‘Extended’ Misadventures of a Modern Gentleman: Part V
This is the fifth 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.
Setting: Warm City Rain in London, Humidity and Sweat in Southern and Eastern US, plus lots of swimming and dancing in CA and Ibiza!
This month sees a lot more dance tunes added to the MMG playlist including the usual heavy hitters and a couple artists you may not have heard of, 16 new tracks so enjoy! Suggest playing this Betoko track first on youtube during your read as it has yet to be released on Spotify and was a favourite tune I picked up in Ibiza this past weekend:
The British curse carries on through mid-July. Days of rain and gloom haunt and distraught the country as we approach the Olympics – an event that has the city on its tip toes with roads and buildings shutdown and re-repaired creating madness in preparation for more madness. I actually tried volunteering at Heathrow to help assist the lost in the confusion of our capital’s hub airport but unsurprisingly my calendar has been a complete disaster with travels peaking this past month, consequently missing any windows to join or now even expecting to be here during the Games anymore. Sad to say, but besides my pathetic un-appreciation for sport, I do tend to enjoy the politically tense games like the fake North Korean soccer/football fans or the determination of Iranian weight-lifters but I just can’t get into the spirit of surrounding myself in throngs of thousands to watch badminton or shooting, beach volleyball on the other hand…I told you…sad. On the positive side, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Danny Boyle’s £27 million attempt to out-do the Beijing Opening Ceremony with their 2000+ drummers! I even heard a rumour if it doesn’t rain, he’ll use the Qatari technique of creating a cloud above the stadium and try to make it rain to meet the world’s stereotype of a wet London! I’m pretty confident we can park the science and just leave it as-is.
The past month has probably been the busiest this year including a US roadshow across Houston, Seattle, Washington DC, and Los Angeles, a brief return to London before disappearing to Ibiza for a friend’s birthday! I can’t think of the best way to sum up so much of the past month but I did take away a commonality among most cities – an improved appreciation for the quality of a good drink. Something I’ve enjoyed in London for years now but endearing to see in pockets of American cities from the basics of beer to the overly-complex infusion of flavours like elderflower in vodka or just adding more love (i.e. time) to some of the most established cocktails like an Old Fashion. The concept of a speak-easy has taken over along with it. I found one in almost every town I visited. London on its own has overdosed with one in almost each borough!
In Houston, I found some great beer and wine bars like the derelict cleaners at 13 Celsius or the modern Underbelly and neighbouring Hay Merchant
Houston impressed with its knowledge of food. Reminded me of New Orleans whose proximity may actually explain it. The highlight had to be the brunch at Tiny Boxwoods with unlimited mimosa’s and a fantastic re-interpretation of Tex-Mex and fancy brunch.
Seattle didn’t allow for as much exploration but I did luck out on the weather and enjoyed a cliche salmon-on-cedar-plank at a nice Puget Sound-side hotel restaurant. One of the strangest thing I was shown had to be the gum wall – a phenomenon of theatre-waiting patrons placing their gum on the opposing wall, in the Pike Place Market not too far from the original starbucks where it was more entertaining watching how excited japanese tourists get.
In Washington DC, I returned to a bar I’ve started to frequent during the past few visits near the Convention Center called The Passenger where fine cocktails are made by some of the cities coolest bartenders sadly coupled with one of the most un-professional maitre’d's hosting their hidden drinking den in rear called the Columbia Room. Be sure to book in advance to avoid the rudeness or try something more reputable like the Gibson Bar beneath Marvin on U Street.
Los Angeles was a refreshing turn where friends invited me to the new Pour Vous bar, replacing the old Forty Deuce burlesque bar in East Hollywood with an elaborately decorative and elegant bar including a mix of swing dancers dressed in 1940′s fashion dancing to live Serge Gainsborough jazz! The whole art deco theme seems to be having a major revival including the beautifully restored Griffith Observatory for a ceiling cinema and brilliant service and dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Back in the UK for a couple days to host my old boss and his wife I was asked to share my favourite Persian restaurant so without wasting a minute I took them to Anar – a delicious and smart boutiq-ish dining room in North Kensington just between Ladbroke Grove and Maida Vale. Suggest you share a mixed platter of grilled meats along with the essentials like garlic yoghurt and eggplant.
Now onto more important things…
Background song for below section: I’m sure its been mentioned before on Hot Six but it was definitely a popular track this last weekend – Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl feat. Georgi Kay – In My Mind (Axwell Mix)
Ibiza was a great time as always. I try to visit once a year and couldn’t refuse when a close friend decided to book a villa for her birthday. Our own pool with a pool table beside it and outdoor speakers for jamming the amazing local radio as we pre-partied or spent a few hours recovering in the afternoons. Different people have different appreciation for house music and I knew the group would be mixed so I was asked to help organise different parties for each night so we did a bit of everything. Something trendy (i.e. tacky and overpriced) – Guetta’s F*** Me I’m Famous party at Pacha, something simple and friendly (i.e. free shots with bar owners) – LoungeClub at the far end of the port in old town, something with a spectacularly insane stage performance (i.e. super porn rave) – Supermartxe at Privilege, and something sexy and hip (i.e. beautiful people watching) – Disco Pool Party at Ushuaia.
I assume most fans of this blog have been or plan to eventually go and know that until recently this has been the party capital of the world – I say until recently as I base it on commercial reasons, which Vegas seems to have finally surpassed in terms of revenue made by dj performances. That said, I still prefer the eclectic mix of fans from all over the world that come together in Ibiza rather the intensity of crowds and competing behaviours in Vegas. I also very much enjoy the variety of things to do from serenity in private beaches in the north east of the island to terrific restaurants and beach clubs dotted along the south coast. Here’s a clip to capture one of the party highlights, suggest you do NOT play in the office.
That wraps up this instalment of a busy month. Next month should include another US visit and an escape to Turkey so watch out! In the meantime, I’m curious to find out if this experiment of Mr. Breakstone’s to indulge you into my diary of sorts is working out. Please feel free to share your feedback with Reza or comment below and let us know if you’re enjoying the series and what we can do to improve your experience.
Thanks very much!