Returning home from my weekly indulgence at L'Arte del Gelato on 7th, I walked past the intersection of Bleecker and MacDougal, once a hopping bastion of outdoor café dining with four cafes on each corner. Now only half of them are in business. Cafe Figaro on the SE has recently thrown in the dish towel, joining the long departed garcons at the NW corner. That leaves Cafe del Mare holding up the SW corner and Ciao! Vineria con Cucina on the NE. I like my cafe corners to be at full occupancy, so I see the proverbial wine glass half empty here.
I'm starting to make lists of all the shops, cafés, and saloons opening and closing in my neighborhood, because so many quick shutterings and reopenings are messing with my flâneuring mojo. I'm not married to permanence, but I like to walk some familiar streets without feeling like each walk is an introduction to Greenwich Village. As soon as I start liking a place, I go back and it's gone. I feel like I'm losing my memory or even my grip on reality. So, for example, when I walk over to MacDougal Street to enjoy a glass of wine and some fondue at the Bourgeois Pig and then I can't find it, I start to think that I just imagined that I went to some place with that name. By the way, taking friends out to a place you like and then arriving to find it doesn't exist anymore can be very embarrassing.
Enough of this sad talk. Time to celebrate something NEW in the neighborhood.
Voila! Le Poisson Rouge!
Sunday, June 22. Rickie Lee Jones plays with cellist Erik Friedlander at le new venue, Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street. Fantastico! The 800-person spot in the former Village Gate is now in service and hosting many excellent jazz greats on other nights as well. Their website is calming. Rickie Lee also plays here on June 29 and 30. We love her. Here's her website.
I have located additional Poisson Rouge/Red Fish/Goldfish websites on various other topics that are more or less entertaining, depending upon one's age:
Poisson Rouge-Red Fish Soup, for young children.
Poisson Rouge, UK event organisers.
Poisson Rouge Pictures. Independent film production company.
Water Taxi to Scandinavian Moderne
Hop aboard the free Water Taxi to the new IKEA Brooklyn at the pier down by Wall Street and enjoy the trip to assemble-it-yourself yuppie goodness.
Also coming soon, special Water Taxi trips to see the Waterfalls. One-hour cruises for adults at $25, less for children and seniors. My, what a charming way to see conceptual monumental contemporary water installation art. Is it possible to hail a water taxi? I don't think so.
Everything's Coming Up Mermaids
Do you know that the male of the mermaid species is called a "merman"? Makes me want to sing something like "You'll be swell, you'll be great, gonna have the whole Mermaid Parade to inflate! " Enjoy the Mermaid Parade, Saturday June 21. 2pm. Coney Island (W 10th St & Surf Ave), all y'all.
Spaceship Earth, or at least one Fly’s Eye Dome approximately 25 feet in diameter, will land on LaGuardia Place between Bleecker and W. 3rd Street on Monday, July 23. Actually, I can hear them constructing the scaffolding as we speak. All part of the opening festivities for the Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion Study Center at the AIA Center as well as a reminder of LaGuardia Place's upcoming makeover. AIA NY Center for Architecture website.
Met Roof Garden Cafe
I'm planning to meet friends at the roof garden café of the Met tonight. Open Fridays and Saturdays until 8 p.m., the museum garden is a swell venue for checking out/making fun of the rooftop installations, such as Jeff Koons' sculptures, and drinking a martini. The views of surrounding Central Park aren't bad.
Image: a yacht racing a seagull on the East River.