We shake hands with Selloni and head back upstairs to the main room, which is now filling up with patrons and their guests, ready for the main event of the evening.
The crowd is generally older, with ourselves and the jazz band members making up the majority of the younger faces. A man in his late twenties with a surfer’s blonde hair that brushes his shoulders, dressed in a well-fitting suit zips up the stairs and into the main lobby with energy before languidly slipping over to the bar, adding to the air of intrigue and mystique that has cloaked the entire evening.
We exchange conversation with several club members as the room fills up for the concert. A voice-over actor, a woman in blue who worked for one of the city’s biggest newspapers for twenty years. Each is friendly and open, relaxed in their environment. All of them express a love for the club and the building it is housed in, and a desire to see it flourish.
The light is falling over Gramercy and the atmosphere shifts. We decide right before the concert that it’s time for us to go. We pick up our coats and say goodbye to the doorman, then we’re down the stairs and out the door, the din of jazz music and conversation disappearing behind us as the doors shut closed and we found ourselves right back out the streets, listening to the laughter from the outside and admiring the golden butter light as it seeps through the windows. It’s quiet out here. The trees in Gramercy rustle as a breeze blows through. I zip up my raincoat and walk down the sidewalk, feeling like I just stepped out of the past and back into the present.
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Photo Credit: Hilary Ribons