After many years of reading his online journal, sending various things via snail~mail & just generally feeling like I somehow knew this guy in another life......I got to meet the one & only Albert (or Grove as he prefers) in person! Those of you who have lingered around AOL J~Land long enough probably know him already. If you're not from J~Land or just plain & simple haven't come across his journal, it's worth a moment of your time to check it out!
Grove/Albert (bear with me Grove, I've got to get used to calling you that! LOL) lives in San Francisco, so when the opportunity presented itself ~ he'd be visiting NYC for a few days ~ I had to grab it. It wasn't easy to take off a tremendously busy day at the store, but when opportunity knocks...well, you know what ya' gotta do! So...we met at Grand Central this morning around 11:30 & spent a couple of hours together, wandering around the East Village, eating pizza, Grove showing me Cooper Union (where he had gone to college), me trying not to babble on incessantly in my usual NY~Mile~A~Minute way. Yes...I've actually had to learn in some of my therapy sessions to slow down & listen to what other people have to say! I took the above picture when we were finishing up lunch at a little (but busy) pizzaria in the East Village on East 14th Street ~ not only is Grove in the picture, but so is some stranger in the background about to take a big bite of pizza & some scaffolding outside the windows ~ as Grove noticed, all very urban!
After lunch, we wandered into a place called "Trash & Vaudville" ~ which was a typical East Village funky kind of clothing store ~ think punk rock meets heavy metal. I used to go down to these neighborhoods (East Village, SoHo, NoHo, Canal Street) when I was in High School, but I graduated in 1984, so it's been a few years & a few grey hairs since. I had a few favorite places, such as "Screaming Mimi's," but I don't remember what street it was on or even if they're still open. Saw a few cool things, but didn't buy them. Too much stuff had skulls on it & I'm just not into that sort of thing at this age ~ maybe when I was in High School, but not now. I did end up buying 2 pairs of funky fingerless gloves, 1 for me & 1 for Skip. Let me tell you though, Grove & I were the 2 squarest people in the place. The 18-year-old girl at the register had the same kind of haircut I had in 1983-84, shaved on the sides long-ish on the top, darker on the short part, blonde on the long-ish part. Numerous tattoos on her (the sheer # put my 5 to shame), piercings, etc. The guy in the store (I'm guessing maybe the owner?) was possibly in his late 30s, early 40s...but time, booze, drugs, whatever his story, was not kind to him. A little too much of the sex, drugs & rock & roll. A blonde, younger Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones.
I left Grove (after he had to help me with the subways ~ I only seem to either walk it or cab it in the City) back at Grand Central, window shopped there for a little while & got back on the train north. I thoroughly enjoyed my time & will be posting another picture tomorrow from our travels. Grove is a thoroughly genuine guy & a warm, caring, sensitive soul! I'm glad to have met him!