A Day in Hilton Head

So this was to be my first visit ever to Hilton Head Island,  I had been nearby for a few days years before in Ridgeland, South Carolina when driving John Kenney the drummer’s (“John Kenney is a drummer/backing the covering band/covering the backing band”) car southward to the surrealist ball at the Reynolds Morse Salvador Dali Musuem in St. Petersburg Florida and the vehicle died.  I met a guy named Melvin who eventually salvaged the car but, previously Ridgeland was as close as  had come (plus once in the aforementioned town I met a car shop owner who said “Senator Strom was a freind of my daddy used to come by the gas station all the time:”.)

Until now when I followed the signs off the highway to Hilton Head.  I first took the cross island expressway  entrance to the coastal discovery musuem and then got back on the highway. I had to learn about Hilton Head and found out about Gullah culture (the plantation owners did not want to live on the island and the african-american slaves and later freemen and women who did retain some African traditions), the former estate here’s role as a hunting lodge(much of the island was a one time a hunting preserve), and about coastal sea and birdlife. After doing an initial building exhibit run through later I would come back to look some exhibits related to the coastal life including the fiddler crab boardwalk overlook.

I ate in a very pleasant seafood place in a marina (spilling my coke allover the local newspaper and the waitress kindly brought me a new one while the lady at the next table was busy complaining about the absence of her server)  where after driving around the island endlessly eventually I booked a sunset cruise on what turned out to be a catamaran and then drove around the island some more.  I found a closed Burmese restaurant {pretty rare and the first one I’d seen since I dined in Hong Kong multiple times at Hong Kong’s only Burmese restaurant The Golden Mynymar owned and operated by the affable Burmese native Su-Su}.

So before sunset of course it was time to board the catamaran and set sail.  I parked my car back at the marina and waited around at the store which books the tours.   A large group of people showed up and we were led down to the craft’s mooring by our tour guide an affable woman wth a short haircut who turned out to be the signifigant other of the captain.

The catamaran was nice because there was lots of room to move around and to  socialize with the other passengers. There was a dolphin immediatleyspotted in the harbor as we disembarked and a later highlight was some more dolphins and some pelicans.  We learned about some of the big houses across on the other bank of shoreline occupied by the guy who brought cellphone service to Hilton Head.  Then on the closer legnth of shoreline there was another big home on the final jut of sandbar on the particular part of Hilton head we were passing where dogs chased donkeys to one end and donkeys the dogs to the other and after the tour guide was saying it and right after I had correctly identified a sculpture of a C.H.I.P.S (California Highway Patrol like the long ago show with Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada) right after we had seen a small statue of liberty replica on the property I spied and  then said ‘there is one of the dogs”)- later this led to a dream about Dubai where I also pointed something out to a group and made my Mall of the Emirates poem then that much bigger ”

On the simulated mountain

all must go down

in the special four wheel drive people mover craft

and with several aboard including myself

the vehicle takes its’ course

and with my swift and keen eyes

after a brickwall explodes

I guide the guide to miss a large patch of thin cracking ice

 

Down the Grand incline in the all of the mall now

people who weren’t expecting to have more children

having had them appear younger

an Argentinian painter and his wife

a septugenarian dentist and his better half

he looks (is?) so much younger now’

his hair having gone black from white

 

The cruise was refreshing and the company enoyable (including a couple where the postal service supervisor husband was retired and the nurse wife was not and airconditioning contractor official from Pennsylvania and his wife and inlaws who had bought a home on the island and several other Hilton Head residents were aboard) we could see savannah in the distance as welas another island across (). The tour guide’sstories were excellent and refreshed I got back in my car and drove for another few hours still I believe in South Carolina and it was lights out @ the Knights Inn and then the next day almost a straight shot back to New York City including a stop in Smithfield,North Carolina (birthpalce of and home to the Ava Gardener Museum)to buy a Ralph Lauren navy hunting coat which goes with the color coordination aspect of my tour guiding posistion  and a rugby shirt (I once lost a strikingly beautiful Ralph Lauren polo rugby shirt on the beach in Eliat in Israel while snorkeling in the Red Sea).

So since I already have an entry labeled since coming back (from the Persian Gulf) here I will just include what has happened since. Since fantastic adventures have kind of ceased unless you count my tour guiding on Staten Island where everything that happens should not neccesarily be blogged about even if it hints at something within the culture be it high or low {and sometimes mostly low}.

One day however in the week or so after this last trip driving back and forth to Florida I went to see the initial painting exhibition of Damian Loeb(the ex boyfreind of Bergdof Blondes author Plum Sykes and an artist who I have written about extensively just go to www.damianloeb.com and click on history and scroll down for my articles in nyarts , nyartworld, and PAJ) at Acquavella Gallery on east seventy ninth street (they only now represent three living contemporary artis James Rosenquist, Lucien Freud , and Damian).

The work was different this time it was not taken from movie still but from scenes he had himsef observed.  I enoyed the piece named “Vertigo” above the marble staircase of the townhouse it watery sheen home to a woman face down to the depths(but it was not the human scene. but the textural and color play which drove my atttention).  Bill Acquavella’s son was downstairs and the receptionist who was one of the nicest I had ever met at a big name gallery but god forbid I should get pulled back intot he artworld again mind , body, and soul and my roller coaster emotions should take the ferris wheel no thanks!  Now I get to visit art exhibits on my own time and swim in the forever irrelevant sea of tour guides.

Coming back to my car parked on Madison avenue a woman was in a blue volvo was blocking my departure and talking on the cellphone.  I could have been rude (which I chose not to ) and gone up and rapped on her driver’s side window (which again I did not do) so I returned to my driver’s seat and honked.   Having looked over before she was not necessarily a pretty woman but a handsome pretty woman like Candace Bergen I turned my head backwards and it was Meryl Streep still talking on the cell-phone and I said “Meryl Streep” and she smiled and waved and kept talking on the cell-phone.. The car had Conneticut plates and later googling Meryl Streep and Conneticut and this search engine employer found indeed she has a residence there.

But before ending this blog entry (though never forever which is the beautiful thing about blogs as a literary form) I want to mention the SanRasa Sri Lankan restaurant on Staten Island.  This was the first time I have had Sri Lankan (Ceylonese) food and this writer is not sure if this delightful establishment can speak for the entire Island nations’ I am sure diverse cuisine,however the vegtable dish served in a covered (which was  after being brought to the table removed) earthenware dish was out of this world and definitely out of Manhattan.  I am just now educating myself to this wonderful cuisine now lots of influence from subcontinental Indian food of course and some tropical influences sugar and coconuts but let me stop talking until my palette is more seasoned (anybody want to take the ferry or get a ride in my car and go?)pss- Sanrasa is also known for the two Greek style statues outside of it which stand sentinel.

And now with the close of my current Double Decker bus company schedule (though sometimes like in Staten Island this talker and blogger and rider rides around in a trolley)for the current time being and the begining of a new one (they are called bids) it is time to wrap up the particular catch all blog entry.  One day after taking the  Staten Island Ferry three times a week (it can be quite wonderful as when the Queen Mary pulls out of the  Buttermilk channel between its’ dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn and Govenors island and into the harbor and towards the Ocean and the passengers line the decks and wave at the ferry and vice versa or an Italian submarine comes into port escorted by coast guard crafts or when the Queen Mary Two and The Queen Elizabeth meet for the last time in New York harbor as the QE 2named for the Queen consort of George the sixth who later became the queen mother of Queen Elizabeth for whom none of the ships are named but rather the QE 2 is named for the ship which was named for the queen consort who became the queen mother and then gave her name to the first ship Elizabeth leaves Manhattan for the last time on the way to go to Dubai to become a hotel {which someone on the internet is called a desert hotel it is not a desert hotel it is on a body of water which meets land which will shortly hit the desert}and just to think of it Queen Elizabeth One might have met the future Queen Mary two if Mary Queen of Scots had been put on the English throne by Phillip of Spain but Queen Elizabeth one did meet Queen Mary one Bloody Mary and probably the two boats met as well by but did the Queen Mary One meet the Queen Elizabeth two? But, certainly in real life neither Queen Mary One or Queen Elizabeth One met Queen Mary Two from William and Mary (that Glorious Revolution) or Queen Elizabeth Two.-Well after doing a little more reasearch the HMS Queen Elizabeth (QE 1 and named for Queen Elizabeth who later became the Queen Mum not Elizabeth “the Virgin Queen”) was “the running mate” of the Queen Mary One so they met the Queen Mary retired in 1967 and became a hotel/tourist attraction in Long Beach, California and the QE 2 premiered in 1969 as the flagship of the fleet so they never met while afloat but while the earlier ship was parked at Long beach and the QE was scrapped in 1974 after a fire so the two Elizabeths meet afloatand and the equation is changed between all those previously named Elizabeths and Mary’s because neither of those boats were named for the previous Elizabeths and Mary’s form Elizabethan times but for modern consorts the Mary being the Wife of George the Fifth and Elizabeth the wife of George VI and the queeen mary two is named for the queen mary one which as named for Mary the consort of george the sixth so the second boat is therfore once removed named for her as well and of the consorts the former Elizabeth Bowes Lyon was the daughter in law of the former Mary Teck.

But now to say so I took my car to Staten Island from the Inwood section of Manhattan taking the George Washington Bridge over to New Jersey and the turnpike (while stopping at the Vince Lombardi rest-stop to have breakfest) and then the Goethals Bridge onto the island (an eight dollar toll) .  I was able to suprise the trolley driver Manny at a waterside gas station convenience stopa she was having his morning coffee.

After work I drove my car along the winding roads of the St .George neighberhood (named for George Law) to the Bayonne bridge and onto the turnpike and over to rte 80 and to 124 and to Madison , New Jersey to finally catch a set at Shanghai Jazz.  The set was by the Rob Paporozzi band the namesake and singer and blues harmonicist being also the leader of ht enew lineup of sixities stalwart Blood, Sweat, and Tears. There was no seating in the dining room and so I was seated at the bar next to a local music afficinado named Marshall and what helped my breathing was filling out the dining or drinking minimum with an entree of Thai Shrimp.

For those of you not in the know Shanghai Jazz is the perhaps the United States only authentic Chinese restaurant jazz club which offers sets by many reknown jaz acts including multiple grammy winners.  It has a gong which is rung for the beginning of the set and indeed it owners are a chinese couple (could have been a couple of Chinese but a if a couple of the Chinese make up a Chinese couple they are more than a couple of Chinese and lord knows there are more than a couple of Chinese.)

I first found this restaruant after having a dream in which I and the tour guide who I call Miss Blau (Debborah Blau whose father Rapheal co-wrote Bedtime for Bonzo with Ronlad Reagan) had dinner at the eat-in part of a Chinese take-out in Madison, New Jersey and so lo and behold I googled Chinese restaurant Madison, New Jersey and I came up with Shanghai Jazz.  It goes without saying that I became hellbent on convincing Miss Blau  to eat at Shanghai Jazz thus recreating some of the parameters of the dream {which I will let the section I wrote about it in The Great Shoppping Mall Poem of China which later had its named to changed to The Great Shopping Mall Poem of the East ( by me speak of the night})….

“First born in sight of a star fighter pod on a game room floor
This a poem of underwater notions in simacularized cities
And it will of course offer information galore
First born in sight of a star fighter pod in an aviation museum
With further planes on cement Islands around on and into a lake
this poem of underwater notions and simulacarized cities
is a replicant duplicate work
How now Miss Blau
who I run into
as I run into you
in the unscripted quarters
of a Chinese take out restaurant with seating
in Madison, New Jersey
where you live
if only in that dream

If you take out the eat-in part from the take-out
then all you are left with is the take-out

Now it is off to a Chinese restaurant
in the aforementioned vicinity
where they also play jazz

?go to a Chinese restaurant your own age?
Got to go to a Chinese restaurant your own age

“The Shanghai Jazz corporation”
The Shanghai Jazz Corporation opens for business in this poem
At the eat-in part of the eat-in- in the eat-in part of the Eat-in
where were you eating? At the Shanghai Jazz Corporation of course
and what was on
well it was a trio on piano bass and drums
And a quartet of conversationalists including Miss Blau
for our enjoyment and for the enjoyment of the Shanghai enjoinment of course
And the enjoyment on going west and then north to the Shanghai Jazz and enjoyment in the incorporation of Madison New Jersey of course and of the courses
Shrimp toast boneless spare ribs Chilean sea bass Neptune’s basket replete with
Shrimp lobster scallops white rice a beer a coke and a Belgian chocolate truffle with pistachio ice cream not unlike tartuffo and an order of eggplant…”

Finally the dream of Miss Blau which made it into the Chinese Shoping Mall Poem which worked tiself into the Shopping Mall Poem of the East was influenced itself in turn by a stanza on Madison, New Jersey which in turn was based on a dream itself  in the Origianl Worlds’ Biggest Shopping Mall Poem ”

 

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