This weekend, Paul and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. We have been married now for seven years, together in total for nine. This year, we chose to celebrate on two successive nights and include Ben on the first evening, at dinner. We went to Saul at the Brooklyn Museum, which is right by our new home, for the last night of Restaurant Week. And then Saturday, we went out dancing until far too late, and left Ben sleeping at home under the care of Aunt Z.
Dinner at Saul was good – not extraordinary, but certainly enjoyable. The dishes were good, but all had that slightly refrigerated taste that comes from a lot of advance mass prep. I’m not sure how to describe it: it’s sort of the taste you get when you know a lot of your dish was prepped in advance and more assembled than cooked to order. But it was still a very nice restaurant, in a beautiful museum, with good food. And Ben LOVED it.
I was especially proud when he ordered flawlessly off the prix fixe menu: “For my appetizer, I would like the crudo of big eye tuna. For my entree, I would like the seared branzino over winter vegetables. For my dessert, I would like the poached pear” (We asked if he just wanted to try the octopus appetizer he had been looking forward to, but he was more interested in the prix fixe menu so he could eat more fish). And he certainly enjoyed his dinner: he ate every scrap of the tuna crudo, all the fish and most of the vegetables from the branzino (the vegetables were cooked in fish stock so he liked them too)…but then turned down the poached pear because it had “too much cinnamon”. Chef Saul, the tiny restaurant critic has spoken, and he thinks you overspiced the poaching mix.
Saturday, Paul and I cleaned ourselves up and headed out to Manhattan. We started with the Depeche Mode Fan Club night at Slake in Midtown, which was pretty much exactly as described: fifty extreme Depeche Mode fans in one room, and another larger space that, when we arrived, was hosting a live performance by local gloom wave artist Jennie Vee . We had checked out Jennie Vee’s music before leaving, so we could decide whether or not to actually show up for her whole set. Then we got distracted debating the sub-genres of shoegaze, which resulted in a highly music geeky back and forth:
ME: How is it she lists every goth band except the Cocteau Twins as influences?
PAUL: Well, what genre is she supposed to be?
ME: Her stuff is hashtagged as #nugaze
PAUL: NUGAZE IS NOT A THING
ME: Yes, it is! Ulrich Schnauss is nugaze! It’s like shoegaze but with more synths!
We agreed that we weren’t going leave early enough for Ms. Vee’s set – but she and her band were still on stage when we arrived. So we went back and forth between the band and the Depeche Mode room while the Depeche Mode playing DJ got “Songs of Faith And Devotion” out of her system. I LOVE that album, and it’s actually my favorite Depeche Mode album, but when I’m already dragging, I do prefer to be bouncing around to faster paced songs than “In Your Room”. And I was interested when Jennie Vee started cover of “Lips Like Sugar” (very appropriate for an 80s inspired room), but as Classic Dark Tracks Re-Done By Female Singers go, it was interesting, but not a complete revamp like when Snake River Conspiracy did “Lovesong”. Hence the wandering back and forth.
But shortly afterwards, the tempo of the evening picked up. The 80s room went into Full Top 40 Mode (“Video Killed The Radio Star”) and the Depeche Mode room moved off into a mix of tracks from other eras (“Dream On”, “Precious”, “Everything Counts”) that moved a little faster. So the tempo picked up, and I started moving more and waking back up. I do love Depeche Mode, and being in a roomful of people who knew that you always wave your hands to the instrumental bridge of “Never Let Me Down Again” was a lot of fun.
Still, eventually, being at a Depeche Mode only dance party was losing its novelty for me. I was tempted to drag Paul over to the 80s room and pretend we were at the high school reunion dance in Grosse Point Blank, but the DJ there was stuck on “Take On Me” and “Don’t You Want Me”, not Tones On Tail’s “Go”, or Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Cities In Dust”. So we migrated a half mile over to the Windfall Lounge, which is apparently the only venue in town willing to host goth nights since the Bowery Poetry Club was gentrified out of existence. I wanted to keep dancing at Necropolis.
The problem was that as much as I wanted to keep dancing once we arrived and checked our coats, I started threatening to fall asleep while actually still dancing to a Nitzer Ebb track. This made me sad, because I love going out to goth club nights with Paul. Where else are they going to play all the songs we have danced to together for the past nine years? Even if the DJ’s on the stage aren’t playing exactly the songs we know, they are playing songs from those genres and sub-genres that make up our shared music base. One of us will catch a song from hearing it in a club, on a mix, on Dark Wave. It gives us a chance to keep growing the list of songs on the soundtrack of our nights out together.
But still, I had had a long day, and was tired, so we had to leave. We came home on the Q, which was miraculously on time. I kept myself awake by forcing Paul to listen to my recanting of the plot of “The Last American Vampire”, to which he interrupted every plot point by just saying, “No. Stop. That DID NOT HAPPEN. No one wrote that. Please tell me that wasn’t in an actual published book,” which then led to us discussing why every piece of historical fiction always has protagonists becoming best friends with historically pivotal characters until we got back to our stop…and then complaining about the cold was the only topic of conversation I was interested in.
We sent Auntie Z back home to Harlem, and passed out exhausted at 5am Daylight Savings time: the 2am hour had vanished and we were up far, far later than we should have been. And today has been rough, just because we have learned that we can EITHER stay out late OR drink, but not BOTH. So for next year’s Pottery anniversary, now we know: load up on caffeine and make the night happen that way.
on this date in the past: