Young man, there’s no need to feel down, I said young man pick yourself off the ground, I said young man ’cause you’re in a new town, There’s no need to be unhappy – Y.M.C.A. , The Village People
It’s more Dancing Grandad than Dancing Dad – the US President Donald Trump jigging to Y.M.C.A. at his rallies.
The irony isn’t lost on any of us though with the 74-year-old Donald Trump vying with the 77-year-old Joe Biden for the White House.
I was slightly disappointed that I wasn’t greeted by a policeman, an Apache Indian or even a Construction worker when I checked in to my YMCA.
But it was just the ticket for getting over the jet lag and the hangover from the Comedy Club the night before.
And the Village with its bohemian, artsy and gay history, live entertainment and culinary treats is a great place to kickstart your NY journey.
Back to our story though and they did roll out the broad sweep of American life at my next Y.M.C.A.
In Boston, in the shape of black, white and Chinese firemen.
Although no flash dancing here, they had arrived to attend to the fire alarm I had set off.
As I stood in the line to check back in for another night in the Bean Town hostel.
And it was the last straw for the patient Y.M.C.A. staff.
As good as the words in the song ‘started me back on my way.’
By suggesting that I find a new billet after I had caused two nights of carnage.
A Colombian boarder had only complained to them that I had taken his bunk the previous two nights.
After I had arrived back drunk.
And a member of staff was called on to avert a major international incident.
After Escobar’ had raised the hue and cry over ‘zis crazy Scotsman.’
The Combat Zone
But it was all the making of this Young Man.
As myself and my pal Neily followed up on the advert on the noticeboard for an unfurnished apartment in Boston.
They had neglected to say that it was in an all-black area known as ‘The Combat Zone’
Where my first sleep was interrupted by the blare of rap warnings from the ghetto-blasters outside.
Isaac and the Brothers
In the morning as we made our way into work we passed by Isaac who was holding sentry at the bottom of the steps.
Punching fists with the brothers and passing them tin-foil pouches.
Isaac became a friend and we signed off our post-university stay with a night’s drinking in Alfie’s shebeen.
All in the company of welcoming locals.
Where the only other white man was the Double Bass in the Jazz band!