The plan sounded solid, cemented even further from the on-site texts telling of too much heat and less folks than expected.
No, wonderful daughter Elisabeth, Georges Three and Two and Sue would not be sticking around the New York State Fair to eat dinner with us Sunday. They’d taken the early route, and eaten from the food trucks circling Chevy Court for an exotic-for-here contest, in fact. My 25-year-old girl pointed out the fried PB&J and salt potato pizza, and recommended the pulled pork-loaded tater tots.
Thank you, my kid. Glad you had fun. See you all another time, soon.
My dear wife Karen and I would finish watching the Mets — lose again, in extra innings, to the Marlins, four ahead going into the start of today’s three-game set at second-place Washington and I’m getting nervous as my aside for this morning — leave at 5, go to the Regional Market satellite lot for the bus and get our seats in plenty of time.
Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo in any gallery for an enlarged slide show.
There were only a handful of people lined up for the bus when we easily found a spot in the Regional Market lot, despite people also arriving for a Syracuse Chiefs baseball game next door. But folks continued to turn up at a constant pace. By the time a bus pulled up, there were too many of us to fit in. But after we paid our two bucks each, found seats, pulled away and looped around, I noticed a second bus right there already for the rest in line.
There was traffic the couple of miles to the fair. To be expected. Our driver nailed a last-second lane change from the highway to the exit, earning a cheer from the risk-takers on the bus and a dark look from the state trooper standing at the otherwise clogged lane.
The entrance to the fair was bustling, but Karen spotted the shortest line for her pure to be quickly checked and us to hand over our $6 advance tickets.
We marched to Chevy Court. Karen was going to see the Steve Miller Band at last. She’d missed him with friends in high school in San Diego, reason forgotten. His gig was called at Citi Field this June, reason, Mets game prior shortened by rain.
We were not going to see him this time from the bleacher seating in front of the stage, the best spot, where we’d caught the country of The Swon Brothers for their afternoon set at this free-with-fair-ticket Chevy Court one week ago. Two hours and 15 minutes before show time, they were full.
Our plan to squeeze into two, have one go bring back dinner, then the other …
Not to be.
It was hot. Elisabeth was right.
Those food trucks were gone.
We walked to the edge of the court, entered the Horticulture Building, and ate in the air-conditioned New York Cafe. Chicken tenders and fries for Karen, Philly cheesesteak for me. One worker handled the long line, and one cook prepared all the orders. I marveled at their cool and efficiency as customers waited five, 10 minutes. We enjoyed our fresh food sitting in a booth. Then we walked to the Villa for our little bag of long fried dough. Pizza Frittes, to be exact. A treat by any name.
We hauled them to the side enclave we discovered last year, prior to the Labor Day Doobie Brothers show, when we also were driven away from a too-crowded court proper. The walk around the area was truly congested.
An hour before show time, and it was obvious folks knew of this grassy square shoehorned behind a terrace, tables and raised umbrellas.
We ended up in a spot on a rectangular wall where Karen could loop her legs over, and I could sit to her right.
We’d both have a clear sight line to the big video screen to the right of the stage.
I settled in a read some from the Stuart Woods easy reading Stone Barrington detective novel I brought, until it got too dark. The two women next to me apologized about being too loud and disrupting my library silence, but I told them I could read anywhere. They marveled that they at last drew words out of me, and we were all friends after that.
We guessed how old Steve Miller might be. One of my choices was 72. Close. He turns that age in October. Hard to believe, once the concert started.
The man can play guitar and sing. Karen was happy to hear one of her favorites at last. I stood on the wall to take as good of a shot as I could with my iPhone 6 in these conditions. We enjoyed the hits of our youth. Jungle Love started everything off in style. When he told us Space Cowboy came out in 1968, Karen said she was … really young. I was going to turn 11 that December. Oh, yes, I was a teen for his biggest hits, in college flying like an eagle … I was a joker, thought I was invincible.
Lots of thoughts flashed inside my mind, from the wayback machine.
We stayed until we were uncomfortable and he was far away. Even Karen had had enough when he said he was going to play some new songs.
I captured a video from the afar. Enjoy.
How far away and in what conditions would you stay for a band you want to see? What band would you stay in this location to catch live, and why? Which is your favorite photo, and why?