Sunday, April 10, 2011

Parties and Music, Music and Parties

Last night I went to a bar on Broadway Street in North Beach, and believe it or not, it wasn't horrifying.

If you don't live in San Francisco, allow me to explain. North Beach is a charming little neighborhood nestled between Telegraph Hill and Chinatown, and during the week it is positively lovely. The weekend, however, is a different story. On Friday and Saturday nights, North Beach is overrun with weekend warriors looking for the next party, and these warriors often are anything but charming.

With all due respect.

The worst part of weekend North Beach is the stretch of Broadway between, say, Montgomery Street and Grant Avenue. These few blocks not only are dotted with strip clubs, but the element that tends to hang out at the regular bars between the strip clubs can be less than desirable. Imagine swarms of people whom you wouldn't want to know and who wouldn't want to know you.

So I was little hesitant about my friend Anne's 30th birthday party, which was last night at Monroe, a new bar nestled right in the thick of the Broadway madness. As it turns out, however, Anne's party was really quite fun. For one thing, everyone was there: Anne (of course), her husband Jack, Melli, Andrey, Carla, Charlie, Denise, Olena, Kevin, Juan, Gigi, Lina, Laura, Mike and Emmie, just to name a few. The list goes on and on. But Monroe actually is quite nice. Classy even. And it was pleasantly crowded but not packed to the gills, even at 11 p.m. on Saturday night. Perhaps that's because it's still new, but whatever. I'll have to go back before the weekend warrior swarms find their way there.

Today, 3/4 of Sober Nixon got together at my apartment for rehearsal. It was just voice, guitar and bass today, but we're rehearsing with Ryan, our drummer, on Wednesday evening. We'll be a solid band one day soon, I promise.

Then this evening I took in the sounds of my friend Michele's band, Tippy Canoe and the Paddlemen, at Cafe du Nord:

Please forgive the quality of this photo. I didn't think to bring my camera, so I had to capture this shot with my cell phone. Tippy and her Paddlemen were the first in a long line of acts performing tonight to raise money for Japan earthquake relief, via the American Red Cross. I only stayed for Tippy's set and that of the next band, but my entrance fee still went to the good cause. The show is probably still going on, if you happen to be reading this within of few hours of me posting it.

This coming week should be full of more adventures, including singing songs (of course), another birthday party, some live theatre and dinner with an old friend from grammar school. I also went to junior high and high school with this friend, and we've seen each other plenty of times since then, since she only lives across the Bay. But it's fun to think that we've known each other since the fourth grade.

Finally, just over the horizon is my spring trip to Hawaii. Soon I'll exchange the chilly Bay Area for just over a week of warm beaches, mimosas and bonding time with my mother. Plus, a little karaoke because it would be shame to go a whole week without singing.

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