Bagels n Jazz


Some more New Yorkian tidbits: when people talk about “crossing over” here, they ain’t talkin about a psychic who can tell you the name of your dead loved one, but rather about going across town, as opposed to up town, or down town. And when they talk about places in the city, it’s always in terms of cross streets. It’s “20th and 1st,” etc. Which makes sense, of course, given the grid system, it’s just not something I’m accustomed to hearing when discussing regional areas of one’s city. In South Lake Tahoe, we just say that it’s either “near the casinos,” or it’s “far from the casinos.”

Went out last night and scoped some avant-garde jazz in a club the size of an armpit. I can always appreciate experimental music, and raw kind of hard-hitting meandering free stuff, but ultimately, if there’s no solid rhythm to it I tend to get a little bored with it, because it just sounds like chaos to me. Which apparently some people are pretty into, given the swirling head-thrashing movements of some of the avant-gardian audience’s heads. It just seemed mostly noisy and pretentious to me, but hey, whatever frees your soul. I was sweating like a pig, and felt a little embarrassed everytime I burped, because we had just consumed mass amounts of Ethiopian food and the spices were bubbling up my mouth throughout the entire show in dense thickets of furnace gas. If you’ve never had Ethiopian cuisine before, it basically consists in shoveling piles of meat and curried sauces into your mouth with your bare hands with some thin spongey bread. Good stuff.

I also went to a couple of bars as well, both of which specialized exclusively in Belgian beers. Which leads me to another I like about this city, which is that there is apparently a niche for everything here. So if you wanted to eat pancakes with alfredo sauce and listen to happy harcore techno while drinking bean curd martinis, then there’s probably a hole-in-the-wall restaurant here somewhere for you.

For breakfast, I ate two fresh bagels with cream cheese and white fish salad. And as I was stuffing my face with this goodness, I was like, why the hell can we not have good bagels on the west coast? My friend told me it be the New York tap water that makes them good. Well, ship that shit out to California, then.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

3 thoughts on “Bagels n Jazz”

  1. Jazz is awesome. I’m a grad student in Harlem, and we hit up jazz clubs around here all the time. There are different flavors–not just the acid jazz/avant garde variety…that kind of stuff, you either have to be high and/or really musically attuned to appreciate or understand. It depends on your taste, though. Some stuff is good–avant garde in a good way, while other stuff is really just people trying too hard.

  2. God I miss good live music and wish sometimes that I lived in NYC, or at least some moderately culturally sentient location. I did just see a good live concert the other night actually, a rare event here indeed–Pierre Bensusan, a self-styled guitarist from France played a great little set.

    I feel like jazz really is only to be seen as truly alive in a few places still in the US, and NYC is one of them. Otherwise, you pretty much have to go to Europe, where they’re still having fun with it and taking it new places.

    You’re lucky you can still go into clubs and hear some fresh jazz. I envy you!

  3. How cool that he travels and plays around the U.S.! It’s so strange how jazz started out as a purely American form of music and now, it’s growing in places outside of the country (these smooth jazz stations that crop up seemingly everywhere in the US are mostly awful). Japan has some good artists, too.

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