Chapter 7 – Pioneer Village
The spacious four-lane road became unbearably crowded because of the rush hour, and the densely packed cars were like a tin can clumsily staying in place, watching the sea of sardine-like people rushing to the subway station in front of them, tragically like an apocalyptic escape, but it was not clear whether the working people of mass transit envied the working class in private cars, or the reverse.
At this moment, a young man stepped on a skateboard, along the slightly sloping road of Broadway Avenue, skillfully looking for gaps between vehicles and pedestrians, and then quickly passed through, fluttering shirt swinging in the wind, a messy slightly curly hair overflowing with youthful recklessness and wantonness, as if a different color lit up the endless flow of people.
Inadvertently, both those sitting in the tin cans and those swarming towards the underground iron pipes, had their eyes cast towards that figure, but could only catch a glimpse of a rapidly disappearing back, with a little envy and nostalgia flowing from their eyes, without knowing exactly what they were envying and what they were nostalgic for.
Skateboarding was a new thing that Renly learned after arriving in New York, and he quickly fell in love with the sport that was so popular among young people, skating as if chasing the wind through the world’s leading matrix of bad traffic and letting his mood soar with the sun.
The streets and alleys of Manhattan, New York are like a well-organized chessboard, east-west direction for the street, numbered from south to north, from the first street all the way to two hundred and twenty-two street; north-south direction for the avenue, numbered from east to west, from the first avenue to the twelfth avenue, which is also interspersed with a few avenues not named by numbers, such as Madison Avenue, Broadway Avenue and so on.
This is certainly perfect for skateboarding, straight and spacious roads, clear and unambiguous directions, and of course, flat and regular pavement, traveling through them is completely effortless.
Leaving the audition venue at the Midtown/Broadway Theatre, Renly skated all the way towards the lower city, with the buildings on both sides changing in height and style as a stream of light in the line of sight, bringing the city’s history, culture and customs together, showing a magnificent and breathtaking scene.
Gradually, the exotic scenery of Greenwich Village emerged along with the gradually intricate streets, the overflowing gypsy, hippie, folk-rock style of wandering artist flavor flowed out in the streets and alleys, showing a very different image fragment from uptown/urban, midtown/urban, into a bizarre and whimsical world of color.
Unless one enters it, it is difficult to depict it with one’s imagination. Extremes of order and chaos, extremes of glitz and glamour and extremes of spontaneity appear simultaneously on the small island of Manhattan, a corner of the city full of history in addition to the Bronx and Queens.
Crossing Fifth Avenue, entering the boundaries of Fourth Avenue, followed by a sharp turn at Fourteenth Street, Renly skillfully navigated between the streets and alleys, finally stopping at the mouth of an isolated alley, his left foot lightly stepping on the nose of the skateboard, smoothly taking it into his hands, walking quickly into the alley where two giant garbage cans were stacked, the towering drab brick walls on both sides could be vaguely seen in the dark red color, the air filled with the smell of marijuana made him frown slightly, raising his head and surveying the surroundings, it is just a little after six o’clock, to early to enjoy the pleasure of cigarettes, it seems that these people are troubled. Retracting his eyes, he familiarly pushed open the silver door next to him that was stained with mud spots, and Renly’s figure disappeared into it.
“Hey, Jack, what’s the recommended entrée for tonight?” “Stanley, how was your date with Britney last night?” “Chuck, did you get tickets for the Giants game tomorrow night?”
It’s a vintage style kitchen, still reminiscent of Victorian design, and everyone in the kitchen is actively preparing for the dinner hour, with Renly walking through and greeting everyone as the steamy kitchen gets hotter and hotter.
It was one of the first jazz bars in New York, and many music lovers and performing artists have enjoyed gathering here. Not only because of its long history and unique atmosphere, but also because of the irreplaceable quality of the audience, the city of New York has countless art lovers, but only a small group of professional and experienced people would come to the “Pioneer Village” to enjoy the beautiful music.
Of course, the so-called jazz bar is not just for jazz performances. Today, in the twenty-first century, it also features folk, bluegrass, blues and other niche and retro music genres, and even the occasional rock band that has been gradually sidelined by the times.
The bar opens daily at 3 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m. The two-hour live shows each night are the trademark of “Pioneer Village”, with not only the occasional established artist coming to perform here, but also unknown independent musicians coming to showcase their talents and meet face-to-face with the most expert audience in all of New York.
Renly has been working here for three months, and because the hours are flexible and the tips are generous, he earns enough to support his daily life in New York, allowing him to participate in Off-Broadway shows in his spare time.
New York and London have more similarities than Los Angeles, where the artists are always concentrated on their profession, willing to quietly polish their skills and participate in more practical work, as well as learn from each other to make progress.
In the city of New York, the daily theatrical performances that hit the stage, the performances that take place in bars and clubs, the exchanges that take place in galleries and museums …… and even the gossip of the people on the streets of Greenwich Village, everything is related to art, an atmosphere that runs in the blood that Los Angeles does not have.
New York, like London, has always been repulsed by the commercialization of Hollywood and entertainment until death. Of course, does art needs to be packaged and promoted by commerce? The answer is yes. It’s just that before commercializing everything, wouldn’t it be better to quietly polish the quality and substance of the merchandise to make the value of the merchandise more valuable to retain? That is why Woody Allen always stays in New York, where his heart is.
“Pioneer Village” can be said to be a miniature of New York.
It was lucky for Renly to be able to work here. Here he can exchange professional experiences with real artists, he can argue with real enthusiasts to the point of contention, and this artistic atmosphere cannot be measured just by its value.
Renly surveyed the bar’s patronage and stepped up to the bar, “How was the audition?” Neil Tucson, the bartender standing at the bar, was polishing the freshly washed beer glasses with a glow of anticipation on his face.
“Waiting for the notification. “Renly didn’t complain, nor did he hide it, he just blurted out the results, and then saw Neil roll his eyes, “God, are you serious? Are Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg blind? Missing an actor like you, I do not look forward to their prospects for this work.”
“What makes you so sure that Tom and Steven showed up at the audition? “Renly’s rhetorical question made Neil freeze, and for a moment actually did not know how to refute, then Renly smiled brightly, “In fact, they did show up. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to impress them. ”
Neil laughed dumbfounded and made a smashing gesture with his beer glass, “Like I said earlier, it’s their loss that they passed you up.”
Renly waved his hand, not intending to continue on this topic, “Who is the guest performer tonight?” In order to prepare for “The Pacific” audition, he did not come to work yesterday and the day before, and did not know anything about the schedule for today.
“Jason Mraz will perform the latter half of the show.” Neil’s words instantly made Renly’s eyes light up, the song “I’m Yours” was popular throughout North America last year, and broke the record for the number of weeks in the singles chart, which is amazing. Although the song was a hit last year, Jason has remained the same as before. He maintained his usual low profile, mostly performing live in major bars or small theaters, always keeping the closest distance to the audience. This is really rare in the American entertainment industry where profit is the most important thing.
“I hope he won’t be performing ‘I’m Yours’.” Renly raised the tail of his eyebrows, said with a look of disgust, which caused Neil to laugh out loud, “I hope there will be no tourist spectators mixed in tonight, otherwise ……”. The real professional audience appreciates the music, the scene, and the singer himself, but the tourist audience only appreciates “well-known” in order to join in the fun.
The two smiled at each other as Renly did not answer again, but raised his right hand and crossed his index and middle fingers in a prayer gesture. Then, Renly turned around and walked towards the four guests who had just entered. Not far away another waiter was about to take a step, but Renly waved at the other party and the other party’s steps stopped – Renly appeared at the right time, which meant that the area belonging to Renly’s responsibility was not something she had to continue to take care of.
After eight o’clock, the bar began to get busy because not only was it time for dinner, but because the nightly live shows started at 8:30 and the real regulars arrived at the right time. The afternoon audition questions were put aside for now, and Renly returned to his daily routine as he had been for the past three months.
After handing the pepper shaker to table eight, Renly saw the usher with two customers sitting down at table fourteen, he quickly drew out the menu to welcome them, “Good evening ……”, but seeing Tom and Steven in front of him, he couldn’t help slowing down, and even his words paused for a moment.
Translator Question of the day – So, what movie would you like for Renly to be part of?