Tour Journal: Atlantic City

The Borgata
Overlooking the wetlands out the window of our suite at the Borgata, which is swanky in a sad way- in a renovated in the 80s way. Sad to be leaving tomorrow but have to get home to the doggies, home to work. Listening on the bus to Stories from the City Stories from the Sea while looking at the wet trees lining the highway- green on grey. The rolling makes you think. The rain makes you ache.

Beyond the fog somewhere is Beach Haven. Is Morrison?s restaurant and The Englewood motel. The cinnamon sugar donuts and the amusement park. The sandy popsicles. We jumped in and climbed out sprinted across the burning sand and jumped in again- pool to ocean and back. All day long.

Tour Journal: New York

I stood on Wooster St and faced the Performing Garage while behind me glass block condos were going up. The Soho ladies walked by with their neutral color palate and expensive boots and no makeup and cashmere shawls. The models with their distressed hair. They make me yearn to be beautiful in a wan, chiseled way.

Once this was my world- I walked through that door a thousand times. Leave NY and it leaves you behind. It erases your history. Visit again and you will be reminded how you?ve grown soft. You?ll know this when your head inclines in response to the catcalls of the truck drivers. Visit again and you will be reminded that you quit. That NY never needed you to begin with.

Wednesday night Scott played Madison Square Garden- cavernous and unfriendly. The scene was out of Seinfeld- in the corridor with Mom and her ten shopping bags full of pumpkin bread and popcorn and Halloween decorations. The guard wouldn?t let me back in the door I came out of, so I had to schlep my ten shopping bags five blocks to the backstage entrance while wearing four-inch heels. Oh the glamour.

But Scott onstage at MSG was a sight to see. It was incredible.

Tour Journal: Boston

Scott at Vilna Shul
Wandered around Beacon Hill and stopped at Vilna Shul, where we met Steven Greenberg, father of Max Greenberg who apparently lives in Echo Park. Max- your father says hello and by the way he thinks you?re completely brilliant. A big stained glass Star of David floated over Scott?s head as we talked. The building was from 1919, but the congregation was even older. Inside was a display on the history of Jews in Boston. There were murals and original paint peeling off the walls, cozy and old and beautiful. Not at all like the temple I knew, with its beamed ceiling to the sky and its crazy fancy ark.

We walked along the Charles. Chilly, cloudy Boston day- winter coming. Citgo and the skyline and MIT. Boston makes me wish I had a moment as a real college girl, you know, camped out on the common with a textbook while the first leaves turn shades of rust and gold.

Ran into some folks on the common doing yoga for World Peace Day. Almost joined them but went to look at the swan boats instead. No swan boats. No swans. Bomb in Islamabad killed 40 yesterday. Reading a book about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Travis was burned in a plane crash. Fires all around.

Tour Journal: Tokyo

Around 8pm, still early but dark. Dark enough for the world to be lit entirely by neon. It was a bank holiday today, a fall festival. Groups of sweaty people clad in cotton kimonos and headbands, the men in some kind of sumo-like cotton speedos, danced through the alleys with miniature, gilded Shinto shrines held aloft on their shoulders. Red and white lanterns were strung along the streets and loudspeakers played traditional music out of second floor windows. These processions wound slowly through Shibuya, with its love hotels and sex shops, some bizarre, some barren, some lit up like a Cadillac Bar and Grill.

It’s common to think that Japanese culture is so repressed that their sexuality leaks out the sides in super-pervy ways- pervasive bondage porn, enema fixations, hostess clubs, red light districts, sexual tourism to poorer Asian countries. But Scott and I both thought that what we were witnessing didn?t jive with that perception- children and adults alike dancing in front of monument after monument to illicit sex without even a real sidewalk to separate the buildings from the street. All this about five steps from Hachiko, the busiest intersection in the entire world.