i stayed another few days in philly with quentin and dana and drank myself silly a few nights and went on a long hike and marvelled at the rapidly transforming urban bleakness. casinos being built, lofts going up, still garbage all across the streets and remnants of industrial infrastructure.
willis took a plane flight up to d.c. and took the chinatown bus and we took off north. his aunt mimi had offered us to stay in her cabin in upstate new york, near kingston, and we gladly accepted. arrived late at night and immediately struck by the sculptures laid out all across the grounds. turns out the property is owned by leon and elaine smith, two immensely talented artists who bought a 250 acre farm and turned it into their own private artist retreat... the place seemed designed by Dr Zeuss - massive sculptures of a coat and tie, a floating piece of birthday cake, an outdoor office amidst a birch tree forest... all playful and amazing. we were fortunate enough to stay in a cabin amidst all these sculptural wonders. willis and i drank whiskey late into the night, playing loud music and marvelling at our luck at ending up at such an amazing locale. next morning woke and cooked some soup and wandered the grounds, an extensive trail through the forests of maple turning red and white birch and elm and all sorts of other trees of which i do not know the name. wandered and wondered and stood in awe.
later, leon told us about his indoor racquetball court, conjecturing it might be a nice acoustical space for us to rehearse. and it was. we played loud and without effects and it simply blew me away. here is a video:
later that evening, played at an awesome venue called "goodbye blue monday" in bushwick brooklyn. great space.
here are some photos from the rest of our time at leon and elaine smith's "smith hill farm":