When The Music’s Over, Turn On the Stove…

Confronting the need to alter my sappy, self-deprecating grumpiness as well as my life’s misdirection.

Over the past year, I’ve been forced by the Universe (and my own shortcomings and instabilities) to confront my life choices. In some ways it’s been pleasant, in many ways it’s been painful, but in all ways it’s been necessary.

Let’s look back about a year ago when Hoboken saw the final nights of music at the ill-fated ‘new’ Maxwell’s Tavern. I struggled with reasons to go or not go. Reasons to go were obvious. To see friends. To hug and tear up over the loss of what had become a vibrant (albeit different than before) music scene. Chums spontaneously jamming to a room full of like-minded creative types, in drastic contrast to the scene of old that so many folks pined for, yet in many ways more vibrant and inspiring.

(Note: That scene is still thriving in places like Finnegan’s, Northern Soul, White Eagle Hall, FM, Fox & Crow and several other places in Hoboken and Jersey City now. Which is a testament to the music scene’s resilience and stamina. But I digress. This is about me, after all.)

Then there were the reasons to not go. I had been sick. Depression and chronic pain had marred my days. Sitting or standing for any period of time had become unbearable. And there was this headache that plagued me for months (yes, months). Once my long days at the cafe came to a close, I found myself almost giddy at the prospect of just going home. So, in what would become my routine, I did. Missing these the last nights of music at my once familiar playground.

Regrets? I have a few.

Of course, this added to my depression. It was more than just the missing out on social events. I had lost my drive for anything, let alone music or art. I was running aimlessly thru life with no visible goals. I had all these new, grand plans for the cafe not long ago. Now I was on autopilot.

What happened?

Aside from my mental state, there was the ongoing emergency construction to fix the shitty job done by shyster contractors after our fire in 2015 that continues even now into 2019. Combine that with a somewhat dismal downturn in business throughout the hospitality industry during 2018, and my mood was set.

In typical fashion for me, I retreated into my cocoon. My blinders were on and I just meandered thru my daily routine as my depression and physical pain worsened.

Then today, my brain just kinda snapped. Something in the back of my head smacked something in the front of my head. Creativity is at the core of who I am. For a long time, that creativity manifested itself in music. Either the making of or the writing about. Now, food is my music.

The creation and exploration of food has to take full priority in my life. Oh, I’ll still support the arts however I can, but all that I do — including this blog — will primarily be a tool to explore the world of food. Making, tasting (and yes) … selling.

As for my musician friends whose shows I will surely still miss; All are still welcome to jam in my storefront. Artists can hang art on my walls, too. However, the likelihood of me strapping on a camera and notepad and running out to document an event will be considerably less likely. For now, anyway.

The upside is you can all come delight in my concoctions and the concoctions of my compatriots. Watch this devout carnivore explore healthier avenues as I experiment with vegan and vegetarian options. Help me discover my own heritage as I mine my family history for favorite recipes (some of you have already had my Grandfather’s Zucchini Bread).

I’m excited to get more burns, more scars, and more flavor in my life.

So … onward and upward!


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