This is the third installment of The Misadventures of the Modern Gentleman — a diary of sorts, from one of my good friends. To learn more about Mr. MMG, click here.
The Misadventures of the Modern Gentleman III
Setting: Humid train from DC to NYC
A jolly good day to all! First off let me applaud Amtrak for their impressive free wireless along the journey. I get to catch up with work and personal emails with Spotify jamming the entire route! By the way, for the Spotify fans out there, their first iPad app has finally been released. Check it out here.
Quick deviation: If you haven’t started using Spotify, then you are surely missing out. Imagine iTunes unlocked for free; listening to any track at any time, all in the cloud; never downloading or purchasing mp3s; sharing music with your friends; and following their playlists that instantly sync when tracks are added. This is the first time the four major record labels have sponsored an innovative tech idea. Backed by Apple and Facebook, this is the future of music, and well-worth the subscription for those who want mobile access.
I know what you’re thinking. What about the newest Hot Six tracks that don’t have record label sponsorship yet. It’s only a matter of time the newest remixed tunes published by my peer authors are available as well – if not, you can still add mp3s locally and it will blend with the cloud and sync virtually to your devices.
OK, sell over. But, just to make my point, I’ll be putting together a playlist for each entry from now on that should give you a flavour of the various tunes I enjoy among different friends in different cultures. These tracks should be good to play in the background while enjoying drinks with friends, or getting the party started before getting too crazy. Here’s the first: you’ll catch a track from Miike Snow’s latest album, try to catch him on his current tour, he’s great live .
Listen to the Modern Gentleman’s Spotify playlist now.
It’s been a while since I’ve been on this ride from DC to NYC so some of you may have already taken advantage of the wifi. Trains in general are becoming a personal favourite method of travel – no arduous security, no overblown speakers on a plane shouting the same emergency protocol. You get to avoid showing up hours in advance, and best of all: you travel from city centre to city centre. Plus the scenery can be pretty relaxing and the bar is always great for a beer and company. It still surprises me how Americans and Brits have yet to step up their train infrastructure as the French and Japanese have.
The more I visit Washington DC, the more impressed I get with the 14th Street corridor from P to U. Always developing with new places along a trail of old institutions. Recent visits include the fantastic endless brunch at El Centro. I’m pretty sure I managed 4 beef tongue tacos and at least 6 micheladas! Inevitably, my stomach crashed and went into shutdown due to the fire that occurred inside.
Another pleasant surprise was DC stepping up its quality in coffee. Be sure to try out Peregrine just across the road.
The newer venue with terrific seafood is Pearl Dive, minding the theatre sports bar upstairs, the curbside bar for draft beer and oysters was fantastic.
I’m about to start my second weekend in NYC and went to some amazing places last weekend, but am reluctant to note here since any good NYC traveller knows you never plan a destination in advance. The best thing about NYC is never knowing where you’ll end up. That’s the one serious quality I give the city credit for. If you don’t have friends to meet with then go to rentafriend.com or just find a good vibe on a nearby street. I’ll go ahead and list a few, but you’re better off just hanging out in nearby bars and restos – use yelp if you need to. We pretty much confine ourselves to LES (Lower East Side) and Nolita (North of Little Italy). One in particular I vaguely remember after a full day of boozing had amazing pork sliders and casual wine selection called Jo’s, a charming posh diner feel with a great mix of people.
Others include David Burke’s place at the James Hotel in Soho for brunch, and Boulud’s newest and more modest venue DBGB. One of the funny takeaways from most of these places was noticing how popular Bourbon is getting. A few of the bars started serving bourbon as their base for bloody and a strip of fatty bacon as the garnish. Talk about a heart attack. But on a serious note, you’re able to find some amazing distillers on the shelves nowadays. Most of you will know the mass marketed Maker’s but keep your eyes peeled for Pappy’s.
I thought I’d wrap up this entry with a beautiful photo of the bourbon bloody from Burke’s.
Until next time,