Monday, September 17, 2012

New York State Of Mind

Last night I was sitting in Frank's Lounge bemoaning the Patriots 20-18 loss to the Cards. "It was a fix. That holding charge against Danny Woodhead was weak. You know when the refs blow a call, when the TV doesn't show the replay." I was on my fourth beer and speaking loud to Paco and Vince. "So you saying the game was fixed?" Paco was a few years my senior. The Giant fan knew football. "Maybe." Games were only fixed by referees and the NFL. "The point spread was already blown and the over-under was 48, so tell me who was to gain from a bad call." "Add six points to the 38 and a conversion." "That makes 45. The under is still safe." Vince didn't bet on games. He was a school administrator for math. He was good with numbers. "Not if the Cards came back and score a field goal." I was deep in an alternative universe. "That's not what happened, besides this is New York. We don't give a shit, if New England wins." Paco had Brooklyn-born. Our argument wandered through several topics until we got to best song about Boston and New York. The three of us agreed that DIRTY WATER was Boston's theme song, but none of us thought that Sinatra's NEW YORK NEW YORK was a shoo-in for top New York song. "I used to listen to it in Boston and think, "Yeah, start spreading the news." "That's because you come from Boston. New Yorkers don't about New York like that, because we don't leave New York." Vince was younger than both Paco and me. He had been to North Carolina twice. "Plus Sinatra is from New Jersey." "Only one song I consider # 1." Paco got up from his stool and played Jay Z's EMPIRE STATE OF MIND backed by Alicia Keyes. "This is a song by New Yorkers. The sample comes from LOVE ON A TWO WAY STREET by Sylvie Robinson. She's from Brooklyn and Angela Hunte and Jnay wrote EMPIRE. They Brooklyn too." "So EMPIRE is a Brooklyn song? Not New York." "Fool, Brooklyn is New York." "I know that." I had moved to Park Slope in 1976, thinking I was commuting to Manhattan, the real New York, but not anymore. Brooklyn was my town, but another song slipped onto my mental charts. "I think you have a good argument, but what about Billie Holiday's AUTUMN IN NEW YORK or NO SLEEP TILL BROOKLYN?" "I know what you're trying to do?" Paco pointed a finger with a smile on his lips. "You're gonna say that the Pogues' FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK is your song. You Irish are so predictable." "No, I wasn't." "Oh, yes, you were," Rosa the bartender had been listening to our every word. The Chinese girl had big ears and a warm heart for this city. "EMPIRE is # 1, NEW YORK NEW YORK is # 2, and FAIRY TALE is # 3. And that's it. Anyone have a problem with that?" Paco, Vince, and I shook our heads. Rosa was the boss at Frank's Lounge and all three of us were old enough to know that a woman is never wrong. And I mean never. To hear EMPIRE STATE OF MIND please go to the following URL

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