High Fives All Around, for a Job Well Done

I returned home from last night’s nocturnal romp with a smile on my face. I slept deep and satisfied with a job well done, a pocket full of miracles, a sated stomach, and a lesson learned. Yes, even an old codger like me can still get schooled. The evening started after a hard day at antique shops and flea markets so dirty that you were sure to get fleas with your treasure. The oppressive heat had me humbled. Yes, it wasn’t the heat, it was the humility. I enjoyed my visit to the architect’s office and its adequate air conditioning. I stopped in shops to peruse substandard merchandise just to enjoy the cool.

By early evening, I was on the roof of Hotel Chantelle, that restaurant/lounge thing I’m working on. It was the start of a hard days night. Gosh, that’s catchy. It was the friends and family tasting for the encloseable roof restaurant-to-be that brought the hungry hordes. I was mildly enthused, as what I had sampled before hadn’t thrilled me. I was told a bunch of why’s and why nots about why it wasn’t manna from heaven, but I’m an old poo-poo-er, so I just worked on the design and mumbled to whisperers. Well, last night I was pleasantly pleased and wanting more. The fare was delicious and I was proven just a little bit less correct than usual.

I remember just a few months ago, when The Darby basement was being completed and just about everyone involved was complaining to me about how it was turning out. They were almost right, or a little less correct than usual, as it did go through its ugly phase just before it got beautiful. I remember being very isolated, but sure that when all the pieces and lighting and such were put together, it would look great. So I learned a bit about letting other professionals do their thing, and being patient while their art is allowed to come together. The food was yummy. Oh, and the place looks great too.

So, armed with this new attitude, I will be patient with FIVE, that old spot (Crazy Nannies, Luke & Leroy, Le Royale) that previewed last night at Leroy and 7th Avenue South. I DJ’d last night for Noel Ashman’s birthday bash. The staff of familiar faces greeted me warmly, with open arms and hearts full of love. Unfortunately, the DJ booth was empty, devoid of any equipment a DJ might need to do his thing. It was a bit like that old cheese shop routine from Monty Python — Youtube it. A DJ booth without DJ equipment seemed liked that cheese shop without any cheese. As things were sorting out, I did some stand-up, figuring I was brought in to entertain, and a little technical malfunction or oversight wouldn’t stop me from showing love.

Soon, it was all made good. I was to open for DJs Ani Quinn, DJ Reach, and three sons of famous fathers: Boogie Dash (Damon), Liam McMullan (Patrick), and Ethan Browne (Jackson). The early arrivals were a mixed bag of old school clubbers and early bird specials, so I played old soul and funk, and had the time of my life. Usually, when I play this set, some youngin’ will come up to me and ask “Wow, who is this?” And I’ll say something like “James Brown.” I’ll feel like a time traveller showing the natives a flashlight or skateboard. But last night the crowd knew what I offered, and danced and danced. It was warming.

The jury is still out on FIVE. Everybody there was explaining everything to me and saying things like “We’re working the kinks out” and “Were getting it together, but we’re not quite ready yet.” I like the space, always have. I like the smiles on the staff’s faces. I liked the way they handled the door and how they knew they had to work hard to get it right. Sometimes, knowing you are a little less right than you should be is the biggest asset you can have. I think they will fix the faults from last night. I know it was a dry run, or in this case a wet run. I will hold off judgement until they invite me back, when they say they are ready. For the meantime, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll just give FIVE a 5, and hope you excuse me for my mediocre pun on this new wilting day.

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