Recently opened in Hells Kitchen. This really is a sexy place - with no attitude and a good vibe. It's billed as a 'stylish, sophisticated gay bar'. Early evening is happy hour, half-price martinis. America seems to like 'shaken' martinis - everyone knows they should be stirred but, what the hell, when in the USA, do as the Americans do.
They're lethal. The music gets going a little later, and an upstairs level opens up, doubling the capacity. It's dark, loud and full of gorgeous boys and girls - many still in their work suits, others out for the evening. I was out on the town on my own, and I really liked it there - the people were friendly and were happy to chat. I left, several hours later, staggering, but smiling.
331 West 51st Street
Notoriously it was once the most difficult velvet rope to negotiate in Manhattan and apparently they’ll soon be opening a sister venue in London. In it’s heyday, a key card was pre-requisite to gain entry. Whether this concept will work across the pond remains to be seen, and to be fair it’s the kind of place I’d usually avoid like the plague.
But when in New York, and when with a mate-who’s-mate’s-mate-knows-a-mate-of owner Amy Sacco, then why not.
Is it worth the effort? Well, the pretentious git in me did feel kind of smug at leaving the mere mortals behind on the sidewalk, but the place certainly didn’t blow me away.
Inside was “Beverly Hills themed” whatever that means. It was much smaller than expected, music was identikit hip-hop and R&B and there wasn’t a single celebrity du jour to gawp at. The only thing that blew me away was checking my Amex receipts in my wallet the following morning.
515 W. 27th St (between 10th & 11th Aves)
Great venue for interesting, challenging and creative music in the East Village. John Zorn, Jim O'Rourke, Thurstom Moore, Bill Frisell, Will Oldham, Peter Brotzmann, Marilyn Crispell....
107 Norfolk Street;
tel: 212 358 7501;
If you crave a night less ordinary in lower Manhattan, the Mehanata Bulgarian Cultural Club on Canal St and Broadway offers a wonderfully twisted and laidback alternative to Soho’s über-fashionable bars and clubs (you can smoke here for starters). The music is a seething hotchpotch of deep Balkan house and stomping folk beats while the bar serves up a strong Bulgarian punch and shows experimental eastern European cinema and Saturday night TV comedy straight from Sofia.
416 Broadway and Canal Street, www.mehanata.com
Like Los Angeles (not just Hollywood) NYC is teaming with familiar film locations-hundreds of movies have had scenes shot in Central Park for example. Many parts of Manhattan and the adjoining boroughs have seen action in film productions from the likes of Woody Allen or Martin Scorsese and films like The Godfather, Ghostbusters or Spiderman are just a few of very many box office hits that have been shot here.
As for jazz it may well have been born in New Orleans was nurtured in Chicago but this was where it came of age. Jazz clubs abound some of the finest (and most expensive)like Birdland, Bluenote and the Village Vanguard are in or near Midtown Manhattan whereas the less pricy but very good clubs like The Cotton Club, Lenox Lounge and St Nicks are in Harlem a reasonable taxi ride from Midtown.
Movies, Music & Science-Places & Events www.buffguides.com
Afternoon summer outdoor event - "staged in a stunningly futuristic architectural installation, provides a unique multi-sensory experience for music fans, artists, and families alike. Attendees can dance in the courtyard, sit under the canopied shade of the installation Sur by Xefirotarch, and view PS1’s current exhibition Greater New York 2005" Great young, hip crowd drinking/chatting/dancing/etc the sunny afternoons away before heading out for the night...
PS1 Contemporary Art Center, 22-25 Jackson Ave at the intersection of 46th Ave in Long Island City, 11101; T: 718.784.2084; F: 718.482.9454; www.ps1.org/
Despite the incongruous ski chalet feel to a place in the heart of the Meatpacking district it has a great dance floor and a great sound - mixture of house and techno. Trendy, but not too trendy. Glam, but not to sparkly.
18 Little W 12th St, New York; Tel: (212) 645-5700// www.cieloclub.com/
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