Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Today is a day off from the tour. We are in a hotel outside the New York City area that ordinarily caters to the touring trade, which means they have parking for multiple buses and semis around the place. Manhattan is not really conducive to large Prevost beasts trying to negotiate tight streets and aggressive cabs. So we park outside of town, close enough by train if you want to get into 'town'.

If I was going to Manhattan, I'd need to not buy anything. Trying to keep a tight purse this summer and save as much of my per diem money as I can. A trip to NYC without a bagful of cd's on the way home to look at is not as much fun for me, so I'm staying put in New Jersey.

It also gives me the opportunity to spend money here at the hotel, as they have a coin laundromat somewhere in the vast building. I've been out long enough to need to wash clothes, as I have not brought out a steamer trunk full of costume changes. It's not dire yet, but never pass up a hotel laundromat if you're even close.

Laundry is a good time for me to read and think. (I'm reading a great book, Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwiz. Perfect summer bus reading. It's a funny and disturbing look at how so many Southerners keep the flames of the Civil War burning in the present day.) I don't really love leaving my clothes in a washer in a busy soap room, so I usually stick close by and get them into a dryer pronto.

I remember the first Continental Drifters' tour of Europe in 1994. We packed a lot of gigs into a short amount of time, and our one day off was in Amsterdam. Perfect, except for the problem that everyone needed to wash their clothes. Fortunately, the laundry was right across the street from a hash bar, there were a lot of washers, the clothes got washed. And we got to poke around a little bit anyway, enjoying falafel from a stand and discovering disposable black and white cameras while dodging streetcars and bicyclists.

And I have much to think about. I worked on my Times blog today (still editing), and I wanted to get this one done, too. Watching the clothes go 'round, just like the Pretenders say, a little like an aquatic tv with the sound turned off!

I like the enforced slowdown of my day when doing laundry. Not like I'm going full speed everyday anyway, but it's nice to end up with clean folded duds, a few chapters read and maybe a couple lyrics written. Who knows when next I'll see a coin laundry, except from a bus window?

Postscript (15 minutes later):
Forget all that. The hotel washer had about four inches of standing water, and everyone in the crew sent their stuff out for fluff-and-fold, including me.


amy said...

Peter, I'm so glad I have your blog now, to peek in on what's going on with you, even accompanying you to do the laundry. And then there's your Times music writing - this is fantastic! i'm your new devoted reader.

halfpear said...

thank you Amy, and same back at you. It's nice to see what you are doing in your brave old new world. love, PH

Anonymous said...

"It's not dire yet, but never pass up a hotel laundromat if you're even close."

Wise words for any traveler.

roscoe said...

Jersey will never be Amsterdam:)

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