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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon


Ashley met me at Starbucks with a change of clothes at 6:30 and we walked the rest of the night away, from the Upper East Side at 85th and Lex down to the East Village and Soho, back to Union Square, and then trained it back to Harlem where we walked our usual route home from the green line stop at 125th and Lex back home to 137th and 5th.  That’s a lot of city to stimulate a lot of conversation.  

We have given 30 day notice that we are leaving our apartment in Harlem.  It has been a good situation here, but if I plan on continuing the amount of playing out like I have, we’ve got to live farther downtown.  Catching subways after midnight on local routes every night and then walking 14 blocks with a keyboard will tack on a dizzying two hours to the day before I get up and smile in my Starbucks green apron bright and early.  When I crawl out of bed I’m craving my Starbucks and hating my Starbucks.  But I don’t mess around; I step right up and make a quad macchiato to get my bearings.  Then I double fist a Pike’s Place and a Sumatra while running around the bar until someone taps me on the shoulder and tells me I can go home.  


i can't help it

i can't help it


Ashley’s 21 day waiting period for her NY tax ID number to be a street artist is almost up.  I’ve joined a band.  I’m assembling my own band and booking dates in the fall to be in a city near you.  We’ve started selling my CD at and Ashley has made our first No Room for Hipsters merchandise.   Those are the logistics.


5 song EP, truly groundbreaking, astounding really.

5 song EP, truly groundbreaking, astounding really.


Our five hour conversation tonight went beyond logistics: I guess I’m going to share.  We were talking about the last seven years, nearly five of them married, and how it took us so long to do what we said we’d do when we started the whole life together.  

When I was 22 and Ashley was 20 we were optimistic and naively clueless, which has led to our bumps,  undoubtedly similar to your bumps and everybody’s bumps.  When you live through such a formative period together, you can really only hope that you grow together as you grow individually.  Why does Ben Folds write a song like “Luckiest” one day and then “You Don’t Know Me” about the same girl/ ex wife a couple years later?  Because a relationship and each individual involved are three separate entities on their own make-do path in the world: the culmination of the flaws, sloppiness, and fickleness of humanity.  Then, hopefully, there is the other hand.

We can learn to inspire the potential in each other to become some stronger version of ourselves, which may or may not always be our desired version from the onset.  The only thing we control is our actions during the process, meaning hopefully we are tied closer together in the end, whatever that end may be.  You grow apart or you grow together, but you will grow.  

Making a relationship work is like songwriting.  You wait around, open to the idea of writing until you find the inspiration.  You wrestle down a concept and throw out a few phrases.  If its good you keep going and hope it fits to a sweet enough melody. When the melody is right, you have to commit to a chord progression that matches the integrity of the lyric.  By the time your catchy three word hook is a 3 minute fleshed out composition you are tenderly guessing at all of it, but guessing from sincerity and in some hope that you know what you’re doing.  You are never sure for a second about anything.  In the end you are either holding something marvelous or something you need to throw back, or maybe you’re painfully finding you’ve been thrown back yourself.  In all three cases you have become intimately involved, and the involvement will have your attention.   

All I know for sure is that Ashley and I have lived the last seven years the best we could, through a lot of mess specific to us, but common themed to us all, and we are better for it.  We find ourselves even in a literal sense far from where we began.  I don’t pretend to have many answers about successful marriage, but one sign evident to me that we have gotten better is that the four day silent treatments have become fewer and we can usually take a deep breathe, swallow hard, and then say, okay, here’s where I was wrong and I realize that I may have made you feel….  


No, you can’t say that.  

Anyway, I talked more here about all of this than we did on our walk but I just wanted to share.  I guess my last thought for the night on the subject is that you pick someone to share your life with and that person will be the closest outside perspective you can get to the craziness in your mind.  This process is mutual as you daily see the outward manifestation of another crazy human.  This is a messy setup and has all sorts of outcomes; you know this already.  As important as it is to be there for yourself, it is equally, if not more important for you to be there for the benefit and strengthening of your life’s partner.  They are your closest advisor, and you desperately need them to be wiser at sorting out life than you are.  Likewise, they to you.  Now go get her (or him)! 



before your name is in lights, it must be in chalk

before your name is in lights, it must be in chalk


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