Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Magical Night In The City - Wizards, Waffles and Commerce

The Boy and I, along with The Bone Collector and the Future Texan, went out for a grown-up dinner last night in Greenwich Village, with drinks at 8th Street Wine Cellar followed by dinner at one of our new fave places, Commerce. Check out their yummy menu.

This being New York, the food and wine were only part of the draw. We saw a wizard on the way to the restaurant. I'm pretty sure it was Dumbledore. He wasn't dressed as elaborately as in the movies, but did have on a long robe and wizarding cap, with a chock of white beard blowing across his chest. He was pushing a cart which was probably another wizard in disguise. Probably.

Later we got hooted at by a car of unruly teens who obviously thought our hotness was too smoldering to go unrecognized. Or they were drunk. They seemed to be hooting at any passerby, really, now that I think of it. Anyway. . .


As we walked along 7th Avenue between drinks and dinner, we saw a glittering yellow light in the distance. The fabled Waffle Truck was in our midst. We were momentarily seduced by the fragrant sweet air that enveloped the block. The bacon waffle beckoned, and we promised to come back for dessert.

Alas, the dessert menu at Commerce leveled it's own seductive force. A Banana's Foster sundae with banana pudding and vanilla ice cream and a caramel sundae with chocolate brownie bits edged out our notions of waffles in that moment. The great ambiance, comfortable seats and steaming coffee and espresso put them over the line.

We walked wistfully past the Waffle Truck again on our way home, vowing that we would meet one another again some day. I've got the twitter feed. I won't need a wizard to find it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Celebrate Brooklyn: Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings or How Brooklyn is Different From Manhattan

The Boy and I trekked out to Brooklyn last Saturday night to check out the Celebrate Brooklyn show of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings in Prospect Park. We not only got to hear some great music, but also learned a little bit about the difference between the two major boroughs.

We met the Occasional Empty Nesters who thankfully had arrived early and staked a claim at the top of the sloping hill facing the stage.

By the time we got there, after navigating
several service change delays on the subway, we had missed the first band and 19,800 of the 20,000 people who showed up for the show were blocking easy movement. Somehow, The Boy spotted the Occasional Empty Nesters and we clamored over picnic-ers with the zeal of spawning salmon.

The mood was lively with lots of dancers and hula-hoopers around us gulping wine from boxes. No glass or cans allowed!

Then a weird thing happened and i knew we weren't in Manhattan anymore. As the show ended and the lights came up, an authoritative voice from the stage thanked everyone for coming and prevailed on all of us to clean up after ourselves and leave the park as clean as we left it.

Now just a week or so before at Summer Stage to see Flaming Lips, there was no call-to-clean-up action when the show ended. We waded our way through pathways ankle deep in cans which no one made any effort to transport to the trash bins. When I remarked about the clean up request to the Occasional Empty Nesters, their retort was, "This is Brooklyn."

So I guess Brooklyn is Manhattan's more anal sibling, who invites everyone to a party and then asks them to clean up before they leave.

Friday, August 06, 2010

(The) Tony Castles, Caveman, Monogold at Merc Lounge

A social acquaintance turned me on to (The) Tony Castles (photos above), so I decided to check them out live at The Mercury Lounge this week.

Three-piece Brooklyn-band Monogold opened. The lyrical falsetto of guitarist and vocalist Keith Kelly gives their sound a feathery, angelic quality, which was unfortunately not presented to best advantage at the Merc. However, bassist Mike Falotico distracted me from their technical issues by being an "8" on the Magically Babalicious, Long-Haired Emaciated Rock Dude scale.

When Caveman approached the stage, I honestly thought they looked like a bunch of douches. But as soon as they started to play, they completely endeared me. Thoughtful, layered, slightly haunting music sets a dreamy mood. Lead vocalist Matty Pickles blends charisma, amazing voice and percussion skills to land at an "8" on the Vince Vaughan-With-A-Guitar Doppleganger Rock Dude scale. You just want to cuddle him.

The comparatively large scale of Caveman made the three-piece Tony Castles seem spare as they took the stage, but their performance was anything but. In fact, I enjoyed their live performance more than the tracks I've been listening to for weeks. Psyched that they have a 5 song debut EP entitled "NO SERVICE" that will be officially released by Famous Class Records in both vinyl and digital formats on September 21, 2010.

No hot rock dude scale here. Just good music. : )

Photos of (The) Tony Castles by Shanda Boyett. Copyright 2010.