Tag: nostalgia

Memories of an Artistic Watering Hole

Cross-posted at DailyKos.  

I have some fond memories to share. After reliving the experience of seeing The Dizzy Gillespie Dream Band, thoughts drummed up about another aspect of Lincoln Center. The nostalgia for a once famous bar that was across the street on 63rd and Amsterdam, a place where I once helped make the music and sang along for many years, came on strong.

Let me start out where Alvie Singer ended because it is a good way to set the stage. In the background during the final scene from Annie Hall you can see the concert hall where Dizzy Gillespie blew me away but in the foreground, the camera was set up in a bar and restaurant that was once called “O’Neals’ Baloon.”

The view is for you. I need no reminders of what O’Neils Balloon looked like and this in not a story about me.  Perhaps this is a story about a forgotten era that might just be making a comeback after of the success of the movie Black Swan. Well not really, more popularity and higher ticket prices can never take up the slack where the National Endowment for the Arts left off.

This is a story of a painting getting its act together and taking it on the road, a story of ballet at the barre and a recollection of times gone by. Just memories of a social gathering spot that was name “balloon” because it was illegal to call a bar a “saloon” in New York City. Those Blue Laws have been changed now. So much has changed now. So much has been forgotten.  


the first “45” I bought was “Yesterday” by Paul McCartney.  I was age seven, or so, and had a phonograph, and that song ripped me apart.  It must have been the  rapid descent from major to relative minor, because I had no idea what “yesterday” and “troubles” and “far away” meant.  Frankly, I doubt Paul, as a young adult, knew either.  Perhaps there are musical emoticon archetypes to which every human responds.

Here’s another that ripped me up (and still does).  Unlike Yesterday (either straighforwad major/minor stuff), “Sunny,” with its G9s and James Bond intermezzoes was a whole other realm of ambiguity, somehow mixing sincere gratitude and loss in one idea, and then amplifying that idea via consecutive transpositions.

All I know for sure is that the song always got to me.  I didn’t need to learn how to appreciate it.

The Chestnut Tree

Originally posted on ePluribus Media.

Mumsie passed away last year, on the cusp of December 18th and 19th.  Next week is Wifey’s birthday; a little more than one month later is the first anniversary of her mother’s passing.

Today, Wifey ran across the following video — it is a sweet, special memory of the special bond between a mother and daughter called "The Chestnut Tree."

It reduced her to tears.

I thought I’d share it with all of you.  Below the fold, other pieces I’ve written in memory and honor of Mumsie and the caretaking journey we all took together.