:

Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) – drums
Satomi Matsuzaki (Deerhoof) – noise guitar (normally bassist/vocalist)
Ed Rodriguez (Deerhoof) – bass (normally guitarist)
John Dieterich (Deerhoof) – lead guitar
Angela Seo (Xiu Xiu) – synth, breaking glass (seriously)
Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) – vocals

I’m sure it’s consensus knowledge that Greg Saunier is one of the best drummers around, and John Dieterich is one of the best guitarists around. And Jamie Stewart, even if camp whispering is not your bag for some reason (it should be), is a huge personality. So hopes were high.

They play the album straight through and don’t address the crowd. It’s meaty as fuck, heavier than Joy Division probably ever played it and as dark as they did too. Mosh pits form at various points, with the biggest one happening, predictably, during She’s Lost Control. Shadowplay is a facemelter. While the tempo keeps up, the crowd stay with it, and though attentions wander a little when the closer starts its dirge-like trudge, the sight of Angela Seo throwing three wine glasses at a time into a barrel and then crushing them with a large metal stick keeps me from being distracted at any rate.

It ends and I leave to try make the Roots and Talib Kweli at Prospect Park for some real Brooklyn-shouting, safe in the knowledge that I’ve seen something I would never see if I’d stayed home to work in the bookshop.


NY3: See no future, pay no rent

July has brought the New York experiment to its Ridiculous Money-Making Schemes phase as all avenues of credit have dried up and employment remains either difficult to come by or disagreeably obstructive to fun.

So, with acoustic guitar strings totally deadened by uninhabitable levels of humidity and a friend with a saxophone, I set to working learning Beatles songs in weird transposed keys (something to do with the sax’s range) and prepared to try to dupe tourists out of dollars at Strawberry Fields in Central Park.

We didn’t get good, but we got functional after about a week of half-practice, and we set off yesterday to a different part of Central Park for a sort of dry run. It didn’t go well.

Firstly, it was 38 degrees. Stone benches were too hot to sit on. Sweat was an actual issue.

We did get started though. But shit, the low range on the saxophone’s not working. What’s the problem? Humidity? Reed’s in wrong? Took us two songs to figure out that it was because the cleaner was still in it when he started to play. Bad start.

We run to our go-to songs, Norwegian Wood and Yesterday. They go okay. No money yet, but some casual onlookers and stuff. It’s too hot to be in any way expressive, so we’re just trudging through the songs. Then a 40-something man approaches.

“Hey guys, you can go in there into the shade now, I’m finishing up.”

“Oh, thanks.”

Nice guy.

Or wait, no.

“800 fucking acres and you fucking cunts sit right on top of me? You little pieces of shit. This is all I’ve got left.”

He shows us a long scar on his arm.

“I can’t go running to fucking mommy and daddy when shit gets tough. Fuck you. Oh, you didn’t know? You fucking walked right past me, you fucking assholes. Fuck you.”

He turns to leave. We’re bewildered. We laugh nervously, which he obviously interprets as us laughing at him.

“Oh it’s funny now? You’re gonna be laughing through your fucking teeth. Pieces of shit.”

We gave up and went home.

Three life mottos

“Pile the logs, keep it growing” – Ezra Pound

“Fuck y’all, all y’all, if y’all don’t like me, blow me” – Dr. Dre

“When I makes water, I makes water, and when I makes tae, I makes tae.” – can’t remember/possible dream

Sun is out!

The human mind is a rational one, and logic usually prevails. Therefore, someone booked the Apples in Stereo to play the South Street Seaport, which is one of those wonderful regenerated dockland type things surrounded by restaurants and full of families and tourists. Following on from this profoundly sensible step of getting in an Elephant Six band who came close but never quite broke the surface of indie credibility, the support act was the Brooklyn Youth Chorus accompanied by members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

I went alone, because I wanted to go and no-one else did. Not usually an issue at gigs, but most gigs aren’t 60% children while it’s still bright with a teen choir supporting. I hung back, drinking a Cherry Coke. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the tutelage of an enthusiastic lady conductor reminiscent of one your average junior chorister might have had in school, finished with The Battle Hymn of the Republic. It was epic.

Most of the kids went away, which was convenient, because pushing to the front after the support is one thing when you’re in Tripod or something, but knocking young Chinese families out of the way so you can dance by yourself to the Apples In Stereo is probably not kosher.

Robert Schneider and his ageing crew emerge in silver home-made spacesuit-type garb.

“What year is this?”

The vocoder-keyboardist responds, in a vocoded robo-voice: “2010”.

“Oh so this is our 2010 New York show.”


Schneider – and I should mention that he and all of the Apples are looking ridiculous – turns to the crowd to explain.

“We are from the future. We see a few months as just like a couple of days.”

A few laughs. They play a lot of songs from their new album, some of which are grooving. It gets darker, people dance more.

“Ah Gatorade. In the future we don’t have Gatorade because the water is so good. This is a great treat for us to drink Gatorade. Hey, does anyone remember Gatorade gum?”

More songs. Nods to older stuff, and maybe something off New Magnetic Wonder.

“I have a confession to make. We are not actually from the future. We’re just a rock and roll band.”

Well, thank god. I spent the first thirty minutes of the set with my heart in my mouth because I was so convinced that the Apples In Stereo genuinely were from the future. It got much more enjoyable after I realised it wasn’t the case.

They did most of my favourite songs: Ruby, Sun Is Out (“Does it matter if a song isn’t true, or is it better if a song is true? It’s not true right now, but it was true earlier so we’re gonna play the song.”), Can You Feel It?, Same Old Drag.

Once Schneider sheds the future-person persona, he becomes amazingly charismatic. He’s one of the nicest guys in indie rock – if you remember the week of arbitrary lists – and even with some extra beard, it makes you smile to hear him talk about writing songs in Kentucky where there are no city sounds or buildings. But always at pace.

The last time I saw the Apples was also the first time I saw Fight Like Apes and Big Monster Love, and I was barely 18 and Robert Schneider saying hello was a massive deal. I have the poster, signed by a couple of the guys, in my bedroom at home still. Interpolating some context there, just so you know.

It was a really good Apples in Stereo gig, but what makes the entire event a little more ridiculous was what ensued.

A man, probably a radio DJ, comes out after the Apples seem to have finished. He says some hypey crap about something and says how happy he is to have finally got the Apples In Stereo play too. People approve, and cheer. He claims we’re about to see “something special”.

So out come the members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, sitting at the front of the stage with their various stringed instruments and bows. Out come the Youth Chorus and their conductor. The Apples are squeezed into corners of the stage.

“This is a song I wrote for my son when he was going to sleep. I’m into physics, so I wanted to teach him about that and just have a cool song for him to hear.”

And the whole ensemble goes into Energy, off New Magnetic Wonder. When it ends, or it should end, the band cut out and the philharmonic bros carry it on, staccato on the strings, while Schneider and the Youth Chorus trade lines.

“The world is made of energy. The world is possibility. And the world is made of energy, and there’s a light inside of you, and there’s a light inside of me.”

It ends. The MC comes out again. Then everyone comes out again and they just do the a capella again.

Then there are half an hour of better fireworks than I’ve ever seen before, off the southern tip of Manhattan.

I stayed till the end, and then wandered off thinking about how ridiculously overblown and amazing and improbable a series of events had just taken place. But I was happy.