Looking For A Lifestyle-NYC ’13

I have a friend who never ceases to remind me of one of the more memorable lines delivered by Sarah Jessica Parker as whiny, husband stealing Shelley in The First Wives Club

Morty, all I want is a lifestyle, some ambiance and classic eternal good taste!”

It came back to me more than a few times while another friend and I were desperately seeking something special Uptown Saturday Night.

Admittedly I am greedy I had already had a full day’s drinking starting with strawberry & mango mimosas at brunch in Connecticut.

Mimsies & More in Stratford

Mimsies & More in Stratford-Classic Eternal Good Taste-Check

Perhaps it was the late and underwhelming dinner at NOLA’s in South Norwalk on the way back to NYC that left me feeling moreish. I could provide extra snark by cross-referencing South Norfolk’s nickname with the likely possibility of me returning to that restaurant but I think my work there is done.

All told at midnight we got all dolled up and hit the road. Stepping into what appeared to be dog urine at an ABM could have been a harbinger but we were more glass half-full(read dogged) at that point so roll on Harlem come what may.

Harlem Cabbie- Should've kept him on speed dial

Harlem Cabbie- Should’ve kept him on speed dial

Very little came. From already closing doors at first spot Native, to the laughably tiny and aptly named The Cove, a quick walk-by but do not enter at Corner Social, to the hot post midnight mess which was the Red Rooster after dark forced me to plumb the reserves of my enthusiasm. “I know!” we thought “This is Harlem there must be live jazz somewhere”. Nope a quick google search threw up a B.Y.O.B boite which we fortunately had the foresight to call ahead and check. From the message on their voicemail it was safe to presume what was bring your own bottle had converted to G.O.O.B. Gone out of business for sure.

With one last throw of the dice we hopped into another uniquely NYC cab, the 80’s town car version and made our way to Moca, our fifth and final stop. And wouldn’t you know it? It had all the ambiance we could have wanted and then some. From the hostess with her fanny pack to the three frat men/boys who were the life of the party. There was the couple pretending to be hip hop homies, both oddly resembling Eric Benet at different stages of his maturation but who got me up and grooving to classic Leaders of the New School collaboration “Scenario”.

There I saw the tiniest V.I.P. section in Christendom, it was really just a love seat in front of a table with hot sauce bottles and ringed by a metal railing. Naturally we were excluded.

V.I.P. Hope Not Glory

V.I.P. Hope Not Glory

But I had a blast. No airs, no graces, the best fish fingers I have had, good music, reasonably priced drinks and a “just be who you are” vibe.

Finished those Fish Fingers

Finished those Fish Fingers

I don’t know what Harlem used to be. It’s a part of the city that lives in romance for me. I was way too late for Simple’s, Lady Day’s or Miles’ Harlem and I admit that’s the unrealistic atmosphere I am hopelessly looking for even now so nothing Harlem has would ever truly satisfy me. But I am concerned that that part of its culture and tradition has been crushed into extinction and I am hoping with the current trend towards nostalgia will give us a Jazz Lifestyle Rebooted for the Instagram Age. I can dream, can’t I?

In the meantime I know full well that what makes any life work, provides ambiance and marks you as a person with classic eternal good taste is having wonderful friends to share your lifestyle.

Classic Eternal Friendship

Classic Eternal Friendship

One Response to “Looking For A Lifestyle-NYC ’13”
  1. How sweet it is to be immortalised in a blog post. Im truly blessed with a good friend in Gaile!

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