MrJumbos New York: The B.M.W.
Theres a joint just up the avenue and across the street; I can see it out my window at night. Its called the B.M.W. Barfor Beer, Music and Wine. Its been there a few years now, and its one of the more comfortable places I know to go have a couple beers.
Theyve got live entertainment every night, usually from early evening till well past midnight. Its a low-budget place, so dont expect to see your favorite supergroup. The stage is barely large enough for three people; when there are more, theyll stand on the floor between tables. But the music is real, and the performers too.
Rick comes in fairly regularly on Saturday nights, after midnight. He plays a lot of Dylan and Stones covers, plus some other old classics, blows some harp, keeps the scene going.
Hes good, and hes relaxed, and he keeps the speed about right.
Frank the Barkeep.
No joint is complete without its regular bartender, and five days a week its Frank who keeps us hydrated. Its a beer and wine bar, so no harder stuffbut theyve got port and a sherry or two if youre looking for something finer. Cant go wrong, though, with the beers they have on tap. They match the music: not too ambitious, but local and drinkable.
About half the time one or another of the taps is acting up. It somehow matches the ambience of the place. Frank will cheerfully make do, and if you inspire him, hell give you his Irish accent. Used to be he could serve little frozen pizzas here, but management must not have been making any money on them, because they are no more.
Funny thing is, right after I took these pictures, they redid the interiors, and now this guy hangs in a different place. He lends a certain tone to the pub. Periodically someone expropriates his hat, perhaps to keep dry on a rainy way home.
For a bigger version, click on the picture.
I loved it that Jenny and the picture this night wore the same color green. The walls are hung with stuff by local artists, some better than others. But the display changes regularlylike the music, its always from the heart.
A lot of people who play here do a lot of their own material. Jenny, who usually plays with a group, was testing the waters as a soloist, and she stuck to tunes she knew from other placesWith God On Our Side, a French song, some others.
(Someone else took this shot, which I love, though I think I butchered it when I got it into Photoshop. Try it in a bigger size by clicking on the picture.)
A typical set from Rick might include Working Class Hero, You Cant Catch Me, Helpless, On a Night Like This, He Was a Friend of Mine, Sweet Virginia and some others.
Often Rick is joined by Dave Francis, a nimble guitarist who also adds harmonies to the vocals. Dave solos at the B.M.W. on Fridays, but I cant ever be there, because I work Friday nights. You cant see it in this picture, but one of Daves many guitars is a Chevrolet.
Dave and Rick.
Chelsea . . . *Chelsea by Night . . . More Chelsea . . . *Night in New York *New and Improved (April 2000)
Chelsea . . . *Chelsea by Night . . . More Chelsea . . . *Night in New York
*New and Improved (April 2000)
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