Categories
Music

Coastguard at the Crown

We played in Baltimore as a band for the first time tonight, and we had a good time. The sound was good, the audience was great, and our harbor coast has been guarded.

SETLIST:

60 Seconds to Nothing
Bunions
Mr. Moto
Bang Bang (My Baby Left Me)
Sukiyaki
The Mysterious Smell of Provolone
Seanie B-Goode
Jeronimo
Rio
Man of Mystery
Santa Barbara
Telstar

Here’s a clip from one of our songs. Video by Chloë.

Categories
Music

The Old San Juan (album release)

Album Cover showing the bottom half of an elderly man sitting in a cafe

All of the material on this release was recorded on an iPhone between 4/22/2022 and 4/30/2022 in Puerto Rico, with the exception of a guitar loop that was recorded in Baltimore on 4/22/2022. I brought the loop to work on with my iPad, and included it in this audio postcard as it felt like part of the trip to me.

The source material includes:

  • various vendors selling beer and food
  • a walk through Ponce
  • a distressed stray dog
  • street performers
  • the Atlantic Ocean at Castillo San Cristóbal
  • invisible frogs
  • a fellow traveler who snored continuously during a trip to the rain forest

Not a very thick album, but it conveys memory and feelings of the trip.

Categories
Joie de Vivre

Day Trip to NYC

For Christmas, my darling bought me the experience (and shoes) of custom made sandals. COVID-19 was in full roar, so we had to postpone our trips to Jutta Neuman’s shop in NYC.

Jim and Beverly in Alphabet City, NYC

We went up for an initial consultation, and they traced my feet. We made a weekend of it, and had a wonderful time. We both found some great books and other treasure, and the food was delicious.

The second trip involved two visits to the shop. In the morning, they fitted the straps to my feet, and glued them in place.

We went out a delightful lunch that began with some fried anchovies, to give them time to assemble the sandals and allow the glue to set.

Beverly gazing uncertainly at fried anchovies

We we returned to the shop, I walked in the sandals, and they traced my feet in them to cut them down. After we left, they added a Birkenstock type tread and put them in the mail.

I love sandals, and I’ve always wanted to learn how to make them. I tell a story about in 1993, I was in NYC for the CMJ festival, and happened upon a leather shop that made belts, bags and sandals. I was enthralled with the place, and while I never had the chance to have sandals made for myself, I did strike up a correspondence with the proprietor the resulted in the offer of an apprenticeship. I had just bought my first house in Baltimore, and couldn’t make it work. I figured someday I’ll do this. Meaning both learning to make sandals, and also have a bespoke pair for myself. I can happily cross one of this off my todo list.

These feel amazing – they fit perfectly, and I never want to take them off. I love them – what a wonderful experience and gift. So very thoughtful!

While we were in NYC, we visited the garment district, which was a lot of fun. I found some neon PVC which I’m going to make some repeated things with – more on that soon.

Happy Spring!

P.S. My nail polish is OPI Blue my mind. It matches the drums I use in Coastguard, and is my favorite color.

Categories
Joie de Vivre

The Rascal Belt Bag

Inspired by my pal’s recent travel blog tips, I thought I’d share something here, too. I’ve rediscovered the fanny pack.

I love bags, luggage, backpacks, etc. How I stopped using a fanny pack in the mid-1990’s escapes me, but I’m making up for lost time. That’s right – the fanny pack is back!

I didn’t want to carry a backpack or messenger bag everywhere, and while I love those long shorts with all the extra storage pockets, I wanted to travel lighter.

I decided to get a Timbuk2 fanny pack. It’s not the cheapest, and maybe not the most feature rich, but I’m a Timbuk2 fan, and figured I’d start here. Also, it’s called “THE RASCAL BELT BAG” so I guessed that was a good sign. I was correct.

The bag has two compartments. The bigger compartment has an inside zipper pocket for credit cards/money. The smaller front compartment has a key fob, and a divider.
Here are the items I carried. My phone is missing, because I used it to take this photo. I also picked up an RFID blocking “front pocket” slip wallet, which worked perfectly on this trip, and easily fit inside the zippered money compartment.
I hung the pack from the beach umbrella to keep it from getting sandy and too sunny.
Sometimes, I wore it the front.
Sometimes, I wore it over my shoulder, which was very comfortable.
Sometimes, it was invisible, even though it was there.

Here is a true story.

On the last evening in Old San Juan, I decided to not bring the rascal belt bag. As a result of this, both my keys and glasses slipped out of my shorts pocket in the back of an Uber. I heard the keys and picked them up, but missed the glasses. After a very panicky 15 minutes in our room, we realized what happened and had to ask the driver to come back, which she did, thankfully.

Travel Bonus Tip: I recommend these Luna sandals. All day, water friendly comfort, and you can even run in them, if you like. I’ve had these for years, and I love them.

Categories
Joie de Vivre

Deaverdura

My favorite restaurant in San Juan was a place called Deaverdura, and I think this place deserves its very own post.

We managed to get past the chain barring the door, and to a table. The hostess/waitress told us, quite rapidly, what we “would like to order,” so we ordered that. There were no prices on the menu, and to my surprise, this was the cheapest meal of the trip.

What arrived at our table was a sampler, and while I didn’t catch the names of everything on there, everything on there was delicious. I also ordered ceviche and crispy cheese balls that were delicious.

One of the best parts was when a pigeon flew in to eat some crumbs, and no one flipped out. The hostess gently encouraged the bird to leave, but let it be when it stayed inside. The pigeon finally left of its own accord, and I found the whole scene to be very sweet, if not a violation of heath codes.