Friday, July 22, 2016

Some news / Exodus from NYC? / Stormin' Norman Nardini, Bobby Bandiera, Bruce Springsteen

Here’s some stuff I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks:
  • A quite large super-regional mall fund closing will be announced soon
  • There’s a search on to fill a position as Head of Business Development & Product Development role in the real estate securities area of a well-respected investment management firm.  Successful candidate will have At least 10+ years of investment product management, sales and/or marketing experience in the institutional investment management or investment servicing industries.
  • Targeted for end of summer one of the industry’s leading data providers will be launching a fabulous new website.

I’ve been in New York City this week.  Conducting a presentation coaching work for a first time client, visiting friends and mucking around (as John Lennon used to say).  A friend took me for a belated birthday lunch at one of my favorite spots, Cognac Brasserie on 55th and Broadway.  They are a real deal French bistro – sidewalk seating and all.  Beet salad, Mussels, Tarte Tartin.  Oh, Champagne and a glass of Cote du Rhone.


“And maybe it’s the time of year, yes and maybe it’s the time of man and I don’t know who I am but life is for learning.” (Lyrics from the song Woodstock written by Joni Mitchell and made famous by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) but more and more NYC people I know are thinking or talking about moving out of the city...and not just to Long Island, Westchester or New Jersey.

The main reason I’m hearing is people are growing tired of the intensity of Manhattan, the people on the streets, the cars, the noise, the lack of common courtesy and in some cases the cost of living.

As I’ve mentioned to you, my move from Manhattan to Arden, NC last November was based on those factors and when I am back in NYC for business I nod my head and say to myself, “Yup, I’ve made a good move.”  My office is still in NYC and I use it when I’m in town so I have the luxury of not having to go to an office in Manhattan every day or regularly.  But many folks do and so moving is either not an option or a complicated one.  And, at this stage in my life, having to take care of only myself, well, things are a lot simpler.  It’ll be interesting to see if there starts to be a movement of folks I know out of NYC – perhaps their employers will allow them to work remotely (especially feasible if they’re on the road a lot). 

As Ms. Mitchell, Joni, writes, I am continually learning about myself and am slowly but surely finding about who I am.  Some may say, “It’s about time Steve, after all you’re over 40!”  I firmly believe that we are all works in progress and that, my friends, is one of the beautiful things about life – there is endless opportunity to be who we want to be.  Sometimes it’s just deciding to go for it!
After visiting my brother in South Jersey last weekend, I spent Saturday night/Sunday visiting a friend in Long Branch, NJ.

In the early 90’s I spent a lot of nights at a music club called Cheers in downtown Long Branch. In addition to being the ‘house keyboardist’ and playing in the Tuesday night jam night band, I got a chance to play with some wonderfully talented musicians:  Bobby Bandiera (Bon Jovi, Asbury Jukes), G.E. Smith, who joined Bobby one night, Eddie Maniion, legendary sax player (Bruce Springsteen, Asbury Jukes, Robert Cray) and others.

Someone at our brunch last Sunday mentioned that Stormin’ Norman Nardini was playing in Long Branch the following night – last Monday.  Norman is a Pittsburgh-based blues/rock legendary guitarist, songwriter and performer.  I had the good fortune to have sat in with his trio a number of times ‘back in the day.’ Gee, I wished I could have gone down to see Norman but, alas, I had to prepare for the client workshop on Tuesday.  Norman is one of those many musicians who could have made it big but didn’t.  They have a very loyal local (and perhaps regional) following.  It’s not an easy business.  If you ever get a chance to see Norman Nardini perform, please send him my regards.  He’s totally the real deal.
Final note:  One Saturday night in 1991 or 2, I’m sitting in with The Bobby Bandiera Band and Bruce Springsteen walks in dressed in a tuxedo. Two older women and one older gentleman follow him.  Word has it that they came from Bruce’s mother’s 50th high school reunion.

Bruce goes into the back room and changes into jeans and a t-shirt.  He’s dancing and having a great time – in a safe environment.  On a break, I go up to Bruce who’s bellied up to the bar.  “I’ve got these extra earplugs that your mother and aunt may want to use.” Bruce takes them and says, “Thanks man.  You guys are the loudest fucking band I’ve ever heard!”  The irony:  (a) we were really loud (b) for Bruce who has played all kinds of venues including many large stadiums to comment on the volume (yes, Cheers was a relatively small club) I’ve always thought was pretty funny.

Ben, Steve, Edie last weekend

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