Sunday, October 09, 2005

From Dali to Remi: Nightlife

We had 3 nights to spend in NYC, and we tried to spend them in the most efficient way. The first night we went to China club, a nightclub right next to Times Square. The second night we satisfied Stayros' will to visit greek-american bouzoukia in Astoria, the Greek neighbourhood in Queens. On Sunday, we visited an English Pub at Greenwich Village and then headed over to a gentelmen's club right next to Times Square.

Let's get started:


Friday night on Times Square, with a picture-perfect weather and temperature. About 1,000 people walking up and down, Antigone Rising performing in the middle of the crowd, and Stayros & Costas are just two of the several dozen people that are experiencing Times Square for the first time. We started looking for the China Club on 47th Street, abut I didn't know exactly how to get there so we went too much away - then I shout at some point "Where is 47th?" in greek and a voice from the crowd answered: "1 block behind you".

As we all turn around to see who spoke, we discovered a greek-american resident with his girlfriend. Stayro's immediate question after the introductions was to ask for a good bouzoukia place anywhere on Astoria. The guy suggested Remi, so we forgot about the Cave and we decided to go there the next night. Just because we met a random greek on the street!

Anyways, in order to get into China Club we stood on the long line for about 20 minutes (the other line was for single women only!). After going through the airport-type security points, we were delighted with the view of a very nicely decorated and moody 3-stages + roof club.

The hallways are decorated with hundreds of pictures of celebrities than have visited the club over the years. Watching Jack Nicolson on his black glasses seating there with a huge smile in his face felt somehow...

Clubs do not look much different to my eyes from city to city or from country to country. People tend to enjoy themselves in similar ways around the globe. However, the people themselves as personalities make a huge difference. And on that night, when we got acquainted with Alysson and her friend Kim, it was clear that we were not in LA anymore. I danced for the first time in my life for 3 straight hours (wearing Stayros' shoes). Alysson marked our whole trip and became something like a myth: a figure that symbolizes something greater than what the person really is. We always refer back to her since that night in the China Club...


Saturday was the most intense derivative I've ever experienced: Right after the Broadway show, right after the high class society of NY and the ladies is dresses and stuff, we grabed the subway and headed for Remi, following the king suggestion of our street friend. Remi combined the best of both worlds: the american detail on the environment and the looks, and the greek talent on partying. The place looked like a club, and we thought it would be empty. Sure enough, around 1:30am, right after the last parties arrived , 3 singers came out to sing live; the stage became packed with people, and the fun started skyrocketing.

Although I don't dance on greek music, it was a pleasure to watch from our slightly higher up table. Stayros and Costas emptied a John Daniels (ref: Scent of a Woman) while me and Dimitri just got a Martini. We left the place at 5am, being lighter by $430. A greek tarifas (aka taxi driver) drove us back to Manhattan on that night. It was a pleasure to watch him talking in the radio with his strongly greek way about NYC streets. So surreal...


First thing on Sunday afternoon (remember: we were supposed to go to Dali on that morning; of course, returning from Remi at 5am didn't help much :-) )we went to a BoA ATM to get cash! We got $100 each, money that were spent 100% a few hours later on the same exact night...

After a short walk through Little Italy, Chinatown and Brooklyn, we landed on Greenwich village right next to NYU (McDougal+Bleecker). We sat down and had a drink at this Peculiar Pub (that's the name!) where we celebrated the European Championship we had just won a few hours earlier. A couple in love had their songs at the jukebox all the time, so the mood was somewhat romantic. At the end, we left our mark there:

Finally, we started asking random people in the streets and taxi drivers about strip clubs, Surprisingly, none knew his stuff well enough to help us. So we just went to the one most visible to us, The Lace on Times Square (nycdolls was closed!). On the way out a limo driver offered us a ride home for $40. $10 each was not going to stop us from fulfiling that small dream: a limo ride.

This limo was bigger than the hostel room we were staying! On top of that, I appreciated and understood for the first time one of the Al Pacino moves in Scent of a Woman: In order to find a girl to spend the night with, he asked the Limo driver. Well, our limo driver (who turned out to be greek american, Alekos) once we asked him for these kind of places he immediately knew all the freaking details and prices and places around! That's because limo drivers mostly work in such places, picking up people from there (it's insane to drive your own car in Manhattan, and you can't have your precious girl in a public taxi; hence, Limo is the solution). Alekos knew all about strip clubs and similar places, he can arrange for girls in the rides (it's $100 to go to the airport; an extra $200 to have 2 girls along the way for "company"). Now that we have his contact, maybe we'll gat the 50% discounts that he gets in these places.

Al Pacino was so much right...