06 May 2008

Welcome to Jazz Club...Nice

After a revitalising coffee, we made the most of the warm climes and paid a visit to my favourite NYC bookstore, before checking out Ralph Lauren Rugby and - having found Washington Square Park closed for refurbishments - we went for lunch at Otto, a great pizzeria/enoteca with a killer wine list and an even cooler address (One Fifth Avenue). We then had to go and meet Papa, who had been in meetings all morning. I emptied the contents of another J. Crew before we did a Maman-led walking tour of NoHo.

Eventually, we ended up at Union Square, where we chilled (I didn't have a book with me, so I bought the gorgeous Read Montague's How We Make Decisions - popular computational neuroscience; no, not an oxymoron!), before heading off to the designated jazz club de la nuit, the Jazz Standard, at the Blue Smoke restaurant. Blue Smoke is a southern/Tex-Mex place and I barely managed half of my half-rack of Memphis ribs. Despite my attempts at daintiness, somehow biting into a deliciously juicy rib was surprisingly satisfying. Oh, and the mojitos were good too. We had a good view of the jazz, too; tonight's act was Ben Sidran's Talking Jazz, which was a combo of jazz and chat with the featured artist de la nuit, David "Fathead" Newman (I hadn't heard of him but he played with Ray Charles between 1954 and 1964 before joining Herbie Mann, whom he tricked into paying him $2000 per month instead of the $500 Charles was paying). The music was great, even if I didn't get all of the jazz in-jokes and even though Papa kept trying to join in on the flute solos...

The bro and I then took a cab back down to the West Village for a night cap. This time, we did go to Employees Only, which appeared to be filled with gorgeous men (and women, although they were of less interest to me). I did get chatting to one guy but sadly, he turned out to be a seriously dull banker type. Still, Employees Only is a seriously cool place and the cocktails were awesome. I had a Ginger Splash, consisting of, "Muddled Ginger Root & Fresh Cranberries shaken with Beefeater Wet, & Berentzen Apple Liqueur served over ice," which was gorgeous, followed by a Pimm's Cup (Pimm’s No1 served tall with a blend of Cointreau, Lime Juice and Ginger Soda, garnished with Cucumbers & Fresh Mint) to get me in a weather-appropriate state of mind. Each time, the bro went for the suitably girlie options of a Fraise Sauvage and a Mata Hari, causing the hilarious, friendly barmen to serve our drinks the wrong way around. The West Village was a-buzzin' as we wandered back to the Christopher Street subway and travelled the 50 blocks back to the hotel, where the doormen are still overly polite.

No Clive today, but another swell day.

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