Deconstructing "New York State of Mind": Part I

I've gotten a bunch of questions about my recently released video for "New York State of Mind" - everything from what was your itinerary, to did you visit places that didn't make the video, to how dirty was that shirt by the end of shooting? So, let's break it down. First, the video:


I wanted to include a cover song as a bonus track on Over The Edge from the beginning, and since "New York State of Mind" has become a bit of a standard for me it was obviously the most appropriate song. But I wanted it to be more than that. So early on the idea came to make a video about me traveling around New York State to go with the recording. I distinctly remembering having my first conversation about it with Tony Basile at Gourmet Pizza in New Paltz late one night in August/September 2010 (that's how long I've been planning this out). It was very important to me that we show New York State as more than just "the city," which is what a lot of non-New Yorkers think when you tell them where you're from.

The first 3 days of shooting took place September 25-27, 2012, and they broke down like this: Wappingers Falls to Buffalo, Buffalo to Potsdam, Potsdam to Wappingers Falls. We traveled over 1,400 miles, and our days started at 5 or 6 in the morning and didn't end until 9 or 10 at night. It was 3 days on the road and it was a lot of fun. Some places I had never been to and more places Tony had never been to. Niagara Falls was great (the only part of the video filmed outside of New York), as was going to the top of Whiteface Mountain (which neither of us had done before). And I think I can speak for Tony when I say that the best place we ate along the way was Piggy Pat's BBQ outside Utica, which we were turned on to by my friend Matt Taube.

One Sunday afternoon the next month, we were supposed to do some shooting for the "Shadow" video, but we had to reschedule. So, Tony & I decided to use the time to instead shoot some of the historic areas near us in the Hudson Valley. And it was that day at the FDR Presidential Library where this picture occured:


Bad ass.

The next plan was to shoot Long Island, but we got hit with conflicting schedules, Hurricane Sandy, and winter, so we had to wait. Shooting resumed on June 18, 2013, with a one-day trip through Long Island and back. I very much wanted to get shots of the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse at the tip of the island, and we got there at 5:15PM. It closes at 5:30. We got lucky. The most fun of that day was shooting the test-of-strength scene at Adventureland in East Farmingdale, but damn was it hot.

Six days later, on June 24, we set out to do all 5 boroughs of NYC. This turned out to be somewhat tricky because you could make multiple videos of just New York City, so we had to pick and choose what we shot. And again, my plan was to show that New York State was more than just NYC, so we didn't want to overload the video, anyway. We hit the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, then took the Staten Island Ferry into Manhattan. We then went up to 125th St. and started making our way down the island. Its safe to say that we walked well over 60 blocks, and believe me when I tell you it was hot and humid, and I was wearing jeans, two shirts, a fedora, and very inappropriate walking shoes. Plus I was carrying my trumpet for the scene at the Apollo Theatre. It was an adventure.

All in we traveled over 2,500 miles to shoot what we did. Obviously we could've traveled more, but time kept us from getting everywhere we wanted.

That seems like enough for now. More breakdown in my next blog!

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