One of the best things about living in Washington DC is New York. If you have the great foresight to live anywhere in the BosWash corridor, you get New York as part of the deal. It is just a bus ride away. Or a train ride; or a relatively short auto trip. I feel lucky in that I can walk to the Vamoose bus stop and four hours later get off at Madison Square Garden. There are parts of the day when it would take me that long to drive to Alexandria.
I went up to NYC on the Vamoose bus yesterday. My daughter and I had dinner in the East Village at Supper (excellent food! N.B. cash only). Then we walked down to the corner of 2nd St. and Avenue C to The Stone, a club started by composer/arranger/producer/player John Zorn. They don’t advertise. They don’t serve food. They don’t serve drinks. It is all about the music. We saw an avant-garde string quartet called the JACK Quartet with composer Derek Bermel joining them on clarinet. First, they played a challenging piece of Bermel’s: challenging to play and even more challenging to listen to. “Adventurous” doesn’t even come close. And then they played a Brahms quintet. I hate Brahms, so musically that was something of a bust for me. But being in the coolest club in all of New York trumped anything musical. The place only held about 50 people, of whom 50 knew who the JACK Quartet was, and 48 knew who Derek Bermel was. There was a sense of exclusivity to the concert. We were suddenly part of “something”—something current and viable and exciting. I felt smarter for just being there. There is a lot of great music being made in DC right now, too, but I love having New York at the end of my neighborhood.