Banned and Operation Atlased

March 30, 2003

Friday night, I went to see Steven Bernstein play at 55 Bar with John Medeski, Dave Binney, Mark Helias and Nasheet Waits. It was an interesting set, covering ground from straight ahead to free, often within a single song. 55 Bar is one of my favorite jazz venues in the city, because they have good acts in a small space with a great vibe. (Drinks, however, are rather over-priced. I guess it's the tradeoff for cheap covers.) I wonder how the vibe will change now that the smoking ban is in effect-- 55 could have a very different ambiance without cigarette smoke lingering in the air. For a small jazz club that started its life as a speakeasy, a lack of smoke in the air may transform it into a sterile imitation of itself. We'll see.

Otherwise, I'm thrilled that the smoking ban is going into effect. Except that we'll have to walk through crowds of smokers to get in to bars and restaurants all summer...

On my way home from the concert, I hopped on an A train, assuming that the ride would take the normal 15 minutes. Instead, we travelled one stop (to Spring St.), and the train was delayed for a police investigation. Thirty minutes later, I was still sitting on the train in the station. Only then did the conductor open the doors. I got off the train, rather annoyed that I wasn't already home, but pleased to know that the police are taking security seriously. The conductor gave a "stand clear of the closing doors announcement," and I got back on the train as the doors closed. Instead of leaving the station, the train remained motionless and the doors re-opened.

I exited the station and walked over to the 1/2 train, where I waited a couple of minutes for that train before finally giving in and taking a taxi home.

Posted by Andrew Raff at March 30, 2003 9:14 PM
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