First day in NYC we woke up at Jean�s tiny apt in Brooklyn and hit the street for some breakfast. I ordered really delicious eggs in a coffee shop where they charge $11 for really delicious eggs. (Must be gold in them thar eggs.) Hipsters slunk throughout the small cafe sipping at bowls of latte disaffected and angular with ill-fitting clothes and baby-powdered hair (apparently it allows for a dirty look for those who wish to maintain a hygienic lifestyle). They were are welcome relief to the mourning presence of the city.

New York is jarringly different in the aftermath of Sept. 11. There are flags everywhere. Someone has literally made a flag stencil and spray-painted them on all the sidewalks of Brooklyn. (I�ve got stars on the souls of my shoes) Every storefront, every cab every car�s antenna, entire billboards wave with old glory. Even chain store and fast-food restaurants sneak pro-America quips into the spaces between extra-value meals and prices on the overhead menu-boards. My friend Tim Quirk told me a story about seeing a flag-shaped shopping bag on a sign with the tag line��They can�t keep us down.�

(jay tobey in front of the laundromat that never sleep)

Here, like many of you, I struggle to find words that integrate the latent sentimentality and patriotism that woke in even my most cynical cells as I watched the collapse of the towers, with an activist core that identifies the origins of that violence as an act as distilled Nationalism.

Later that night Whitney, Tim, Kevin and I walk below Soho following the eerie glow emanating from the void where before stood the towers. Now only lingering smoke and the hum of a thousand floodlights pouring forth their unforgiving clarity onto consecrated ruble where in every minute of our imagination, fortunate human hands reclaim another brick, pail of gravel, smiling desk-photograph for someone�s history for someone�s headstone.. Desperate for gentle acts we adopt a lost Frenchman on the street dragging his bad English and bad directions to a dive bar with worn wood tables and a bartender easy with the TV remote. Life begins again and forever in the easy grace of a place where again and forever we save ourselves in the task laid out� unzipping our understanding and resolve with liquor and conversation. To fuel with exhausted laughter the light which haunts the air of our peripheral consciousness with a defiant hope. We willfull�pushing deliberate the bright hypothesis forward further against a ravenous fear which unmet would easily consume the most generous and curious heart.

Mercury Lounge had a 2pm load in for an 11 show. Clearly the liquor lobby is working with rock establishments to increase rocker alcoholism by forcing said rockers to spend 9-hour stretches in empty bars.

This schedule change unceremoniously removed me from my responsibility to the CMJ panel that was scheduled for 3:45. I swung by CMJ to apologize in person to Megan who�d been coordinating the panels. Ever since Sept 11th she�s been on my mind whenever I had to pick up the phone and make a business call to someone in NYC�wondering the emotional state of the person on the other side of the line. What incredibly difficult work she must have been doing in the past month. CMJ was stark and the empty halls were another sad reminder.

Before the show I had the privilege of meeting Storey Littleton the four-month old beautiful giggling mass of Dan and Liz�s collective genetic material. Dan was sitting in with the band so we went back to his house to run through Nashville songs and meet the family. Liz was radiant and Storey was a solid distillation of joy. She is super fascinated by sound and pays remarkable attention to music. Watch out world for the swift debut of Ida family singers.

The show itself was a lot of fun. We played with Matt Pond, PA and another band that was a mess of strings and horns. We were lousy with strings and literally tripping over cellos in the dressing room. My brother and mother came with an entourage of 9 or so�and there was a lot of Pho in the house due to CMJ. The show still had the unreal quality of an early tour show and the
climate of mourning infused the entire evening. The house was packed�but sad.

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