I took a car, two trains and a CitiBike to Forest Hills Friday night to see the Replacements. You step off the LIRR in Forest Hills and feel like you’re in London.
You walk five minutes toward the decrepit old stadium and feel like you’re in the ass end of Moscow.
I won’t get into the differences between Grand Central and Penn Station; that wouldn’t be far. But I will say–I’m always struck by how jammed the sidewalks are getting into Penn at rush hour, and how damn low the ceilings are. I also had a beer-seller hassle me when I decided to change my order from a Bud Light to a Blue Point Hoptical Illusion. He kept telling me he’d already placed the order. When he shoved a credit card and receipt back at me, we both realized he thought I was some other white guy.
Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson–who’s also the bassist in Guns N’ Roses–told a story from the stage about running to catch a 7:20 a.m. Amtrak to get to NYC in time for the show. He said the sidewalks where he lives are a little bumpy. He tripped and landed on his nose, and the good, caring folks of Amtrak were iffy about letting him on board, telling him repeatedly that he needed an ambulance.
Stinson shrugged them off–he’s in the Replacements, he’s been through much, much worse–and went to the Amtrak bathroom to clean up. When the blood was gone, he knew he was fine.
“I’m always pale and my nose is always bent,” he said.
I wondered where the dude lived so that he’s hopping an Amtrak to New York. Boston? Old Lyme? The band is from, of course, the Twin Cities.
Then, last night, I popped open my new Rolling Stone–yes, there’s still a magazine called Rolling Stone–and saw a feature about the band, in which Stinson mentions living in Hudson, New York.
The ride is about two hours. Leave a bit early so you’re not running on those perilous Hudson sidewalks.