NYC notes; Spoon, Nicole Atkins tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:47 pm September 9, 2021

by Tim McMahan,

Looking south toward greater Manhattan from the north shore of the Jackie Onassis Reservoir, New York City.

Well I’m back from my annual trip to NYC. And, once again, I didn’t catch any music on this trip as there were only light calendars at the venues, likely due to Labor Day and Covid. There’s still plenty of shows planned for NYC, but there wasn’t when I was there.

So I’ll leave you with these three observations from a long weekend spent in Manhattan.

  1. In NYC, wearing a mask is ubiquitous. Whether in restaurants or bars or on the streets and subways, everyone wears a mask. NYC requires masks on mass transit and in most building, and wearing one is no big deal. Yes, there are a few “open-nosers” here and there. Few people wore masks in Central Park, however, and no one wore them while jogging (but why would you?). Didn’t see a single anti-mask crazy the whole weekend.

  2. NYC has implemented a proof-of-vaccination and/or proof-of-negative-Covid-test requirement to dine in restaurants and attend events, such as the U.S. Open, where I was. The requirement was no big deal — when we were asked, that is. The U.S. Open had queues where you merely flashed your card or your cell phone with a photo of your vax card — which was very lightly scrutinized. The closest look came at a weird ABBA event in Central Park, where you had to show your card and a second piece of ID. No restaurant asked for our vax cards, though we ate outside most of the time. Manhattan has transformed into a city of outdoor dining. Here’s hoping they keep those outdoor dining areas after Covid has passed.

  3. In the old days, you couldn’t go anywhere in Manhattan without smelling cigarette smoke. It was part of the city scent along with garbage and diesel fumes. These days you can’t go anywhere in Manhattan without smelling pot. It’s everywhere. A new ordinance that went into effect in March allows people to legally light up anywhere in NYC where smoking is allowed under the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act. That would seem to actually be rather limiting, but you wouldn’t know it by sniffing. It was odd watching a guy smoke a joint while trying to figure out the CitiBike kiosk across the street from where we were eating lunch. PS: I’m all for pot, though I don’t imbibe myself; I just can’t stand the smell of it. Skunkweed!

BTW, I did return from NYC with a nasty head cold. As a preventative measure, I got a rapid Covid test yesterday that came back negative. You can’t be too careful these days. Fact is, you’re more likely to get Covid in Nebraska than in New York.

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Tonight it’s Spoon at The Slowdown, and as of this writing the show has yet to sell out, which is kind of a surprise. Tickets are $40, and you must have a vax card or proof of negative Covid test to get inside by decree of the band. It will be interesting to hear how that goes, though I don’t foresee any problems unless an anti-vax knucklehead shows up and wants to cause problems. Nicole Atkins opens at 8 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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