U2360° TOUR Leg 3: 2011

Jul
24
2011

'Gutted'

2
24 July 2011
'Gutted'
New York – Pittsburgh (aborted). Day off.

I dragged myself out of bed at an unseemly hour to get to La Guardia airport for a flight to Pittsburgh.  The lighting crew are having a Big Night Out this evening and given that the last time we all went out together was in Barcelona, I thought it only polite to come along too.

On arrival at the airport I noted that the flight was delayed but that didn’t distress me too greatly.  I had the Sunday edition of New York Times so figured I’d hole up somewhere and have lunch. This I did (finished the Sunday crossword in under an hour, which is pretty good for me) and it was actually quite pleasant to sit and idle a little time away. Some time later I went to have another look at the board and saw that my flight was no longer showing a gate number or departure time, so went to find a grown up. Behind the customer service desk was a clerk in possession of an accent so impenetrable that it took me a few goes to ascertain that my flight had been cancelled and that the proposed replacement routing had me going via Philadelphia arriving into Pittsburgh at 10pm.  I hope my lighting crew will forgive me, but at this point I simply lost the will to live. Travelling only with carry-on baggage, the path of least resistance was to simply walk out of the airport and get into a cab, to arrive back at the Hotel Fabulous four hours and $100 after I’d set out from it this morning. I’m a bit gutted to tell you the truth but I trust the lads will have a good time nonetheless.

Faced with an afternoon of unexpected, enforced leisure, it was a coin-toss as to whether I should go to the bar or go back to bed, the eventual winner being the latter.  Resurfacing later I felt somewhat restored but was still sulking a little so opted for taking myself out for dinner and a movie. The movies I liked the look of were downtown, so I had an early dinner at Prune en route.  The movie house was a multiplex and sufficiently understaffed to allow freedom of movement between cinemas, so I ended up doing a bit of movie-hopping. I first watched a film about Bill Cunningham, the New York Times fashion photographer who has been documenting New York street fashion since (at least) the 1970s.  It’s a fascinating documentary about this wonderful eccentric, who lives like a hermit in a single room in Carnegie Hall. Film number two was another documentary (and the one I’d originally planned to come and see) called Project Nim. This tells the story of an experiment (coincidentally also in the 1970s) to raise a chimpanzee as if it were a human baby and see if it would be possible to hold conversations via sign language. The cast of eccentrics in this one is also pretty hair-raising, including a philandering Columbia professor (with a killer comb-over) and the chimp’s hippy-dippy human mother-surrogate who actually breast-feeds the animal. Of course it all goes horribly wrong but it’s compelling viewing, not least for being a time capsule of 70s New York academia. I considered going for a big three-in-a-row, slipping in to watch the opening of Salvation Boulevard but in twenty minutes or less I could tell that I’d live to regret staying any longer.

Walking out into present day New York, night had fallen and the temperature had plummeted to a comparatively temperate 85 degrees or so. Without really intending to, I ended up walking for a long time. The Lower East Side isn’t a part of New York that I know particularly well, though I seem to remember doing a Tin Machine gig somewhere down here, at some dodgy night club many moons ago, when it was a borderline dangerous neighbourhood. Now it’s a picture of gentrification, bright and bustling, so I had no qualms about just following my nose. I came across a little park where it was all going on, skateboarders, cars with unfeasibly loud and distorted sound systems, kids hanging out and everybody on the phone.  It felt good to be out in it, watching the New York weekend wind itself to a close.

Related Topics

COMMENTS

2
Alma1
28 November, 2012
Willie's diary - what a nice discovery.
What a nice discovery on U2.com - Willie's Diary. I might've noticed it once in the past but was in a hurry & passed it by. I ran across it today by "following my nose" as you say. So this is the only entry I've read to date ('Gutted') & just thought I'd leave a note that I enjoyed it. :)
xtraspicy62
04 August, 2011
dear willie
really can connect with you here. I need to escape a lot myself, and it seems to work best by just meandering around... no real plan, just following my nose... checking out various neigborhoods, restaurants, parks, people watching...just kind of blending in helps me to unwind too... and movies? Ah yes, the ultimate escape....into a darkened theater and into another world..
Newer comments    1 - 2 of 2    Older comments

Current News

16 Apr, 2013
We've got winners in our #U2FTGU competition.
12
11 Mar, 2013
Photos and clips 'from the ground up' arriving every day. Love your work...
24
18 Feb, 2013
Ever made anything From The Ground Up? (See what we did there?) Check out our latest competition.
11
29 Jan, 2013
Those five bonus downloads when you subscribe to U2.com? All you need to know.
17
18 Dec, 2012
It opens with Breathe and closes with "40" - but what are the other thirteen tracks on Edge's Picks?
96
15 Nov, 2012
Fifteen tracks selected by The Edge... but what are they?
108
14 Nov, 2012
'From The Ground Up' is the inside story of U2360° and in this exclusive extract we go backstage with Adam.
9
27 Jun, 2012
Saturday marks three years since U2360 took off - we're hosting 'U22 Day' to celebrate.
61

Current News

08 Dec, 2014
Additional dates confirmed in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.
08 Dec, 2014
11 Films of Innocence airing for 24 hours ... plus 12th, special to U2.com subscribers.
6
08 Dec, 2014
Tickets for the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour on general sale this morning.
03 Dec, 2014
On the road in 2015, playing indoor arenas for the first time in a decade. Cities, dates, tickets, presales.
183
02 Dec, 2014
U2 Minus 1 hosted some pretty special guests to mark World AIDS Day.
17
01 Dec, 2014
Friends step in to save U2’s surprise World AIDS Day (RED) performance...
34
27 Nov, 2014
Live From the MTV EMA in Glasgow. Every Breaking Wave.
31
25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.