16 November 2017

An Englishman in New York

The fourth day of our week in New York – and an excellent show in Port Chester. The last two Royal Packages have been less well attended – in part, we have discovered, due to the difficulties of fans getting to the less central venues at the earlier time – but a smaller group has its own particular charm.

For the week, my morning runs have moved from the hotel gym (usually with CNN for distraction) to cold but clear mornings in Central Park. I am getting accustomed to being passed at regular intervals by groups of women happily carrying on conversations while jogging far faster than me. Quite unfair. Enough to make you feel your age.

The longer you are in the US, the more  “European” you feel (assuming, of course, that Britain is still considered part of Europe). This is a land of wonderful contradictions : there is a huge wealth divide, and the homeless sit uncomfortably cheek by jowl alongside the unaffordable-by-us-mere-mortals apartments. Socialism is an ugly word – one step from communism. And yet at the same time, there are extreme unionized labour laws, which most of “socialist” Europe long since dispensed with.  We requested the use of a microphone during my forthcoming Royal Packages at the Beacon (that would, of course, be our own microphone which we carry with us for the purpose)  – and the venue demanded in excess of $5,000 a night as the union rules apparently dictate that the entire staff would need to be on hand if I so much as pick up a microphone.  So I shall be projecting my voice without artificial aids.