Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saturday, in the park

I think it was...Oops, wrong band :)

I got to the park a little over five hours before the show was to start, and by 4PM I was in and had a spot on the lawn. It was a great location. From where I was, it was a straight shot down to the stage, and while I was too far away to see it well there were huge screens up all over the place. And I was still in the front section, so about half the audience was behind me. The day was beautiful, a breeze was blowing and although I'd brought a bunch of magazines along to read while I waited I ended up spending most of the time looking around and just soaking up the atmosphere.

The show started right at 8, and it was right then that it really hit me that I was at a Bon Jovi concert!!! I just couldn't believe I was actually there! They started out with “Livin' on a Prayer” then went right into “You Give Love a Bad Name.” I'm usually pretty inhibited, but I quickly found myself really getting into the music. How could I not? And let me tell you, those guys really know how to work a crowd. During repetitive parts of some of the songs Jon Bon Jovi turned it into a call-and-response with the audience and continually encouraged everybody to sing along. (I wonder if they ever still get a kick out of hearing tens of thousands of people singing songs that they wrote.) The concert was at the tail end of their “Lost Highway” tour, and of course they played that song, “Who Says You Can't Go Home,” “Bad Medicine,” “It's My Life” (the one I know best—it was very popular in Peru the month I was there in 2000), “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “I'll Be There for You” (Richie Sambora sang that one), “Blaze of Glory”—just about all their major hits. I don't own a camera, but here's a picture I found online to give you some idea of what it was like:

I wasn't this close, but so what? The point is, I was there! :D:D:D

What else can I say? For me at least, it was perfect. I just wish it weren't over :( As exciting as it was to see Bon Jovi, I know it's not the last concert they'll ever give, and hopefully someday I'll be in a position to be able to get tickets even if they aren't free. But what are the chances they'll play at Central Park again? No indoor concert can compare to being outside, and I absolutely love that park. This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I am so, so, so glad I got to be there.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More of the same

Last night I attended a meeting at Community Board 1. (For anyone not from NYC, the community boards are supposed to serve as a liaison between smaller communities and the city council, since in such a big city it's harder for citizens to gain access to city government.) It was attended by Chris Ward of the Port Authority, who last week issued his findings in an audit ordered by Gov. Patterson of the WTC rebuilding process. If you've known me for any length of time, you know that this is kind of a big deal for me. Anyway, the report revealed nothing I didn't already know: the project is grossly over budget and considerably behind schedule. Shocker. Of course, if TPTB had actually listened to the public rather than simply used us for their own gain, both the memorial and two beautiful new Twin Towers could have been nearing completion by now. But that would have required a modicum of integrity, something sorely lacking in New York politics.

But anyway, the meeting. Ostensibly it was for Chris Ward and Janno Lieber (Larry Silverstein's spokesperson, since the Great Landlord himself has never seen fit to stoop to attending something so base as a public hearing, where us regular folk actually have a chance to speak) to answer community questions about the process. In reality, of course, it was a chance for them to give off the appearance of concern without actually answering any of the more hard-hitting questions. For example, retired firefighter Jim Riches and fire safety expert Glenn Corbett both asked questions about the Port Authority's refusal to meet NYC fire codes. (Since they are a bi-state agency, they are exempt from such codes under their current charter.) On both occasions, Ward claimed the PA has a deep commitment to safety while completely sidestepping the specific question asked. He emphasized that simply abiding by the codes is not the be-all and end-all of building safety--which is true, but completely misses the point, since if they are committed to safety there's no reason for them not to at least meet city codes, if not surpass them. The whole meeting was nothing but theater, but as a member of the community and longtime rebuilding activist I wanted to be there and see how things would go.

Talk of scrapping the Freedom Tower plan and rebuilding the towers has started to creep back into the papers, and I'm hoping to add to that myself. I'll post links here if I manage to get anything published. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

That was a new one

Like everyone else, I get several dozen pieces of spam every day in my email, usually advertising either porn or "male enhancement" (which strikes me as particularly creepy, but then, I'm not male). Tonight I found a new one in there, and it really creeped me out. The subject said, "We undertake all kinds of killings." Yikes! I couldn't get that one to my trash bin fast enough.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Pray for sunshine next Saturday!

On Monday, Bloomy held a press conference (at which he made an utter fool of himself, but that's another matter) to announce that, in conjunction with the All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, MLB was holding a free Bon Jovi concert in Central Park! They along with U2 are by far my favorite bands, so I just had to be there! Although the concert is free, you need a ticket, and there were 60,000 available. What were the odds that I could get one? They were being distributed at area Major- and Minor-League ballparks. I got to Shea Stadium less than an hour and 15 minutes before they were scheduled to start handing out tickets, certain I was way too late, but to my surprise and delight I was in plenty of time! I guess most people just heard the bulk of the tickets were being given out at Yankee Stadium and headed there.

So in summary, I managed to snag two free tickets to see one of the greatest bands in the world perform in one of my favorite places in the world, in conjunction with a celebration of the greatest sport in the world. Life is good :)