Small Victories by Nels Andrews
I was working for a while as a chauffeur for an amazing older couple who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This job offered a window into worlds I would have never had access to, and from the perspective of people who were ‘in the dessert course of their life,’ as the illustrious ‘Countess of Glamour’ (a.k.a. my boss, Lynn Dell) described their relative place in years. One rainy night after work, I was waiting to meet a friend out in front of an Irish Bar on Seventh Avenue, fresh from a day trip to nearby Carnegie Hall. A woman in her 80’s approached me in a trench coat and rain beaded plastic bonnet, asking me if I would like a date. I wasn’t sure what her angle was, and respectfully declined. A year later I’m watching the documentary Lost Bohemia about the tragic eviction of the artists who’ve been living in the studios above Carnegie Hall since it was built. And there she was… my date. She had dressed in leotards everyday and covertly did her barre exercises in the building’s stairwells. One of my big regrets in life was not buying her a drink. The song is an ode to that lost enclave, and to that era of NY in general.