Worlds Colliding

A couple weeks back I was fortunate to have a few visitors to town and set a new record for number of people to sleep over in my apartment in one night - four total!

The weekend was construed over a passion for the late 90s rock band Incubus. Back in 2017 when I was still living in Toronto, my friend Dominic from my Hartford days, flew up to Canada and joined me and my good Toronto friend Nora. We went to see Incubus in downtown Toronto and had a super fun weekend together.

As a result, when incubus announced they were going back on tour for the 20-year anniversary of their incredible album Make Yourself we jumped at the opportunity to have another reunion.

The concert was on Thursday, October 3rd at Radio City Music Hall so I flew back from Atlanta on Wednesday night, Nora arrived to my place on Thursday at noon after flying from Toronto, and Dominic and Jen (his wife) took the train down from Connecticut on Thursday afternoon.

Nora and I grabbed dinner in the Lower East Side before heading on the subway to meet Dom and Jen in midtown, then walked into the concert and had an amazing time.

Heading into the show - Incubus Tonight!

Concerts are always fun, but when you know every single word on the set list and so many of the songs trigger so many fond memories, the event is that much more special.

Dominic and I played in a short-lived band back in CT and loved playing Incubus songs where I would be lead vocals, and he - while playing the base- would provide the over the top hilarious harmonies that are featured on so many Incubus tracks. So naturally we did the same at the concert. The blog wasn’t liking me adding the video directly so I put it here for all to enjoy.

After the concert, the rest of the weekend entailed repairing my voice, and my friendship worlds colliding. One of the best parts about changing cities, countries and jobs so much is that it offers you the chance to meet new and interesting people during each chapter, and when those groups of friends get to meet and get along, it provides an incredibly fun atmosphere.

On Friday Nora and I worked from my apartment and then went back to Rockefeller Center to check out Bar 65 - the Rainbow Room on the 65th floor - where Nora’s team at work had reserved her a $200 tab! That gives you a sense of just how cool a boss she is. I hadn’t been up there in 10 years and forgot what a majestic view it provides - especially on a clear night during the sunset, which is exactly what we were given.

Looking south from 50th street
West side of Manhattan and the Hudson River

After drinks and some appetizers (Jen and Dom met us too) we hopped in a cab to the Upper West Side for a Mediterranean dinner. It was delicious and a nice bonus was that Marc Henry was in town for a conference so he joined us and provided a nice boost of energy as always.

On Saturday, Nora and I accomplished something I had been procrastinating on for months - we built my dresser. Nora is so great as a house guest because she is selfless, easy going, and willing to put in some work with the hope to make your life better! I’m glad she pushed us to get this done or I’d still be storing clothes in suitcases.

Nora with the clutch building skills

After we felt like we achieved we went out to explore the various Oktoberfest events happening in the city. Again, worlds collided as more friends joined the gang. My buddy Matt from work, Dave Mowat (a fellow Winnipegger from the PGA tour blog post), and Nora’s university friend Mark - who I knew from Toronto and now lives quite close to me in Manhattan - all joined the party!

We hopped on the subway to hang out in DUMBO in Brooklyn where there was a classic outdoor Oktoberfest gathering. Beer, brats and a band, and we even witnessed a quite intoxicated Jim Kramer from CNBCs Mad Money. Oddly he was wearing a hat with his employers logo - weird play.

The squad in DUMBO
Jim Kramer- we all had a good laugh

We then grabbed the ferry back to Manhattan and hit up Stone Street in the Financial District. I had never been there before but it was a cobble stoned street lined with bars and restaurants that essentially spilled out into the alley.

We hopped in the first bar so some people could use the restrooms, and ended up staying there for the next ~5 hours! They had a games room upstairs where we started playing video games, darts, shuffleboard and having great chats and laughter!

We eventually left that place, hopped in a cab back to my apartment (Nora, Dom, Jen and I) before grabbing a much needed dinner at, of course, Double Zero Pizza. Following dinner, the whole crew stayed at my apartment and it wasn’t even too crowded. Nobody stepped on me during the night as I was on the air mattress in the middle of the floor, so I’ll consider that a success.

New bffs Jen, Nora, Dominic in front of the Brooklyn bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline

The weekend was so much fun and not too exhausting. After lunch on Sunday, we all went our separate ways as Nora and I cabbed to LaGuardia for our flights, Dom went to New Jersey for work, and Jen took the train back to Connecticut.

Endless memories from a group of just really kind and fun people. I feel very fortunate to be friends with such amazing folks, the kind of people who you can put in a room together, introduce them, and ten minutes later they’ll be talking as casually as if they went way back.

Looking forward to the next Incubus anniversary tour! Thanks for reading.

Mike