Saturday, July 08, 2006


If you know me you know I like my coffee. For many a year I have been a Dunkin Donuts coffee fanatic. I'm not proud of it. There was just something about that brand of bean that appealed to me. In the past year or so I've dabbled in Starbucks thanks to Andria and I enjoy some of their, ahem, fancier drinks - the white chocolate mocca is my current favorite. However, if given the choice of any coffee in the world I would inevitably choose Dunkin.

This has recently changed. In the past several months I've been acquiring my coffee beans from Albany's very own Daily Grind. I've enjoyed drinking coffee in their downstairs cafe for years but had never ventured upstairs to the store. I'm glad I did. Not only can one enjoy interesting musical discourses with Rick Miller but I've become addicted to their Vanilla Nut Bean blend of beans. You know you have some tasty coffee when even the used grounds smell good!

In any case, if you're a coffee lover I'd recommend checking out the Grind in either Albany or Troy, NY. I think you can also order beans from their website.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lincoln Center

This past weekend I had the pleasure of performing at Lincoln Center in New York City with Alex Torres y Su Orquesta. Truth be told we actually performed outside in the venue's Josie Robertson Plaza, but hey, that's still Lincoln Center, right? The concert was part of the "Midsummer Night Swing" series where various dance bands perform in the plaza during the months of June and July.

The day began with a three hour drive from Albany to NYC. After we arrived I met up with my cousin Melissa, who happens to live a few blocks from the hotel we were staying at, as well as several other members of my family who traveled down to the city to catch our performance later that night. They were all on their way to the "Top Of The Rock" - a 70 story elevator ride up to the top of the Rockerfeller Building. The view was astounding.

After that it was time for sound check at Lincoln Center followed shortly thereafter by the actual performance. The show was very well attended and the band really rose to the occasion. I wish I had a better picture but this one will have to suffice:

The performance ended at 10pm which left us with a night free in the greatest city in the world. This of course meant I had to find some live jazz but not before filling my empty stomach. A few of us wondered around aimlessly looking for the perfect place to eat. We ended up at a small Irish pub for some burgers and brews and actually ran into a bunch of friends from Albany! What were the chances of that happening?! Anyway, later that evening, 1:00am actually, we wound up at Jazz At Lincoln Center's new "Dizzy's Club Coca Cola" for the late set by saxophonist Stacy Dillard's Quartet. It was the perfect way to cap off the evening.