Newton, New Jersey
Trip Start Nov 22, 2012
18Trip End Dec 12, 2012
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I set the alarm to go off at 6.00 am. My body clock kicks in and wakes me at 5.00. I have plenty of time to pack and walk to the bus station. The Bolt Bus leaves at 7.30 am it is full. Bolt issues three types of A, B & C which determine the order of boarding and choosing your seat. The type is determined by how far out from the travel date you book and pay. I am a B, I choose a window seat. A young woman asks if I will move so she and her boyfriend can sit together, they are C's, she tells the bus will be full so I get a seat to myself. I say no, I actually want a window seat and they are all gone now. Her boyfriend rolls his eyes at me. He understands how it works.
The trip is uneventful, except the rest stop is at some off freeway gas station with a single restroom
The drive into New York makes you realise how old and decrepit parts of Queens and The Bronx are. They are not pretty places.
I transfer successfully up to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and board route 80 to Newton New Jersey. It is a one and there quarter trip. Newton I have been told is in the middle of nowhere, but the truth is Newton is one of many interlocking towns that were on the route out of NY. The highways are a never ending strips of shopping centres, big box stores, motels and diners with houses interspersed between. The drive into Newton shows a n attractive old town full of picturesque wooden houses. The drive out the back to the Holiday Inn Express is not so nice. The area is a converted dairy farm now subdivided into big box stores all with own car parks.
The bus drops me off in the Price Rite car park 30 minutes late and I can see the Holiday Inn across the road and up a hill about 1km away. It looked closer on Google Maps. It is drizzling and I am thinking that maybe Boston might have been a good place to end the tour
I begin the trudge and the GP&TR tour minivan whizzes past on its way to their sound check.
I rest awhile and then check out the nearest big store across the Kohl’s. It is yet another discount department store. It is sale time and there are big discounts. Also hardly anyone is in the store. I wonder how all these stores survive. As I don’t have a car to drive to the next store across the carpark, I head back to the hotel.
It is drizzling when I am to go to the theatre so I call a cab, a very expensive cab for a 3 minute drive in lieu of a 20 minute walk.
The dinner options are limited and there is no-where nearby for a beer, so pizza by the slice is the way to go.
The Newton Theatre is a converted and refurbished cinema, run by volunteers. It is a nice simple building, but being a former cinema there is no backstage area for the band. They have to the restrooms with the public
I sit down in the second row. Next to me is fellow long time GP fan, Dan. Dan it turns is an active member of some of the GP forums and is an avid collector of live performances. He has a couple of recording devices but decides on the more overt one after I inform him that people have been recording at every show without any issue.
Before the show the band have to walk from the front office down the aisle up on the stage to get to backstage, where they hide for five minutes.
The show is very good, one of the better ones, just about all of the 600 seats are occupied and the sound is excellent. The opening sequence of songs changes again and a new song for the tour, Howlin’ Wind is played. It is a good show.
Afterwards I arrange to have a beer with Bob and then I walk back to the Hotel. Bob and I cross the car park to have a beer at the local Applebee’s, as featured in the movie Hall Pass. It is funny place, there is obviously is not places to go to in Newton. The place is fairly full with people eating nachos and burgers and drinking beer. The beer is ordinary, the barman starts with Bud Lite, Coors Lite, Miller Lite.... Not the place Steve would have gone to.
Bob is recognised by a patron at the bar and then the young ladies next to us ask to have their photos taken with Bob. They heard that he played at the theatre so figured he was a celebrity. He is!
It is getting late, so we call it a night.
Bob and Robin have been very kind to me on my tour and I enjoyed their kindness very much.