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My New York Adventure

Day one - I arrived at my very good friend Monica's amazing loft in Chelsea where I stayed for 5 fabulous days. We caught up, i got the tour, we went grocery shopping and we were off to the venue in Brooklyn via the subway! Rose Live Music was one of the many venues in Brooklyn hosting the Williamsburg Live Songwriter Competition, I was one of 25 performers of the night performing one song. It was a nerve wracking experience....all the waiting, not knowing when they were going to call my name, listening to all of the other songwriters. I was in the wings warming up when my new york penpal Lachlan came backstage to say hello. It was nice to have a friendly moment with a familiar face, then it was time to play. We were instructed to only say our name and the name of our song but there was no way I wasn't going to give a shout out to my hometown. I said "My name is Morgan Grace and the name of my song is Valentine....Can I say where I'm from?" the MC shrugged, the judges frowned, and I shouted "I'm from PORTLAND OREGON!" Needless to say I believe this disqualified me though I have no proof. An example of my nerves: my guitar was plugged into the house system and I walked off stage without unplugging it. A few people cried out "the cord!" The MC poked "they don't have guitar cords in Portland?" They announced the finalists and I was not among them though I felt very much like a winner. Lachlan, Monica, and I walked a few blocks for an after-contest drink. We hopped the subway back to the city and hailed a cab from the 14th street subway station to Chelsea. I stopped in at a deli and had The Best Roast Beef Sandwich Of My Entire Life.

Day two - I walked around trying to find some cheap tourist shopping. I scored some fantastic striped socks and sparkly leg warmers that went smashingly with my pink polka dot dress. Me and Monica hightailed it to the Knitting Factory. These United States, and Scotland Yard Gospel Choir were wonderfully friendly. SYGC asked me and the other bands to join them on stage for a full on hootenanny for "I Never thought I'd Feel This Way For A Boy". I had a fine flirtation with one of the drummers (drummers!!!!) and got some great footage of the door person declaring my appearance to be the best show he'd ever seen at the Knitting Factory.....lies of course but what a great sport. Cab back to Chelsea, I hit the deli again for the second Best Roast Sandwich Of My Entire Life and a slice of cheesecake. I slept fat and happy.

Day three - I met Lachlan my NY penpal on 23rd Street for some breakfast. We walked past the Chelsea Hotel and he told me about his band renting out a room there to write songs. Did I mention Lachlan is charming and handsome and has a thick scottish accent? We tried twice to get psychic readings but the psychic was not there. Didn't she know we were coming? We took the subway to Ground Zero and walked around Wall Street and the financial district. My favorite New York stereotype that is completely untrue is that New Yorkers don't make eye contact or talk to you. complete rubbish! We hit a starbucks, I said "neat" a lot, we talked about stuff, relationships, music, we smoked, and then Lachlan headed back to Brooklyn for band practice.

Day Three - I slept in until 6p. Why did I do this? Because I was tired. I woke up to a note from Monica, she was taking me to a bar in the village to see some art and some bands. We hopped the subway to Avenue A, or B or C or something and went to the Niagara bar. Monica squealed with delight to see that her Favorite New York Band was playing, and they were great - Schocholautte. If you don't know how to spell their name it is a great feat to find them online...holy crap. We met one of her artist friends James Rubio who looks almost exactly like George C. Scott in the Hustler. I ducked out for a smoke and a slice of NY pizza. did I mention I have already gained 10 pounds by this point?

Day Four - Lachlan's band Morgan Avenue was playing Don Hills in the village. This was their first show and they were excited. The show was very different than I was used to. Lachlan's band is a loud rock band, they were followed by a 6 piece metal band, and then an electropop quartet, then it turned into a disco dance party. Very unusual, and very cool. I danced with Lach's drummer to New Order and Joy Division then I cabbed up to the Upper West side for a hamburger with another New York friend. When we said goodbye I couldn't help but want to just walk all the way home from 71st st to 26th st. Being in NY was just so fucking amazing. It was 3am and I was walking down Amsterdam by myself in my pink polka dot dress (yes I got a lot of mileage out that dress). the only thing that made me finally hail a cab was the cold but I was nearly in midtown before I started to care and I was still overwhelmed with joy. What an amazing city.

Day Five - More sightseeing with Lachlan but not before I whipped up three of my famous omelets for Monica, Rubio, and myself. delicious! Me and Lach took the subway up to the upper west, walked past the Dakota where John Lennon lived and died, walked through the park (holy shit it was COLD) and ducked into the Metropolitan Art Museum. We looked at stuff, had lunch, looked at more stuff, laughed, and took the subway down to Union Square to see Rachel Getting Married. I had a NY hot dog from a street vendor, why are they SOOOO GOOD???? After the movie (where I devoured an entire bucket of popcorn) we stopped in to the chocolate bar/restaurant across the street but it was so packed we settled on a quiet diner down the street for a burger and fries. lachlan marveled at how I could be hungry again, to which I responded with a shrug and a giggle. We hopped the subway back to Monica's and watched Dazed and Confused on my laptop. We were really partying!

Day six - Starbucks, oh how I love you. I sat and did some great people watching for atleast 2 hours, walked to a diner by myself, sat at the counter and had breakfast by myself. This is something I would never do in Portland but it felt great...just listening to the sound of the city, walking around, taking it all in. I think it was around this time that my heart started to hurt at the thought of leaving. I had just enough time to walk back the loft, pack up, and cab to JFK. Oh NYC I will never forget you....